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In 1981, when a strike by air traffic controllers threatened to bring US commerce and civil life to a crippling standstill, President Ronald Reagan took to the podium and said of the workers “They are in violation of the law and if they do not report for work within 48 hours they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.”

Calling Reagan’s bluff, the workers continued the industrial action for several days, expecting continued negotiation and a half-way compromise with their demands. True to his word, Reagan then fired over 11,000 unionised workers.

Given its scale and decisive resolution, this would prove to be a catalytic event in the history of the American labour movement, providing an effective deterrent against similar action ever since.

Fast forward to the present and France this time risks falling into dysfunction as a result of nationwide transport sector strikes. Unlike the Reagan administration of 1981 though, the French government still languishes in the grip of socialist psychosis and would appear both powerless and unwilling to intervene.

A Reaganite revolution for France is obviously too utopian to be feasible. But something of that kind is undoubtedly needed if the country is to avoid social and economic collapse in the future.

D, LDN.

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