November 9, 2005

French Funk

The French student and worker strikes of May 1968 reached such a frenzy that on May 29, 1968 an old and depressed President De Gaulle, fearing all was lost, fled by helicopter to West Germany to take refuge with French troops under the command of his redoubtable protégé, General Jacques Massu, who, during a long career, had wiped out the terror bombing organization in the famous Battle of Algiers in 1957 by use of torture (which he first tried on himself).

Massu convinced De Gaulle to buck up and return to France, and Prime Minister Georges Pompidou persuaded him that the New Left-Old Left alliance could be broken by granting 35% pay raises to the workers, leaving the faddish student revolt to wither. De Gaulle called new elections and won a huge majority. French democracy (or whatever you want to call what they have) was saved.

De Gaulle was one of the great patriots of the 20th Century, but even great men can crack. When you do, it's good to have friends like Massu and Pompidou.

Although the challenge from street punks today is far less than in 1968, I also doubt that the current French government has men of the same caliber.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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