Yes, that is a ridiculous headline. And yet, as we noted here last week, what does it tell us about the present condition of America that the president of France, Emanuel Macron, has a better grasp of perversity and danger of our “woke” culture than the President of the United States?
The New York Times has followed up on its first startling account with a report this week on steps the French government is taking to bring the radicals in its own universities to heel:
Subhed: The government announced an investigation into social science research, broadening attacks on what it sees as destabilizing American influences.
PARIS — Stepping up its attacks on social science theories that it says threaten France, the French government announced this week that it would launch an investigation into academic research that it says feeds “Islamo-leftist’’ tendencies that “corrupt society.’’
News of the investigation immediately caused a fierce backlash among university presidents and scholars, deepening fears of a crackdown on academic freedom — especially on studies of race, gender, post-colonial studies and other fields that the French government says have been imported from American universities and contribute to undermining French society.
While President Emmanuel Macron and some of his top ministers have spoken out forcefully against what they see as a destabilizing influence from American campuses in recent months, the announcement marked the first time that the government has moved to take action.
I’ll pass over the irony that much of the ideological derangement of American universities traces back to some perverse French philosopher, in part because those French frauds derive much of their pernicious nonsense from some earlier German philosopher. (I’m trying to work up a joke about how the French complaining about American intellectuals is a case of the Frogs calling a frog ugly, but I just can’t stick it. Too self-referential. . . which is the core of post-modernism!)
Instead, imagine the reaction on American campuses to any American politician who proposes a similar review of our university curricula. (Memo to red state governors: You may just want to do this.) It gives you the same kind of warm glow as a double-shot of whisky.
As we used to know when we taught American history in school, France came to the aid of the United States at the beginning of our drive for independence in the 1770s. Is it too fanciful to hope that France will invade the United States at some point soon to save our revolution once again? Vive de Lafayette!