The bifurcation of intellectual opinion in France, encouraged and enforced by a climate of political correctness, has pushed the public debate into such polar extremes that reasonable commentary is hardly possible. Not that this is new. The Countess R G Waldeck discovered it in 1939, as her writing from that time illustrates:
In this article, she sketches with some bitterness the reception that she received in American liberal intellectual circles when she described the situation in Germany as she had seen and experienced it. No one could have suspected her of being well-disposed to the Nazis, who had deprived her of her family fortune, cut her off from her friends and forced her to live and work elsewhere, in a language not her own; she was herself a liberal; but she found that liberal circles were so wedded to their own idea that someone like Hitler was so reprehensible that he could not have any support among the people and would therefore soon be overthrown that her attempts to make them see otherwise were fruitless. They were deaf to the inside knowledge and the lived experience of someone as obviously well-informed and convincing as she.