Monday, October 03, 2011

It's Good To Be The King

Here in France, we seem to be in the midst of the fin du reign of the Le Petit Empereur Sarko I. The conservative UMP Party lost control of the senate and Jean-Pierre Bel is now the first Socialist President of the Senate since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958. That puts him first in line to succeed the presidency of France if Sarko was to heaven forbid, become incapacitated in any way.
The Sarkozy regime is more unpopular than ever, if that was possible. A trail of broken promises, failed legislation and even more so, an ever growing swamp of corruption scandals is engulfing even le petit empereur himself. France seems excited by the prospect of the historical first Socialist Primary Election next Sunday. The Socialists seem strangely united and the Senate victory has cemented a working coalition with the Green Party. In the 6 years of Sarkozyism, the country has been thrown to the extreme right, racism has been openly used as a manipulative political tool and the utter cronyism and favoritism of the upper class has seemed to embody a small taste of what the GOP is trying to do to America.
I had been reading Francis Fukuyama's The Origins Of Political Order and was struck by his description of the ancien regime of France and what led to it's down fall:
The state was constantly at war.
The rich were exempt from taxation.
The constant wars and tax cuts for the rich resulted in an enormous debt.
Innovation was focused on moving money, not investments that generated wealth.
The elite were entirely self-absorbed in their own interests, regarding the common people with contempt.
Elections were corrupted and eventually eliminated.
Sound familiar?
(the clip is from Mel Brooks History Of The World Part 1...there never was a part 2)

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