Ah, French students protesting. As Robert Duquette observes, protesting has long since passed from a means to an end to a self-justifying ritual.Well, mostly. Certainly that is the case in the USA, but the fact remains that in France, the students got what they wanted. It may have been a self-defeating stupid thing, but that’s what they wanted. That’s hard to square with being ineffective. Having been taught from birth that the only efficatious mechanism for dealing with social problems is government intervention, it would seem that protest is in fact the best (and only) option for bettering oneself.
This is the hallmark of a dysfunctional culture, where the optimum response as defined by the culture is counter-productive. This is precisely what makes this so difficult to recover from, as the effective means are either inconvievable or forbidden (as in France, any sort of Anglo-Saxon style economics are Pure Evil). It’s easy to say “they should take charge of themselves” but what can be done when the culure defines that in ways that fail?