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Would you hire this man? (rioting French layabouts)
Toronto Star ^ | 4/2/2006 | Dominic Hilton

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.


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To: 2banana

And Lucent Technologies is going to allow itself to be taken over by these clowns?


51 posted on 04/03/2006 11:14:06 AM PDT by quadrant
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To: Potowmack

"With cries of 'God is Great' bands of youths armed with whatever they
could get hold of went on a rampage and forced the police to flee"

This is from Independent Media Research, but it can be found all over the web. Now mind you, Christians usually are wont to say "God is Love", and Jews say "God is One". The bands of yutes in Paris didn't use these phrases. As far as drinking, taking drugs, frequenting prostitutes(in spite of being destitute. Does France have socialized prostitution?) and thuggish music are concerned, note that the 9/11 hijackers are on record as having gone to a strip club the night before qualifying for their 70+ virgins.


52 posted on 04/03/2006 11:43:45 AM PDT by syncked
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To: 2banana
How did these people conquerer the whole of Europe (plus Egypt) just a few short generations ago?

They were not led by a Frenchman.

53 posted on 04/03/2006 11:58:26 AM PDT by Bon mots
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To: quadrant

Lucent has been run by liberals for years. Think about it-what greedy capitalist conservative would spend big bucks to ditch a name like Bell Labs, with it's world wide name recognition, for "Lucent" and it's accompanying zen-buddhist-like-circle emblem thingy?


54 posted on 04/03/2006 12:07:01 PM PDT by syncked
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To: investigateworld

No book comes to mind.

The whole corporate structure of France went over to the fascists.

We need to remember just why it was that France failed so quickly.
It was because France was divided almost perfectly down the middle between socialists/communists, on the one side, and corporatist/fascists on the other.
These two domestic factions hated each other intensely, and the government was socialist, but the military command was quasi-fascist.
The degree of hatred and distrust exceeded even the current level of partisan hatred in America.

The left wing of French government was spiritually akin to the Soviets. The right wing of French government was spiritually akin to the fascists in Italy and Spain, with a dose of anti-Semitism akin to (although not anywhere near extreme as) the German Nazis.

So, when the French military collapsed, practically for the want of desire of the French general command to fight, the Parliament voted in Petain as national leader, and the French fascists took command of the government. They were nationalist adversaries of the Germans, still, but ideologically they were very much in tune with the fascist corporatists.

Now, that was virtually the whole French right.
We should remember that from 1941 until 1944 or so, practically all of the active Resistance in France was Communist. The French right was fascist, and the Nazis were their ideological allies, although the French right were still French nationalists and resented German domination. So, what you had was all of the major French industries, the entirety of it, continuing to operate, stepping up to war production, for the Germans, with French corporate leadership squeezing the hell out of French labor. The French laborer was exploited by the French corporatists for their PROFIT, and for the benefit of the whole fascist cause everywhere. Renault cooperated enthusiastically with the German war effort. THAT'S the main moral reason why Renault was nationalized as soon as the free French government was restored.

This is also why the French are specifically suspicious of corporatism.

Remember, in France during the occupation, the only fighting heroes were Communists. The French right, the republicans and business class. Were, as a class (if not always as individuals) Vichy, and cooperative with the fascists. Now, this didn't mean that they were eager to kill Jews, and there was plenty of hiding Jews. But in social terms, the French right saw in the German conquest the opportunity to bring well in hand labor and the left, kill the Communists, and establish a corporatist state in France which would focus on iron-fisted production and rule for maximum profits. Vichy was not about race war, but it WAS about class war. It was the moment of full domination by the corporate far right, and they viewed French laborers as work units, essentially livestock, to be driven to the greatest extent possible. Communists and any sort of labor organization was, of course, subversive, and murderously attacked.

THAT'S why the French are distrustful of unregulated corporatism. Because that was Vichy France. And it's why the French view labor organization and control, and direct labor presence in corporate board rooms, etc., as an essential tool of democratic control of the country. The last time the French capital class was completely unregulated by French workers, it went over as a class to fascism with a vengeance.


