French President Emmanuel Macron is in the middle of a social media firestorm - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14823135
Potemkin wrote:His willingness to offend the PC brigade is indeed a fine thing. However, his thinking is itself rather moralistic, and puts the causal cart before the horse. European nations aren't prosperous societies because we have fewer children; we have fewer children because we live in prosperous societies. A century or two back, Europeans were popping out the babies like there was no tomorrow. This was a perfectly rational thing to do - most children would be earning a wage by the age of six or seven, and the more children you had the better your chance of being housed and fed in your old age when you could no longer work down a mine or in a mill. And given the rate of infant mortality at the time, only a fool would have only one or two children - it made sense to pop out as many as you could, in the hopes that at least some would survive to adulthood. This ceased to be rational by the early to mid 20th century, with the rise of the welfare state and increasing prosperity of European and North American societies. So people stopped doing it. Notice the direction of cause and effect here. Europeans didn't suddenly become 'virtuous' for no apparent reason in the early 20th century, any more than they had been 'irresponsible' for the previous two millennia. They were behaving rationally in response to their social environment. When that social environment changed, their behaviour changed. Macron is essentially demanding that African people change their behaviour (which is perfectly rational behaviour given their social and economic environment) without there being a preceding and corresponding change in their social environment. In other words, he is calling on them to behave irrationally. This is an obvious example of bourgeois moralism, detached from any objective reality, which is just as risible as the 'political correctness' of the middle-class liberals whose feathers he has ruffled by saying this.

Naughty Potemkin, you are inching towards the question of which/whether African societies have the capacity to go through similar processes as some other parts of the world have, which means you are really close to being called a racist! Although the possible lack of such a capacity might not be strictly related to race, it is applied to people of another race, so you can't go there. You have to choose between racism and pretending that the neo-liberal approach will work, those are the only officially cognizable positions.
#14823139
Potemkin wrote:A century or two back, Europeans were popping out the babies like there was no tomorrow.

A century or two back we all lived in a different world in which governments didn't have as much influence on people's daily lives as they have now, and this is true in Africa's case too. African governments and statesmen should listen to European leaders like the French president, especially if they want to get European taxpayers' money. It's as simple as that.
#14823140
A century or two back we all lived in a different world in which governments didn't have as much influence on people's daily lives as they have now, and this is true in Africa's case too. African governments and statesmen should listen to European leaders like the French president, especially if they want to get European taxpayers' money. It's as simple as that.

And do what? Order their people, even in the remotest tribal villages, to have fewer children? How are they going to enforce that? And what reward would they receive even if they did try to enforce it? A pat on the head from that smug middle-class European git Macron? I'm sure that will be sufficient motivation for them to alienate their support base by forcing them to give up their pension plan, which is what their children essentially are to them.
#14823141
Potemkin wrote:And do what? Order their people, even in the remotest tribal villages, to have fewer children? How are they going to enforce that? And what reward would they receive even if they did try to enforce it?

Do something like the Chinese did, for example. If African governments can do something to protect their wildlife reserves that boost foreign tourism in their countries, they also could do something against corruption and overpopulation perhaps. They could be helped and rewarded by Western governments so the families could be compensated for having less children like they are compensated for not killing lions and elephants whenever they wish to.
#14823145
Do something like the Chinese did, for example. If African governments can do something to protect their wildlife reserves that boost foreign tourism in their countries, they also could do something against corruption and overpopulation perhaps. They could be helped and rewarded by Western governments so the families could be compensated for having less children like they are compensated for not killing lions and elephants whenever they wish to.

