Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Truly Alarming Poll

This (from IPSOS) will get everyone's attention:

2/ Confirmation du rejet du système politique et médiatique. Le lien de confiance entre les Français et un grand nombre d’institutions politiques s’est durablement brisé. 72% des Français n’ont pas confiance dans l’Assemblée nationale, 73% dans le Sénat. Pour 88% des personnes interrogées, les hommes et les femmes politiques ne s’occupent pas de ce que pensent les gens. Les médias sont très vivement critiqués : 77% des personnes interrogées ne leur font pas confiance. Pour 74% des Français, les journalistes ne parlent pas des vrais problèmes des Français.
3/ Confirmation de l’hostilité parfois massive à l’égard des étrangers. 66% des Français sont d’accord avec l’idée selon laquelle il y a trop d’étrangers en France. 47% pensent que pour réduire le nombre de chômeurs en France, il faut réduire le nombre d’immigrés. Bien qu’en recul, le rejet de l’Islam est toujours majoritaire : 63% (-11) des Français considèrent que cette religion n’est pas compatible avec les valeurs de la société française (-15 à gauche à 46% et -10 à l’UMP à 72%).


FrédéricLN said...

I think you (Art) wrote some weeks ago that such polls were not any more "monitors of confidence", but "monitors of defiance": very relevant.

Siegfried said...

The part of the poll about how French see their history and the values they'd like to value more is very interesting also. I think it's the deepest tendancy in what's happening now in French society.

brent said...

I take no pleasure in observing that French levels of disaffection are approaching the truly amazing degree to which we Americans seem to despise our dysfunctional government. How many others of the world's venerable democracies are in a similar state of disarray? Always hard to know if transient data reveal an epochal shift or just a temporary turning.

But if epochal, might this be the effect of some 30 years of a capitalist world system that grossly over-rewards a tiny few at the expense of the many, whose 'global' nature reintroduces crude exploitations long suppressed 'at home,' whose disregard for natural limits threatens species survival ... you get the idea. In short, maybe we should take seriously the systemic failure these numbers suggest, and stop being so preoccupied with the insignificant corrections we call 'reforms'.

Mitch Guthman said...

Really what I think we're seeing heralded by these polls are the same explosive pressures for economic and political reforms that we have seen in the past, with the Progressive era in the United States and the Reform era in England as examples of the elites wisely compromising and achieving consensus with the people to dissipate revolutionary pressures that were threatening to explode their societies. The revolutions in France and Russia, by contrast, are examples of what can happen when elites are intransigent and pursue dangerous policies.

Apparently, Davos Man is blithely unconcerned about the risk that European society is in a pre-revolutionary era because he evidently believes he would reign supreme in the Hobbesian dystopia that would surely attend the collapse of the social welfare state. Probably so, but then again, perhaps he should be sobered when thinking about the rivers of blood that washed away the French and Russian nobility.

I think the rise of the social welfare state was, in a way, something of a covenant between the elites and the people much like God’s rainbow covenant with Noah. Europe and America liquidated their proletariat by turning them into petite bourgeoisie; the middle classes grew significantly, too, and the whole world was better for it. Davos man might want to think twice before renouncing that covenant with the people: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water the fire next time”.