Paris is Burning, So What Else is New?
No one does a good riot like the French. But is this really just 1789 all over again?
In the last ten years, this medium-sized country has rioted about police harassment and brutality, class frustrations, rising unemployment, and even unpaid internships. During the riots of 1968 French students put their Columbia University counterparts to shame by tearing up cobble stones and creating makeshift barricades to use against anti-riot police forces—the violence escalating until it eventually caused the collapse of the De Gaulle government. Yes, rioting seems to be an intrinsic element of the Francophile consciousness, with modern France built on the backbone of those protesting unjust leadership during the French Revolution.
However, France today isn’t overthrowing a monarchical caste system but rather the hegemony of class and wage. Yesterday, such anger and frustration at the current economic situation in France came to a head as Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of PPR (whose subsidiaries include Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta among others), was held captive in his taxi for almost an hour by a group of disgruntled employees unhappy at the recent announcement that PPR is planning major layoffs in the upcoming months.
This comes hot on the heels of an incident on Tuesday where four directors at a major French employer were blocked from leaving their offices by employees demanding improved conditions. While it would be easy to say that workers shouldn’t be targeting their rage at ‘helpless’ employers who are looking to stave off bankruptcy—and their own unemployment—the fact is that what these protestors are asking for are rather simple requests, like being able to support their families, plan for the future, and keep their jobs. Though many of the rioters tactic’s may be dubious at best, the real question isn’t “why are they rioting?” it’s why aren’t we?
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
A little goes a long way.
- A recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 80 percent of Americans don't exercise enough.
- Small breaks from work add up, causing experts to recommend short doses of movement rather than waiting to do longer workouts.
- Rethinking what exercise is can help you frame how you move throughout your day.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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