55 posted on 04/03/2006 12:08:45 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13
Again, I'm in debt to you for enlightening me.
And knowing how opinionated FReepers are, they would also share similar views, should we ever find ourselves in France's position.
56 posted on 04/03/2006 12:19:12 PM PDT by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: Vicomte13
PROFIT

iron-fisted production

full domination by the corporate far right

fascism with a vengeance

Funny how the communist totalitarians are held in great esteem while the fascist totalitarians are abomination.

Communists snicker at the pathetic body count that the fascists were able to roll-up. No beats the communists at murdering millions with very little complaints in the media.

Funny how that works.

57 posted on 04/03/2006 12:33:24 PM PDT by corkoman
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To: Vicomte13

"The whole corporate structure of France went over to the fascists."

And if they had refused? But never mind. Which side of schizophrenic pe-War France built the Maginot Line along the border with unfriendly Germany but not that of friendly Belgique? If the military was pro-Facist, why did they put the Wehrmacht through the trouble of going through Belgium? Just open up the gates and... Germany overwhelmed France because of superior weapony. And just to be fair, the "anglo-saxons" as you derisivly call them, were taking old muskets out of museums in desperation after Verdun, Britain having suffered from quai-socialism since Ramsey MacDonald. The socialists/communists weren't interested in armament developments or armies. Witness the job Uncle Joe Stalin did to the Red Army in 1937, murdering, among many, many others, the brilliant Marshall Tuckachevsky.
You started this argument with the notion that we "anglo-saxons" were angry at France for not following our model. Assuming we think our model is superior(and we know it is) why would we want to force it upon you and cause ourselves extra competition?


58 posted on 04/03/2006 1:04:05 PM PDT by syncked
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To: higgmeister

You can't be serious.

Are you aware that the first face transplant surgery ever performed in the world was recently done in France by French doctors? Do you honestly think that no one in France ever gets cured of anything, that everyone just dies the "natural socialist way"?

I realize this is not what you want to hear, but I've waited less time for all of the medical care I've required here (which, thankfully, has not been much) than I did in the U.S. My husband had minor outpatient surgery last year that was scheduled within 2-3 weeks. Our 6 local hospitals have all of the basic medical equipment, including MRI and CT scan machines. In fact, the university hospital just added some new type of heart scanner. And doctors here still make house calls.


59 posted on 04/03/2006 1:30:24 PM PDT by Minette
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To: Vicomte13
And over time we will see the differences.

We are looking at the differences right now. Time is up.

The French model yields massive unemployment, riots, a slerotic economy, religious and racial problems, and national demise....you keep waiting, OK, and maybe pick up an Arabic dictionary while you bide your time.

60 posted on 04/03/2006 1:36:38 PM PDT by Monti Cello
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To: syncked

"Seriously, are you for real? 'What Muslims?'"

Yes, I am completely serious.

Here, people look at 10% of French being of North African descent and they say "Muslims".
That is as accurate as saying that France is "87% Catholic".
Religion is an idea. It is not inherited like skin color. It is either learnt and accepted, or not learnt.
The parents and grandparents of the Beurs in France are Muslim, but are the Beurs?
10% of the population, more or less, is Beur.
And of them, less than half practice any religion at all.
Perhaps 80% of the French are baptized.
Maybe 20% of the French are actually Catholic, in terms of actually believing the religion, or attending Church more than once a year (if that).
To be a Muslim, of the sort that threatens the country, requires actual belief. If one uses that as the standard, at most 5% of the population is really Muslim, and that number differs by sex. Religion is passed along by females, generally, not males.
In France, there is some Islam, and a smaller subset of radical Islam, but half the Beurs are secular.

That's why I say "What Muslims"? 4 or 5% of the population are going to take over?


61 posted on 04/03/2006 2:32:51 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

We have already seen the differences. France loses.


62 posted on 04/03/2006 2:43:06 PM PDT by gleneagle
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To: Vicomte13
France will keep her model, because her people want it.
America will keep her model.

I hope you're right about that second part. Sometimes, I'm not so sure.

63 posted on 04/03/2006 2:58:10 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: syncked

"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."

This is true, but there are ways to compare the costs of medical systems. France has a private health care provider system, with universal public health insurance. America has a private health care provider system, with partial public health insurance for retirees (Medicare), partial public health insurance for the poor (Medicaid), private health insurance, and 40 million uninsured.

