dimanche 9 janvier 2011

Slaves


Don't be mistaken: Class struggle is still a daily reality in the industrial world. The haves want to have more at the expense of the have-nots.

This process is currently taking place both in France and in the U.S of America.

In France, like everywhere else, when progress occurs in the social situation of the masses, it is not due to a sudden and benevolent act of generosity from the ruling elite, e.g. the owners of the capital of course, but it is the outcome of a violent confrontation where the strongest wins.

Nevertheless, after the capitalists have been compelled to yield a tiny bit of their immensely huge wealth they have no other goal than to gain back what they deem an illegitimate -though legal- deprivation of what is "naturally" theirs. 

This thirst for reappropriation has been a permanent fixture in French history since the Revolution up to now.

The latest example can be observed with the full steam attack of the right-wing to scuttle and abrogate all the social measures that were implemented by the Socialists since F. Mitterrand was elected president in 1981. 

Namely the retirement age which he lowered from 65 to 60 has now been raised up back to 62. Also, the 35-hour workweek has largely been emptied of its contents and now another third-rate rightist politician questions the life-long employment guarantee for civil servants.

The point of the post is to highlight how hundreds of thousands of people who actually profit by these social measures complain that said measures bring France down to her knees and must be repelled. One  may wonder what the motivations of these voters are who want to be deprived of their welfare. Is it their own fate? Is it the future of the Nation?

The ultimate answer is that they've been brainwashed by the permanent and unrelenting propaganda campaign led by rightist politicians into believing that any social progress is detrimental to their personal well-being and that they must elect the sensible politicians (understand the rightist ones) who will protect them from the nasty and irresponsible policies of the Socialists.

In other words, the master tells his slaves what is good and what is bad for them. Coincidentally, the concept of what's good and bad is different for slaves and masters.

For what I know, the same is to be observed in the U.S where a major social advance such as the universal health care system which would benefit several dozens million American citizens is fiercely under attack by the Republicans. So much so that they've succeeded in making about half of the American people believe that the health care bill would be un-American, unconstitutional, dangerous, socialist, contrary to the interest of those most in need of this "universal" system etc. ad nauseam.

Once again, the wealthy tell the poor what is good and what is bad for them. And many of the poor believe what the master says...

It is impossible to convince a slave that he is being exploited by his master.

(It also raises the questions of universal suffrage and democracy but this is another story)

34 commentaires:

Anijo a dit…

"Hit me!" begged the masochist.

"No!" replied the sadist.

Flocon a dit…

Hmmmm... you're on to something here Anijo...

But again it will be a surprise. Like I guess you didn't learn much about willies in the circumcision post.

Mais tu es sur la bonne piste. Anijo is on the right track! (Why does that line have me laughing?)

ZapPow a dit…

Flocon, their aim is more ambitious than the abrogation of the social measures implemented by the Socialists. They want to go farther, and get rid of the measures of the CNR. They want to abolish any legal time limitation for work, get rid of the guaranteed minimum salary, and we already assist to a rampant privatization of the Sécurité Sociale. They want to go back to the 19th century, concerning the organization of capitalism.

As for the people's attitude : "L'esclave prend le fouet des mains de son maître, et se fouette lui-même jusqu'à devenir son propre maître". Can't remember who wrote that.

Flocon a dit…

ZapPow,

"They want to go farther, and get rid of the measures of the CNR"

This is one of the point mentioned by Stéphane Hessel in his leaflet you've heard from (and maybe read).

"They want to abolish any legal time limitation for work, get rid of the guaranteed minimum salary, and we already assist to a rampant privatization of the Sécurité Sociale"

These very points are part of an already written post which I didn't know when to "publish". thanks for giving me the opportunity to post it after that one.

"L'esclave prend le fouet des mains de son maître, et se fouette lui-même jusqu'à devenir son propre maître"

Pas plus que toi je n'ai pu retrouver l'auteur de cette (étrange) citation.

Cela demande réflexion. On n'est pas dans une rhétorique marxiste là mais plutôt masochiste non?

