Summary of Emmanuel Todd : Trahison des élites françaises ? [EN DIRECT]

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

In this YouTube video titled "Emmanuel Todd: Trahison des élites françaises? [EN DIRECT]," Emmanuel Todd, a historian and anthropologist, discusses various topics related to the French elites and society. He talks about the disconnect between the elites and everyday people, which he believes is contributing to the rise of populist leaders and the erosion of democratic values. Todd also explores the impact of the euro on France's economy and the failure of the elites to realize their mistake. He touches on issues such as the decline of socialism, the rise of individualism and narcissism, the importance of literacy and education, and the fear of downward mobility. Todd offers his insights on voting patterns, politics, resource depletion, and the relationship between population growth and education. Overall, Todd raises important questions about the state of French society and the role of the elites in shaping its future.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd, a historian and anthropologist known for his work, is interviewed. He talks about his academic background and various political essays he has written, including "Un livre qui s'appelait après l'empire," which was published in 2003. He also discusses his view that the global elite is losing, but his main concern is the negligence of everyday people who are ignored in the world of power and influence. He suggests that this disconnect is contributing to the rise of populist leaders, such as Donald Trump, and the breakdown of democratic values.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the notion of "betrayal" by the French elites. He argues that it is not so much a question of betrayal, but rather a lack of understanding of history and blindness to the realities of the world. Todd believes that the problem extends beyond France and includes other countries such as the United States, the Anglophone world, Germany, Russia, Japan, and China. He acknowledges that while he personally does not feel lost in history, his generation had a different outlook on the future during the time of the "30 glorious years" of economic growth. Todd concludes by stating that he is not personally responsible for the current situation, but recognizes that having the right understanding of history alone does not mean one is correct, as being right alone is meaningless.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the ideal of freedom and tolerance that prevailed in France, along with a sense of debt and a rise in equality that was accompanied by an improvement in the living standards of the working class. The speaker acknowledges the impact of the Communist Party in promoting culture and universal values, which prevented derogatory comments about Arabs from being made by the working class. However, the rise of liberalism and increased education levels led to more pleasant interactions between people. The speaker then addresses the current situation, pointing out the growing inequality and a sense of contraction in the world, where economic, budgetary, social, and ecological challenges need to be addressed. The speaker also highlights the intellectual elite's intellectual self-isolation, which is astonishing, as well as the closed nature of the upper class that claims to be open-minded. The speaker argues that people are not afraid, but rather are unaware, selfish, and complacent.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd talks about his vision of the French elite's inability to realize that the decision they made to adopt the euro was a mistake. He believes that the failure of the euro as a lasting economic system has caused France to lose its industrial productivity, making it one of the few countries still with high unemployment. He blames the French elite for this failure and argues that the classes involved are unable to solve the problem due to their insensitivity and structurally induced stupidity caused by their corrupt power structure. Todd claims that the moral decay caused by the loss of collectivism and the breakdown of the traditional Catholic, patriotic, and socialist moral systems has also contributed to the current crisis.
  • 00:20:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the concept of socialism and narcissism in relation to contemporary individualism. He explains that the sentiment of socialism used to be widespread but is no longer relevant in society today. The concept of narcissism is derived from the writings of Christopher Lasch who viewed it as a stage of individualism that is not encapsulated by collective structures. However, Todd emphasizes that many artists and creatives are incapable of understanding the implications of their individual actions on society. They prioritize their own well-being and contentment, often leading to a detachment from larger social issues. Todd also delves into the phenomena of propaganda, marketization, and consumption in contemporary society, highlighting how they are crucial aspects of modern-day existence. Despite his own experiences with public relations from his mother, Todd believes that public relations professionals do not necessarily treat people with respect, as political candidates often prioritize their own interests over those of the public.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the rise of mass literacy as a catalyst for the emergence of egalitarian sentiment and democracy. He explains how, historically, the ability to read and write was initially limited to priests, merchants, and nobles. However, as literacy spread among peasants and workers, a subconscious egalitarianism began to develop in societies. Todd argues that this growth in literacy ultimately led to the democratic movements of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. He also highlights the impact of post-World War II education expansion, particularly in secondary and higher education, and how it initially seemed positive but eventually faced challenges.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the impact of the widespread higher education in the United States in the 1960s on society. With a significant portion of a generation having advanced degrees, the society became more stratified and plastic, creating new castes based on levels of education. The trend, as observed by Todd, is for societies to have a higher concentration of people with higher education levels, leading to a loss of social prestige for those with lower degrees. He also touches on the issue of power and control in these societies, and the influence of social media and online marketing on individual behavior.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, the speaker Emmanuel Todd discusses his negative view of French society. He claims that the French society is in a state of decline, and the standard of living in France is becoming reduced. Todd also discusses how the President's attempts to regenerate the world through youth are doomed to fail. He believes that the population in France is composed of rigid, unchanging classes, which he sees as a hindrance to social change. Todd says that he is disillusioned by the French society and believes that it is time for French society to move beyond this period of decline.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the fear of downward mobility among the French working class, which he believes is driving xenophobic sentiment. He points out that this fear is more about losing the social gains achieved in the post-war period rather than actual poverty. Todd also explores the voting patterns of highly educated young people who overwhelmingly supported Macron, arguing that it is not a sign of openness but rather a reflection of their own declining social status. He compares this phenomenon to the Trump electorate in the United States and rejects the idea that all societies are experiencing a wave of populism, asserting that historical contexts and transformations differ across countries. Todd concludes by expressing his fondness for Americans and stating that if he were in the United States, he would support Bernie Sanders.
  • 00:45:00 In this section of the video, the speaker discusses his voting habits and opinions on politics, specifically in relation to the US presidential elections. He explains that he voted for Sanders in the first round and abstained from voting in the second round, citing the idea of voting for Macron as "gerber" or new, unproven leadership. He then compares the US political situation to France's, stating that while they have a lower education level overall, the distribution of votes among different groups is more diverse, and there have been concerns about the declining health of the white population and their voting habits. The speaker then discusses the idea of the term "decay" in relation to politics and the economy, and how it relates to global economic and demographic trends. He then talks about the idea of nettoyage or "cleaning up" in the midst of these trends, which he compares to the rising tide in the US elections.
  • 00:50:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd talks about his views on resource depletion and its impact on human societies. He draws on historical examples, comparing current ecological crises to medieval famines and the devastation of civilizations by surproduction and underproduction of resources. He believes that human history is a dynamic, unstable process full of change and crisis. According to Todd, solutions to problems caused by humans should not only focus on limiting consumption or returning to past ways of living, but also on the invention of new solutions to these problems. He advocates for a more optimistic perspective on the future, emphasizing the importance of innovation and positive change.
  • 00:55:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the importance of population growth and education in society. He argues that a larger population with a higher proportion of educated individuals is not a burden, but rather a society that is technologically advanced, capable of consuming and producing innovation. Todd also addresses the relationship between democracy and demographics, suggesting that the notion of human history as a progression towards democracy is flawed. He explains that throughout history, there have been different forms of societal organization, ranging from primitive tribes to hierarchical systems, and argues that the emergence of agriculture led to more complex and authoritarian family structures.

