Political geology

by Henry Farrell on February 27, 2009

I liked this piece of writing from Arthur Goldhammer’s “consistently excellent”:http://artgoldhammer.blogspot.com/2009/02/fissures.html blog on French politics.

It’s always interesting to watch the fissures develop in the Socialist Party. It’s almost a geological process. Each aspirant is a tectonic plate moved by the immense pressure of his or her ambitions. For a time a couple of these plates may move in tandem, but then an opposing force impinges from some odd angle, subduction occurs, and one begins to witness surface changes: a ridge or wrinkle developing here, a fissure there.

No sooner did Martine Aubry open the party leadership to a dozen or so Royalistes than we witness[ed] the emergence of a first fissure …



roger 02.27.09 at 6:26 pm

I’m feeling very sweet on Segolene this week. She went to Guadaloupe to the funeral of an assasinated labor union leader, she invoked the French revolution, and she even spoke out against neo-colonialism. The French Revolution! Maybe the ev il shadow of Furet is receding in France!


roger 02.27.09 at 6:27 pm

ps – and meanwhile, Nu-Labour is looking for a few more crooked bankers to knight.


yoyo 02.27.09 at 10:52 pm

“Royalists” in the socialist party is is a not a concept that means what you would think it means…


vivian 02.28.09 at 2:13 am

yes, a bit like the confusing conversations between Irish and American Republicans. Only it’s better in French.


Amie 02.28.09 at 4:18 am

Regarding political geology and France, there is a famous passage from Benjamin’s Passagenwerk. Paris, Vesuvius…


Paul 02.28.09 at 3:29 pm

French socialism ? Well this is an academic blog…:-)


roger 02.28.09 at 7:03 pm

It is funny how the anglo media fell over themselves, when Sarkozy was running, to portray him as the oh so necessary French Thatcher, and Royale as either a stupid bitch or a rabble rouser. How’d that work out? Sarkozy does seem to have the lowest popularity rating of any French president I can remember, and Thatcherism, well, it doesn’t seem to be catching on now, does it.
Ah, French socialism. So academic. So out of touch with the innovative free market world we all so much enjoy.


Paul 03.02.09 at 2:37 am

I like French cuisine, fashion, Diderot and Camus. Throw in Sartre too. I admire the French their ability to assume a haughty air even in the face of facts. The Germans like them when they need to win a war and oh my gosh I forgot Bardot, Isabel Adjani and Simone Signoret. Paris is over-rated. Give me Prague or Stockholm !

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