Eric Zuesse – Two Views of France’s Pension Crisis: Germany’s and China’s
Two Views of France’s Pension Crisis: Germany’s and China’s
On March 17th, Deutsche Welle bannered “France: Pension reform spells crisis for Macron: French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to push through a pension reform without a parliamentary vote. That has triggered a political crisis ― and could help the far right.”
On March 26th, China’s Global Times headlined “Capitalism runs out of the accumulated dividends, reaches a critical point”, and presented the following analysis:
Today, France still controls the currency of 14 former West African colonies, with the franc being their legal currency, and these countries must deposit 50 percent of their foreign exchange reserves at the French Public Treasury. This is one of the reasons why the French still enjoy almost the most generous social welfare system in the world, including pensions. …
With the continuous increase of the elderly population in the future, the pension system will face a deficit. This is why French President Emmanuel Macron insists on reform. …
The vast majority of blue-collar workers, including those who work in polluted and dangerous environments, will have to share the burden. But their job nature is completely different from those who work on computers and play with stocks and securities. The reform is seen as another exacerbation of the wealth gap.
France used to be known for a relatively small wealth gap within Europe, but in recent years, this gap has been widening. Data from the World Inequality Lab of the Paris School of Economics shows that income and wealth inequalities have been on the rise nearly everywhere since the 1980s. And analysts believe the wealth tax (IFI), a tax on the real estate assets for individuals, which has replaced the solidarity wealth tax (ISF), has led to an “acceleration” of inequality. …
The European people chose a different path from that of the US – a path that emphasizes welfare and fair distribution. However, even under welfare capitalism, it does not change the nature of capitalism and its inherent flaws, which has inevitably led to the widening of the wealth gap.
It seems that the French people cannot find a way out now. Neither can the US. Capitalism seems to have reached a critical point, and although it will not disappear quickly, the future path is uncertain.
China places this crisis into the historical perspective of France’s prior imperialism, which had led up to it.
Germany places this crisis into a purely local national perspective of German politics.
Those different perspectives are fundamentally different, because whereas Germany’s presents this only within Germany’s own history after 1930, and as reflecting the danger of a possible rise in France of “the far right” (whatever that is assumed to mean — which might be very different in today’s France than was the case in 1930s Germany), China’s presents this within a global historical context that encompasses and relates to thousands of years of human history in virtually all countries: international imperialism, or the extension of a nation’s aristocracy’s control far outside and away from their own borders by conquering and exploiting peoples in foreign lands that have little or no shared history and culture with the imperialist nation.
China’s Government is saying there that whereas America’s imperialism has been historically perpetrated by an almost totally psychopathic aristocracy of America’s super-rich who have made few compromises with the interests of laborers (wages) and with customers (protective of their bodies against toxins and pollutants and protective of their finances against overpriced monopolies, etc.); and, so, U.S. billionaires’ benefits from exploitation of foreign populations by means of colonialism and of America’s exploitation of foreign ‘allies’ or vassal nations, was almost total and extracted with almost no concern for the welfare of the public either domestically or in the colonies; France’s aristocrats after WW II and the decline of their colonial empire needed to make somewhat more compromises with the interests of the domestic public, and therefore allowed more of a domestic social-welfare state (such as these pensions) to result, but now are needing to cut back on that because turning the screw even harder against the residents in those ‘former’ colonial countries (in Africa) is no longer possible like it used to be: all vestiges of the French empire are now severely at risk and being challenged by these public demonstrations in France.
Unlike Germany’s interpretation, which is purely national, China’s is class-based but rejects Marxism since Marx blamed “the bourgeoisie” (the middle class) instead of “the aristocracy” (since he had to ‘earn’ a living himself and the aristocrats had almost all of the money). China fortunately has peeled away and discarded enough of Marx so as to be much better able to serve the public, and so to be able to retain some degree of realistic idealism going forward, and not merely to sink further again into Marxism’s built-in (as a consequence of its hypocrisies) ideological failures.
However, the Chinese statement that “The vast majority of blue-collar workers, including those who work in polluted and dangerous environments, will have to share the burden,” seems to ignore that for “those who work in polluted and dangerous environments” to “share in the burden” that was imposed by France’s aristocracy generations ago, upon the dirt-poor in France’s African colonies, might be not only unjust (which it obviously would be), but also unnecessary. So, either China is in need of improving its ideology, or it is in need of improving the writer, and also the editor, of that article. But the analysis that is contained in it is certainly nearer to being sound than Germany’s is.
In any case, France’s current crisis goes far deeper than merely France’s politics. The Chinese analysis got that important fact right.
CONCLUDING NOTE: Germany is America’s most important colony or vassal nation (‘ally’.) For example: of America’s 900 foreign military bases, 231 are in Germany. Furthermore: On 26 September 2022, the U.S. (with the active cooperation of Norway and under the Norwegian King’s personal approval, since Norway would be the main beneficiary), U.S. President Biden blew up the two Nord Stream pipelines from Russia — by far Europe’s cheapest energy — and thereby assured weakened economic competition from Europe and especially from Germany. Two days later, I headlined “How America Is Crushing Europe” and documented that Biden and the U.S. Congress were instituting new laws that would make the U.S. a vacuum cleaner of German manufacturers sucking their production across the Atlantic into America, where energy, labor, industrial regulations, and other production-costs, were/are significantly lower (especially so because Germany had joined U.S. sanctions against Russia and Biden has destroyed the Russian-German-owned Nord Stream pipelines from Russia. Then, on 18 March 2023, Deutsche Welle headlined “Is German industry migrating to the US?” and answered yes, but made no mention of the Nord Stream pipelines at all, and pretended that this was merely a normal trade war and not a reflection of the German Government being basically a slave to America’s Government and its having thus approved and joined America’s anti-Russia sanctions, which are destroying Europe.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.