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"Retour aux pays"

Reader comment on item: Conservatives Rally on the Streets of Paris

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Apr 12, 2014 at 15:22

A march of only 600 people is indeed small. I imagine that marches in France and elsewhere, both for and against same-sex marriages, are more successful.

"Retour aux pays" is an appeal to nationalism, to the desire of a group with some history to live and rule in its historic homeland A nationalism based on language identity of the populace first surfaced, on a major scale, with the French Revolution of 1789; and it found its most remarkable expression in the Israeli War of Independence of 1948-49. Since that high point, it has waned: South Sudan recently became independent, and separatist movements are afoot in places like Scotland and Catalonia; but these are being dwarfed by movements toward globalism, international law and supra-national identity. In France, I would guess that more people identify as either "gay" or "straight" than identify as French.

I have seen a similar phenomenon among Jews. I once spent a year in a Jewish conversion program, in the fairly remote outpost of America that I live in. Eating kosher is difficult here, and expensive; nevertheless, I was amazed to find out that in the shul I attended, the most outspoken Jews didn't even eat kosher. Even among the more religious of them, one said that if it came to a choice of eating either "organic" or "kosher", they would eat "organic". In my mind, that person's identity was more with her stomach than with her Jewish heritage. In Israel, on the other hand, I hear it's difficult NOT to eat kosher, yet Jews there seem ambivalent about their connection with the land that God (not a fleeting entity such as the UN) allotted to them. To their credit, those 600 Frenchmen felt serious enough about their Frenchness to connect it to their stomachs; but as I said, 600 is a small number.

Nationalism and ethnic identity is being undermined, among the French, the Jews and others in the Western camp, by trans-national identities such as globalism and sexual orientation. It's ironic that the religious French Catholics find more solidarity with the Muslims than with their fellow ethnic Frenchmen. Both Catholicism and Islam are being undermined by the new internationalist identity; and so is Judaism. With Judaism itself so divided, it's a small wonder that Zionism is taking such a beating in the world today.


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
The world is getting tired [167 words]PrashantMay 5, 2014 03:28214718
"Retour aux pays" [388 words]Michael S.Apr 12, 2014 15:22214440
3It's called Genocide [102 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
cecilApr 7, 2014 18:11214353
l'Eglise catholique [302 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Véronique ChemlaApr 5, 2014 16:51214300
6There are indeed very good studies about the incidence and prevalence of bacterial contamination of halal meat [369 words]dhimmi no moreApr 6, 2014 17:23214300
Addendum: Bacterial contamination of meat [29 words]dhimmi no moreApr 6, 2014 17:27214300
1Correction [23 words]A SwissApr 4, 2014 10:56214255
3the "manger halal" metaphor [169 words]mythApr 4, 2014 06:22214237
1omission [45 words]Mohammed Wazir AhkspaidarApr 6, 2014 00:45214237
3Pork soup… [26 words]Richard BudelbergerApr 3, 2014 16:21214222
We must be specific: Islamism / Islamists are the enemy, NOT Islam [123 words]Shel_TRApr 3, 2014 11:53214220
Shel_TR, you're now famous all over our Wild Worl… [11 words]Richard BudelbergerApr 4, 2014 09:46214220
1Bone-deep Confused [79 words]Ron thompsonApr 15, 2014 14:55214220
5This is a very serious issue in Europe [516 words]AlexandrosApr 3, 2014 07:06214214
4Well said [117 words]Ron ThompsonApr 17, 2014 10:10214214
1Conservatives Raly on theStreetsof Paris [66 words]S.C.PandaApr 3, 2014 04:52214212
Conserving What? [220 words]Baron von NichtsApr 2, 2014 23:04214210
Closing the borders is a scary proposition. [56 words]Pete RognliApr 2, 2014 21:56214209
2Conservatives Rally on the streets of Paris. [101 words]AnneApr 2, 2014 16:54214200
3Vive la France- Sharia-Free [30 words]Michael Hanni MorcosApr 2, 2014 13:44214198
1Bigot...Really ? [290 words]Boutros KhalilApr 2, 2014 11:52214195
Agreeing vigorously, and the reluctantly [179 words]Ron ThompsonApr 15, 2014 14:37214195
2Swiss referendum supported by Italian speaking nationals [53 words]Cornelia J. BoeschApr 2, 2014 09:14214194

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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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