One characteristic of our dominant “postmodern” culture is the assault on all sense of shared narrative and identity, above all nationhood, which is subject to constant and aggressive “deconstruction.” But a recent video by the French think tank Polémia, founded by Jean-Yves Le Gallou, a former National Front (FN) Member of the European Parliament, shows how a positive national vision can be promoted amid the ambient relativism and traps of political correctness.
The above video is making the rounds in French nationalist circles and has already reached an impressive 140,000 views in less than two weeks (a translation is available from the excellent English-language French nationalist news site GalliaWatch; reproduced below). What I love about this video is its optimism, its articulation of joint national and European identity, its being both rooted in the past and looking forward to the future, its inclusion of apolitical themes like heritage in music, food and good living, but also in explicit mentioning of the necessary ethnic component of national identity.
The narrator — a gentlemanly and generous-sounding elder — tells us on a background of elevating music:
A Frenchman is a French-speaking European.
To be French is to belong to a lineage which comes from the depths of time.
The French people remain the heir of the Gallo-Romans.
According to the great demographer Jacques Dupâquier, the ethnic composition of the national territory remained virtually unchanged until the beginning of the 1970s.
To be French is to belong to a civilization: European and Christian civilization. […]
The fatherland [patrie] is the soil and the dead. […]
“It is very good that there be yellow Frenchmen, black Frenchmen, brown Frenchmen. They show that France is open to all races and that she has a universal vocation. But on the condition that they remain a small minority. Otherwise, France would no longer be France. We are of course above all a European people, of White race, of Greek and Latin culture, and of Christian religion.” — Charles de Gaulle
The presentation is perfect. The ethnic discussion is carefully woven into the narrative without being overbearing. The talk of being “a French-speaking European” and of “a lineage” could be considered dog-whistling. The fact of ethnic continuity, until recently, is pointed out. It is explicitly stated that European-Frenchman must remain the overwhelming majority of the country, by the absolutely unimpeachable Charles de Gaulle, the man who is the source of the French state’s official legitimacy since World War II.
Thus the video can be shared by most people, on social media or elsewhere, without too much fear of shaming and ostracism. This is critical. The politico-cultural system in place in the West since 1945 rules us by making any Western nationalism and defense of European identity and interests a hateful taboo morally equivalent to Auschwitz. This works, to the extent that one cannot even share a link to a particular website or associate with a nationalist without fear of repercussions for one’s reputation and career. (In contrast, the far-left is absolutely tolerated, witness how the universities, media and political classes are often filled with former and current Stalinists, Trotskyists, Maoists and other assorted Marxoids. Even an orthodox Italian Fascist would obviously not be tolerated, even though Benito Mussolini’s regime did not kill a high number of people compared with either the Soviet Union or the Western democracies.) Polémia shows that you can create a message that raises our core themes despite the bounds of political correctness.
Similar videos could be made for Germany, Britain, Italy, Russia, Poland and all the great European nations. We are Europeans: Brothers of blood and faith. Our nations, with the glorious variation in their characteristics and trajectories, show only a fraction of the limitless potentialities of our people. Furthermore, each nation has a rich and often fascinating patriotic tradition to draw upon for its national renewal. The triumph of nationalism, I am convinced, will first go through particular nations, each with its particular heritage and consciousness.
No doubt a similar pan-European video could be made — perhaps featuring the Ice Age survivors, the Ancient Greeks and Romans, Charles Martel and Charlemagne, the Viking and Renaissance explorers, Galileo and Newton, Nietzsche and Darwin, and the men who walked on the Moon. From Ice Age to Space Age…
Translation, from GalliaWatch:
A cartoon appears at the beginning: Cartoon title: “Everyone is French”
“And are we French too?”
“But of course, everyone is French!”
No, no, dear Martian friends, everyone is not French!
To be French implies a marvelous alchemy:
To be French is to speak the French language,
The French language which is our mother
And the marvelous tool for the exercise of our intelligence
And the discovery of the Humanities.
A Frenchman is a European of French culture.
To be French is to belong to a bloodline
That comes from the depth of the Ages;
The French people remain as the heirs of the Gallo-Romans.
According to the great demographer Jacques Dupâquier,
The ethnic composition of the national territory
Stayed virtually unchanged until the beginning of the 1970’s.
To be French is to belong to a civilization,
The European and Christian civilization.
To be French is to share the memory of the Homeric poems,
Of the Celtic legends, of Roman heritage, of the medieval imagination, of courtly love.
Whether one is Christian or not, the Christian values of the world
Are an element of the French identity.
To be French is to share a history, a memory.
To be French is to share the pride of the great, national saga;
Of the Monarchy, of the Empire, and of the Republic.
The motherland is the land and the fallen.
To be French is to share the love of a land, of its different regions,
Of its varied landscapes, of its marvelous high terrains.
To be French is to share music and sounds, from the lyre to the bagpipe,
From the piano to the guitar, from the accordion to the symphony orchestra.
To be French is to share flavors and scents;
To be French is to share moments of happiness at the dinner table.
To be French is to share the desire to live together,
To have common glories of the past, a common will in the present,
Having done great things together, and wanting to do new ones.
Those are the essential conditions to be a people, according to Renan. (Ernest Renan)
To be French is to join together strength with the Arts.
Today it has succeeded in the synthesis between technical performance
And a certain art of living that leaves room for the beautiful, the elegant, and the sensuous.
It is that voice which today is being followed by French managers and engineers all over the world.
To be French is a singular identity which gives sense amidst the great noise of the world.
“It is very well that there are yellow Frenchmen, black Frenchmen, brown Frenchmen – it shows that France is open to all races, and that she has a universal role, but only as long as they remain a small minority. Otherwise, France will no longer be France. We are after all, before anything else, a European people of white race, of Greek and Latin culture, and of Christian religion.” – Charles De Gaulle.
Let us also listen to Renan: “The Spartan Song – ‘We are what you were; we will be what you are’ – is, in its simplicity, the abridged hymn of every patrie.”