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#268919 - 08/11/2005 00:59 Is France unique?
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
I have heard a few friends remark to the effect that France is getting its comeuppance, that a country/government that affected airs of "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" moral superiority -- and especially with respect to France's relationship to the U.S.A. -- is finally enduring some overdue reality.

As much as I hate the phenomenon of mindless "Freedom Fries" jingoism, I think I have noticed the occasional element of holier-than-though political behavior coming out of political France. Given France's abysmal performance in places like Rwanda in the 90s, I would say that any such moral snobbery is ill-placed. So maybe this is some sort of comeuppance. It's not like alienated youth in the banlieu should be news to the French body politic.

But the specifics of France aside, the question on my mind is whether France, among the nations of Europe, is unique. Could the events of the past 11 days occur in another country? Or several other countries?
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#268920 - 08/11/2005 01:45 Re: Is France unique? [Re: jimhogan]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
Personally, I think that any place you have those levels of unemployment you've got a good chance for some good old civil unrest.

-Zeke
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#268921 - 08/11/2005 02:54 Re: Is France unique? [Re: jimhogan]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
I'm reading through the news now, but can't figure out: Why are people attacking schools, of all things? And parked cars, for that matter? It must be sheer frustration that drives people to attack things which have done them no wrong.
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#268922 - 08/11/2005 03:31 Re: Is France unique? [Re: jimhogan]
Cybjorg
addict

Registered: 23/12/2002
Posts: 652
Loc: Winston Salem, NC
Don't worry, France will surrender soon enough.

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#268923 - 08/11/2005 07:18 Re: Is France unique? [Re: Cybjorg]
furtive
old hand

Registered: 14/08/2001
Posts: 886
Loc: London, UK
Quote:
Don't worry, France will surrender soon enough.


Harsh...



























...but fair
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#268924 - 08/11/2005 08:10 Re: Is France unique? [Re: jimhogan]
schofiel
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/06/1999
Posts: 2992
Loc: Wareham, Dorset, UK
Easily.
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#268925 - 08/11/2005 08:26 Re: Is France unique? [Re: schofiel]
furtive
old hand

Registered: 14/08/2001
Posts: 886
Loc: London, UK
Indeed it has happened in areas of the UK such as Bradford - although it has not spread countrywide like it has in France.
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#268926 - 08/11/2005 08:32 Re: Is France unique? [Re: FireFox31]
schofiel
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/06/1999
Posts: 2992
Loc: Wareham, Dorset, UK
Exactly the same thing happened in the UK in the 80's.
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#268927 - 08/11/2005 08:36 Re: Is France unique? [Re: furtive]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4153
Loc: Cambridge, England
Quote:
Harsh... but fair.

Mmm, it must have occurred to both Sarkozy and the rioters that Paris has a long and noble history of deposing hated governments, or at least hated government ministers, by rioting in the streets. A Bluffer's Guide To Paris starts its history section with the great line "Paris has a long and wonderful history, unwinding quite slowly, at a rate of about three revolutions per century", and makes the point that one reason Haussmann's Paris is so beautiful is that the boulevards were deliberately made wide enough to charge cavalry down, and too wide to barricade.

Peter

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#268928 - 08/11/2005 08:36 Re: Is France unique? [Re: schofiel]
furtive
old hand

Registered: 14/08/2001
Posts: 886
Loc: London, UK
See also: LA Riots in 1992
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#268929 - 08/11/2005 12:50 Re: Is France unique? [Re: jimhogan]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2597
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
I can easily see this happening in Belgium as well. More specific in cities like Antwerp and/or Brussels where also a lot of immigrants live. There already have been some small riots in the past few nights, as per France's example. (on a -for now at least- smaller scale)
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#268930 - 08/11/2005 12:57 Re: Is France unique? [Re: furtive]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
In the USA this type of event happens every time a sports team loses (or wins) a major title. Nothing justifies the wanton destruction of property, but at least it's not sparked because of a soccer game.

There's more reason to revolt in the US right now than likely anywhere in Europe, yet the US public continues to bend over to take it in the rear from the Bush administration. Is being shipped off to Iraq a suitable outlet for the frustration and anger in today's youth?

France may very well have a lot of issues in the past decades to warrant shame, suspicion and objection, but I don't find anything admirable in the gloating I see State-Side recently. Do people in the US react compassionately only to natural disasters? If it were technically possible, I'd have speculated the hurricanes were all a product of the MIB (or at least Halliburton of other contractors) and served as terrific smoke-screens.

Pot, Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

Bruno
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#268931 - 08/11/2005 13:15 Re: Is France unique? [Re: schofiel]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5622
Loc: London, UK
Quote:
Exactly the same thing happened in the UK in the 80's.


Or Oldham in 2001, but on a smaller scale.
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#268932 - 08/11/2005 13:24 Re: Is France unique? [Re: FireFox31]
bbowman
enthusiast

Registered: 12/05/2002
Posts: 205
Loc: Virginia, USA
It reminds me of that game "Ceaser" where you had to build a city, but if you didn't make the infrastructure right and could not provide enough employment, the people would riot and burn parts of the city down. It was crazy difficult at times to keep everything in balance. I watched as many of my precious cities went up in flames!

