Those are the usual arguments of people who … dread [using violence] … [and] so the fox always reasons – but not the lions; and that is the chief reason why the lion kills the fox in the end.”Vilfredo Pareto, The Mind and Society, p. 1792
The French right-wing magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, published an open letter from twenty retired French generals last month. In essence, the generals charged the French government with being anti-French. Incredibly, this is a watershed for the West because the French generals are addressing a problem shared by other Western countries; for example, that the German government is anti-German, the Swedish government is anti-Swedish, and the U.S. Government is anti-American, etc.
One might ask how the French government became anti-French (and the U.S. Government became anti-American). The Italian political scientist, Vilfredo Pareto, had the answer. Pareto said that society is always ruled by an elite made up of two types: Lions and foxes. The lions are brave and the foxes are cunning. Everything goes well if the elite contains both types. However, if the lions are ostracized and the foxes begin dictating policy, everything becomes tainted with dishonesty, trickery, corruption, and cowardice; that is, the negative traits of the fox come into play and the system falls out of balance. That is, in fact, what has happened in the West.
In practice, the lions are the ones who confront a nation’s enemies – foreign and domestic. The lions uphold tradition, rules, and folkways. The foxes do not like anything that inhibits their cunning manipulations. Especially, they do not like confrontation. Their preference is always for compromise. In fact, foxes will argue that compromise is the best way to make money. However, there are things that should never be compromised – especially for money.
In this context, the letter of the retired French generals is best understood as a message sent by brave lions to cunning foxes. Here the French generals are writing to the President of France (a banker named Emmanuel Macron), the Government of France, and the Parliament of France. They begin as follows:
“The hour is grave. France is in danger. Several mortal perils threaten her. Even in retirement, we are still soldiers of France and cannot in the present circumstances remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country.”
“Our tricolor flags are not simply a piece of cloth. They symbolize the tradition, through the ages, of those who, regardless of their skin color or creed, have served France and have given their lives for her. On these flags, we find in gold letters the words ‘Honor and Country.’ Now, our honor today lies in denouncing the disintegration that is striking our country; a disintegration which, through a certain anti-racism, has only one goal: to create on our soil a malaise, even a hatred between communities. Today, some speak of racialism, nativism and decolonial theories, but through these terms it is the racial war that these hateful and fanatical partisans want. They despise our country, its traditions, its culture, and want to see it dissolve by tearing away its past and its history. Thus, they attack our statues related to our former military and civil glories, and by deconstructing centuries-old words.
“This is a disintegration which, with Islamism and the suburban hordes, leads to the detachment of territories which are then subjected to dogmas that are contrary to our Constitution. However, each Frenchman, whatever his belief or non-belief, should be at home everywhere in France. There cannot and must not exist any cities, any districts, where the laws of the Republic do not apply; a disintegration, as hatred has taken precedence over fraternity, during demonstrations, in which power uses the forces of order as auxiliaries and scapegoats in the face of French people in yellow vests, who express their despair. Meanwhile, hooded infiltrators vandalize businesses and threaten these same forces of order. As it happens, these forces are only applying the directives, sometimes contradictory, given by you, the government.
“The danger grows, the violence is increasing day-by-day. Who would have predicted ten years ago that a teacher would one day be beheaded at the entrance of his school? Now, we, the servants of the nation, who have always been ready to put our lives at risk – as our military status required – we cannot be passive spectators of such actions.
“Also, those who lead our country must find the necessary courage to eradicate these dangers. For this, it suffices to apply without weakness the remedy of existing laws. Do not forget that, like us, a great majority of our fellow citizens is fed up with your wavering and guilty silences.
“As Cardinal Mercier, Primate of Belgium, said: ‘When prudence is everywhere, courage is nowhere.’ So, ladies and gentlemen, enough procrastination! The hour is grave, the work is enormous; do not waste time. Know that we are ready to support the policies necessary to safeguard the nation.
