France’s Clockwork Orange

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


If the impressive success of Laurent Obertone’s new book La France Orange Méchanique (France Clockwork Orange) proves anything, it’s that there are a great many French citizens who don’t share their national media’s apparent indifference to the Islamization of France. To be sure, the author’s focus (the name Obertone, by the way, is a pseudonym) isn’t on Islam per se, but on the “veritable cultural revolution” that France has undergone as a result of mass immigration from corners of the globe whose social norms are profoundly alien to those of la belle République.

By “cultural revolution,” Obertone means, in a word, crime. In France, the years around 1900 are legendary for the lawlessness that erupted on the streets of Paris thanks to a gang called the Apaches; yet in the Apaches’ heyday, Obertone shows, crime was only about 4% of what it is today. Indeed, the Apaches represented a minor blip in an otherwise steady drop in crime rates from the end of the Middle Ages to the second half of the twentieth century. From 1830 all the way up to the outbreak of World War II, French crime rates were a tiny fraction of what they are now; from 1980 to 2000, the rate of violent crime multiplied by a factor of five.

Yet the crime rates are just part of the story. What France is undergoing today, Obertone argues, isn’t just crime but “a new type of ultra-violent crime.” It’s not “’classical’ violence”; it’s a “violence of conquest.” Yet the police response is woefully inadequate; the courts no longer believe in punishment; prisons have become a joke. And the national media all but ignore the whole situation. If you want to know the facts, don’t bother looking in Le Monde or on TV; it’s the local papers, with their steady drumbeat of matter-of-fact reports on atrocities that never make the national headlines, that tell the real story. Obertone devotes page after page to chilling lists of barbaric offenses he read about in regional dailies you never heard of.

To be sure, while France’s national media virtually never acknowledge the reality of the ultra-violent new order, they do occasionally report on individual criminal acts. When they do, however, they’re quick to insist that the incident in question is “an isolated case” and to warn against making “generalizations.” They also routinely draw on a glossary of euphemisms intended to nullify the horror: neighborhoods so treacherous that even the cops hesitate to enter them are called “sensitive,” “difficult,” or “underprivileged.” And they typically describe locals as being “in shock,” as if nothing of this sort has ever happened before: “To believe the journalists, everyone is always in shock.”

Just as English-language journalists habitually describe transgressors as “youths,” their French counterparts go heavy on the word jeunes. Obertone is appropriately sarcastic about the “semantic regression” that allows the French media to refer, for example, to a certain group of malefactors as “garçons d’une vingtaine d’années” – boys of around twenty years old. (On the other hand, as he’s quick to add, one of the remarkable aspects of today’s France is that those who commit ultra-violent offenses sometimes are just boys – kids no older than eight or ten.) And he observes, perceptively, that French journalists have developed a way of writing about this or that ferocious act of mass brutality as if it were, say, an earthquake or tsunami – and thus as unpreventable as any other natural disaster.

But Obertone’s real subject isn’t all this ultra-violence itself. It’s what he calls “the ideological refusal” of France’s progressive elites to understand it and deal with it responsibly. For those elites, he charges, each episode of ultra-violence is a “cry of injustice” by “the excluded,” by the “victims of inequality.” Meanwhile, the elites, all too often, view the victims of violence, and the police who try to help them, as being “worse than lepers.” What’s going on here? Obertone’s answer – and this is his key point – is that ever since World War II, France’s elites, apparently driven by a “never again!” reaction to the nightmare of war, have forsworn the use of violence – not recognizing, as Obertone puts it, that while it’s good “to temper one’s aggressiveness,” it’s dangerous “to remove it or to reserve it to parasites.” Aggression among members of a species, he argues, is a fundamental party of evolution: natural selection favors the strong who are willing to show and use their strength. If a civilization wishes to endure, its law-enforcement officers must be aggressive enough to overcome the aggressiveness of malefactors within.

But today’s French elites have rejected this truth, replacing physical competition with moral competition. Instead of responding to the ultra-violent tendencies of the “under-socialized” by using whatever power is required to preserve or restore order, these “over-socialized” elites utterly eschew shows of force. They believe not in natural selection but in “social selection” – meaning that they’ve constructed a society that rewards progressive-minded souls like themselves who are willing not just to tolerate the imported perpetrators of bestial and destructive conduct but to lavish them with praise. In the view of the elites, such infinite tolerance is the very definition of virtue, and it is this virtue that, they believe, constitutes their own strength. This virtue requires that they be pure pacifists; that they refuse to react physically to violence (to the point of even refraining from defending themselves from physical assault); that they refuse to criticize or judge (for to criticize or judge is to be a fascist) or even to admit to feeling unsafe on the streets (for to worry aloud about immigrant crime is to be guilty of “exaggerating, of being selfish, simplistic, of playing the game of the extreme right”).

