What is the Blue Scarf movement? Free Speech!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Some of you will have read my notices for previous blue scarf meetings (see here; and here; and here.) Here in Vancouver we are still unclear what the French blue scarf movement is all about, though we are adapting the blue scarf emblem in our own ways, as can others.

But here is an example of blue scarf rhetoric apparently coming out of France at the moment:
These [Muslim] invaders insult us, call us “chalk face,” attack us, rob us, drug our children, rape our girls, burn our cars by the thousands, burn our churches, burn our infrastructure, our schools, our libraries, but we Frenchmen are forced to remain silent.

I accuse the leaders we have had for the last 30 years for the evil that they have done to our civilization, our country, our people, our religious beliefs; for allowing these people in and granting them quick citizenship.

But we are now beginning to revolt against this genocide of ethnic Europeans, against this inquisition, against the extinction of our country that many now call Francarabia. This revolutionary movement is called the Blue Revolution and it is growing rapidly. We all wear blue scarves as a sign of solidarity.

As in the former Soviet dictatorships, people who “upset the apple-cart” disappear one way or another. Methods used on Solzhenitsyn are back in vogue here and I know I am taking a great risk.

I ask for your understanding and for your support. I would like to ask for your troops to liberate us, but I know this cannot be. The important thing to remember is that we are all in the same boat, all in the same fight.

This is an excerpt from a letter ostensibly sent to the French translator for Lawrence Auster's blog, View From the Right, where you can read the whole thing, at the preceding link. Auster naturally queries the veracity of the letter.

But this is somewhat besides the point because this unsigned letter is obviously part of a rhetorical war that has broken out within the west between those who would defend or apologize for violence performed in the name of Islam, and those who find such apologetics unacceptable. Rhetoric can be somewhat rough stuff (never as rough as, always preferable to, outright silencing) but it is a necessary means for us to discover and avow new political truths. I would suggest to my readers that as they struggle to chooose among rhetorics, they reject, in the first place, any rhetoric that proposes to eliminate the free movement of rhetoric itself. And this is the situation we face in the midst of the present cartoon revelation, with countless western "leaders" implicitly or explicitly proposing/suggesting/hoping to curtail disrespectful speech in the name of some false moral equivalency.

If we are to have free rhetoric, it must be because we believe in the search for shared human truths. We must value all humans as our equals, but not their ideas or beliefs which are subject to the tests of history. This entails finding some rhetorics superior to others, just as I find, in the war of the two great proselytizing monotheisms, the rhetoric of Christianity superior to that of Islam, precisely because the latter calls on us to obey its rhetoric as the final world, without testing this word's validity within particular historical contexts on behalf of an ongoing revelation or evolution towards some higher, transcendent model of divine personhood. To follow Mohammed, as so many are presently making clear to us, is to obey, much less to become.

Our small project of becoming better persons, in the fight against western nihilism or liberal relativism which may now include among its numbers our Conservative Prime Minister, but not the CAIR-type parasites such nihilism and relativism attracts, continues this Thursday, 7pm at the Mcdonalds at Main and Terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia.

UPDATE: Here is Dag's latest blue scarf post with a statement by Claude Reichman, the ostensible leader of the Blue Revolution in France.


Buddy Larsen said...

Superbly written, 'Peers. In the past year or so. your own rhetoric has moved towards a clarity that has become noticeably strong. I can't be the only one that has noticed this.

I think the bias toward damping rhetoric doesn't always come from a leftist position--usually, but not always. On the right there's the notion of 'buying time', of preventing an eruption until some point in the future where presumably the relative correalation of powers will have moved in favor of reason.

where the relavists and secular fundies have total responsibility for the pervasive breakdown of civil discourse is in the loss of 'shame' as a barrier against 'out-of-control' hate speech. Where individual behavior fails, something will try to come forward and provide the lost control. And thus the original paradox transforms into a conundrum.

There's a Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas:

(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

I like #8--a lot.

dag said...

I'm sending out notices around the world. Though this threat against common Human decency is a global problem, we will all have to settle it locally and personally. In effect, whatever the French do will be a local solution; and what we do elsewhere, allied with the French and others, will also be our local solution.

