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“The caste” ? Left and far right share the same vocabulary
Article mis en ligne le 5 septembre 2021

“The caste” is one of those widely used words that, like “bobos “ (French version of “bourgeois bohemians” in English but with a larger meaning), is used by everyone from journalists to politicians to the “average citizen”. Its meaning is never seriously defined by those who use it (with the exception of historians or anthropologists specializing in India or the Mayas), and it is therefore so vague that it can mean anything, i.e., nothing at all. It generally expresses contempt or even hatred for a given group, even if sometimes, for some people who regret the reign of French aristocracy, it may have expressed their admiration. Historically, in political struggles in France, it has had a negative connotation among monarchists, anti-Semites and the far right, left and far left. Its current systematic use by Marine Le Pen (leader of the Far Right Rassemblement National, former Front National) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (leader of a split from the Socialist Party on a national-populist line, the Parti de Gauche/Les Insoumis/France Insoumise), for the past few years, gives me the opportunity to present a little anthology, or rather a blooper book, for more than a century, hoping that this will definitively discourage you from using this term without rigorously defining it. Don’t reinforce the culture war of the far right by using its vocabulary !