12 octobre 2017

Courrier : Le prix du souvenir


Mémoire. Daivd Rieff : « Le prix du souvenir est parfois trop élevé »
Clarin (Le clairon), Buenos Aires 18.08.2017
Courrier international : Histoire 05.10.2017
début : http://5h40.info/memoire-le-prix-du-souvenir-est-parfois-trop-eleve/

extraits :

Auteur d’un essai remarqué, le politologue et ancien reporter de guerre David Rieff plaide pour une culture de l’oubli consécutive aux grandes tragédies. Le journal argentin Clarín l’a interviewé.

Q - « Votre ouvrage In Praise of Forgetting [“Éloge de l’oubli”, 2016, non traduit en français] conteste l’idée de George Santayana [philosophe américain d’origine espagnole, 1863-1952] selon laquelle les peuples qui ne se rappellent pas le passé sont condamnés à le répéter. Personnellement, vous sentez-vous plus proche de ceux qui, à la lumière de l’expérience sud-africaine par exemple, estiment qu’il faut continuer à vivre ?

R - David Rieff : Tout dépend de la situation, du moment, du contexte. De mon point de vue, si l’impératif moral du souvenir cause trop de souffrance pour qu’il vaille d’être respecté, on pourrait même envisager un “impératif éthique de l’oubli”. Le titre [de l’ouvrage] tient plus de la provocation, de l’invitation à la réflexion. Il est faux de dire que le souvenir serait naturel et que l’oubli ne le serait pas. La mémoire collective est une construction, et une construction changeante. Mais je ne dis pas non plus que ceux qui se rappellent le passé sont condamnés.

Q - Une société n’a-t-elle pas le droit de définir ce qu’elle-même juge nécessaire de se rappeler ?

R - La mémoire n’est pas l’histoire. Il faut faire la distinction entre le souvenir individuel, le travail de la recherche historico-judiciaire et les opinions tolérées dans une société. En matière de mémoire ou d’oubli, il s’agit toujours d’une décision. Je passe beaucoup de temps en Afrique du Sud et, dans ce pays, ceux qui ont sympathisé avec la dictature jugent que l’oubli est la meilleure solution ; les victimes, évidemment, sont en faveur de la mémoire. Là est l’une des grandes questions du livre : combien sommes-nous prêts à payer pour la mémoire ? Dans certains contextes, je pense que nous devons payer, mais dans d’autres, le prix est trop élevé ».

David Rieff a publié en 2016 In Praise of Forgetting

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01 juin 2013

NYT- NYRB - How Austerity Kills



L'austérité tue, Courrier International - 1178, 30.05.2013

Les articles en anglais :
- How Austerity Kills,
David Stuckler, Sanjay Basu - Op-Ed Contributors, The New York Times, May 12, 2013

extraits :
« As scholars of public health and political economy, we have watched aghast as politicians endlessly debate debts and deficits with little regard for the human costs of their decisions. Over the past decade, we mined huge data sets from across the globe to understand how economic shocks — from the Great Depression to the end of the Soviet Union to the Asian financial crisis to the Great Recession — affect our health. What we’ve found is that people do not inevitably get sick or die because the economy has faltered. Fiscal policy, it turns out, can be a matter of life or death ».

« One need not be an economic ideologue - we certainly aren't - to recognize that the price of austerity can be calculated in human lives. We are not exonerating poor policy decisions of the past or calling for universal debt forgiveness. It's up to policy makers in America and Europe to figure out the right mix of fiscal and monetary policy. What we have found is that austerity - severe, immediate, indiscriminate cuts to social and health spending - is not only self-defeating, but fatal ».

- How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled
Paul Krugman, NY Review of Books, June 6, 2013

extraits :
« Why did austerity economics get such a powerful grip on elite opinion in the first place ? »

« The financial crisis of 2008 was a surprise, and happened very fast; but we’ve been stuck in a regime of slow growth and desperately high unemployment for years now. And during all that time policymakers have been ignoring the lessons of theory and history ».

« Inflation and low interest rates are bad for creditors even if they promote job creation; slashing government deficits in the face of mass unemployment may deepen a depression, but it increases the certainty of bondholders that they’ll be repaid in full. I don’t think someone like Trichet was consciously, cynically serving class interests at the expense of overall welfare; but it certainly didn’t hurt that his sense of economic morality dovetailed so perfectly with the priorities of creditors.

It’s also worth noting that while economic policy since the financial crisis looks like a dismal failure by most measures, it hasn’t been so bad for the wealthy. Profits have recovered strongly even as unprecedented long-term unemployment persists; stock indices on both sides of the Atlantic have rebounded to pre-crisis highs even as median income languishes. It might be too much to say that those in the top 1 percent actually benefit from a continuing depression, but they certainly aren’t feeling much pain, and that probably has something to do with policymakers’ willingness to stay the austerity course ».

« … policymakers and elite opinion in general have made use of economic analysis at all, they have, as the saying goes, done so the way a drunkard uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination. Papers and economists who told the elite what it wanted to hear were celebrated, despite plenty of evidence that they were wrong; critics were ignored, no matter how often they got it right ».

- The Excel Depression, The New York Times, April 18, 2013

« At the beginning of 2010, two Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, circulated a paper, Growth in a Time of Debt, that purported to identify a critical “threshold,” a tipping point, for government indebtedness. Once debt exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product, they claimed, economic growth drops off sharply ».

« Finally, Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff allowed researchers at the University of Massachusetts to look at their original spreadsheet — and the mystery of the irreproducible results was solved. First, they omitted some data; second, they used unusual and highly questionable statistical procedures; and finally, yes, they made an Excel coding error ».

- A Study That Set the Tone for Austerity Is Challenged - blogs New York Times 16.04.2013

Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth ? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff
Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, Robert Pollin,  Political Economy Research Institute, Amherst, MA - 15.04.2013

Reinhart Rogoff Responding to our critics - The New York Times - 26.04.2013


Paul Krugman, W Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton
Mark Thoma's blog Economist's View, http://economistsview.typepad.com


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