France's Perpetual Revolution

The left seems to have forgotten Marx's line about history repeating itself as tragedy and farce.

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The French have a long tradition of taking to the streets as an irrational answer to economic reforms. In 1848, when a democratically elected government tried to contain monetary inflation, the nascent Socialist Party raised barricades in Paris. Alexis de Tocqueville, then a member of the parliament, wrote in his "Memoires" that the French knew a lot about politics and understood nothing about economics. The current disruption of French cities by strikes and riots illustrates the continuity of this political culture.

The pretext for the current "social movement," as we call it in French, is a perfectly rational initiative by ...

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