tating the French state toward a condition of bankruptcy, withrntoo many millions of persons to support and no money left tornpav them. And, not least of all, they were promoting a climaternof grotesque unreality and of preemptive capitulation, in whichrnanvone daring to suggest that immigration should be strictlyrncontrolled could immediately be pilloried as a “racist” and—rnwhich in the present context is just as damning—as a followerrnof Jean-Marie Le Pen.rnSince it was obvious, even to the most high-minded altruist,rnthat a massive influx of “relatives” was going to create seriousrnhousing problems, Frangois Mitterrand’s Socialists decidedrnthat foreigners wishing to visit France for a limited visa periodrnof three months would in addition have to obtain a certificatrnd’hebergement (a lodging certificate) from the “host” familyrnthev wished to visit in France. It is the mayor of a commune—rnthere are 56,000 of them in France—who must, as least in theor,rndecide if a local family has sufficient means and livingrnspace to take in one or more “boarders.” But in actual administratirne practice—and this shows to what extent France todayrnhas become a Gulliver immobilized by a tight web of bureaucraticrnstrings—the mayor must first “prove” that the host familyrnlacks sufficient space, and then have this negative opinionrnofficially endorsed by the Office des Migrations Internationales.rnFor fear of “rocking the boat,” most mayors simplyrngive up and sign the certificat d’hebergement, which are thenrnsent to the eagerlv awaiting recipients on the southern shore ofrnthe Mediterranean or beyond.rnJean Marsaudon, the deputy-mayor of the once tranquil villagernof Sa’igny-sur-Orge, southeast of Paris, has estimated thatrn280,000 such certificats d’hebergement are granted every yearrnto “tourists” from North Africa and other Third Worid regions,rnmany of whom simply destroy their identit}’ papers once theirrnthree months of legally authorized stay are over. If by ill chancernthey are arrested by the police and can keep their lips tightlyrnsealed during subsequent interrogations, they will be officiallyrnregistered as “stateless” and released as “inexpulsable” after tenrndays of detention, since they supposedly have no country tornwhich thev can be properly expelled. These certificatsrnd’hebergement have as a result become as precious a commodityrnas the three-month entry visas that foreigners must now obtainrnto isit France quite legally; and in Algiers, Tunis, and Rabatrn—to name but three African capitals—they can now bernobtained at a black-market rate varying from >,000 to 10,000rnfrancs (between one and two thousand dollars).rnAccording to a census taken in 1990, there were at that timernin France only 614,000 officially registered Algerians, 572,000rnMoroccans, 206,000 Tunisians, 43,000 Senegalese, 37,000 immigrantsrnfrom Mali, 22,000 from Zaire, and 18,000 fromrnCameroon. These figures might seem insignificant in a countryrnof close to 60 million inhabitants. But this ignores the factrnthat many more foreign immigrants have gone unregistered, sornthat the real number may well be two to three times as high.rnThere is, furthermore, one sociological phenomenon that evenrnthe extreme optimists can no longer ovedook: that the “slummification”rncaused by “wild” immigration has begun to spreadrnlike a fungus across the map of France. No fewer than five millionrnpersons—more, that is, than the entire population of Norwayrnor Finland—now live in 1,100 so-called “sensitive” quarters,rnwhich are constantly on the verge of erupting into violence.rnOf these, almost one-third (1.5 million) now live like tightlyrnpacked sardines in 130 highly volatile cites (eolleetive housingrnlots) or zones de non droit (lawless zones), which the French policernno longer dare to patrol, knowing that the mere appearancernof a police ear constitutes an intolerable “provocation” and willrnunleash a barrage of bricks, stones, and Molotov cocktails.rnBefore describing one of these slummified “hot spots,” Irnwould like to introduce a personal reminiscence directlyrnconnected with this problem. In the early I960’s, when I returnedrnto France after an absence of several years, I was dismayedrnby the change that had transformed Paris, once a city ofrnleisurely flaneurs (strollers), into a city of irascible motorists,rndue to the massive invasion of the “insolent chariots” dear tornLewis Mumford, or to what, more prosaically, I like to call thern”automobilization” of the French capital. I set out to write arnsatirical book on the subject entitled The Barons of the Boulevards,rnwhich, not surprisingly, was regarded as much too subversivernto merit publication. In the course of my research intorntraffic congestion, street lighting, gaseous air, sonic harassment,rn”district improvement,” and other metropolitan problems, Irnwent to call on several eminent urbanistes. I took with me arncopy of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great AmericanrnCities. None of these distinguished gentlemen had ever heardrnof Jane Jacobs, still less read a line of her prophetic book. Thisrnwas regrettable, I told them, because “this is a nightmarernscenario for France too if your city planners go on filling yourrnsuburbs with high-rise apartment blocks.”rnFor the disturbing truth is thatrnFrance’s political elite has quiternsimply capitulated under the pressurernof “anti-racist” terrorism.rnJane Jacobs, I explained, was a singularly lucid and independent-rnminded student of architecture who for a number of yearsrnhad edited The Architectural Forum. Very early on, she had developedrna profound distrust of Le Corbusier’s visionary plansrnfor doing away with old, “run-down” areas and of erecting inrntheir place 40-storv skyscrapers surrounded by idyllic patches ofrngreenery which were, he claimed, sure recipes for human felicity.rn(One such Corbu scheme called for the destruction of arnlarge area of narrow, congested streets and houses just north ofrnthe Seine and Notre Dame Cathedral, which, had it ever beenrncarried out in a frenzy of post-Haussmannian ferocity, wouldrnha’e dealt Paris a death-blow from which it might never havernrecovered.)rnIncreasingly concerned by a steadily rising crime rate in majorrnAmerican cities, Jane Jacobs had done some on-the-spotrnsociological research. What she had discovered was that it wasrnprecisely in modern high-rise blocks, where purse-snatchersrncould quietly lurk in empty elevators waiting for the providentialrnarrival of an unaccompanied housewife who could easily bern”mugged,” that the crime rate was highest; and that it was inrnsupposedly “run-down” areas in dire need of “urban de’eloplULYrn1997/17rnrnrn