01 May 2008

En bas l'État, les flics et les patrons!

May 1st is International Socialist Labour Day - a holiday in super-socialist France - and the parade is passing right under my window! It's kind of like Pride, but with fewer drag queens and more communists, still going on three hours after it started.

It's a strange experience being in a place that really is so socialist. Unlike China, where they only pay lip service to socialism or communist ideals, France really does feel about two degrees away from the Soviet Union. The equality part of "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" has made solidarity the motivating force behind French economic policy. This had translated into some very interesting "Intro to Economics" classes. So many of the ideas and principals are far removed from what we get exposed to in Liberal, laissez-faire North America.

Last week I did a language evaluation for a guy who works at a large French insurance company. His job was to organise the company trips. Twice a year the company subsidies its employees to go on vacation to places like Madagascar! While we're worried about how we're going to split up our two weeks of holidays, people in France are having their employers pay for them to sit on the beach (or take a tango class or go back to school).

Couldn't we have just a touch more solidarity back home? Would it really be too much to ask?

1 comment:

Paul said...

solidarność!

great entry.