“What liberal values have going for them is liberty and value.”
Adam Gopnik, writing in the New Yorker about Michel Houellebecq’s Francophobia.
It’s a terrific piece, well worth reading in full. Contains this delightful paragraph:
In the novel that made Houellebecq famous, “Les Particules Élémentaires” (1998), he proposed that a society with an unchecked devotion to economic liberalism and erotic libertinism would come to a daylong oscillation between fucking and finance, where bankers would literally break their backs in the act of having sex for the hundredth time that day. The satire seemed ridiculously heavy-handed and overwrought—and then came Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, who, in the brief time before dining with his daughter and boarding a plane, turned out to have budgeted fifteen minutes for sex (coerced or not) with a total stranger. D.S.K. was a character only Houellebecq could have imagined, and already had.
Yeah: and he might have been President of France today if he hadn’t slipped up in New York.