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Serra, Màrius

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La Vanguardia - Spain | 13/10/2008

Màrius Serra on Sarkozy's concept of capitalism

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken out in favour of "ethical capitalism". The Spanish daily La Vanguardia reflects on the changes in politics and the economy that lie behind the expression: "Sarko is a language creator who stops short this side of neologisms. His style is more akin to that of Borges, in 'aligning words that were never together before'. His first two creations have been adjectival constructions. In a speech delivered in the presence of the Pope, he pulled 'positive laicism' from his sleeve, which he defined as a form of laicism that 'respects, unites and debates, but never excludes or accuses', contrasting it with a less desirable form of laicism. Just a few weeks later Sarkozy the adjectiviser has struck again, giving a new definition to capitalism in reaction to the global financial crisis. Now he proposes an 'ethical capitalism' which he understands as the 'end of laissez faire', a new form of capitalism erected on an ethical foundation'. What we have here is an about-face of the purest form. One look at the electoral programme that made Sarkozy president is enough to see that the sole God he did not view with a laicist's eyes was the free market. ... Seldom has there been a quicker and more complete about-turn. When everthing was rosy Sarko was unreservedly for the free market. Now that it's not he's gung-ho on regulation."

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