Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fear Of The Future


Still on the topic of Claude Reichman, he recently published an article in which he discusses the fear of homelessness besetting many French people today. The article, translated by Charles Henry, appears at Covenant Zone and begins with these words:

One poll chases away another. Yet the one that has just been published by the Emmaüs society deserves inscribing in the memory, as it is a condemnation for France: 48% of people polled believe it possible for them to become homeless one day! This is what has become, in only thirty years, a nation that once was, and had a calling to remain, one of the richest in the world. Thirty years of socialist-communism and technocratic management has ruined and has plunged the nation’s inhabitants into anxiety and despair.

This is the genuine challenge of the forthcoming years in France, and it is not the 2007 presidential election that offers the slightest chance to respond to it. Go ahead and propose to millions of French that worry about becoming homeless to comtemplate your image, as Mme Royal does, or to satisfy oneself of a”quiet rupture”, as M. Sarkozy proclaims! We can guess their reaction with little effort. And this will inevitably manifest itself at the ballot box. Which is why the electoral predictions for 2007 hold no sense whatsoever.

Much as the presidential election will certainly be only one of the episodes in the great French crisis which unrolls before our eyes and whose effects will stagger the economic, social and political landscape.

Read the rest here.

As food for thought, you might read also the comments by Dag and Truepeers about the possible aftermath of any upheaval that may occur in France.

I often think that there will not be a violent upheaval after all. That we will just...peter out. But if there is violence, how can anyone be prepared for what will come after?

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