Looking at the violent behaviour of the angry French in the streets, especially when you see it for the first time, you immediately think: there it is, the revolution! The government will not hold! France is finished. The government will fall. It doesn’t matter whether they are Arab or African teenagers from the suburbs, populist yellow waistcoats, disgruntled peasants, supporters of sexual minorities or, on the contrary, supporters of the family and traditional values, nationalists, anti-fascists, anarchists, students, pensioners, cyclists, animal protectors, trade unionists, ecologists or pensioners. They are many: thousands, tens and hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, fill the streets of French cities, block traffic, train stations and airports, declare the autonomy of selected institutions and schools, burn petrol, overturn cars, shout wildly, wave banners and bite the police. And then… they calm down, come to their senses, take pills and go back to work, discuss prices, life, neighbours and politics at lunchtime in small restaurants, where they shout again, but much more quietly, and go home.
After 1968, even the largest mass protests of many millions have had no effect. The result is zero, always and under all circumstances. If you get to know France better, you realise that it is simply a nation of psychopaths, and not migrants at all. The French authorities don’t give a damn about migrants, just as they don’t give a damn about ordinary French citizens, and out of this total indifference, the migrants become psychopaths themselves. This is the new form of social integration: you arrive in a civilisation of psychopaths and you become one.
Jean Baudrillard thought that the French were a nation of complete idiots. According to him, they are unable to understand anything about art and they pile up in their thousands at the Beaubourg Museum, only to have it collapse one day under the weight of these idiots. Inner freezing and regular hysterics replace culture and politics for the French. If General De Gaulle had known his people better, in 1968 he would not have paid attention to the outrages of the left in the streets, after a while they would have simply left, but he took it seriously. After him, no other president made the same mistake. Regardless of what happens in the streets, but also in the economy, politics, society and finances, the French government has always remained calm and in total control of the press. Régis Debret, Mitterrand’s advisor, admitted that throughout the duration of his nominally left-wing presidency, he and his boss were unable to achieve anything, because each time their initiatives met with invisible resistance. Being at the top of power, neither Debret nor Mitterrand understood where this opposition came from. Only later did Debret realise that it was the press. The press is everything to France and the psychopaths in the street, i.e. the population, are nothing.
When Macron was first elected, and the right-wing – and much more rational – Marine Le Pen had good prospects, the influential newspaper Liberation came out with the headline “Do what you want, but vote for Macron!”. Very French. Right-wing, left-wing, pro-immigration, anti-immigration, pro-tax increase, anti-tax increase: it doesn’t matter. Just vote, for Macron, it is an order that cannot be questioned and the voter has no responsibility after the act of voting and neither does Macron, why should he.
Macron was already hated in his first term. I don’t remember why, apparently for everything, but he was elected again by the French themselves. Unlike the Russians who are usually unpredictable, the French are predictable and that is crazy. To choose a total loser for the second time…. Who in their right mind would do that? However, they re-elected him and then started protesting again, overturning cars and smashing shop windows. One might recall Baudrillard: the French are idiots, but Macron is also French. So a balance has been struck.
The scale of the current riots, then, the exasperation of the hordes of immigrant teenagers (Macron has suggested that they are just playing too much computer games), the collapse of the economy, the rise in government bond rates, the recession, the interruption of the holiday season, the huge losses due to vandalism should not fool us: the French have a parish.
Macron will do nothing, but then again, he has never done anything. He will speak out in favour of the environment, meet Greta Thunberg for every eventuality, send one or two arms divisions to Ukraine, pay a fabulous amount of money to a brand-name but totally ineffective US PR group affiliated with the CIA, have a phone conversation with Scholz, go to a gay nightclub and look in the mirror. Then he looks in the mirror again and then everything settles down, it’s always happened like that, it’s not the apocalypse, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just France.
One hypothesis remains: the apocalypse in this once very attractive and elegant country has already happened and now its streets, invaded by who knows what, show a mass hallucination.
Is anyone willing or able to change this situation? If one carefully examines 19th and 20th century French culture, the conclusion is unequivocal: the French spirit, like Orpheus (with Cocteau or Blanchot, for example), wanted only one thing: to descend into hell as low as possible. Well, he has succeeded and it is irreversible. How long can it last? Nobody knows. Beautiful France, the eldest daughter of the Church, as the Catholics called her in the brilliant Middle Ages, has irreversibly turned into a dump – from the soul to the streets and suburbs. Notre Dame has burnt down. From the Louvre, all the paintings and sculptures that could ruin immigrants and feminists have been removed.
There is only Macron and his mirror, like Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus with Jean Hugo’s sets and Coco Chanel’s costumes.