Immigration in France

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Commentary of «Que faire du progrès »

After twenty-three years in the political wilderness, a left wing party came to power, Le Parti Socialiste and was spearheaded by François Mitterrand, who became the first President of the Fifth Republic on the 10th of May 1981. The manifesto of the Socialist party outlines the party's beliefs and what can be learnt from the past. In the extract «Que faire du progrès » Mitterrand does not directly view the right wing government in a negative light, however, instead he focuses mainly on the issues surrounding society of that day. The manifesto is forward thinking in terms of technology in the future in terms of how people believed that machines would one day replace manual labour and that socialists do not fear progress, but actually desire it, "Non seulement les socialistes ne craignent pas le progres, mais ils le désirent" (lines 10 – 11). He believes that it will be able to replace man's ability to judge and also have a better memory. He even suggests that there is not socialism without science. France, having experienced political and economic instability in the 20th century, was going to have to progress by modernising.

The extract does not however blatantly outline the failures of the previous right wing governments, most notably in May 1968 which saw a three week strike by university students and staff and manual workers. This was due to students being frustrated at the education system's inability to cope with increasing numbers and its failure to respond to changing moral climates. These events lead to a period of economic paralysis and France witnessed a revolutionary moment. The protests gave many people with left wing views the opportunity to make themselves heard, be it communist, anarchist, or anti-Vietnam War protesters. The French economy was not particularly stable for a few years after the events of May 1968 and when Valery Giscard d'Estaing was in power, he appointed Raymond Barre as prime minister in...
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