by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog
The French don’t want to think of themselves as miniature capitalists: they want to think of themselves as artists.
Or at least artisans. And many of them are, but the calculating technocratic mindset cannot even conceive of what it means to truly be an “artisan” at anything.
The calculating capitalist mindset might be capable of thinking of what art he or she could craft…which could make them money.
But French President Emmanuel Macron is no artist because his domain is politics, and politics is too imbued with the preservation of sacred values and societal values to be subject to a savant’s plaything. Macron is now an over-the-hill political savant, after recently turning 40, but at least he’s a king in his old age. Or rather, a queen – to EU imperial master Germany.
Perhaps because Macron gave up his serious artistic goals at an early age – with a smutty, juvenile rendering of the story of his statutory raping by his former high school teacher/current wife – he is inexorably steamrolling his way to turning France into a nation of miniature capitalists.
This means France is following “labor capitalism” – the model of the US, the UK and Germany, or the “Anglo-Saxon world” (to use a French phrase detested by Anglo-Saxons).
The goal of labor capitalism – popularised by Margaret Thatcher (who called it “popular capitalism”) and typified by the 401k “pension fund capitalism” which George W. Bush failed to fully implement (in a sense that “weapons were not fully implemented” in a war which does not feature a nuclear bomb) – is to make workers choose policies which prioritise their personal bottom lines, instead of society at large or their fellow class.
Thus, to all questions of economic management: it is no longer politics, but business, stupid.
But the average French artisan – the school teacher who can learn up the most unwilling adolescent, the government worker who knows the rules so well they can actually help your grandfather get his health care costs comped – is doing their daily work motivated by values which are totally uninterested in capitalism, i.e. in making profit. Hard to believe for many, I know….
French society has never been designed to make “miniature capitalists”: French society has been designed to make “miniature Frenchmen” – whether in France, Lebanon, Algeria, Indochina, Polynesia, Madagascar, etc. Yes, these Frenchmen are also clearly imperialist-capitalists, but they are firstly “French”, and that is a genuine difference with the Anglo-Saxon model. (Many in the aforementioned countries may rightly wonder why I am apparently implying that the French model is the superior one….)
“Labor capitalism” is an oxymoron because the mindset and values of those classified as “labor” are antithetical to those of capitalists. The former is doing honest work: the latter are (mostly) just profiting off the sweat of the former as well as inherited, poorly-taxed, riches.
But the goal of “universal neoliberalism” – which, over the evolution of two centuries of modern capitalism, has proven to be the dominant form for nearly 40 years now – is to export the capitalist mindset down to the 99%.
A key cultural ploy to achieve that is actually promoted by the most brutalised, segregated, forcibly-dominated minority in the world – Blacks in the United States: their rap songs are the greatest paeans to “labor capitalism”, promoting to the world’s youth the idea that life is all about hustling, that life is a jungle, that money, power, sexism and unchecked aggressiveness are worthwhile societal goals. This is not the Blacks’ fault: they are not permitted the chance to allow any other ideology to flourish. Heck, they weren’t even allowed to own drums for centuries, so I doubt they are permitted “subversive” anti-capitalist ideologies
France does have rap (the horror, the horror!), but they are not yet prepared for 401k capitalism. However, 2018 begins with accolades from the BBC, the Economist and many other capitalist-imperialists for the resolute route Macron has already taken and will take.
I will quickly sum up his ingenious and obviously dastardly plan: gut the labor code, making your job more risky and less desirable, and then gut the unemployment system, ending your incentive to leave your increasingly-lousy job.
Create mindless, isolated, miniature capitalist serfs yoked to their machine…watch profits increase. This is the same as in 19th century French silk factories, no?
If you think I am exaggerating: The first part of the plan was already implemented. It was implemented in a resolutely undemocratic fashion which earned Macron entry into the new Western breed of “liberal strongman”; Macron’s similarly-despised plan to overhaul the unemployment system will be the nation’s focal point in the coming weeks and months.
So, uh, it’s nearly here. When it is fully arrived, you can bet that Macron will receive even more Anglo-Saxon plaudits. Heck, he will even receive Chinese plaudits for welcoming their low-cost goods even more. But, given the certain long-term results which 40 years of neoliberalism has generated, he will not receive French plaudits when re-election time arrives in 2022. Macron will join the “one-and-done” club with Sarkozy and Hollande, and all three will be remembered as tools of the EU’s cannibalistic neo-imperialism in “popular histories” and as courageous reformers in “mainstream (1%-promoted) histories”.
But wait, there’s more! “Labor capitalism” is more than just a mindset, after all….
