Do French administrations even pretend to observe the niceties?

Incoming Socialist president François Hollande demanded and received the dismissal of the editor of Le Figaro, the country’s top conservative newspaper, whose owners have military-contracting interests and must cultivate the goodwill of the state. [Scott Sayare, New York Times]


  • The US has elevated the “Freedom of speech” to a central plank of its constitution and ethos.

    That’s rather different from most of European history where this freedom has been limited. Speaking freely could land you in prison (or worse – especially if you denigrated your sovereign).
    These days, ther frredom of expression is part of the EU Treaties, but it’s still circumscribed by restrictions.
    The US decided that in breaking with European roots, it wanted a complete freedom of expression (religious and secular) witout significant restrictions.
    As the expression goes “they do it differently in France”.

  • I recall a few years ago a French Minister of the Interior saying that Freedom of Speech is the right of every civilized person so long as no one is offended. Since I was offended I suppose that means that I am not civilized (i.e., French)


  • […] expanded into a longer Cato post my item about how (according to the New York Times) incoming French president François Hollande demanded […]