Génération gueule de bois. Manuel de lutte contre les réacs
Allary Editions, 2015
In French politics, the phrase "to sweat the shirt off" is often used to dare to stand up for a case and, if necessary, to go into conflict for that case. The shirt gets wet from sweat, not because of physical exertion, but because mental forces are mobilized so strongly that body temperature rises. That's when you really give of yourself in the fight for something you believe in.
The phrase fits particularly well with young French activist Raphaël Glucksmann: son of the philosopher and ex-Marxist André with the same surname, the very symbol of the French sixties generation that went on the brink of the anti-atomic arms movement and Mao's cultural revolution, before turning abruptly and taking up the fight for Soviet Vietnamese boat refugees. André Glucksmann's political involvement led him to defend Tibet's independence from China, but also to support NATO's intervention in Milosevic's Serbia. There are basically few political struggles of dimensions Dad Glucksmann did not make his mark in French and European debate.
Therefore, few are surprised that from an early age Raphaël Glucksmann felt called to pursue his father's ideals. Brilliant at the finest schools, he entered the prestigious Science Po Paris – Institute of Political Science which we here best know as Jonas Gahr Støre's academic alma mater. "At Science Po, we learned to manage conflicts," Glucksmann says in the book Génération gueule de bois – Manuel de lutte contra les réacs – "The Hangover Generation: Manual for Fighting the Reactionary".
Have an ally. "It's not politics and it doesn't solve anything. I had to get out and get involved where politics was about life or death. ”And so did young Glucksmann: He escaped from the studies in rue Saint Guillaume in Paris's beautiful 6th arrondissement, all the way to Rwanda to make documentaries about the atrocities of ethical cleansing.
Gluckmann's fiery and knowledgeable dedication, aided by his dazzling, Modigliani-beautiful face with big blue eyes, has made him a favorite ally in dramatic political battles. He became advisor to Georgia President Saakachvili – and coached immature democratic forces in Maidan Square on fateful December evening in 2013, after President Yanukovych refused to sign the cooperation agreement with the EU.
Glucksmann sniffs on the status of all of France and Europe's new left-wing guiding star.
So, when Glucksmann writes about current European conflicts, he does not do so from the sciences textbooks at Sciences Po, but from his own experiences among people in the firing line.
President Le Pen. Greatest attention in French media has Gueule generation of wood received for the chapter beginning in a fictional May 2017. Marine Le Pen is preparing to speak after the victory in the presidential election – three months after two suicide attacks, one on a Paris metro and one on a bus in Marseille, traumatized the country. Note: The book was penciled before The Bataclan terror last November. "On les a baisés!" exclaims Le Pen in her shouting cry – "We fucked them!" "We threw out the idiots in the party, ended up with Nazi greetings on Facebook, and then the victory was assured," says the Front National leader before texting the talk show star and book author The French suicide, Éric Zemmour: "Thank you."
And this is where Glucksmann sniffs on the status of all of France and Europe's new left-wing guiding star. Zemmour has stated that he would rather live in Putin's Russia than in the disintegrated and immoral society he believes, among others, the sixty-eighth generation front figure Daniel Cohn-Bendit has produced. Just as no one in Norway has managed to chop Fjordman's ideas about today's Europe into small pieces, despite the atrocities of his soldier ABB, no one has managed to tear down either Eric Zemmour or Michel Houellebecq from their popular pedestals.
The Norwegian left side is rather silent, admiring the alliance between left-hander Bjørgulf Braanen and right-hander Asle Toje in their inexhaustible conspiracy against EU cooperation, rather than showing the bar à la Raphaël. To help cleanse Europe's nationalism by criticizing everything that comes from Brussels, Éric Zemmour has elevated Le Pen's ideology to the French establishment's intellectual level in its sophisticated depiction of the simple grassroots responses to the immigration threat.
Our fight. The difference between Glucksmann and his Norwegian left allies is that the former does not see EU cooperation as any submission (!), But as the best opportunity Europe has ever had to facilitate a better society. Instead of, like Braanen, calling out everything that goes wrong in the EU, he is cheering – from the left – on a Europe that must think in new paths to no longer be built from above. Like the French economist Thomas Piketty and the Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis, Glucksmann advocates a European make-or-break: Does not continue the European edifice, not only falls the continent apart, but also the values on which it is based, which should be our own left-wing dear.
Europe Warriors. The answer is either to take full steps and establish a common governance for the euro area countries, or to allow national conservative forces to take over and reestablish intergovernmental intergovernmental cooperation. It is this debate that Glucksmann believes must take place when Europe's leaders meet – and not the one about whether we should keep the tax-free scheme or not. Glucksmann faces center-right side seductive populist stigmatization of the crises Europe is undergoing. In Norway, his field of impact is at least as large on the left. Why can't the Norwegian left side come up with an ideologue of Glucksmann's caliber? Maybe a Norwegian translation of his manual could inspire.
Left Sleep. In Norway, the world is turning upside down when it is Dagens Næringsliv, not the class struggle, which promotes and supports the European Commission's initiative to tax multinational companies – the very symbol of the left's historic struggle. The same thing happens when the EU forces Google to remove information people want deleted, and abuses its dominant position. It is the EU that is forcing Israel to label goods produced in occupied territories, advocating the introduction of the very Toubin tax on financial services, and forcing Statoil to drop taxation in developing countries. The list of victories by the environmental movement and the left side in the EU is so long that the comatose state of the Norwegian left side and the inability to see that the world we live in – and Europe – has had stumbling blocks since 1994. In Glucksmann's Europe, Braanen appears as Vigeland's Sinnatagg.
The look of the future. Glucksmann has many and innovative ideas to save Europe from renationalisation. A fun and not too courageous proposal is to introduce an Erasmus service where young people are sent to another EU country for twelve months to make use of it there. If the Commission insists, we can see a heated and long-awaited debate on the use of the EEA Agreement's veto power. Erasmusians in every country – unite you!
When we put the European political trauma of the sixty-eighth generation on history's scrap heap, where Glucksmann's book would have sent it, history writing can be brutal for the Norwegian left-hand side who paid tribute to government and agricultural subsidies, while the youth of Ukraine died with the EU flag in hand.