Promoting debt is the practical way miniature capitalists can virtue-signal what hip hustlers they are: that’s why “labor capitalism” encourages labor to take on as much debt as possible via buying homes, cars, university degrees, big-screen TVs in every room, IMF bailouts, etc. In capitalism one gains entry into the middle class via the privilege of taking on (compound interest) debt, of course.
The apex of this lifestyle is to invest in the stock market – then a “laborer” truly becomes a capitalist! Of course…their level of stock ownership is so minimal that they have absolutely zero say in how the company/country is run. However, stock ownership means the miniature capitalists now truly care the most about profit, too – after all, they have tied their futures to the health of stock market.
Amazingly, nearly half of the United States population owns stock. Or, as that is inversely and lamentingly reported in their capitalist media: “Nearly half the country has $0 invested in the market….”
In France that number is just 7%…but Macron will teach them.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and they didn’t start at the top, so there are other necessary steps to take first:
After the unemployment system gutting, will come the wave of privatisations of state-owned assets. Then they will be “sold” to the consumer/citizen/labor in the form of feckless Thatcherite capitalism. Then they will become the “masters of their own futures” by pushing 401k-style capitalism. Will Macron make it this far? Time will tell.
The coming months in France will center around the changes to the unemployment system, and a long winter could mean few with the belly-fire to protest…not that liberal strongmen give a whit for public opinion of course – this has already been repeatedly proven by Hollande and Macron. The most controversial unemployment “deform” is: reject 2 job offers from the government job centre…and you lose all your “benefits” (i.e. what you have already invested into the system via your taxes).
Serfs yoked to the land/machine…ah, the Western model of “universal values”!
If the French do not consider themselves to be artists, they certainly consider themselves to be thinkers.
But to the capitalist/neoliberal/imperial/American mindset – they have been thinking about the wrong things, and thus France’s allegedly “talented 10th” aristocracy have promoted Macron and identity politics, which is the opposite of socialist solidarity.
“Labor capitalism”…well, at least we’re all “alone together”.
The French model is soon to be “found missing”, but that’s “seriously funny”, to Anglo-Saxons. Unskilled workers will soon be the “living dead”, taking “working holidays” so that the 1% can take the “larger half” of the profits. Of course, this is just an “unbiased opinion” from someone who is “clearly confused”, and this column wasn’t even an “original copy” but an “exact estimate” and “genuine imitation” of smarter economic thinkers! Meh…”same difference”…and sorry for prattling on for those to whom this is all “old news”.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.
re: Rahim Mazeri: Get a grip. Your content lacks style and so shows a lack of grounding. Perhaps the world must traverse this grim period of semi serfdom but, still, there will be nodes of the preservation of Truth.
Despair is an indulgence unworthy of the stalwart.
Ramin Mazaheri wrote: “This is not the Blacks’ fault: they are not permitted the chance to allow any other ideology to flourish.”
I have always wondered why the police in the USA do not arrest all gang members and lock them up for mob action. Street gangs are smaller, weaker versions of the Italian mafia. We never hear any of the elites talk about eliminating the street gangs and wiping out the Black sense of entitlement. Just wait until “diversity” and “multiculturalism” is promoted in France to destroy traditional French culture!
Have you ever read the book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins. If you are familiar with the book, please note the chapters about the privatization of assets in Chile. The plan is to privatize everything by force and then sell the assets to the Anglo-Saxon, aka British and American elites for pennies on the dollar. Such “economic reforms” are happening right now in Argentina:
This capitalist/neoliberal/imperial/American business model has been in operation in much of South America for decades. “Thatcherite capitalism?” I like that term. The British and American elites have been interchangeable since the late 1800s. They share common goals and values.
The surprising thing is that the elites have historically limited such plundering to 3rd world countries. However, they now want to dismantle the French economy as well. Is this the French economic plan to compete with Germany?
When I read his comment on black culture, I thought of an excellent video done by a professor which chronicled the rise of social commentary and radical voices in hip hop art. At that time, the graduation rates of blacks in high school were in the 90 th percentile. Black youngsters had role models like the Cosby show, where the kids went to college. All of the independent labels were bought and consolidated due to Clinton´s media deforms (I like that usage!) All 6 are currently owned by white men, jewish zionists. Thug culture was promoted, as it conforms with capitalist culture, and helps to market government imported drugs. The social and artistic elements were excised. The graduation rate went down to 47%. Its not only blacks who have suffered from this degenerate media, it is all youth, as the culture has normalised both pornography and gambling.
It is true that the media conglomerates and the drug trade in the USA are owned and controlled by a few hundred white old men. These men may or may not be Jewish. Many of them are satanists hiding in the synagogues. Love of money and the power that comes with it, acquired at any cost, is their religion. They will kill or enslave their closest relatives if it makes them richer and more powerful. They could care less about the destruction of the planet, as long as they can profit from it. Without the support of these white old men, modern “African American” thug culture would not exist.
