Thursday, November 17, 2005

Integration through negation?

Of all the explanations for the French riots, I thought polygamy was the most novel. Not enough of a fatherly influence in the lives of these young men, you see, due to too many wives in the maternal harem.

Well, now there's this interview with French philosopher Andre Glucksmann, saying that the riots are actually the "youths" way of integrating into French society:
These are French youth. Good, they have parents that come from sub-Saharan or North Africa, but they are French youth. They integrate themselves by setting fire to cars, to people even. They integrate themselves through protest. That's very contemporary in France. [...] The Corsicans launch attacks, sometimes it's the Bretons or the Basques. There is a typical French integration through negation. Everyone in France, all parties, businesses, workers, believe it's possible to accomplish things through violence. There were the strikes at Moulinex, for example, where the workers threatened to blow up the factory. There were strikes in chemical factories where employees threatened to dump acid into the rivers of the region. In France, many people believe that the ability to inflict damage on someone else is a sign of strength. I think, quite on the contrary, the youth of North African descent are in fact integrating in this way.

Mmm-kay... I guess if the state controls every facet of your life, then striking against the state is the only way to get attention, let alone redress.

But that doesn't make the M word go away, not quite.

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