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> [ShadowsOfEurope] France, each nation may as well have it's review
Snow_Fox
post Jul 25 2004, 03:30 PM
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I liked this. Ok more than racial preferences and the fact I've been bugging Synner about this for years.

The fine line to walk is between the "we're great" that marked the unoffical SB from years ago, and picking on the French.

I liked the idea of Paris being kept clean, in it's heart, for tourists, corpers and nobles, lots of room to run there kiddies. With urban sprawl around it. The industrial wastes to the west and the special areas. Volcanic horrors in the jura- new to play in, and Brittany- possible ghost land. This is my favorite, as I've said before. These are the celts in France and it is fitting that they should be different.

I like the idea of the nobles being the power block and between that and the French cardinal gently pulling away from Rome it seems rather more like the works of Dumas than SR, but then I adore Dumas' writings so i'm a very happy girl.

The cultural comments are close to the vest but good about hiding magic and cyber and why.

OK problems:
Unions. French labor unions are infamous, and violent. They've just been sucked up?
Wine- this isn't just my passion, it is a part of french culture. In WW2 french troops in 1939 were released from service to help with the harvest, in 1944 attacking in the Rhone region planned their attacks around good vinyards. It is a part of regional pride and it's production is an important part of the economy. (the rise of beer drinkers and drop of wine drinkers in france in the last 10 years has led to presidential committees to investigate, and vinyards are given special tax protection. A few lines in the text might have covered this.

Food and fashion- again France sees herself as the centre for fine dining and fashion. A line could have been added to paris about these passions, to give ideas of runs for fashion shows and poaching fine chefs.

But this is nit picking. In general
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Ancient History
post Jul 25 2004, 05:22 PM
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Again, I'd like to say how much I liked Auvergne. I also appreciated how France subsumed Wallonia (no need to shed tears for the old homeland.)

Brittany is nice, though it lacks the old feel of Broceliande Forest, really. The bit about the human couple having seven elves (youngest of whom might be a dryad) is a nice touch. But I still think the Mist could have been done otherwise.
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Nath
post Jul 26 2004, 02:28 AM
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QUOTE (Snow Fox)
Volcanic horrors in the jura

The volcanoes are in Auvergne, not Jura. Auvergne is in central France. Jura is on the border with Switzerland, with nothing particular in SR except that a small region of Switzerland (aptly named the Canton du Jura) joined France at some point in the timeline.

For the following points, you could sum it up in one word: space. We simply could not cover everything. Actually looking back at one of my last drafts there were one or two sentences mentionning strikes and wines. When reaching the final cut there wasn't anylonger the room or even the context for those.

QUOTE (Snow Fox)
Unions. French labor unions are infamous, and violent. They've just been sucked up?

The fate of the French labor unions is completely tied to the existence of a strong public sector: the ministry of education, the hospitals, the SNCF (national railway company), EDF (national energy company)... things that makes France, as one economist put it, "a Soviet Union who succeded." But it would just not work in cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk universe full of extraterritorial megacorporations. The megacorps and a political class more right-winged than today would probably kill the labor unions, and with a strong popular support.
On the other hand, it would make ESUS an interesting megacorp: it controls the national railway and most urban transport, classical hotbeds for strikes, with extraterritorial status and the French state as a major shareholder. The whole thing actually looks a lot like a set-up to silence the unions.

QUOTE (Snow Fox)
Wine- this isn't just my passion, it is a part of french culture. In WW2 french troops in 1939 were released from service to help with the harvest, in 1944 attacking in the Rhone region planned their attacks around good vinyards. It is a part of regional pride and it's production is an important part of the economy. (the rise of beer drinkers and drop of wine drinkers in france in the last 10 years has led to presidential committees to investigate, and vinyards are given special tax protection. A few lines in the text might have covered this.

Wine production is a rididulous part of the economy. Nowadays it weights about 10 billions euros, out of 1.5 trillion for the whole French economy. If you only consider exports, that would be slightly more important, but still only 5 billions euros out of 350. The aerospace and automobile industries each weights ten or twenty times that. Of course back in the 1940ies the balance between agriculture and industry wasn't the same, nor the equipment the vineyards had.

I don't find the presidential commitee thing really significant. It's basically the same thing than a pack of farm subsidies an US Administration would give to secure votes in the Midwest. It wouldn't make you say chicken is an important part of the US economy.

