Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Morality according to Finkielkraut, Peillon, Woerth

This (video: Mots croisés, May 30, 2011) is long but not without a certain shock value: to hear MM. Finkielkraut, Peillon, and Woerth debate the question of who has won the "moral battle" is not without savor. Finkielkraut continues his descent into a peculiar form of senility: he is blind to all persecution except that of the powerful. It pains him, it truly pains him--and few are as gifted as Alain Finkielkraut when it comes to the expression of intellectual déchirement--to see DSK "driven out" of a NYC coop and forced to take refuge in a $50K/month apartment because of the inexplicable zeal of American judges and district attorneys to prevent him from returning to his home in Washington. What reason could there be for such acharnement except the desire of NY's DA, Mr. Vance Jr., to win re-election by "taking the scalp of a wealthy man?"

Vincent Peillon, for his part, reminds us that political figures who are seen as paragons of probity often don't do well at the polls. He mentions Jospin; he might have given us Mendès-France. By a strange non sequitur, this removes any stain from the honor of DSK: he would have been a winner, hence it's OK for him to be throwing his wife's money around. The bizarreness of this logic doesn't seem to occur to him. Nor does he ask himself whether DSK's pre-indictment position as the "inevitable" candidate of the left might have owed as much to his wealth as to his talent: which of the other candidates had the means to hire Euro RSCG to buff his image in the media?

Woerth's presence on this platform seems to have been decided by his status as a martyr: martyred, he is retrospectively canonized, and who better than a saint to lecture us on morality in politics? His "presumption of innocence" seems to count for just as much as an acquittal, and he is therefore whitewashed of all past indiscretion and entitled to tell us that black sheep may well be the whitest of the flock, if only we could perceive as he does their inner holiness. "Georges Tron, I knew him well ... " Finkielkraut takes the other tack: he doesn't know either Tron or Strauss-Kahn, hence his judgments are pure of all prejudice, and unlike others, he can see clearly that a "foot is just a foot." Alas, he seems not to have read the actual charges against Tron, which go well beyond foot massages. For the conscience of France, it is enough that Tron has been hounded from power to prove that he, too, is a martyr.


meshplate said...

I'll have to save the pleasure of enjoying hating Finkielkraut. I like "His "presumption of innocence" seems to count for just as much as an acquittal"

It seems that for this lot every indictment of a prominent figure must be by necessity a witch-hunt by a mob roiling in resentment. It follows that only indictments of average citizens could be legitimate.

There's something so perverse in all this. It seems as if Finkielkraut would wish to roll back the Revolution banging the table as insisted that it essence was always essentially Jacobin.

meshplate said...

The charges against Tron define sexual harassment: sexual exploitation against the promise of being hired, and then fired.

Cincinna said...

Roger Cohen has an interesting take in today's NYT.

DSK and Conspiracy Theory


"... A rough rule goes like this: The freer a society, the less inclined it is to conspiracy theories, while the greater its culture of dependency, the more it will tend to see hidden
hands at work everywhere."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, cincinna 'cause you know that Americans never indulge in conspiracy theories and that societies are obviously useful scale for discussing such cultural phenomena.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and this is the same Cincinna, mind you, who was ridiculing American Bilderberger and Birther adepts the other day. It was convenient then to forget Cohen's Law that conspiracy theories are a product of statist authoritarian societies like France.

Cincinna said...

I believe the article was referring to political & government conspiracies, like the idea that the US Govt was behind 911 (911 Truthers) and the French government "set up" DSK.

Anonymous said...

According to BFM, the case against Tron seems to be collapsing... One of the complainants, who was fired from her job in Tron's townhall for having stolen public money, had already lodged a formal complaint about her former employer, a mayor in another town, accusing him of harrassment. The mayor was found innocent and the case dropped...


MYOS said...

Mélanie: just because the case was dropped doesn't mean he was innocent. And there are three plaintiffs who did not know one another. That seems a bit much.

Anonymous said...


Let it be known that if anyone implies DSK's adviser pressured anyone about anything, they'll be sued!

(Overeacting much? Or pricked where it hurt?)