The black politicians gladly profit from the misery of their own people. It is difficult for people in Detroit and in other American cities to “blame whitey” when an overwhelming majority of politicians, policemen, government workers, and business leaders are black. Most white Americans do not hate black people, but they categorically reject the values of the rapper thug culture that black Americans have embraced and claim as their own. What should a society do with millions of unemployable people?
Why would the French elites want to promote these kinds of problems in their society?
Because of the “divide and rule” principal. A people united with a positive culture is difficult to rule (at least over long periods of time).Its the same reason the elites push for “diversity”.If an elite can divide on racial,ethnic,or religious grounds,a nation’s population.Then a outsider grouping can control that disunited mass of people.We clearly see that in the US where the elites push “identity” politics so strongly.Dividing ever more an already partly divided population.Divide White from Black,and Hispanic.Allow mass immigration to divide the population even more. Demonize religion,to divide the religious from the ever growing non-religious.Divide women and men,and push homosexuality.So that even genders are weaponized against each other.These plans are pushed heavily by the elites of both major US political parties.And have become the basically official policy of the largest of those parties.The policy has been so successful in the US that its being followed in Europe now.The elites are never ones to let a “successful” policy go without emulation throughout their worlds.
Very true, but as Japan shows, even a highly united people with a positive culture, such as Meiji Era Japan, can be brought under control of an elite with a destructive agenda. They sculpted majority public opinion, using the victory in the Russo-Japanese war to shame anyone who said Japan wasn’t an exceptional nation and citing their own version of R2P with similar motives and outcomes. In a homogeneous society, people are reluctant to espouse non-majority opinions. They are like a herd of sheep. They police their own, not batting an eye as propaganda organs and secret police come into existence. It was just too late even before then.
Thanks for the warning, Ramin. I hope Frenchmen read your article. Like you I believe the rot in Europe started with Thatcher MilkSnatcher and her Gospel of Greed, “There’s no such thing as Society”. If they do not stop the rot, soon France will see people begging for bread in the streets as they did once before. Vive la Revolution!
The thing about predatory capitalists is that they are never satisfied, they want it all and scheme to get it.
Another of Maggie Thatcher’s scapegoats in the early 80’s was ‘The enemy within,’ as she referred to the fractious workers who protested their own elimination.
Apologies Dr M,
My not so relevant response was intended for Lumpen’s first comment above yours. I don’t know what happened there.
“After the unemployment system gutting, will come the wave of privatisations of state-owned assets.”
If the French are lucky they’ll be able to buy the formerly state-owned companies themselves. If they’re not that lucky some foreign (investment) company will buy most of the new private companies.
In case you don’t know French historian Philippe Grasset, you should have a look at his blog dedefensa.org (I should tell PG that his blog is not secure by the way).
He has a very interesting outlook on what he calls the meta-history. For a non French native, he can be a little hard to read though. Even I myself (French native) had to go slow when reading his (great) book “La Grâce de l’Histoire”).
Anyway, I am mentioning PG because you will find at least one Frenchman with what you refer to as the “artist” spirit. And by the way, he is definitely on the “good side” when it comes to the fall of the anglo-saxon Empire and made many references to the Saker at the time the Ukrainian crises blew up in 2014. All you guys should get in touch :D
back to your writings, I understand what you would like to convey. If I can mention something more personal, I left the country in 1997 and never came back to live there full time. So I do not have my finger on the French pulse. However, every time I come back for vacation, I can only witness the accelerating dumbing down of the “collective spirit”. In fact, it reminds me more and more of the atmosphere and vibes one can feel in “anglo-saxons” societies. But again, these are just impressions from occasional quick stays at various French places. I did not dig it more than that and every time I bring up the topic, I am called a party-killer … the head in the sand, that’s how I see many of my “compatriotes”. But again, there will be a tipping point one day, and then .. “qui vivra verra” …
PS: I did not touch on the political aspect, with its front circus and dirty backstage. I don’t think there’s much good to be discussed here …
Basically the zpc/nwo has been ardently working to dumb down the people in the west since the 1960s. It was that decade that taught them that the more knowledgeable people become, the more they lean left and think independently. The less knowledgeable tend to lean right and are more easily manipulated to conformist thinking.
So the zpc/nwo psy wonks took a two pronged approach. Dumb the people down pretty much universally and push them to the right. The latter being their main strategy against the existing leftwing movements and orgs.
This author obviously never had to lead a small business in France and pay the numerous taxes, comply with the numerous regulations and always give between 55 and 60 percent of his personal earnings to the “system” – not counting VAT or petrol taxes- all whilst working hard to pay his employees a fairly decent salary. I did all of that, French small business owners are despairing and urgently need a break.