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March 28, 2006

In a changing world, France's young are looking backwards

Topics: International News

Has Europe become a place where the future feels like decline, and people envy their grandparents?

(The riots in France) ... may look like a student uprising anywhere on earth - willowy young students on one side, silver-haired politicians on the other. But take a look at the placards, listen to the shouted slogans. This is a reactionary revolution, demanding not change, but its opposite. The students want to turn back the clock to the France of their parents, and grandparents - to some golden age, when jobs were for life and the state took care of all ills. This is militant, car-burning nostalgia.

Meanwhile, more than a million demonstrators poured onto France's streets, and strikers shut down the Eiffel Tower and disrupted air, train and bus services yesterday in the largest nationwide protests so far

As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in the 1850s, after half-a-century of socialism in France, the French had become a nation of self-centered people, heedless of the greater good of society, intent only upon getting their prescribed government benefits, and prepared to endure any degree of despotism, so long as the benefits arrived.

Related: From the Right Truth - "The French youth who are protesting in the streets over labor laws really are no different than the illegal immigrants who are marching in the streets in America, they both want something they don't deserve."

Posted by Richard at March 28, 2006 10:44 PM

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