jihadists blow up culture

This is the first time we see a deliberate destruction of heritage to crush the identities of people.

The Director-General of UNESCO on a French radio


The French have forgotten that ISIS didn't invent anything in regard to violence and the destruction of cultural heritage. During the French Revolution, the first Republicans also destroyed priceless cultural treasures, also slaughtered, tortured in the sake of religious and ideological divergences. They also established dictatorships and govern with terror. These barbaric events weren't done on behalf of "hatred" or any dark ideologies, but in the name of our own "sacred values," in the name of "democracy, human rights, freedom, equality" and even "fraternity" ... 

It is interesting to note that, despite the tens of thousands of victims, the French revolution continues today to be seen by the (most) French as a sacred event. The French revolution is still considered by most French, as the foundation of their cultural morality even if it did not bring more freedom and less nonsense, but instead a period of terror, then authoritarian regimes hostile to democracy, then a bloodthirsty empire promoting the cult of personality of his nepotistic leader (Napoleon I) that ravaged Europe, and then finally a restoration of the French monarchy. It is not until 1848 that another « revolution » will overthrow this monarchy to establish the "second republic". It will lead to the election by universal suffrage of... a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III*) ! Three years later, he will change his title from "first president" to "Prince President"!

And the most embarrassing thing is that this succession of authoritarian regimes has been most of the time approved by the French people who voted freely in various polls in favor of totalitarian regimes that were all more violent and absurd than the others. For example, on August 2nd, 1802, more than three million French people voted in favor of the proposition: "Shall Napoleon Bonaparte be consul for life?" Only 8,300 voted against...

In fact, the real French Republic was born neither in 1789 after the "French revolution", nor in 1848, but much later, during the demilitarization and the separation of church and state ... in 1906. The republic will not arise, as most French still believe, from the Storming of the Bastille** of July 14th, 1789, but from the rehabilitation of Dreyfus.

In short, the UNESCO declaration reflects our difficulty to look at ourselves in a mirror. In calling for the "novelty of Islamic methods", we only demonstrate our embarrassing inability to understand and accept our own history and particularly the massacres we committed in the name of our so called "sacred values". These massacres on the behalf of the same sacred value still continue today. By protecting and even sanctifying the dark periods of our history, we do nothing else than justifying and even glorifying the violence and destruction we have committed in the name of our ideologies. And our fear of blurring the glorious image we have of ourselves, only demonstrate the immaturity of our moral development and, therefore, of our lack of civilization.

We would gain more if we stop approaching human conflicts from the standpoint of morality and the biases induced by our moral intuitions. The most effective way to fight against violence is neither to entrench ourselves behind the innocence and the self-glorification of our camp, nor to fall into the condemnations and the prude moral indignations that usually goes with it. The most effective way to fight against violence is to rely on reason. To rely on reason means to rely on conscious thinking rather than impassioned gut feelings. We could learn to build this rational and truly humanistic approach of human behavior by striving to step back on our passions and the hazardous and flawed nature of our moral intuitions. In short, we would have more to gain by learning to build our reasoning in the light of science and reason.


* Napoleon II will be dismissed after 2 weeks.

** The French national day celebrates the Storming of the Bastille which in the popular imagination would have led to the release of the King prisoners. The prisoners released by the French revolutionaries were only seven guys: two suffering from mental disorder, one sadistic, and four crooks source.  They were all released and then recaptured in the following week...