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By and large, I'm in agreement with Andreani. Laying aside the points made by MarekNYC (which I agree with so-so), Andreani's main thrust is against the tiresomely repetitive discourse about failure and doom, and the evident need for reform... And France does seem to be the central butt of this agenda-driven language.

"The point is that governments are increasingly using arguments of "failure" , "doom", "suckiness" to pass reforms", says Alex in Toulouse. To "governments" let's add "corporate power", "financial power". Melvin posted a fascinating article about Japan (The Lost "Human Country" by Uchihashi Katsuto), which says this:

the formation of public opinion in Japan increasingly takes place through ideas initiated by a ruling stratum that includes the government as well as academia and business interests. This is called `reform`

By a discourse of `power` I mean those discourses that descend from the `peaks` embodied by the interests of the side wielding power, authority and jurisdiction... ideas opposing it as well as dissenters always end up becoming objects of exclusion by being labeled either `defenders of entrenched interests` or `rebels`.

This is especially deplorable among so-called `scholars` who actively expend their energies in the formation, dissemination and universalization of discourses of power, and swarm around political power.

Though this is aimed against the Koizumi government, there are elements that apply globally. Laissez-faire capitalism has taken over the word "reform", and describes its opponents as conservatives. And the discourse on the failure of "social market models" has become common wisdom. The only thing that "works", we are told, is a more fragmented, individualized, competitive society. And far too many people believe that is where their interest lies, when in fact it's in the interest of an extremely wealthy few which most of them will never join.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 29th, 2005 at 04:20:06 PM EST

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