The direct comparison of quality can be made by comparing results, such as infant mortality, or life expectancy, or survival rates from major illnesses. France has better infant mortality and life expectancy than America does, and comparable rates of survival. So, the two systems are of comparable quality, or the French system is better at some things, the American, at others, depending on how finely one wishes to screen it. Given relatively equal outcomes overall, one can then look straight to the PERCENTAGE OF GDP SPENT ON HEALTH CARE.

And here, it is not close.
The French and American systems have approximately the same standard of care.
But France's system of health insurance finance causes French health care costs per capita to be 10% of GDP.

The US spends 16% of GDP for a comparable or lower standard of care.

Alors: the conclusion one can draw is that the French are much better businessmen, and have much greater economic skill and understanding when it comes to medicine, because they do the same thing the Americans do, at less than half the costs.

Yes, there is a price to be paid for health care.
And in France, that price is smaller than the US.

So, should the US adopt the French system?
Logically, yes.
But America CAN'T.
Structurally and psychologically, Americans cannot tolerate that sort of massive concentration of power and money into government. Also, there is no particular reason to believe that the American government health care agencies would be as competent as the French government agencies are, again for cultural reasons.

In France, the very highest and most prestigious positions in the society are...the top jobs in the Civil Service! And so, in France, the best and the brightest in the country actually aspire and compete for the Civil Service School (ENA - the Ecole Nationale d'Administration). In France, "Harvard" is like a French "Annapolis" for Civil Servants.
So, those who, in America, would be aspiring to be hired by Goldman Sachs out of Harvard Business School, are instead dreaming of one day being the Minister of Health, or the Minister of Finance.

Wherever you concentrate your best intellectual capital you have the best results, and France concentrates its intellectual capital very heavily into government.
America, um, DOESN'T.

What that means, in a nutshell, is that the French Minister of Health is someone who would be, in America, the equivalent of a graduate of the Wharton Business School and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government who runs Goldman Sachs, something like that. But the head of the American Health Care Financing Administration and his staff are, no doubt, well-meaning people, but they are not the elite intellects of society.

This is another reason why the two systems are not translatable. France has a royal monarchical tradition. Service to the State is the highest and most prestigious service, and the French routinely trade higher incomes for greater prestige in the civil service. Americans are the opposite.

In America, health care finance is largely done by senior doctors who have moved up to the role of administrators of hospitals and programs. To the French, this would be exceedingly strange. A senior doctor is the most skilled surgeon. Surely, he should be doing MORE operations, not less, and spending his time in the operating room with students, so he can pass along his superior skills. What the hell does he know about running financial programs and negotiating business contracts for equipment and janitor services. Indeed, why the hell would he even WANT to do that, given that he chose to be a medicine man and not an administrator or businessman.
But that is French thinking, where everyone is a specialist.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I don't think the original poster was missing the point. The French health system is terrific, and has the same or better results across the board than the American system, and it costs 55% LESS than the American system. It's simply better.

Now, can the AMERICANS learn from the French here?
I am skeptical. I think that giving American civil servants that sort of power would be a recipe for calamity. America is not France, and France is not America, and it's not simply a difference in money, but in mindset. Now, if the American MILITARY were to run things, yes. Because that is comparable. The American professional military out of Annapolis and West Point have that level of professionalism and non-economic committment that the French out of the Civil Service School have. But could the Civil Service mindset be transplanted to America? God no! It's contrary to the American people's whole ethos. Can American-style employment-at-will doctrine be transplanted to France? God no! French bosses would turn the workplace into the tyranny that it used be in France before the labor laws.

"East is East, and West is West, and ne'er the twain shall meet." - Rudyard Kipling.


64 posted on 04/03/2006 3:02:43 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: corkoman

"Funny how the communist totalitarians are held in great esteem while the fascist totalitarians are abomination.
Communists snicker at the pathetic body count that the fascists were able to roll-up. No beats the communists at murdering millions with very little complaints in the media.
Funny how that works."

It depends on the context of the country, of course.
The Communists IN FRANCE were the only ones out there resisting the Nazis while the French Right was collaborating with them.
Of course Stalin and Lenin, et al, were butchers, but really, does one expect anything different from Russians?