What France’s elites have done, in short, is to supplant reality itself with a moral code that considers infinite tolerance of “the other” the highest of virtues. But “the other,” note well, is very specifically defined. Since immigrants from East Asia actually integrate very well into French society and commit few crimes, they don’t count as “the other.” Those who do are, by definition, those who, far from fitting in, or even trying to, flatly refuse to adapt – those who are, essentially, at war with French society. At the heart of this mentality, of course, is a profound self-contradiction. Describing elite progressivism as “a religion, an oppression of thought that sustains itself through guilt and self-hatred,” Obertone diagnoses it as “the result of a powerful internal conflict: the over-socialized are torn between their feeling of superiority (they know best and want the entire world to think the way they do) and their advertised submission to the other, as required by their morality.” The ultimate problem with all this, of course, is that while “evolution favors the survival of the best adapted,” the “morality” of the progressive elites works for the extinction of the best adapted. The elites have crafted the doom of their own civilization.

How have the French national media reacted to Obertone’s book? Exactly the way you’d expect. Obertone has been called a racist; critics have merrily mocked his ardent rhetoric about the need to preserve civilization; and the professional manipulators of statistics have actually had the audacity to claim that his portrait of a France plagued by ever-increasing immigrant violence is a lie and that crime has actually been on the decline. More than one high-profile media figure has dismissed Obertone as a tool of the dreaded “security lobby.” The security lobby! Pause for a moment to ponder that term – yet one more proof that France’s elite does despise the very idea of law and order.

Needless to say, hardly any corner of Western Europe is immune to Muslim mayhem, and France’s largely impotent reaction to it is far from unique. But just as the lame reaction of Scandinavian authorities to this growing crisis can be explained in large part by the Jante Law and a deep-seated Lutheran missionary mentality, and the British response can be accounted for, in no small measure, by lingering guilt over the imperial past, there’s something distinctively Gallic about the French elite’s combination of effete pacifism and sentimentalization of immigrant violence. This is a country, after all, whose modern history is rife with riot and revolution. In many educated French minds, social disorder is inextricably linked with social virtue. One aspect of the elites’ internal conflict is that even as they believe in their own incomparable goodness, they also regard themselves as the unjustly privileged heirs of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and identify the savage foreign gangs in their streets with the poor, oppressed stormers of the Bastille. As Obertone makes so vividly clear, this cognitive dissonance, in all its moral bankruptcy and social irresponsibility, is nothing more or less than a formula for national self-destruction. How tragic it is that the people in France who most urgently need to attend to the message of this gutsy, forthright book are also those most likely to either ignore it or to shower it with condescending ridicule.

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  • Legionnaire

    Blackstone in his treatise on the law had a phrase for this – criminal submission. The elites should be prosecuted for submission and thereby sacrificing normal citizens to terror and attack.

    • dadmar

      This is the first I have heard of "criminal submission" and it fits so well to progressives and their causes of death row obstruction and calling police pigs.

    • Larry S

      Legionnaire-

      There was a report on jihadwatch.org or some such site within the past 10 days or so of a young Swedish woman with two children who was violent gang raped by about a dozen Afghan refugees. She now resides in a psychiatric facility and suffers numerous physical ailments, including bowel incontinence.

      Elites in Sweden have done an abysmal job of securing the interests of young Swedish women, but at least they are on the right side of political correctness.

      • Every Man

        The women does not need to be in a psychiatric facility. Psychiatrists are some of the worst people.

        What she needs is treatment for PTSD so that emotions don;t overwhelm her. She also needs a gun & support when she cleans house or neighborhood.

        The politicians & judges won't do it.

        Any semen from a rap can be analyzed to tell you the ethnicity of the rapist. How is the left going to lie then?

  • rivkah f.

    In 1975, French author Jean Raspail wrote a terrific novel entitled The Camp of the Saints which does appear in English translation. This futuristic piece describes the takeover of France (and of Europe) by Third World immigrants, with the aid of progressives and media personalities. It was highly controversial and considered racist at the time, but should be looked at again. It is almost prophetic. But it did not have the Islamic aspect. Of course, the French people did not vote on this massive immigration — it is a European Union plan which backfired.