Flocon a dit…

A post in English for three reasons:

1° It's been a long time. Last one was How Ned etc. re Ayn Rand 2 months ago and I need to keep on practising.

2° To make things a little more confortable for Ned and Anijo

3° The topic concerns France as well as the U.S

(All corrections are welcome, thanks)

And also, if someone can tell me if there's any difference, if ever, between maybe and perhaps, just for the sake of my information. Per favor...

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, I wasn't going to comment on the unusual number of errors in your text, because my last one in French wasn't very good. I was tired and in a hurry and I figured it was the same for you. But I'm not in the mood for those corrections now, so wait a little. But:

"if there's any difference, if ever, between maybe and perhaps,". Not that I know of today, maybe/perhaps in the past.

Flocon a dit…

Ned,

I knew you would disagree with the core of the post ;-)

"2° To make things a little more confortable for Ned and Anijo"

Apparently I failed... :-(

Please don't waste your time on my mistakes (I've corrected one) Julie Andrieu [who's supposed to change my love life (I'm all shook up) may be on] Isn't her program broadcast on Sundays?

Also the English corrector on Word isn't too discerning/demanding.

The English we were taught at school was definitively British English hence perhaps was the regular from we learned.

Anijo a dit…

Flocon,
I don't like to correct your English as I make so many mistakes when I write in French, but since you asked...



The haves want to have more at the expenses of the have-nots.

This process is currently taking place both in France and in the U.S of America.

when progress occurs

after the capitalists have been compelled

how hundreds of thousands of people

The concept of what's good and bad is different for slaves and masters
(I'm not sure why, but the use of 'whether' here feels awkward). Even what I wrote seems awkward... Perhaps Ned will add something

which would benefit a dozen million American citizens

succeeded in making

most in need
(I know that was just a typo)

Anijo a dit…

Flocon,
Although 'maybe' and 'perhaps' mean the same thing, 'perhaps' sounds more formal and highfalutin to my ears.

Flocon a dit…

Ah... Thanks a lot Anijo,

After I read Ned's comment I feared the post was stuffed with a minimum of 50 mistakes making it nearly incomprehensible.

- The Haves and have-nots (plural). I wouldn't have guessed (dared) that one.

- This process is currently taking place. In my mind it was either "at work" or "taking place". I chose the wrong one.

- (a) progress. A typical French mistake I should have avoided.

- The capitalists, I should have been more attentive of course.

- Hundred of thousands people. Here I confess I'm always very embarrassed with numbers in English. Like 5 million $ without s at million. Or below, I meant dozens of million(s ?) American citizens (not a dozen but several dozens and here again I don't know whether 4 dozen(s?) call(s?) for plural or not.

I tell you, numbers in English always puzzle me.

- Succeeded in making but "brainwashed into
believing".

- Most in need. A typo, yes of course.

Bon, merci Anijo, me voici rassuré! I grant myself a not too bad grade ;-)

Je ferai les corrections chez moi.

As regards perhaps, if it sounds more formal and highfalutin to your ears it may be because of its deep English aristocratic origin (wild guess).

I'll pay attention next time I read the NYT but it's likely that I'll meet more maybe than perhaps.

Anyway, Next time I write a post in English it will be shorter to everybody's relief and there will be less chances to make mistakes.

Anijo a dit…

Flocon,

I enjoy your long posts. I hope that you don't change that aspect of how you express yourself. Ideas and opinions are complex enough to warrant a long post.

Re: perhaps

A song Perhaps sung by a beautiful woman who I know quite well, but made popular by Doris Day

Anijo a dit…

and there will be less chances to make mistakes.

and thus fewer chances to be corrected, and fewer chances to learn. I welcome corrections to my broken French.

Anijo a dit…

Flocon,

I just noticed something else:

The haves want to have more at the expense of the have-nots

Expense should be singular.

I'll tell you what often puzzles me in French: the use of "en" and "y".

Anijo a dit…

I grant myself a not too bad grade ;-)

Flocon,
I am amazed by how well that you write English. I could never write a post in French and get away with so few mistakes as you made.

