Rod Dreher has a piece on young French Catholics arguably coalescing into an indentifiable socio-political force. The post is a rejoinder to a longer piece by Mark Lilla in the NY Review of Books. In that piece, Lilla writes of these young Catholic figures thus:
This past summer I spent some time reading and meeting these young writers in Paris and discovered more of an ecosystem than a cohesive, disciplined movement. Still, it was striking how serious they are and how they differ from American conservatives. They share two convictions: that a robust conservatism is the only coherent alternative to what they call the neoliberal cosmopolitanism of our time, and that resources for such a conservatism can be found on both sides of the traditional left–right divide. More surprising still, they are all fans of Bernie Sanders…
I reckon a pre-2007 Bernie Sanders — that is, the anti-globalist one who opposed illegal immigration, due to it being a downward pressure on (white) working class wager-earners – might get significant support from even dastardly Alt Right types, were there no Trumpian alternatives. Lilla continues:
The intellectual ecumenism of these writers is apparent in their articles, which come peppered with references to George Orwell, the mystical writer-activist Simone Weil, the nineteenth-century anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt, the young Marx, the ex-Marxist Catholic philosopher Alasdair Macintyre, and especially the politically leftist, culturally conservative American historian Christopher Lasch, whose bons mots—“uprootedness uproots everything except the need for roots”—get repeated like mantras. They predictably reject the European Union, same-sex marriage, and mass immigration. But they also reject unregulated global financial markets, neoliberal austerity, genetic modification, consumerism, and AGFAM (Apple- Google-Facebook-Amazon-Microsoft).
Again, speaking as someone from the Dissident Right, this coalition of causes starts to sound familiar…
But, perhaps over a bottle or two of wine, Dreher could ask these young French Catholics why they oppose mass immigration. Once you tease out the true reason, they’ll quickly be lumped in with the dastardly National Front.
As I have written about before, watching the ongoing ‘red-pilling of Rod Dreher’ has become something of a sport of mine. Watching him discover the compounded truths and consequences of race realism (as manifest through mass third world immigration to the West), and then struggle to contextualize this reality with his banal, preexisting, Christian humanism, is sometimes almost painful to witness. But I see Dreher as something of a bell-weather for the attitudes of many boomer Normies intuitively dissatisfied with the neoliberal political order.
With respect to the aforementioned young French Catholics, Dreher predictably trips over himself in a ramshackle, preemptive attempt to disassociate them from the (cue Darth Vader music) National Front:
Lilla points out that many establishment intellectuals in France don’t take these young Catholics seriously. They mistakenly (says Lilla) view them as National Front apologists. I can tell you from personal experience that Lilla is right: this is simply not true at all.
He cites as proof:
Lilla points out that Marion Maréchal Le Pen left the National Front’s successor party, and dropped the “Le Pen” from her name. Unlike her infamous grandfather and her aunt Marine, Marion is an intellectual and a serious Catholic. And she is young. She is the kind of political figure that certain young right-of-center intellectuals in the US want Trump to be, but that’s beyond his capacity.
Yes, changing one’s name, but retaining the identical positions of the party you just left is proof you are now on God’s side!
Marion Maréchal, as Lilla points out, is very much on the side of firm and decisive engagement and battle. Her CPAC speech (watch it below) was about this. I honestly don’t know if this kind of conservatism can ever take root in America, but I deeply hope so.
This coming from a man who vilifies the dastardly ‘Alt Right’ every chance he gets.
The money-shot quote, though, from Dreher’s piece has got to be this passage:
… I’m reading Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe and learning in much greater detail how the European establishment — left wing and right wing — sold out their civilization to mass immigration for the sake of global capitalism and “diversity,” I believe that that Establishment deserves to be smashed. The new French conservatism, and its political frères in the former Eastern Europe, represent the best hope Europe has to avoid real fascism. EU-style technocratic, deracinated liberalism is dying, and deserves to die.
So, Dreher is getting around to reading Murray’s book, with its emphasis on the cumulative effects of mass immigration, leading him to suddenly write: “I believe that that Establishment deserves to be smashed.”
And always operative in his rhetoric on what constitutes the Right is his false dichotomy of his approach vs… ‘fascism’. A longstanding canard in Dreher’s writing is to equate the Alt-Right (or Dissident Right), despite all its nuances and variations, with ‘fascism’. He simply cannot shake this knee-jerk reaction.
What struck me most in that passage above is him writing: “EU-style technocratic, deracinated liberalism is dying, and deserves to die.”
I’d like to see Dreher expound upon “deracinated”. Is he implying that the indigenous French ought to be able to openly espouse keeping France ‘French’, and not be called racist for taking this position?
If so, he’s starting to sound like one of those awful “Alt Right” people he so often vilifies.