The goal I have is that of simple human decency as the guiding principle of our society. That won't be realistic in a culture that privileges Islam at every turn. Dhimmitude is our future if we don't stop it now at our local levels.

Consider crossing this emotional Rubicon: Go to McD. and meet your fellows. I'll be at McDonald's on Thursday.

Knucklehead said...

I've also admired TP's prose (at least those portions that aren't beyond my intellectual reach).

In general I am not even a little bit prone to taking on the markings of any movement. I'm not ordinarily part of the yellow ribbon brigades but I keep on on my auto anymore 'cause, well, I didn't recognized the acts of war perpetrated against my nation for what they actually were until the one that happened on 9/11/01. When that one happened it was crystal clear to me what it was and just as crystal clear to me that I was "in" for the duration.

The Blue Scarf "movement", such as it is, is something a bit different but I'm not sure how. "International" is one way.

I'll ponder this one a while before I join not least because a plea was raised by someone French. I understand the depth of the character flaw and the falsity of the thinking but I just flat out don't care if France goes right down the tubes. The idea of expressing solidarity with France just bugs me way more than I should ever let it but there it is.

BTW, I went searching for any indication that there was some obvious symbolism in the selection of blue scarfs. I didn't find any but I did find this little historic note of which I was completely unaware: Blue Scarves and Yellow Stars: Classification and Symbolization in the Cambodian Genocide

truepeers said...

Thanks Gentlemen. Knuck, an interesting link. I don't know if anyone associated with the blue revolution thought of this, but just as there was a movement in Denmark during the war for everyone to wear the yellow star, perhaps the blue scarf may be reborn as a symbol of solidarity with those who suffer under totalitarian minds. Why not make the blue scarf your symbol to say what you will about the French while you still can, because if one day France becomes Islamicized it may become another forbidden topic.

Re forbidden topics, of which Eric Voegelin wrote (1968): "there has emerged a phenomenon unknown to [Hellenic] antiquity that permeates our modern societies so completely that its ubiquity scarely leaves us any room to see it at all: the prohibition of questioning. This is not a matter of resistance to analysis - that existed in antiquity as well. It does not involve those who cling to opinions by reason of tradition or emotion, or those who engage in debate in a naive confidence in the rightness of their opinions and who take the offensive only when analysis unnerves them. Rather, we are confronted here with persons who know that, and why, their opinions cannot stand up under critical analysis and who therefore make the prohibition of the examination of their premises part of their dogma. This position of a conscious, deliberate, and painstakingly elaborated obstruction of ratio constitutes the new phenomenon."

In other words those not strong enough to live in good faith with their fellows regarding the uncertain course of human freedom and future events are impelled under modern conditions to construct fantasy ideologies and institutionalized dogmas to flee from the uncertain and sometimes hard realities of human being. Just because the French have produced many experts in such fantasy ideologies, right up to Chirac and his ideas of a Franco-Arab alliance in oppposition to American superpowerdom, is not reason, I hope, to seek good faith solidarity with those in France who are trying to face up to reality - see Reichman's statement in Dag's post.

Pastorius said...

Drug our children? I would bet the French children are very good at drugging themselves without the help of any Muslims.

Putting that aside, thanks, Truepeers, for your defense of free speech. I'm seeing too many people lately who, in the guise of reasonableness, are making the case for censorship.

truepeers said...

Thanks P,

Censorship is everywhere premised on a false understanding of language as inherently dangerous. But language is much more a tool of human salvation than of political murder, even as political murder depends on the prior existence of language, for which language must sometimes be held responsible. But the responsibility will be largely one of a failure to freely discuss and reject hate speech, not a failure to ban speech, since it is only those with the power to ban of whom any of us must be seriously afeared.

And just because bad language can sometimes lead to murder is no reason to restrict language if we can't live without its primary purpose: deferring conflict through focussing desire on representations of the human scene, instead of simply giving in to desire and consummating our passion in inarticulate blows.

