Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Tony Barber is right. FT
This is not in the slightest to condone the murderers, who must be caught and punished, or to suggest that freedom of expression should not extend to satirical portrayals of religion. It is merely to say that some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims, but are actually just being stupid.

...Ms Le Pen has taken care to distance her party from the anti-Semitism that stained it and limited its appeal under her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen. But she has left anti-Islamism in place and even reinforced it.

In 2010 Ms Le Pen compared Muslims praying in the streets to the 1940-44 Nazi occupation of France. Less than 18 months later she collected 17.9 per cent of the vote in France’s presidential election. She has a good chance of increasing her share of the vote enough to win the first round — though not the second, decisive round — of the 2017 election.
Anti-Islamism and a hard line on immigration will shore up Ms Le Pen’s core vote, but they will not unlock the doors of the Elysée Palace. Surveys show that a majority of French people rejects racism and dislikes extremism.

The English author Andrew Hussey, who lives in Paris, published a book last year called The French Intifada, in which he described France as “the world capital of liberty, equality and fraternity . . . under attack from the angry and dispossessed heirs to the French colonial project”.

The murders in Paris throw down a challenge to French politicians and citizens to stand up for the republic’s core values and defeat political violence without succumbing to the siren songs of the far right.
The underlined phrase was pulled.

There is always a contradiction in state liberalism between a domestic politics of liberty and foreign policies concerned with power; globalization makes the contradiction impossible to ignore. With immigration and high speed communication the gap between far and near, foreign and native is collapsing. In a globalized economy the combination of a domestic politics of rights and a foreign policy of realism is becoming politically untenable, because it is become emotionally untenable.
France, Lebanon sign Saudi-funded arms deal worth $3 bln
France tries to supplant US as Saudi Arabia's arms supplier
The protestors now chanting "Je Suis Charlie" don't see French support for Saudi Arabia and other regimes as their responsibility, but France is a republic, so technically it is. And they're protesting because they want the freedom they expect, but not the burden of decisions that affect the freedoms of others. The self-righteousness is more narcissism than principle.
In a globalized economy the combination of a domestic politics of rights and a foreign policy of realism is becoming politically untenable, because it is become emotionally untenable.
That's a major shift.

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