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aries1988 : globalization   14

Gauls, gilets jaunes and the fight for French identity

# the roman national
The British used to read Our Island Story — the hoary best-seller whose chronicling of stirring events and great men and women from Albion to Queen Victoria introduced generations of schoolchildren to history. (David Cameron once claimed it was his favourite childhood reading.) Across the Channel, books like the so-called Petit Lavisse did much the same thing, recounting the whole great sweep of what the French term the roman national from the days of the Gaulish general Vercingetorix to the French Revolution and its aftermath.
Historians once found it natural to tell stories that were designed to imbue their countrymen with pride.
“Whatever your ancestors’ nationality, young Frenchmen and women, at the moment you become French, your ancestors are the Gauls and Vercingetorix.”

In 1987 historian Suzanne Citron published an important essay on “the national myth” in which she deconstructed the assumptions behind the traditional narratives then commonly taught in schools.
The purpose was to show how France’s past could not be understood except within a larger context — global, we might call it today — in which ideas and people and goods flowed across borders and shaped one another.

Alain Finkielkraut, self-appointed guardian of the old story, and himself recently on the receiving end of anti-Semitic abuse from gilets jaunes, denounced the authors as “gravediggers of the great French heritage”.

Gaul being — in a favourite nationalist phrase — the “eldest daughter” of Rome

Countries prosper, so the message runs, when they welcome strangers (like the Armenian refugees who gave France Charles Aznavour) and they suffer from the consequences of their own narrow-mindedness.

Now it is not the book’s gleeful dismantling of the récit national that is under attack, but rather its purported underplaying of a long history of inequality and its consequences.
there are real problems with reading globalisation back into the past, not least because trade in general, and foreign trade in particular, was simply far less important as a part of economic life in earlier times than it is today
a more militant, provincial and insurgent history of burdens and privileges.
separate communal and local activism from outright xenophobia

The limitations of the nationalist narrative have been exposed. But what is the alternative? To abandon narrative altogether, in favour of the episodic and the vignette?
is it best replaced by a multitude into which we can dip at will? The idea of a past that is shared may then slowly slip entirely from view.
historiography  debate  narrative  world  nationalism  français  france  history  2019  book  society  conflict  manif  macron  globalization  opinion 
april 2019 by aries1988
Two Roads for the New French Right | by Mark Lilla | The New York Review of Books

Unlike her hotheaded grandfather and aunt, Marion is always calm and collected, sounds sincere, and is intellectually inclined.

In countries as diverse as France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Italy, efforts are underway to develop a coherent ideology that would mobilize Europeans angry about immigration, economic dislocation, the European Union, and social liberalization, and then use that ideology to govern.

a new legal status, dubbed a pacte civil de solidarité (civil solidarity pact, or PACS), for long-term couples who required legal protections regarding inheritance and other end-of-life issues but did not want to get married.

While it’s true that fewer and fewer French people baptize their children and attend mass, nearly two thirds still identify as Catholic, and roughly 40 percent of those declare themselves to be practicing, whatever that means. More importantly, as a Pew study found last year, those French who do identify as Catholic—especially those who attend Mass regularly—are significantly more right-wing in their political views than those who do not.

The National Front is nearly as secular and even less ideologically coherent, having served more as a refuge for history’s detritus—Vichy collaborators, resentful pieds noirs driven out of Algeria, Joan of Arc romantics, Jew- and Muslim-haters, skinheads—than as a party with a positive program for France’s future. A mayor once close to it now aptly calls it the Dien Bien Phu right.

They share two convictions: that a robust conservatism is the only coherent alternative to what they call the neoliberal cosmopolitanism of our time, and that resources for such a conservatism can be found on both sides of the traditional left–right divide. More surprising still, they are all fans of Bernie Sanders.

Three months later her Institute of Social, Economic, and Political Sciences (ISSEP) opened in Lyon, with the aim, Marion said, of displacing the culture that dominates our nomadic, globalized, deracinated liberal system. It is basically a business school but will supposedly offer great books courses in philosophy, literature, history, and rhetoric, as well as practical ones on management and political and cultural combat.
reportage  politics  interview  france  conservatism  culture  ideology  conflict  globalization  crisis  morality  family  value  debate  instapaper_favs 
december 2018 by aries1988



to:marginnote  review  book  history  ming  china  globalization  xvii 
march 2018 by aries1988
Monocle's View From Nowhere
The content has a new seriousness, though it remains ever-optimistic. In an interview for the March issue, the CEO of Lufthansa says he is confident that globalization “cannot be stopped or slowed down, even though some people are trying hard.” The president of Portugal, adopting the vocabulary of a start-up founder, pitches his country as “a platform between cultures, civilizations, and seas.” (“We were an empire,” he reassures readers, “but not imperialistic.”)
culture  magazine  media  story  globalization  youth  world 
july 2017 by aries1988
The End of Globalisation, the Return of History - Public lectures and events

Globalisation, long considered the best route to economic prosperity and the apparent norm for decades, may not be as inevitable as we think. It now threatens to go abruptly into reverse. What went wrong? And what is the likely impact upon our future prosperity?
china  globalization  future  history  economy  today  opinion  talk  video  podcast 
june 2017 by aries1988
Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra — in the danger zone

mass murder and totalitarianism have been generally presented as aberrant departures from an essentially benign western liberal tradition that brought millions out of feudal servitude, emancipated women and gave dignity to the poor — and which has kept the European peace since 1945.

carnage and bedlam have in fact been the dominant modes of western modernisation, and that totalitarianism, far from being a distorted reaction to a benevolent Enlightenment tradition, in fact took to their conclusion the themes of that same Enlightenment project: scientific racism, jingoistic nationalism, imperialism and the violent struggle for existence as set down by Darwin.