I guess inter-vineyards rivalry employing shadowrunners for sabotage could have been fun. Especially when you know that IRL international companies, sometimes not related at all to the food or luxury industry, control some of the greatest vineyards as financial investments. In SR that would of course be the megacorps we all know (Yamatetsu and Aztechnology topping that list through their local subsidiaries).
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Snow_Fox
post Jul 26 2004, 02:41 AM
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My mom freaked when she found out I liked Australian Syrah over Rhone Shiraz. Even being a lower part of the economy than cars, it is still more somethinug associated with France than autos. At least we can know it's a victim of editing rather than writing.

I was thinking about fighting between vinyards and appelations and a hoast of ideas. I guess we can still do that fitting it under the various noble houses. Yeah I saw on the map the volcanos were too far west for the jura. I typed that running on my mental map, rather than refering back to the book.
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Sepherim
post Jul 26 2004, 03:15 AM
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Obviously, some things couldn't be introduced in SoE for reasons already explained. But the great thing about the book is that adding more elements to the picture is quite easy. For example, I'll build a quick plot that I imagine as I read the thread, involving the elements you missed in the French chapter.

Many of Yamatetsu's vineyards in southern France are about to stop their production due to a massive strike called by their local labour union. They say that the reason is the new law regarding agriculture funds that the NEEC is about to approve. Real reason is that Meridional Agronomics has payed them to go to strike, so to cause a diversion on their rivals and attempt a move on farmlands in northern Italy that both corporations are interested in.

If you want to twist the basic plot more, throw in the French noblemen and their lobbying in the NEEC through the chosen representatives; throw in Aztechnology who is not willing to let Meridional take those lands so has launched an attack from Barcelona; throw in the different "Italian" governments who are interested in who should handle the lands both Yamatetsu and Meridional want; even more parties can be added with a little effort. And so, you've got the basic for a couple related shadowruns, covering four different countries.

And that's just one of the different possibilities, I bet you can think of many others.
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otaku mike
post Jul 26 2004, 05:00 AM
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When we had to cut out some parts we tried to leave the really important things to play SR, and the things that was really different than nowadays France.

We discussed the Unions, of course, but it seemed logical that in 60 years, given the general trend the world takes in SR, that even in France they would have been silenced. I'm sure it didn't go smoothly, but as NMAth said, the corpos have much more pressure on the employees. Another very important, and IMHO different than any other SR country so far, is that the State Welware is still a reality in 2063's France. This has been a very difficult balance to reach, with deals with the Corps, but that's a unique trait of the French society that we kept. In 2063, it's not in a good shape, but holding so far. This is probably the reason why unions keep a low profile, because the population must know (don't worry, the various gov made sure about that) that they are "priviledged" people compared to the rest of the world.

When we had to cut, we also went to the clichés first. That's a worldwide cliché that France is assiociated with wines, fashion and cosmetics. Most GM and players know that. They can think about that when thinking about France. We didn't see much interest in developing that further. And that would have been percieved as gloating because we have no way to be sure that France will stay a fashion center for the next 60 years. Some wines from Chile already can compete with French, and one could say that the fashion city leading position now belongs to London or New York... IMHO, it was better use the space to describe the changes rather than what didn't change.
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lspahn72
post Jul 26 2004, 02:51 PM
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I was alittle shocked that they included France in the New Book, You would think they would have Surrendered to Spain, Germany, or Italy by now....
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Blue eyes
post Jul 26 2004, 05:30 PM
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If you don't have anything useful to add to the discussion then don't...

I enjoyed the chapter concerning France, especially the part concerning the influence of the nobles, it's nice to see them making a comeback a few centuries after the bloody revolution. A bit more about Paris would have been nice....

However I find it very odd and a bit of a shame that The Laughing Man didn't have a few comments concerning the country he is living in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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FlakJacket
post Jul 26 2004, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (Blue eyes @ Jul 26 2004, 05:30 PM)
A bit more about Paris would have been nice....

Hey, they said it was scheduled for destruction by the funky magic volcanoes. Already got legitimtely killing off Paris, lets not ask for the world. ;)
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lspahn72
post Jul 26 2004, 06:37 PM
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QUOTE (Blue eyes)
If you don't have anything useful to add to the discussion then don't...

