Saturday, July 5, 2008
On Le Monde Diplo, Chris Bickerton tries to understand why the EU is a strange mixture of fragility and inevitability. In so doing he offers some interesting reflections on the tension between rule by experts--what theorist David Estlund calls "epistocracy"--and the democratic ethos.
I'm on an island (see picture) off the coast of Rhode Island, a tranquil place, but the Internet allows one's tranquility to be disturbed anywhere in the world. So it is that I read on Rue89 the report of a strange "French Pride" gathering of assorted reactionaries and extreme rightists in a Paris bar that features a mural of "Gallic warriors" inflicting mayhem on various despised personalities from Bernard Kouchner to Jamel Debbouze. The gathering was held at the invitation of a Web site cleverly named "fdesouche.com" (for its eponymous proprietor François de Souche--get it?), which, having been booted by its French host for its extreme views, is now hosted in the United States. The site features links to the "prophecies" of Enoch Powell as well as to didactic material on "lefts" and "Islamo-Christian 'dialogue'" (scare quotes in the original). The guest of honor was none other than Marine Le Pen.