    • vladtepes2

      Did the European Union plan backfire? Or was it part of the EU's plan to destroy the nation state with massive immigration? Read Bat Ye'or's 'Eurabia" to get a better idea of how evil the creators of the EU really are.
      Also. "The Camp of the Saints" by Jean Raspail, great book.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    What is being described here is the classic "red/green" alliance of collusion. In fact, its essence has nearly brought western civilization to its knees, and its power thrust is both regressive and repressive. So much so, that the following is taking place, before our horrified eyes – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/03/13/the-donning-o

    http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/09/09/shariah-law-e

    Either westerners (the masses) beat them back, or submission will come. It will not be one or the other, Islamists will make sure of it, even if France is tough on Islamic dress. That's just window dressing, on both parts.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • Glennd1

      Whew, there you are Adina – thank goodness you were able to comment on this piece, it will make all the difference in our battle against the Islamists. What a warrior you are! I didn't see you in first or second place, so I was scared you might not be there to protect us, but then I saw your comment and felt great relief.

      Let me ask you something? Are you as bigoted and stupid as you seem? This was a fine article, well written, well conceived and neither simplistic nor overly complex. The book seems fascinating – all things that are not present in your comments and blog. Maybe you could take a hint? Instead of producing weak, hateful, bigoted militant Zionist agit prop like a madwoman, maybe you might consider posting less and creating actually substantive and thoughtful content? It's easy to produce hate screeds, but writing fact based, reasoned and historically accurate commentary on world affairs takes real work. You should try it sometime.

      • Every Man

        We saw many of the mainstream groups on the left like Code Pink team up with people during the Arab Spring.

        Code Pink is nothing if not to the left. What did we get for their efforts? Islamists as far as the eye can see.
        http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=5682
        http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2

        " The MB's stated goal in the West, according to an internal captured document entered into evidence in the largest Hamas funding trial in US history, "is eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.""

        Now I am going to have to get court document (public records) on the HAMAS funding trial.

        I skimmed 3 or so years of your posts. We'll see where you end up politically. It is going to be one insane ride.

      • defcon 4

        Yes thank goodness she can comment on this piece, because in ANY ONE Of your islamofascist hellholes she would be imprisoned for defaming islam.

  • Chezwick

    Another great article from Bruce. In America, a conservative is often referred to as "a liberal who got mugged". In France, there seems to be no object lesson to being mugged….time after time.

    A few years ago, French high-school students and teachers in Paris were demonstrating for one liberal cause or another, when they were set upon en mass by "immigrant youth" (young Muslims) and attacked for no apparent reason,….an example of "wilding", European-style.

    I remember the photos of these children, so brave, cocky and self-righteous in defiance of the state one minute, and then running in tears the next, cowering behind impotent teachers as they discovered their true vulnerability when the state wasn't there to protect them from the wolves. And do you think these children and their teachers discussed their harrowing ordeal in class over the ensuing days? Do you think there was any attempt to understand what happened on a basic level? I think not. If anything, they were probably implored by their teachers not to draw "racist" conclusions from the ethno/religious identity of their attackers.

    Nothing learned, nothing gained. France is grooming its young people for a harrowing future of submission…

    …I used the word "submission" quite incidentally, but how telling that the word in Arabic means "Islam".

    • Puc

      Indeed Chezwick.

    • Moz

      I am not familiar with this event, could you give me some additional specifics so i can see if there is something floating around on the web about it?

      would appreciate

      cheers

  • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

    I'm not sure that Clockwork Orange was about race, rather it may have been a critique of social democracy/the welfare state/primitivism and anything else that emanated from the French Revolution. The thuggish Alex is ultimately civilized through brutal behavior modification. So though I agree that France is self-destructing, I'm not convinced that Burgess's novel or Kubrick's film should be named as a cautionary tale. http://clarespark.com/2010/05/17/beethoven-and-so…. "Beethoven and some rosy Prometheans."

    • 11bravo

      Claire, Islam is not a race it is a totalitarian ideology – but then, you know that.

  • BS77

    France has a history of surrender and defeat.

    • defcon 4

      I seem to remember a French Foreign Legion unit went rogue following France's capitulation in Algeria. Maybe other French military units or maybe all of them should consider such an action now.

    • UCSPanther

      Where is Napoleon Bonaparte when you need him…

    • Atikva

      The “history of surrender and defeat” you mention is but a short chapter in the recent history of France, which covers less than one century (1918-todate), whereas the preceding thousand years knew nothing of the kind – with the exception of a short-lived and sporadic surrender to the English conquest in the 14th century that ended with Jeanne d’Arc.

  • dadmar

    I found it amazing that the French do not learn a lesson from receiving unwarrented attacks on themselves. I am aware of many democrats that became republicans because of the bully tactics of unions. Their eyes were opened by experience, not so lthe French.

