Here in the unfashionable end of the Leftist Blogger Galaxy, it's actually ok to admit that you not only read Glenn Reynolds and Steven den Beste, you actually enjoy doing so. Not to say I agree with what they write, in fact regular readers of UNMEDIA (all three of them) will confirm that I spend enough time writing rebuttals to SDB in particular that this blog sometimes functions as a StevenDenBesteWatch. But since my ultimate goal is increasing my understanding of the world and human society, I find their writing and linking to be enormously valuable in expanding my boundaries as well as challenging my views. This increases my rigour and makes my ideas more robust, having passed through the fire.
SDB has an extremely important post up today, about the situation facing France. It's an original analysis that builds logically from several other important reference pieces. Understand that I took 12 years of French from junior high to college, circumnavigated Paris via Metro, walked in awe through the Louvre, paid for insanely expensive coffee at La Place de la Libert�, slept in a student hostel serving only chocolat chaude for breakfast, walked the beach at Calais, and even paid my dues at EuroDisney. I'm hardly a Francophile but I do think that I have sampled the culture of "mainstream" France and experienced the depth of its heritage and history in glimpses. I lay out my affinit� solely to emphasise that I am not a reflexive French-bashing Freedom Fries l'idiot. Perhaps it is vanity, but I think I am capable of evaluating an argument that France is in decay on its merits alone.
I can't recommend Steven's essay enough, because I think it's an insight into not only France's political environment but also goes to the heart of the rationales driving the shape of the European Union. But his piece needs to be read in context of several others, so here are the links which I call the Decay of France Reading List - listed here in suggested order.
Barbarians at the gates of Paris
France is almost Finished
The picture that emerges is grim indeed - of a France, saddled with a colonial legacy and a welfare infrastructure that has at its intersection extremist Islam - partly of its own creation. Interesting paradoxes. We changed the regime in Iraq, via invasion,ostensibly to prevent the Islamic Bomb. Meanwhile France's imperialist legacy means that radical disaffected muslims in a welfare state may mean the French Bomb fulfills that role anyway. Of course, regime change in France would be via the grassroots demographic tyranny of the majority kind, whereas regime change in Iraq was the kind you get with JDAMs and GPS. The British are involved, but on the side of their former colonies (the US), reinvading the country they invaded a hundred years ago.
it's just interesting to see how history doubles back on itself, ties itself into knots :)
UPDATE: He's very convincing about N. Korea, too.
UPDATE: Layman's Logic points out that the Muslim Majority in France is hyperbole. Ubaid from the comments section also gives a supplementary link to the CIA Factbook which corroborates those numbers. I think the demographic danger is not majority, per se, but rather the societal impact. I still think that Dalyrymple's Barbarians essay is definitive on the threat (and the reason why the situation exists - which is almost entirely a function of French spociety's racism and colonial legacy).