Emmanuel Todd, a leading French demographer and political pundit, has predicted that racial tensions in France will disappear once the “hegemonic” older generation dies off. Here is in full what he recently told the center-left magazine Le Nouvel Observateur:
[The race riots of 2005 in France were] an aspiration to equality. The ethnically-mixed youth of Seine-Saint-Denis are in the tradition of social upheaval which punctuates the history of France.
I was sure that Nicolas Sarkozy, responsible for the outbreak of violence in the banlieues [referring to the 2005 race riots across France], would suffer as Minister of the Interior. These riots had rather filled me with hope . . .
In fact, they marked the beginning of when politicians and ideologues would be rewarded for attacking the banlieue and youths [i.e. for race-baiting].
The fundamental effect of these events was to tense up older voters. French society turned into a mass gerontocracy. Some wanted to see ethnic problems in what was in fact a conflict between older and younger people. The violence of 2005 marks the failed rebellion of the youth and the success of Nicolas Sarkozy, the elected official most supported by the elderly in the entire history of the right: 44 percent of over-65s voted for him in 2007.
Sexagenarians are criticizing young people for being Arabs, Muslims, or rappers, as they criticized the children of the 60s for having long hair and liking Anglo-American pop.
What these people reject is the very idea of a new France. The problem will not be resolved through a violent ideological struggle. The solution is demographic: We are old hegemons, but we will disappear. One can always find reasons in oneself to reject the passage of time and the replacement of generations. The real “grand remplacement” [great displacement].
This passage, I suggest, is the most egregious kind of falsehood or the most deceitful kind of lie; for it is littered with often perceptive half-truths, while ultimately being completely misleading. Read more