Oh No France Is Socialist Again

  move up your apocalypse calendars!

FINLast night at 8pm not-your-time, two hours after the Belgian and Swiss media had already published election results and 30 minutes after Nicolas Sarkozy deleted his Facebook page, the French media announced that socialist François Hollande (great NYT bio) will be the next president of France. France is a country of 1,765,983,854 laws that are completely vague and contradict each other so that everyone can figure out how to break them, and it has rules about disclosing election results, and for some reason French media followed those rules to the letter. And now France will swear in Francois Hollande sometime between May 13 and 15, because French people like to be uncertain and tortured.

At exactly one minute past 8pm, the world outside burst into celebration. Horns honked, firecrackers popped and people cheered. The tradition for French election after-parties is for the left to gather at La Bastille (the start of the French peasant revolution) and the right to gather at Place de la Concorde (where the guillotine was first erected in order to behead French royalty). Sarkozy called off his celebration at Concorde way before the final announcement. In contrast, so many people showed up at the Bastille, they had to shut down the nearby Metro stations.

Meanwhile, in the underground Twitter world of #RadioLondres, franetizens knew as early as 1pm that Sarkozy had been creamed in the French island elections (where they keep all the blahs) and had been dwarf-tossing and Rolex-pawning since they knew the final outcome at 5pm. During the first run-off election on April 22, #RadioLondres was decidedly left-wing (because the right wing worldwide is slow to be cool) and trashed Sarkozy with gleeful creativity in the subversive spirit of May 1968. But by last night’s final election round, the righties entered the fray, doing what righties always do, predicting the imminent demise of France, Europe and the whole entire world.

This will be the return of 68ers, the sexual and yéyés revolution. Everyone will run naked; drug addict in the streets. (OK, so maybe Renaud Bongiovanni was joking but since he’s a self-proclaimed part-time Bobo, it’s hard to tell. He also supplied an explanatory TOTALLY NSFW photo of sexual revolutionaries.)

We are in the shit #endoftheworld

End of strong France. Hello to dead France.

Tweeting from my toilet, I am not clairvoyant but I see the future of France in its bottom.

Tremble, middle class. The soviet tanks unload…

Whiners! There are many myths about France being a socialist country. But it’s really a capitalist state with a socialist heart. Private enterprise dominates the economy and very few entities are nationalized. EDF, the power company, is a private corporation (although the French government owns a majority of shares). The French post office is also a private company. The French government owns the main TV channels but there are plenty of private competitors. They also own all the rail transport and the prison system (one and the same thing). That’s about it. As far as the myth about France’s extremely high tax rates supporting the social safety net, that’s also a big myth. French corporate tax rates are 33.33% (US = 40%). As for individuals, your Paris-based Wonketeer did some difficult math on her paycheck and she pays 20% in taxes, which includes social security, retirement, workplace accident insurance and universal healthcare. So, there.

A few things that Hollande declared in his campaign speeches made the righties tear their hair out. He says he will challenge Sarkozy’s and the European Union’s austerity strategy (because it’s working so well in the UK, Greece, Spain…) and he wants to raise taxes on the rich (income > 1M Euros) to 75%. His tax position sent France’s 1% into paroxysms of doom-saying, with the most popular talking point, “If Hollande wins, all of the rich people will leave France. Then who will pay for the poor, hein?” Thus, the most popular picture posted on #RadioLondres last night was of a border crossing between France and Switzerland, clogged with red Ferraris.

Also too and in conclusion, with Sarkozy’s election loss, he loses his immunity from criminal prosecution. And just three days before the final election, new damning evidence came to light and an investigation has begun in the French courts about his alleged campaign contribution from Libya. Bummer!

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About the author

Writer, teacher, traveler. Arizona girl living in Paris.

View all articles by Lisa Wines

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158 comments

  1. skoalrebel

    Cheese eating surrender monkeys [spit] Who cares if they're socialists? I'm worried about the price of dip. Keepin' it real, man. Keepin' it real.

