Are we right to be afraid?  - Economic policy

Are we right to be afraid? – Economic policy

“France is afraid”, it was with his shock words that the journalist Roger Gicquel opened his television news on TF1 on February 18, 1976. At the time, this shock sentence referred to a sordid case of the murder of child. Since then, this phrase has been used out of context to show that we are in a situation of fear.

The word fear is one that we don’t utter, but which is somehow on everyone’s mind. My colleague Marc Fiorentino, the author of the Morning Zapping newsletter, understood this well. In France, Belgium and elsewhere, we are scared. Enough to ? Of the winter, of the shortage, of the electricity bills, of the recession which normal people call the crisis, of inflation of course, of Russia and its referendum in the occupied regions, of the rise in the rates of interest, etc. Fear is everywhere.

Marc Fiorentino asks the right question: are we right to be afraid? Yes and no. Yes, because all these present or future threats are not pleasant to live with. And no, because this unpleasant moment will not last forever and there are already a lot of positive signals. But if there is fear, it is also because of the fear that there is no more progress. Progress, basically, what is it? It’s just the certainty that we live better than our parents and less well than our children. In other words, progress means that we are better today than yesterday and worse than tomorrow. However, precisely, this vision of progress no longer exists in the minds of quite a few of our fellow citizens.

To feed this feeling, we must add what the Jean Jaurès foundation in France calls the “information fatigue“. Due to the multiplication of information channels, we are constantly bombarded with often anxiety-provoking information. The Jean Jaurès Foundation has calculated that we are confronted on average with 8.3 different information channels every day. As the authors of this study say, we live as individuals the same experience as that lived by the director of the documentary Super Size Me. This director had decided to eat morning, noon and evening at McDonald’s to measure the effect that it was affecting his health. If you replace McDonald’s with social networks and the multiple distribution channels of other media, you will have a kind of disgust with information. In this study, 77% of French people surveyed also say that they sometimes limit or stop consulting information.

I am, for my part, like Marc Fiorentino. You have to fight against fear, fear paralyzes, it is a bad adviser. What is needed is be careful and lucid, which is not exactly the same thing. And if the winter is likely to be difficult, you have to keep in mind the sentence of Albert Camus: “it was in the heart of winter that I discovered that I had an invincible spring within me” . In the days to come, I will try to give you the outlines of this invincible spring.

The word fear is one that we don’t utter, but which is somehow on everyone’s mind. My colleague Marc Fiorentino, the author of the Morning Zapping newsletter, understood this well. In France, Belgium and elsewhere, we are afraid. Enough to ? Of the winter, of the shortage, of the electricity bills, of the recession which normal people call the crisis, of inflation of course, of Russia and its referendum in the occupied regions, of the rise in the rates of interest, etc. Fear is everywhere. Marc Fiorentino asks the right question: are we right to be afraid? Yes and no. Yes, because all these present or future threats are not pleasant to live with. And no, because this unpleasant moment will not last forever and there are already a lot of positive signals. But if there is fear, it is also because of the fear that there will be no more progress. Progress, basically, what is it? It’s just the certainty that we live better than our parents and less well than our children. In other words, progress means that we are better today than yesterday and worse than tomorrow. However, precisely, this vision of progress no longer exists in the minds of quite a few of our fellow citizens. To feed this feeling, we must add what the Jean Jaurès foundation in France calls “information fatigue”. Due to the multiplication of information channels, we are constantly bombarded with often anxiety-provoking information. The Jean Jaurès Foundation has calculated that we are confronted with an average of 8.3 different information channels every day. As the authors of this study say, we live as individuals the same experience as that lived by the director of the documentary Super Size Me. This director had decided to eat morning, noon and evening at McDonald’s to measure the effect that it was affecting his health. If you replace McDonald’s with social networks and the multiple distribution channels of other media, you will have a kind of disgust with information. In this study, 77% of French people surveyed also say that they sometimes limit or stop consulting information. I am, for my part, like Marc Fiorentino. You have to fight against fear, fear paralyzes, it is a bad adviser. What is needed is to be cautious and lucid, which is not exactly the same thing. And if the winter is likely to be difficult, you have to keep in mind the sentence of Albert Camus: “it was in the heart of winter that I discovered that I had an invincible spring within me” . In the days to come, I will try to give you the outlines of this invincible spring.

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