It seems I hit a nerve here.
I’ll rephrase my thesis: France, in my view, is unique in Europe for institutionalising the medieval FEODO-VASSAL relationships of SUBMISSION. Both State & Church instruct submission to authority in a level UNIMAGINABLE to the average US/UK citizen.
In other words: french law officially recognises practices that are considered “normale” in France, and UNIMAGINABLE for the rest of the Europe.
ex.: Franco in Spain is named a “dictator”. Papadopoulos in Greece? A dictator. In France, no dictator! Never! Really?
The french law devises arguments to avoid any stigma around “bad words”. So, nazi occupation? No! It’s “État français” (the French State) instead of the “French Dictatorship”. No dictator. France will NEVER have dictatorship! It will change the name.
Example: This is what law students are taught in 2019 about current Prime minister :
“tout Premier ministre soit le vassal du chef de l’État” (every Prime minister shall be the vassal of the Head of State)
Can you imagine an American or UK textbook casually writing like this?
Can you imagine a student at Harvard, being publicly humiliated, for not being “good enough” for his “seigneur” (prof)?
Welcome to the most celebrated Fr higher institution: Science Po. Recently a famous Fr youtuber quit Science Po for same reasons.
Fr vs. US
Conservatives in US are fighting for the right to bare arms against a police state. And we consider them “dumb”.
Conservatives in France are fighting for the right of POLICE to make CHILDREN KNEEL to authority. Can you imagine this reporting by Fox news?
Greeks hate order, they respect unwritten law (e.g. Jesus, Socrates).
Germans love ORDER by the TEXT of law. Protestantism, a german movement to return to the ORIGINAL TEXT.
French respect ORDER enforced by AUTHORITY. Protestantism never rooted in “revolutionary France”. Why?
Another concrete example: The latest constitution (1958) was created by ONE MAN! Yes, the “revolutionary France” passed a law in 3 June 1958 and gave the authority to ONE MAN (Charles de Gaulle) to write the whole f***ing Constitution by himself & his close friends.
In the face of this procedure (1958), the left-wing François Mitterrand wrote a book “The permanent Dictatorship (Le Coup d’État permanent)” (1964). That was before he became a president. After, Mitterrand will also use absolute powers to impose his own ideas.
Now French stormed the streets wearing the same Yellow Vest. Can you imagine Americans or Greeks wearing the same piece-of-clothing?
French are trained to act in group. To dress in group. To conform in group. To revolt in group. Waiting for the next “seigneur” to submit?
All these remarks are NOT to underestimate the significance of yellow vest movement, or the role of Charles de Gaulle or the French Revolution.
I’m just stating there is a strong medieval féodo-vassalique CONTEXT in Fr POLITICS that most either underestimate or are unaware of.
For those who want to dive a bit deeper into French psyche it’s indispensable to study Napoléon Bonaparte. How he took power and how he paved his way into history.
An interesting debate.