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And Then They Consume Tastier Food Than We Do

Gotta love political debates in France.

To sell the unpopular changes, Lagarde turned to philosophy. In an address to the National Assembly, she said, "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." She also took aim at France's intellectual socialists, like Bernard-Henri Lévy and Ségolène Royal. "They want to bring people down to solidarity," she has said. "They regard work as alienation in the old Marxist understanding."

Lagarde is Christine Lagarde, the minister of finance, and the debate is over changes to the tax code and labor laws. But it includes the words "ideology," "theory," "Marx," and "alienation."

By Ezra Klein  |  September 25, 2009; 11:09 AM ET
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So.... our debates are shouting matches with crazy people, and theirs are irrelevant to the topic at hand?

Posted by: adamiani | September 25, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

this reminds me of the old joke about the difference between heaven & hell -

heaven is an english statesman, an italian cook, a german engineer and a french lover.

hell is a french statesman, an english cook, an italian engineer and a german lover.

Posted by: trishka_cvo | September 25, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I spent a couple of weeks in France this summer. Sadly their food is coming down to our level. Debates to follow someday.

Posted by: steveh46 | September 25, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

After a couple of years of treading water, Sarko and his cabinet are trying to reassert their claim to represent a break from the governance of the grandes écoles, and especially the énarques. We'll see how that works out for them.

At the same time, you have Dominique de Villepin in court right now, facing charges of disseminating information used in a smear campaign against Sarko, and M. le President managed to cause a stir at the UN by describing de Villepin and his four co-defendants as "guilty parties", leading to claims that he's prejudicing the trial.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | September 25, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

So saying something is Marxist is a sign of sophistication in France, but of lunacy in the US?

Also, French food is crap.

Posted by: Drew_Miller_Hates_IDs_That_Dont_Allow_Spaces | September 25, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"French food is crap."

That's a very clever thing to say.

Posted by: thehersch | September 25, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

What a shame you are no longer commenting on foreign policy. You could have bashed Israel this week. Where are all the Israel haters and holocaust deniers who frequented your former blog supposed to go? To some Klan blog?

Posted by: truck1 | September 25, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

What an incredible idea, that people who deal with complex issues should be intelligent and sophisticated, and unafraid to use their brains to discuss problems and reach a solution.

And truck1, I'll meet you over at Matt Yglesias' site and you can explain to me how started a war with Iran is in the US' best interest. You can start with how right you were about that whole Iraq thing. I promise that in my response I'll use small words.

Posted by: Dollared | September 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Just for reference, Bernard-Henri Levy is not a socialist (he's a centrist), and not really an intellectual.

Posted by: cedichou | September 25, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I've been playing with the idea for many months that our polarized debate is actually fractured along the fault line of personal intelligence.

I hadn't wanted to pursue the theory because it seems so rude, but people like truck1 make it impossible to avoid.

Posted by: rosshunter | September 25, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

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