In other words, you are calling for more socialism in Africa. After all, the main factor which led to the declining birth rate in Europe was the rise of the welfare state in the early 20th century, which was made possible by the massive expansion of the forces of production in the 19th century together with the need to appease the potentially revolutionary proletariat. Africa never underwent that process of industrialisation and has no welfare state. This is not because of some deficiency on their part, but because they were colonies at the time, used as a source of cheap labour power and cheap raw resources to feed the factories of Europe and North America. You (and Macron too) are essentially calling for the African statesmen to just pretend that African nation are modern, industrialised states with extensive welfare systems. I could pretend to be a millionaire too, but that wouldn't make me a real millionaire, would it?
#14823146
Beren wrote:Do something like the Chinese did, for example. If African governments can do something to protect their wildlife reserves that boost foreign tourism in their countries, they also could do something against corruption and overpopulation perhaps. They could be helped and rewarded by Western governments so the families could be compensated for having less children like they are compensated for not killing lions and elephants whenever they wish to.


Lions and elephants > African children.

I think that will go down very well. :lol:
#14823147
The world has been obsessed with relieving suffering in Africa and wonder why change is not happening. Change comes from suffering. If you only eliminate the suffering, then there is no longer a need for change. Greatly restrict immigration from Africa and leave them alone.
#14823149
Potemkin wrote:In other words, you are calling for more socialism in Africa.

I am calling for more modernism I think, however, if it means either more socialism or more fascism, I'd prefer the first one. I'm sure it could help more than blaming Macron for being a bourgeois asshole does.

Rugoz wrote:
Lions and elephants > African children.

I think that will go down very well. :lol:

I'm sure that giving significant subsidies for not having children in Africa would go down as well as giving subsidies for not raising cows for milk goes down in Europe.
#14823150
Beren wrote:Do something like the Chinese did, for example. If African governments can do something to protect their wildlife reserves that boost foreign tourism in their countries, they also could do something against corruption and overpopulation perhaps. They could be helped and rewarded by Western governments so the families could be compensated for having less children like they are compensated for not killing lions and elephants whenever they wish to.


All of that is built upon the belief that there exist African governments that;
1. Serve in the intrest of their people instead of their own
2. Have the necessary organization and sheer power to enforce such dramatic social changes.

And all of that is built upon the belief that most African countries are in fact countries, instead of the colonial drawings of a madman with little to no knowledge or interest of the people who actually lived there.

That is more like the reality today, a reality that includes an oil company like Shell pretty much runs the Nigerian government. Let the social progress begin!
#14823154
Potemkin wrote:You should change your name to 'Bela Kun', ya commie! ;)

Endre Ady Image would have welcomed the Hungarian Soviet Republic, although he was rather a liberal I think.

I wouldn't believe Shell should be nationalised, some governmental power should be enforced on them in a progressive way though. ;)
#14823156
Potemkin wrote:Macron is essentially demanding that African people change their behaviour (which is perfectly rational behaviour given their social and economic environment) without there being a preceding and corresponding change in their social environment.


Macron didn't essentially demand anything. He was asked a question and gave a frank answer. He said Africa's birthrates was part of the problem. It is. You have to feed your children. I know you like reciting history, but this has nothing to do with Victorian England. Children stave in certain African countries. Lack of contraception is the main reason Africans have many children, not so someone can have their children go down the bloody pit for them in old age. Perhaps Europe should invest in concraception for Africa and give aid accordingly. I'm sure plenty of African countries would somehow control population growth if they got paid to. But as I said, really it is up to families to decide on their family size and whether they can afford to have large families or not. And this is helped with access to contraception. It shouldn't be a lottery today if you have a child after sex, no matter the nation.
#14823307
B0ycey wrote:Eh? Since when has civilizational been a racist term? Macron is correct. Africa does have corruption problems, failed states, problems with democratic transition etc. Aid is sent to Africa continuously for countries willing to change and it is a pointless execise to give regimes who are unwilling to execute change money without reform. It is obvious that today the west and Africa are totally different civilisations. He didn't state one was better than the other. Just that one has more problems. And this is a fact. Not racism. How can your reform anything with your head in the sand? As for birth rates. Editing didn't help. You can make any comment seem offensive if edited incorrectly. However having eight children does create economic problems. You need to feed, cloth and look after these children and this costs money. And if you are poor, perhaps a wise choice is to have a family size that you can look after. And this is true to say about the west as well as Africa. He didn't state people shouldn't have eight children, just that it creates economic problems. And this is both true and obvious. Not racist.

