Friday, August 17, 2012

Why Is It?

This summer included a period in central France. Lovely part of the world. But yet again I was struck by how incredibly conservative the French are - regardless of whether they see themselves as Left, Right or indifferent. All change is seen as bad. There's a readiness to believe any kind of rubbish if it confirms their prejudices, so conspiracy theories flourish. The only Americans treated as having any kind of authority are Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and the like. The green religion continues to flourish, with any hint of scepticism treated as though it's a heresy funding directly by Big Oil interests. They all seem to hate fracking with a vengeance - but conveniently forget that France depends on nuclear more than anyone else in Europe.

'Conservatives' and 'socialists' alike are against free markets, free trade and globalisation. Facts are not allowed to intrude into discussion. And for a nation that seems to view politicians as cynical money-grubbers, there is a deep-seated statism that thinks more government is the answer to everything. And don't even ask about who's going to pay for all this government, because that will mark you down as an Anglo-Saxon apologist for the corporates that control the world.

And yet, for all that, they still manage a better health servive than we do...