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Against pension reform, the left was forced to examine its relationship to work

For the left, which needs universality, the ability to speak to as many people as possible, pension reform is almost a godsend. Perhaps the last consensual social gain, the reward for a lifetime of work, retirement has survived the assistance claim affecting other social benefits, from active solidarity income (RSA) to unemployment benefits. That is why its defense is a valuable position for the left. Who allowed him, in the end, to escape the ordeal of miserabilism and disengagement by claiming that two-thirds of the French who oppose reform are neither. “lazy” Nor disconnected ideologues.

However, this accusation continues: on Sunday, January 29, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, denounced the pages. Parisian The “Laziness and stupid leftism” and his “The deep contempt for the value of labor which the workers and popular classes uphold”. At a time when the mobilization against reform continues, those on the left who are determined to renew the debate between the two points between the value of labor and the “right to be lazy” seem hesitant about how. Is this really the right time to rekindle this discussion? There is a risk: losing the consensus among the majority of the French people against the reform, who are not all leftists or followers of the philosophical debate about the “leisure society”. Nor do they: by remaining too defensive, left-wing parties miss an opportunity to develop an alternative narrative about work, its mutations, and leisure.

Those who approach the subject generally report history. This is the case of Francois Ruffin, who responds to these surveys in the 1980s, in which the French thought the retirement age would be lowered, fixed at 55. “What does a story mean? Reduce working time »According to the MP of the new popular, ecological and social union (Nupes, Picardie Debout), for whom the neoliberal turn by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s changed the logic of social progress everywhere.

“Lazy” went and Vish

In recent years, few on the left have dared to talk about reducing working hours. Perhaps because 35 Hours, their controversial track record of creating jobs, was politically swept away. “Work harder to earn more” Sarkozy and his exemption from overtime work. “The 35 Hours in France: Why Are They Still Under Debate?” (2021), economist Philip Askenazi recalls that the accusations of the left ” lazy Girl “ Return to Vichy, Pétain’s June 17, 1940 speech addressing the Popular Front and the 40-hour week: “The spirit of pleasure has replaced the spirit of sacrifice. We asked for more than we were served. We wanted to save the effort: we’re in trouble today. » Ultimately, he believes “The Permanent Doctrine of the French Liberals on Working Time”.

Source: Le Monde

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