“On the other hand, if nothing is undertaken, laxity will continue to spread inexorably throughout society, ultimately causing an explosion and the intervention of our active-duty comrades in a perilous mission to protect our civilization’s values, and to safeguard our compatriots on the national territory.
“We can see that it is no longer time to procrastinate, otherwise tomorrow civil war will put an end to this growing chaos; and the dead, for which you will be responsible, will be counted in thousands.”
THE CAT WILL MEW AND DOG WILL HAVE ITS DAY
The salient features of the generals’ letter bears repeating: First, the generals warn that France is in danger of disintegrating into chaos; second, France is demoralized because of “a certain anti-racism” which demonizes French culture and heritage; third, Islamism and Antifa are the enemy, pulling down statues of heroes and breaking off parts of the country into hostile enclaves; fourth, the leaders of France have not acted courageously, have not enforced the laws, refusing to confront the enemies of France; and fifth, if the leaders of the country continue to fail there will be a social explosion leading to civil war.
The government of France must be for France. If not, warned the generals, “our comrades” in the Army will be forced to undertake a “perilous mission to protect our civilization’s values.” The French generals are describing a situation that exists in all Western countries, including the United States. Here is the central problem of our time. And now, somebody has dared state the truth – to throw it in the face of a failing elite.
And what is the reaction of the French government? Outrage and Indignation. Prime Minister Jean Castex, sometimes described as a “defender of the Catalan identity in Southern France,” said the generals’ letter was “contrary to all our republican principles….” He accused the generals of stirring up “hatred between communities” for the purpose of triggering a “race war.” Naturally, all the left-wing parties attacked the generals, whose letter was described as “incendiary” and “seditious.” In fact, the generals were accused of threatening a coup d’état. To have genuine and patriotic concern for France, it seems, is a crime. To speak the truth is sedition. Defending the country’s traditions and culture is considered dangerous.
The champions of France – the generals and lions – are repudiated by politically correct mewling. France does not need champions, say the foxes. Let the Muslims and communists burn our cathedrals. Let Sharia Law overtake our neighborhoods. Let Antifa pull down the statues of our heroes and loot our shops. We do not care about defending French culture! We only care that the wheel of commerce, of big business, continues to turn – with cheap Arab labor at the ready!
Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, threatened all soldiers who dare to sign the generals’ letter. In reaction to Parly’s bluster, 25,000 soldiers and citizens of France stepped forward, adding their names to support the generals. Even more telling, an opinion poll revealed that 58 percent of French respondents “support the words of the soldiers,” and 49 percent think the military should intervene without the government’s permission.
The French elite – the foxes – are committing suicide; for they cannot defend themselves from Islam. They cannot defend themselves from Antifa. And they despise their own champions – the Army of France, the elder generals of France. Meanwhile, the banker and French President, Emmanuel Macron, watches the ongoing controversy from his exalted position as Head of State. He dispatches his lackey, General François Lecointre, to quash this unwelcome outburst from the twenty retired generals. But Macron is mistaken if he thinks General Lecointre can scare lions into obedience. Lecointre knows only one sound, and that is the characteristic meow of a house cat, transcribed by Le Figaro into an empty threat against active-duty generals. Consider then, the response of General Christian Piquemal, one-time leader of the French Foreign Legion:
“Open letter to Army General François LECOINTRE Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMA) Friday, April 30, 2021
“You are the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and as such your first obligation is to defend and support active or retired military personnel. Obviously, you prefer a witch hunt.
“By your servile and unfailing intellectual ministrations, your appalling careerism, your lamentable submission to political power, you do the opposite [of your duty] and are ready, out of complacency and meanness, to cut off the head of all your peers and elders. How lamentable!
“As you know, the duty of a leader worthy of the name is to protect his subordinates, his brothers-in-arms, his elders – instead of delivering them to the vindictiveness of a political power that has been cornered.
