Throughout much of last week, hundreds of thousands of students in France were angrily protesting.
They have been joined by the major French labor unions, which are threatening a general strike.
And what is this all about?
It is all about a new law in France that allows a company to fire a person under the age of 26, without cause, within two years of being hired.
Wow. Imagine that. You might get fired from your first job.
As it happens, the whole point of the law was to encourage companies to hire young people. The unemployment rate among young people in France is 23 percent. And in many suburbs, it is double that. Meanwhile, French companies are understandably loath to hire 22-year-olds when they cannot fire them except "for cause," which under union rules means something like committing mass murder in the workplace.
What these massive demonstrations reveal is the narcissism, laziness and irresponsibility inculcated by socialist societies.
Enough generations of socialist policies have now passed for us to judge their effects. They are bleak. Socialism undermines the character of a nation and of its citizens. In simpler words, socialism makes people worse.
These young people in France really believe that they should be able to be hired at their tender ages and that a company must not be allowed to fire them from their first day at work (except "for cause," which, as we are learning in America, is increasingly difficult to establish). In America, most of us would call the French young people's attitudes "spoiled."
Socialism teaches its citizens to expect everything, even if they contribute nothing.
Socialism teaches its citizens that they have a plethora of rights and few corresponding obligations -- except to be taxed.
And that is why the citizens of less socialist -- and more religious -- America give more charity per capita and per income than do citizens of socialist countries. That is why Americans volunteer time for the needy so much more than citizens of socialist countries do. That is why citizens of conservative states in America give more charity than citizens of liberal states do. The more Left one identifies oneself on the political spectrum, the more that person is likely to believe that the state, not fellow citizens, should take care of the poor and the needy.
Under socialism, one is not only liberated from having to take care of oneself; one is also liberated from having to take care of others. The state will take care of me and of everybody else.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”