Anijo a dit…

As concerns fewer or less

Use fewer with objects that can be counted one-by-one.


Use less with qualities or quantities that cannot be individually counted.


Incorrect: There were less days below freezing last winter.

Correct: There were fewer days below freezing last winter.
(Days can be counted.)

Correct: I drank less water than she did.
(Water cannot be counted individually here.)

Flocon a dit…

Anijo,

Merci pour les corrections, j'ai fait toutes les modifications ☺

I'll write something about the lenght of my posts. Basically Ned's right but as you say "Ideas and opinions are complex enough to warrant a long post."

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"I welcome corrections to my broken French."

With your permission I'll give a hand next time you post in French.

There are mistakes you can easily avoid just by having a look at your dictionary re the gender of the words.

I'll tell you what often puzzles me in French: the use of "en" and "y".

Were I in your shoes I would be in deep troubles too with those pesky prepositions, pronouns, adverbs, whatever.

-----------

Also J'ai envie de travailler et j'ai un devoir à faire.

Il doit y avoir une règle (impossible à mémoriser) mais je ne la connais pas.

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"how well that you write English."

How well that?

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French grammar and spelling are much more difficult to tackle than their English counterparts.

See how often I have to ask Christine to correct me or how often she has to intervene.

Si tu lisais les commentaires des lecteurs du Monde, du Figaro ou de n'importe quel journal/magazine en ligne, c'est une horreur!

Actually very few French people really master their language. It is nearly always possible to find a mistake or at least a point of contention in any given written text.

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Je ne connaissais pas le titre de la chanson (perhaps... or Quizas, quizas, quizas). Barbara Ireland is acting sensual here.

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Merci pour la règle de less or fewer, it will help...

Anonyme a dit…

Don't forget the lobby of the private insurance in the US. I admit the US are different but I will never anderstand why to give healthare to the poorer ( poorest ?) is Unamerican ? I thought USA is a country for believers : In God we trust. Mystère !
As you can see, I'm not ashamed to write in English !!
( anonyme méomane)

Flocon a dit…

Mélomane,

"As you can see, I'm not ashamed to write in English"

Eh bien c'est parfait comme ça on est sûr que vous suivez les échanges en anglais et que vous avez un très bon niveau puisque vous n'avez pas omis d'écrire in English avec l'indispensable majuscule ;-)

What's more, there's no being ashamed to possibly make mistakes like I do.

- "Don't forget the lobby of the private insurance in the US."

You're right, said lobby is one of the masters mentioned in the post. It's part of the world company...

"I will never anderstand why to give healthare to the poorer ( poorest ?) is Unamerican ?"

In the American context this argument holds water (ça tient la route).

Comme c'est un pays qui s'est construit à la force des poignets si je puis dire, en partant de rien et sans aide d'une quelconque entité étatique, c'est l'individu qui est responsable de son destin.

Ce sont des individus qui ont essaimé vers l'ouest pendant tout le XIXè siècle et qui ont créé "out of thin air" les sociétés qui sont devenues des multinationales.

De Kellog's à Coca-Cola, de Windows à Apple, de Boing à Ford, dans la psyché américaine c'est l'individu qui est au fondement de la réussite des États-Unis. L'État est perçu comme un empêcheur de tourner en rond qui entrave l'initiative individuelle.

C'est d'ailleurs pourquoi cette Ayn Rand dont il a été question en novembre dernier a prospéré avec ses foutaises pseudo philosophiques: elle cautionnait intellectuellement le système de pensées et de valeurs des États-Unis.

Donc il est légitime pour la droite américaine de considérer qu'un système tel que le Universal Health Care est d'essence collective, ce qui n'est pas faux bien au contraire puisque c'est le fondement même de cette assurance santé: elle est fondée sur la solidarité comme le sont nos systèmes européens.

C'est donc "un-Américan" dans la mesure où cela va contre le sacro saint principe de l'individualisme qui est à l'origine de la réussite du pays.

