There are things that cannot be publicly discussed in France, notably criticism of Islam. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:
Defending someone who is accused of being a “racist” implies the risk of being accused of being a “racist” too. Intellectual terror reigns in France.
France is moving from a “muzzled press to a muzzling press that destroys free speech”. — Alain Finkielkraut, writer and philosopher.
Writers other than Éric Zemmour have been hauled into court and totally excluded from all media, simply for describing reality.
In a society where freedom of speech exists, it would be possible to discuss the use of these statements, but in France today, freedom of speech has been almost completely destroyed.
Soon in France, no one will dare to say that any attack openly inspired by Islam has any connection with Islam.
(Images source: iStock)
On September 28, a “Convention of the Right” took place in Paris, organized by Marion Marechal, a former member of French parliament and now director of France’s Institute of Social, Economic and Political Sciences. The purpose of the convention was to unite France’s right-wing political factions. In a keynote speech, the journalist Éric Zemmour harshly criticized Islam and the Islamization of France. He described the country’s “no-go zones” (Zones Urbaines Sensibles; Sensitive Urban Zones) as “foreign enclaves” in French territory and depicted, as a process of “colonization”, the growing presence in France of Muslims who do not integrate.
France announces its latest abridgment of its citizens’ civil liberties and right to privacy. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Is this how French President Emmanuel Macron is choosing to celebrate 70 years of Communist rule?
In a plan that sounds eerily similar to China’s ‘social credit score’ system, Macron and the French Interior Ministry are pushing ahead plans to launch a national facial-recognition program, arguing that it “will make the state more efficient.”
According to Bloomberg, the ID program, known as “Alicem”, is set to be rolled out in November, after the launch was moved forward from an end-of-year timeline.
Despite objections from the rest of the European community, Macron appears dead-set on adopting the new system, ensuring that all French citizens will be incorporated into the project, whether they support it or not.
Even within the French government, there’s opposition to the new plan. France’s data regulator argued that the program breaches the European rule of consent, and a French privacy group is challenging the plan in France’s highest administrative court.
The influential economic commentator on Europe, Ambrose Pritchard Evans, writes:
“German industry is in the deepest slump since the global financial crisis, and threatens to push Europe’s powerhouse economy into full-blown recession. The darkening outlook is forcing the European Central Bank to contemplate ever more perilous measures.
“The influential Ifo Institute in Munich said its business climate indicator for manufacturing went into “free fall” in July, as the delayed damage from global trade conflict takes its toll and confidence wilts. It goes far beyond the woes of the car industry. More than 80pc of Germany’s factories are in outright contraction.”
Why? What is going on here? It seems that, though other European member-states used to be Germany’s largest market, Germany’s first and third largest export destinations are now the US and China, respectively. Together, they account for more than 15% of all outbound German trade activity. More than 18% of Germany’s export goods ended up somewhere in Asia. Therefore, Germany’s industrial struggles in 2019 point the finger in the direction of its external focus, which means the US, China, and Asia – i.e. its largest marginal trade partners. And the principal assailants in today’s trade and tech wars.
Clemens Fuest, the Ifo president, says: “All the problems are coming together: It’s China, it’s increasing protectionism across the board, it’s disruption to global supply chains”.
But if Germany’s manufacturing woes were not sufficient in and of themselves, then combined with the threat of trade war with Trump, the prospect indeed is bleak for Europe: And the likelihood is that any of that ECB stimulus – promised for this autumn, as Mario Draghi warns that the European picture is getting “worse and worse” – will be very likely to meet with an angry response from Trump – castigated as blatant currency manipulation by the EU and its ECB. EU Relations with Washington seem set to sour (in more ways than one).
France and Germany are even farther along killing free speech than the US. From Judith Bergman at gatestoneinstitute.org:
In early July, France’s National Assembly adopted a draft bill designed to curtail online hate speech. The draft bill gives social media platforms 24 hours to remove “hateful content” or risk fines of up to 4% percent of their global revenue. The bill has gone to the French Senate and could become law after parliament’s summer recess. If it does, France will be the second country in Europe after Germany to pass a law that directly makes a social media company censor its users on behalf of the state.
Knowing that a mere Facebook post could end you up in front of a judge in court is very likely to put a decisive damper on anyone’s desire to speak freely.
If Facebook’s agreement with France is replicated by other European countries, whatever is left of free speech in Europe, especially on the internet, is likely to dry up fast.
While Facebook eagerly claims to be fighting hate speech online, including claiming to have removed millions of pieces of terrorist content from its platform, according to a recent report from the Daily Beast, 105 posts of some of Al Qaeda’s most notorious terrorists are still up on Facebook, as well as YouTube.
When will Facebook — and YouTube — make it a priority to remove material featuring the terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, whose incitement has inspired actual terrorists to kill people?
In May, France called for increasing government oversight over Facebook. Now Facebook has agreed to hand over to French judges the identification data of French users suspected of hate speech on its platform, according to France’s Secretary of State for the Digital Sector, Cédric O.
Even if France’s current leader wasn’t an elitist idiot, the country would probably be irretrievable. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:
President Macron never says he is sorry for those who have lost an eye or a hand… from extreme police brutality. Instead, he asked the French parliament to pass a law that almost completely abolishes the right to protest and the presumption of innocence, and that allows the arrest of anyone, anywhere, even without cause. The law was passed.
In June, the French parliament passed another law, severely punishing anyone who says or writes something that might contain “hate speech”. The law is so vague that an American legal scholar, Jonathan Turley, felt compelled to react. “France”, he wrote, “has now become one of the biggest international threats to freedom of speech”.
The main concern of Macron and the French government seems not to be the risk of riots, the public’s discontent, the disappearance of Christianity, the disastrous economic situation, or Islamization and its consequences. Instead, it is climate change.
“The West no longer knows what it is, because it does not know and does not want to know what shaped it, what constituted it, what it was and what it is. (…) This self-asphyxiation leads naturally to a decadence that opens the way to new barbaric civilizations.” — Cardinal Robert Sarah, in Le soir approche et déjà le jour baisse (“The Evening Comes, and already the Light Darkens”).
French President Emmanuel Macron never says he is sorry for those who have lost an eye or a hand from extreme police brutality. Instead, he asked the French parliament to pass a law that almost completely abolishes the right to protest and the presumption of innocence, and that allows the arrest of anyone, anywhere, even without cause. The law was passed. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota – Pool/Getty Images)
Paris, Champs-Élysées. July 14. Bastille Day. Just before the military parade begins, President Emmanuel Macron comes down the avenue in an official car to greet the crowd. Thousands of people gathered along the avenue shout “Macron resign”, boo and hurl insults.
France vies with the US and Great Britain to see who can discard their formerly robust protections of civil liberties the quickest. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
France has been turning up the heat on journalists who expose government wrongdoing, according to AFP.
The latest, Le Monde journalist Ariane Chemin, said was questioned by French security services for 45 minutes after she refused to reveal her sources for a report exposing alleged corruption and cronyism within President Emmanuel Macron’s inner circle.
“They asked me many questions on the manner in which I checked my information, which was an indirect way of asking me about my sources,” said Chemin – who wrote a series of articles on Macron’s former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, who was fired after video emerged of Benalla roughing up a protester. The incident, and Chemin’s ongoing reporting, resulted in a spate of resignations by government officials.
According to AFP, Le Monde‘s managing director, Louis Dreyfus, was also questioned by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) on Wednesday. “Everything is done to make it intimidating,” Dreyfus wrote in an editorial describing his own DGSI interrogation.
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