A few days ago, I noted the concerns of our friends at EURSOC regarding the cheerful crowing at the extremes
- notably, on the part of France's motley crew of "anti-capitalist" outfits - over the victory of the "no". I indicated that I was not so worried by the ex-post lefty posturing and offered cryptically that "France's silent majority has spoken". Ivan Rioufol of Le Figaro
apparently agrees. In yesterday's installment of his invaluable weekly "notebook"
[link in French], he writes:
The diagnosis of the French sickness is starting out badly: it is not anti-liberalism that won a majority, as according to the incessant drumbeat of the leftist partisans of the "no". The rejection of a Europe that is "too liberal" appears to have motivated some 32% of "no" voters [according to a Harris poll published in the Tuesday edition of Libération]. With its 3000 participants rounded up specially for the occasion, the Carmagnole danced Sunday night at the Place de la Bastille shouldn't fool anybody. If there is something revolutionary about May 29, it is not to be found on the side of those who promise - one more time [in English in the original] - the Socialist paradise.... The movement is to be expected from the French themselves, who expressed themselves across party lines. They want to work, to enrich themselves, to be secure. And they are fed up.
But what is responsible for the massive unemployment that afflicts the country for 30 years now, for the colossal public debt, for the expatriation of wealth and talents, for the general depression? The "French social model": product of a post-War ideology of economic planning. Precisely the ideology of the old anti-capitalist left that is trying to appropriate the victory of the "no" ....
By having said "no" to their representatives, the French have shown that they no longer take orders and that they will judge by results. If decades of conditioning about the benefits of a planned economy have rendered some of them leery of capitalism, it is up to the politicians and the medias now, following the debate on Europe, to open this other debate....