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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

An Analysis of the Situation in France

For Francophiles like myself, occasionally exasperated by the way the country works, here is a pertinent analysis of the problems of the republic.
"The Executive power, with its tremendous bureaucratic and military organization; with its wide-spreading and artificial machinery of government--an army of office-holders, half a million strong, together with a military force of another million men--; this fearful body of parasites, that coils itself like a snake around French society, stopping all its pores, originated at the time of the absolute monarchy, along with the decline of feudalism, which it helped to hasten. The princely privileges of the landed proprietors and cities were transformed into so many at-tributes of the Executive power; the feudal dignitaries into paid office-holders; and the confusing design of conflicting medieval seigniories, into the well regulated plan of a government, work is subdivided and centralized as in the factory. The first French revolution, having as a mission to sweep away all local, territorial, urban and provincial special privileges, with the object of establishing the civic unity of the nation, was hound to develop what the absolute monarchy had begun--the work of centralization, together with the range, the attributes and the menials of government."
It comes from the pen of ... Mr Karl Marx, towards the end of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (1852).  Still seems to me to be a valid analysis.