One of the most charming things about French politics is the way almost every interesting modern ideology remains a living force within it. Some circles in America generate a mild frisson of pleasure by quoting a little Gramsci and talking some 60s talk, but everybody knows that we’re all liberals now, and it’s only a question of which flavor of liberalism you favor. But la grande nation seems willing to listen to practically anybody. To wit, the latest round of labor protests, in which a revolutionary postman has risen to stardom:
As the Socialists fail to convince, the hard left is reviving, and with it class warfare. It has a new champion in Olivier Besancenot, a postman—himself on strike—and leader of the New Anti-Capitalist Party. One poll now suggests that he is the most credible alternative to Mr Sarkozy, ahead of any Socialist. Mr Besancenot does not miss a chance to side with strikers. He talks of workers’ “exploitation”, denounces Mr Sarkozy for pandering to the rich, urges “revolt” and calls on the French to copy the rolling strikes in Guadeloupe.
What a country.