France's "national psychiatrist" has issued an alarming report on the democratic and social health of the nation as it prepares to select a new presidentwrites John Lichfield in the Independent (merci à RV).
Gérard Mermet, a sociologist who publishes a much respected bulletin on the country's state of mind every two years, suggests that France now suffers from a collective form of three mental illnesses: paranoia, schizophrenia and hypochondria.
In Francosopie 2007, M. Mermet says that France is "schizophrenic", because it finds it difficult to "recognise the realities" of the "great changes" happening in the world around it.
He says France is "paranoid" because it believes itself to be the victim of a "global plot" and to have been betrayed by its own "elites".
Finally, France is a "hypochondriac" because it downplays its achievements and advantages and wilfully exaggerates its economic and social ills.