Lest You Think The French Are Only Laughing At You...
I don't think the French are laughing at Americans now. I think they are mainly horrified. The Neo-liberal right because their "model" is falling apart, the Left because — even if the American gov't has been interfering and sabotaging democratic regimes around the world — we all still believe that it was thanks to the US — in that one "just war" — that Fascism did not prevail. If the US becomes Fascist where will the counter power be ? But the situation is not totally bleak, Lula won and a few very progressive voices in the elections. As for the Montherlant quote, it's lucid and correct but from a writer who decided in favour of Facism himself (being also a nihilist and of an impulsive and provocative nature..)
According to the website Writers No One Reads
"No one reads Henry de Montherlant (1895-1972), a French essayist, playwright, and novelist who ended his life by swallowing a cyanide capsule and then shooting himself–an excess in keeping with his personality. Montherlant belongs to that class of writers one is forced to recommend in apologetic tones. (Other notable figures in this canon include Hamsun, Celine, Highsmith, and Pound.) Despite being a bestselling and celebrated novelist–Les Célibataires (The Bachelors, 1934) won the Grand Prix de Littérature de l'Académie Française and his tetralogy Les Jeunes Filles (The Girls, 1936-39) was translated into a dozen languages–Montherlant presents a trying case."
Given the rest of the elements in HdM's life, I don't think his rather glib quip can be counted on to help us in our real and necessary struggle against Facism. We have to try find solidarity and make choices which are ecologically and economically necessary. There are some moral and ethical arguments we need to make too ... against Survival of the Fittest and the "Market" Economy. Maybe some of those principles like Faith, Hope and Charity, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
I am not "affected by .... invoking Facism"... I saw that Facism was coming to America quite a while ago ...I am not into "Progressivism" (whatever that is !!!) but respect the historical movements known as anarchism and socialism which detested each other but they are my sources and the roots of any opposition to Facism !!! However calling "Progressivism... flavour of the month" is really cynical !!!!
Writers No One Reads is not my "go to" website, it just came up and was a lazy choice to find some notes on that group of French writers who for various reasons sided with Facism. Writers like Pound and Celine should be read because they are great writers and because reading their arguments helps us to understand how they got there and where their logic leads us in addition to the writing... But on the other hand we could be forgiven for wanting to read writers who give us courage one way or another to face the Human Condition and some of the impending challenges.