01:00:00 - 02:00:00

Emmanuel Todd discusses various aspects of French society and its relationship with other countries in this YouTube video. He explores family structures across Eurasia, commenting on the persistence of nuclear families in Western societies. Todd analyzes the impact of industrial competition between Germany and France, criticizing the French for allowing American ownership of Alstom. He challenges the demonization of Russia in the West and argues for reassessment of the French elites' stance towards the country. Todd also criticizes the French elites for their political actions and incompetence, particularly in relation to Russia. He discusses the issues of mainstream media, calling for a focus on facts and exposing the lies of the ruling classes. Todd analyzes the impact of the internet revolution on journalism and the rise of conspiracy theories. He also discusses the Euro, climate change, the French political landscape, and the defense of Saudi Arabia by the French elites. Todd concludes by advocating for a multi-polar world and balanced forces among reasonable powers.

  • 01:00:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the patterns he observes in family structures across Eurasia. He notes that communal systems, such as the extended family, are found in the areas that were the cradles of civilization, like ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and China. On the other hand, he finds the nuclear family, consisting of parents and children, on the periphery of Eurasia, even in developed countries like England and northern France. Todd suggests that this archaic family structure has persisted in the Western world, where democracy emerged alongside the nuclear family. He also briefly touches on the topics of political parties in the United States and the evolving societal views on homosexuality, noting that the acceptance of homosexuality is not new in anthropological studies of primitive or archaic societies. Overall, Todd posits that the Western world's family structure and societal changes are leading to a new kind of society whose future impact is yet unknown.
  • 01:05:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the collapse of religious systems and the subsequent tolerance of homosexuality. He believes that this is not a significant issue and that it is a natural progression for Homo sapiens. However, he does express uncertainty about the sociopolitical effects of women surpassing men in education. Todd also touches on the potential disintegration of Europe, stating that the obsession with the European Union and the Euro is a result of the collapse of other ideologies and religious systems. He sees the Euro as a nonessential form of currency that has taken on religious value, and he questions its compatibility with the existence of nations and languages.
  • 01:10:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the impact of industrial competition between Germany and France. He believes that the French will be the most affected by the dominance of German industries, particularly in sectors where they were competitors. Todd mentions the symbolic significance of the Alstom-Siemens merger and criticizes the French for allowing Alstom to be bought by the Americans. He argues that there is an underlying clash of values between Germany and the Anglo-Saxon countries, with Germany having a more authoritarian culture. Todd also discusses the post-war period and the role of the United States in shaping the European market, noting that American generosity in opening its markets to others was often overlooked. He shares a personal anecdote about being interviewed by journalists from the Reader's Digest, suspected of being associated with the CIA, which disappointed him as he expected more offers of service from them.
  • 01:15:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the Russian perspective and criticizes the French elites' stance towards Russia. He emphasizes that the demonization of Russia is unjustified, especially considering that intellectuals were polite with Russia when it was powerful. Todd argues that the intellectual level of Russian diplomats is far superior to that of French diplomats, and describes his experiences interacting with Russian officials and their impressive knowledge and language skills. He believes that the Russophobia in the United States is rooted in the internal tensions within American society, and suggests that it may be influenced by a residual Marxist perspective on history. Todd concludes that the demonization of Russia is morally wrong and that the French elites should reassess their attitude.
  • 01:20:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the current state of France and its relations with other countries, particularly Russia. According to Todd, the French élite has lost its sense of historical development, which has led to a lack of fear of war and a focus on investing in defense systems. Todd points out that France's defense system is outdated and not as effective as it could be, and that France's alliance with the United States is not a good fit for their military doctrine. Todd also discusses France's nuclear weapons program and its relations with other nuclear-armed countries. Overall, Todd believes that France's actions are irresponsible and threatens international peace and stability.
  • 01:25:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd criticizes the French elites for their political actions and incompetence. He particularly highlights Macron's designation of Russia as a potential adversary, deeming it both idiotic and dangerous for France. Todd expresses his frustration, pointing out the lack of criticism towards Macron and his evident incompetence. He also discusses the issue of media responsibility and the conformity of journalists to their careers and ideologies. While Todd initially resisted the idea of a problem with the press, he eventually acknowledges the lack of ideological diversity that has emerged in the media landscape.
  • 01:30:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses how the journalism profession has changed over time, leading to a conformity and lack of diversity in mainstream media. He explains that the internet revolution has made journalism precarious and dangerous, with journalists constantly under the threat of being fired. This, in turn, has created a mass conformity within mainstream media, resulting in misinformaion and false realities. Todd argues that the blame for the rise in conspiracy theories lies with the elites who manipulate and distort reality, and that the alternative counter-culture that emerges as a response is a consequence of this. He also mentions that the decline of traditional newspapers is compounded by their reliance on large financial groups to sustain their losses, creating a false reality that is the ideology of the dominant classes.
