I have been called the “bearer of bad news” far too often for me not to be on my guard about risks and opportunities. That being said, I am convinced that opportunities can only be seized once risks have been analyzed carefully. In short: people, companies, families and individuals who best survive the storms are those who have courageously confronted those risks they face and reacted to them in a timely manner.
Let’s talk about risks and opportunities for France and Europe. They are tremendous potential to be talked about:
There are few regions in the world where life is better. It is sound to say that the European way of life is considered by everyone and the leaders, to be the most enviable where : the best social protection exists, the most decent pensions are paid and every child has the right to a basic and complete education.
And the most factual evidence of this is that people from Africa, Latin America and Asia, who can no longer support themselves and their children in their own countries, risk their lives to settle in France and Europe (along with the United States and Canada, which are less easily accessible).
I also see the tremendous potential for the future:
A country and a continent less affected than others by global warming, with a prosperous agriculture, an exceptional health and education system. All assets are gathered so that these countries remain the paradise of the future. This is all the more true when we compare the situation to that of the United States where obesity, drugs, structural racism, the wealth gap, the weight of finance and very rich people are reducing democracy to a farce. Or when we compare the situation to that of China, a dreadful dictatorship, where rich people are nothing more than henchmen for the political leaders and where people are encouraged to consume even more to forget forget their deprivation of freedom. In these two “superpowers”, unavoidable disasters are on their way. Europe would have a great place to take, as a future superpower.
As far as France is concerned: an abysmal public debt, a catastrophic external deficit (unique among developed countries), a rate of unemployment that is not falling above a very high floor, a catastrophic social mobility, increasingly widespread lawless areas, some of our young people (especially boys) with no hope of escaping a closed fate, a public education system on its way to proletarianization, a pauperized healthcare system, an army with no credible means for any weapon except deterrence. And above all, a dizzying loss of confidence in institutions and in all forms of authority and respect towards those involved in family, political, administrative, judicial, police, educational and media life. A country on the brink of collapse, but unaware of it.
As for Europe, all that remains today is a group of countries, which is too vague, too blurred, too disparate, with no common vision or project, and with strategic interests that should be common but are not. An industry unable to address the major challenges of the future, whether in digital technology or biotechnology. No control over its energy needs. Total dependence on the rest of the world for its defense and digital security. And in the future, as soon as the Chinese try it, a tsunami will sweep through the European automotive industry, where no global approach to ecological transition is planned. Defense policy does not exist so that if in a year from now, the next American president decides to withdraw his troops from Europe (which Donald Trump would have done), Russian troops will soon be, without a fight, on the borders of Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and perhaps even Austria.
Finally, for both of them, global warming will make for sure food, housing and transport more expensive. Transfers of production and consumption to the sectors of the life economy, that could make the short and long term compatible without reducing the purchasing power of the working classes, will not even be organized or thought out.
We must face these threats head-on as quickly as possible if we want to prevent France and Europe from falling into the hands of the extreme right, which will fail by making immigration the unique cause of all these ills.
Sound the alarm. Call for a general mobilization of all players. Who will have the courage to do so?