Friday, 25 January 2013

Poll shows that the core values of French society are 1) envy, 2) distrust, 3) greed and 4) xenophobia.

What a beautiful country! Le Monde commissioned a poll from Ipsos along lines not that different from those of the World Values Survey. Full results are available here (in French) and they sure are a depressing read. This, basically, is the same society that gave overwhelming support to Vichy France, there can be no mistake about it. Nearly 70 years of economic growth since the end of WWII have brought just one small change, namely which semitic people the French have decided to hate: Jews are now sort of OK but Muslims (a nickname for Arabs) are the new arch-enemy.

While other societies can have greed without too much envy, the latter here is foremost. The French profess to hate money and take a moralising view towards it: 82 % agree to the proposition that "money has corrupted the traditional values of French society". But that is just about other people's money since
  1. 71 % of them also agree to the proposition that "it is a good thing to want to earn a lot of money"
  2. 58 % agree to "in order have social justice, money should be taken from the rich and given to the poor".
Now, the use of the conditional in proposition 2 is weird, but highly telling, since France is the country that assigns the largest share of GDP (around 1/3) to social transfers. Basically, it shows the strength of moral imperatives inherited from both catholic and marxist religions.

Please note that those who agreed to both propositions (up to 13% of French population) look like sort of uneasy about their relative status (too poor to be taxed or too rich to be left untaxed). I can't help but wish them an uneasy sleep...  

Also, but that's nothing new, 78% distrust deeply other people - though only 62% think their politicians are corrupt. So that should indicate that they think that ordinary people are more corrupt than politicians. And then, 65% want to increase the power of French politicians over Brussel's... A logical bunch they sure are.

And as to foreigners, 70% think there are "too many of them in France" although France is quite below the European, let alone OECD, average for the proportion of foreign-born residents. Particular spite is directed toward Muslims, which 74% deem intolerant.

Oh, and 87% think France needs a strong leader to put everything back in order. Marshall Philippe PĂ©tain was not immediately available for comment. 

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