Jacques Attali

INTERVIEW: “Every Country Should Think of Itself as a Hotel & its People as Hoteliers”

Jacques Attali is a French economic and social theorist, writer, political adviser, senior civil servant, along with the personification of International Jewry. In this interview, with 24 Heures (a Swiss publication), his true Cultural Marxist colors show. What does he care after all? He will just pack and leave once France and Europe are destroyed by policies he advocates for.

Jacques Attali
International Jewry Personified: Jacques Attali

“Every country should think of itself as a hotel and its people as hoteliers,” Source: diversitymachtfrei.wordpress.com & 24heures.ch:

Below are some extracts from a Swiss newspaper interview with Jacques Attali, who was born to a Jewish family in Algiers but later migrated to France where he became a prominent political adviser and author.

Immigration has a tendency to divide Europe. Should Europe welcome migrants?

Unfortunately, all the countries are in agreement about containing immigration, and even reducing it. But let’s look at the numbers: we are 600 million inhabitants of Europe and we are talking about receiving 200,000 migrants per year. In three years, that would be 600,000, that is 1 for every 1000 people in Europe. Do you see? 1 in a thousand! It’s not enough. We are capable of welcoming many more. The Lebanon has to manage with 25% of Syrian migrants. Europe is also confronted with a demographic collapse. And welcoming refugees forms part of its values.

Isn’t there a gap between your hopes and the policies of European countries? And then Europe does it put itself in danger in wanting to contain immigration?

No, it protects itself. But too much, in my opinion. I know I am very isolated faced with this European consensus. But it’s shameful to not welcome all these worthy people, magnificent, often well educated, young, full of dynamism.

Every country should think of itself as a hotel and its inhabitants as hoteliers. Receive foreigners without end. Be welcoming. This is what makes Switzerland symbolically a maritime country.

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Full Interview (translated with Google Translate) from www.24heures.ch:

Passing through Geneva, French writer and essayist Jacques Attali spoke Wednesday at Uni Dufour on artificial intelligence, on the occasion of the presentation of the Latsis University Awards, rewarding each year, in particular, researchers from UNIGE and EPFL. Interview

Can France reform itself?

France is changing at a crazy speed. And each of the 60 million French people evolves and changes every day. It is said that France is tense. But it is constantly reforming and changing constantly, in terms of manners, innovation, art, culture.

So, what is the reason for this widely shared feeling about the blockages in France?

What is true is that France modifies her laws very little. For a bad reason besides, because we have trouble to admit the homeopathic changes. And for another reason: the maritime nations value change, rural nations value permanence.

France, however, borders several seas. She could have been a maritime nation?

She tried to do it eight times, as I discuss in my last book. But France has chosen to be a rural nation because it has very rich land and agriculture.

Can the Macron government succeed in changing France?

When I am abroad, I never discuss French politics. What I can say is that France is not advancing by slow reforms, but by revolutions. Either bloody or more symbolic. Since 1945, we have had three revolutions: 1945, 1958, 1980. And the fourth is taking place right now. France accumulates for a long time the need for change, then it sets in motion. It takes time because we are a centralized nation. Our model is very integrative: everyone speaks the same language.

When did the current “revolution” begin?

It started three years ago, with an awareness. A maturation of the reforms then took place, continued by the last presidential election.

France will therefore keep a leading role in Europe?

I am convinced that France is the first European power already today and will be even more so tomorrow, because Germany is ill, demographically, technologically and financially. In twenty years, France will be by far the leading power in Europe. Economically, we are present in the best sectors: health, education, culture, insurance, start-ups. Not to mention two other areas, little used: the sea and the Francophonie.

Why through the Francophonie?

Today, 180 million people speak French. With the development of Africa, there will be 700 million. Africa has one billion inhabitants, and in thirty or forty years it will have two billion. This is the big question of the 21st century. For Europe, this population explosion can lead to a catastrophe, because hundreds of millions of Africans will settle here, or we help them develop well and the continent will be a great market. For Europe and for France thanks to this common language.

Immigration tends to divide Europe. Should Europe welcome migrants?

Unfortunately, all European countries agree to contain immigration, and even reduce it. But let’s look at the numbers: we are 600 million people in Europe and we are talking about welcoming 200,000 migrants a year. In three years that would be 600,000, or 1 per thousand of the population of Europe. You realize? 1 for a thousand! It is not enough. We are able to welcome many more. Lebanon has to cope with 25% of Syrian migrants. Europe is also facing a demographic collapse. And welcoming refugees is part of its values.

Is not there a gap between your hopes and the policies of European countries? And then does Europe endanger itself by wanting to contain immigration?

No, she’s protecting herself. But too much, in my opinion. I know that I am very isolated in the face of this European consensus. But it’s shameful not to welcome all those dignified, beautiful, often well-trained, young, dynamic people.

