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Five Points on De Gaulle and Powell

Reader comment on item: Why Was Enoch Powell Condemned as a Racist and Not Charles de Gaulle?

Submitted by Ilsenstein (United States), Aug 19, 2013 at 20:43

First, family and hierarchy have as much to do with culture, lower case "c" , as do cuisine and literature. But cuisine and literature are only a part of something within culture, that could be called Culture with an upper case "C". In some sense the British Empire brought British culture to its colonial subjects just as a casual by product of administration, while as Mr. Pipes points out the French Empire more effectively and intentionally presented French culture as well as French Culture to its colonial subjects.

Second, racism in a technical sense has to do with the proposition that there exist higher and lower cultural abilities in perceived biological divisions of humankind. The proposition that there are higher and lower cultures, is itself not racism. One can easily get from one idea to the other but it is not logically necessary to do so. The texts of the De Gaulle and Powell speeches indicate that each statesman considered French or British culture respectively superior to that of the colonial subjects. That did not make them racists. The full texts of the addresses also make it clear that De Gaulle and Powell each believed that individual colonial subjects could successfully learn and attain to French or British culture (and Culture). So we see positively that neither De Gaulle nor Powell was a racist.

Third, the likely reason that the Powell speech was labelled racist is that it was delivered in the late 1960s, after the word racism came to be misunderstood, redefined and used as a pejorative label.

Fourth, it seems that the immigrants that De Gaulle and Powell knew were bringing Islam with them as a religion and way of life they wanted to keep, not necessarily as a conscious program for widening the rule of Allah.

Finally, can one imagine any present American politician even being understood and accepted by enough of our citizens if they spoke in the manner of these speeches and made allusions to the Classics? Which of our statesmen and stateswomen can even write like that by themselves? President Obama can, but he dumbs down most utterances. He departs from his perfect Standard American English pronunciation whenever the occasion demands. We Americans have arrived at this point by ourselves, without the assistance of our many new arrivals. Even if we were to bring our new people over to American culture, what will we giving them?


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (23) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
3Dear Mr. Pipes [70 words]Debanjan BanerjeeAug 22, 2013 12:19209167
3Of Arzals and Ashrafs and hypocricy [213 words]dhimmi no moreAug 23, 2013 06:41209167
1why this double standard ? [49 words]SamSep 9, 2013 22:57209167
true reason for some arabs migration to india and.nearby regions [92 words]being humanSep 16, 2013 11:50209167
Victims of Islam [48 words]dhimmi no moreSep 18, 2013 07:27209167
cure for dhimmi:) [75 words]Being HumanOct 10, 2013 09:49209167
1The elephant in the room and the Muslim mind [96 words]dhimmi no moreOct 11, 2013 09:52209167
The pink elephant in the room [116 words]Being HumanOct 29, 2013 09:22209167
4Islam and "racism" [99 words]Delta MikeAug 21, 2013 21:07209150
3Why Was Enoch Powell Condemned as a Racist and Not Charles deGaulle [202 words]JudithAug 20, 2013 20:19209122
1context of WW2 - Blitz-immigration [235 words]mythAug 20, 2013 18:18209120
Powell [34 words]VijayAug 20, 2013 14:04209117
Tagore [46 words]VijayAug 20, 2013 14:01209116
2SOCIAL ENGINEERING BY POPULATION MANIPULATION [277 words]John HashamAug 20, 2013 12:07209114
1The fundamental issues are not dealt with [95 words]Aurora AronssonAug 20, 2013 08:49209106
1Them and us. [13 words]steven lAug 20, 2013 00:30209094
What is the difference with Jews in the 30s and 40s [66 words]AsokAug 20, 2013 03:54209094
4Five Points on De Gaulle and Powell [402 words]IlsensteinAug 19, 2013 20:43209092
2racism or culturalism? [610 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Kepha HorAug 19, 2013 19:43209088
1C.S. Lewis & Martin Buber [83 words]David W. LincolnAug 19, 2013 18:57209086
3Not a Clear Message? [359 words]Ron ThompsonAug 19, 2013 17:41209085
1So, Say It, Daniel [16 words]Mark WerfelAug 19, 2013 17:39209084
3It seems like the French were right (although it pains me to say so). [56 words]David OleskerAug 19, 2013 17:23209083

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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