France calls out America for their 'woke dictatorship'
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Announcing the plans on Monday alongside counterparts from Italy, Greece and Cyprus, Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister said that a “common linguistic fund” would help to spread “common values”. He said ancient Greek and Latin would become available to sixth formers on vocational courses from next year, as well as middle school students.
Mr Blanquer also wants sixth formers to read ancient philosophers to “develop their culture”.
His announcement follows the cancelling of ancient thinkers from the curricula of some institutions in the US.
According to RT, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, an associate professor of classics at Princeton, claimed the ancient languages had been used in the past as a justification of slavery, colonialism, and fascism.
Similarly, a high school in Massachusetts reportedly removed Homer’s Odyssey from its curriculum this year on the grounds that the work ran counter to the “culturally responsive and antiracist” agenda it wanted to promote.
Responding to these changes, Mr Blanquer said: “I have read and heard these critics, some of whom go so far as to pretend that you can find in Homer an apology of slavery.
“In the US there are academics who draw up charters to decolonialise ancient authors.
“I find such interpretations absolutely flabbergasting: it is an unfathomable absurdity to stick a vision of the contemporary world on texts dating from 2,000 years ago.
“This is a sordid historic and moral revision.”
He noted the ancient civilisations brought us “openness and a search for the universal.”
According to the Times, Mr Blanquer believes that a promotion of the classics among the romantic countries, would strengthen cultural ties between EU nations.
He added that the languages were “our foremost link” and “our first federating element”.
The four nations signed a charter earlier this week pledging a “global and international strategy for the promotion and development of Latin and ancient Greek”.
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Speaking to La Point, Mr Blanquer said the measures aimed to counter “a lack of reason [that] is spreading like wildfire.”
As French president Emmanuel Macron faces off against an increasingly right-wing field of opponents in the presidential race, Mr Blanquer has become a dedicated opponent of wokery in recent months.
In a recent interview with Le Monde, he said that France “is completely contrary to wokeism”.
He added: “In the United States, this ideology provoked a reaction and led to the rise of Donald Trump.
“France and its youth have to escape that.”
The minister also heads up a newly-founded think-tank – Le Laboratoire de la République – which aims to tackle wokeism the French see as being imported from America.
Aurore Bergé, an MP from Macron’s party, said France has “always been on the defensive with regards to woke theories”, Politico reported last month.
Ms Berge added: “We are receiving signals of alert from university staff who tell us funds are being channeled towards a certain number of theories.
“There’s the feeling here that [freedom of] thought is being narrowed to a vision that is not ours.”
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