Thursday

Red Blogule to the French language - No equivalent to "liberal"

Archives 20040901 (see blogules 2004)

(discussion : "neocon" a reaction to Bourdieu's "neoliberalism" concept)

There is a translation issue here. In French, a "liberal" person is in favor of unleashed capitalism and total deregulation. From an Hegelian point of view, one may think the French are so much enslaved in capitalism their language considers ultimate capitalism as ultimate freedom.

The thing is we frogs don't have a word that could match "liberal" as you mean it. We tend to stick to XIXth century references (capitalism vs socialism, progressivism...). Such adjectives as "pragmatic" fix some voids, and one could translate "centrism" with "how-the-heck-should-we-call-em-guys-that-don't-fit-in-ism".We badly need to change references, and economy remains a fairly exotic science to the bulk of my fellow citizens (the Bourdieu you quote is a philosopher). To sum it up I think we somehow dub "conservative" someone who didn't adapt to the first industrial revolution (the majority of the population doesn't even know such thing as an "industrial revolution" ever happened), "liberal" someone who'd like a longer leash for his attachment to our "omnipotent - ventripotent" state, and "socialist" someone who loves to consider himself generous but who'd never give up any of his privileges nor share his own wealth.

We're so much fond of "isms" that we're not likely to think "responsible economics" anytime soon.

SM on a forum

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