France: Beyond the Standoff

More than most heads of state, Charles de Gaulle is fond of the conspiratorial theory of human events. Last week, when 2,500,000 French workers walked off their jobs after the collapse of wage talks between unions and the government, he went on TV and condemned the strikers as "agitators" and "plotters" whose tactics "threaten to sink the currency, the economy and the republic." De Gaulle told France: "Need I declare that they will all be defended?" He had good reason to fear any thing resembling the massive strikes that caused chaos in France last spring.

The work stoppage lasted only...

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