Skip to comments.Would you hire this man? (rioting French layabouts)
Posted on 04/03/2006 7:39:33 AM PDT by Neville72
Let's see if we have this right: French kids are rioting because they can't have jobs for life?
Am I the only one who thinks France is nuttier than frangipane?
Here is how I understand last week's wave of marches, riots and blockades in the land of loitering existentially in smoky cafés while making meaningful hand gestures:
Lots of over-educated youths with too much black in their wardrobes are desperate to dress up in balaclavas and bandannas and torch things because (now let me word this correctly) they are disillusioned that their government wants to help them get jobs, because when you get a job there is a big danger you might one day lose it, especially if you are crap at it.
I could have sworn that not long ago French youths were rioting because, thanks to workplace-protection laws so rigid you could dry your pantalons on them, no one under the age of 65 can break into the job market (unless their grand-père is head of the Union of Permanently Picketing Fonctionnaires, in which case there is always room for one more shop steward).
France's youth unemployment rate is consequently a staggering 23 per cent. The government's solution is this: In order to ease employers' worries about hiring graduates and then being stuck with them, regardless of their competency, for life, a new law will allow them to fire anyone under the age of 26 with fewer than two years on the job.
It is this law, designed to help students find work after university, that has them aux barricades. One minute French students are rioting for jobs, the next they are rioting because they might actually get a job but be required to perform well to keep it. How swiftly indignation adapts to circumstance.
Any anthropological textbook will tell you (using longer words) that France is a strange land with weird traditions. A few years ago, French prostitutes went on strike and took to the streets against plans to limit their soliciting. This protest was followed by a full-scale walkout by France's stilt-walkers (I'm serious!).
So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that France's students are rioting before they have even got the jobs they are rioting about. Only the French could come up with the pre-emptive riot. Call it French Exceptionalism. Where else would you see a 12-metre banner demanding Regularisation?
The networks are loving the "romance" of "the heady scent of revolution, black coffee and Gauloises."
"French student power has an impressive record," the BBC drooled, gushing on about "the delicious sense of people power" as McDonald's gets trashed.
One young revolutionary was quoted as saying, "[This new fascist law the government is proposing] means that when I do get a job I will basically have to work as hard as I can to keep it!" (My emphasis, his accent).
What was that thing Francis Fukuyama said about the "Last Man," who so cannot bear having nothing to revolt against that he revolts against his own liberty? Well, I'm no Fukuyama (I never change my mind about something and sell books about it), but I've got two big things to say, and here they are:
First, it's impossible to ignore the fact (though everyone seems to be doing it but me) that it's cool to protest, and that's why a lot of people, especially young people, do it (about anything). Every teenager knows how "It's not fair!" What they don't know is that, as Derek Jeter once wrote, "The World Is Not Always Fair." C'est la vie.
Staging sit-ins or building blockades in university canteens doesn't have to have any more meaning than the fact kids are dyeing their hair blue and sitting cross-legged in snack shops big deal.
As for the violence part, well, let's face it, it's fun to lob flaming things at people you don't know, especially if your country refuses to go to war with anyone ever (even when it gets invaded) and, unlike, say, the United States, you rarely get the opportunity to formally lob flaming things at people you don't know. "I had nowhere to go but the streets!"
But the thing that really irks me is how, as my friend (who edits a magazine) put it, "It's like '68 all over again, only this time the French students are demanding a decently paying middle-management job and mid-range Citroën for all! What gives?"
One report quoted Marion, a girl full of that ever-present "indignation," saying, "I haven't studied hard to get nothing at the end of it. I've earned the right to a secure job."
The French are so wedded to the public sector that the Fifth Republic is, in essence, nothing more than a prenup. If the government breaks the terms of the deal, the rioters can construct a Sixth Republic and the government gets nothing. Zéro.
Has everyone forgotten what La France is all about? A couple of years back a book appeared on France's bestseller lists called Bonjour Paresse: De l'art et la nécessité d'en faire le moins possible en entreprise (Hello Laziness: The Art and Importance of Doing the Least Possible in the Workplace).
"Finally," ran a review in The New York Times, "instead of dissembling behind ambiguous notions of Gallic joie de vivre, someone in this leisurely land has declared outright that the French should eschew the Anglo-Saxon work ethic and openly embrace sloth."
