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(en) France, Alternative Libertair #219 - Interview with Patrick Vassort "Olympics: to bend the people" (fr) [machine translation]
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 13:55:34 +0200
Patrick Vassort is lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the University of Caen. It
is part of the current radical critique of sport he plans not as a reflection of the
competition inherent in capitalism but very matrix of the latter. Sport, rather absurd to
the struggle of all against all, would be a model for the development of capitalism as a
system full and competitive total. ---- AL: Some libertarian activists talk about sports
can serve as playful learning practices freed from the power and hierarchy and having
common values ââwith libertarian socialism as receive, give, render. Is that everything is
to throw in team sport? ---- Patrick Vassort: In some practices, some may reach out to the
overriding control down the other. It does nevertheless exceptions and team sport is
institutionalized this category of struggle and competition: the struggle of all against
all, perpetual search of champion, and record the best performance.
There is no reason to believe that sport can enable the development, exchange or any
education. We do not learn by looking at the man and to respect its otherness. In a
previous work [ 1 ], you presented the FIFA World Cup in South Africa as a militarization
of space forced Westernization of the economy and the plundering of public funds for the
benefit of large capitalist societies .
The Olympics (JO) Athens allegedly involved in the collapse of Greece?
The Greek government has allocated a budget for the Olympics is equivalent to 10% of
annual GDP, at a time when the country was already in trouble. It obviously did not help.
The worst part is that after heavy investments to build stadiums and swimming pools, we
must continue to invest to maintain these facilities in a state. These are also facilities
that do not make money, empty places where there is very little population and therefore
one to use. On an average deficit of 3%, the state is quickly increased to 7%. There was
no way to compensate for these huge investments. Recall that Montreal has taken thirty
years to repay the Olympics 1976.
Any interest in the States, in this case, to hold the Olympics in their country?
First, immediate interest to politicians: Chirac and Jospin were never as popular as
during the World Cup 98. Speaking of Zizou, they immediately 70% approval rating. Then
there are hidden interests. Sarkozy, defending France's candidacy for the European Cup in
2016, confided in times of crisis, football was the sport of choice that allowed the
rally. It actually says that when people drool, must the show and the spectacle of the
nation is better than the spectacle of culture: when everything goes wrong and the company
is ready to explode for economic and political reasons we can still believe in its
existence through a stage, a rooster and a blue shirt. Finally, there is a transfer of
public finance to private finance. There are still some major projects which have the
approval of both people and politicians and we know that the construction industry is the
ideal tool to divert finances and to fill the coffers of the dominant political parties.
The stadiums are always projects valued below the reality and come to listen to two to
three times the initial cost. This helps deflect the legality of the bidding in awarding
the contract to a friend who will then be generous. The Stade de France (SDF) is an
example. It claims that its budget is balanced, which is totally false. The consortium
that manages the SDF - Bouygues and Dumez - contracted: as long as there is no club
resident, the State agrees to pay the difference in case of deficit. So the accounts are
always balanced, but every year since 1998, taxpayers pay Bouygues and Dumez.
There for the States hosting the Olympics, interest in terms of planning to bring in
investors and growth?
Let the SDF, there are many head offices moved around, but space does not belong to the
Dionysian. At no time, these events serve the public. Brazil hosts the World Cup in 2014
and the Olympics in 2016. FIFA and the IOC requested the State to clean around the
stadiums. An estimated 1.2 million people displaced families between 6 and 10 million
people. Must go very fast, so the army and the police are involved. The families will
receive a letter ordering him to leave as soon as possible, what they are not. Followed by
helicopters and police force that move and install 60 km away. In these favelas where we
noted drug trafficking, the government has left all these years the population to cope
with the traffickers. Now, we send the army to clean and can be reached at costs
absolutely breathtaking course.
But the state hopes to return in a massive influx of tourists and spectators willing to
spend their money in local shops?
One can imagine a little gain for some businesses. But it has obviously never allowed to
reach the height of public investment - state or local elsewhere: in 1998, Saint Etienne
and Toulouse spent all their budgets, including cultural point of not even being able to
organize this year the music festival! There are very few jobs created and primarily
precarious. Many volunteers revenge guides, stewards ...
This does not create wealth. The positive economic impacts of these events are pure
fantasy. In London, the Olympic Games will be organized in the eastern district of the
city, the poorest. Industrialists did not want to settle there. Ikea has been able to buy
land at a quarter of its value, taking advantage of rearrangements made for the Olympics,
to rebuild a new neighborhood which is of course not at all within the reach of those who
And to give an amazing symbol, Arcelor Mittal has a gift to the town of London, a
115-meter tower at 21 million euros, while redundancies in France. A gift to thank recover
part of supply contracts for the Olympics. There is no major international competitions
that have been economically efficient. To prepare for the Winter Olympics in 2014, Putin
has destroyed the village of Sochi for the "develop" and has moved its entire population
in dormitory. The same scenario is repeated everywhere: Retrieve field, transfer funds and
bend the economically and politically.
About collected by FranÃois Molinier (AL Paris North East)
[ 1 ] Patrick Vassort, Footafric World Cup, capitalism and neo-colonialism, Escape, 2010
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