My schadenfreude jones is currently being fed by those spoiled French “students” rioting in the streets and torching cars because the government dared to make young folks delay for two years their right to lifetime jobs at which they don’t have to do any work. Mmmmm, couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people: the French, so lionized by liberals in our own country for their caring, sharing, cradle-to-grave welfare system with the free (that is, taxpayer-subsidized) child care and all. The message is: we francais, we care about les enfants, and you cowboy americains don’t).

Now, blogster No Pasaran! offers this view of what life in the caring, sharing, cradle-to-grave French welfare system for 4-year-old Dylan Marfe after his  mother, Adeline Marfe, moved her 22-year-old boyfriend, Christophe Beugnot into the apartment she shared in Strasbourg with little Dylan, and his 6-year-old brother.

Well, little Dylan ended up dead. When the police found his starved-out little body at the “family home” on Oct. 3, 2003, it was covered with the marks of blows, burns, and even bites, the result of six solid months of sadistic “corrections” allegedly inflicted by Beugnot on the boy. Marfe and her older son were also allegedly beaten by Beugnot, but he allegedly reserved his special attentions for the younger and more vulnerable of the children. The burly Beugnot, who denies doing anything wrong, is now on trial, not for murder, strangely enough, but for “acts of torture and barbarism” resulting in the death of a child under age 15. Dylan’s mother faces charges of sytematically denying the boy food and care.

As Le Monde reported (I’m translating from the French):

“Beugnot invented terrible ‘corrections’ for the child: ice-cold showers, nights spent tied naked to a chair, the requirement that he eat dog feces. At the end of the month [of September 2003], he no longer went to school, he limped, he was covered with bruises, he was in a state of malnutrition.”

While all this was allegedly going on in the Marfe appartment, no one–not Marfe herself, not the neighbors who heard little Dylan’s nightly screams, nor any of the batallion of caring social workers and teachers on which the French social system prides itself–did rien. Dylan wasn’t going to school–but no one in the school system seemed to notice. A doctor noted bruises covering his body–but no one followed up. As for Marfe, a dental assistant, she never told a soul what her compagnon was allegedly up to: not the police, not her parents, not her employer, not even her ex-husband, the children’s father. And why should anyone have taken an interest in Dylan’s fate? This is France, where the government is responsible for taking care of you! You don’t have to take responsibility for anyone except yourself!

As No Pasaran! writes:

“What does one do when one hears a child’s cries and screams coming from an apartment inhabited by a man known for his violent bent?

“When you live in the country whose generosity and solidarity are legendary (so generous and solidaristic that it is only natural that the French constantly give advice to America’s heartless capitalists on the matter),…there is no need to do anything (why would there be when this society cannot but have the best social services on the planet) – even if you are the mother of the (eventually) dead boy. After all, you are living in an avant-garde society known for its legendary solidarity and generosity.”

And I’d add one more thing: it’s always the mother’s boyfriend. Always.