    1. GemlikeFlame

      You want to put a rabbit in power? In a nice white wine sauce, maybe, but executive authority?

  2. Schmannnity

    If the French rich are worried about higher taxes, they should move to the US under the guise of "job creator" and wait for the tax cuts to roll in.

  3. boobookitteh

    This will be the return of 68ers, the sexual and yéyés revolution. Everyone will run naked; drug addict in the streets.

    BRB. Calling Air France and clearing my schedule.

    1. lisawines

      Yes she is! And after his acceptance speech, when somebody gave him a dozen roses, he called his GF onto the stage to give her the flowers. Aw!

        1. lisawines

          No, just a GF and this is the 1st time a single guy was elected prez in France. Sarkozy's wife detested him through the election and then dumped his ass. He wasn't single for long and finally married Carla after he pissed off the Musims when they found out he shared his hotel room with her when traveling to the Middle East.

    1. mrpuma2u

      Does this mean the uber-one percent will stop drinking Dom Perignon & Chateau whatever as those now prop up socialism?

  4. FakaktaSouth

    Holy Merde (?), a private Post Office. Next thing you know, the Repubs will be talking about how they've ALWAYS loved how them Frenchies do stuff.

    Je voudrais aller a Paris maintenant, je suis socialiste aussi! (Yes. High school/college French with a southern accent in the house. Sorry)

        1. prommie

          Well hell, we might as well get up to something, if everyone is gonna think we are anyway.

          1. FakaktaSouth

            I like the way you talk…"get up to something," I mean, hell, everybody's saying stuff! Not our fault!

      1. flamingpdog

        Start packing? What are the gun laws like these days in the land of the Frogs?

        1. lisawines

          From the anals of Wik your pedia: In France, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the abolition of the privileges after the French Revolution does not explicitly guarantee the right for all French citizens to possess firearms. Several recent laws considerably limit this right. Currently, full automatic weapons are banned and to bear weapons is prohibited. Firearms are identified by gauges and classified in different complex categories (Principally, military, civil and hunting weapons). For example, according to French legislation, 9mm is a military gauge, .357 Magnum is a civil gauge and .22LR is a hunting gauge.

          1. FakaktaSouth

            FORMEZ! VOS BATAILLONS! MARCHON! MARCHON! Qu'un, sang impur, abreuve nos sillons!
            (sorry, I have the Cartman "Come Sail Away" affliction on this one – I hear a verse from that anthem and it's ON!)

    1. Arkoday

      Only to the highest bidder. Money/power/fame sorta thing. That leaves most of us out. Le Damn!

  5. freakishlywrong

    Tonight, on Billo the Clown, the entire country of France will be designated "pinheads".

  6. memzilla

    "How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" — Charles De Gaulle.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Not just counting, but documenting appellation, enforcing standardization of packaging, assessing brie cream content and making sure no one calls anything but true chaumes by that name.

        They earned that cheese-eater name (although it isn't like England, Spain, Italy and even the dastardly Dutch are all that far behind).

        1. sullivanst

          Although no true Frenchman would admit that any English cheese is worthy of the name, save, perhaps, stilton.

    1. OneYieldRegular

      True story: at a home-cooked dinner in France once, we'd just come to the cheese course and I'd started to help myself when suddenly our hostess uttered a gasp and conversation slammed to a halt. Apparently I'd sliced the cheese at the wrong angle.

  7. Mumbly_Joe

    Given that Sarkozy spent the last few weeks of the campaigns cozying up to fascists and xenophobes in order to regain the vote being split by LePen, losing the electino couldn't have happened to a better guy. Though, I will miss the hot wife.

    But remember, everyone, fascism is the same thing as socialism, and they're both left-wing, which is why it was center-right Sarkozy who was having his vote split by LePen, and not the socialist.

