Alain Finkielkraut Quotes
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Each man is contained and constrained, on entering social life, to fit his own life in, just as he fits his words and thoughts into a language that was formed without and before him and which is impervious to his power. Entering the game, as it were, whether of belonging to a nation or of using a language, a man enters arrangements which it does not fall to him to determine, but only to learn and respect the rules.
Civilized people must get off their high horse and learn with humble lucidity that they too are an indigenous variety.
Describing lévi-strauss's views
For the traditionalists the Enlightenment boiled down to a fatal misunderstanding. All philosophes had been wrong about the nature and also, if one could put it that way, about the sex of prejudice. They had mistaken an earth mother who sustained and inspired her children for a bogeyman of a father. Then, seeking to overthrow this father, they had in reality done away with the mother-figure.
In a world which has lost its transcendental significance, cultural identity serves to sanction those barbarous traditions which God is no longer in a position to endorse. Fanaticism is indefensible when it appeals to heaven, but beyond reproach when it is grounded in antiquity and cultural distinctiveness.