The French Communists fought the Nazis while the Right cooperated with them to harness up the French workers for the Nazi war machine. That is the history of France, and the reference point that the French really care about.

So, within FRANCE, there is a different dynamic. You had the military and the French right go over to the Fascists and become fascist. And you had the French Communists resist until 1944. Once the Americans were ashore and the Germans were on the run, everyone in the country was a "resistant".

Nobody was ever really fooled by this. There remained the truth, which was that the Communists fought the enemy, while the corporatists and the French Right collaborated with them. French Jews have always been very far to the Left, and supportive of the Communists IN FRANCE, and this is why.

This was all within living memory, and many politicians constructed histories for themselves in World War II. The French men of the Right who really resisted, for the most part were over with de Gaulle and were military. La Resistance IN France, at least in 1941, 42 and 43, was Communist. The Right was operating the factories and deporting the Jews.

Other things went on elsewhere in the world, but obviously what Communists did in Russia or China is not relevant in France. To the French, what matters is what the French Communists did, and what French Communists did was fight Nazis, and fight French fascists, and save Jews (many of whom then became Communists).

Cleary the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was a different thing, but that's a faraway foreign country. Within France, the Communists emerged from World War II as having been the true heroes WITHIN France during the war.

Communists in France might have had totalitarian ideals, but they never held power in France. They fought Nazis. Fascist totalitarians DID hold power in France, and Frenchmen enslaved and murdered Frenchmen, as the government, in service of those ideals of the hard Right.

Therefore, OF COURSE Communism has a better reputation in France than Fascism does. The Communists were national heroes. The Fascists were traitors.

You say "No-one beats the Communists at murdering millions". The French Communist Party didn't "murder millions". French Communists killed NAZIS. French FASCISTS killed Frenchmen of all stripes.

You can't tar the French Communist Party with the murders of the Russian Communist Party. It's like saying "No one beats lynching black people like whites." Too broad a brush. When did the Italians ever lynch black people? They're white.
When did the French Communists murder anybody?

Is it guilt by association?
Why is that? Because the Soviet Union was big but France is relatively small, and therefore the French Communists were simply obedient vassals of Russia? Is that how it works with French Communists? Just like French people of the right have always been lock-step obedient vassals of America?

Not to put too fine a point on it, Russia is the Arkansas of Europe. France is the New York of Europe. The Russians had a Communist party that behaved barbarically - what can one really expect of Russians? The French had a Communist Party that behaved like Frenchmen. Americans, locked in their Cold War mindset, paint with that broad brush, but the fact remains that French Communists were heroes of World War II, and the French Right were the traitors. Nothing that went on in Russia or China, which had nothing to do with France or French Communist, detracts from the French Communist Resistance.


65 posted on 04/03/2006 6:55:44 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: syncked

"You started this argument with the notion that we "anglo-saxons" were angry at France for not following our model. Assuming we think our model is superior(and we know it is) why would we want to force it upon you and cause ourselves extra competition?"

That is fair.
Most of the posts about France are of the genre of snickering at what is perceived as a train wreck.

So, the only possible answer, really, is to just continue and see as events unfold in the world.


66 posted on 04/03/2006 7:10:04 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

I'm sure glad French Communists never killed anybody because that would be bad. /s


67 posted on 04/04/2006 8:49:20 AM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken.)
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To: higgmeister

French Communists killed Nazis.
They did not collaborate at all.
That's what places them among the French heroes of World War II.
The French know this.

The French Right divided, and the larger part collaborated with the Nazis.
The French know this too.
That's why corporatism and the Right is more suspect in France than the Communists and the Left are.

You pointed out what you perceive to be a double standard in the French treatment of Communists and Fascists. But there is no double standard. Communists fought hard for France and did not mass murder French people. Fascists governed Vichy France and operated France as an enslaved economy in the service of the Third Reich.

The French don't compare the two, because there's nothing to compare. The French Communists were the good guys. The French Fascists were the bad guys. There isn't any equivalence or equivocating between the two positions.
Of course, therefore, Communists in France had a great deal more prestige coming out of World War II than the corporatist Right. The French Communists were national heroes, full stop. The corporatist Right were murderous traitors, full stop.
In France, in World War II, Communists = Good Guys fighting for France. Right Wing Fascists = Bad Guys fighting for Hitler.
The comparison could not be more stark.

