ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Argent, boue et sang
by Patrick Apel-Muller
Translated Friday 25 March 2011, by David Preeceand reviewed by
Francophone Africa has doubtless known more lucrative schemes. The incident certainly seems negligible in the long series of collusions between politicians, notably on the right, and the world of business. But the trip made by Michèle Alliot-Marie and Patrick Ollier, two high-ranking ministers who mix shady investments and friendship with the Ben Ali clan on a bed of lies, is the final straw. Wealth should be encouraged, proclaimed Nicolas Sarkozy, setting an example by flashing Rolex watches on a yacht cruise with a CAC 40 billionaire, then by relaxing at the Mexican hacienda of a wheeler-dealer suspected of involvement in the drug trade. These days it seems that almost anything can turn the latest unhealthy connection between money and power into dynamite.
The crisis threw a glaring light on the frenzied rush for wealth among shareholders in the big corporations, the pillaging of the economy by capital and the carve-up of public life in the interests of the rich. During the retirement age reform debacle, the majority of the public became aware of who was hiding behind our government officials. The strangling of entire countries by the financial markets and the bloodletting inflicted by the Diafoirus of the IMF and the World Bank made this vision of public officials bogged down in murky affairs even more intolerable. Let’s not dwell on the Woerth affair, where successive lines of defence gave way one after another among revelations of the favours granted to the First Circle of donors to the UMP. Or the solid friendship between Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Servier, the man behind Isomeride and Mediator. But we understand that the French government found the dictator Ben Ali virtuous to the point of offering him, during his final days, the comfort of French savoir-faire in the matter of repression. This is the same world where money has no smell, and where blood dries quickly when the coffers are being filled. Isn’t it said that during her working holiday in North Africa the French minister personally consulted by phone with her dear friend Ben Ali?
To quote Marx’s description of XIXth century France: ’Since the finance aristocracy made the laws, was at the head of the administration of the State, had command of all the organised public authorities, dominated public opinion through the actual state of affairs and through the press, the same prostitution, the same shameless cheating, the same mania to get rich was repeated in every sphere, from the court to the Café Borgne, to get rich not by production, but by pocketing the already available wealth of others, clashing every moment with the bourgeois laws themselves, an unbridled assertion of unhealthy and dissolute appetites manifested itself, particularly at the top of bourgeois society – lusts wherein wealth derived from gambling naturally seeks its satisfaction, where pleasure becomes debauched, where money, filth, and blood commingle .’ Who would claim that we are speaking about the past here? There is very much something rotten in Sarkozy’s kingdom, just like in that of his neighbour Berlusconi. In a survey carried out by Harris Interactive for l’Humanité Dimanche, 58 % of respondents expressed the wish for a ’revolt’ in France. The need for a fairer economic system has become inseparable from the demand for restored public morality in a republic founded on the public interest and the rejection of presidentialism, which is an open to door to all sorts of abuse.