France, a down-in-the-dumps nation

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French have become afraid of everything from the world itself to globalization, capitalism and global warming, says philosopher Pascal Bruckner.

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Not long ago, I attended a colloquium of French scientists and philosophers in Corsica, France, called "How to Think About the Future." With few exceptions, the astrophysicists, economists, physicians and social theorists on hand offered dark visions of tomorrow. A new financial crisis, water and grain shortages, endless war, a general collapse of ecosystems — we were spared no catastrophic scenario, writes Pascal Bruckner in the Los Angeles Times.