Noah denkt™ - The Power of Balanced Reasoning
About Noah denkt™       │Über Noah denkt™       │SUCCESS STORIES          │  Legal Notice       │ Disclaimer / Impressum    
Oh no, Michel Houellebecq dons a Yellow Vest too!
A Dialogue with the Alter Ego on the French writer’s Trump defense, first drafted on Dec. 16,
published on Dec 20, 2018

    Trump is pursuing and amplifying the policy of disengagement initiated by Obama; this is very good news for the rest of
    the world. (…) The Americans are no longer prepared to die for the freedom of the press. Besides, what freedom of the
    press? Ever since I was twelve years old, I’ve watched the range of opinions permissible in the press steadily shrinking.
    (…) Unlike free-market liberals (who are, in their way, as fanatical as communists), President Trump doesn’t consider
    global free trade the be-all and end-all of human progress. When free trade favors American interests, President Trump is
    in favor of free trade; in the contrary case, he finds old-fashioned protectionist measures entirely appropriate. (…)
    President Trump doesn’t like the European Union; he thinks we don’t have a lot in common, especially not “values”; and I
    call this fortunate, because, what values? “Human rights”? Seriously? (…) It’s my belief that we in Europe have neither a
    common language, nor common values, nor common interests, that, in a word, Europe doesn’t exist, and that it will never
    constitute a people or support a possible democracy (see the etymology of the term), simply because it doesn’t want to
    constitute a people. In short, Europe is just a dumb idea that has gradually turned into a bad dream, from which we shall
    eventually wake up. “

    Michel Houellebecq: Donald Trump Is a Good President. Harper’s Magazine, December 20, 2018, (https://harpers.

Question by Alter Ego of Noah denkt™ (AE): We are aware that Noah denkt™ is reluctant to come out of its
self-imposed retirement from public debate and speak out again despite all the “
macro garbage” and
manufactroversy” (see Salman Rushdie : The Golden House, 2017 ) that is engulfing us. But Michel Houellebecq’s
Harper’s Magazine statements (
“Trump is a good President”, December 20, 2018) forces us to confront you again.
You probably read the pertaining article, didn’t you?

Answer by Noah denkt™ (Nd): Yes, we did.

AE: To summarize Houellebecq’s position both in the Harper’s Magazine essay as well as in his literary work, it
is probably fair to say that he is wary of the mass-market ignorance and hyperbole the post-modern civilization
generates, that in his mind the opportunist free trade regime has a lot to do with this increasing absence of
decency and refinement, and that a return to protectionist, nation-state policies might not be too big a mistake.
Would Noah denkt™ agree with this characterization of Houellebecq’s views?

Nd: We would. The latter part, pertaining to the preferable return to protectionist,
nation-state policies was
nevertheless somewhat new to us. His novels so far did not explicitly suggest an anti-European Union stance,
for instance.

AE: So what does Noah denkt™ make of this latest, let’s call it, yellow-vest-evolution in Houellebecq’s thinking?

Nd: Well, it needs to be taken seriously. And that is true despite the lack of depth his views may exhibit in terms
of historical perspective and economic analysis. If a fine, poetic French soul like his comes to these kinds of
protectionist conclusions this clearly deserves attention. - Obviously, there is no denying that liberalism,
democracy and capitalism are in very dire straits at this point. Financial markets everywhere would crash if they
weren’t being propped up by extremely blown-up central bank balance sheets. Companies more often than not
have to push the legal limits in order to satisfy their investors’ revenue expectations (VW, Facebook, fiscal
engineering etc.).
Entrepreneurial can-do confidence usually receives VC funding only for dating, storing and
“Cornerjob” - type applications. And voters by now are so tired of the usual set phrases repeated over and
over again by their political class that they meanwhile prefer to vote for outright nut-cases instead of endorsing
the same old rhetoric yet again. It is hence no wonder that people like Houellebecq ponder whether a
fundamental switch away from UN/WTO internationalism might not bring some relief here?

