Democracy minus the Rule of Law equals mob rule and the French Revolution of the 18th Century showed us in graphic detail what happens when the mob is allowed to rule. It would seem, from recent news reports, that the French are even more tradition oriented than most of us believed and might actually be interested in revisiting Robespierre's Terror, from a modern perspective. Out with the Rule of Law and in with whatever the mob deems appropriate at the moment, complete with backing from the Left and labor movements.
What am I talking about? I'm talking about a recent surge of kidnappings - dubbed "bossnappings" by a biased press that is apparently incapable of treating these instances with the seriousness they deserve - that have taken place in mostly foreign-owned businesses in France. Workers, angry about the recession and fears of layoffs, have taken to forcefully holding management captive, sometimes for only a few hours and sometimes - in at least one case - for as much as a day. French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a public statement about how such actions would not be tolerated, to which workers replied by capturing more employers. To date, the police have not interfered with any of these so-called "bossnappings". So much for "will not tolerate". And what of the Left? According to them, this is completely understandable.
Let me nail this down into a more finely-detailed picture. Sarkozy, being the hardnosed law and order kind of guy he is (laugh laugh ha ha), offered to meet with representatives of labor and discuss the issues at hand. The response he got was a classic. "I don't see why we should go and see him just so he can politely insult us, since he seems to think we are delinquents for having detained management for a few hours."
Check out that last phrase, "he seems to think we are delinquents for having detained management for a few hours." Newsflash: You are delinquents! You are kidnapping people and holding them hostage against their will. I don't think that qualifies for a Boy Scout award.
Supposedly this whole situation creates a dilemma for Sarkozy, in that he doesn't know which side to appease. I'm not entirely certain how criminal behavior causes a dilemma for a nation's president - I don't think this has yet reached a level to justify calling out the military so it should probably more accurately be a "dilemma" for the various local police forces. Business interests say that if this continues they will be forced to take their business out of France. Labor interests say the people are desperate and you have to be understanding. You can see the dilemma, can't you? Sarkozy has to choose between coddling criminals or protecting his nation's economy. That must be a real keep-you-up-late-at-night kind of decision.
Those few nations (and they have been very few) in history who have made democracy work for any extended period of time have done so only by having a firm set of rules within which the democracy must operate. So long as those rules are followed and certain natural excesses are kept in check then democracy can flourish and usually provide the safest form of government for human liberty and rights. Once those laws begin to be set aside, however, democracy will quickly begin to transform into its evil twin, mob rule. The tyranny of the mob will never protect liberty or rights and it is exactly where democracy goes when the rule of law is removed.
If you want to see a return of The Terror, Mr. Sarkozy, then by all means continue to sit on your hands and bemoan the desperate nature of your people. Do please warn us, however, if that is your goal so that we can make preparations to prevent the madness from spreading.