Society in France is based upon the idea that everybody has the right to act upon their own will, but to treat other as equals who live together in a formal organization. That is a very sophisticated way to put the matter ergo I am going to make it easier to understand what liberty, equality and fraternity mean. I am going to try to not become overly hung up on once concept of the other.

Liberty is the idea that people have the right to decide for themselves. Which means if you want to go off a join a rock back in LA or if you want to study hard and get into law school, you are able to choose for yourself which path you are going to take, the choice is yours and not any body else’s. The flip side of this coin is law, because every society and culture has some form of law that prevents some actions from taking place for some citizens. Ideally law should be in place to protect citizens from unfair treatment of fellow citizens.

At this moment is where consequences come in to play, people in the city metro jump the barriers everyday, and some people loose their ticket. However, in the eyes of the law the punishment is the same for both offences. Lets look at Michelle and me for a second both of us given the same punishment for different crimes. One day it was cold and I didn’t have any money so I jumped a barrier to ride the metro, I was caught and forced to pay 40euro on the spot. Michelle lost her metro ticket and was forced to pay 40 euro on the spot. Two totally different crimes, why is the punishment the same? Is that just?

Equality is a person is considered at the same as another in status or quality. Interesting because how does society measure equality? Economically, it is measured in money; money is a measuring rod of value. Wow, what does that say about society? A soccer player makes 100,000 euro a week and a teacher is forced to resign because there is no money to pay their salary. Which does a society value more? A counter argument is that money itself is neutral, and cannot be considered a measuring rod, but I would like to know of another objective means to measure equality?

Another plausible view is that I have economized a political ideology. I am going to unpack that view here. Surely, we are all politically equal. Except for the fact that everyone has the power to vote that is a null statement. Voting in a representative system only put decision makers in power one in power all decision-making is then removed from the electorate placed into the representatives. Even referendums most be voted on in a committee.

Fraternity, society has a formal organization. I disagree with that definition because spontaneous orders are very informal. There are no written rules that govern how people go in and out of doors or cross the street in traffic for that matter, but still is an order when observed. Formal organizations are a type of social order that put a routine standard on operation.

Liberty, equality and fraternity are the three pillars of French Society, does a French Society exists. Yes, it does. There are ways of behavior that are typically French, that go beyond eating croissants and drinking espresso, both of which are amazing. Holding the door open for women is not a sexual move but a courtesy, leaving tips is an option, protests are a form of collective venting, talks in cafés are lively and can go on for hours, obeying the rules of grammar is not bad for your health. Philosopher, Jean Boudrillard says society does not exist, well I think his work is rubbish.

5 thoughts

  1. I always thought of fraternity in France as “brotherhood”or a common link between people. The French have a passionate ideals about who they are and what they represent.

  2. I’m sorry that this is my second comment on the matter, but my very basic knowledge of France’s government stems from the issue of their belief that no one’s personal liberties should impinge upon those of others, with which I agree. (My example, again, is of their ban of “ostentatious”religious symbols, like headscarves or overly large crucifix jewelry.) I believe that there is a fine line which France toes, as does America, with letting people do and say what they want whilst trying to keep other people from getting offended.

    The main question that we face is: how to you keep liberties safe, for the people who want to do things and those people who would rather that the others didn’t? That’s a common thread between the U.S. and France, one which we struggle, I think.

  3. What I find so interesting about the three pillars of French society is that they are rather like the climax of the Age of Enlightenment. I believe that at least in part, the French Revolution was fueled by the American Revolution (and the vast sums of money the French spent supporting it), and I think the great thinkers in Paris and the great thinkers amongst our Founding Fathers has a great many ideas in common–they were just expressed and implemented differently which is again, a sign of differing cultures…similar ideas presented differently.

  4. Every society is different yet anthropologically they are the same. Each with social stratification, specialization and a large number of people. I love your definition of liberty. It is true and sad though that crimes are the same no matter how they are perpetrated. We have laws to keep social classes from mixing and also to protect us, but who makes the laws differs in each society as the laws differ. Elected officials make decisions that affect everyone yet know not how the other classes will be affected by it. Equality is an idea that is only present in certain societies. It is something created solely by culture and is relatively new to existence. Fraternity as a social organization, I agree goes much further. It is a deep brotherhood that is not found in so many places. It is nice to see that France has those things, and is struggling to keep them stable. They are in flux as to what is right and wrong, so that as times change they can too.

  5. I believe more that society forms its own sets of rules, that is everyone together agrees on what is morally right and wrong. I believe this to be true because every country possesses its own personality which describes how they are. One countries’ laws can and many are different from America’s laws. I feel for the most part more developed countries have a balanced listing of good and bad laws that allow a society to function with consistency. It is rubbish of course societies do exist

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