Monday, April 27, 2009

The anti-capitalist vituperation, says Glucksman, is what led to the communist and fascist political strategies which “dragged humanity into hell”

…“anti-capitalism has the wind in its sails”,
John Vinocur quotes André Glucksmann as writing as Nicolas Sarkozy named the "insistent voice in defense of human rights and … Western values" an officer of the French Legion of Honor. Glucksmann
likened this [anti-capitalism with wind in its sails] to a new attack on temple merchants, Babylon, the golden calf, profit and usury. In the just completed century, he said, this kind of vituperation led to the communist and fascist political strategies which “dragged humanity into hell.”

Read that as I did, and the messenger was chiding the president for making calls — not much heeded, it turns out — for the “re-creation of capitalism.”

…Mr. Glucksmann did turn his back on Ségolène Royal in the 2007 presidential election as an inadequate Socialist candidate, and endorsed Mr. Sarkozy. In recognition, his opinions won unique tolerance and a unique audience at the Élysée Palace.

The deal has this particularity: a not infrequent visitor, Mr. Glucksmann tells Mr. Sarkozy where he has gotten it wrong. The current list is long: his potshots at capitalism, a lack of awareness of how the current Russian-German relationship suggests serious grief, or his overdrawn hopes of Europe’s achieving a slice of world leadership.

…you could find an admonition to Mr. Sarkozy. Mr. Glucksmann appeared to urge: deal with reality rather than hopes for a unified European political and economic force ready to move in with the big guys in a not-so-imminent multipolar world.

“The European Union,” according to Mr. Glucksmann, “remains tied up at quayside, its main players refusing stimulus packages out of fear of helping their neighbors more than themselves, with an every-man-for-himself attitude dominating a facade of smiles.”

…Mr. Glucksmann went on: “There won’t be a European ‘community’ either for gas, oil, or nuclear energy. To hell with European energy autonomy! The Berlin-Moscow alliance is growing closer, and a long-term preference for Russia is operating in industry as well as in public opinion.

“The exit-from-crisis-plan across the Rhine is the economic modernization of Great Russia by Grand Germany. A remake of efforts to rationalize the czarist empire in the 19th century under German direction?”

The answer, he wrote, is that the Kremlin’s leaders are manipulating the Germans’ “nostalgic or neo-colonial aspirations.”

And he concluded: “Adenauer-de Gaulle, Mitterrand-Kohl, that’s over. Behind Angela Merkel’s likability, reality is the discovery of a Germany that’s furiously ambivalent. Meanwhile, Europe is crumbling.”

That’s a sharp message to a French president whose seeming comfort with the Putin/Medvedev team has led the left-wing newsmagazine Le Nouvel Observateur to redub him “Sarko le Russe,” replacing the “Sarko l’Americain” tagline of his 2007 election victory.

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