The Left shows up for the Notre Dame inferno, and the junk thought spews
With the shock of the Notre Dame inferno wearing off ever so slightly and relief setting in that Paris's pompiers really did heroically save significant parts of the glorious cathedral, who should turn up now but the Western culture-hating left and its loathsome cultural tropes?
Some of what its minions are saying is utterly repulsive. Here are three examples.
One, French billionaires are donating very large amounts of money, amounting to hundreds of millions — to the rebuilding effort. This is a good thing. People like their Paris the way it's always been, even the French billionaires. Their generosity is very comforting, actually, because assuming the cash is not mismanaged, it reassures everyone else that the job is going to get done; funds aren't going to be an ugly obstacle. I even like President Emmanuel Macron's probably overly optimistic declaration that the restoration will be done in five years. Right or wrong, this is a good spirit to begin the enormously challenging yet worthy national endeavor.
What's the Left saying? According to scattered reports in the press, it's "Quelles horreurs! They are getting a tax break from it!" As if this is something they shouldn't get. What exactly do they think tax breaks should be given for? Their problem of course is class envy, always a potent force in France yet disgusting all the same. Their problem is that the billionaires exist. They think the government should pay — as if routing the billionaire money through government coffers is somehow the key to a better restoration result. That's junk thought, given the records government organizations have on stewardship of funds. And it's a disgusting reading of the public sentiment. Most of us are just happy the resources for critical restoration are there and even the billies care about the fate of Paris.
Two, the Left is yelling from its all-purpose default for expanding government power. The news stories say the roof of the colossal cathedral cannot be restored the way it had been because France no longer has oak trees big enough to restore the enormous cathedral roof, which took the biggest hit. Deforestation and global warming and general human progress — the kind that allows French people to live in something better than sod huts — is to blame, and don't think the Left isn't complaining on Twitter. More climate change legislation is necessary! Do it for the restoration of the roof. It's a Rousseauian logic of restoring man to his subordinate place in romantic sylvan nature, and the left is beginning to recapitulate the notion. It would take centuries to restore the old glory, something that doesn't bother the Left a bit, given that leftists never liked the cathedral anyway. But rest assured: the argument is edging up.
Three is the worst. The cathedral was fine to burn because it was built by slave labor. You know, the way the ancients built their pyramids and monuments. That's a downright lie. Leftists on Twitter are propounding that garbage (I won't link since I actually know the person doing it), yet nothing could be farther from the truth. According to a scholar writing on Quora:
Cathedrals, especially when referring to the popular ones like Notre Dame or Chartres, were very much not built by slaves.
As the previous answer mentioned, craftsman and paid laborers were used. Even some famous artists we still celebrate today worked as artists, engineers, and architects on famous cathedrals.
Why is this?
Well, Cathedrals weren't just religious projects. Even though they were churches, they played a significant political role (like a really famous sports team).
Towns would build these massive structures to outshine their neighbors. Famous craftsmen would endorse these projects. Just like how a sports star sometimes says "I'm gonna eat at (insert burgerjoint name) after the game," famed craftsmen would spread the word while working on the building.
Slave labor would not necessarily be a practical choice either. In order to put up a massive building like that, people who either don't know what their [sic] doing or have a resentment to their owner would not make effective laborers. This has been the standard of building large structures since the pyramids.
We might also add that the very concept of "work" and its spiritual and mental desirability was developed by the original St. Benedict of Nursia, who lived in the fifth century, 700 years before the cathedral was structured. Benedict believed that work and prayer are connected — which certainly would explain much about why the cathedral was constructed. On those terms, the whole cathedral was actually a prayer, something that turns up a lot in Orthodox theology as well, and Orthodoxy was established right around the same time Notre Dame was constructed.
All of this is anathema to the Left — the work, the prayers, the collective project for the glory of God (though I suppose they like the 'collective' part, not in reality, but in their propaganda). So of course they seek to discredit the cathedral as built from the work of slave labor. Medieval life was tough back then, and nobody had refrigeration or flush toilets. But the people who created the magnificent cathedral most certainly weren't slaves. They were saying a prayer. And that burns the cheese of the left, particularly when they find out about it. Expect more of this rubbish in the meantime.
Wherever the left shows up in a public dilemma, the argument turns to dreck. We are going to see a lot of this - attempts to rewrite history, attempts to increase government control over global warming claims, and continuous envy of the rich class warfare.
Lucky us. And one can only hope that the French fight back, big time, on these emerging 'narratives.'
Image credit: CBS News via shareable YouTube video screen shot.