Cross the Atlantic and turn to the United States. Is Donald Trump a dangerous man?

Yes. The United States is representative of a global trend that is growing, that of market dictatorships. Why? Because people need security but they also want to make money. This cocktail is dangerous. And the world is unstable, as in 1910. People lived very well then. They already had the radio, the car, the electricity. Democracy, globalization. And then terrorism – then called nihilism – the financial crisis and protectionism have globally precipitated the world in 75 years of barbarity, from 1914 to 1989. Today is the same: we know technological progress, tremendous growth potential, ways to make massive energy savings thanks to the many energy comparison services such as Utility Bidder and more, increased life expectancy. We have everything to be happy.

But can everything switch?

The environmental issue is urgent. We must save the sea. We must also solve the problem of the unequal distribution of wealth and that of a global disorder due to the fact that the markets are more powerful than the States. The probability of a world war is considerable. It can be triggered by nothing, an incident between the Chinese and the Americans about North Korea, or between Poles and Russians about the Baltic countries …

And Donald Trump could be a trigger?

Yes, because it is unpredictable and erratic. We have escaped a major conflict since 1945 because all the nuclear powers were led by reasonable people. Today, at the head of the United States and North Korea, we are dealing with two unreasonable people, even if the President of the United States can not press the nuclear button alone. But he can almost do it alone.

Are the GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) not also a form of threat?

Those are the dictators of the market. They thrived in a free and perfect economy that resulted in the formation of cartels. GAFA is dangerous because they are in the process of mastering prediction instruments.

Should we break these cartels?

This will come as was the case with the former telecom giant ATT in the United States. But another cartel is even more dangerous: that of the agrochemical industry, which claims to patent life without any rights. GAFA takes ownership of our data, but groups selling seeds, in particular, take ownership of life. They are fewer and fewer, after the acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina and Monsanto by Bayer. We must act before they reach too big a size.

How can we control these groups? It would take a world government?

Yes, there should be a world-wide rule of law. The only international institution is located in Geneva. It is the WTO (World Trade Organization), which relies on its dispute settlement system. At least one international institution of decartelization is needed, but the WTO has lost some of its power.

Who is the best equipped to master the challenges of digitalization, big data and artificial intelligence: Silicon Valley? France? Europe?

This is indeed a major issue. In this context, it is the property of the data, and what one makes of it, which will be determining. The analysis of consumer behavior will allow to deduce which goods or services can be sold. I wrote in 2006 that the insurance companies would be the best armed in this area, especially those that will be linked to the groups controlling the data. GAFAs are powerful when they are installed in large homogeneous markets where they can accumulate data and predictions. Today, two markets stand out: the United States and China. The Chinese market will catch up and will be even faster than the US market because it is, as I said, a market dictatorship.

And Switzerland? For several years now, the Davos Forum has ranked this country in terms of competitiveness. What is the Swiss miracle?

Switzerland, power of average size, is the absolute counter-example of the thesis of my book. I have only one explanation for this miracle: work. This country is also benefited by the fact of not having experienced war, by a very strong social consensus and by the use of situation rents which are disappearing. I am talking about the banking sector, whose services, moreover, do not need access to the sea. But finance has not respected the rules of the game. It never lasts very long. Switzerland is a country outside the game. In military terms as in banking terms.

Can an offside country be perennial?

No. Not in a sustainable way. So, a process of trivialization of Switzerland is under way. That said, Switzerland plays remarkably well its standardization, in the slowest possible way (smile) . Switzerland also has great capacity to welcome foreigners. The hospitality sector, in the broad sense, will be one of the main ones of the future. Not only on the hotel plan. The great job of tomorrow will be that of empathy.

The Swiss are empathic?

Yes, in their own way. In a particular way: that’s what I call selflessness!

Is it empathy with oneself?

What’s happening at EPFL, for example, is pretty awesome. I envy EPFL. I regret that she is not French. EPFL is a kind of business hotel. Every country must think of itself as a hotel and its inhabitants as hoteliers. Constantly receive strangers. To be welcoming This is what makes Switzerland symbolically maritime.

And Geneva?

This is a special case, Geneva is both Swiss and French, Swiss and international. Geneva is a special paradise. I often said that if I had to go into exile, it would be in Montreal or Geneva. People from all kinds of cultures live there and cross each other.

Can Switzerland stay out of Europe?

If I had any advice to give to Switzerland, it is to enter the European Union while keeping its specificity.

Would the European Union allow it?

Everything is negotiated, everything is negotiated … In the long run, Switzerland will lose a lot by remaining outside the European Union, which is a great spur to carry out reforms. To stay outside is to condemn oneself to being encysted at the moment when one’s particularities are disappearing. To be out of play and trivialize is annoying.

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