France and the mirage of progess

December 10, 2006

I just arrived in Paris from Buenos Aires for LeWeb3 conference organized by Loic Lemeur. I was horrified to see all the stores open on a Sunday! Had France given in to consumerism? Did the French government decide to trust shop owners and consumers to decide for themselves when to shop? Did the bureaucrats who set store opening hours not realize that preventing stores from being open on evenings and week-ends was actually the best defense against rampant capitalist consumerism?

I was relieved to learn that this was just an exception and stores were only open during the first few Sundays of December. Apparently many consumers had complained about not being able to shop when they were not at the office because all the stores were closed. Didn’t they realize the state always knew better what was in their self interest?

Anyway, the moment of terror had passed – arch-conservatism was safe in France after all!

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