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Franco-American relations

No, this has nothing to do with Chef Boyardee. But as a casual student of modern history, I've noticed that Franco-American relations seem to be smoother when the left governs France, and rockier when the right is in charge. I had observed this pattern to exist, but had never formulated a satisfactory explanation for it. Bernard-Henri Lévy, however, gives it a shot.

"In France, with the nation based on roots, on the idea of soil, on a common memory . . . the very existence of America is a mystery and a scandal." This is a particular source of pain, Mr. Lévy says, for "the right." Contrary to what is thought generally, he insists, anti-Americanism "migrated to the left, to the Communist Party, but its origins are on the extreme right." America gives the French right "nightmares," as the country is based on "a social contract. America proves that people can gather at a given moment and decide to form a nation, even if they come from different places." The "ghost that has haunted Europe for two centuries" -- and which gives fuel, to this day, to anti-Americanism there -- "is America's coming together as an act of will, of creed. It shows that there is an alternative to organic nations."

I'm sure there's probably more to it than that, but it's nonetheless interesting to read the thoughts of a prominent French political philosopher regarding a topic that has puzzled me for years.


that was a good read, thanks Barry. It was neat how he said americans are bound by a common creed, despite our differences...that we have to force one another to get along, bound only by freedom and justice...yes my friends can i get an amen?

yes lets skip over the saddam comments....

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