The Transcultural Trance in France
When a person is in a trance, he is detached from his surroundings. He is in a dazed, semi-conscious state. The English term “trance” comes from the French word “transir” meaning to be numbed by fear, derived from the Latin “transire,” to pass or pass away or swoon. A person in a trance can be as if under a spell, like when one is hypnotized.
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
French citizens have been non-acting as if they were in a trance, detached and unconscious of the millions of Muslim immigrants who fester in big housing projects in isolation, sans travail, sans chance de progrès, sans liberté ou fraternité.
Out of work, lacking opportunity, clustered in slummy dwellings, unassimilated, feeling unwanted by the majority, angry and alienated, the rioting and car burning by Muslim youth gangs in Paris and other cities should come as no surprise. Their condition does not excuse the destruction, but the French people have foolishly created a grand désordre that can only grow worse unless quite radical changes are made.
The American economist Henry George, writing about how civilization declines, accurately predicated that where social justice is lacking, there will arise new barbarians. France had the hubris to create a great empire, occupying half of Africa. The sought to Frenchify the peoples of northern Africa, so being designated as French, many came to live in France. Many others have come more recently to escape from the economic paralysis of the newly independent states of Africa. But once in France, they had neither fraternity nor equality nor economic liberty.
France was the home of an enlightened school of economics, the Physiocrats, who expounded a policy of free trade, a free market, and the financing of public goods and public works from the economic surplus that comes from the land. But France turned away from liberty and created a centralized bureaucratic state that continues to stifle enterprise. Unemployment for French men under the age of 25 is over 20 percent. High taxes and restrictions make labor too costly to hire. The French response was more regulation: laws enacted to limit hours of labor in a futile attempt to spread the work.
The French have now woken from their trance. They can now see the problem they created - a vast cultural minority of alienated North-African Muslims in the midst of their proud European Christian heritage that goes back to Roman and Celtic eras. The only way out is to go back to their revolutionary calls for liberty, equality, and fraternity. Adopt the French Physiocratic program for economic development, which has never been improved on in over 200 years of economic thought.
Half-measures will not do. Treating the symptoms would be like foolishly mandating a 35-hour work week. The French need a new economic revolution. Sweep away the stifling taxes and restrictions. Implement laissez faire. Let entrepreneurs hire and fire employees at will, with no restrictions or taxes on honest and peaceful enterprise. Implement an “impôt unique,” the unique non-punitive source of public revenue, the surplus that is the rent of land.
Unfortunately, the European Union has imposed fiscal rigidity on its members, imposing restrictions and value-added taxes on all its members, and with a European Central bank that controls the trans-European currency, the euro. The EU would have to be reformed to liberate French labor and enterprise. But it does not matter, since the French governing chief don’t wish to enact such reforms anyway.
Instead, the French will first crack down, and then subsidize some jobs, and then pay some movie producers to create some very artistic films about the Muslim experience. Nothing fundamental will change, as France falls into a new trance of helplessly watching the increasing Islamicization of their cherished nation, encroaching ever more on French traditions and social freedoms, while suffering the sporadic violence that destroys social peace.
Too bad. France is a beautiful country. It still has splendid museums and architecture, magnificent castles, and beaches which, for the time being, men and women can enjoy together. The growing Muslim influence will first require women to cover themselves more fully, then create segregated beach and recreational areas for men and women. Eventually, French wine will become increasingly non-alcoholic.
Meanwhile, the troubles now plaguing France will spread to other countries in western Europe. In past centuries, Muslims invaded Europe, holding power in Spain and in the Balkans. Now it is Muslim immigrants who are creating a new Islamic presence. Europe can integrate Muslims into its culture while preserving the religion and culture of both Christians and Muslims, but only if there is economic opportunity for all. The riots in France present all Europe with a warning to integrate now or face disaster later.
-- Fred Foldvary
Copyright 2005 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.
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