  8. prommie

    I am uncertain and tortured about this. I plan to stop bathing, in solidarity, with someone.

      1. prommie

        But they do have a special appliance to splash their sexy-parts with, though, which when you think about it, how much sexing must they be doing if every bathroom has a special after-sex parts-splasher in it?

    1. chicken_thief

      Let me guess – Mitt's is either the totalled one or the one with the dog strapped to the roof.

  9. SorosBot

    Now Germany just needs to get rid of Merkel to end the insane austerity make-the-recession-worse policy engulfing Europe.

  10. Tundra Grifter

    Nice photo of another protest by French farmers.

    Meanwhile, "La Bastille" is where the prison used to stand. I believe the French mob tore it down to begin the Revolution. And, quite happily, it was never reconstructed.

  11. NorthStarSpanx

    Hollande speaks of “harmony” and “pragmatism” and often quotes the poet and politician Aimé Césaire about “lucid hope.”

    Sarah Palin's head is going to explode. Good thing she never intended to go to elite France (or Holland.)

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Well, fortunately, Palin is probably blissfully unaware that there are things happening in the rest of the world. Or that there IS a rest of the world. Like 80% of Americans, knowing that the USA is being run into the ground by a blah President is all she NEEDS to know to get her work done.

      1. spends2much

        With her 4th grade comprehension skills, she naturally thinks Holland is now in charge of France. But since she doesn't know where either of those places are, she's gonna stop thinking about it and go shoot something.

    2. dadanarchist

      Not only is Aimé Césaire a poet, he's also a blah (from Martinique) who refused to meet with Sarkozy in 2005, and was for a long while a Communist.

      I wrote part of my dissertation about him.

      One of the truly great poets of the 20th century.

    1. James Michael Curley

      True story from my days on the NJ Turnpike. In Vietnam one could go to a major PX and buy any car being delivered to the US and have it delivered to your home for when you arrived. I chose a MGCGT. A variant of the MGBGT but with a six cylinder engine with some sort of boost. The car was obscenely fast and an obscenely front end heavy pig. I had the option to return it for a full refund within 30 days of delivery which I decided to do.

      But I wanted to take it out for a real test the night before. I got down to the PA Exit on the NJTP where it is flat and long and opened it up. Soon I saw a 'cherry top' in the rear view mirror and started to slow down (as it takes a while to go from 145 mph to 0). The patrolman did not give me a ticket but he was a little bemused and asked my why I stopped. I said it was because I saw his signal. He then told me I was pulling away from him at the time and he was just about to cut out as I was less than 5 miles from the PA border.

      1. actor212

        "Sandwiches permettra d'améliorer
        Et la salade de thon sera grasse"

        Hm, I guess that last really doesn't rhyme, but what the hell…

  12. actor212

    Tremble, middle class. The soviet tanks unload…

    As opposed to, you know, tremble rich people, the German tanks unload…

  13. LetUsBray

    How often does it happen that the president of one country is named after another country? How weirdly European.

    1. flamingpdog

      The US of A had a President from the state of Virginia named after another state.

      Oh, wait …

  14. Goonemeritus

    After three failed attempts at snark I am going with congratulations France and best wishes.

  15. chascates

    Free cheese for the masses! High taxes for the wealthy! The end of Europe!

    Romney must come out against this tragedy and promise to vacation in Iraq instead of France.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Hey, during the Vietnam era Mitt showed that he was against North Vietnamese communism by vacationing going on a mission in France, so this would be nothing new.

  16. ExecutorElassus

    Huzzah! My French flatmate – who was working yesterday helping with the election – was practically giddy. Here's to watching Merkel lose her mind, and maybe the managed decline we euphamize as "austerity" finally going down in socialist flames.

  17. Chichikovovich

    Reminds me of a favorite bit of graffiti, crossing Blvd. Saint-Michel (I think it was). There was a separate bus lane going in an unexpected direction, so people were warned to look right: "Regardez à droite!". Under which someone had written "Et votez Gauche!".

