RESPONDING TO THE FUTURE
Lionel Darmendrail comments
on Sam North's predictions for 2002
A propos 2002- THE
Albion has "depuis longtemps" enjoyed and entertained this
complex idea of reigning supreme over the seas. But since the world has
she seems to have comforted herself somehow with just being a safe harbour,
sanctuary, a market-town, a favourite land of destination (ask all those
in Calais). Refugees flock into her from her former colonies and beyond.
ladys still attractive it appears. Financial liberalism in the City,
laundering on the little islands, but not only. Sams got a real
but then, he illustrates his point with monochrome slides of Karl Marx,
and Chairman Mao, while skipping altogether over Hitler and fascism. Thats
a shortcut. Karl Marxs ideas were alright. So is the Book for all
I care. Its
whats done with the ideas that counts.
Between the plague and the cholera, we had to chose who to fight first.
We got rid of Adolph after he sprayed us with bombs. The job isnt
finished yet. I sense from the author here too much onesideness, although
I can vouch for his Europeanism. His analysis at this point sounds (pro)
American. West against East, Islam against Christianity, poor against
that sort of dilemma.
It's too binary or too grandiose. A little too "Bush" to my
ears. It wants a little damper. We got to reposition ourselves constantly.
Todays terrorists are a new and mean menace to be dealt with indeed
and right fast, and unrepentantly...like you would with vermin
up to a point it seems. Lets not get overwhelmed nor should we generalise.
Too many bombs still fall on the wrong targets. Lets get more discriminating.
Follow neither God nor Marx. No party, no flag. Home is where your soul
As Henry Miller nicely wrote 50 years ago: "If America is like a
fruit rotting before it has ripened, Europe is like a valetudinarian living
in a glass cage. Everything that happens in the outside world is a threat
and a menace to this fragile self-made prisoner. This delicate, long-suffering
creature has experienced so many upheavals and catastrophes that the very
word revolution, the very idea of an end makes
it shudder with fright. It prefers the freeze to the thaw".
Isnt the world now coming out of the winter of life? The negative
aspect always precedes the positive as Sam North remarks. And like a phoenix
well raise from the ashes of the WTC. From my Euskadi (South-West
France Basque country) right here, I for one, really felt part and parcel
of all those there in the towers when they tumbled down on the screen.
The day after, a pro ETA local paper published on the whole width of its
front page the following title: "We dreamed of it
just done it!". (The Basque government had it shut down immediately).
(And did you know that Zacaria Moussaoui was from Saint-Jean-de-Luz?)
Sam is right again when he notes "there is more to see and understand
in this world than the local Mall
different tribes with different
ideas and aspirations, quite alien to their own. An awareness of world
geography would be no bad thing either." He means the kids and their
parents as well. I must admit that Sam North keeps well abreast of world
events and his interests seem many. I much like his metaphor about the
Euro which evokes Pax Romana, "when Caesar's coin could be spent
in any part of the Empire". Then he predicts that UK will join the
Euro eventually. I hope hes right: the more, the merrier. But others
say theyll never abandon the sacrosanct British Pound. Will a referendum
come soon? Next year? He doesnt say. Well wait and see. I
do not miss the Franc a bit so far. What about those interest rates? Thats
a hard question to answer. Sams monetary forecast for the year to
come is impressive. He may well be right again. About South Africa, I
do not quite understand how a 50% devaluation there can boost car exports
for BMWs and Volkswagens from East London? (East London is a city in South
Africa - Ed)
I enjoyed this journalistic piece. It is informative and varied; it reads
well and covers much ground with few words. Conciseness, clarity and,
most of all, relevance are the ingredients I have appreciated most. Keep
up the good work. Joyeuse et bonne année!
© Lionel Darmendrail
PS: Your piece on French cinéma is excellent and that Salignac
project sure sounds interesting.
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