Seems like the Frogs have something called “social envy”, as discussed here.
A leader of the Yellow Vest movement, Ingrid Levavasseur, criticised “the inertia of big corporations over social misery while they are showing themselves capable of mobilising a crazy amount of cash overnight for Notre Dame”.
Philippe Martinez, head of France’s largest trade union, CGT, said: “Now understand that there are billionaires who have huge amounts of money and in one click put 200m, 100m on the table. It shows the inequalities in this country, which we regularly demonstrate against.”
Such criticism has been widespread. On French breakfast television last week, a guest insulted the Notre Dame donors as “rich bastards”, and even the moderate newspaper Le Monde wrote that “too much is too much”.
Even Le Monde? The irony is strong with this one, as that rag is typically to the left of Hillary Clinton.
No, what surprised me was this little snippet:
The international Ipsos Mori survey, in which dozens of questions were submitted to respondents, showed that the French have a particularly critical attitude towards rich people. Based on its findings, a Social Envy Coefficient was calculated, making it possible to measure how strong social envy against rich people is in a country.
According to this coefficient, social envy is highest in France with a score of 1.26, followed by Germany with 0.97. It is significantly lower in the US (0.42) and the UK (0.37).
I don’t know where they conducted the U.S. part of the survey — I’m suspecting the East- and West Coast major cities — but I am amazed to learn (by this survey’s metrics) that we Murkins are more socially envious than the Brits. We aren’t. There is no expression over here that is in any way similar to the withering “fucking toffs”, for example, and our initial impression on seeing someone driving a Ferrari is “I want one of those”, and not “I want his“.
We may hate our self-professed social elites, but we sure as hell don’t envy them, or their wealth. Our loathing is directed more at their paternalistic bossiness.
But that’s not to say that we are aren’t occasionally tempted to borrow an old custom from the Frogs and apply it to scum like, say, the entire Humanities Department at Harvard or the editorial committee of The New York Times...