Communism and China: Ideology in Flux by Benjamin I. Schwartz

By Benjamin I. Schwartz

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France is all the French, she needs the hearts and souls and arms of all her sons and daughters. She needs their unity... real, sincere, fraternal. This is not Mitterrand speaking, it is Charles de Gaulle, and it is not the 1980s or the 90s, it is 1944. The Enigma of François Mitterrand, I (Le Temps des Roses) 19 Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Pierre Péan, Une jeunesse française : François Mitterrand, 1934-1947 (Fayard, Paris: 1994). Emmanuel Faux, Thomas Legrand, Gilles Perez, La main droite de Dieu: Enquete sur François Mitterrand et l’extreme droite (Seuil, Paris: 1994).

France thought of itself as the leader of Western Europe, the nation without whose assent progress toward political and economic union was impossible. On the social front, Americans tended to think of the European welfare state as a Northern European phenomenon, represented by Sweden’s cradle-to-grave system of social protection or Germany’s France in the 1980s 27 “social-market” economy. The French (like the British) had built up, in fact, a social welfare system as generous as any other, complete with free education from nursery to university, free medicine, generous retirement plans, long paid leaves.

France may be a Catholic country, but fewer than 10 percent participate in Catholic activities regularly. As to the family, the marriage institution in France seems to have collapsed. So what are they really complaining about? France is not under threat from Islam or from polygamous families. 8 It was not surprising that the left should have more confidence in the “values of the Republic,” since it was the left that believed in their universality. But what both sides had to admit as the eighties wore on, was that it was just possible the coherence of these values was not what it used to be, and this, rather than a given immigrant group’s ability to accept these values, was the real problem.

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