Macronists have the rhetorical reflex of invoking reason to justify their action. This authoritative argument is used today to defend a pension reform project presented as ” necessary “ and ” fair “. However, “rationally”, this reform project does not seem either necessary or fair in the light of the annual report of the experts of the Pensions Orientation Council (COR). Worse, the impact study of the government text evokes a ” progress “when the overwhelming majority of French people perceive a social regression and a human cost…
On the front page of “Obs”: Pensions, the reform too many
How to explain this discrepancy? Should we see in this the sign of the political courage of a power driven by a sense of the general interest or, on the contrary, the illustration of a rigidity resulting from dogmatic blindness? Alas, the second hypothesis imposes itself. This is one of the reasons why the majority in power has so much trouble convincing the majority of French people. In this, the forthcoming parliamentary debate risks feeding a little more the feeling of disconnection between the essentials of the social body and the parliamentary right formed by the Macronist and LR deputies. A bloc that risks embodying more than ever the (private) interests of the most favored…
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An ideological battle
Behind the communication battle, it is indeed an ideological battle that is being played out. Indeed, beyond his opportunistic character (Emmanuel Macron is looking for a “trophy” to embody his image as “reformer”, in the Thatcherian sense of the term), the project is fundamentally ideological, even dogmatic. Behind the technical accounting or financial argument, the extension of the legal retirement age (in the name of “balancing the accounts”) is a political choice that ignores its human cost. This choice has its roots in a long history, that of neoliberalism, which is the ideological base of discourses and proposals for the reform of social policies. Heir to Sarkozyism, Fillonism and Hollandism, Macronism thus reinforces the advent of a neoliberal state in the service of a historic mission: the deconstruction of our social model. Whatever it takes.
Pensions: Macron targets the social identity of France
According to the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, the pension reform project guarantees “financial balance, and therefore the extension of solidarity”. This type of statement is a perfect illustration of newspeak, characteristic according to Orwell of a dystopian society of disinformation. Words lose their meaning or are used in the wrong way. In this case, far from any value of “solidarity”, the accounting logic that drives the “reform” conveys a utilitarian vision of the individual in a dehumanized society modeled on the business model.
In addition to the accounting argument, the argument of longer life expectancy does not stand up to a series of realities about which the authorities prefer to remain silent. This is the case for significant inequalities in terms of life expectancy, in general, and life expectancy in good health, in particular. Concretely, for the most precarious or vulnerable French people, the retirement age will coincide with illness, dependency, or even death. Is this a social project worthy of the “Social Republic” enshrined in Article 1er of our Constitution?
In addition, the government project is out of step with the aspirations of our fellow citizens regarding their own life project. A political movement that wanted to be modern and modernizing finds itself defending a project carrying an archaic vision of the individual. Indeed, the “work value” is experiencing a real Copernican revolution among our contemporaries, in search of space and time. A revolution ignored and dodged by the instigators of the reform, who do not assume the substantive debate on the social project that they surreptitiously defend. Does work define the meaning of our lives? Isn’t it legitimate to “withdraw” from the labor market to preserve our health (physical and mental) and flourish other than through the injunction to productivity, performance and competition? Can this existential questioning be posed in identical terms in a society of unequals, where the richest are less and less put to contribution for the common interest?
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To re-enchant work, you need a “conscious company”
These legitimate questions face the dogmatism of the self-proclaimed members of the “circle of reason”. More broadly, this “club of neoliberal rationality” continues to meticulously empty our welfare state of its substance, weakening our public services and the lives of our fellow citizens. The very legitimacy of public action is apprehended in the light of productivity, of “performance”. As if the techniques of private management were soluble in the public sector. The situation of “general fatigue”, impoverishment and dilapidation of the school and hospital sectors symbolizes the application of a managerial strategy focused on the question of means, at the cost of abandoning values (of equal access and quality) of the public service…
At this rate, a revision of our Constitution should intervene to officially erect a “neoliberal Republic”, in place of our defunct “Social Republic”.
Chronicle of the cultural battle, it’s every week, alternating with Saïd Benmouffok