I enjoyed the chapter concerning France, especially the part concerning the influence of the nobles, it's nice to see them making a comeback a few centuries after the bloody revolution. A bit more about Paris would have been nice....

However I find it very odd and a bit of a shame that The Laughing Man didn't have a few comments concerning the country he is living in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really wasnt trying to be a smarta**...Ok maybe alittle, but my point really was i was sorta suprised at the lack of change of boundries..Considering that North America was Completely broken up. And anyone with a talk first, and second, and well nineteen or twenty times before resorting to conflict would have a much harder time remaining in the harsh shadowrun climate.... I dont know if the map from Sixth World is Canon, but Asia seems to be the victim of similiar problems with China Breaking up....Anyone Else have any ideas why the Euros Held together??




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shadd4d
post Jul 26 2004, 07:04 PM
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1) National governments tending to be federalist in nature, allowing for semipowerful states and city-states under a "national" banner, a la Mariselles, for instance or the German states.

2) Even now, there is a large trend toward continental identity, i.e. I am European first and "insert nationality here" second. Similar to how people feel when they claim to be citizens of the world.

3) The Euro wars present a very real enemy that can only be defeated through coalitions comprised of the member states.

4) A larger percent of important and viable nationalism.

5) Remember how Europe is a patchwork, even the larger nations are patchworks of cultural archipelagos. Take Britian for instance: Wales, Ireland, and England. Three cultural, almost linguistic islands that have been a nation for going on 300+ years since the crowns united. France has been a nation in the real sense for just as long (the introduction of the 1st republic and Parisian French as the national language built up but also built upon the centralization undertaken by Loius XIV about 120+ years before the Revolution). Taken like that, people feel safer. Also note that for the most part, excepting Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, Great Britian, and Ireland, each country in Europe speaks a distinctive language, partially derivative based on lingual group, but ultimately 1 language per country. How long has Sweden been unified (a better question is when was Sweden not unified)? At least 500 years at the minimum (it was unified already before the 30 years war and Luther). That's a strong unification, especially when it's kept the country unified for the better part of a millenia (and kept them fighting each other for the most part). Also remember that there aren't indigineous tribes or something for Europeans to push out and colonize; they are their own indigineous people.

Just what I can think of off the top of my head.

Don
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Blue eyes
post Jul 26 2004, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE (lspahn72)
Anyone Else have any ideas why the Euros Held together??

I think Europe has seen quite a few changes in the book - but it's true that it's nothing compared to North America. I thing the reason why it hasn't seen the same amount of change is that Europe over a millennium has had a very bloody history filled with many territorial conflicts, through such history Europe and it's people has found itself and its different identities, leading toward a more stable community. Which is the reason why less border changing insued when the awakening happend.

By the way there should of course be room for being a smar a.., so sorry for snapping, but then there should also be room for different opinions when it comes to politics.... :)
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lspahn72
post Jul 26 2004, 08:22 PM
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QUOTE (Blue eyes)


By the way there should of course be room for being a smar a.., so sorry for snapping, but then there should also be room for different opinions when it comes to politics.... :)

Hey....I Love Strong Opinion...I also have been known to be a bit overanxious when making my feelings known....But i love my Country and it ingrained! Thanks!!!!
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lspahn72
post Jul 26 2004, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE (Blue eyes)


By the way there should of course be room for being a smar a.., so sorry for snapping, but then there should also be room for different opinions when it comes to politics.... :)

Hey....I Love Strong Opinion...I also have been known to be a bit overanxious when making my feelings known....But i love my Country and it ingrained! Thanks!!!!
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Snow_Fox
post Jul 26 2004, 10:33 PM
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Frances borders are amoung the firmest in Europe because of her poition. The Germans are fighting amoung themselves. Germany only really was threat to France after 1870 when she was a single force, in the south Italy ans switzerland don't want to pick a fight with the bigger neighbor and the alps pretty much lock up the frontier(look at the fighting between Italy and austria in WW1 for a good example of that.)
Spain has a real problem with basques and again the mountains make a good block.to the west, south and north, the sea. and in the north east, they expanded, taking in the Walloons the way Quebec would love to be absorbed.

for the unions you're right of course and I liked how the corps have to admitt a level of social control. I'm assuming this means french gov't paperpushers roaming the halls of corp facilities-hint hint children.

