Friday, 21 December 2012

The French President Hollande is visiting Algeria today. This has been the occasion for a shocking display of dhimmitude, guilt and self-abasement throughout the French media.
French President François Hollande held out an olive branch to Algeria on Thursday by recognising the “suffering” France had inflicted on its former colony. He did not issue the apology that many Algerians have demanded.
By FRANCE 24 (text)

French President Francois Hollande on Thursday said he recognised that the “suffering” inflicted on the Algerian people during French colonial rule was “brutal and unfair” – but stopped short of issuing an apology.

Speaking to Algerian lawmakers on the second day of a landmark visit to the former French territory, Hollande said: “For 132 years, what Algeria was subjected to was profoundly brutal and unfair. That system had a name: colonialism. And I recognise here the suffering that colonialism inflicted on the Algerian people.”

Many in Algeria had called on Hollande to issue an apology for French rule and for the brutality of France’s reaction to the 1954-1962 war for independence, which left between 400,000 and 1,500,000 people dead, although there are no official figures.


By Ben Barnier / Clare Murphy / Stephen Carroll
The war has left deep scars on both sides of the Mediterranean, and before Hollande’s much awaited visit, several prominent Algerian politicians had denounced the refusal of the French authorities “to recognise, apologise for and compensate” the crimes committed during 132 years of French colonial rule.

"There is a duty of truth on the violence, the injustices, the massacres and the torture," Hollande said of the Algerian war, while calling for the official archives to be opened to historians so that the “truth can come out progressively.”

The speech came a day after Hollande arrived in the former French colony, to be greeted by thousands of cheering Algerians.

Upon his arrival in Algiers, Hollande called for a partnership “of equals” between the two countries, but insisted he had “not come to offer repentance or apologies. I have come to say what is true.”
Source: France24

The French press is full of articles making essentially the same points: France should repent for its terrible crimes in Algeria; part of this repentance involves giving economic aid to Algeria, French companies being prodded into investing there, and throwing open the gates so Algerians can colonise France even more quickly; and France should use Algeria to construct a North-South partnership between European and Africa/the Middle East so we can act "as if the Mediterranean wasn't there".

Here's a flavour of it.
If the Paris-Bonn (then Berlin) axis has been and remains fundamental for European construction and still today to get the European Union out of its impasse, established, calm and lucid relations between Paris and Algiers are likewise for the construction of a Mediterranean space of shared prosperity. And, beyond the Maghreb, by this means to build North-South axis towards Africa.
Source: Le Monde

There has been some dissent on the French right.

For Thierry Mariani, UMP deputy for French people living abroad, François Hollande evoked "only one side of history". "Why does he not also recall the many contributions colonisation brought to Algeria in terms of infrastructure, facilities, medical care?", he asked. The deputy regretted that the suffering of the pieds-noirs, the harkis [Algerians who fought on the French side in the war of independence] and the "massacres of Europeans" were forgotten by François Hollande. "How not to feel disappointed and betrayed by this partisan and hemiplegic vision of history?" he concluded.

...Marine Le Pen, president of the Front national, insisted that François Hollande "condemns our country threefold, abasing it a little more on the path of repentance first of all, followed by massive immigration, finally followed by outsourcing." "Although François Hollande denies falling into repentance, that is the exact tone of his speech", which "revised history in the direction of a violent accusation against France. Nothing about the positive aspects of the colonisation, and nothing about the Algerian crimes against the harkis, but a new systematic denigration of our country, our history and our people".
Source: Le Figaro

What I find interesting, though, is that no one mentions what ought to be the most important factor. Algeria served as a platform for terrorism, piracy and slavery for centuries before France invaded and put a stop to it. Vast numbers of Europeans were kidnapped from ships and from their homes in Europe during coastal slave raids (razzias) and carted off to be sold, raped and worked to death.

This history has mostly been forgotten in our times, even among people on the right, because in the twisted worldview of the Left, which dominates our culture, only Europeans can be guilty of such iniquity.

At the rational level, multicultists justify their support for immigration by citing its mythical economic advantages, and the supposed benefits of diversity. Of course, none of this withstands close scrutiny. At the emotional level, though, the drive to de-Europeanise Europe is powered by this overwhelming, and artfully cultivated, sense of guilt about all the terrible things we supposedly did in the past.

The irony of this is that imperialism was, by and large, a left-wing project. In the 19th century it was the people who in our time would be human rights activists and Guardianistas who agitated for the extension of empire, not predatory right-wingers looking to rapaciously exploit the brown savages. Imperialism, by and large, was unprofitable. With very few exceptions, European countries spent more on their imperial possessions than they ever got back out of them. If you read the debates that took place at the time, imperialism was clearly driven by do-gooders obsessed with bringing civilisation to the brown hordes. Stamping out slavery was often cited as a justification for bringing some new territory into the empire, for example.

Here is a typical example of left-wing support for imperialism in the 19th century. Ironically, it contains more actual truth than almost any commentary you would be able to find, on the right or left, today. It is written by Friedrich Engels, co-author of the Communist Manifesto and patron of Karl Marx.
The struggle of the Bedouins was a hopeless one, and though the manner in which brutal soldiers, like Bugeaud, have carried on the war is highly blamable, the conquest of Algeria is an important and fortunate fact for the progress of civilisation. The piracies of the Barbaresque states, never interfered with by the English government as long as they did not disturb their ships, could not be put down but by the conquest of one of these states. And the conquest of Algeria has already forced the Beys of Tunis and Tripoli, and even the Emperor of Morocco, to enter upon the road of civilisation. They were obliged to find other employment for their people than piracy, and other means of filling their exchequer than tributes paid to them by the smaller states of Europe. And if we may regret that the liberty of the Bedouins of the desert has been destroyed, we must not forget that these same Bedouins were a nation of robbers, — whose principal means of living consisted of making excursions either upon each other, or upon the settled villagers, taking what they found, slaughtering all those who resisted, and selling the remaining prisoners as slaves. All these nations of free barbarians look very proud, noble and glorious at a distance, but only come near them and you will find that they, as well as the more civilised nations, are ruled by the lust of gain, and only employ ruder and more cruel means. And after all, the modern bourgeois, with civilisation, industry, order, and at least relative enlightenment following him, is preferable to the feudal lord or to the marauding robber, with the barbarian state of society to which they belong.

It is clear that the pro-immigration, pro-Islam impulse within modern left-wing thought is part of this same age-old drive to redeem the brown savages, one inspired by a pathological sense of altruism. Since they can no longer do it in the savages' own countries, leftists need to bring them here for redemption instead. It is almost surreal, though, that the left has been able to rewrite history to make it look like imperialism was a right-wing project, not a left-wing one; and then use these fabricated accusations against the historical right to justify mass immigration in the present day, so their mad obsession with civilising the brown horde ("la mission civilisatrice") can continue. And, of course, it isn't working. The brown people aren't being civilised. It is we who are being decivilised by their presence.


Col. Bunny said...

A superb piece. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Mabey you should ask the hundreds of thousands of murdered Algerians what benefits colonialism brought. What a joke this article is.

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