Author Corinne Maier "worked" for years at the state-owned Electricité de France. Here are some excerpts from her manifesto:
"What you do is pointless. You can be replaced from one day to the next by any cretin sitting next to you. So work as little as possible and spend time (not too much, if you can help it) cultivating your personal network so that you're untouchable when the next restructuring comes around."
"You're not judged on merit, but on whether you look and sound the part. Speak lots of leaden jargon: People will suspect you have an inside track."
"Make a beeline for the most useless positions (research, strategy and business development), where it is impossible to assess your `contribution to the wealth of the firm.' Avoid `on the ground' operational roles like the plague."
"Tell yourself that the absurd ideology underpinning this corporate bullshit cannot last forever. It will go the same way as the dialectical materialism of the communist system."
France's latest "revolution" is its most embarrassing yet. Not even a strike by stilt-walking prostitutes could rival this effort. Expect to read about it next week.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dominic Hilton is a British freelance writer based in Philadelphia. He has just completed his first book, This Is The World.
I wonder if the STUPID French government is rethinking the "merits" of Socialism??? (chuckle)
Openly embrace sloth. I like that. Sounds like our governments.
The one that died at Verdun and the Somme.
The French model really seems to incense Anglo-Saxons.
France will keep her model, because her people want it.
America will keep her model.
And over time we will see the differences.
While loitering is a simple misdemeanor, loitering with existential intent is felonious. And possession of angst with intent to distribute is a capital offense.
well... for starters... Napoleon was a Corsican, and most Corsicans do not consider themselves to be French!
That sounds worse than 'Mopery with intent to creep'.
The solution for these people is to just go on welfare until they're 26. Man, how hard is it to think of that?
Incense? Not really. It amuses us that, even though contadicted by reams of historical evidence, the French think they can still make IT work. France will keep her model, because her people want it.
And we'll continue to watch France commit slow motion suicide
You think you are seeing France commit suicide.
The French think the Americans are in a frenzied debt-driven bubble that will burst and spread around a lot of misery.
France as a whole does not want to embrace that model, and won't. The lack of leverage means that French business and industry grows at a slower rate on the upside. It also means that it does not fall nearly as far on the downside.
Peugeot, Citroen, Renault are not exciting industries rolling up the massive profits like Ford and GM once were. On the other hand, they have not posted the knee-buckling losses or careened towards bankruptcy either. They are boring, profitable industries. A comparison between GM and Peugeot, or between United Airlines and Air France, or between Alcatel and Lucent, gives a good idea of the difference between the French and the American model. The French would not care to swap in any of those sectors.
All of the companies you mention have been kept alive by Govt funding. To say that the French economic model creates more prosperity than the U.S free enterprise system is ludicrous. France is a has been dying cultur and country with a bleak future ahead. You are obviously a socialist to make the inane comment you did, all the economic indicators point against a socialist economy long term, the evidnce against socialism is irrefutable.
Do you really think we get angry about seeing France go down the tubes? Try "bewilder". France was once a great nation at the forefront of western civilization, soon to become an islamic colony. No self-respecting sassonax would waste time getting upset about it.
A little AllBran every morning should help with that REGULARIZATION issue.
"All of the companies you mention have been kept alive by Govt funding. To say that the French economic model creates more prosperity than the U.S free enterprise system is ludicrous. France is a has been dying cultur and country with a bleak future ahead. You are obviously a socialist to make the inane comment you did, all the economic indicators point against a socialist economy long term, the evidnce against socialism is irrefutable."
Let's bookmark this and save it, and press it in a scrapbook, and then return to it five years hence, and ten, and fifteen, and twenty, and thirty, and fifty.
France isn't going to adopt the American model.
The Americans are confident in their own model.
So the two systems will co-exist and compete, side by side,
and at each step along the way, we will be able to make comparisons between the two.
Although I suppose that in 50 years in American perhaps the comparisons will need to be made en Espagnol, because the US government, driven by business interests who want cheap labor, relentlessly ignores some 75% of the American people's opinion about how the country should be governed. With the current labor law protests in France, and the impending government cave-in to the protestors, clearly no French government can govern against the will of 75% of the people the way that an American government can.
You have already written the obituary for France, so we will save the obituary, and we will keep dusting it off as the time progresses.
