Sunday, July 22, 2007

Should the French Be More American?

From the New York Times:

PARIS, July 21 — France is the country that produced the Enlightenment, Descartes’s one-liner, “I think, therefore I am,” and the solemn pontifications of Jean-Paul Sartre and other celebrity philosophers.

But in the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, thinking has lost its cachet.

In proposing a tax-cut law last week, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde bluntly advised the French people to abandon their “old national habit.”

“France is a country that thinks,” she told the National Assembly. “There is hardly an ideology that we haven’t turned into a theory. We have in our libraries enough to talk about for centuries to come. This is why I would like to tell you: Enough thinking, already. Roll up your sleeves.”

Citing Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” she said the French should work harder, earn more and be rewarded with lower taxes if they get rich.

Full Article


Samuel Douglas said...

You see, this is why Australia is clearly better than France, because no one could possibly accuse us of thinking too much.

On the other hand, we should try to nip any intellectualism in the bud by turning our educational institutions into vocational sausage-factories. In the national interest we should drop all this philosophy nonsense and become something useful.

Anonymous said...

Do I detect a whiff of eau de Nietzsche?

Samuel Douglas said...

If one require slaves one ought not teach them to be free.