"In the nineteenth century, liberal governments made the effects of globalization bearable"

In his chronicle "The World", Pierre-Cyrille Hautcœur reminds that the intervention of the State was not a brake but a condition of acceptance of radical changes induced by the first globalization.

By Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur Posted today at 06:30

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Chronicle "Research". Whatever the variety of claims and situations of "yellow vests", it is difficult not to interpret their movement as the concerns and difficulties caused by the rapid transformations of society and the economy that have led to in other countries, governments often described as populist. Two major shocks are at the origin of these transformations: a technological shock and globalization. In fact, the current social movement is largely concentrated in territories where these two shocks have led to the restructuring, or even the disappearance, of entire industries, leading to a crisis of meaning for their workers and their inhabitants.

"The President tackles the big debate hoping to maintain globalization and technological change, while reducing taxes, and therefore public spending"

The President of the Republic and the government approach the great debate hoping to maintain globalization and technological change (even accelerate), while reducing taxes, and therefore public spending, in the continuity of the liberal program that was supported in the first round of the presidential election by 18% of registered voters. But the experience of globalization at the end of the nineteenth centurye century shows that State intervention was not a brake, but a condition for accepting the radical transformations that then struck the economy and society.

Europe was experiencing a rapid increase in imports from "new" countries (the Americas, in the first place), which caused a serious crisis in agriculture. Many industries, especially rural ones, are ruined by the mechanization and development of the factory. Unemployment appears and the rural exodus is accelerating, all the more difficult to bear for those who are forced there that they are often in competition on the labor market with immigrants (Belgian or Italian, in particular), who accept lower wages and that the nationalist parties present them as natural enemies.

Across Europe, unions are developing to challenge the social effects of these transformations and to claim state protection. Even in the very liberal England, which is also the largest union stronghold in the world, the nationalist campaigns of rejection of foreigners and their products ("Buy British") are multiplying.