I wouldn't know if leading a city/country is much similar, but logic tellls me that it is not a straight forward process.

I'm glad I'm not a politician/leader.
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#268933 - 08/11/2005 13:27 Re: Is France unique? [Re: hybrid8]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Quote:
In the USA this type of event happens every time a sports team loses (or wins) a major title.
I disagree. I lived in San Antonio when the Spurs won, and while there was much celebration no one did anything like set fire to a bus or any of the other things going on in France. And if by *every time* you mean *most of the time*, I'm not aware of many sports fan reactions that are anywhere near what France is experiencing right now.

Quote:

There's more reason to revolt in the US right now than likely anywhere in Europe, yet the US public continues to bend over to take it in the rear from the Bush administration.
There is very little reason to revolt in the US. Even if I give you that things are dire and the Bush administration is evil, etc., we can vote him out in three years. And while popular opinion may not be with Bush right now, the things he clearly stood for (war in Iraq being one) were in plain vew of the people of the US (the ones who'd be revolting) who voted him in. Has Bush really changed so much in only a year? Polls going down is one thing- taking up arms and revolting is something else entirely and I doubt Bush's credibility has fallen so low with the people who elected him that they'd feel such a measure was necessary. For better or worse, the US system is working and is self-correcting- I doubt a revolution could change things any quicker than an election, nor do the people seem to feel that such drastic steps are necessary.

Note that I am not commenting on the happenings in France at all- only what you've said about the US.
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Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#268934 - 08/11/2005 14:04 Re: Is France unique? [Re: peter]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Quote:
and makes the point that one reason Haussmann's Paris is so beautiful is that the boulevards were deliberately made wide enough to charge cavalry down, and too wide to barricade.

And no more cobblestones since 1968.

A couple of posts here I'd like respond to, but time for work
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#268935 - 08/11/2005 15:40 Re: Is France unique? [Re: FireFox31]
Mataglap
enthusiast

Registered: 11/06/2003
Posts: 384
Quote:
Why are people attacking schools, of all things?


The schools do a lot to uphold and reinforce the class structure in France.

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#268936 - 08/11/2005 15:50 Re: Is France unique? [Re: furtive]
blitz
addict

Registered: 20/11/2001
Posts: 455
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Don't worry, France will surrender soon enough.


At least they won't have to learn a different language this time.

"France out of France Now!"

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#268937 - 08/11/2005 15:53 Re: Is France unique? [Re: JeffS]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
There is very little reason to revolt in the US.


To continue this tangent, I've often looked at the recent civil unrests in Europe -- Yugoslavia comes specifically to mind -- and wondered how these people who formerly lived next to each other fairly peaceably for generations could suddenly come to the point of burning their neighbors' houses down.

Now that George Bush is in power here in the US and I see unmitigated support for him despite the fact that he has done more to ruin my country than any other thing I can put a single term around, every time I see a "W" bumper sticker, a nearly unbridled hatred wells up in my stomach and heart, and I wonder about Yugoslavia less and less.
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#268938 - 08/11/2005 16:55 Re: Is France unique? [Re: Ezekiel]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
Quote:
Personally, I think that any place you have those levels of unemployment you've got a good chance for some good old civil unrest.


I keep thinking one reason for the high unemployment might be all the holiday time off they get. I mean, why would Wal-mart want to expand to France and pay for those great benefits.

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#268939 - 08/11/2005 17:22 Re: Is France unique? [Re: hybrid8]
blitz
addict

Registered: 20/11/2001
Posts: 455
Loc: Texas
Quote:
There's more reason to revolt in the US right now


Revolt would be correctly called treason. I don't know about Canadian law but it is pretty much frowned upon in the US.

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#268940 - 08/11/2005 17:34 Re: Is France unique? [Re: blitz]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Our administration would have you believe that dissent is treason, too.
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#268941 - 08/11/2005 17:56 Re: Is France unique? [Re: wfaulk]
blitz
addict

Registered: 20/11/2001
Posts: 455
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Our administration would have you believe that dissent is treason, too.


Why don't you go test it? Go outside and say anything you want to (in a peaceful manner that does not advocate overthrowing the US Government). I'll give you ten to one odds you will not be arrested.


Edited by blitz (08/11/2005 17:57)

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#268942 - 08/11/2005 18:38 Re: Is France unique? [Re: blitz]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5622
Loc: London, UK
Quote:
Revolt would be correctly called treason.


Depends who wins.
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#268943 - 08/11/2005 18:42 Re: Is France unique? [Re: JeffS]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
things he clearly stood for (war in Iraq being one) were in plain vew of the people of the US ... who voted him in.

Jeff, you have succinctly defined why we "Bush haters" feel so strongly the way we do.

