Worthless of the world unite

There is a lovely ‘Le Monde’ quote that “The elites talk about the end of the world while the people talk about the end of the month.”

And that indeed would appear to be a predominant complaint of the ‘gilets jaunes’.

Macron has enhanced the impoverishment of the people whilst the rich have been granted tax cuts ‘to encourage investment’, Additionally there is much suspicion as to why and how Macron rose to such dizzy heights so quickly at Rothschild’s bank and thus may well have a banker’s political agenda, where money has more value than people’s lives.

I consider this eminently plausible.

Just look at this chart:

According to a banker quoted in the FT Macron simply made the mistake of “pressing ahead with fiscal consolidation at the same time as structural reform.” (As the UK has learnt) what could possibly go wrong?

The fact that only 26% of French people have a favourable opinion of their president while other polls suggest 80% of the French approve of the gilets jaunes protests, if not usually the violence – indeed outside Paris there has been little violence, though this article suggests that there is such widespread unhappiness that even the prefects – central government appointees – are trying to persuade the same central government to moderate their reforms and notice the deprivations of the general population.

One prefect has it spot on I think, when he suggests that there are so many people who are dissatisfied that it is difficult to speak to any ‘leaders’, Indeed many of the protestors “s’estiment touchés dans leur dignité”. We all have an idea what that means. But I think unwittingly or not, this actually touches on the core failing of neoliberal policies (which, these days, are usually designed and desired by bankers). People have lost their dignity, but in French – as too in its English origin – that also has the sense of ‘worth’, so people have a sense of worthlessness.

That for me is really the key as to why neoliberal policies will never work. When society’s members begin to feel worthless then society’s structure and purpose is under threat.

The French with their revolutionary tradition from only 229 years ago, have a direct action outlook and the Police and Gendarmerie have a similar view. Police in France, as in most of Europe of Napoleonic tradition, go into demonstrations dressed for a riot.

So it is partly a self fulfilling prophesy.

But then so, too, are neoliberal, bankers’ policies.

 

 

Comments

  1. Jennifer (aka Jeni, Havantaclu) Parsons -

    The time is coming when the Poster Boys like Macron will feel the edge of ordinary people’s anger. To deliberately skew the French economy in favour of the wealthy will cost them dear – and also, I hope, the wealthy! It’s about time for retribution.

  2. Bruce Gray -

    There was a very interesting peer reviewed paper on inequality and sustainability that was published in 2014 in which the researchers created a mathematical model to study human population dynamics and societal collapse based on resource depletion and economic stratification. The research was funded through a NASA grant to study sustainability. The mathematical model was called HANDY (Human And Nature DYnamics) and was based on predator-prey population models, in which humans are the predator and nature the prey, but also added the dimensions of wealth accumulation and economic inequality.

    The bottom line was that human population can only be sustainable provided that resource depletion/population growth remains below critical rates relative to the ecological carrying capacity and economic stratification is at a minimum. While that was not a surprising result, the interesting part was that it was virtually impossible for the model to avoid population collapse when any significant level of inequality was introduced. Mathematical proof that neoliberalism is an unsustainable economic system.

    Given the apparent inevitability of societal collapse under our current economic trajectory, I would imagine civil strife and violence will become increasingly likely without substantial progressive policy changes.

    Published paper can be found here:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800914000615

    1. Peter May -

      Very interesting – will read, thanks for that.

  3. Bruce Gray -

    Sense of worthlessness driven by neoliberalism is also quite prevalent in the U.S. as average life expectancy has just dropped by one year due to suicide and opioid abuse, especially among white working class in middle America. Part of the reason Trump is President is because he was able to exploit (with Russia’s help) that sense of worthlessness and disenfranchisement and turn it into fear and anger that could be mobilized for political gain.

    Trump’s support among his hardcore base is not so much that he will make things better for them, but rather from a nihilistic desire for Trump to “blow up” the systems and institutions that disenfranchised them, while dragging down the liberal elite “oppressors” in the process. To his base, Trump’s violation of democratic norms is not a flaw, but rather a feature.

  4. Charles Adams -

    Exactly. I also noticed this plot in the FT. From what we know about Macron we knew it would not end well.

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