Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Boss-napping in France

Feisty feisty France.  I once shared a summer-house with a lovely french girlfriend.  She was certainly as anti-authoritarian as one could be.  But rules of cooking were sacred.  The mussels must be prepared just-so.  The wine could only be this one for that dish.  Dinner was always at 8:45.  Rules and righteousness walked hand in hand.  On other girlish topics, she was an anarchist.  One should never ever wear anything "in style".  Make your own way and make your own clothes.

The French are busy being terribly terribly French these days.  A few weeks back, a group of workers kidnapped the bosses inside the company and blared rock and roll music at them as a negotiating tactic for a better layoff package.  There were a few other incidents of what the media has dubbed "boss-napping" in previous weeks at a French 3M plant and a Sony factory.  Today brings another episode at an adhesives factory facing closure.

I think the keyword here is righteousness.  My french girlfriend certainly was.  It was a concept that brought a strong justification for any action.  The difficulty with righteousness is that the "right thing" or "ethical thing" is always seen from a narrow point view.  One's own perspective is clearly the only correct one.  And that strong individualist streak of righteousness belies its religious roots.  Or, if one is religious, righteousness can be employed as a dangerous justification.  But I am digging myself in here.  I do like the French, and my French girlfriend, should she be reading this.  And I love her mussels.

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