Dalrymple on Paris

I am currently reading Theodory Dalrymple‘s Our Culture, What’s Left of IT, as fine a collection of essays as you will find anywhere. Dalrymple is a conservative moralist, but contrary to the standard definition of that kind of person in the US, he is literate, balanced, thoughtful and erudite. There is much to like in the book, including a moving portrait of one of my favorite authors, Stefan Zweig, as well as a merciless comparison of the lives of Marx and Turgenjev, where the latter comes out as the human and the former as the monster.

In light of the recent riots in France, one of his essays is particularly prescient. It is called City The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris, is available on the web, and clearly shows that these riots are the product of a long evolutionary process that France has no reason to be proud of. Says Dalrymple:

[….] France has handled the resultant situation in the worst possible way. Unless it assimilates these millions successfully, its future will be grim. But it has separated and isolated immigrants and their descendants geographically into dehumanizing ghettos; it has pursued economic policies to promote unemployment and create dependence among them, with all the inevitable psychological consequences; it has flattered the repellent and worthless culture that they have developed; and it has withdrawn the protection of the law from them, allowing them to create their own lawless order.

Prescient, indeed. It was written in 2002.

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