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- 18/01/11 China exceed the World
Bank in terms of aid to developing countries : no comment ! - 14/01/11 The jasmine revolution in Tunisia triggers a domino effect throughout the
Arab world - 09/01/11 The division of Sudan: the beginning of the redefinition of the colonial frontiers of Africa - 01/01/11 Closure by Greece of
its land border with Turkey: Progress of the fortress Europe - 28/12/10 Urbanization in Hungary: the extreme right in power in Europe - 28/11/10
The Cablegate of Wikileaks: starts a cyber-revolution in the world - 28/11/10 Elections in Côte d’Ivoire: First symptoms of African nationalism
Political Anticipation Magazine
The wave of Jasmine Revolution : the great return of the Arab world (p.2) – Cyberspace, Cyberconflicts, Cybercleverness and social movements (p.4) – Southern Sudan: a first step towards the inevitable reconfiguration of African borders (p.10) – Anticipation GEAB / Arab World : a textbook case (p.12) –
– The crisis: a source of banking innovation? (p.23) – A readers’ digest (p.28) – The humor of El JEm (p.30) –
2012-2013: The double electoral shock of French and German elections (p.32) – FuturHebdo-Shoot again (p.39) –
Does current English takes the place of medieval Latin? (p.40) – Jacques Spitz’s L’œil du Purgatoire (p.42)
The wave of Jasmine Revolution : the great return of the Arab world
by Marie-Hélène Caillol (Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
The hopes of the Arab world to catch the train of the 21st century had gone lost: Asia and South America took hold of
their destiny while the Arab world plunge into obscurantism. For several years, and until two months ago, the Arab world
evoked more and more a third-world populated by fanatical men in shaggy beards and wild eyes. And now it shakes up
his yoke and it is rediscovered in these young people societies all that is pretty normal, boys and girls in Tunisia, Egypt,
Jordan, etc ... that are simply asking to have a future in their country.
There is a clear parallel between this domino effect and the one of late 80’s early 90’s, which saw the collapse of all Soviet
regimes in Eastern Europe. If you look carefully, you’ll find a difference: the Gorbatchev government, the main character
of the transition, had clearly warned that Moscow could not have done anything on protection regimes (Poland, Hungary,
East Germany, Czechoslovakia).
The collapse of autocratic regimes, supported by the Western world for 2-3 decades -despite the obvious disaster that this represents for their
huge interests in the region- is a very clear sign of the change that is currently under our eyes. This West world, especially the United States,
no longer has the means to manage Arab politics.
More than a decade has passed since young people dreamed of a change
in these countries, freedom of expression, social mobility, employment, purchasing power, to own an apartment and start a family. But the grip was such
that, despite the obvious injustice, nothing moved on the surface, nothing but
the most radical fringes, in the form of, in the last years, a medieval religious
extremism whose image was well designed to prevent international public
opinion to sympathize with the root causes of the enormous discomfort in the
Arab world. This sudden change in the image of the Arab world, however,
echoes a more fundamental change of image: that of an unavoidable, invincible, eternal West.
Europe fails to take note of this breakdown of the influence of the United
States, partly because it is involved in this same influence. But the ongoing
revolutions in the Arab world speak loud and clear: the world changes, the
United States are not longer able to enforce their order because their im2 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
measurable economic and financial problems have already been transformed into “austerity plans”, that although are unstated, affect all their
policies, including foreign policy.
Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, Algerian, Yemeni, Jordanian, Moroccan revolutions among others are the equivalent of the opening of the Iron Curtain in Hungary in 1989. The domino effect has begun. The question now is what consequences can we hope or fear after that?