  18. Douché

    Now that they are socialist, do we have to invade them and force our type of democracy on them? Christ, I'm getting tired of doing that…

    1. chicken_thief

      However, the possibility of being deployed to France could boost applicants into the all volunteer Army. Teaching those socialist cheese eating gals to shave their arm pits would help even more.

  19. anniegetyerfun

    Well, rampant nationalization is really more of a communist thing. Controlling means of production = commie. Taxing the fuck out of the public = socialist.

    I have to admit that, even for someone who desperately loves taxing the rich, 75% DOES seem a bit harsh. What's wrong with 40%?

      1. Wile E. Quixote

        Yeah, that was a bit shocking to me too. So if you make a million bucks, you take home 250K. Ouch.

        Ddi you know that your understanding of how tax rates work is no better than that of the average winger? There's some serious failure here when it comes to understanding the concept of marginal tax rates.

    1. Designer_Rants

      You do know that Eisenhower presided over a 91% top marginal rate, Carter over a 70% top rate… then the REAL debt started to stack up after Reagan came to town. Just sayin', it seems high to me also, but when the people who extract the most wealth out of the system let that system amass extreme debt, it's time to extract debt payments out of their pockets. Maybe. I'm no economist.

    2. sullivanst

      You may want to go look up the actual definition of "socialist", since its defining characteristic is public ownership and control of the means of production.

      Marxist theory was that the dictatorship of the proletariat would be socialist in nature, by the time you achieve the communist utopia [funny joke, right?] you don't have anything nationalized because there's no longer a concept of ownership.

      Taxing the hell out of the rich is social democracy, which is not the same thing as socialism.

      75% is less than the US top Federal rate from 1936 through 1964. What's wrong with 40% is that it would be a tax cut for the rich, as the top marginal rate in France is currently 41%.

      Don't forget, though, they're getting a lot more for their money, like world class universal healthcare and a great rail network. Haven't driven an autoroute in a long-assed time but I'd eat my shorts if you could find any of them in worse shape than the Cross-Bronx Expressway last time I was anywhere near the GWB. Oh, also too, affordable college.

      1. lisawines

        When I was researching this article, the actual socialist party website says that there are really no socialist countries in Europe: http://www.socialistparty.net/pub/archive/world-s

        And even though I snarked about the prisons and trains being one and the same, I have to say that I can get anywhere I want to, in Paris/France/Europe, easily and relatively inexpensively. I don't have to own a car, which is a huge plus.

        1. sullivanst

          They're a little hardcore in their dismissal of, say, 70s France where major chunks of industry (e.g. Rhône-Poulenc, Direction Générale des Télécommunications, Renault) were both owned and controlled by the government, as being not socialist. But the 80s and 90s saw a lot of privatization all across Europe and even those entities where the state retained majority ownership (e.g. Électricité de France), it ceded hands-on control.

          1. lisawines

            Since the Post Office was privatized, it went from dingy, grey buildings with grumpy employees to completely remodeled, clean and bright places and the employees actually walk around and ask if they can help you and are cheerful. It's been a complete about-face and a welcome one.

          2. sullivanst

            Remember what I said about entities where the state retained majority ownership?

            La Poste is one of those. It's not really a full-on privatization since it's not publicly traded, and the minority owner is itself partly state-owned. Even as a corporate entity it's still subject to a raft of government mandates.

            But yeah, I could see how losing Sarko as your nominal boss might cheer up a workplace :P

          3. lisawines

            Yeah – I read that the govt owns 80% of it. Everything if France is hard to do and takes forver. You never can get anything accomplished on the first try. You're always missing a piece of paper or a photcopy or something. 20 years ago, you couldn't buy postage stamps in the post office. You had to buy them in a bar where they had a tobacco store. When I go to pay for my work visa, I can't write them a check. I have to go to a bar with a tabac and buy these special money stamps and stick them all over my application. :-) But the post office is easy now. Thank God.