Language (as reason and faith) is the means by which we save ourselves, even as we give voice to and clarify our oppositions to others in words. This double-sidedness is a paradox the censor can't handle; he's a fool who thinks he can eliminate the human propensity to conflict by fiat. But this only centralizes or focusses our inevitable linguistic oppositions on his own authority, raising the stakes and thus making human conflict altogether more dangerous.

The postmoderns of the western academy even went so far, in their flight from reality, as to try to ban linguistic oppositions, or "othering", altogether. Quite aside from the impossibility of this fight against the reality of human being, the postmoderns ignored the biggest of all linguistic oppositions on which their own would-be ban depended: that which distinguished the censor as the saviour of the oppressed from the evil usurping patriarchs (aka Jews, Americans) who supposedly use language against the cause of freedom and equality.

Of course this kind of thinking does not get us freedom, or even rough equality, just Stalins, Dhimmitude, etc.

Pastorius said...

This war has made me understand how important words are. You said, language is how we save ourselves. Yes, it is. Language is of vital importance to the human being. We make ourselves with the words we use.

Hey, didn't Jesus say that? The tongue defileth the man?

Yes, that's right he did.

In the beginning was the Word (God said, "Let there be Light"), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

There is something very magical about words. We will never fully understand the mystery, but we need to heed the wisdom therein.

Perhaps, we need to learn to love words almost as much as we love God.

truepeers said...

I think we need to love words because their usefulness, their shared meaningfulness, is not simply a pragmatic reality we can take for granted, but because their efficacy must be guaranteed by God; or, to put this otherwise for the non-believer, because the shared meanings of arbitrarily chosen signs are somehow guaranteed across time by whatever is our equivalent secular explanation/mystification for the mystery of human existence, of a subsistent divine/human being that the faithful call God, man-in-God, etc.

If there were not some such divine guarantor or anthropological guarantee for the efficacy of language across time, something in which we could put our faith, these words, which are just an arbitary collection of sounds or letters, would mean nothing to anyone.

Whether salvation comes from faith or works (which is something of a false opposition), i am sure that we cannot be saved by simply investing in reason or intellectualization. Putting our faith in a saving grace is like putting our faith in the guarantee of the endless meaningfulness of our shared language. But if we endlessly try to explain away, or deconstruct, this gurantee/guarantor, this fundamental mystery, without accepting that the problem has already been solved by human faith and reason (and it has as those with grace show us), we find ourselves lost in endless reasoning without an answer and without the faith that can redeem our reasoning.

The censor is someone who either thinks he can entirely explain the mysterious operations of language and control them, or he is someone who knows he cannot and in his impotency he cannot trust others with language. He either has no faith, or he has great hubris.

Buddy Larsen said...

Every thought above the level of instinct is formed by its words. "Human" is a word.

In the Book if John, the book mostly taught directly to John by Jesus, John calls Jesus himself, His being, "the Word of God".

But I think one need not be a formal Resurrection Christian to see that; that the word is mysteriously more than the human sound and its glyph.

Buddy Larsen said...

"of" John. What a Doubting Thomas typo.

gumshoe1 said...

"i asked him for the time,
and he told me how to build a clock".

truepeers -

as a friend,and someone
who finds what you have to share valuable,may i suggest
some concision?

the number of people you reach
would go up ten-fold.

truepeers said...

Gumshoe, i believe the universe is visible in a grain of sand. Unfortunately, the ability to see and express this is not always with me and i must have many grains in hand. I will struggle on; sometimes questions from others help one clarify what is missing :)

gumshoe1 said...

i'll take the smile
at the end of your comment
as a good sign.

no desire on my part
to douse your fire.


Buddy Larsen said...

don't let him kid ya, 'Peers -- he's reading. I've read enough Gumshoe posts to know.

dag said...

Concision is, from what I heard a rabbi say, one of those religious rituals that has no part in my life though I respect the rights of others to practice it. I have far more to contribute on this important topic, but velour is the better part of fashion, so I'll be slinky.

Truepeers, I did very much enjoy your linguistics analysis. If we get some time we might be able to compare the French Academy to Samuel Johnson in their respective approaches to dictionary making.

Err. I have to go.