French reaction to changes to their youth job security law illustrates a disturbing trend. All the French government did was to fix an ill-conceived law that gave French youth a free ride at the expense of saddling their employers with unfireable deadwood. (Much like the deadwood the trade unions in the US have forced on GM, for example.) As Allahpundit put it, the new law merely made it so "they're not entitled to lifetime job security by age 26."
I don't care a fig how the French foul up their own country, but I see the ubiquitous 'strikes' that have traditionally paralyzed France giving way to something worse. The street demonstration as riot. When this violence and destruction takes the place of reasonable debate conducted through representatives of the opposing factions, western democracy is in for trouble.
There are folks here in the USA who will see the French capitulation (for capitulate they certainly will) to the demands and threats of the street mobs as a great success. Power to the People pukes will see this usurpation of process as a furtherance of their twisted notion of democratic ideals. In my view, mob rule is set apart from democracy by only the most tenuous of distinctions. What has been happening in France has blurred this boundary for the worse.
Too bad for the French, but who cares? I might say that, but I see this same mob mentality gaining here in America. The 2008 U.S. national elections will be a watershed; if its outcome is decided or even affected by uncivil mob action, the Union may well be finished.