trump hands Mandel Ngan/ Getty Images

A qui la faute : à la mondialisation ou au capitalisme de marché ?

BERKELEY – J'ai récemment eu l'occasion d'entendre Pascal Lamy, l'ancien directeur général de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce, paraphraser un adage bouddhiste classique : "Quand le philosophe montre la lune, l'idiot regarde le doigt" (un enseignement du sixième patriarche bouddhiste, Huineng, à la nonne Wu Jincang). Et Lamy d'ajouter : "Le capitalisme de marché c'est la lune, la mondialisation c'est le doigt".

Avec la montée de l'antimondialisme à travers l'Occident, beaucoup de temps a été perdu à regarder le doigt plutôt que la lune. Au Royaume-Uni lors du référendum sur le Brexit, les "petits Anglais chauvins" ont voté pour quitter l'UE ; et aux USA Donald Trump a remporté l'élection présidentielle parce que dans les Etats d'importance cruciale il a réussi à convaincre un nombre suffisant d'électeurs qu'il "rendra sa grandeur à l'Amérique ", notamment en négociant de nouveaux accords commerciaux très différents de ceux existants.

Pour comprendre la situation, il faut se pencher sur l'évolution économique, particulièrement en matière de croissance et d'inégalités. L'innovation technologique dans des domaines tels que le traitement de l'information, la robotique et les biotechnologies continue à accélérer à un rythme rapide. Pourtant la croissance de la productivité des pays de l'Atlantique Nord est passée du taux annuel de 2% auquel nous étions habitué depuis 1870, à environ 1% aujourd'hui. Or c'est un indicateur important, car il mesure année après année le déclin des ressources matérielles et humaines pour parvenir au même niveau de production.

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