Warning, wine geek lingo ahead:
As for wine, sure, California has been fighting successfully against the french since the 1970's, Champagne is famous and I expressed my traitorous fondness for some Australian wines over particular french regionals. But there is still something of an aura about the french wines, certains names, especially out of Bordeaux and the marketing campaign around Beuajolais Novuea. Chille makes some very good wines and I'd choose a chillean Merlot over a french one(because france has only recently gotten on the Merlot band wagon), I'd test a Phensylvanian or washington Chardonay against french ones and Oregon pinot noir against young burgundy's. There is wine industry in Romania (don't) Bulgaria (maybe) (england) mwahahahahah, but no nation does all the wines the way France does!
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Nath
post Jul 26 2004, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE (Snow Fox)
Frances borders are amoung the firmest in Europe because of her poition.

Nuclear weapons also make a good deterrent. Heck, Amazonia conquested half of South America and bumped into Aztlan, but didn't dare to invade French Guiana.

QUOTE (Snow Fox)
But there is still something of an aura about the french wines, certains names, especially out of Bordeaux and the marketing campaign around Beuajolais Novuea.

Beaujolais Nouveau. And I'm not fond of red wine (except that 1963 Chateau Margot I drank once...), I widely prefer rosé, especially those from southwestern France. But I love you all the same lady.
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Nath
post Jul 26 2004, 11:21 PM
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QUOTE (lspahn72)
Anyone Else have any ideas why the Euros Held together??

We europeans have football. Every two years (European and World Cups) we fight with those english bastards, the italian pigs, german morons and french jerks, settling issues like an usurpated penalty shoot sixteen years ago. Thus we don't feel the need to go at war with them every twenty years to settle issues like a rear attack sixty years ago. National championship do the same internally. There's a just some grievings between the British Islands and France that are settled with rugby instead.

The US have sports nobody wants to play with them, and the result is, they keep sending troops around the world to make war :grinbig: At least the national leagues keep the country united.
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lspahn72
post Jul 27 2004, 03:24 AM
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QUOTE (Nath)
QUOTE (lspahn72 @ Jul 26 2004, 08:37 PM)
Anyone Else have any ideas why the Euros Held together??

We europeans have football. Every two years (European and World Cups) we fight with those english bastards, the italian pigs, german morons and french jerks, settling issues like an usurpated penalty shoot sixteen years ago. Thus we don't feel the need to go at war with them every twenty years to settle issues like a rear attack sixty years ago. National championship do the same internally. There's a just some grievings between the British Islands and France that are settled with rugby instead.

The US have sports nobody wants to play with them, and the result is, they keep sending troops around the world to make war :grinbig: At least the national leagues keep the country united.

WOW...Being the DIe Hard, Cowboy Hat Wearin', sometime Warmongering Americain I have to say that that is the best analogy i have ever seen. Maybe yall just have it out of your systems..But i still think it is appropriate in some circumstances. I dont have the Euro Book yet..Is France influanced by the Islamic Movement???There is a massive move now to that area of Europe because of the Tolerant nature there??


By the Way.....Some people play baseball!!! And it is an Olympic year.
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Skeptical Clown
post Jul 27 2004, 03:41 AM
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I liked the decadent nobility, but I still find it entirely implausible that the French managed to maintain some level of socialism. Your average AAA megacorp has a net worth that probably exceeds the entire French nation, so if the French were being uppity about incursions on their sovereignty, as is their wont, I think the megas would just impose sanctions until the country was wallowing in poverty and gave up.
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Prospero
post Jul 27 2004, 06:55 AM
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I liked a lot of the French chapter, but I guess I'm in the minority because I didn't really like the nobility angle. Okay, I can see the nobility taking over. That wasn't my problem. For me, the problem is that it seems to be so secret. Nobles playing in the corridors of power I can believe, but ones that pull the wool over the eyes of a whole nation while doing it I can't. Especially because their activities seem to be so transparent to the SR authors and they seem to flaunt their power so obviously.

Other than that, I liked the French chapter. I would have liked a little more info on Brittany, but there was already a fantastic amount of stuff crammed in the chapter as it is and I realize space was a big limitation.

The underworld war was especially good in France, I thought (as opposed to having the flashpoint be somewhere else). It added a spice that the chapter was otherwise lacking. Yes, there were intrigues and high-society stuff, but little street-level action. The mob wars promises to deliver that in spades, as well as bring in lots of international connections that might otherwise be lacking.

