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Crazy Old Uncle France

2006-07-23

Category: politics

With the United Nations talking about stuff again, one wonders why France is on the Security Council.

During the past two World Wars, forces rather thoroughly decimated France. All of their colonies broke off with two of those in South East Asia drawing the United States into long, bloody conflicts. Until the European Union started handling the tariff issue, France used harsh import taxes to subsidize their failing agricultural system. They?ve restructured their government repeatedly over the past six decades. Why could such a nation even be considered for a spot on the Security Council?

I think I have it figured out. Most families (like yours) have a crazy old uncle. The guy babbles incoherently, drools too much, is extremely grouchy, and has an odd odor. Most of the time you will be polite to him when he is around, but you try to avoid encountering him when you can. You realize he is an annoyance, but he is family. Besides, he wasn?t always this way.

France is much like that crazy old uncle. Long ago, France was just the territory of Gaul as held by a tribe called the Franks. They were great in warfare and conquered many other peoples. Much of Europe is Christian because Clovis, the king of the Franks, converted them in 469 CE. Just like your crazy old uncle went off to war when he was a young man, young France was a proud warrior too.

Of course, your uncle wasn?t at war all his life. Eventually, he came home and did practical things. Maybe he explored arts and sciences. Maybe he traveled the world. These things happened in France as well. During the Enlightenment, French philosophers, artists and scientists figured out a great many things about the world. These are things that led to our technological society today.

Of course, old age eventually sets in. Your uncle can no longer own all the things he used to own. He has become bigoted and surly. No one does anything right in his eyes because he is lost in dreams of past glories. He is easily defeated by outside forces. His mind grows feebler. His odor does something; what is that?

The same holds true for France. It has been a long time since France held any real power. They fight internally for some sort of order. They complain about everything that is not French because those things are not as good as France was in its heyday. The French have trouble dealing fairly with ethnic minorities within their borders, often oppressing these minorities. You can make your own joke about the odor.

So the international community affords this last courtesy to Crazy Old Uncle France because France was once a nation worth something. In addition to that, among the nations, France is family.


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