  • Spider

    Europe is once again headed for war to save itself from Fascist takeover.
    Instead of a blitzkreig this time around it is a slow motion takeover Their
    60 year PC slumber will come to an end when their Pubs, Churches,
    Art Museums, Brothels and Monuments are burnt to the ground or closed by sheer
    political power or threats of violence. When this happens they will revert back
    to their genocidal roots – arm themselves and take on the Is-lamists head on. Then
    horrific wars will ensue (in less than 30 years or so) to save themselves the fate
    of either Is-lamic conversion, death or slavery. The government and media elites
    that enabled the takeover will probably be the first to have their heads conficated,
    either by the Is-lamists or the French people.

    • Infovoyeur

      Why, I do rather admire this prediction by "Spider." Shows that a Tipping Point will be required against appeasement or simple READ resistance evasion avoidance denial. Daniel Pipes says that in U.S.A., 3,000 dead via barbaric raid, didn't initiate things, he thinks 300K might, 3 million will. Wow. See The Control Factor, 2012 book by Bill (?) Siegel (sp?) for the most thorough x-ray of the anatomy and physiology of denial of what we cannot control. (IMHO American people and govt. str. will NOT realize or implement the counter-measures needed. Too different a response required. E.g., what would li-be-rals etc. say to response of "need to HALT immigration of Muslims to U.S.A. until we can tell the good from the bad individuals?" Message–accurate or not–totally clogged by the Political Correctness perception, eh?…

  • Atikva

    “…since World War II, France’s elites, apparently driven by a “never again!” reaction to the nightmare of war, have forsworn the use of violence.”

    Nonsense.

    Among European countries, France suffered the least during WWII as they had surrendered to the nazi armies in 1940. They suffered casualties during the exode and there was the famous Oradour-sur-Glane massacre perpetrated by the retreating nazis in 1944. Otherwise, the French “nightmare” consisted of a general food and fuel shortage for five long years, but no significant fighting, no massive destruction, nothing comparable to the blitz endured by England, or the bombing of Poland – and nothing comparable to the systematic bombing of Germany by the Allies.

    Nothing comparable either to the half-million casualties during the 1789-1802 French revolution, not to mention the massive destruction of national art treasures; and nothing remotely comparable to the massacres of population during the religious wars of the 16th century.

    French “elites”, as you say, are driven more by the communist propaganda that submerged the whole country right after WWII than by any “horrors” inflicted to the population during the same war.

    • John Stone

      Yeah, it is not self hatred because the French elite do not identify with the ordinary citizen. They are the members of a self presumed moral elite. They see their cult beliefs as better than the more traditional vanity, which is French nationalism, and for that reason are quite ready to sacrifice the nation on an emotional level. On the more pragmatic level, if France does go down as a culture, all but the most loony will regret the destruction as the see the outcome. It will be the big, “Oops! Must have made a mistake somewhere along the way,” sort of thing.

    • DenisInParis

      "Among European countries, France suffered the least during WWII as they had surrendered to the nazi armies in 1940. "… WRONG

      The French Army lasted six weeks, but it's worth noting that the British Expeditionary Force lasted even less than that (and was able to return to England only thanks to the sacrifice of French troops in Dunkirk). During those six weeks, the French (and Belgian, and British, ans Dutch) were crushed by superior German tactics and equipment (and by the fact that Germany was a younger, more populated country). The French lost 180,000 men (1/3 killed, 2/3 wounded) – 30,000 casualties per week ! – their casualty rate was even higher than during WW1, when French fighting spirit made the admiration of the civilized world. And the French didn't just got killed in 1940, they also fought : German casualties were almost equal. Such a bloodshed in such a short time, though dwarved a few years later by what happened on the German/Soviet front, had simply no precedent in human history.

      no massive destruction, nothing comparable to the blitz endured by England, or the bombing of Poland – and nothing comparable to the systematic bombing of Germany by the Allies. … WRONG AGAIN

      Civilian victims of bombings : UK (Blitz) 43,000 / France (allied bombings) 67,000. Civilian victims in general : UK (dominions not included) 67,000 / France (colonies not included) 350,000

  • Infovoyeur

    Perhaps SPIDER above is on the money. Suggests that a Tipping Point will be required to jumpstart response against appeasement or simple READ resistance evasion avoidance denial. Daniel Pipes says that in U.S.A., 3,000 dead via barbaric raid, didn't initiate things, he thinks 300K might, 3 million will. Wow. See The Control Factor, 2012 book by Bill (?) Siegel (sp?) for the most thorough x-ray of the anatomy and physiology of denial of what we cannot control. (IMHO American people and govt. str. will NOT realize or implement the counter-measures needed. Too different a response required. E.g., what would li-be-rals etc. say to response of "need to HALT immigration of Muslims to U.S.A. until we can tell the good from the bad individuals?" Message–accurate or not–totally clogged by the Political Correctness perception, eh?…