In Napoleon's day, it was practically sinful behavior to speak French on his native island.
The French were as incompetent then as they are today.
Their military success was brought about by a FOREIGNER, not one of their own.
Demographics indicate that the model of future France will lie in the hands of those who rioted a few months ago, not the spoiled university students who are demanding sinecures today. The islamic model is quite different than the gallic.
"Are you for real? touting Socialism?
Have you actually looked at the unemployment figures in France? They have double digit unemployment and the workers who do have jobs are taxed beyond comprehension.
(You must be Canadian)"
No, I am French, and American.
I have looked at the employment figures in France, and in America, and compared them, and thought about this for many years. I have looked and experienced education in the two places, looked at and experienced health care in the two places ... there is a great deal of political propaganda and half-truth that flies about on issues such as this.
America imprisons the underclass. In France, the incarceration rate is one-eighth what it is in America. Things that the underclass are imprisoned for in America, they are not imprisoned for in France. This means that petty crime in France, and hooliganisme, is higher and worse than in the USA by a significant margin. It also means that French unemployment statistics are higher, because the same class that populated US prisons, some 2.1 million people, is actually in the French workforce and unemployed, and reflected in the statistics, as opposed to in prison and unemployed, but not reflected in the statistics.
OK... When the muslims close down the Louvre, with all those terrible graven images in it, can we have the Mona Lisa, por favor?
"In France, the incarceration rate is one-eighth what it is in America. Things that the underclass are imprisoned for in America, they are not imprisoned for in France."
Helps to explain that burning Citroen problem.
But can I ask, why are you here? So many people come to this country from Europe and immediately complain because things like free medical care aren't available. Why did they leave, say, Sweden? High taxes. Some people can't see the forest or the trees.
"Demographics indicate that the model of future France will lie in the hands of those who rioted a few months ago, not the spoiled university students who are demanding sinecures today. The islamic model is quite different than the gallic."
Demographics indicate that America will be a Spanish-speaking northern copy of Mexico , with black inner cities, long before France is a Magrehban state.
Did I not just see Mexican flags flying on school buildings in protests all across the Western United States.
There are student protests in Paris, marching to preserve the structure of the job market.
And there are Beur protests in Paris and elsewhere, protesting their exclusion with an excess of property damage. People protesting that France is not dealing with them fairly, and that they want to be fully aboard the French ship.
And in California and Texas, there are protestors in the streets and taking over schools, waving the Mexican flag. Indicating...what, precisely? That this exploding future majority of America do not want to be part of America at all.
Once again, I do not look at the situations in America and France and see the French situation as more dangerous. In the French protests there is a strong element of conservatism: students want the laws preserved; Beurs want inclusion in French society.
In America, I see a foreign speaking race hostile to the country not seeking INCLUSION but REPLACEMENT of the existing regime.
I also see that the demographics are MUCH WORSE for the Americans than the French. French and American whites reproduce at about the same rate. But the Beurs are not assisted by millions of new immigrants each year. Latinos are.
I do not like to make sweeping demographic predictions, so I don't. But since you mentioned demography, and confidently predicted something that is not in the train of happening very fast if at all (France becoming a Muslim country), it is only right that you look to the plank in your own eye and realize that, demographically, America is in twice the peril of France. French Arabs protesting their exclusion from France is a very different thing from Mexicans hoisting the flag of Mexico back over schools in the formerly Mexican US Southwest.
A correction: French students are not demanding "sinecures".
They are protesting against incipient age discrimination in the workplace. There is no basis to assert that a 26 year old performs less well at work than a 30 year old, and yet the 26 year old will not be under the protection of law, simply because of his age, while the 30 year old will be. This is ridiculous.
"You're not judged on merit, but on whether you look and sound the part. Speak lots of leaden jargon: People will suspect you have an inside track."
You hafta admit, a lot of her "tips" are pretty accurate...
"OK... When the muslims close down the Louvre, with all those terrible graven images in it, can we have the Mona Lisa, por favor?"
Ten, fifteen, twenty years down the pike, will France be recognizable?
They got conquered by a Corsican...
Good point re the unemployment stats.
"Helps to explain that burning Citroen problem.