Why do you suppose French Jews practically as a class were very pro-Communist in and following World War II? Is it because Jews are stupid idiots? Or is it because the Jews saw, correctly, that the French Communists were fighting the good fight against the French Fascists who were with the Germans?

There isn't anything to be sarcastic about.
Yeah, it sure would be bad if the French Communists had engaged in violent repression of French people. If they had, that would have sharply balanced the equation, and they wouldn't have been heroes of World War II.
But they DIDN'T, and that's the point.
The Communists fought AGAINST Hitler.
The Corportatists fought FOR Hitler.
It is as simple and as stark as that.
And that's why Communism enjoyed prestige in France, and even those people (like me) who realize that their economic ideas are hopeless recognize that they were brave and fierce defenders of France.
It's why Fascism and Corporatism are much more despised in France. It was a substantial portion of the Right who were the quislings. So the Right's legacy in France coming out of World War II was partly of resistance at the end (De Gaulle), but mostly of cooperating with Hitler and then pretending not to have done so after the war.
The Communists were patriots, full stop.

Today, everybody knows that capitalist economics are the way forward, and the Communist economic agenda cannot work.

But there remains, among the old, the residual loyalty to the Communists because they were the vast majority of organized loyalists to France fighting for France in France during the darkest years of the occupation.

Americans hate Communists full stop, for their ideology.
The French reject Communist economic ideology, but CAN'T hate the French Communists, because the French Communists were the heroes of World War II, the ones WITHIN France who fought for France. The Right sold the country out.


68 posted on 04/04/2006 9:34:59 AM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13
Nothing that went on in Russia or China, which had nothing to do with France or French Communist, detracts from the French Communist Resistance.

You seem to ignore the égalité of the French from from 1789 especially up to The Paris Commune in 1871, Marx's analysis at the time, or Lenin's exile and study of the The Paris Commune. The French have been very bloody in the cause of Socialism. I don't think France can divorce itself from the other Communist blood-lust that sprang from it and bloomed all over the world such as Pol Pot became a communist and joined the French Communist Party, etc.

French Communists vs. French Fascists are only two factions of Socialist vying for political power.

Laissez-faire

69 posted on 04/04/2006 9:49:16 AM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken.)
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To: Vicomte13

"The Communists IN FRANCE were the only ones out there resisting the Nazis while the French Right was collaborating with them."

Er, no. I beg to disagree here.

As John Lukacs says in his book "The Last European War" the first resistance movements were organized on patriotic grounds, not political ones, by right-wing groups. De Gaulle was certainly not a Communist, and many of those who joined him in the Free French Forces or in the Resistance were not Communists either.

As for Communists, THEY started opposing what they saw as a capitalistic war between the French and German peoples, and they kept accusing the French RIght to have devious plans to bring Germany and the Soviet Union - then best buddies, let's keep this in mind - on a collision course.

In autumn, 1940, at the height of the Communists-Nazis honeymoon, three leaders from the Communist Party (which had been outlawed by the legitimate right-winf French government) asked the German Gross Paris command for an authorization to publish "L'Humanité", their newspaper again, under German supervision.

Sure, lots of French Communists tore their party card in half in august 1939 when the Soviet Union signed a very profitable pact with Nazi Germany, a pact that ensured Germany would be able to attack Poland with Soviet help, and France without having to fear a second front. No doubt these honest people, justifiably outraged, joined the resistance movements.

And sure, lots of Communists entered the Resistance AFTER Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, when they were asked to do so by STalin. The very same people who opposed the war in 1939, sabotaged French armament factories in 1939-1940 and sometimes deserted (like Communist Party leader Maurice Thorez), the very people who could not be made to fight for France would rather fight for the Soviet Union.

As for Vichy, while it certainly attracted a very right-wing crowd that loathed the Republic and everything it stood for, let's also remember that it was a natural home for a man like Jacques Doriot, who advocated a complete co-belligerency of Vichy France at Nazi Germany's side, and was himself, surprise, a former Communist.


70 posted on 04/04/2006 10:10:38 AM PDT by Atlantic Friend (Cursum Perficio)
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To: Vicomte13; Atlantic Friend
France also gave the World this man that stands far above most men before or after.

