Vivir sobre un volcán

Mientras escribo esto, en los suburbios de París y otras ciudades francesas hay violentos choques con la policía desde hace dos semanas y se han incendiado automóviles al ritmo de casi 1.000 cada noche. ¿Por qué está sucediendo eso? ¿Hasta cuándo puede durar?

La existencia de miles de jóvenes desempleados, sin ingresos ni raíces, ociosos y capaces sólo de ejercer la violencia para expresar su búsqueda del reconocimiento no es algo particularmente francés. Todo el mundo recuerda los disturbios de Watts, Newark y Detroit en los Estados Unidos en el decenio de 1960 y los que hubo en Liverpool, en el Reino Unido, a principios del decenio de 1980, como también en Bradford, Oldham y Burnley en años recientes. Asimismo, Francia presenció disturbios en Vaux-en-Velin, cerca de Lyón, hace veinte años. De modo que es importante distinguir lo que es común a muchos países desarrollados y lo que es específico de Francia.

Todas las economías desarrolladas han experimentado cambios profundos en los treinta últimos años. Hemos pasado del capitalismo de los gerentes al de los accionistas, de economías con grandes dosis de dirección estatal a mercados mucho menos regulados, de las políticas sociales activas y expansivas de los decenios de 1960 y 1970 a un mundo en el que esa clase de gasto se reduce constantemente.

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