But can I ask, why are you here? So many people come to this country from Europe and immediately complain because things like free medical care aren't available. Why did they leave, say, Sweden? High taxes. Some people can't see the forest or the trees."
France does not fill its immigration quota to the US each year, so it is not a case of the French pouring into America.
I am in the United States, currently, because my current job is in Connecticut. When my job was in Paris, I was in Paris. If my next job is in Tokyo, I will be in Tokyo. One goes whither one is dispatched.
Interesting. I'll probably get flamed for this, but, having experienced both, I prefer the health care system in France. People back home are truly surprised when I tell them how efficient and patient-friendly it is.
Where in France are you from? I'm in Poitiers. (Originally from Louisiana.)
Never argue with idiots. They'll wear you down then beat you with experience. :-)
Gee, sorry, you know them as "youths possibly of Middle Eastern descent". Here we call them "yutes" after a rather funny verbal altercation between Joe Pesci and Fred Gwynn in "My Cousin Vinnie". But "yutes" is a generic term for the young, not reserved for muslim youths. Also, in this country the only part of a Ford or Chevy the yutes burn are the tires, i.e., "burning rubber".
Seriously, are you for real? "What Muslims?"
"I'll probably get flamed for this, but, having experienced both, I prefer the health care system in France. People back home are truly surprised when I tell them how efficient and patient-friendly it is."
No flame intended, but you're missing the point. If the medical system in France is just terrific, wonderful. But it has to be paid for one way or another. Either the individual pays for it out of his own pocket or the government picks said pocket-taxes-and pays for it. The disadvantage of the latter is that the individual who takes care of himself has to help bear the burden of those who don't. There is no free medical care any more than there is a free lunch.
The brave ones got killed off in the Napoleonic wars.
"That explains it, you are a 21st century slave. I am a LEGAL immigrant US citizen and would never work anywhere else for all the money in the world. My allegiance is to the USA and I would never live and work anywhere else no matter how much money they paid me. No wonder you have this view, you are not an AMERICAN in your thought process and are a corporate slave who feels entitled to a paycheque. Go back to France please."
I am French by birth and American by birth, because I was born in the United States.
I went to university in both countries, and have lived and worked in both countries.
And when I turned 18, I attended the AMERICAN Naval Academy, not the French Ecole Naval, and served for 19 years as a pilot in the US military, before becoming a "corporate slave".
I am not an "American" in my thought processes?
No, perhaps not. I think your economic organization is very cruel, I think that Americans are surprisingly docile when it comes to allowing capitalists to behave like noble lords of old, and I think that deference to money in America exceeds reasonableness. I think that the American system of public debt is a an UTTER Ponzi scheme and that the country at the city and state level are hurtling towards default and massive inflation because American government is corrupt and utterly irresponsible.
I think that personal freedom in America, outside of the economic realm, is wonderful, and comparable to France, and that the whole Western world has to stick together to fight real and deadly threats like the Soviet Union was, and like Communist China today potentially is, and Islamist terrorism as well.
So yes, I have always been a "slave". I was a "slave" in the harness of the US military for many, many years, and felt that the service was necessary and just in order to protect the whole Western World, of which the United States is the military lynchpin. And most certainly I do not have the capital to make myself secure and benefit from all of the wonderful advantages for rich people built into the American tax system, which privilege the wealthy over the worker.
I have the identical right to live in the USA that you do, and I have the identical right to live in Paris as Jacques Chirac.
If you have a problem with my mindset, and want to see it excluded from the mix in the USA, well, you may have immigrated to America and become a citizen, but you have obviously not internalized what freedom really means.
So, let me spell it out: I was, and still am, willing to put my balls on the line in a combat aircraft with a US Star, or the French Tricolor, on the fin because things like the freedom to do precisely what I am doing here: express a harshly judgmental and controversial opinion, and for my children to grow up being able to do so, is worth more than my own blood.
And to be free to practice religion or not to.
And to be free to have my own little house and not be molested in it...a right much more protected is "socialist" France than in the America of the Kelo Supreme Court, by the way.
But I was not up there to defend the privileges in the US tax code for wealthy people, or to protect corporatism. France, too, once had a bout of unbridled for-profit corporate organization, un-restricted by public political control. It was called "Vichy France", and the corporate leaders, Renault, Dassault, became famously and fabulously wealthy very productively and efficiently harnessing up their own countrymen in order to serve evil incarnate.
