We can be worried, following recent statements by Hélène Carrère d’Encausse. The illustrious writer did not speak on the subject of which she is the indisputable specialist, the Russian universe, but of course on acts of intolerance which were committed much closer, in Paris. Hélène Carrère d’Encausse indeed spoke as perpetual secretary of the French Academy, and this to defend a long-deceased member of this same Academy.
We can be worried, following recent statements by Hélène Carrère d’Encausse. The illustrious writer did not speak on the subject of which she is the indisputable specialist, the Russian universe, but of course on acts of intolerance which were committed much closer, in Paris. Hélène Carrère d’Encausse indeed spoke as perpetual secretary of the French Academy, and this to defend a long-deceased member of this same Academy. This is Voltaire, whose statue was vandalized two years ago by followers of the woke movement. Because there are people, not only to reprove the ideas of the illustrious philosopher (which is normal) but also to do without any debate and destroy not only the property of others but also a symbol of tolerance. We can remind the authors of this act of vandalism that one of the great works of Voltaire was precisely the Treaty on Tolerance. His ideas would certainly have led him, if he were still alive, to respect the opinions of those who destroyed his statue and displayed particularly vulgar tags on it, in connection with the moral mediocrity of the attackers. By attacking Voltaire, it was actually the Enlightenment that they were attacking, this body of ideas which recognize the individual, all individuals, personal rights that even the authorities must respect. The eminent philosopher was accused of nothing less than “colonialism” and “racism” and above all, he was the prototype of the “white male philosopher”. To reproach him for this last quality, isn’t this precisely to show, in particular, racism? Hélène Carrère d’Encausse also recalled that reproaching her for not having been sufficiently close to Islam was an aberration since practically no one in the West was at that time. We must then wonder which statue of an 18th century character could still remain standing. And we are also entitled to recall that freedom of religion also includes the right to criticize them, whether it is about the Muslim religion or others… In addition, according to the permanent secretary of the French Academy, the fact that the city of Paris does not seem to be in a hurry to find a new location for the statue, or that it would try to place it in a place where it risks going almost unnoticed, thus implicitly granting credit to vandals. While it would be so logical to put it back in front of the French Academy, or to find a place for it on the … Quai Voltaire! That there is a debate is always positive. But that this leads to denying everything brought to culture and to France by one of the greatest philosophers in history, the one who systematically defended freedom and tolerance, it is certainly worrying. It is difficult to still speak of “social cohesion” if there is no longer the slightest cultural cohesion consisting, at least, of accepting the expression of other people’s ideas without violence. It seems that’s what the woke movement doesn’t want to understand. To answer him, however, there is only one solution: let him express himself peacefully, to clearly show that those who defend freedoms – and Voltaire – tolerate the expression of all opinions, including those who preach intolerance.