The French philosopher Jean-Claude Michéa asked an uncomfortable question on television last week: Why were the French mourning the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs with such inconsolable intensity? Mr Michéa said nothing to detract from Mr Jobs’s achievements. He asked why the early death of a gifted businessman was being viewed as a “planetary catastrophe” and tried to find an answer. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chairman, remarked several months ago that three ideals lay at the core of socialism: hope, the future and innovation. Mr Jobs embodied those more than anyone. Mr Michéa found it bizarre that the ideals of the left should be identical to those of cutting edge businessmen. Entrepreneurial capitalism is not just a skill our society has mastered, it is at the heart of our system of values.
There have lately been signs in France of resistance to those values.