  • 01:35:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the issue of mainstream media and their portrayal of certain topics. They highlight the fact that commentators, journalists, and economists in these media outlets often promote the idea that free trade is beneficial and without problems. However, the speaker points out that there are contradicting articles in academia that link the entry of China into the World Trade Organization with a specific increase in mortality rates in certain counties. The speaker argues that while there is a focus on minor details and labeling Trump as a liar, the real truth about the state of America and its economy is being ignored. They also criticize mainstream news outlets owned by billionaires and state that the real truth can be found in books like Régis Debray's "L'Amérique estropiée". The speaker emphasizes the need to focus on facts and expose the lies of the ruling classes, starting the critique from that perspective. They also mock figures like Jacques Attali and Alain Minc, expressing admiration for the latter's ability to be consistently wrong in his predictions. The speaker believes that the problem lies not in the existence of power networks or people belonging to the circles of power, but in the propagation of a false reality by these individuals. They consider this situation potentially dangerous and problematic, especially when these false narratives are disseminated by the media.
  • 01:40:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the rise of internet culture in France and its potential impact on the country's society and economy. They argue that the Euro, while providing economic benefits, has also resulted in a lack of cultural and political autonomy for individual countries. If France were to leave the Euro, it would enable the country to make its own policies and infrastructure improvements, including addressing the issue of unemployment. However, the speaker acknowledges the potential difficulties and challenges associated with leaving the Euro. They argue that ultimately, the Euro will eventually collapse, with the potential consequences of society fragmenting. The speaker then discusses the efficiency and stability of other economic systems, such as the Soviet model, compared to the Euro. They argue that the decoding of the present system and its inevitably imminent collapse is undeniable and that Brussels will be destroyed.
  • 01:45:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the challenges that the world will face due to climate change and how different countries will experience it differently. He believes that France, with its technological capabilities and relatively mild climate, will be able to navigate the challenges. However, he predicts that Russia will be the major beneficiary of climate change. Todd also points out that the fragmentation of humanity will result in different groups being affected in different ways, which he finds appalling. He believes that humanity will survive, but the worst-off may be the ones who survive. Todd does not see history as cyclical and considers himself a progressive. He acknowledges the failures of humanity but finds its achievements and vulnerabilities endearing. He also discusses the possibility of a coup d'état in France, noting that it is more feasible due to the population being unarmed compared to the United States, where he believes it would not be possible due to the armed population. Todd suggests that with the consolidation of power in Europe, particularly with the euro and the abandonment of traditional left-right politics, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain the illusion of democratic elections. He mentions the potential need to suppress elections in order to maintain control, particularly in the face of the rise of far-right movements like the Front National.
  • 01:50:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses his view on the French political landscape, specifically in relation to far-right parties. He notes that the Front National, the National Rally (formerly the United Movement for a Popular Society), and the Left Front are essentially the same thing, and that it's a mistake to assume they are separate. He also criticizes Marine Le Pen for being ineffective at leading the party and that she has shortcomings as a leader. Todd suggests that serious changes to French politics and society are needed, and that the current government and political climate in France are doomed to fail. While discussing the political landscape in France, Todd brings up the Arab world and Saudi Arabia specifically. He remarks that the Saudis are trying to hide their strange regime and that it is destabilizing, with a small group of people controlling the government, military, and economy. He calls on the United States and other countries to support the Arab world and lift sanctions on Iran, which he believes could bring about positive change.
  • 01:55:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the issue of the French elites' defense of Saudi Arabia, mainly driven by the need to sell arms at any cost. He criticizes the banishment of Iran, which he sees as an emerging democracy, due to its sins against morality and long-term interests. Todd argues that France, being a relatively weak geopolitical power, has become paralyzed economically due to its integration into the Eurozone, resulting in a loss of monetary and overall independence. He points out the general conformity in the French academic system, exacerbated by the recruitment of old strategists who select their clones, leading to a lack of fresh perspectives and independent thinking. Todd also touches on Germany's lack of military resources and the incompetence of designating Russia as a strategic adversary, considering their role in transporting French military equipment. Despite his admiration for Russia's patience and professionalism, Todd believes that they see the United States as their main problem and wishes for a world where the United States and Russia can cooperate and stabilize the situation. He notes that the Japanese also share this sentiment, valuing good relations with both the United States and Russia. Todd concludes by mentioning the importance of accepting the multi-polar rule and balanced forces in a world of reasonable powers.

