“The Transforming Power of the Individual Will”

(p. A10) “These deep transformations have started and will continue with the same force, the same rhythm, the same intensity in 2018,” the French president told his compatriots in his New Year’s Eve greetings a few days before.
Mr. Macron was hinting at the real disruptions he has brought about in French political life — in employment and fiscal policy so far, with other big jolts promised soon. Remarkably in so hidebound a country he is getting away with it.
. . .
Mr. Macron imbibed from his mentor, the late philosopher Paul Ricoeur, a belief in the transforming power of the individual will. As proof, the young president can point to his own quick rise to the top, a stunning success that undergirds many of his pronouncements.
Similarly, the changes he has pushed through so far — like his lightening of the mammoth French labor code, with barely a whimper from the opposition — only buttress the narrative of individual determination, which he now hopes to infuse in his fellow citizens.
It is an unusual position for a French politician, who for generations have emphasized the protective power of the state — and the proof of any success will come only with a significant drop in the stubborn 10-percent jobless rate, elusive so far. But already surveys show higher levels of confidence among business executives than have been seen in many years.

For the full story, see:
ADAM NOSSITER. “French President Opens Year With Scolding for Journalists.” The New York Times (Sat., JAN. 6, 2018): A10.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date JAN. 5, 2018, and has the title “Macron Opens Year Pulling No Punches With Journalists, or Anyone.”)

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