[Entrevue] Jean-François Nadeau gives capitalism a “bad time”

Journalist Jean-François Nadeau publishes these days Bad weather, a collection of his chronicles of recent years with significant titles. The trained historian often has the impression that time is running out when he writes his texts for The duty, and that is why he took the liberty of improving them for this book. “Giving time” is a luxury, however, depending on where you are on the social level.

Time is precious for the very rich, but binding for the less wealthy, explains one who hasn’t published a book since 2016. Just imagine the big bosses showing off Swiss watches that are luxurious and useless. on their wrist. The same people who, for years, gave modest watches to their workers as a gift in retirement, as if they were constantly controlling their schedules until they got older.

A powerful symbol that serves as the basis for Jean-François Nadeau to introduce the dichotomy that runs through almost every one of the narratives: that between rich and poor, between thieves and victims. “It’s not Manichean to think like that,” he insists vigorously. “Money does not fall from the sky. There is a kind of accumulation of the richest and we know from statistics that it has worsened in recent years. It’s statistically proven that the trickle-down theory doesn’t work, that the money of the rich doesn’t end up benefiting the poorest, ”continued the columnist, who is probably not tempted by greed.

Decolonize Minds

Jean-François Nadeau, who hated capitalism, never wanted to be one of the millionaires walking on a yacht outside the Côte d’Azur or the Cayman Islands. There is no question that it will be part of the 1% of the richest on the planet that has a sole monopoly on half of the resources, according to Oxfam data.

In the face of such injustice, why don’t the remaining 99% do all they can to overthrow the world order? There is no doubt that they are not inhabited by the same voluntary simplicity as the journalist’s star Have. Many, unlike him, still dream of joining a select club of great fortunes.

“It’s normal that you want that. They try to make us everywhere believe that everyone can be a millionaire. While that is not true. It’s not true that everyone can be a millionaire, just as it’s not true that everyone can be the president of the United States, ”pointed out Jean-François Nadeau, who probably stopped believing in the American dream at the same time as Santa Claus “I, I’m from the countryside, I’ve been plowing for generations. I understand people who want to improve their situation. But the question is: how to do it? Unfortunately, what we are taught is not by being more we can change our situation well, but by allocating the wealth of others. »

In his reworked chronicles, Jean-François Nadeau is vitriolic about the rudeness of the rich. Those who are too stingy to raise the minimum wage for their employees, to pay taxes to the country. Those who are deaf to the threat of climate change.

Among his scapegoats: businessman and reality TV star François Lambert, who had the courage to complain about the lack of police action following the stealing its pomp watches in 2018. All, to add insult to injury, on the front page of a tabloid that the average reader earns less annually than the price of a Rolex.

“Depending on the place we give ourselves to society, time lives differently. That police officers don’t see in stolen watches something that deserves to be considered an absolute priority is it would be something shocking for all François Lamberts of the world, it refers to a world in which ordinary slowness they cannot tolerate because it questions the very idea that they have their superiority, in the midst of ordinary life. “, wrote Jean-François Nadeau in one of the many flying content on Bad weather against the redundancy of a moodless trading system.

In defense of small people

The chronicler is softer with small hands. Those who stole time. Her street vendor retiring after years of tedious work. But also the poor were convicted for peccadilloes in the Municipal Court.

In reading Bad weather, no one can doubt his sincerity when he pays homage to these worthless people. But what does he, one of Quebec’s most public historians, know about this underclass that is too difficult to be part of the very inclusive “middle class”?

“As a publisher, I try to report the truth, and not by staying on our own to achieve it. The truth is there is still a very alarming number of the poor in Quebec. More than a million people live below the poverty line. It is not true that there are only the so-called middle class and the rich, ”argues Jean-François Nadeau.

Whether we agree with him or not, it is the duty of the journalist to make historical events popular, even if it means putting them in perspective with the difficulties of our time. As if to remind us that not everything is immutable. That could possibly end this “bad weather”.

Bad weather

Jean-François Nadeau, Lux Publisher, Montreal, 2022, 328 pages

To be seen in the video

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