The Law - Frédéric Bastiat

It is a pity they didn't listen to him in his time.

Communist or Fascist, mongrel dogs will fight among themselves. They are the same dogs so it doesn't impress me much that some French Communists killed some French Fascists.

71 posted on 04/04/2006 12:21:08 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken.)
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To: higgmeister

http://bastiat.org/fr/la_loi.html


72 posted on 04/04/2006 12:24:23 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken.)
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To: higgmeister
Existence, Facultés, Assimilation — en d'autres termes, Personnalité, Liberté, Propriété, — voilà l'homme!

Non Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

73 posted on 04/04/2006 12:27:03 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken.)
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To: Vicomte13
Franchement, I cannot let all this pass without a little commentary. France is not a country of personal freedom:

A) freedom of speech does not exist (hate speech laws, anyone? Ask Brigitte Bardot); note also that newspapers are funded by the government, there is no truly free press in France (instead, the government "ensures diversity of the press" by ensuring that papers can't fail by subsidizing them heavily). The irony there is that it's far more expensive to buy a paper in France than in the US...

B) The government controls 53% of the economy, has enacted extremely rigid labor laws which make it nearly impossible to become an entrepreneur and make it illegal to work at more than one full-time job. (note Vicomte (and God almighty, how I hate royalists---believing in superiority based on accident of birth, although I suspect you must be a Gaullist)-- in the US, most of the people who work at more than a full-time job do it by choice, either to gain enough to achieve a certain dream, or to get a new venture off the ground).

C) Taxes are so confiscatory and regulation so onerous that none of your personal capital is truly your own. Don't believe me? Try evicting a non-paying tenant in France. You will still pay your mortgage, but the tenant doesn't have to pay you and you can't make them leave. There's always a way to be allowed to stay---get pregnant, become unemployed, you name it. Taxes are so ridiculously heavy that the black market is the thriving part of the economy in France. Polish plumbers were the latest bugaboo of the French, not because they'd displace legitimate French plumbers, but because those French plumbers would lose their lucrative under-the-table payments. Domestic workers were so notoriously paid under the table that the government had to come up with a freakishly byzantine tax incentive structure to get people to pay legally. French employees have very low salaries because they don't want to pay the taxes on salary, so they get paid "in nature" instead---with paid-for vacations, cars, etc., which the government approves of because it bases medical benefits payments on salary and would have to pay out more on higher salaries. Don't even start with the series of CDD (temp) jobs with which many French are stuck---because no one wants to hire anyone they cannot fire. The country is reaching SOL time, but refuses to acknowledge the need for reform, something the Germans have at least learned.

Per your latest comment, Fascists and Communists are merely two sides of the same coin (although the communists are still going strong in France)---giving up personal control of your life to the government is common to both, just as it is common to current French society. Given your obvious deficiency of understanding on matters economic, there are some French authors with whom you must be sadly unfamiliar, including one of the most brilliant: Frédéric Bastiat (see here). Seriously, the French model is fated to collapse, just as the Soviet Union was fated to collapse, because the economic model is simply untenable. Not surprising that the French understanding is so skewed when even the so-called "right-wing parties" in France are far to the left of the left parties in the rest of Europe. Check out the chart in the current issue of "L'Expansion" for yourself if you don't believe me.

The young are protesting because they are fearful of globalization, fearful of uncertainty and fearful of risk, period. You have obviously been too long out of France to have your finger on the pulse anymore. It is a country run as a nanny state for its infantilised citizens (see La Grande Nurserie : En finir avec l'infantilisation des français). And I say all of this as someone who is very very worried about the state of France and who has a stake in seeing it succeed.

74 posted on 04/04/2006 3:15:06 PM PDT by austinTparty
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To: Vicomte13

"To be a Muslim, of the sort that threatens the country, requires actual belief."

So a rioter yelling "Allah Ahkbar" while throwing a rock or burning a few cars in one night(multiplied several times and in 16 French cities) is no real threat to the present govenment? Were all the fomentors of the 1789 revolution students of Voltaire and Rousseau, or were they the downtrodden peasantry?


75 posted on 04/04/2006 3:36:49 PM PDT by syncked
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To: austinTparty

So you believe.

