In the wake of the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 7 January 2015, millions took to the streets to demonstrate their revulsion, expressing a desire to reaffirm the ideals of the French Republic: liberte, egalite, fraternite. But who were the millions of demonstrators who were suddenly united under the single cry of Je suis Charlie ? In this probing new book, Emmanuel Todd investigates the cartography and sociology of the three to four million who marched in Paris and across France and draws some unsettling conclusions. For while they claimed to support liberal, republican values, the real middle classes who marched on that day of indignant protest also had a quite different programme in mind, one that was far removed from their proclaimed ideal. Their deep values were in fact more reminiscent of the most depressing aspects of France s national history: conservatism, selfishness, domination and inequality.
By identifying the anthropological, religious, economic and political forces that brought France to the edge of the abyss, Todd reveals the real dangers posed to all western societies when the interests of privileged middle classes work against marginalised and immigrant groups. Should we really continue to mistreat young people, force the children of immigrants to live on the outskirts of our cities, consign the poorer classes to the remoter parts of the country, demonise Islam, and allow the growth of an ever more menacing anti-Semitism? While asking uncomfortable questions and offering no easy solutions, Todd points to the difficult and uncertain path that might lead to an accommodation with Islam rather than a deepening and divisive confrontation.
Preface to the English edition Introduction CHAPTER ONE: A religious crisis The terminal crisis in Catholicism Religious decline and the rise of xenophobia Catholic France and secular France: 1750-1960 The two Frances and equality From the One God to the single currency Francois Hollande, the Left, and zombie Catholicism 2005: a missed opportunity in class struggle? Difficult atheism CHAPTER TWO: Charlie Charlie: middle class and zombie Catholics Neo-republicanism 1992-2015: from pro-Europeanism to neo-republicanism The neo-republican reality: the social state of the middle classes Charlie is anxious Secularism versus the Left Catholicism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism CHAPTER THREE: When equality fails The difficulties of secular, egalitarian France The anthropology of a capitalism in crisis The Europe of inequality France, the Germans and the Arabs Germany and circumcision The great pro-European happening of 11 January 2015 Russia: an exceptional case The mystery of Paris The memory of places The four stages of the crisis CHAPTER IV: The French of the Far Right The slow march of the National Front towards the centre ground in France A perversion of universalism Republican anti-Semitism Le Pen, Sarkozy and equality The Socialist Party and inequality: the concept of objective xenophobia Melenchon and inequality The insignificance of human beings and the violence of ideologies CHAPTER FIVE: The French Muslims The disintegration of North African cultures Mixed marriages: Jews and Muslims Ideologues and exogamy The crushing of young people and the jihad factory Scottish fundamentalism Moving beyond the fear of religion Islam and equality The inequality of the sexes The anti-Semitism of the suburbs Conclusion The real republican past The neo-republican present Future 1: Confrontation Future 2: the return to the Republic: an accommodation with Islam A foreseeable deterioration The secret weapon of the republican revival
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