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Transatlantic Blog

The Acton Institute's transatlantic website publishes its first article in French

The Acton Institute's Religion & Liberty Transatlantic website marked a milestone today: It released its first article in French.

While the transatlantic website has diligently followed events in France and published an array of French commentators since its launch in January 2017, until today all its articles had been published in English. This denied us access to the 275 million people worldwide who speak French.

The Acton Institute takes seriously our mission to take our message of liberty, human dignity, and a vibrant society informed by religious principles to the whole world. This is attested by Acton's transatlantic and international websites, the ever-increasing number of international students who attend Acton University, the work of our Instituto Acton offices in Rome and Buenos Aires, the indefatigable work of Alejandro Chafuen as Managing Director, International, and so much more.

We see obstacles as challenges that force us to grow. We took the first steps to overcoming this language barrier by collaborating with our friends Pierre-Antoine Antonini of the blog "Le Catholique Libertarien" and Etienne Chaumeton. And those efforts have begun to bear fruit.

The first Acton Institute article translated into French, by Etienne Chaumeton, chronicles the gilets jaunes movement: "French protesters demand: ‘Death to taxes.’" The translation - Les manifestants français demandent : « la mort des taxes » - has been posted online today:

Cette révolte sans leader a poussé des centaines de milliers de personnes dans les rue – à pieds, naturellement – et a fait de la France, peut être l’endroit du monde où l’on s’y attendait le moins, l’endroit où des citoyens demandent « la mort des taxes ».

 

C’était l’une des demandes écrites sur les pancartes brandies par le mouvement «gilets jaunes» (du nom des gilets jaunes que les conducteurs français doivent porter en cas de panne). ...

 

Lorsque quelques délinquants ont rendu les manifestations violentes, la police a répondu avec des gaz lacrymogènes. Pendant ce temps, des politiciens de tous les partis d’opposition se sont empressés de revendiquer la paternité du mouvement populaire qui crée un consensus national: les taxes excessives imposées par le gouvernement sur l’essence et le diesel nuisent aux familles.

The translation has also been posted on Antonini's influential blog.

English-speaking readers may be quick to say that France, which has seen rail workers strike for the right to retire at age 52, needs to hear Acton's message of how economy liberte and religious principles lead to human flourishing.

But so does every nation, everywhere. Our principles are tested, proven, and universal. They see that children are nourished, individuals are empowered, the heavy hand of government is held in check, and the irrepressibe force of human creativity is unleashed. Today, we have taken another step to fulfill our promise to open prosperity to whole world with the keys to human progress.

French-speakers can read the full translation here.

(Photo credit: Francois Schnell. This photo has been cropped. CC BY 2.0.)


Rev. Ben Johnson is a senior editor at the Acton Institute. His work focuses on the principles necessary to create a free and virtuous society in the transatlantic sphere (the U.S., Canada, and Europe). He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History summa cum laude from Ohio University and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.