For its intellectuals, France falters
EFL, read the whole thing
PARIS A growing sense of France's decline as a force in Europe has developed here. The idea's novelty is not the issue itself. Rather it is that for the first time in a half century that the notion of a rapid descent in France's influence is receiving wide acknowledgment within the French establishment.
At its most hurtful and remarkable, and yet perhaps its most honest, there is the start of acceptance by segments of the French intellectual community that French leadership, as it is constituted now, is not something Europe wants - or France merits.
Lovely understatement
Several current books, three on the bestseller lists, have focused discussion on the country's incapacities, rigidities and its role, they say, in the context of the Iraq war, in dividing the Western community and fracturing notions of Europe's potential unity.
Yes unity isn't helped when you tell other European nations to shut up when they do the job that you should be doing
The books, with titles that translate to phrases like "France in Free Fall" or "French Arrogance," are merciless in their accusations of the fantasy-driven ineffectualness of French foreign policy and the extent of the country's economic breakdown. Or they more specifically target what one of books, "Le Pouvoir du Monde," by Bernard Poulet, regards as the implosion of the newspaper Le Monde, mirror of the French establishment, from one-time symbol of rectitude to self-appointed "universal mentor and Great Inquisitor"; or what another, essentially a short essay, called "Au Nom de l'Autre" by Alain Finkielkraut, contends is the rise in France of a new kind of anti-Semitism in proportions greater than anywhere else in Europe.
Creating state run islamic schools won't help
Together, they project the image of a decadent France, adrift from its brilliant past, incapable of inspiring allegiance or emulation and without a constructive, humanist plan for the future.
Yes, menacing with vetos is not very constructive
Of all the books, the current No. 2 on the bestseller list of L'Express, "La France Qui Tombe," by Nicolas Baverez, has been the focus of unusual attention.
I hope we'll get German translations as soon as possible
Posted by: True German Ally 2003-10-04