But I look and see French companies functioning and succeeding in sector after sector.

I do not think France will change, much.
I do not think France will collapse.
I do think that the US is headed for a sharper and more terrible set of corrections, and that an excess of debt will fall like a souffle owing to a few key developments, such as the inexorable march away from the dollarization of energy purchases.

But we shall see.
I am well content to see the CPE effort collapse. It is the wrong way to go about doing it.


76 posted on 04/04/2006 6:32:13 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: syncked

The great line that divides a French manifestation from an American, or French revolutionary, riot, is whether or not people get killed.

Two weeks of demonstrations, property damage, but only one man killed, by accident. That is neither a riot nor a revolution, nor is it the way that Muslims behave. Muslim extremists kill people, lots of people. French demonstrators burn things and make noise, but do not kill people.

The Beurs behaved like French, not like Muslims.


77 posted on 04/04/2006 6:34:43 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

good post


78 posted on 04/04/2006 6:36:36 PM PDT by dennisw (If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles-Sun Tzu)
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To: Vicomte13
Alcatel about to merge with Lucent, since 1990 has acquired various North American companies: Spatial Wireless,Rockwell Technologies, DSC, Xylan, Packet Engines, Assured Access, Newbridge, iMagicTV, TiMetra, eDial ; giving Alcatel a strong U.S. and Canadian presence. Alcatel has its North American headquarters in Plano (the former Rockwell & DSC campus), and R&D operations in Ottawa, Mountain View, Petaluma, Saint John, Calabasas, and Raleigh.

I am very familiar with the former Rockwell/Collins Division equipment, the DSC (Digital Switch Corp.) equipment and of course Newbridge Digital Access systems.

Alcatel rivals any of the International Corporations.

{I bet they avoid home-base like the plague when they want any work done)

79 posted on 04/04/2006 8:33:23 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken.)
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To: austinTparty; Vicomte13; Atlantic Friend
AustinT, I suspect most Frenchmen have never heard of Frédéric Bastiat.

The crime of Socialism.

80 posted on 04/04/2006 8:40:40 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken.)
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To: Vicomte13
It is not what *I* believe... it is well known within the country among most politicians and chefs d'entreprise that the country is reaching an untenable position. If you don't believe me, perhaps M. Balladur's words will provoke your interest:

« Personne ne peut plus croire que nos institutions fonctionnent bien (...) Notre régime politique apparaît tantôt cadenassé, tantôt instable » (No one can believe anymore that our institutions function well (...) Our political regime sometimes appears deadlocked, sometimes unstable)

The French companies that are doing well are doing well because of their activities OUTSIDE of France, others are subsisting merely because of protectionism. The best and brightest are leaving by droves, many to England, some to China, and myriad other countries because of the stifling regulatory burden on initiative. In your expat nostalgia, you are seeing the country as you want to believe it is, not as it truly is.

But I will agree with you that the CPE was an utterly wrong way to tackle it. Sweeping reform across all ages is necessary. And there are many people willing to hire employees that won't hire under a CDI and prefer to turn away contracts, rather than have an employee they can't get rid of. If you believe everything is really fine inside of French commerce, you really are willfully blind.

81 posted on 04/05/2006 4:37:42 AM PDT by austinTparty
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To: austinTparty

" it is well known within the country among most politicians and chefs d'entreprise that the country is reaching an untenable position. If you don't believe me, perhaps M. Balladur's words will provoke your interest:"

Why, yes, it certainly IS well known, to the French business right, that they want things organized their way, which would be along a much more American line, with far greater power of command for capital, and far less recourse for labor.
And certainly the French business right and politicians will argue, therefore, that the economic system is collapsing, etc., etc., and that everything will fall apart if they are not given the discretionary authority and power of command they want, ASAP.
But they are wrong. It is not true. It is their desire, but the rest of France isn't buying it. And yet, the French economy continues to grow, and 90.3% of the population continues to be employed.

This viewpoint: that France must "liberalize" in a distinctly Anglo-Saxon direction, by attacking job security of workers, particularly, and not other things (such as business corruption, for instance), is at Waterloo right now, with Villepin leading the charge.

Mme Royal will have other ideas, and implement them.


82 posted on 04/05/2006 7:51:26 AM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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