Il n'y a pas que les Républicains d'ailleurs, les Démocrates ne sont pas tous d'ardents défenseurs de la Sécurité Sociale à l'américaine.

Maintenant il faut considérer quel est l'intérêt des individus eux-mêmes et là il n'y a pas photo évidemment.

Well eventually I wrote mainly in French. Pour moi aussi c'est un effort d'écrire en anglois...

Anonyme a dit…

http://www.newamerica.net/node/34923

-Jan
CDN

Flocon a dit…

Bonjour Jan de Bondy, toujours aussi fidèle que discret...

I haven't read your article yet but it seems to be right on target re this post.

All the best... ;-)

Anijo a dit…

With your permission I'll give a hand next time you post in French.
Merci Flocon. Bien sûr que oui.

How well that?
So well that most of the time you come across as a native English speaker.

Anonyme a dit…

Well, USA is no more a pioneers nation. They live on this old mantra : the new world. It is no more a young nation. They will have to deal with their past. We are the old Europe, they are becoming the old America. I like and admire this Nation, but I don't like what they are doing to their founded fathers country. They have no more borders to conquer. From the natives to the mexican immigrations, their new frontier is themselves.
( melomane).

Flocon a dit…

Sur le site qu'a indiqué Anijo, il y a cette citation de Mark Twain :
"All generalizations are false, including this one." qui ferait le bonheur d'un logicien...

C'est pourquoi il faut toujours se garder des généralisations -bien qu'elles soient inévitables en la circonstance- du genre les Français sont..., les Italiens sont..., les Américains sont..., les Chinois etc.

"Well, USA is no more a pioneers nation. They live on this old mantra: the new world."

La phrase prête à confusion. En effet qui sont they?

Les États-Unis? Il faut toujours écrire the U.S.A. Et comme me l'a appris Anijo, c'est the U.S.A is (au singulier) a country where etc.

Les pionniers? Il n'y a plus de pionniers au sens historique aux U.S.A.

Les Américains en général? Beware of generalisations... Sarah Palin is American as well as Anijo and I heard on the grapevine that they wouldn't get on together very well...

"I don't like what they are doing"

C'est comme partout dans le monde. Il y a les Français et leurs dirigeants qui font à peu près ce qu'ils veulent au nom des Français qui n'en peuvent mais. Il y a les Américains qui, en général, sont aussi mécontents de leurs politiques que nous.

Mais il est vrai qu'il est facile de recourir à des généralisations parce que c'est plus rapide, I'm a great offender myself...

Cela dit, toutes les sociétés, toutes les nations ont leurs mythes fondateurs qui perdurent bien au-delà de leur éventuelle réalité historique.

Nous vivons bien sur le mythe de la Révolution ou sur celui des droits de l'homme et du citoyen. Regardez ce qu'il en reste au XXIè siècle et même ce qu'il en était dès après la Révolution...

C'est un peu comme les Champs-Élysées, pseudo plus belle avenue du monde...

Anijo a dit…

En effet qui sont they?

Sounds like something Anijo would say.. ;)

Ned Ludd a dit…

Perhaps off-topic, but the event of last week where a man shot a Democratic congresswoman and several other people is a more serious tragedy for American society than 911 was. It is a sign of the real malaise underlying that society.

911 was a criminal act by a group of foreign enemies, while the recent shooting reveals a rotten core in America. This has been provoked by violent rhetoric of the hard rightwing Republican politicians like Sarah Palin and the radio and TV hate commentary by their supporters. Of course Fox News is the primary purveyor of this incivility, to use a euphemism.

Glenn Beck is of course in the front line, along with Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. There are other radio talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage, not to forget the many radio and TV preachers.

This has existed since the thirties with Father Coughlin whom I mentioned before. From the fifties to the seventies there was another broadcaster whose name I forget that you heard everywhere on the radio, particularly when traveling in the West and the South, and there was the John Birch Society.