the age of anger is dominated by a type who is utterly familiar from the west’s own history of modernisation — the superfluous and alienated young man of promise who takes it badly when he fails to grasp the plump fruits of modernity, and responds by resenting those who have somehow got ahead of him, or allegedly stood in his way, all the while falling back in defence of his own, indigenous culture.

answers are urgently required to the disarray of the world and its systems, for it is more than likely that today’s chasms between rich and poor, rooted and mobile, debtor and creditor, will grow rather than contract, and the alienated of our species will continue to seek newer, more spectacular ways of expressing their dissatisfaction. Pankaj Mishra shouldn’t stop thinking.
opinion  crisis  world  history  globalization  instapaper_favs 
january 2017 by aries1988
What Nutmeg Can Tell Us About Nafta

neither cosmopolitanism nor parochialism is a virtue in itself. We need to ask: cosmopolitanism in the service of what? Protectionism to what end?

Cloves from around 1700 B.C. have been found at the site of a settlement in Tell Ashara, Syria. To get there, they would have had to travel more than 6,000 miles, through the ports of the Indian Ocean and overland through Mesopotamia.
human  history  world  globalization  commerce  spice  indonesia  europe  netherlands 
december 2016 by aries1988
The new political divide | The Economist
Farewell, left versus right. The contest that matters now is open against closed

Too many friends of globalisation are retreating, mumbling about “responsible nationalism”. Only a handful of politicians—Justin Trudeau in Canada, Emmanuel Macron in France—are brave enough to stand up for openness. Those who believe in it must fight for it.
world  leader  globalization  2016  conflict  politics  democracy 
july 2016 by aries1988
How the New York Times plans to conquer the world
We believe there’s a gap we’re well positioned to fill, said Dunbar-Johnson. The Economist addresses its readers as if they’re aspiring heads of state. The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal try to address them as if they’re captains of industry. Our readers are people who are deeply curious about the world, not necessarily because they want to run it, but because they want to understand it and make it better.

The bigger question, he said, is what the problem that the Times solves for people is supposed to be, and whether it helps people be part of communities that they want to or need to be part of. Reading the New York Times is part of being a certain kind of person in the US. It is less clear that the Times occupies a similar position with its target audiences around the world.

From the perspective of Latin America, that was much more important, said Polgreen. Similarly, she said, Imagine you’re a reader in France and come to the New York Times homepage. It’s completely dominated by what to a foreign reader feels like really small-bore American politics.
media  journalism  american  world  globalization  competition  evolution  relevancy  business  news 
may 2016 by aries1988
How to change the face of Europe -
‘Europe today faces a problem: it lacks a clear creation myth with unifying heroes’
europe  crisis  opinion  currency  people  nation  globalization  leader  myth  human  concept  instapaper_favs 
may 2016 by aries1988
Lessons in Britishness
William Richardson, general secretary of the HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference), says British boarding schools are very good at making children resilient adults who can earn a good living. “Children in boarding schools win out in the graduate labour market. They do well all round, and are self-confident, resilient and networked,” he says.

Reading is a red-brick university which ranks in the top 20 per cent of UK higher education institutions. Not numbered among Britain’s elite “Russell Group” — equivalent to the US Ivy League — it has nevertheless risen steadily through the rankings and is now rated third in the country for research on environmental sciences.
uk  education  school  idea  gaijin  teacher  chinese  globalization  british  today 
may 2015 by aries1988
How Do You Say ‘Blog’ in German?
But the society’s stance has nevertheless touched a chord across German society, particularly among people you might call anti-cosmopolitans: those who feel unable to keep up with an internationalization they feel is being imposed on them.

But the society’s stance has nevertheless touched a chord across German society, particularly among people you might call anti-cosmopolitans: those who feel unable to keep up with an internationalization they feel is being imposed on them.

"Zeitgenossen,” is particularly apt for the moment. If you look it up in a German-English dictionary, you will find that it means “contemporaries,” those who happen to live in the same day and age. But it means more than that. The German word “Genosse,” meaning “comrade” or “associate,” also implies a mutual responsibility.
german  english  language  globalization  future  today 
september 2013 by aries1988
A Cycle of Contamination — and Cancer — That Won’t End -
As in Toms River, so many things about last week’s debacle in Handan were infuriating, starting with the chemical involved: aniline. That was the compound that launched the synthetic chemical industry in 1856, when a precocious 18-year-old named William Henry Perkin, experimenting in his parents’ London attic, inadvertently discovered that aniline, dissolved in sulfuric acid and mixed with potassium dichromate, made a superb purple dye.

Soon London, Basel, Switzerland, and the Ruhr Valley in Germany were littered with aniline factories, many of which would morph into familiar corporate giants like CIBA, Geigy, Agfa and the German behemoth BASF, the industry leader. In Basel and London, it was said, you could tell which dyes were being made by the color of the nearby canals and rivers, where the factories dumped their waste. Factory bosses would send workers on clandestine midnight runs to the Middle Bridge in Basel to dump barrels of waste into the fast-moving Rhine.

The reality of 21st-century globalism, however, is that none of us can pretend that by pushing the chemical industry out of our communities we have stopped enabling its dangerous practices. The industry jobs that started in Basel, and then migrated to Cincinnati and Toms River, are now in Shanxi Province and other coal-rich areas of China. BASF alone now owns or invests in 45 Chinese ventures. Meanwhile, hundreds of smaller companies like the Tianji Coal Chemical Industry Group, whose Changzhi factory was the source of last week’s leak, are busy turning coal into aniline and a host of other chemical products.
globalization  life  history  chemistry  industry  environment  health 
january 2013 by aries1988

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