  • jbbell

    Think back to Wouk's" Winds of War", in Russian, what is the translation of Durak, Goddamned fool. Can I suggest the the French as well as much of the west are literally on the road to Hell. They will have plentiful company,

  • PchS

    When a civilization gets high on morals but cease to secure the same values by force or otherwise, it will simply disappear. Because, in their intoxicated state, they believe everybody else to be as morally sound as they are and this becomes their downfall.The tragedy here is that the system that is ready to replace(Islam) is so degenerate & satanic,that they will never be able to even rebel in future. Their culture,their civilization,their values will all be banished to the dustbin of history,just like the Egyptians,Persians and numerous others.

  • Paul

    Untortunately, what occurs in France can be witnessed across the western world and is the by-product of a concerted policy of appeasement and accommodation. The only question that remains to be resolved is the length of time and rope the west will give to known perpetrators before they are reined in.
    It may get uglier as time goes on but it also may be short lived, depending on people's perception of the danger within.

  • LindaRivera

    BARENAKEDISLAM: Traumatized 16-year-old British girl was brutally raped by 90 different Muslim men in one weekend
    Even worse, these savage attacks happened after authorities had said the girl was not at risk. Once shielded by the media, these gangs of Muslim (called ‘Asians’ in the UK) groomers (pimps) who abduct, rape, and prostitute young white girls are the focus of a shocking new report into modern-day sex slavery in the UK by the Centre for Social Justice… http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/03/11/traumati

    I hold every British government and Prime Minister, starting with Tony Blair, one hundred percent responsible for every single savage sexual, physical attack and mental torment on Britain’s terrified, defenseless non-Muslim children by demonic, INHUMAN barbaric gang-raping Muslim monsters. It is the British government who are GUILTY of MERCILESSLY colonizing Britain with MILLIONS of Muslims whose Koran and mosques commands them to wage jihad against non-Muslims.

    I also hold the police, care homes, social agencies, judges and CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) one hundred percent responsible for the savage Muslim crimes and PERSECUTION of non-Muslim children. They REFUSED to protect the terrorized child victims. They are COMPLICIT in the Muslim crimes.

    The dreadful Muslim evil has been going on for MANY years.

    CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) identify with EVIL. They identify with the perverted, savage Muslim monster gang-rapists. Their sole goal was to PROTECT the Muslim FILTH and allow the INHUMAN, demonic Muslim monsters to continue subjecting Britain’s non-Muslim children to extreme physical and sexual violence.

    In OBEDIENCE to the Quran, devout Muslims are waging war against Britain and Europe and waging RAPE WAR against British children with the full cooperation of UK ruling elites.

    Muslim Gangs Drug & Rape Children All Over The UK – Britain Finally Starts To Wake Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

    Why are these Muslim FILTH, INHUMAN, demonic gang-rapists still walking this earth?
    Why have they not been put to death already?

    Protect Innocents! DEATH SENTENCE for ALL RAPISTS in ALL COUNTRIES!

    THERE IS NO ONE TO HELP THE CHILDREN! That is why we desperately need Paul Weston’s new political party, Liberty GB! http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/

    British Schoolgirl’s Testimony – Muslims Threaten Children With Violence & Rape Outside School Daily http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

  • nietzsche

    "What France’s elites have done, in short, is to supplant reality itself with a moral code that considers infinite tolerance of 'the other' the highest of virtues."

    In short, a slave morality.

  • cecilhenry

    The problem is: "Africa for Africans, Asia for Asians, White Countries for Everyone!! NO!"

    AS Peter Hitchens recently admitted to no ones surprise:

    "We were all in favour of as much immigration as possible.

    It wasn't because we liked immigrants, but because we didn't like Britain. We saw immigrants – from anywhere – as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was in the Sixties."

    It was ALL about what he hated:

    Multiculturalism is worse than murder. It is worse than mass murder, being akin to genocide.

    Whites have become the ultimate refugees, lost at home, refugees in their own nations, wanderers in their own cities.

    The citizen of the first world often finds that he seems to belong less in his own country than the refugees flooding it.

    DIVERSITY is just a codeword for anti-white.

    You can target a race for genocide by selecting every community of that race for immigration and assimilation. All it requires is that you suppress anyone who points it out.

    • vladtepes2

      in reply to CecilHenry

      Good comment.

      It's chilling to hear Hitchens, and the other self-haters, admit that the destroyers of Britain did so with full conscious awareness and malice aforethought.