  20. mavenmaven

    Remember, its not the recurrent failure of "austerity", but its "Europe". Repeat on Fox news ad nauseum.

  21. Mojopo

    Did you listen to his concession speech? What a sore loser. It was basically an opportunity to tell everyone to go and piss their pants, because old Sarko is going to the private sector, betch, where he will make so much money and screw you all.

    1. BerkeleyBear

      What, is he gonna start selling his personally endorsed line of platform shoes? Or do a great reality show (along with Dennis Kucinich)on the secret to getting hot women to date ugly short guys (Hint: it works best if you have some sort of powerful job).

    2. flamingpdog

      How do you say, "You won't have Nic Sarkozy to kick around anymore" in French?

      1. DahBoner

        Jerry's kids have a lot of free time on their hands, since they haven't been on tour since that "incident" back in 95…

  22. prommie

    How can France have a sexual revolution? Would that mean that they will become monogamous and stop having affairs every day with the postman, the woman at the bakery, the taxi driver, and random people they glance at in the street? The whole fucking country is like a cruisy restroom, but for straights, isn't it?

    1. chicken_thief

      For a bunch of guys that look like sword swallowers they do get some tail, don't they?!

    2. lisawines

      Yes, they never stop thinking about sex, scheming about getting it, but if you say the word Fuck in regular conversation (a failing of mine), they are APPALLED.

    1. BarackMyWorld

      Especially the kind that quit their jobs to become actresses and buy their middle-aged husbands Beatles records.

  23. ttommyunger

    My french FB Friends are wailing and gnashing their teeth. Who knew they were rich?

    1. flamingpdog

      My French teacher in elementary school was a French WW II war bride. I always knew she was rich. Madame Rich, she was.

  24. mormos

    "This will be the return of 68ers, the sexual and yéyés revolution. Everyone will run naked; drug addict in the streets. "

    that… sounds awesome!

  25. glamourdammerung

    As far as the myth about France’s extremely high tax rates supporting the social safety net, that’s also a big myth. French corporate tax rates are 33.33% (US = 40%).

    Yeah, but the French make them pay theirs.

  26. marinmaven

    Wait! Hold on! The GOP has been saying that the French and all the Europeans were socialists for years now, and NOW they are "turning socialist". You mean, the GOP LIED to me?!?!?

  27. Hoisted_Peatard

    Yep…who could have seen this coming? Certainly not wingnuts or sar-coze-ee lol. The French voting public did two things: A) looked at austerity and how its doing such a BANG-UP job for the rest of Europe while picking through their well-worn copies of the French Revolution (make sar-coze-ee fatter and he's a perfect Louis XVI) and voted accordingly or B) realized Bush dry humping Sarkozy is trying to make them TOO much like us with his love the rich, hate everyone else polices and remembered they don't like Americans and acted accordingly. Either one is a good surface explanation but what makes me laugh is how Wall Street and the corporate media is taking this one: like the end of Ole Yeller. So, electing a string of socialists means European countries don't want to fix themselves eh, corporate media? Maybe…and I'm just spitballing here but maybe the ECONOMIC POLICIES you people favor are insane to everyone else but America? I mean…stupidity is really taking its toll. Anyway, glad to see that sawed-off little prick and whichever shameless rich-guy humping model he's married to are getting the boot…Carla, call me, I have a job unlike Sar-coze-ee!

  28. flamingpdog

    Kind of doubt it. I ended up going to high school with her daughter, and while my high school had a diverse student body, it pretty much lacked the "rich" side of diverse. Loved that woman, though – she not only spoke French at a hundred miles a minute (although she of course slowed it down for the kidz), but she also spoke ENGLISH at the same rapid-fire pace!

  29. animal_warrior

    This was a fun article. I love it! Socialism is SUCH a bad word over here in the US. I wish France the Best!

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