Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Review of my Collège Lecture


As for the Collège, I enjoyed touring the premises, including the remarkable 13th c. remains recently uncovered in the basement. But at lunch I learned that when a professor at the Collège presents his ID card at the checkout counter of certain bookstores in the neighborhood in order to qualify for the academic discount, the cashier often fails to recognize France's most prestigious institution of higher learning. The name "collège" suggests a middle school, and the card is refused. Sic transit gloria mundi.

I very much enjoyed the extraordinary privilege of lecturing at this most august of junior high schools.

Aux Petits Soins

Françoise Fressoz offers an interesting commentary on the recent shift in Socialist rhetoric to emphasize the "society of care." Not only is there a residue of social Catholicism in this language, which comes naturally to the daughter of Jacques Delors. There is also a recognition that in an era of austerity, promises of state assistance are likely to ring hollow, and it will be difficult to distinguish the austerity of the Right from that of the Left. Hence the need for a new "value." "Care" fills the bill: it is as capacious as "security" and requires no real commitment.