The inevitable desire, especially of political powers, but also of the people, of a return to calm, may take various forms:
the use of the army that will not lead to stability if not to the extent that these armies have taken in an evident way the side of the people
during the riots.
appeal only to political opposition available: Islamists. Bad news at first, these forces will necessarily become more flexible in the exercise of
power, leading to regimes like that of Erdogan in Turkey, schemes that sound like religious, but are based on democratic principles that imply
l one can hope that the political forces appear modern, democratic or moderate, that represent the majority of Arabs, but the hood of lead that
has ruled the Arab world during all these years does not leave much hope on it, at least not immediately.
In any case, none of the governments to be formed will be pro-Western because there aren’t more donors and peoples reject them automatically.
The Arab world that will result from these changes will have a strong pan-Arab sensibility: people very near among them, with the same language and religion, people that get out from tyranny at the same time and for the same reasons. This Arab world necessarily develops a strong
sense of identity and common destiny.
At this point, it is easy to think about the future of Israel, which geopolitical environment fluctuates radically. It doesn’t mean that this Arab world
has as a prime concern to nuclearize Israel, on the contrary, the idea is to create a peaceful relationship between the Arab world and the West.
Obviously, this is not a bad thing for Israel, unless it does not take advantage of changes and persist in its strategy of being the nastiest. This
kind of game now is necessarily a losing strategy for the little Israel that, as well as Ben Ali and Mubarak regimes, among others, can no longer
count on the infallible protection of the United States.
Maybe it is up to Israelis to make their jasmine revolution…
3 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Cyberspace, Cyberconflicts, Cybercleverness and social movements
by Jérôme Defaix (Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
It took five centuries since the invention of printing by Gutenberg in 1450, to produce Bible-books,
books, newspapers, essays, leaflets. These physical media have allowed the distribution of information,
messages that can be defined as «one to many“, in an descendent communication, more and more
effective to convince, indoctrinate, explain, justify, to silence, excite, pacify the crowds, to the benefit
of an elite group of supporters of the message, to manage groups or societies that are increasingly
complex. This distribution, organized by traditional mediators, educators, journalists, intellectuals,
leaders, visionaries, politicians, goes through doctrine, education, knowledge, culture, ideology,
marketing, propaganda, political story-telling, political jargon, among others.
The recent political events, with social movements in Tunisia, in December 20101, then in Egypt in late January
20112, show that the traditional ways of communicating and traditional mediators of the world-book have been
swept away by a new, multi-faceted competitor. Cyberspace is a vector of dissemination3 and motivation of
crowds of people that has contributed decisively to overthrown autocratic regimes in an instant, under the eyes
of Western elites, petrified and anxious in front of an event that is spreading across a continent and the world.
Dawn of cyberconflicts
The world’s great powers are preparing a war on the Internet. Intelligence agencies are recruiting net pirates.
The so-called hackers are the outposts of these cyberconflicts. Spam, scams, attacks by zombie computers, the
spread of destructive viruses, there are many ways to make a fortune at the expense of citizens and users of
the major categories. The gradation of the crime on the Internet is a very image of the media itself: an exhibition
in which the individual or collective creativity adopt forms ever more astonishing. Russia, USA, Estonia, Israel
are the hot spots where hackers and governments face5. Very colorful characters like «Captain Crunch» who
invented the software piracy in the 70 or Badir brothers, three Palestinians who are blind, who have infiltrated the
systems of the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli army are the protagonists and precursors. With the Internet,
the illegal industry of malicious software builds an arsenal of weapons of mass disruption. Those who control
these weapons will be able to decide the outcome of the next cyberconflict.
4 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
1.Tunisia: chronology of a
month of crisis, January 14
2011, Le Parisien
2. The social network, new
weapon of Egyptian youth,
January 27 2011, Le Monde
3. Facebook and Internet:
accelerators of revolution
January 30 2011, Ouest
4. Story of cyberterrorism,
January 30 2011, TSR
5. March 29, 2009 21:30,
Cyberconflict and cyberwar6 are no longer the monopoly of the State. By now, there will be no conflict without
digital conflict. In 2009, the cybersurveillance costed 100 billion dollars to companies and States.
