France is a place for strong-minded individuals. Pig-headed, stubborn, selfish and utterly incapable of taking a collective view of the world, even at a very local level. If I've heard the expression 'J'ai le droit', ('I've got the right') once, I've heard it many many hundreds of times. Rights impose themselves upon other rights. And when they overlap, those that shout loudest, or otherwise impose themselves most effectvely, win. It is a dog eat dog world.
Which is why I think that the French state is so controlling, interventionist and even socialist at times. With such an anarchic mix of individuals battling out their rights, it would otherwise be very hard for anyone not prepared or able to fight for their right to live, eat, learn or whatever.
My rants are often about this very controlling culture. But this one is about the strident, polemic individuals, and what releasing them from their social bonds will do in France under Sarkozy. I fear a post-revolutionary anarchy in some watered-down 21st century form.
Speaking of watered-down, surely the definition of tee-total needs to be re-written after this recent display at the G8 summit.