These same people and their kin are alive, and still possess the great fortunes and the reins of economic power. You think we are going to take the bit out of their mouth and just "trust them, because they know best" at running an economy? On what is THAT naive assumption based? History says that they will reduce us all to the status of Chinese slaves. They DID IT within living memory. Two's a charm? No thank you.
Political and personal liberty are worth fighting for in the whole West. They are worth being a real wage slave, earning very little, spending years of life on a ship at sea, flying missions in strange and unpleasant places. That is the price of freedom.
But the freedom I treasure does not include the deference to money that you think is part and parcel of the American Way. Now, it IS part of the American way. It's the part of the American way that I reject and that disgusts me. That is not what I was flying in the military to protect.
So, call me a socialist, or a communist, or a whatever-the-hell-you-like-ist. But "Go back to France?" No sir. I have bought my piece of soil here with sweat and blood. And I will live on it for as long as I please and say whatever I please, no matter that it irritates you as freshly minted American that someone should DARE question a fundamental tenent of the USA. Well, I DO question it. And if that's all America was, it wouldn't have been worth being harnessed up and fighting for. But that's not all America is. That's the boil on America's bum. I'm not going to pretend that I like the boil on the bum, and I don't have to. Because it's a free country.
And yes, this Frenchmen with the irritating attitudes helped to keep it free. Which means that, no, I am not going to shut up. THAT'S what being free really means.
French Students Take to Streets Over New Employment Law
A new law aimed at reducing youth unemployment (currently 23 percent) by making it easier to hire and fire young workers has sparked an outcry of opposition from the intended beneficiaries. As many as 1.5 million people participated in street demonstrations to protest the First Job Contract law passed by Parliament.
Jacques Esse, one of the students leading the protest, denounced the law. They are trying to take away our leisure and force us into boring jobs, said Esse. We need money, not excessive demands on our time.
Esse contends that forcing young people into the workforce will have anti-democratic impacts. Who will march in the streets to protest bad laws if everyone has jobs? asked Esse.
Esse demanded that the government save his generation from a life of meaningless toil. Our time and our minds should be free to create the new ideas needed for a new millennium, said Esse. Esse proposed that corporations and the rich be taxed to provide stipends for young intellectuals like himself.
Asked what new ideas for a new millennium he has, Esse responded that his proposed stipends for young intellectuals was just the first of many he was sure would be forthcoming if he isnt bogged down by a dead-end job and has the time to work on them.
read more at...
"France may indeed try to keep their model, after all people stick with what they know - even when it becomes detrimental to their well being - but what will be truly interesting to watch is how they manage to keep it in the face of the rising tide of islamic muslims in their country with very low tolerance or acceptance for the ways of their host country, seeking sharia law and dhimmis to treat like a sub-class.
Ten, fifteen, twenty years down the pike, will France be recognizable?"
This is a misconception.
Perhaps 10% of the population of France are of North African ancestry; this is true.
However, since the early '90s immigration has been sharply curtailed. There is not a new flood of immigrants comparable to the uncontrolled immigration into the US.
That 10% figure is not being bolstered very much by fresh arrivals. Most of the immigration into France today is not Maghreban - they have no right to come, there is a sea in the way, and there is effort expended to expel them. Primarily, immigration into France now is from Eastern Europe, especially Poland.
So, this 10% who are Maghreban, you have called them "Muslim", but this is only very partly true. Half of them are female. Females in France are French, and free, and because they are French, they vote. Beurettes are noticeably hot; they are not noticeably Muslim, however. They are as likely to have a white boyfriend as an Arab, and Arab men in France are not able to control women as they do in Muslim countries even if they want to.
The element of France's Beur population that is even potentially radical is not 10%, but 5%: the males.
Of them, the older generation, the actual immigrants, were indeed Muslims. But the children? How many of them are radicalized Muslims, how many are "Muslims" the way most French are "Catholic", and how many are secular?
Efforts have been made to analyze this. Most are circumcised, just as most French are baptized. But the percentage who are involved with Islam more deeply than that is much lower.
