France Expresses Alarm About America’s Drift into Left-Wing Radicalism

America has moved to the left so rapidly that Europeans are now expressing alarm about it. As journalist Glenn Greenwald notes, “Obama-endorsed French President Emmanuel Macron has joined numerous French intellectuals & journalists in warning that ‘out-of-control woke leftism of US campuses and its attendant cancel culture’ poses a grave threat due to the social strife it creates.”

Greenwald links to a New York Times article that asks, “Will American ideas tear France apart? Some think so. Politicians and prominent intellectuals say” that left-wing “social theories from the United States on race, gender, and post-colonialism are a threat” to French unity and stability:

French politicians, high-profile intellectuals and journalists are warning that progressive American ideas — specifically on race, gender, post-colonialism — are undermining their society. “There’s a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities,’’ warned Mr. Macron’s education minister.

Emboldened by these comments, prominent intellectuals have banded together against what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture…..

France has long laid claim to a national identity, based on a common culture, fundamental rights and core values like equality and liberty, rejecting diversity and multiculturalism. The French often see the United States as a fractious society at war with itself…The French state does not compile racial statistics, which is illegal, describing it as part of its commitment to universalism and treating all citizens equally under the law.

Meanwhile, American president Joe Biden has nominated left-wing officials known for extreme “wokeness” to high office. Biden’s pick to be Deputy Secretary of Education praised a radical who accused school teachers of murdering the spirits of black children, at a school diversity training. As Fox News notes, Biden’s pick “gave an ‘extremely complimentary’ introduction to” a radical “featured speaker, who has accused public schools of ‘spirit murdering’ Black children.”

Biden’s pick for civil-rights czar advocated black supremacy. Kristen Clarke, nominated to be the top official at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, opposed a court ruling that protected white voters from being disenfranchised in a majority-black county, and supports race-based college admissions. She also exhibited racism and anti-semitism at Harvard Law School. Writing in the Harvard Crimson,

Clarke cited a number of “experts” regarding what she called the “truth” about the “genetic differences between blacks and whites.”

She posited that “human mental processes are controlled by melanin—that same chemical which gives blacks their superior physical and mental abilities.” Additionally, “melanin endows blacks with greater mental, physical, and spiritual abilities.”

The liberal editors of The Crimson found Clarke’s “racist theories” to be “outrageous,” saying that Clarke had “resorted to bigotry, pure and simple.”…Not long after she penned her letter claiming that blacks are genetically superior to other racial groups, the Black Students Association under her leadership invited professor Tony Martin to campus.

A notorious anti-Semite, Martin’s ensuing lecture about his tract, “The Jewish Onslaught,” was apparently a racist diatribe against the Jewish people, their history, and their traditions, claiming they were the source of the supposedly “ordained” notion of “African inferiority.”

Yet Clarke told The Harvard Crimson that “Professor Martin is an intelligent, well-versed black intellectual who bases his information on indisputable fact.”

President Biden’s fiscal policy is also to the left of France’s in some ways. Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that economists say would shrink the economy in the long run. Even some Democratic economists say it is too big and poorly targeted, and could cause harmful inflation. It would also increase America’s national debt to dangerous levels.

Biden’s stimulus seeks to raise the minimum wage to $15, which is well above France’s minimum wage. The $15 minimum wage probably will not become a reality, because the minimum-wage probably can’t be increased as part of the “reconciliation process” (the process that will be used to pass the rest of the stimulus package).

A $15 minimum wage would increase the budget deficit by $58 billion, and wipe out at least 1.4 million jobs.

Right now, minimum wages vary from state to state, from $7.25 to $14. States with lower living costs tend to have lower minimum wages to match. Economist Chris Edwards says that “Biden’s wage directive would eliminate jobs for younger and less-skilled workers whose economic contribution is worth less than $15 per hour” and would wipe out many “business startups” needed to replace jobs lost due to COVID-19.

People need jobs, but not everyone needs to be paid $15 per hour. Some people live in areas with very low living costs. Many low-living-cost counties in the United States — and Puerto Rico as a whole — have median wages below $15, yet most people there manage to raise families and own their own home. Forcing employers there to pay a $15 minimum wage would require them to pay what is currently an above-average wage to everyone, resulting in widespread bankruptcies and layoffs.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Liberty Unyielding on February 9, 2021 and is crossposted here with permission.

Image: Lorie Shaull, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license, cropped.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader is a senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

4 thoughts on “France Expresses Alarm About America’s Drift into Left-Wing Radicalism

  1. “PARIS, Feb 13 (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday it was possible that far-right opposition leader Marine le Pen could win France’s presidential election in 2022…” See: https://news.trust.org/item/20210213122938-mcy50

    This is interesting, and gives an interesting perspective on Macron’s comments.

    Could it be that the French are reflecting on their own history and remembering both how their Revolution wound up eating its own, ending up with Napoléon Bonaparte in charge….

    Yeats put it best, the middle shall eventually cease to hold, and as more and more radical leftism bubbles out of the purgatorial cesspool that academia largely has become, the result will be the populace inexorably moving further and further to the right.

    One of the interesting things about the 2020 election is that, outside of four specific urban areas, Trump did amazingly well with Black and Hispanic voters. No one since Eisenhower has done that well with those constituencies. If Marine le Pen is a viable candidate in France, it speaks to things that the media isn’t reporting on, and that may be the case in this country as well.

  2. “France has long laid claim to a national identity, based on a common culture, fundamental rights and core values like equality and liberty, rejecting diversity and multiculturalism”. I’m not sure what that statement is supposed to mean, but it sounds like bullcrap to me. France has the highest taxes in the world, a huge entrenched bureaucracy, rent-control which has destroyed all of the property value in Paris, and millions of retired people who receive a large pension with money taken from young workers. France just couldn’t be any worse. So any condescending advice which they may have for America should be taken with a grain of salt. There’s no need to talk about race when you discuss the problems in France or America. The biggest problem in both countries is old white people. They enjoy complete political control in both countries, and they use that power to steal as much money as possible. So before any questions of “national identity” can even be discussed, the governments of both countries would have to be overthrown; and then payroll taxes eliminated completely.

    1. Those old white people paid payroll taxes, which is why they are eligible for Social Security now. The scheme has problems, and so you should complain about FDR who implemented Social Security.

      If old white people have complete political control, that’s good if it keeps people like you from screwing them over.

    2. Ron, you made some valid points about France – high taxes, entrenched bureaucracy, the negative effect of rent control on property values, pensioners trying to survive on pittance, etc., are all a result of society attempting to take care of itself, though in your example poorly. You now see that here, especially in the big leftist controlled and decaying cities where socialism is destroying incentives to improve the lot. These are all understandably disagreeable, but to attack our elders smacks of the progressive eugenics argument against the aged for the irresponsible use of taxpayer’s money. No, I won’t step aside and let this happen to me or any other “old white” person or old person of any color. To say there’s no need to talk about race, then to attack white people is racist my friend.

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