The Origins of Polarization in France and Its Pension Fronde

“For better or worse, whether we like it or not, whether we are even conscious of it, the revolution of 1789 changed the way we see ourselves and relate to power. Compromise is an art reserved for others. On the rare occasions we have tried it, we have lamentably failed. Confrontation is what we seem to be born for, what we secretly seek, what makes us tick. Macron is the first to enjoy a dispute. In a room, he will always walk straight to the few dissenters and debate with them at length, for he believes in his power of persuasion. This is admirable and perhaps, at times, a little impetuous of him.”

The role of the Opposition to oppose has within the larger legislative embodiment not been viewed as absolute. The rule of thumb is to oppose vigorously up to the point that the broader national interest would be harmed by a failure to reach a “compromise solution.” As the Rolling Stones once sang in “Street Fighting Man.” France, wisely, has generally not taken political advice from English rock stars and politicians. Still, there may today exist some scope for greater attention to the delicate and deft arts of compromise.