The Loud Minority

In last week’s Takimag column, our critical doctor calls into question an absurd new law circulating in the French parliament that would allow anyone over 13 to change his last name (surname) once in his life.

A tiny pressure group exerts a huge influence on the legislature and legislation, like a panzer division slicing through the countryside with practically no serious opposition. Preemptive appeasement seems to be the main stance of the political class faced by such pressure groups: Not believing in anything much itself, except in its own survival, it is prepared to defend nothing, resist nothing, and fight for nothing. Tiny pressure groups, being monomaniacs, are therefore always fighting asymmetric wars: The subject of their monomania is all-important to them, but of marginal importance to everyone else.

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