"The overall project of neo-liberalism is to question the four pillars of the social state" [RP: Enjoy some characteristically French clarity.]


LOGOSUNIVERSITAIRE: Logos is a French media company founded in 2018 by students and recent graduates, wishing to offer a new horizon of analysis. / 02/28/2019


What is the social state, and what is this "neoliberal chaos" that you mention in your book?

THE SOCIAL STATE The broad definition includes four pillars: social protection, of course, but also public services, the instruments of regulation of work relations (labor law in particular) [RP: In US: Unionization V “Right to Work”], and finally the fourth pillar, to which I am very attached and which is often neglected in the work on the social state, that of economic policies [regarding] income sharing, fiscal, monetary, commercial, industrial, etc.

NEOLIBERALISM: This project is precisely to question the four pillars of the social state: attempt to privatize social protection (pension to pension funds, health to private insurers ...), public services, flexibilization of labor law and reorientation of economic policies in a liberal sense.

The instrument used by neoliberalism is globalization. It goes back to what I said earlier about the foundation of the welfare state and the Republic. The foundation of the welfare state is democracy. This is why the welfare state is national. The four pillars of the social state exist all over the world, but pensions, for example, depend on extremely strong national configurations. … Political life and social compromises are managed at the national level. The sovereignty of the people is exercised on a national scale. Citizenship is national. I sometimes hear people say, "I am a citizen of the world". In my opinion, they are zozos. …. To be a citizen, one must live in the Republic, it is the Republic that institutes the citizens. Nation-states are not exceeded at the political or economic level.

To come back to the question, the neo-liberals have used globalization to serve the interests of a few powerful people, because on a global scale, there is no power of the people. The people cannot exercise their power at this level, they are powerless. Globalization calls into question the Nation-State, to better question the power of the people, we must never lose sight of that.

For these reasons, I think that globalization must be called into question. We cannot advocate the welfare state without challenging globalization. This does not mean that we will return to autarchy, but that means that we must question free trade and therefore social and environmental dumping.

[RP “Social dumping”: the political/economic policy that seeks global competitive advantages by lowering the cost of your country’s labor.  Similar to “tax dumping”: the public policy of competing for investment by making tax concessions to corporations.]


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