Thursday 23 January 2020

France is an archipelago

While I am on the subject of city versus country, an article in this week's edition of Der Spiegel talks about the city-countryside split in France. My sympathies are entirely with the countryside and the provinces, the people who hunt and shoot and the working class, even though I could only be happy living in a big, bad capital city and have no idea how to handle a gun.
'France is no longer a united, solidary republic, says Jérome Fourquet, but a fragmented kingdom of islands, an archipelago of sorts. Fourquet works at IFOP, the oldest polling agency in France. It's his job to measure the nation's sensitivities with a sober eye. More than half of all French people still support the protesters, Fourquet says, and two-thirds are dissatisfied with Macron.
Last year, he published a best-selling book about his archipelago theory. 
'Fourquet attributes the division of the country into "many small and some large islands" to the diminishing importance of Catholicism. In the past, it was the Catholics versus the secularists -- just two camps, and everyone's positions were clear. You were either religious or you weren't. You were on the left or the right. Now, however, there's also a geographical fragmentation. Elites, Fourquet says, tend to live in big cities, while those people who fear change usually live in the countryside.'

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