The French Revolution 2009

Laid-off French workers have taken yet another senior manager hostage over severance pay.  There was a huge general strike by workers and now, a new Anti-Capitalist Party has been formed in France and is gaining ground.  Looks like the French are leading the revolution, whatever it may consist of.

What will be the future of capitalism? 

I thought Marx had said, “Give Capitalism enough rope and it will hang itself.”  Looking on the internet, I found Lenin’s more ominous “Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” 

Anti-capitalist party or not, I can’t see the French in those drab Soviet collective farm outfits.  The French Revolution seems to be a better metaphor.

The financial elite are looking like the haughty, hapless French court.  They have gone past “L’etat, c’est moi.” and “Let them eat cake.”  to “Apres moi, le deluge” and finally, the “Just one more moment. One little moment.”  begged by Madame du Barry before the blade fell.

There is an excellent film called “The Lady and the Duke”, directed by French director, Eric Rohmer.  It is based on the real account of Grace Elliot, a Scottish courtesan who was the mistress of the Duc d’Orleans.  She witnessed and wrote about the fall of the French aristocracy and the Reign of Terror during the revolution.   The film is unique in that many of the scenes used painted backdrops which create a kind of dream-like effect at times.  The director has a strong vision and it’s a fascinating, unusual film.


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