Learning from France ’68

Featured image Anticipating the 50th anniversary of what the French euphemistically call “the events” of ’68, Professor Daniel Mahoney provided a retrospective assessment based on the work of Raymond Aron, Roger Scruton, and Pierre Manent in the Law & Liberty essay “France’s psychodrama of 1968.” Steve revisited the subject with Professor Mahoney last week in the podcast posted here. Rereading Professor Mahoney’s 2018 essay, I was most struck by this paragraph toward »

The Wuhan coronavirus in France and Austria

Featured image Looking at the latest Wuhan coronavirus numbers, some of the best news I see is from France. That country has been hard hit by the coronavirus. It ranks fifth in the world in deaths attributed to virus, just behind Spain. (I’m not counting China which almost certainly has more deaths than France, but reports fewer.) Per capita, France also ranks fifth, with more deaths than the U.S. However, things are »

Three approaches to reopening schools

Featured image Germany and France are set to reopen schools. However, the two nations are taking very different approaches. Germany is starting with two sets of students. Those about to move from primary school to secondary school and those about to take graduation/college entrance examinations will be the first back. Germany is still considering when other sets of students will be allowed to return. France will start with a much younger group »

Domestic violence soars due to lockdowns

Featured image French authorities report that domestic violence cases increased by more than 30 percent in the first week of France’s Wuhan coronavirus lockdown. In Paris, the percentage seems to have been even higher. According to Christophe Castaner, the French Interior Minister, there was a 36 percent increase in police intervention for cases of domestic violence in the City of Lights. Other nations have also experienced a significant rise in domestic violence »

Rando-Democracy Bites France

Featured image William Buckley famously said that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the phone book than by the faculty of Harvard University. I share the sentiment. But in France, an exercise in random democracy is not faring well. President Macron’s attempt to appease yellow-vest protesters has saddled him with radical ecological policy proposals likely to further damage the wobbling French economy. I don’t claim to understand »

Coronavirus Brings Out the Worst In France

Featured image The London Times reports from France. Even if we discount a bit for the fact that the British have often taken a jaundiced view of the French, the report is troubling: The wartime appetite for la délation — reporting wrongdoers to the authorities — has reappeared. In country towns, people are denouncing neighbours to the gendarmerie for breaching le confinement and leaving their homes too often. … Tempers are fraying »

Will soccer cause the coronavirus to spread to central France?

Featured image Italy is the European nation most affected by the coronavirus, so far. As of two days ago, more than 2,000 cases and seven deaths had been confirmed. Reportedly, a dozen towns, including Milan and Venice, have been placed on lockdown. Travel is permitted neither in nor out. Last Sunday, the two top-league soccer matches scheduled in northern Italy — one in Milan, the other in Bergamo — were postponed. Matches »

The French Sex Scandal

Featured image Historically, French voters have declined to look into the private lives of their politicians. Which, for the most part, has been just as well. But politics in France are currently being roiled by the withdrawal of Benjamin Griveaux, a close ally of President Macron, from his campaign for Mayor of Paris. [Adult content alert] Griveaux’s withdrawal was prompted by publication of a video of him masturbating. The London Times reports: »

Free Speech? Not In France

Featured image From France comes this disturbing headline: “French teenager in hiding after insulting Islam online.” Police have told a French teenager to go into hiding after she received death threats for insulting Islam. The 16-year-old has been advised to stay away from her lycée (sixth-form college) in southeast France after calls on the internet for her to be killed, raped or attacked. Great police protection! A 16-year-old girl is threatened with »

France Paralyzed by Strikes, Violence

Featured image France is a country where, politically speaking, no good deed goes unpunished. Thus, protests against President Macron’s plan (as yet unspecified) to deal with that country’s unsustainable pension obligations have brought France to a near-standstill. Far-left activists attacked police and started fires in central Paris today as protests against President Macron’s plans for pension reform descended into violence. Officers came under a hail of bricks and other objects from extremists »

Trump and Macron, a bromance renewed?

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about what I called “Macron’s stunt” — the high-level meeting between French and Iranian officials that occurred while France was hosting the G-7 conference. I viewed the meeting as an affront to President Trump. Not because Trump doesn’t want France and Iran to talk, but because holding talks in the midst of the summit, and without Trump’s prior approval, seemed like grandstanding and an attempt to show »

Macron’s Iran stunt

Featured image French president Emmanuel Macron invited Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, to Biarritz, France, where the G-7 summit is convened. Zarif reportedly met for several hours with Macron, his foreign minister, and diplomats from Great Britain and Germany. Macron’s stunt didn’t just catch President Trump off guard. At least some leaders of other G-7 nations apparently weren’t told in advance about Zarif’s visit, either. Macron disagrees with the Trump administration’s »

About that Fourth of July parade

Featured image Steve has heaped deserved ridicule on the left’s hysterical reaction to President Trump’s decision to roll out tanks and other weaponry for a Fourth of July parade in Washington, D.C. As Steve noted, Larry Tribe sees a “chilling resemblance to the days before the Tiananmen Square massacre. Joy Reed thinks Trump is threatening his critics with tanks. But the inspiration for Trump’s parade isn’t China or any other dictatorship. The »

Yellow vest thuggery continues in Paris

Featured image France’s Yellow Vest movement began as a grassroots protest movement with legitimate grievances, especially one over a government tax on fuel. For quite some time, though, the movement has been dominated by assorted thugs, including political extremists and anarchists, who get high on smashing windows and damaging property. On Wednesday, May Day, the thugs once again took to the street, and not peaceably. In one incident, demonstrators entered the Pitie »

Leftists upset about donations to rebuild Notre Dame

Featured image Within hours of the fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral, donors pledged more than $1 billion to restore this magnificent, iconic structure and place of worship. So reports the Washington Post. In the same article, the Post also reports on a backlash against this amazing generosity. A leader of the Yellow Vest movement says that if donors can give so much money to rebuild Notre Dame, “they »

I can’t picture Paris without Notre Dame Cathedral [UPDATED]

Featured image I can’t put into words how sad I am that Notre Dame Cathedral is burning. It’s my favorite building not just in Paris but in all of the places I’ve traveled to. At NRO, Jonah Goldberg, David French, and Marlo Safi do a good job expressing what the Cathedral means and why the fire is so tragic. I feel particularly bad for those who never visited Notre Dame. Those of »

The Champs Elysees becomes a war zone again

Featured image Today’s Yellow Vest protesting in Paris produced violence on a scale not seen since the early days of the movement. AP reports: French yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires, smashed up luxury stores in Paris and clashed with police Saturday in the 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron. Large plumes of smoke rose above the rioting on Paris’ landmark Champs-Elysees avenue, and a mother and her child »