BTW, are there really volcanoes that are even remotely active in France (IRL, I mean)?
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otaku mike
post Jul 27 2004, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE (Skeptical Clown @ Jul 27 2004, 03:41 AM)
I liked the decadent nobility, but I still find it entirely implausible that the French managed to maintain some level of socialism.  Your average AAA megacorp has a net worth that probably exceeds the entire French nation, so if the French were being uppity about incursions on their sovereignty, as is their wont, I think the megas would just impose sanctions until the country was wallowing in poverty and gave up.

The thing is, what the AAA have to gain ruining a country such as France? Just making a point of their power?
The corporations bottom line is profit. Ruining a country would be very bad PR. But that would also prove to be difficult to implement. What kind of sanctions can AAA do? They can divert investments. But corporations need markets to sell their stuff. The same way rich countries now help third world countries to get richer only so that they can buy the rich countries' stuff, SR's corporations can't let countries of their main markets go bankrupt. Even if they wanted to stop interracting with France, one corpo is bound to jump in and fill the void, especially a corpo which turf is Europe like Saeder-Krupp. And that's what happened: Lofwyr defended the French gov during the renegotiation of the Loureau Act and now has a strong grip on the French economy. The corpos also benefit from the situation, as the AAA have a protected market, and lots of non productive matters are left to the State, almost for free.
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otaku mike
post Jul 27 2004, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE (Prospero @ Jul 27 2004, 06:55 AM)
I liked a lot of the French chapter, but I guess I'm in the minority because I didn't really like the nobility angle. Okay, I can see the nobility taking over. That wasn't my problem. For me, the problem is that it seems to be so secret. Nobles playing in the corridors of power I can believe, but ones that pull the wool over the eyes of a whole nation while doing it I can't. Especially because their activities seem to be so transparent to the SR authors and they seem to flaunt their power so obviously.

Well, Shadowtalkers always have been among the best informed people whenever it comes to shadow stuff. I agree we should have insisted more on what Monsieur Average knows of what really is going on. Also, the fact that we described mostly noble NPC may let some people think that only guys with a "de something" name can have power in France, which is not the case. (Some non noble NPC were planned to be developped, such as Patrice Levenan, associated with the La Rochefoucault family, or other Corporate types. Most influencial druids also are not from the nobility).

QUOTE (Prospero @ Jul 27 2004, 06:55 AM)
BTW, are there really volcanoes that are even remotely active in France (IRL, I mean)?

No. The Auvergne volcanoes are sleeping since a very long time and normally will never be active again.
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Nath
post Jul 27 2004, 10:17 AM
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To be more precise, the last eruption Auvergne was the Puy-de-Dôme circa 5,760 B.C. (or the middle of the Fourth World in ED/SR). Overall the chains' activity has been on the downfall over the last 10,000 years. That's still a very short time at the geological scale, so as for saying they will never erupt again...
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Sepherim
post Jul 27 2004, 02:52 PM
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QUOTE (otaku mike)
Well, Shadowtalkers always have been among the best informed people whenever it comes to shadow stuff. I agree we should have insisted more on what Monsieur Average knows of what really is going on.

Actually, this is the logic point. Shadowrunners deal with restricted information often enough, have enormous webs of contacts... it's obvious that some of them will have a pretty good picture of what's going on. And those are the ones that post the information, others just read and keep quiet.
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Skeptical Clown
post Jul 27 2004, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (otaku mike @ Jul 27 2004, 09:02 AM)
The thing is, what the AAA have to gain ruining a country such as France? Just making a point of their power?

Absolutely. If a nation manages to stave out corporate influence, other governments might start getting uppity and thinking they can do it too. Better to nip it in the bud and make people realize that France's socialist policies are "obviously detrimental to the economic well-being of her citizens." It makes it so corps can swoop in and gobble up not just France, but anybody else who might have been thinking they could mess with corporations. It probably wouldn't even be bad PR; the Megas have a much better PR machine than France will, and everyone outside France will no doubt see it as clinging to outdated (and perhaps Communist!) methods of governance that hurt its economy.

It's standard operating procedure for corporations to lobby against workers rights and minimum wage laws whenever possible, even today. It's a restriction they don't want to have to deal with if they don't have to.
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