20051111

White blogule to France's wake up call

You keep asking me what's going wrong with France these days, especially after my critics on Amerika's social collapse (ie "This is America" or "Quagmires and bayous").
My answer is : "about everything". The poor are getting poorer, the masses are getting poor and the wealthy have already left the country. The IMF can praise the government's ability to perform reforms through consensus, the country needs to go further and quicklier.
First, "social" investments are often diverted / perverted and France is paying for the so called "social peace" : I give favors to social activists in order to buy stability, but I transform them into new elites disconnected from their bases and only devoted to the protection of their own interests. The counterproductivity of this tradition of compromises becomes all the more evident than growth times are over.
Second, ethnical / racial "égalité" is a myth. The French national soccer team became the "black blanc beur" alibi for a nation of tele-spectators / non-actors. Decision makers and opinion leaders must reflect the country's diversity.
Third, the Republic kept clinging to an ideal image of itself without actually taking care of itself. It must revive its own dynamics and instead of protecting yesterday's, we must unleash the locomotives of tomorrow. Education remains to be truly reformed (beyond the content, the mindframes and inerties).

The solutions lie in both a "bottom up" and "top down" approach. Bottom up : voting, getting involved in the community beyond one's own existing circles, marketing a positive peer-pressure at the individual as well as the entrepreneurial level (I'm doing something, how about you ?). Top down : transfering investments in the socially productive hands and giving back the ability to spend to the doers and makers : saving the budget by replacing only half of the new pensionners in the civil sector, luring back the wealthy - even if unethically at the start, ie through amnisty (but with a reform of heritage in favor of productive investments and socially efficient foundations).
This crisis could prove to be the opportunity to wake the country up and to focus the energies on the right priorities.
The only positive output of this "annus horribilis" (no to Europe, no to Paris 2012, no to social exclusion...) is the existence of a genuine debate. At very last, the key issues are outspoken. To the point one could talk about a 1968 revival, with still the same idealists at one extreme and cynists at the other one, but a stronger and more mature mainstream in-between.
Let's hope France will go for the structural change instead of Sarkozy's radical reformism. One year from now, I hope we can measure the evolution in the good (if not right) direction.

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