“No doubt you are afraid to displease the Minister of the Armed Forces that you serve with unparalleled zeal and low-crawling behavior!
“Being at the top of the military hierarchy what are you waiting for? The stars of a Marshal of France?
“It is far from the time of June; De Lattre, Leclerc, Bigeard adored their men – and spoke on an equal footing with political power. Instead, your moral authority only serves to put your knee on the ground and your little finger on the seam of your pants. Do you still have a little bit of pride left?
“Like many French and military personnel, I have a huge disdain for you.
“Yes, I was disbarred from the [military] executive by decree of the President of the Republic on August 23, 2016 following the opinion of the Supreme Council of the Army (CSAT) disciplinary board (6 active general officers having, by majority of votes, requested my dismissal from the executive); but I do not regret anything. Faced with the failure to respect the rule of law in Calais, I was a whistleblower who demanded the state change the situation from that of the jungle.
“You dared to write in Le Figaro, concerning me: ‘I will send him a letter to tell him that he is unworthy, [that he] soils the army, weakens it by making it an object of national controversy.’
“My general, do not wear yourself out, do not waste time writing, I will not even [glance at it]. The one who soils the army is you, only you, make no mistake. The French, who know it, have chosen their side and are not mistaken.
“Yes, I’d rather be in my own skin than in yours. The opinion and judgment of your peers and subordinates are not flattering, and that is an understatement! I can look at myself in the mirror, but I’m afraid you cannot.
“You prefer to “cut heads,” sanction peers, bend the spine and serve political power with unparalleled zeal. No, on the day of your departure you will not be missed.
“Finally, I will remind you of two quotes that perfectly illustrate your behavior!
“’When caution is everywhere, courage is nowhere.’ – Cardinal Mercier.
“’In France, those who set the fire are allowed to escape while those who sound the alarm are persecuted.’ – Nicolas de Chamfort
“With your submission and your servility to political power, your behavior is more that of a technocrat than a soldier. The true disgrace of a general is yours.
“With my deepest contempt.
“Lieutenant General (ER) Christian Piquemal
nor stands it safe with us to let his madness range
Some readers will feast on General Piquemal’s words, as if they contained nourishment. His letter belongs to another century. So starved are we, at this late hour, for courage and directness, that such words send a thrill through the despairing multitude. We are tired of dubious narratives and empty slogans. We are worn out with euphemisms like “multiculturalism” and “social justice.” And here comes a lion who despises euphemisms. He is not dissuaded by threats. The government has already removed him from the military executive. It has stripped him of his honors. Yet he gains honor by it. The crisis now intensifies. The government loses support. The President of France has less and less to say.
You may ask, “Who will win in this contest between lions and foxes?” Pareto assures us that “the lion will kill the fox in the end.” Soothing words and cunning promises have lost their effect. “Today,” noted Pareto, “[the elite] makes prostrate obeisance to the Radical-Socialists. As long as the profits are there it cares little what flag covers the goods.” Thus, the elite class would sell out its own national security to turn a profit. They would sell war-winning technology to the Red Chinese. They would sell American uranium to Russia even though this sale is a “clear and present danger” to America. The elite would – and already has – made a deal with Iran, so that Iran can use weapons against our soldiers purchased with the $150 billion Obama gave them! Consider, as well, the example of Bernard L. Schwartz, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Loral Space & Communications, who was accused of transferring advanced technology to communist China in 1996. Later the company acknowledged “the nature and seriousness of the offenses alleged … including the risk of harm to the security and foreign policy interests of the United States.” The company agreed to make amends through the payment of restitution. But that was only because they were caught.
President Calvin Coolidge once said, “The business of America is business.” But this saying has been taken too far. The captains of finance are, indeed, are a vital part of the West’s economic life. But the economic function, having displaced society’s defenders, is incapable of taking up the defensive role on its own behalf. The political understanding of the money power, being one-sided, does not take seriously the imperatives of war. Money’s imperative is the preservation of peace at all costs. After this fashion, peace produces its own special form of bankruptcy.
