Attacks on a mayor that wounded his wife and children, widespread arson, looting — for a week we have been looking at these images from around the Paris we once called the City of Light. Four years ago, it was the Notre-Dame, today it’s the cars set on fire in the night, or one of the swimming pools already built for the 2024 Summer Games. Otherwise, darkness rules, physically and mentally. Some 3,000 young vandals have already been arrested.
Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron, as quoted by the French press, is “reflecting deeply” on what happened in order to “understand the reasons” that led to the violence. As if he were, at the very least, a foreign philosophy professor who had come to see the Louvre, rather than the head of a state whose institutions are being trashed by migrant hooligans. Moreover, the explanation is relatively simple, it is just that after decades of papering over the issue of migration and the ever-increasing swelling of the problem, including kicking the anti-immigration National Rally and its voters to the sidelines, it is obviously difficult to do a quick self-examination.
The claim that mass immigration makes everyone happy — the migrant gets a more developed country and the developed country gets busy hands — is only true in politically correct textbooks. Today, the French footage paints a picture of a country that is infinitely sad and depressing. The peaceful citizens find the riots intolerable; they are even protesting against the protesters. The young people, many of them immigrants, and in many cases children, are rejecting the state in which they were born or to which their parents brought them.
It is not for the state to solve the problem of a 12-year-old child setting fire to a school, says French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. This is only partly true, as any individual child that would burn and loot is notoriously symptomatic of a sick society, and when thousands partake, what else can it say? Everyone is frustrated, including policemen, who fear that they will either be killed in the no-go zone or prosecuted by the internal police.
“This neighborhood was their district — a dreaded district, the most feared in the city, maybe in the country. The cops knew, just by coming here, looking at the rooftops of the apartment blocks, that dirty things were happening here.” When we first picked up Laurent Obertone’s dystopia “Guerilla” a few years ago, it seemed like a fun summer read. Not so this summer.
The Paris region has experienced similar riots almost 20 years ago. Young migrants living in housing estates, unemployed or working casual jobs, living from crime, have been disappointed. Despite being second- or third-generation immigrants, the ‘social elevator’ has stopped, the country is not giving them what they expect, only a fraction of them will become Mbappé or Benzema. The prisons are full of them. They hate not only their “fellow citizens,” but also the country that took in their parents, their grandparents, who used to stand by the assembly line at the Renault factory or wash the corridor in the hospital without a sob.
Two decades have passed since then, and 400,000 immigrants arrive in the country every year. For a whole year, a wave of terror has raged, with priests stabbed and teachers beheaded, Jews thrown from balconies for anti-Semitic reasons, cathedrals set on fire, young toddlers stabbed on playgrounds — all by migrants. Now it only took one incident — a policeman shooting a young man of Algerian origin — to ignite the fuse, with the riots even spreading to Belgium and Switzerland.
The barricades of 1789 now belong to the mob.
France is like a macabre dissection table specimen revealing to us what we do not want in Hungary: mass immigration, no-go zones, riots, and a state that is crumbling underneath it all.