This distinguished cohort boasts some of the most astute writers and commentators on the predicament in which the West now finds itself. Among the most prominent members are André Glucksmann, generally regarded as the father-doyen of the group, Alain Finkielkraut, Shmuel Trigano, Bernard-Henri Lévy and Pascal Bruckner. Although their sources, methods, specific subjects and lines of attack may differ, they are all united in confronting what they intuit as the imminent collapse of the West.
Glucksmann is concerned with what he calls “the Somalization of the planet” and the Western tendency “to sleep peacefully” before the looming threat of a reinvigorated Islam, which “puts us all in jeopardy” (City Journal). Finkielkraut sees the swelling tide of antisemitism as a sure sign of a coming civilizational catastrophe. His seminal texts, The Imaginary Jew and The Defeat of the Mind, make essential reading. In Left in Dark Times, Lévy (who coined the term by which the group is known) retains a nostalgic allegiance to the “old left’s” commitment to “social justice” but excoriates the simple-mindedness, facile utopianism, self-infatuation and futile search for transcendence which characterizes the “new left.” (Though how this differs from the “old left” is an open question.) We might say that the terms “social justice,” “diversity,” “accommodation” and “egalitarianism” bandied about by the left comprise an averting rhetoric meant to protect an obsolete and defective world-view, like installing a car alarm in a Trabant.Hear, hear. Bruckner is numero uno in my book, too--peerless and fearless in warning of the onslaught of sharia and the West's mostly timorous response to it.
Trigano takes a somewhat different tack, analyzing the Jewish proclivity to self-betrayal as a way of dodging “la mauvaise foi planétaire”—“the planetary bad faith” represented by antisemitism (Controverse, numero 10). As he writes in his le temps de l’exil, “Une lumière s’étaint dans le monde” (“A light is extinguished in the world”). Curiously and somewhat incomprehensibly, as if in confirmation of Trigano’s thesis, both Finkielkraut and Lévy have recently joined the new petitionary group JCall with a distinctly anti-Israeli stamp, and have been taken to task by Trigano. “There is something pathetic,” he says, “about seeing political blindness masquerading as moral grandiloquence…Israel has become the screen onto which Europe projects all its problems and its failure to face up to the challenges at hand.”
Nevertheless, in spite of their pessimism and their differences, these writers continue to struggle against that which they fear may well be inevitable. This is particularly true of Bruckner who, in my estimation, is one of the most compelling and prescient of the cadre of French intellectuals...