Bernard-Henri Lévy on ‘European Indifference’ : some thoughts by Political Reporter

A cynic might title this, ‘Fake French Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy inserts himself into the current Refugee Crisis in Europe’. This man thinks of himself as the natural inheritor of the mantle of Sartre and Camus. Perhaps he is, in the age of television and the internet, a kind of vapid facsimile of the Public Intellectual of another time and place: a creation of self-will and broad based public relations.  With a veneer of anguished moralizing chatter attuned to the political orthodoxy of the moment? There is no mistaking the high flown hectoring rhetoric, nor forgetting  M. Lévy last moral performance of note, that took place at  Ukraine: Thinking together Kyiv, 15-19 May 2014

But I am forgetting his many rhetorical interventions on the question of Charlie Hebdo:

One wonders at this sentence:

Our society of the spectacle, normally so quick to manufacture an instant celebrity to serve as the “face” of the crisis du jour (anything from swine flu to a truckers’ strike), has not taken an interest in the fate of a single one of the “migrants.”

Had M. Lévy missed these? His essay being published before these appeared?


Aylan Kurdi | News Franceify



I can’t find a credit for this. An oversight perhaps. Mea culpa!


Another unsurprising quote that implicates the ‘Russians’ as more than meddlers in the growing Syrian civil war, not to speak of a bit of New Cold War je ne sais quoi?

Some, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, claim that the conflicts generating these refugees rage only in Arab countries that are being bombed by the West.

A careful reader is then not surprised at the  advocacy of R2P in the following:
Here again, the figures do not lie. The top source of refugees is Syria, where the international community has refused to conduct the kinds of military operations required by the “responsibility to protect” – even though international law demands intervention when a mad despot, having killed 240,000 of his people, undertakes to empty his country. The West also is not bombing Eritrea, another major source of refugees.
The reader is confronted with the fact that the political difference between the Neo-Conservatives and the R2P advocates like Samantha Power, Michael Ignateiff and others is of no consequence. That war making is at the center of each of these ‘philosophies’. M. Lévy and his political allies can agree on the efficacy of violence in the name of Human Rights.
Political Reporter



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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