Oscar's Musings

In France, our closest cousins do not share our American
attitudes. In the United States, we all seek to maximize our incomes. We
work long hours. We start enterprises. We invest. In France, people do not
seek to maximize their incomes. Instead, what they want to maximize is
their leisure, and the quality of their lives. They spend more time
talking about how to cook the bacon than they do about how to bring it

France once had a European Empire - from Spain to Moscow. Later, it had
a worldwide empire - with subject countries and colonies in Africa, the
West Indies and the South Pacific. From the time of Richelieu to the
time of Leon Blum, France had one of the most powerful armies on earth.
Even at the beginning of WWII, France had the largest army in Europe -
on paper. But there never was a cycle that didn't want to turn. And the
imperial cycle turns along with the rest of them. For many generations,
the French believed they had the finest culture, the best schools, and
most advanced scientists, and the most dynamic builders in the world.
France saw its mission as bringing the benefits of its civilization...of
vin rouge and the Rights of Man...to the rest of the globe. But now
it's our turn. It is we Americans who think we have the best culture, the
best economy, the best government, and the best army the world has ever
seen. Now, it is we who have the burden of the "mission civilisatrice."
It is our duty to bring freedom and democracy to this tattered old
ball; our president said so.

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