2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

"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.

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to "Retour aux pays" by Michael S.

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)