The French Election That Could Blow Up The World
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  • Andrew Allison

    The eurozone house of cards will tumble, whether due to the inevitable Greek default or regime change in France. Better sooner than later. It’s not as if Merkozy has managed the crisis well. Their primary objective appears to be to socialize as much as possible of the losses on Greek debt. Lenders who made bad loans, or failed to insure repayment should pay the price.

  • OJFL

    I still do not understand why the French will elect a socialist instead of Sarkozy. What François Hollande proposes is doubling down on what has led to the European collapse. And still people will elect him. Go figure.

  • Fred

    The American public apparently has no monopoly on idiocy.

  • Kris

    Mais bien sur, France will solve the European economic crisis on its own. Screw Germany and the UK!

    Contra a widely-held opinion, the reason foreigners continue “trusting” the US economy is because of its relative virtues.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    58 to 42, wow it looks like Sarkozy is toast. It’s likely for the best, the EU and the Euro are both so badly flawed they need to fall, and the quicker the better.

  • Carlos

    You all say that so glibly, as if the collapse of the EU is welcome despite the terrible consequences of such an event.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @Carlos: If you’ve been following the coverage here regularly, you’d know that we don’t want to see Europe fail and are greatly concerned about the possible fallout in Europe and beyond.

  • Corlyss

    I pray for Hollande to succeed Szarko. Europe needs to come to its senses and leave behind this fatuous fraudulent construct, the EU, and stop trying to become something it never can,i.e., a united states of Europe. They have nothing in common with how the US started out. Technology will not allow Europe the necessary period of isolation from critical events in which to form such an entity. What they have produced is a dangerous fiction, an anti-democratic model of tyranny by bloated bureaucracies whose only purpose is to expand their fiefdoms and thereby justify their own existence.

  • Aaron

    It sounds like this “Socialist” might stand up to the loonies at the European Central Bank and speak up for accepted, mainstream economic theory, like “don’t cut everybody’s budget in the middle of a recession.” Somebody needs to tell the Germans not to be such…

    well, you know.

  • dearieme

    “Europe” can’t fail, being but a bit of geography. If you mean the EU, say the EU. Personally, I’d love to see the EU fail, since it’s a bloody awful structure and effectively unreformable. Better to start again.

  • Tom Richards

    Carlos, I think what you are missing is that most of us who take the position you describe believe that the collapse of the EU is inevitable. We know that the consequences will be deeply unpleasant; we simply think that the longer they are put off the more unpleasant they will be.

  • Jim.

    @Tom Richards —

    Exactly, the EU’s collapse is inevitable.

    The only alternative — the effective indenturing of the productive peoples of the continent — is too great an injustice to tolerate.

  • Kris

    [email protected]: “accepted, mainstream economic theory, like ‘don’t cut everybody’s budget in the middle of a recession.'”

    This might carry more weight if it hadn’t long morphed into: “Don’t cut budgets, ever.” As predicted by us paranoid killjoys.

  • Robert

    Why do so many people here think failure is inevitable? My personal view is that marginal economies like that of Greece will be forced out of the euro-zone, as they have little to back up the promise of austerity-now-for-future-prosperity, including a lack of will to do anything about either.
    The European Union grew largely out of a desire to ensure there wasn’t another devastating European war, so those in the cloistered world of US politicking shouldn’t make bold but unfounded assertions that the USA had a common interest in its own founding, while the EU did not. In fact, the idea of a united Europe stems from the 1814 Congress of Vienna, whose outcomes worked reasonably well for 100 years, but which was held ironically at the time the British were giving the fledging USA a military drubbing.

  • Paul

    Don’t worry too much. By the time Hollande receives a slap from Merkel, things will be back to normal.

  • I’m going to make a case for voting for Hollande. My main concern is not the best candidate in an absolute sense, but rather choosing the best one of the available options at the present juncture: a between the lesser of two evils. France is undergoing something similar to what you mention as the reform of the Blue social model. It has to go from point A to point B, so to speak.

    I identify myself as a “liberal” in the French sense (ie, a free market liberal) and I’m gunning to vote for Romney for US prez, so I should be favorable to Sarkozy, but I’m not. He was good at yanking France from its lethargy under the roi fainéant Jacques Chirac, but he doesn’t fit the profile of what France needs presently. In C-suit terms, he’s good at shaking things like a start-up whiz kid but not handling the ship of state in rocky waters. Regardless of how market-friendly his platform may be (see national champion remark below), there is no point B with him – he’s all over the board, and is too erratic in his style. He loves drama: I want cool-headedness. I think things are gonna get ugly soon again, and I don’t want to have a nervous pugilist at the helm.
    Plus, the RPR/UMP has been in the Palais Elysée since 1995: they’re out of ideas & out of touch with the 21st century economy. I fear that Sarkozy & co. are still in the 20th century mode of top-down industrial planning looking to defend French national champions. Being out of power could allow them to see things more lucidly.
    Hollande has two things going for him: 1) his voters & minions are beholden to the State and its redistributionist apparatus which is the main “thing” that has to be reformed; 2) the Socialists have been experimenting on the local/regional level with what works in private sector/public sector partnerships since the 2004 regional elections (they won all but one region). Thus as for point #1-the Technocrat-in-Chief Hollande is in a better position to get the army of redistributionist bureaucrats (ie, l’Etat) on board to make l’Etat more responsive & operational in the current economic context. He alludes to that when calling for “clarté” concerning his platform. Point #2 is sort of self-explanatory: the Socialists are attuned to local-level needs and seem to even be less top-down technocrats than their right-wing UMP rivals (but I could be wrong).

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