February 5, 2009

En grève

Perhaps you've heard, la belle France est en grève (on strike). This is nothing new. Striking is an important right in France, which is employed whenever possible. Transportation shuts down, schools, even hospitals. This past week there have been significant strikes in France. I always keep my ears perked to understand exactly what the people are striking about. This time, I have it on good authority that the French are striking against "la crise" (the economic crisis).

Yes, yes - that's right - the economic downturn. It makes no logical sense to me to take to the streets as a response to the world's economic problems, but there is something fantastical (almost magical) about the whole line of thinking. I wish it were my natural inclination in a situation like this one.

This evening, Xavier and I are sitting in front of the computer screen watching President Nicolas Sarkozy talk about this grève. He outlines the difficult task in front of him. He is a very reasonable man (in my humble American opinion) when it comes to the economy. He makes the point that when 1 out of 2 Frenchmen thinks that the 35-hour work week is a viable economic idea, he is in a rather impossible position.


Julie said...

We are going to watch a film for a class next Wednesday night that's all about the collective (as oppossed to the American ideology of the individual which surfaces in so many ways in films) but reading about it has made me think about the magical nature of responding en masse to something - even when the en masse response makes no sense.

Jill said...

I guess striking is one way to face the crisis?

There are going to be a few strikes around here as Obama is working around the clock to pass his economic stimulus bill. Many people aren't liking his plan, but I think it must be done. You know the republicans and their anti-spending ideas.

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