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(en) France, Alternative Libertair #219 - Interview with Patrick Vassort "Olympics: to bend the people" (fr) [machine translation]

Date 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 lived there.

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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