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Tuesday, July 02, 2013
News at Eleven: While America and England share a myth
of progress, and with it a clear sense of a remote past, very few people in France are persuaded that the country is better now than it was back then--or any worse either: "The background of tradition of profound conviction that men and women and children do not change, that science is interesting but does not change anything, that democracy is real but that governments unless they tax you too much or get you defeated by the enemy are of no importance." The French may play at the game of progress, but they only play at it, and seem amoral to Americans because they don't submit everything to a puritanical-sentimental inquiry.