Gerard Miller

The sordid truth about the 68ers?

Some claim the “anything goes” philosophy of the left-wing intelligentsia resulted in sex crimes


This article is taken from the May 2024 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

For decades Gérard Miller was one of the darlings of the left in France. The 75-year-old was a celebrity psychoanalyst, a film director, newspaper columnist and a vehement critic of the right. His columns appeared in the left-wing Le Monde, such as the one published in September last year when he declared that “never have so many French Jews lost their moral compass to such an extent”.

Miller lamented the fact that so many French people of his own Jewish faith had in recent years changed political allegiance from the left to the right. Four months later, Miller’s morality was under scrutiny.

Elle magazine published a story accusing him of sexual aggression towards women. A few days later another media outlet levelled more accusations at him from other women. The floodgates opened. Forty-one women contacted Elle after it ran the story, all alleging they were also victims of Miller’s sexual rapacity between 1993 and 2020. In many cases, Miller allegedly met his victims during recordings of his popular TV show, inviting them back to his home for a hypnosis session whereupon he assaulted or raped them.

A judicial investigation is under way, and Miller denies the allegations. Nonetheless, many of his high-profile friends and acquaintances have moved quickly to cut ties with him. Sandrine Rousseau, a radical Green MP, said she felt betrayed. “I want to scream,” she said. “If even allies turn out to be aggressors or potential rapists, who can we rely on?”

Whilst there is sympathy for Miller’s alleged victims amongst the right in France, there is nothing but scorn for the likes of Rousseau and other figures on the political and cultural left, who have spent the last few weeks wringing their hands.

An op-ed in the centre-right Le Figaro savaged the left for its haughty bewilderment that one of their own could ever be accused of such sordid crimes. For decades the left in France have acted as the custodians of the Republic’s virtue, said Le Figaro, but “it’s clear that the moral left is not really the moral camp”.

Miller is one of several Frenchmen of his age who have been accused this year of sexual deviance. So has the actor Gerard Depardieu and the film directors Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon. What links these men is their age: they were all born in the mid to late 1940s. They are Baby Boomers, as were the unnamed men referenced by the French actor Aurélien Wiik. He claims he was sexually abused 30 years ago, describing how as a teenager he was forced to “attend dinners organized by old men with several minors”. The youths were offered film roles “in exchange for favours”.

The French call Boomers Soixante-Huitards [68ers], a reference to the events of May 1968 when students on a campus at Nanterre, in the north-west of Paris, began a protest movement that swiftly swept the country. It was a revolt against Old Conservative France as embodied by the decrepit President, Charles de Gaulle. “It is forbidden to forbid,” was the students’ slogan as, led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, they ushered in a sexual, social and cultural revolution.

Nothing was off-limits for this generation, whose iconoclasm was embraced by the left-wing intelligentsia. Even paedophilia was condoned. In 1977 Le Monde published a letter signed by many of France’s prominent intellectuals: Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Roland Barthes, André Glucksmann, Bernard Kouchner and Jack Lang. They demanded the release of three men accused of sexually abusing children, saying the three years they’d served in custody was sufficient for what amounted to “caresses and kisses”.

Two of the signatories, Kouchner and Lang, went on to serve as ministers in Francois Mitterrand’s Socialist government in the 1980s. Kouchner has been a doughty supporter of Roman Polanski, the French/Polish director who is wanted in the United States on charges of raping a 13-year-old in 1977. When Polanski was arrested by the Swiss in 2009, Kouchner wrote to Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, requesting that the USA drop the charges.

Jack Lang

As for Jack Lang, he has for many years been the subject of allegations concerning paedophilia, all of which he angrily denies. Similar accusations (also denied) have stalked Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Lang maintained a friendship for many years with the American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, a man described by Lang as “charming, courteous and very pleasant”. Epstein — a convicted sex offender — donated large sums of money to a “strange” association headed by several of Lang’s close friends.

In an interview in 2021 Lang was asked about the Le Monde letter of 1977, and the reason why he’d signed a letter supporting three paedophiles. “It was bullshit,” he replied. “There were a lot of us at the time … a series of intellectuals. It was post-1968, and we were driven by a kind of libertarian vision that was wrong.”

“Wrong” was the word used by Dominique Strauss-Kahn in an interview with a French magazine in 2012, a year after sexual misconduct finished his political career. The head of the International Monetary Fund at the time — and tipped to stand as the Socialist candidate in the 2012 French presidential election — Strauss-Kahn was accused of attempted rape by a chambermaid in a New York hotel.

His arrest resulted in a spate of several other sordid allegations stretching back years. “I long thought that I could lead my life as I wanted,” reflected Strauss-Kahn. “I was too out of step with French society. I was wrong.”

Less than a year in age separates Strauss-Kahn from Miller. They both came of age in the late 1960s, Soixante-Huitards, who believed it was forbidden to forbid. They brought down the old world, and they replaced it with a new one that has diminished France intellectually, culturally, economically and morally.

Some in France call them the Spoiled Generation. Many are also soiled.

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