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Dr. Evil... all of the above. I find myself very interested in the social welfare system in Europe, along with the immigration issues that France seems to have gotten involved in. I guess I am not so familiar with the latter in so much as to why it became such a huge issue last summer. While it did not get much air time in the USA (go figure) I could'nt walk away from it. Now with the student protests, France seems to be in a bit of 'a pickle'.

Germany seems to have started to deal with Its 'social welfare issues', is France resistant to change or is something else going on.

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I love the steel drum bit at the end of that tune :).

I took the opportunity a couple of years back to visit the offices of the Front National in Toulon, where they have a strong base, just to check it out. If they weren't such a scary outfit, it would have been downright comical. The receptionist was a very stiff, big-bouffanted lady who couldn't wait to load me down with all sorts of literature; her counterpart was a woman in her 60s who dropped in at 10 in the morning, piss-drunk, and proceeded to tell me, between hics and burps, what a wonderful tête nordique I had, and how, after she'd established my Irish background, she had a relative in Ireland who had been "displaced" for rabble-rousing (I can only imagine). Meanwhile, the receptionist, who'd been trying to convince me of the sophistication and refinement of the average NF supporter, managed to get really wound up, and kept trying to usher her friend out the door before she said anything else, all the while that the friend got closer and closer to puking all over the office (I let myself out before that could happen).

That's my lingering impression of what French racism looks like :).

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As an American it is difficult to relate the extent of the welfare systems of Europe. Our 'Right' would have us think that our sytem is way out of line as is. We as a nation are so far to the right everything else looks like socialism. I am upset that all to many of our poor fall through the old 'net'. It is with this in mind that I wonder to what degree are the 'students' in France out of line??? -n- #2 to if Europe/France seems to have this immigration problem-our they doing enough to protect their 'borders'?

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  • 3 weeks later...

:).

My vague sense of how the French can mobilise themselves around issues like labour rights is that they still keep an acute memory of all those fights alive; "1968" likely connotes images of people on the barricades, rather than sketched-out hippies, which has been the media-driven stereotype over here. They seem not to have that weird pride about being politically naive.

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With respect to the 'immigration' issue that is now taking place in the USA now, any body have a handle on what's going on. I believe in a secure border and yes we have been awful in creating a secure border but to me this really is'nt what's behind the present hoopla. I guess being from the 'east' coast I might be missing out on the issues. It just seems to have become a huge issue all of the sudden and I do not know why???

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I think immigration has always been an issue in the States - from the nativists like the Know-Nothings in the 19th c. through to people like Pat Buchanan today. What I find troubling is how his views are increasingly getting pulled to the centre (or how the centre is being pulled towards his views). And France, again, has these sorts of problems in spades; where the Left is strong is France, the Right is no less negligible.

Who knows what spikes issues like this, though. In part, people reason it away with threats to employment; in part, it's just human insecurity, paranoia, and fear of the unknown. I'm inclined to think it's usually more driven by the latter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know American politics can be hard to swallow, I can't even imagine continental Europe/France.

I am not a big fan off the (American) right but I fear our left. I believe in the slight redistribution of wealth (via income tax) but our left come across as socialists. I am not trying to sound 'trollish' with that last statement but higher rate of taxation for what purpose???

As for the Article, Dr. thanks it was a good read. The 'right' can be understood in so many different ways.

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I know American politics can be hard to swallow, I can't even imagine continental Europe/France.

I am not a big fan off the (American) right but I fear our left. I believe in the slight redistribution of wealth (via income tax) but our left come across as socialists.

Your left leans more right of centre compared to Canada's left. Socialist theories are nothing to fear either.

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Socialist theories are nothing to fear either.

yes they are. i'd run like hell.

So the next time you need to see a doctor and don't have to pay out of pocket, run like hell! Who needs it? ;)

Socialism is only a problem when it's tied to an end goal like communism (i.e. an inflexible, unreflexive political program based on shoddy social science). Otherwise, for me, it's synonymous with human compassion on a social scale.

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there's no way i could possibly wrap my head around someone thinking scrubbing the crack of a sidewalk with a toothbrush is gainful employment. let alone a society of people whose "contribution" is pre-ordained as to what the rest of the pack wants or needs, with little regard given to individualism or talent or creativity. nor (and no offense Marie Curie) would I ever want to understand any of it, I prefer to run in fear.

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Socialist theories are nothing to fear either.

yes they are. i'd run like hell.

So the next time you need to see a doctor and don't have to pay out of pocket' date=' run like hell! Who needs it? ;)

[/quote']

well doc, considering that it takes me a year and a half to see mine, sometimes i would consider paying!

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there's no way i could possibly wrap my head around someone thinking scrubbing the crack of a sidewalk with a toothbrush is gainful employment.

Then I guess we have completely different associations with the term, which probably obviates any real disagreement (I hope).

I saw in India people whose best shot at a livelihood was walking between the tracks at the train station with a bucket to collect all the shit from those people who handily ignored the "do not use the restroom while the train is in the station" signs. All I can imagine is that they had families to feed too, and that they just couldn't land that interview for, well, anything else.

I think if you want to discuss practical applications of socialist principles, it might be well to look at healthy examples of it, like Sweden, which is no doubt imperfect (what system is?), but certainly not irrational or frivolous.

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If I have no money because I'm one of the people that the system is stacked against, should I just die and get out of everybody's way? Tighten up the gene pool a little?

c'mon.. that's kind of a low blow and really not what I'm talking about. socialism and a welfare state that pulls from a few tenets of socialism are very different things.

edit to add: quote

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there's no way i could possibly wrap my head around someone thinking scrubbing the crack of a sidewalk with a toothbrush is gainful employment.

Then I guess we have completely different associations with the term' date=' which probably obviates any real disagreement (I hope).

I saw in India people whose best shot at a livelihood was walking between the tracks at the train station with a bucket to collect all the shit from those people who handily ignored the "do not use the restroom while the train is in the station" signs. All I can imagine is that they had families to feed too, and that they just couldn't land that interview for, well, anything else.

I think if you want to discuss practical applications of socialist principles, it might be well to look at healthy examples of it, like Sweden, which is no doubt imperfect (what system is?), but certainly not irrational or frivolous.

[/quote']

why only look at the healthy examples of socialism if we want to discuss pratical examples though? it would be best to look at the unhealthy examples and examine why it isn't working!!!

Sweden too, i think of any is a particularly odd example to study, considering it's history in eugenics and it's neutrality during WWII.

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