A friend–whom I had hoped would post a comment herself here–sent me a link to a story from the NY Times today with the following quotation from France’s Finance Minister: “France is a country that thinks … There is hardly an ideology that we haven’t turned into a theory. We have in our libraries enough to talk about for centuries to come. This is why I would like to tell you: Enough thinking, already. Roll up your sleeves.”

Can we not admit truth on both sides of this statement? On the one hand, those among us interested in French culture cannot deny their predilection for hyperlocution. On the other, is not one reason Sarkozy won the election the absurd condition of the French economy? Unemployment is out of control, and the mandatory 35-hour work week, embraced by a good number of disaffected young laborers who have no desire to work, makes no sense for either workers or for companies, for example. Is not the exhortation to work not a legitimate political agenda?

But, on the other hand, Lagarde has certainly created a false dichotomy–that there is something between thinking and labor, even if, as many have pointed out, thinking is labor.

The NY Times story is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/world/europe/22france.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5070&en=2e712e5d4c6891ec&ex=1185768000&emc=eta1