TO Jean-Claude Bonnemer
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Bernard Friaud, sociologist and economist, honorary professor at the University of Paris-Nanterre.known for theorizing the concept of a “lifetime salary” with a popular educational association. Employee network. His work is based on a rereading of economic history and its institutions, including the general social security system and social security contributions.
Passing through Cahors, at the invitation of the “Les amis de l’Huma” association headed by Gérard Yragnes, Bernard Friaud returned to the concept of “lifetime wages” as opposed to the concept of “universal wages”. Macron in particular.
News: Do communists have something to say to the modern world?
Bernard Friot: Of course, since you know how to read like a communist, then what was essentially created by the communists, such as the charter of the civil service, the general social security regime, the charter of electricians and gas workers … all these novelties of 1946, which are still promising for the future, because they attribute the rights of the person himself. So civil servants kept their salaries during the period of imprisonment, not because their activities would be paid, but because their very personality would be taken into account. This is a great invention of public service. It is for this reason that the civil service, as well as the statutes copied from it, such as the provisions for railway workers, electricians and gas workers, are the subject of such determination by the ruling class to suppress them. Macron began his five-year term by abolishing the status of rail workers.
Why do you want to decouple salary from employee activities?
BF: Because, since the monopoly on production belongs to the bourgeoisie, it is not employees who decide where funds will be invested, what will be produced, who will be hired … Employees do not decide anything in essential work. You must be subject to official blackmail to be able to work in such conditions of no decision on what will be done, without the opinion of the employee. This is the job risk whip that is common.
How does this notion of a “wage for life” hold promise for the future?
BF: Everything that allows you to untie salary from work, to tie salary to the person himself, as in the case of the Civil Service, is a topic with a promising future. If we want to gain dominance over labor, to bring labor out of the anthropological madness that it is engaged in today because of its capitalist logic, then we must become sovereign, we must decide for ourselves. To achieve this goal, our rights to wages must be linked to our personality, not to our contract or our work. Communism is based on the postulation of workers’ sovereignty over labor.
“Everything that allows you to untie salary from work, tie salary to the person himself, is a topic with a promising future”
How do you feel about the concept of universal wages, which pops up in discussions from time to time?
BF: Universal income is a weapon of war against wages. The ruling class wants to put an end to the salary for qualifications, salaries under the collective agreement, it multiplies fixed-term contracts, to the point that young people are hired on business trips. He wants to return to the payment for a service characteristic of capitalist reward. This will create a great danger to people’s lives if everyone is paid on a paid basis, as was done during the quarantine. All the self-employed, all the workers who had fixed-term contracts, ended up with nothing!
To be able to replace skill-based wages as they were built with pay-for-service, the ruling class needs universal, unconditional insurance. That’s why he creates this living wage quietly, with RMI and RSA. That’s why we have to fight this idea of universal income. This universal income from activities, created by Emmanuel Macron, is only the basis of income that will be very useful and bring the vagaries of the market into our lives again.
Do you think communism has a future?
BF: From the moment we assume we’ve been able to build houses, in terms of civil service status or the general welfare system, yes, communism still has a bright future ahead of it.
Are you optimistic about the appearance of a salary tied to a person, and not to the fact of work?
BF: Of course, I am an optimist. Optimistic because a Christian. The believer in Jesus Christ does not deny tragedy, but we overcome because the crucified Christ is also the risen Christ.
As for the war in Ukraine, what is your point of view?
BF: We are again in the consequences of Stalinism. Putin is none other than a classic Stalinist fighting for a great and holy Russia; any nationalistic reflex is extremely dangerous, and therefore I am against the extreme right in France and in general against any nationalism. Communism has nothing to do with Stalinism, the latter is an absolute anti-communist, as a result of which 900 out of 1200 leaders of the Russian Communist Party were killed; in other words, he was a Putin-type nationalist. Stalin’s big problem was Great Russia, not the purchasing power of the workers. Therefore, it is absolute anti-communism.
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