Belmont Club on the French Riots
The Belmont Club: The Bells of Ys. His analysis is pretty similar to my own.
At least one nation has been born in the last week, that of immigrants who once colloquially referred to themselves as 'Arabs' but who now prefer to call themselves 'Muslims'. While the riots will start to abate at some point, from exhaustion and the onset of cold weather as much as anything else, the sense of identity forged at the barricades will not so easily fade. A new meme has been born which neither Sarkozy's rubber bullets nor de Villepin's appeasement can bring under control. The only question is whether another nation has been reborn under the events of the last week; a nation once called France. There is in a sense, something magnificent about the stirrings of identity among the Muslims in the Parisian ghettos; all the grander in comparison to the tentativeness, doubt and reflexive abasement of the officials of the Fifth Republic. The riot police, fire department and public order apparatus may have been present in the rioting banlieus, but the Idea of France was conspicuously absent. The Idea of France, not the hodgepodge of welfare benefits, Marxist obscurantism and world-weariness that that is palmed off as sophistication, is what has to present itself as an alternative to the Green Banner of Islam. Otherwise it will be a contest between something and nothing.Wretchard doesn't speculate on what sort of 'new France' is possible. I remain worried that 'new France,' if it emerges will be a lot like 'old Germany.'