European stock (e.g., people who eatncabbage soaked in vinegar and fishnsoaked in lye) would even considernsuch a job, so there would be no influxnfrom the margins of the nation. Butnthat’s just the beginning.nCommunities in Connecticut andnFlorida have come up with a new waynto dispose of solid waste: “landfill mining.”nA crisis seemed imminent in thenspring of 1988 when the only landfillnin Thompson, Connecticut, was nearlynfull. Then town officials heard aboutnthe folks in Collier County, Florida,nwho “mine” their trash. That meansnthat they go into existing landfills,nextract the garbage, reclaim the decomposednmatter as dirt, and put thenrest back. Thompson thought thisnsounded dandy, and tried it.nThey’re celebrating now becausenthe project was so successful that itngave them as much as two more yearsnto come up with a way to dispose of thentown’s garbage. It’s also saved themnmoney: the landfill mining project costnabout $119,000, and hauling thentown’s garbage to the closest incineratornwould have cost $525,000 in tippingnfees alone.nThere’s one hitch. According tonConnecticut’s Department of EnvironmentalnProtection, landfill miningnmay have limited applications becausennot all landfills meet the two mostnimportant requirements: extensive decompositionnand no toxic waste (i.e.,nlotsa rot and nothing hot). But everyonenconcerned is hopeful that soonnmined garbage will be allowed as fillnoutside the landfill site — say, at roadnconstruction projects.nThink about it: a whole new employmentncategory — “landfill miner.”nIt couldn’t be any dirtier than being anRoto Rooter man or working in a meatnpacking plant — or farming, for thatnmatter. Our people are desperate. Supplementingnour own garbage withnother peoples’ just might be what tidesnus over until the next oil and coalnbooms and the price of wheat goesnup . . .n… At which time we can ship allnthe foreign garbage somewhere else.nLike back where it came from. Fromnwhat I hear, those places wouldn’t evennnotice.nJane Greer makes an effort to recyclennewspapers and her monthly columns.n48/CHRONICLESnLetter From Parisnby Curtis CatenSocialist NostalgianSince May 1981, when they won answeeping electoral victory in the parliamentarynelections, France’s Socialistsnhave suffered two sobering shocksnwhich, while they have brought many ofntheir soaring dreams plummeting tonearth, have made many malcontents.nThe first shock was administered inn1983 when, after two years of ideologicalndebauch, which resulted in (amongnother things) the nationalization of 38nbanks and three successive devaluationsnof the franc, the finance minister,nJacques Delors, put an end to thensplurge by imposing a strict “austerity”nprogram. The second shock was administerednin 1986 when a majority ofnFrench electors voted the Socialists outnof office, thereby forcing a clearly nettlednPresident Mitterrand to choose annew non-Socialist prime minister—innthe person of the neo-Gaullist mayor ofnParis, Jacques Chirac.nIn the United States, where we havenan essentially presidential system of government,nwe have long since grownnaccustomed to seeing, for example, anRepublican president having to sharenpower with a Democratic Congress.nBut in France, which now has a hybridnpresidential-parliamentary system,nnothing comparable had been seennsince the start of the Fifth Republic inn1958.nThis period of forcible cohabitationnproved to be relatively brief For in Mayn1988 Frangois Mitterrand, who is withnlittle doubt the cleverest (though by nonmeans the most sagacious) politician innFrance, scored a sweet revenge—firstnby getting himself reelected presidentnfor another seven-year term, and thennby leading his Socialist Party to a newnparliamentary victory, which largely effacednthe humiliating defeat of 1986.nThe campaign was fought on the distinctlynunsocialistic slogan of an “openingntowards the Center” and the personnsubsequently chosen as the new primenminister was a maverick Socialist namednMichel Rocard, whose popularity innpublic-opinion polls in the past hasnoften exceeded Mitterrand’s (to thenlatter’s intense annoyance). To proventhat the promised “opening towards thennnCenter” was more than hollow campaignnrhetoric, Rocard (who happens tonbe a Protestant, often regarded innFrance as a guarantee of integrity) putntogether an enormously inflated government,nwith close to 50 cabinet ministersnand under-secretaries, of whomnhalf a dozen were nonsocialist “Centrists.”nThe idea was to break down thenfairly rigid division of France into twonhostile and almost equal blocks — onenbelonging to the “left,” the other of then”right” — and in doing so to generate annew atmosphere of social harmony or,nas it has come to be known, a newnnational “consensus.”nThat this new and,so-far stumblingn”consensus” was bound sooner or laternto exasperate certain frustrated or disillusionednFrench socialists was inevitable;nand if there is anything truly startling innthis phenomenon it is the virulencenwith which the present situation of thenSocialists has been excoriated in twonrecently published books, both writtennby fervent “leftists.”nThe first book is the work of ThierrynPfister, a Socialist “insider” of Alsatiannorigin who served for three years as annaide to Mitterrand’s first prime minister,nPierre Mauroy (I981-I984). The titlenof his sparkling as well as devastatingnbook — Lettre ouverte a la generationnMitterrand qui marche a cote de sesnpompes — is on a par with its scintillatingncontents. (In French slang pompesnmeans “shoes,” and when someone isnsaid to be walking alongside of hisn”pumps” — in this case the Mitterrandngeneration — it means quite simplynthat he is hopelessly astray, not to sayn”off his rocker.”)nThe gist of Pfister’s message is thatnthe socialists who climbed enthusiasticallynback into the governmental saddlentwo years ago were no longer socialistsnin anything but name, having taciflynforesworn all of their old left-wingnideals and become members of whatnhe wittily calls the “extreme center.”nThe French Socialist Party, he furthernclaims, never developed the cohesionnof Social Democratic parties in othernEuropean countries (notably in Scandinavia,nWest Germany, and pre-NeilnKinnock Britain), and at present it is anhodgepodge composed of three distinctngenerations. The oldest is composednof those who, like Mitterrand,nwere part of the “resistance” in wartimen(1940-1944) France. The secondn