The only thing about this article is that no explanation is given. As I was very unfortunately born in Pétainistan, let me to give you my opinion regarding this.A Frenchman with lots of insight named RV puts the French-Hate-Themselves-More-Than-Americans-Do poll into perspective. For one thing, the poll in no way means that the French — no matter how much they supposedly hate themselves — don't always feel superior to (and scornful of) Americans. RV has more:
Actually I've been feeling that self loathing since I'm very young. We are told from school to television that the Pétainistanis are basically not left-wing enough: too capitalist (not communist enough), not repentant enough about the past, not collectivist enough (not sacrificing enough for the sake of the common good), not enough capable of getting rid of the bourgeoisie and bourgeois traditions, not enough to get rid of the alledged racist White supremacist power leading politics, media and economy. Etc, etc. I guess this is widespread in the whole West, and of course in America: one just has to take a look at the average Liberal fool to find almost the same roots. But in Pétainistan it's incredibly strong. For example, patriotism is equated to Fascism, which is not the case in most of the other countries.
This kind of loathe is widely expressed in music, I'm thinking of old songs from the old, crappy Commie booser named Renaud -- not to talk about rap "music". I'm thinking about the 2002 elections, when millions of bobos invaded the streets shouting "I'm ashamed to be French". There are loads of such examples.
Two other points I'd like to make:
- This self loathe is currently fainting, at least since Shiraq's policy towards America, and its active support of Arab regimes: the more left leaning, the less self loathing.
- This is incredibly relative: almost nobody plays with the guilt regarding the Rwandan genocide -- probably because it's a deed of a Socialist government. Once more, the more left leaning, the less self loathing.
But it's not because self loathing is high that left leaning is weak, on the contrary: it's because the leaning is not left enough.