AE: And what is Noah denkt™’s position in this? Obviously
you have defended both the European Union and
Houellebecq’s work in the past.

Nd: And we still do. Of course, we recognize the possibility that people living in the internationalist liberal system
might by now be emotionally too exhausted and despondent to still be able to defend their freedom. It is our
opinion, however, that the mere benefits which the liberal architecture has provided us with over the last 70
plus years (peace, increased life expectation, respect for minority rights, scientific advances etc…) should
oblige us to give it an extra chance. After all, it may well be that a good part of the decay, the chaos and the
dysfunctionality which we now see in the turbo-capitalist reality has more to do with inadequate training and
education than with an inherent natural human tendency towards value-less, opportunistic behavior.

AE: Why do you say that?

Nd: Take the fact, for instance, that a lot of people never manage to find their professional vocation and
fulfillment.  Clearly this is not what people want. And clearly this points to a deficiency in the quality of tutoring
that people tend to receive in their adolescence. Of course, it is only natural that disoriented people who are
ultimately forced to take whatever loveless job they can get end up suffering from all sorts of discontents
afterwards. But it is not just on the lower end of the market that the academic system fails. Take also the fact
that the best
our highly acclaimed ivy-league business schools have been able to produce in the last few
decades are either entrepreneurs who come up with business models based on advertising revenues or
graduates that sign up for bubble generating financial sector jobs. Is that really the top end of what these
institutions can accomplish? Should we not expect more educational ingenuity from schools that never get tired
to brag about their academic excellence? Noah denkt™ certainly believes that a lot more can be done here.

AE: Of course you have presented your views on the educational dilemma before on this site. And we
recognize the fact that it is not your intention to provide all the practical answers here but to stimulate a national
debate instead. Is it not, however, likewise possible that the prolonged absence of such a debate suggests that
much more than what we have now can really not be achieved in the educational sector? Is it not quite
legitimate for human beings to prefer hiding in the safe and comfortable realm of mediocracy rather than
venturing out into the sacrifice of the unknown? After all, it is only to fair to presume that not everybody is
equipped to be a Steve Jobs or a Lang Lang.

Nd: If it were true what you say, and standard common sense quality is all we can ultimately expect even from
the most highly acclaimed institutions then we should probably also ditch the never ending rhetoric of being
cutting edge, state of the art and striving for excellence and perfection which otherwise infests the marketplace
on a daily basis. – No, no, it is our conviction that it is precisely our own inbred mediocracy which inspires us to
stand out. The desire to improve and excel is hence just as fundamental to our psychological makeup as is the
wish to play it safe. And ignoring our aspirations for uniqueness and stardom would therefore violate our souls
just as much as does denying our lingering need for comfort and security. To get out of this conundrum we
need to take calculated risks. And in the present case this can only mean that we hedge our exposure to a
possible self-destruction of the internationalist architecture by accepting the need for more and better
academic ingenuity. If we don’t get better in this we might just as well go back and follow Houellebecq’s
protectionist nation-state recommendations into the not so glorious past!
© Landei Selbstverlag, owned by Wilhelm ("Wil") Leonards, Gerolstein, Germany. All rights reserved.

Reminder: Noah denkt™ is a project of Wilhelm ("Wil") Leonards and his Landei Selbstverlag (WL & his LSV). Consequently, all
rights to the texts that have been published under the Noah denkt
brand name are reserved by WL & his LSV.

The commentary and the reasoning that was provided on this page is for informational and/or educational purposes only and it is not
intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice. It should therefore not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to
buy, or a recommendation for any security or any issuer by WL & his LSV or its Noah denkt™ Project. In fact, WL & his LSV
encourage the user to understand that he alone is responsible for determining whether any investment, security or strategy is
appropriate or suitable for him. And to leave no doubt as to what this means we urge our user to also note our extended

return to nation-state policies, Houellebecq's anti-European Union stance, French
opposition to free-market policies, Houellebecq defends Trump, crisis of
confidence in capitalism, opposition to turbo-capitalism