Doesn’t the French government – or the government in Washington, D.C. – understand this? No. Is the French government incompetent? No. As Pareto explained, “The government follows [its] course not from ineptitude, but because like all governments in the civilized countries of today, it represents speculators [i.e., financial interests], and can follow no other course. Speculators want quiet above all else, for quiet is what they need to carry on their profitable enterprises; and quiet they are ready to buy at any price. They are interested in the present and worry little about the future, not in the least scrupling to sacrifice their champions to the wrath of the adversary.”
The plutocrats – the foxes – will try to paper over, with crisp new bills, every irreconcilable enmity; that is, the enmity of militant Islam, of China’s red imperialism, of Vladimir Putin’s new Russia, and La Trahison Des Clercs. The plutocrats may set music to the mewling chorus of General Leointre, Minister Parly, and Prime Minister Castex; but the orchestra will not play the fox’s music because France will not attend. Her people are going over to the counter-revolution.
One of the Mayors of Paris, who was raised as a devout Muslim by Algerian immigrant parents, agrees with the French generals. “What is written in [their] letter is a reality,” said Mayor Rachida Dati of Paris’ 7th arrondissement. “When you have a country plagued by urban guerrilla warfare, when you have a constant and high terrorist threat … we cannot say that the country is doing well.” According to Dati, who once served as Justice Minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy, “The police have become a target for terrorists…. I am afraid that the police will break down one day. And if they crack, we go well beyond the disintegration of society.”
Mayor Dati is not exaggerating. She has stared into the abyss. She sees the end of the present dispensation. One needs only to look at New York City, or Minneapolis, or Portland Oregon, to recognize that America also faces disintegration (under the auspices of a senile president). France has an advantage over America, however, because France has found real lions while America is sunk in political fantasy and an appalling succession of cultish delusions. France’s counter-revolutionaries have always been political realists. For 200 years they have been right in almost all their apprehensions and predictions. They know that modernity is but a research laboratory for the destruction of mankind. Americans, in contrast, have forgotten their counter-revolutionary traditions (discoverable in the persons of George Washington, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton).
Mayor Dati and the French generals see what is coming. Americans do not yet share this clear-sighted view. It is worth noting that the pandemic has served as an accelerant in this matter; yet this accelerant is not a cause but a reflexive effect. Here again, the foxes have done their work. (The French built China’s Wuhan bioweapons lab, the Americans funded the virus). A great crash is coming. The economies of the developed world are weakening. The final crisis is almost upon us. In his book, The Counter-Revolution, Thomas Molnar said “that the counter-revolutionary moves to seize power only when the situation has degenerated to the critical point.” [p.136] Here we find the explanation for the extreme passivity of our counter-revolutionary lions. A “clear and present danger,” added Molnar, “is alone capable of mobilizing counter-revolutionaries.”
In France, the day of the fox is almost done.
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This is Part IV of THE CRISIS
Special thanks to M. for her knowledge of French
Special thanks to Barrett Moore, who turned me on to Margin Call and the Big Short, and who provided supporting citations
Special thanks to J. for watching my six
Vilfredo Pareto, translated by Andrew Bongiorno and Arthur Livingston with the advice and cooperation of James Harvey Rogers, The Mind and Society: Treatise on General Sociology (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1935), see, especially pp. 1792-1911.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
Thomas Molnar, The Counter-Revolution (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969), p. 136. Molnar makes the following point regarding the onset of counter-revolution: “The suddenness and unexpectedness of the move creates the impression of violence and terror, which has the effect of silencing the revolutionary media, or at least confusing them, making them less sure of themselves…. This phenomenon could be well observed in France in 1958: everybody had been aware for years of the agony of the system, of the Fourth Republic….” It is only obvious that the “agony” of the Fifth Republic has begun. In this context, one should never forget what was done to the Paris Commune of 1871.