Just in case your first question isn't rhetorical, it's racist when the implication is that a non-European/non-white civilisation is inferior. And when a white male states that non-whites are breeding too much, that's obviously both racist and sexist.

Whether he's right is secondary.

B0ycey wrote:So Decky is correct. This is a non-story.

It probably shouldn't be a news story, but it was carried by several media outlets.

Potemkin wrote:His willingness to offend the PC brigade is indeed a fine thing. However, his thinking is itself rather moralistic, and puts the causal cart before the horse. European nations aren't prosperous societies because we have fewer children; we have fewer children because we live in prosperous societies. A century or two back, Europeans were popping out the babies like there was no tomorrow. This was a perfectly rational thing to do - most children would be earning a wage by the age of six or seven, and the more children you had the better your chance of being housed and fed in your old age when you could no longer work down a mine or in a mill. And given the rate of infant mortality at the time, only a fool would have only one or two children - it made sense to pop out as many as you could, in the hopes that at least some would survive to adulthood. This ceased to be rational by the early to mid 20th century, with the rise of the welfare state and increasing prosperity of European and North American societies. So people stopped doing it. Notice the direction of cause and effect here. Europeans didn't suddenly become 'virtuous' for no apparent reason in the early 20th century, any more than they had been 'irresponsible' for the previous two millennia. They were behaving rationally in response to their social environment. When that social environment changed, their behaviour changed. Macron is essentially demanding that African people change their behaviour (which is perfectly rational behaviour given their social and economic environment) without there being a preceding and corresponding change in their social environment. In other words, he is calling on them to behave irrationally. This is an obvious example of bourgeois moralism, detached from any objective reality, which is just as risible as the 'political correctness' of the middle-class liberals whose feathers he has ruffled by saying this.

What you describe above is one factor that influences birth rates but by no means the only one. Macron is not detached from reality. He almost certainly has seen birth rate data from different countries and is aware that, for instance, in Bangladesh the birth rate has come down from 6.7 in 1960 to 2.1 in 2017 whereas in sub-saharan African countries is has often remained at the same or a similar level.
#14823309
“When countries still have seven to eight children per woman, you can decide to spend billions of euros, but you will not stabilize anything,” he stated. However, it's a rational strategy to procreate when the child mortality rate is 100 or more deaths per 1,000 live births. Africans will die down, if they only give birth to one baby per woman as the Chinese do. Lowering birth rates is a normal development goal in other parts of the world outside Africa. Macron only offered a textbook answer to an African reporter who asked the trick question, starting with the big word as I would do.
#14823366
Kaiserschmarrn wrote:Just in case your first question isn't rhetorical, it's racist when the implication is that a non-European/non-white civilisation is inferior. And when a white male states that non-whites are breeding too much, that's obviously both racist and sexist.


Just to be clear, Macron didn't imply superiority of nations. He was asked why Africa doesn't have a Marshall Plan and his response was that one civilisation has more problems than the other so today it isn't right to do so (as the money would likely not go to the right areas due to corruption). This is true. It is also not racist or sexest to say unsustainable birthrates are part of the problem. Its a fact. Do you think say $13 billion of aid to rebuild Africa is easier to execute with a population of 1.2 billion or say 150 million? Remember I am not a SJW. I am a Centrist. And I don't believe Africa should have special treatment when it comes to being honest with them. You can't put your head in the sand and pretend there is no problems there. So no. Macron wasn't racist, he just had the balls to be frank. Nonetheless I do find it ironic you can defend the use of the N-word but can't accept logic when it comes to racism.
#14823405
Kaiserschmarrn wrote:Whether he's right is secondary.

That's cute.

Kaiserschmarrn wrote:Macron is not detached from reality.

He's a pragmatist basically, like Obama was, although Obama was never perceived like that. Maybe because he never ran on a centrist platform, which would be suicidal in America.

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