Author Topic: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.  (Read 226 times)

TheDeamon

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American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« on: February 11, 2021, 06:39:15 AM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/world/europe/france-threat-american-universities.html

Quote
The threat is said to be existential. It fuels secessionism. Gnaws at national unity. Abets Islamism. Attacks France’s intellectual and cultural heritage.

The threat? “Certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States,’’ said President Emmanuel Macron.

French politicians, high-profile intellectuals and journalists are warning that progressive American ideas — specifically on race, gender, post-colonialism — are undermining their society. “There’s a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities,’’ warned Mr. Macron’s education minister.

Emboldened by these comments, prominent intellectuals have banded together against what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture.

So while Biden and the Democrats try to make a hard left... Macron in France is moving to the right?

fizz

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Re: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2021, 07:27:58 AM »
Well, not so much an hard right, as some lip service to the right front in advance of upcoming elections, when talking about some topics that have been and will remain bothersome for the government in charge, whatever the brand, like how to deal with their immigrant population.

Macron is a centrist, an agnostic and a strong supporter since forever of the "laicité" of the state: this, and an emphasis on the assimilation in the "french" identity of immigrants have been an issue that have generated some internal conflicts even on the center-left of France parties when having to deal with the large muslim immigrant population, compounded with the residual issues from recent decolonization of largely muslim African French colonies, and have been doing so since forever.

He made some comments in this direction centered mostly on the laicitè stuff, but the big more generalized noises come from the old-guard of the France academia, like that article points out too.

The "old-guard" of academia, both left and right, is starting having to deal with the fallout of the attitude they took after the sexual liberation of the '60... it's likely that many, many members of the old guard have closets full of skeletons, by current standards (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/10/france-begins-to-confront-decades-of-neglect-of-incest-cases).

Let's say that having a guilty conscience about some past excesses is not exactly conductive to being open to a change of course that will lead to a reduction on your influence and prestige, and maybe even put your career in danger.

Fenring

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Re: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2021, 11:45:45 AM »
Also TheDeamon, don't make the mistake of seeing everything through the American lens. It's uniquely American to insist that someone opposing a particular left-wing doctrine is therefore moving towards the right. It is entirely possible to repudiate and even despite a certain strain of left-wing politics and social concepts while still being an ardent left-wing believer of other things. You can reject the social justice movement, for example, and yet be a strong proponent for welfare, social programs, pro-choice, etc etc. You'd still be a total lefty, just not that kind of lefty. Not saying Macron is, it's just that your supposition is not necessitated by what you mentioned.

cherrypoptart

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Re: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2021, 06:23:19 PM »
I agree that the French concern with American wokeness does not necessarily mean that they are moving to the right but instead may just mean that they are staying true to what we probably think of as more classical liberalism with a diversity of thought and respect for others to let their views be heard even when there is disagreement. That is directly opposed to the new American woke liberalism that takes great pride and delight in shutting down and canceling views and people with whom they disagree with the clear intention of instilling terror into the hearts of anyone who would express any unapproved views on anything by getting them fired from their jobs, blacklisted from future work, and even kicked out of their apartments.

rightleft22

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Re: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2021, 06:41:52 PM »
Maybe I'm to old but I don't know anyone that puts any stock in to this idea of 'wokeness'.

When I was growing up the word was Hip and if you referred to yourself as hip you immediacy disqualified yourself and weren't.
If I heard anyone referring to themselves as 'woke' I would apply the same rule.

Fenring

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Re: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2021, 06:53:51 PM »
Maybe I'm to old but I don't know anyone that puts any stock in to this idea of 'wokeness'.

When I was growing up the word was Hip and if you referred to yourself as hip you immediacy disqualified yourself and weren't.
If I heard anyone referring to themselves as 'woke' I would apply the same rule.

The term is probably used by outsiders, yes. The people I know who are ardently in the social justice camp would just call it "being a decent human being" and those opposed "terrible people."

TheDrake

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Re: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 09:35:24 PM »
Well, the French have a severe case of "All Muslims are bad" because of their fierce devotion to secularism and raw fear. They've seen their fair share of extremism, consider the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and they've extrapolated that to the point where they are banning religious dress in schools and beaches. I can see why those French people supporting that might feel threatened.

NobleHunter

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Re: American Woke Politics too much for French Universities.
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2021, 10:20:35 AM »
I believe "woke" acquired it's social justice connotations from it's use by black people to describe the process of realizing how pervasive racism is in America society and culture. In that case, it's no surprise the French don't like the word.