Gender, identities, cancel culture… The fantasy of the American peril

Posted today at 8:30 p.m.

Are American campuses threatening to explode French society? The risk seems serious. Enough for the President of the Republic himself to worry about it. On October 2, Emmanuel Macron delivers his long-awaited speech against separatism at the town hall of Mureaux (Yvelines). The voice and the tone are serious, it is a question of presenting the French strategy to fight against radical Islamism. For an hour, it is about teaching Arabic, training imams, strengthening secularism …

Then Emmanuel Macron declares this: “And when I see today certain theories in social sciences totally imported from the United States of America with their problems, which I respect and which exist, but which are added to ours, I say to myself that we are unreasonable to do not make this choice [celui de réinvestir le champ des sciences sociales].

Two weeks later, the day after Samuel Paty’s death, Jean-Michel Blanquer goes further: this “Intellectual matrix from American universities and intersectional theses that want to essentialize communities and identities” would be “The breeding ground for a fragmentation of societies which converges with the Islamic model”.

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From Marine Le Pen, who fears the importation of a “Race war”, to LR deputy Julien Aubert, who calls for the creation of an information mission to put an end to “The importation from the United States of cancel culture and “Resist” at “An obsession with identity issues, imported from abroad”, part of the political class seems to have only this word of“Americanization” To the mouth. They are not the only ones.

Came to the rescue of the Minister of National Education, a hundred intellectuals – including Laurent Bouvet, Marcel Gauchet, Gilles Kepel, Luc Ferry and Nathalie Heinich – signed, in The World dated 1er and November 2, a manifesto in which they suggest that “The importation of Anglo-Saxon communitarian ideologies” in the French university is not unrelated to the death of Samuel Paty. A text that shook the academic world; some of our interlocutors preferred not to be cited as this “flammable” question is so divisive.

Since then, many responses to this manifesto have been published in the press, including the astonished one from Anglo-Saxon researchers, who did not know they were guilty of exporting “Hatred of whites and of France”. Posted on November 5 on the openDemocracy site and written by Australian Alana Lentin, it has been signed by hundreds of American and European academics.

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