For one thing, France does not have a civil-libertarian tradition of the Anglo-Saxon variety. For another thing, there simply is a totalitarian strain among large sements of the French intelligentisa. Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism, for example, were much more viable and significant doctrines among the French than in England or the United States. What’s called the Left, especially in France, has a large segment that is deeply authoritarian.
Carl Oglesby, Boston Magazine, December 1981, p. 130