There have been several lively discussions recently (see for example, somewhat shamelessly, here, here, here, here or here) regarding the immanent vote in France on whether or not to ratify the European constitution as currently structured. Is a "yes" vote an immediately despicable but ultimately necessary gesture? Intellectual figures far and wide seem to be calling for the “courage” and “strength” to vote “yes,” but significant enough doubts have been raised, among a remarkably diligent and conscientious public (ah, if only we had such a thing here!), as to make the likelihood of a majority “no” vote in France very strong. The issue seems to be one of either compromising with a neoliberal “free” market wet dream for the sake of "progress" and meaningful competition with the U.S., versus taking an active stand for something better, more just, more wary of the disaster that is unchecked privatization, perhaps more democratic and yet to come (which is not to say, of course, inevitable). Needless to say the corporate press, even in France, seems to be rolling over itself in a mad rush to grant space to luminaries, writers and philosophers of all stripes who fervently oppose the “no” vote, yet rarely if ever do these public intellectuals address the concerns of what appears to be the majority of French citizens. Just what are Habermas, Grass, Kluge, and Baudrillard thinking?
Well maybe we needn't ask Baudrillard just yet, for fear of distracting him from his tevee...(or is that his camera?) but politics in Europe, let alone France, does often seem quite confusing to those thoroughly acculturated (or is that numbed?) by wizardly debate, once every four years, between frat boys and choir boys. In any case, there's more here and, um, here.