In brief: 10% of the French population is probably of North African origin, but only about 4% are really practicing Muslims, half of them women and innocuous. As Beur children proliferate, Islam does not perforce proliferate with them. Elsewhere, I made the point that France is the only country with a large population of practicing HETEROSEXUAL teenage Muslim boys. In the rest of the Muslim world, teenage boys are reduced by social restriction to diddling with Ahmed down at the wadi. If France, teenage boys, of whatever religion (or lack thereof). Very few teenage boys in France are willing to give up girls for God by any name.
The banlieux disturbances showed the degree of integration into French values of the Beur youths: they burnt cars and demanded social inclusion and jobs. Contrast that with MUSLIM actions everywhere else, which involve bombs, dead people, and demands concerning religion. There was none of that in the recent unrest.
So, if you see Sharia 2050 rising in France, you're very much mistaken. That may be developing in England, but not in France. In France, the problem is different.
But is not the protests of the French yutes all based on money? They want to ensure that they get the money without having to strive to earn it. Or am I missing something.
And help me to understand how French culture is different to American culture in terms of deference to money? I see the pre-war sweetheart oil contracts with Saddam to be standard fare for the French who didn't seem to care much about thier involvement with the UN Oil for Fools program.
Is that what you mean by deference to money? If so I get it and would agree with you that there is quite a distinction between the cultures.
I understand that. But I'd always heard horror stories about "socialized medicine" and wasn't quite sure of the quality of health care that I would receive after I moved to France.
Incidentally, it's a combination of the government picking our pockets and us paying for it ourselves. The government pays a portion of most things and the rest is paid by the patient. Well, we pay the doctor and the government reimburses us via direct deposit into our bank account within several days of the doctor visit. We have supplemental insurance that reimburses us for almost everything (if not everything) that the government does not pay for, including vision and dental.
I still find their social policies a bit self-defeating, but time will tell how that goes - especially given the increasing trend of interdependent globalization.
Personally, I believe there is a flux between socialism and capitalism in which there is a constant striving toward an equilibrium point, much like the the supply and demand curves are in constant, mutually adjusting flux toward a constantly fluctuating equilibrium point.
I see socialism as tending to focus on the collective- often at the expense of the individual, with capitalism tending to focus on the individual - often at the expense of the collective.
In an era of increasing globalization, I also believe that neither nor both will be sufficient for the maintenance of a globalized society and that an entirely different approach is necessary.
I have spent the past several years on just this issue, but dare not discuss it on this or any public forum as it would inevitably be misunderstood, and consequently derided.
This is where you are wrong; we do not owe our fellow citizens a living, or even a dime.
The Grand Folly of France was starting down that road in 1789. That is what you get from mob rule.
Corporations are sock puppets compared to Government taking from the productive citizen to give handouts to the idle leach.
Well, without sarcasm, let me say "thanks" for your military service. I offer that to anyone who has served regardless of political beliefs. As for shutting you up, or sending you back to France, I wouldn't dream of it. You make my case far better than I do. As for my right to work in France I believe that all of Europe has rather severe restrictions, and Jacques Chirac's response to English(Anglo-Saxon) being spoken at a meeting last week certainly has freedom of speech implications for a non-French speaker such as moi.
The "Kelo" Supreme Court's majority, those that voted against the individual, were all moderate-to-liberal politically. Note that two, Breyer and Ginsburg, are arch-liberals appointed by that great friend of the common man, Bill Clinton. Check the record. How do you explain the supposedly evil-capitalist-leaning Anton Scalia voting for the individual? Rumor has it that Sandra Day O'Connor, first woman appointed to the Court(by Ronald Reagan no less) might have been nominated by George Bush as the first female Chief Justice, had she not retired in disgust because of the Kelo vote.
How many MRI systems or CAT Scan systems do you have available for your use at your local hospital? Is there a waiting list? How many types of organ transplants are done at your local Hospital and what is the current waiting time? What about Oncology at your local hospital? Do they cure people or just make one comfortable while dying the natural socialist way?
I didn't really see the riots a couple of months ago as having much to do with Islam. We're talking about a group of young men who drink, do drugs, frequent prostitutes and listen to the same thuggish type of music as the American underclass. It's tough to find a link between them and Islam, other than that their parents or grandparents came from somewhere in North Africa.
Il n'y a pas d'honte être français. Il y a seulement l'honte dans rester de français.
(There is no shame in being French. There is only shame in staying French.)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)