Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will

It looks as though I was too optimistic when I predicted that the strikes would be over by Monday. Although participation is dwindling, rail and subway service is still seriously perturbed, and the remaining strikers, about 22 percent of the work force at SNCF, are nearly unanimous in approving continuation of the strike. One sees votes being taken in open-air assemblées générales, where there seem to be no rules about quorums or other procedures to ensure that the full membership is being heard. One would have to have far more knowledge of the internal politics of the unions than I do to say with confidence what is going on, but it does seem clear that leadership did not count on as much resistance from the rank-and-file as they appear to be encountering. The situation at the universities is even less clear, and it is difficult even to know how many universities have been affected. Estimates range from 20 to 45 of the 85, with varying degrees of disruption.

The government seems content to wait out the strikers, but there is a potential that the walkout of civil servants scheduled for next week will reignite the movement.


Unknown said...

Wouldn't you say "disrupted" for "perturbé"? Well, perturbed service is a funny image. Perturbed, perplexed, and Perisian. Even we seasoned city cyclists are tiring of the forced exercise.

Unknown said...

Perturb \Per*turb"\, v. t. [L. perturbare, perturbatum; per +
turbare to disturb, fr. turba a disorder: cf. OF. perturber.

2. To disorder; to confuse. [R.] --Sir T. Browne.
[1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 2.0 :


4: throw into great confusion or disorder; "Fundamental
Islamicists threaten to perturb the social order in
Algeria and Egypt" [syn: derange, throw out of kilter]

Anonymous said...

Writers are striking here, forcing people to turn off the TV and go out.

Transport workers in France are striking, forcing people to stay home and watch TV.

There is balance in the ecosystem.

Unknown said...

Cap and trade.

Anonymous said...

Art -

The news reports indicate a rise in anti-strike, anti-blocus organization (e.g. 3-10,000 in Paris). What's your estimate of when it will be found out (probably by Le Canard) that these demonstrations are being organized by, orchestrated by...the sarkosysteme? (Sarko will have plausible deniability)

Chriac/Villepin look more inept than ever.


Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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