A Political Strategy that Is Effective, yet Unwise

Louis-Phillipe I was the last king of France. He reigned from 1830 to 1840. Victor Hugo observed of him on p. 862 of the Julie Rose translation of Les Miserables that part of his political adroitness came from

“frightening France with Europe and frightening Europe with France [and] prizing domination more than authority and authority more than dignity.”

Two centuries later the tactic remains effective. Just sub in the in-groups and out-groups of the moment for France and Europe. Yet it remains unwise, as both the end of Louis-Phillipe’s reign and the policy results of contemporary politicians makes clear.


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