Plain view? Hardly. Bush LIED to me, to you, to everybody in America to persuade gullible people to endorse his unwarranted, illegal war so that he was able to proceed with it, branding any and all dissenters as upatriotic.

There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no connection between the events of 9-11 and Iraq. There were no...

[Stop. take a deep breath. Om mani padme hum....] Okay. I will not indulge in my anti-Bush diatribe. It's all been said before, and I'm not going to convince you or anybody else to change their mind.

But to stay on topic in this thread... could it happen in other countries? In just a few short years you are going to see it happening here, on a scale beyond your imagining. We are heading towards a global economic collapse the like of which the world has never seen, hastened in no small part by the Bush administration's ludicrous deficit spending policies. I want you to contemplate 30% unemployment, a tax base so shrunken that people will lose their homes because property taxes will skyrocket as they will be the only source of revenue left to the government and even that will not be enough to maintain essential government services like police... all this happening in a country where there are more handguns than there are people...

I can't talk about this any more now, it upsets me too much just thinking about it. I'm the oldest person on this bbs, I've seen a lot of things happen in my lifetime, and I'm telling you now, I am scared shitless.



tanstaafl.
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#268944 - 08/11/2005 19:04 Re: Is France unique? [Re: blitz]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Quote:
I'll give you ten to one odds you will not be arrested.

Next problem: not even 1 in 10 bystanders will care one way or the other.
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#268945 - 08/11/2005 19:09 Re: Is France unique? [Re: Roger]
blitz
addict

Registered: 20/11/2001
Posts: 455
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Depends who wins.


Heh. Sorry about the 1776 thing.

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#268946 - 08/11/2005 19:10 Re: Is France unique? [Re: tanstaafl.]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Quote:
Jeff, you have succinctly defined why we "Bush haters" feel so strongly the way we do.
Oh, I've no doubt. Iím not crazy about Bush and havenít been for a while, but Iím certain if I were in your shoes Iíd be completely ticked off. Because you live in a country that has by majority endorsed a candidate and policy you despise. I get that- but the system is working, just not in your favor. Fortunately for you, it looks like the majority of the country is agreeing with you now, which means you might be able to rectify the situation in just a few short years.

Quote:
Plain view? Hardly. Bush LIED to me, to you, to everybody in America to persuade gullible people to endorse his unwarranted, illegal war so that he was able to proceed with it, branding any and all dissenters as upatriotic.
What I meant was that for THIS term his attitude toward Iraq was in plain view. It seems to me all of the "lying" done about Iraq was done in the first term and it didn't upset the collective nation enough to vote him out. Like it or not, the American people endorsed continuing Bush's plan in Iraq by voting for him. I donít know of any agenda heís pursued in his second term that differs from how he ran in the second election. Yet the collective ďweĒ voted him in. Thatís what I meant by ďplain viewĒ.

Quote:
We are heading towards a global economic collapse the like of which the world has never seen, hastened in no small part by the Bush administration's ludicrous deficit spending policies. I want you to contemplate 30% unemployment, a tax base so shrunken that people will lose their homes because property taxes will skyrocket as they will be the only source of revenue left to the government and even that will not be enough to maintain essential government services like police... all this happening in a country where there are more handguns than there are people...
I agree that government spending is ludicrous, but it isnít fair to blame Bush for it. Yes his administration has blown it on this front, but so have many whoíve gone before him. Democrats, Republican- it doesnít matter. We have deemed more things critically important than we can afford, so we are gong to crater economy to get them (and yes, war with Iraq is one of those things).

Isnít there a quote somewhere about the failure of Democracy being immanent once people realize they can vote themselves money?

But once again, this isnít Bush or his administration (though Iíll agree they contributed); it is a foundational problem with our country. We canít control ourselves.
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-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#268947 - 08/11/2005 19:18 Re: Is France unique? [Re: blitz]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Um, "have you believe" is an expression of desire, not fact. That said, the Bush administration strongly implies, if not outright states, the notion of "if you're not with us, you're against us" and that is all but "dissent is treason". They certainly seem to encourage that thought amongst their sheep.
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#268948 - 08/11/2005 19:24 Re: Is France unique? [Re: JeffS]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Quote:
It seems to me all of the "lying" done about Iraq was done in the first term and it didn't upset the collective nation enough to vote him out.


That's because there was a massive effort to keep the "truth about the lying" hidden until after the election. The Repbulican-controlled congress refused to move forward with Phase 2 of the investigation into pre-war intelligence failures, the part about how the intelligence was used. The fact that the Democrats didn't make a massive stink about this skulduggery makes me just as sick as the skulduggery itself, but I think it's disingenuous to say that the election was a validation of Bush's mandate just because the lying was done before election day. Had the investigation been allowed to proceed, there would have been much clearer evidence of wrongdoing, (things that are starting to come out now) and Bush would have lost all but the most devout of his followers at the polls.

It's all spilled milk, and I didn't mean to cherry pick this specific issue without going into the larger picture of this thread, but it really bothers me when the government gets points for being dishonest and hiding their skeletons in the closet effectively.
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