Sunday, 4 November 2012

Still The Eldest Daughter

At heart, France is so secular that All Saints Day is a public holiday. It is no wonder that the town mayors, who alone can perform a legal rather than a purely religious marriage ceremony in France (people have the church service, the real wedding with all the trimmings, later that day or on the day after, but that is no concern of the State), are in revolt against the proposal to extend legal marriage to same-sex couples.

As they rightly point out, if this is the logical conclusion of civil partnerships, which the rest of us had thought were their own logical conclusion, then, since France is sufficiently civilised not to restrict civil partnerships to a privileged caste of unrelated same-sex couples, then marriage will have to be extended to close relatives if they should happen to want it. If, it is being asked by the mayors, marriage is about nothing more than that people love each other, then why not extend it to more than two people who love each other? Leading, among other things, to the question of Islamic polygamy. They are a clear-thinking lot, the French. They teach philosophy in their schools.

La France éternelle, the land of Charles Martel, is where his heirs are valiantly engaged in a demographic war, not only against the rise of a semi-feral underclass which is in any case nothing on that in the “Anglo-Saxon” countries that have ceased to will the means to a properly functioning bourgeoisie and proletariat, but also against the Islamic expansionism that dismembered France as recently as 1962, when she was mutilated by the loss, not of three colonies, but of three départements, integral parts of the French State and nation, a mutilation resisted with arms by General Raoul Salan, founder of the OAS, lifelong Socialist, and Grand Orient Freemason, though not, as is sometimes suggested, Jew.

That was the perspective from which, in and through the person of a decorated veteran of the Algerian War, France opposed the greatest catastrophe since 1962 for what was originally Christendom on three continents, covering every inch of the Mediterranean’s shores. For what remained of that, 1962 was the greatest catastrophe since 1948 (itself the greatest since 1923), and 2003 seems set to have been the greatest until a similar intervention in Syria. That will doubtless also be resisted by la France éternelle, the conscious, literal rebirth of which will have tremendous consequences in, for example, the United Nations Security Council, where they can expect the support of Russia and will also deserve that of the United Kingdom and of the United States.

Never forget that talk of what would originally have been a Second Western Alliance, but against Islamic rather than Communist expansion, has been a commonplace of French political discourse ever since the 1950s. And never forget that Mitterrand gave a job to Poujade, in whom the Legitimist and Bonapartist traditions met, who had endorsed him and who did so again, just as Chirac and Giscard d’Estaing both endorsed Hollande. Well, against Sarkozy, of course they did.

Part and parcel of all of this is resistance to the redefinition of marriage as anything other than the union of one man and one woman. And the defence of civil partnerships as not restricted to a privileged caste of unrelated same-sex couples. Including the removal of any such restriction where it exists. As it does in Britain.


  1. You mention Poujade.
    Poujade, alongside Maurice Duplessis & Damian Thompson, are the three individuals I would like you to write about more often.

  2. I can promise you two of them, anyway.

    I have done Poujade several times before. As for Duplessis, he was most tragically wrong about the unions. If he had engaged with their members, rather than necessarily with their officials, on the basis of Catholic Social Teaching, then he would have served far better the anti-Communist cause that gave rise to his antipathy towards them.

    Both in itself and in its anti-Communist effects, such engagement would also have cohered far better with his aims, in the pursuit of which he was not without success, of economic growth, infrastructural development, defence of rural communities, promotion of traditional Catholic family values, and preservation both of Canadian unity and of Québécois identity within that unity.

    Alas, his alienation of many potential and natural allies in those causes, despite the existence of the Church's Teaching as the obvious basis for such alliances, led to the loss, albeit after his death, of much to which he had rightly dedicated and devoted his career.

  3. So does your praise of the OAS suggest you also support the UVF?

    Similar thing isn't it?

  4. Not remotely.

    And I do not praise the OAS. I regret the situation that gave rise to it. Not least, though not exclusively, because of the precedent that it set.

  5. It is an interesting point, isn't it? How can their neocon views of more recent Islamic/Islamist aggression be compatible with support for twentieth century developments such as the creation of the Turkish republic by the mass expulsion of far more ancient communities of Greeks and Armenians? Or the mutilation of Frnace by the loss and then ethnic cleansing of the Algerian départements?

    Obviously there can be no compatibility. As surely as there can be no compatibility between their neocon views and their support for the Mujahideen, Izetbegovic, the KLA, Jundullah, Ennahda that was bound to replace Ben-Ali in Tunisia, the people who were bound to replace Saddam Hussein if he was go rid of, the people trying to get rid of Assad, the people trying to get rid of the March 8 Alliance, and the Islamist terrorists in southern Russia and western China.

  6. Wouldn't you have thought so?

    But then, see the chapter that made Andrew Roberts's name, the hatchet job on Mountbatten in Eminent Churchillians. It is extremely pro-Pakistani, simply taking as read a case which the majority of Muslims in the former British India has never accepted, there always having been far more of them in India than in Pakistan.

    Somewhere, I really should find a way of incorporating something on how the movement that began with Maurice Cowling's Mill and Liberalism in 1963 has ended up with Roberts and with Niall Ferguson, a form of Whiggery, if not of Marxism with only the ending changed so that the bourgeoisie wins in the end. Roberts has said as much favourably, Edward Norman unfavourably.

    The chapter that I have been looking for, along with how the Sixties Swingers hated the Wilson Government and how their pirate radio was funded by the same Oliver Smedley who went on to fund the IEA (in the meantime, punk branded the Callaghan Government a "fascist regime"), on how the young Margaret Thatcher voted in favour of 1960s permissiveness and never changed her mind, and on the role of Michael Ramsey?

    The companion volume would follow, on Lady Diana Spencer, the sometime Princess Charles of Wales; on Sir Jimmy Savile, the embodiment of the seamlessness between 1960s debauchery and its economic entrenchment in the form of Thatcherism; on Sir Richard Branson, the bridge between the Thatcher and the Blair Eras, or perhaps on Marxism Today instead; and on Dr David Jenkins, whose liberal theology was ultimately unable to provide a sufficiently radical critique of Thatcherism, and in that way opened up the space for things like the Radical Orthodoxy that, with its broader sensibility in which many of us find ourselves, is such a significant factor in the emergence of the postliberal politics of which Radical Orthodoxy's founder contends that I have been the harbinger.

    If I do it. I won't start until the middle of next year if I do.

    Watch this space.