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Old 01-04-2009, 07:51 AM   #1
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France braced for 'rebirth of violent left'

France braced for 'rebirth of violent left' and related terrorism | World news | The Observer

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France braced for 'rebirth of violent left'Despite claims of exaggeration, government reports insist a new generation of extremists will soon launch a wave of sabotage and bombingsJason Burke in Paris The Observer, Sunday 4 January 2009 Article historyThe French government fears a wave of extreme left-wing terrorism this year with the possible sabotage of key infrastructure, kidnappings of major business figures or even bomb attacks.

Secret French government reports, seen by the Observer, describe an "elevated threat" from an "international European network ... with a strong presence in France" after the radicalisation of "a new generation of activists" in recent years. Senior analysts and experts linked to the government have drawn parallels with the Action Directe group, which carried out 50 or more attacks in the early 1980s. Others cite the example of the Baader-Meinhof gang.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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and would anyone be all that surprised? france is a hotbed for this sort of thing.
which makes me wonder... "why?"
i think i'd make a lot of people upset if i answered what i really thought.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Zoomerang96 View Post
and would anyone be all that surprised? france is a hotbed for this sort of thing.
which makes me wonder... "why?"
i think i'd make a lot of people upset if i answered what i really thought.
What do you really think?
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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I'd be curious too. Who cares if it upsets people? That's the purpose of FYM.

I often look at groups like this, and cannot help but think that they don't quite understand what "capitalism" is, often just like their governments. I'd say that most of these governments have the furthest thing from competition and free markets, and, instead, the public is forced to deal with near state monopolies (i.e., telecom) or a highly noncompetitive industry oligopoly (banking). France, in particular, I imagine is one of the worst offenders for this, because I never got the impression that their markets were very free to begin with. I hear that per litre price of gasoline is something like 75% taxes, for instance, and I know that France does grapple with long-term high unemployment probably due to their hiring and firing laws, in part; and, couple that with immigrant populations that have even considerably higher unemployment problems even in good times, and you've got even more unrest issues.

Frankly, I think the latter is probably the connection you're going to see between France and Greece here. Even in good times, Europe's unemployment rate is rather high and this new economic crisis has likely made the ability to find work even worse than ever. I fail to see how even more state intervention in Europe is going to fix this problem. Europe likely needs more capitalism, not less!
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:33 PM   #5
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maybe because anyone that has the guts to speak/act out against a governments inefficiency/oppression/tyranny/no longer serving the interests of the people, are now labeled as the "hateful far left" or "terrorists".
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by melon View Post
I'd be curious too. Who cares if it upsets people? That's the purpose of FYM.

I often look at groups like this, and cannot help but think that they don't quite understand what "capitalism" is, often just like their governments. I'd say that most of these governments have the furthest thing from competition and free markets, and, instead, the public is forced to deal with near state monopolies (i.e., telecom) or a highly noncompetitive industry oligopoly (banking). France, in particular, I imagine is one of the worst offenders for this, because I never got the impression that their markets were very free to begin with. I hear that per litre price of gasoline is something like 75% taxes, for instance, and I know that France does grapple with long-term high unemployment probably due to their hiring and firing laws, in part; and, couple that with immigrant populations that have even considerably higher unemployment problems even in good times, and you've got even more unrest issues.

Frankly, I think the latter is probably the connection you're going to see between France and Greece here. Even in good times, Europe's unemployment rate is rather high and this new economic crisis has likely made the ability to find work even worse than ever. I fail to see how even more state intervention in Europe is going to fix this problem. Europe likely needs more capitalism, not less!
Good points, but a modified version of the US model, as essentially pursued in the UK and Ireland, in the former case from Thatcher onwards and in the latter for the last ten years, has led to huge private sector debt and monstrous asset price bubbles (do not bet against either of these countries requiring IMF intervention in the next few years). And, yes, high unemployment, coming soon.

Boom and bust or dirigisme?

Sounds like a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:45 PM   #7
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Good points, but a modified version of the US model, as essentially pursued in the UK and Ireland, in the former case from Thatcher onwards and in the latter for the last ten years, has led to huge private sector debt and monstrous asset price bubbles (do not bet against either of these countries requiring IMF intervention in the next few years). And, yes, high unemployment, coming soon.

Boom and bust or dirigisme?

Sounds like a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.
I'd boil it down to shared blame between government, business, and individuals. Yes, I guess that covers everyone.

It's business' fault, in that it has pursued destructive policies contrary to the long-term viability of the company. That means paying people less and less, while charging more and more. Thus, the difference must be made up with credit, setting the stage for the main part of this financial crisis: an over-reliance on credit to make up for deficiencies in income.

It's government's fault for not exercising oversight in appropriate manners. I say "appropriate manners," because it is expected that business will, to a degree, behave badly. That's not to say that government should exist to prevent all "bad behaviours"--the cure would likely be worse than the problem (e.g., France's economy)--but there should be no such thing as a company "too big to fail." Nonetheless, that's precisely what we have presently, and, to me, that's the fault of government not exercising antitrust legislation appropriately. Frankly, I think it is probably time that we reevaluate what antitrust legislation should mean in the 21st century, because neither the turn-of-the-last century model nor Robert Bork's U.S. model are relevant to today anymore. The former model did not tackle the rise of the "mega-conglomerate," while the latter model is a spectacular failure that led government to, effectively, stop enforcing any antitrust laws at all. Frankly, capitalism clearly points to the virtues of competition, meaning having more companies and more competitors, and that, I think, is what government should aspire to.

It's individuals' fault, partly because they were greedy, yes. However, I think their greatest failure has not been greed, per se, because business is inherently just as guilty. Instead, I think the mistake has been a total failure to be effectively vocal about reform--in other words, a lack of an educated response. Instead, as an example, we get American auto workers incensed over cheap labour in China, then calling for a renegotiation of NAFTA--a free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which has shit to do with China or any other nation.

We're frankly dealing with a systemic institutional failure here, but I do not think it is the fault of "capitalism," as a whole. Instead, I think that capitalism has been compromised for a long time now, and we're seeing the end result of those compromises currently.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by melon View Post
I'd say that most of these governments have the furthest thing from competition and free markets, and, instead, the public is forced to deal with near state monopolies (i.e., telecom) or a highly noncompetitive industry oligopoly (banking).... Frankly, capitalism clearly points to the virtues of competition, meaning having more companies and more competitors, and that, I think, is what government should aspire to.
how do you think government policy should affect natural monopolies with decreasing long-term average costs?

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Instead, as an example, we get American auto workers incensed over cheap labour in China, then calling for a renegotiation of NAFTA--a free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which has shit to do with China or any other nation.
china and nafta are clearly two different issues. have "American auto workers" conflated the two or have you? if the former, in what sense? how would you prefer "American auto workers" respond?
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