chapter  2
The Differend
Pages 3

The socialists’ victory did not thrill me.1 I said to myself: perhaps they lied during their campaign and will behave like good children in following the same line as Raymond Barre-increasing public spending on “social” programs by 3 percent of the gross national product, an increase to be covered by the national debt, a little inflation, income tax, and every available means of protecting employers. Thus by 1988 or 1995, the international competitiveness of French firms will not be seriously weakened, and at the same time society’s problems will remain unchanged. Or perhaps they did not lie to their electors, and they are going to introduce a neo-Keynesian economic program, a “welfare state” with a dash of self-management; given both the international structure of production and the market and the already low level of productive investment that currently exists, the socialists will clash head-on with hostile owners and managers of capital, they will have to give up after two years, once they have lost the confidence of their electoral constituency, and the hour of Jacques Chirac will have come.2