(January 28, 2013)
[Please include your first and last names, and your city and state of residence. Thank you.]
French Gloom and Doom
Hey Mr. d'Aymery:
Is the word optimism still part of the American lexicon? Because here, there are talks about erasing the word from our dictionaries. According to the latest polls, which I got from an article in Le Monde ("Les crispations alarmantes de la société française," January 24, 2013), half of the French people believe that the country is going through an ineluctable decline. Three out of five feel that globalization is a threat and France must protect herself from the invading economic hordes. About 90% think that the economic decline is either moderate (35%) or drastic (55%). Our culture is viewed by 63% of the people as losing ground in the world. Worse, people do not believe in our political system any longer. Over 80% think that the politicians are acting in their own personal interests (which they do) and 62% feel that these policians are totally corrupted. The democratic system does not represent the interest of 72% of the population. Our Muslim sisters and brothers are rejected by 74% of the people. They view Islam as an intolerant, fundamentalist religion. There are too many foreigners in the country according to 70% of the people polled. "We do not feel at home like before," they claim. Worry and anxiety, fear of the "other," pessimism and catastrophism are profoundly permeating the entire society.
What's terrifying is that 87% want a "strong man" in power to re-establish authority and order in the country -- a dictator, no less -- as if it will solve the deep structural crisis. Pauvre France !
Paris, France - January 26, 2013
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