02:00:00 - 02:10:00

In this YouTube video, Emmanuel Todd discusses the concept of elite betrayal in France, criticizing the French elite for their megalomaniacal dreams of dominance and questioning the legitimacy of organizations like the Young Leaders. He dismisses conspiracy theories surrounding organizations like the Trilateral Commission and explores power shifts between the United States and Europe. Todd also emphasizes the importance of nuclear power and stable political forces for social transformation, expressing concern about the younger generation's rejection of organization. He concludes by mentioning some of his favorite books.

  • 02:00:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd discusses the concept of elite betrayal in France. He criticizes the French elite for their megalomaniacal dream of dominance despite their limited resources, and he questions the legitimacy of programs such as the Young Leaders organization. He also dismisses the idea of conspiracy theories regarding organizations like the Trilateral Commission. Todd argues that the United States, once the dominant power, has lost control over Europe, particularly Germany, which has become a technological and industrial threat. He emphasizes the need to accept these power shifts instead of clinging to outdated conspiracy theories, and acknowledges the internal divisions within the United States. However, he also acknowledges that the US's overwhelming power has become burdensome for the world.
  • 02:05:00 In this section, Emmanuel Todd talks about his views on Russia and the importance of nuclear power as a counterbalance in the world. He believes that despite the authoritarian nature of the Russian government, the existence of Russia as a nuclear power is beneficial to humanity, including the United States. However, he finds it paradoxical and regrettable that the whistleblower, Snowden, sought refuge in Russia. Todd also discusses the importance of organization and stable political forces for social transformation, expressing concern about the younger generation's tendency to reject organization in favor of individualism and spontaneity. He advises the youth to embrace political organization to avoid being manipulated and oppressed. Todd concludes by mentioning some of his favorite books, including "Arsène Lupin," "Le Horla" by Maupassant, and "Anna Karenina" by Tolstoy.
  • 02:10:00 In this section of the podcast, the host commends Emmanuel Todd for being one of their favorite Italian-American comedians. They thank him and express their desire to have him remain relevant in the entertainment industry. The host also talks about hoping for a new Woody Allen movie,

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