Originally posted by Powerdoc
Le Pen is a right winged populist, he surf among the sadest feelings common in france, like racism, nationalism ...
Many people vote le Pen, only to say Fuck you to politicians, and not because any real convictions.
Anti americanism exist but is very limited : if you want to see real anti-americanism, I suggest you to look in some part of the middle east.
In reverse, there is an anti-french behavior in USA, but it will never prevent me to go there, because I am sure that there is plenty of nice people, who did not give a rat-ass weither I am french or Martian.
And Segovius is right, there is not many intellectuals in France, right or left. Many people claims to be intellectual, but they don't deserve this mention. Sartre was an intellectual but very difficult to read. He died some decades ago, so his influence is small.
As a simple french people having acess to different groups of people, I can say that :
- people where really worried for 9/11
- people don't like Bush policy
- anti-americanism is very limited, and is more common to the left, who dislike the US model of economy (can you expect that a socialist love this model ?)
- There was great emotion for the 60 anniversary of the D-Day, especially among the older generations.
For me, if this sentiment exist in France he do not prevail. You will still find people who call the germans Boch, althought Germany is the best friend/ally of France.
The fact that book exist show that there is differents way of thinking in France, and some are agaisnt anti-americanism. It's not because Michael Moore did Farheinheit that every US people hate Bush. Sure some US people hate Bush, but it's not all american people, by a wide margin.
To give a little background, I'll add this...
Le Pen is a shame to our country, sure. But it's a known fact that he was a political creature created by Mitterand (our President before Chirac) to break the right in parts (you know, we're not a two party country) to win a second term. The problem is, the creature stayed alive... and did everything it could to keep on existing. To the point that it made it to the second turn of the elections in 2002, due to a fragmented left (you know, we're not a two party country ;-) and finished at 18% votes ! Now, the man (J-Marie Le Pen) is getting old and his daughter (Marine Le pen, his successor) is just not taken seriously. For those interested in some statistics on Le Pen
(it's in French, but full of graphics ;-)
Anti-Americanism : Doesn't exists. honestly. Except in the mind of some complicated theorists, but you can't impeach people from thinking what they want and sign petitions. Those Leftish intellectuals do not even represent the actual French left, which is mostly center-left and has nothing against America IMHO. You could compare them to a J.Kerry better than J.Stalin.
But I'll add something : You Americans are very 'Transparent'. We know a lot about you, about your ways of life. We have tons of 'cultural' products from your country: Movies, Sitcoms (from Friends to Alias), iPods, etc... News or Opinion websites that we can read and understand... Even your government communicates a lot, more than any other.
So we have an opinion on your affairs. Something you can't really do with us because you don't know anything about us. (I think few of you read Libération
(left), Le monde
(center) or Le Figaro
(right) very often. Whereas the NYT, the WashPost and the LA Times are in my Bookmarks. You never see our movies (they are rarelly blockbusters I agree), witch are the best ways to understand a country's references, humour, past, societal problems...) - We see yours !
Just one other example (not French) : If you want to understand modern Spain, see every Pedro Almodovar movies. Those movies are also important to us Europeans. We're not just Postcards
Almost everyone here hates Bush. That's a fact. And the fact that he lied about WMD and that we (and the U.N.) said so a the time makes him even more detestable. The fact that he was warned that Iraq would become the playground for Islamic extremists/terrorists of all kind didn't changed anything. Now see the mess we're in... (to paraphrase Tom York
What else now... Well, it took me 2 hours to write twenty line and I forgot where I wanted to go...
Whatever, we love you buddies, just be carefull where you put your feets - and replace your ignorant President ;-)