The Cleansing Flames

Just about any event will cause the price of gasoline to rise here in the United States. Hurricanes, terrorism, the occasional election scandal. It all causes the price at the pumps to jump for a time.

Rioting is becoming a national sport in France, as is arson. So how come the rioters can still afford to buy gas? Wouldn’t the laws of supply and demand dictate that the price would skyrocket considering how much has been used to create such pretty yet smoky light?


And what about the cost of automobiles in France? It could be that the price actually dropped due to volume. The auto companies have to produce more cars in order to replace the ones destroyed by the “protesters”, and the number of people who can afford to buy a new car must be dropping, so did the cost go down?

Just wondering.

10 thoughts on “The Cleansing Flames”

  1. It says something about the perceived value of french cars that you can destroy a couple of hundred of them and the price doesn’t go up.

  2. I just got off work and don’t feel like looking it up right now, but I seem to remember that over 10,000 cars went up in flame last November during the previous bout of Gallic civil unrest.

    There is, what, 60 million French people? 10K cars wouldn’t be that big a dent in total numbers, but it should have done something to the price.


  3. I’m with Steven, the photo seems odd to me.

    Maybe its the clean white shoes, well fitting pants, belt, pullover, haircut, etc. This guy looks like he just stopped by the office on a Saturday to pick up the “Johnson File.”

    Perhaps that’s the point, he’s the one rioting over the new labor rules.


  4. What is the green thing he’s carrying?

    I think that is a wastebasket stand. You know, for one of those metal mesh trash cans that they have planted along the street in shopping areas.

    Usually those stands consist of a bracket (the round part) and a pole planted in the ground so someone can’t steal it or use it as a weapon. Considering that there are a few loops of wire hanging off of the pole, I think someone wired it to a tree instead of burying the pole like they should have.

    Or it could be something else. That is just what it looks to me.


  5. Claire Berlinski contrasts the two sets of riots: “The message of the suburban rioters: Things must change. The message of the students: Things ust stay the same. In other words: Screw the immigrants.” She asks “Who rules?” and concludes by “And the answer will be the mob. As usual.” This was what our founding fathers understandably feared. They worried it might not work – this representative democracy, this republic. Well, it’s held, at least for the time being.

    I guess what works for us wouldn’t work so well for others–every nation is different. And God knows we haven’t founded Utopia. But surely these demonstrations can’t be the best way to settle questions.

  6. This rioting business in France may actually be harbinger of things to come here in the states. If you have a chance to glance at John Robb’s Global Guerillas blog, then you will get a sense that what our opponents are practicing in Iraq is a form of warfare that is being implemented in both Nigeria (now around 26%of their sweet light crude is shut in) and to a limited extent in France (during the earlier set of riots there was an attack on the Lyon power station). Think about the big blackouts we’ve experienced and then imagine someone putting their mind to creating disruptions. John Robb thinks this is the likely scenario for future terrorist attacks against us, instead of the dramatic 9/11 type of affair. On a related note is the most recent post by William Lind about the southern security of the lower 48, and his concern that our defenders there are in danger of being out-technologied.

  7. Snow Day–no, it’s a Manifestation Day. My daughter’s school in Rennes, France is closed today due to a large “manifestation”. In addition to the labor law demonstration, she says there are other university protests going on in town. National police and tear gas are the order of the day.

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