There was always the NRA and a gun culture, but the tone back in the seventies and eighties was more moderate. It was with the Clinton Administration that the hard rightwing media really began to exagerate their violent message. The real terrorist threat in the U.S. comes from this rightwing, which is no longer just a fringe in the Republican Party. This goes back even to the Ku Klux Klan.

Glenn Beck on the air said he wanted to kill Michael Moore, or have someone else do it. Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez. Other broadcasters have been a bit more subtle in their calls for violence. They no longer believe in a debate of ideas, but in the physical elimination of those who oppose them. Genuine civilized debate no longer seems possible in the U.S. Here is a commentary by Bill Moyers from 2008, "Rage on the Radio".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ3ap-BK0e0

(One of these days I'll get around to the html code)

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, you changed a couple of other things in your text that needed correcting. As to numbers, it is a question of adjective or noun.

You should say "dozens of millions". Usually if you put a modifier in front, it is implicitly an adjective "4 dozen" or "a few dozen", unless it is followed by "of" so "many dozens of millions". A noun is implied to be following even though it is not always necessary to mention it.

Ned Ludd a dit…

As to "perhaps" or "maybe", there might be a slight nuance. "Perhaps" might be considered to be more sure.

If I say "Perhaps you should see a doctor.", that might be more affirmative than if I say "Maybe you should see a doctor." which reflects more doubt.

This is pure speculation on my part in searching for a difference, and I may be completely wrong.

Flocon a dit…

Ned,

Thanks for the analysis.

"Father Coughlin whom I mentioned before." I remember you mentioned him but I couldn't say where and on which occasion.

Please note that Sarah Palin has presented her condolences... [/ironic mood off)

I've known of Tucson Arizona for over 40 years...

"(One of these days I'll get around to the html code)"

Bon alors c'est la bonne résolution de l'année on va dire :-D

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Merci pour le rappel de la règle re numbers. I have to do a serious work about it.

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Je me suis toujours intéressé à l"étymologie (the basics). Mais la linguistique devient très vite "technique" et c'est une science per se.

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Je croyais que perhaps had something to do with to happen (it has) and also with hapax (apparently it doesn't when I thought it would be obvious))

Ned Ludd a dit…

Si Le Pen et le FN étaient aux Etats-Unis, ils seraient rangés avec les Republicans "moderés". Le "Tea Party" est plus extreme, violent, et racist que le FN.

Flocon a dit…

Ned,

Je crois que tout le monde est d'accord.

L'année dernière (2009 en fait) j'ai écrit un billet qui rappelait que le FN n'était qu'un avatar de la droite pompidolienne des années 60.

Par ailleurs, la personne de Marine Le Pen m'est indifférente alors que celles de Juppé, Sarko, Kouchner et je ne sais combien d'autres me sont insupportables.

Granted, ce n'est pas un argument mais je ne m'interdis pas d'écouter ou de lire ce qu'elle dit ou écrit, ce qui n'est pas possible avec les sagouins qui sont au pouvoir (ou voudraient l'être).

Anijo: Sagouin is a familiar version of salaud, salopard (bastard as you know) but less vulgar.

Anijo a dit…

Anijo: Sagouin is a familiar version of salaud, salopard (bastard as you know) but less vulgar.

Un extrait de Petit Epître
par T.S. Eliot

Quant à son livre, qu'on s'en foute!
Ces baragouins
De sagouins
Je les entends le long de la route

Flocon a dit…

How do you know all these things Anijo???

I have never read one single line by T.S Eliot (yeah, I know I should and probably will for the sake of it)

Anijo a dit…

Flocon, you're not missing out on much, in my opinion. He is mostly known for these lines (which don't seem to fit in with the rest of the poem)

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo


Some have claimed that he borrowed these lines from Jules LaForgue:

Dans la piece les femmes vont et viennent
En parlant des maîtres de Sienne.

Flocon a dit…

"In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo"


Is this what women are talking about?

I marvel at the thought that he created such finesse out of a block of marble. Look at the veins, the nerves, the nails and how the forearm seems to be covered with real skin!

Some people seem not to belong to our world really.