Cybercleverness and social movements
6. Cyberwar: the 21st
century menace? January
30 2011, Geopolitis
7. Is it revolution
contagious? The interest of
a notion, January 28 2011,
The beginning of 2011 sees the cybermode of neologisms in cyber by traditional mediators who do not know
what cybercleverness to use to get rid of their cyberignorance. Hence, the cyber-revolt, the cyber revolution, the
cyber surveillance of cyber police who organizes the cyber police stations to avoid becoming cyberhasbeen...
At this point, it is necessary to explain what depends on all cybercleverness more or less fashionable and what comes out or not, by the useful
passage of intrusive reality in the real life of everyone in society.
Some explanations for the success of the spread in cyberspace
Metcalfe’s Law, that states that “the usefulness of a network is proportional to the square of the number of its users” applies, of course, to a
social network like Facebook. But it is not only Facebook, because there are other alternative sources of cyberspace that contribute to diversity
and enrichment of knowledge through the network (cf. blog, twitter, cyberpress, Wikileaks). If you are the only ones to be registered, you will not
find any good, but if all your acquaintances are also part of the network, then the possibility of sharing and exchanging begins to make sense.
Number of Facebook’ users by region, million (August 2010)
In cyberspace, the spread of information Region
Number Main countries
with a high emotional added value is Africa
Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia
132 in the United States
The method of spreading7 the message
from many to many on a “multimedia”
register, and not just through text, the
only way available in the Book-World, is
amazing and goes right to the point.
The political or economical story-telling
is usually decrypted immediately. Thus it
loses its effectiveness.
Central America and
Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela and Brazil
Indonesia, Philippines, India, Malaysia and Taiwan
United Kingdom, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain and
Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan,
(Source : Internet World Stats)
5 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Moreover, with this passage from text to multimedia, the rational utilitarian slogan of Microsoft in the 90s, “Information at your fingertips”, is
giving way to the most poetic appeals «emotion at your cyberheart» or «understanding at your cybermind» or «feeling at your cybersoul.”
The instantaneous social benchmark
The cyberespace has created the instantaneous social benchmark. The idea is simple. Each of us lives the ups and downs in his daily life.
Social networks amplify the resonance of the possible occurrence of events that, taken individually, are simple uncertainties of human existence,
but that simultaneously repeated by every member of the social network, eventually attract the attention and then the will of action of each
member. This may be famine, high prices, difficult access to employment, precarious jobs, a health problem poorly covered or not covered at
all by social insurance, the difficulty to make or renew ID cards, absence of equal rights, repression and corruption in general present life, the
absence of freedom of assembly or freedom of speech, among others. The awareness of the gap between the position promoted by elites in
charge and the reality experienced by cybernauts-citizens triggers passions and actions. The fact that these cybernauts are, for the most part,
young people excluded from the division of the cake that do not only refers to a monetary field, but also to a labour market field inspiring hope,
makes this discovery intolerable and generate in the real world that spectacular and unprecedented actions we are currently living in a fast
pace at the beginning of 2011.
Advances on cyberwinners and cyberlosers in cyberspace
Cyberloser: the virtual-DDoS and cyberconflicts virtuelo-virtual
The year 2010 will be recalled as one in which DDoS attacks have become real. The attacks often seek to hit sensitive Internet services. In 2010,
Arbor8 has seen a fantastic increase of extent and frequency of DDoS attacks on the Internet. The threshold of 100 Gbit/s has been exceeded
for the first time and attacks to the applications reach the highest level in history. Operators have reported a net impact in terms of costs of
exploitation, lacks to overcome and loss of customers. DDoS attacks from botnets are destined to continue in 2011 and beyond. Nowadays is
a widespread and inexpensive form of cyberterrorism. The major DDoS attacks were recorded in 2010 related to territorial disputes between
China and Japan, the problems in Burma and Sri Lanka etc. The defense against DDoS attacks is now discuss
by board of directors and defence ministries around the world. We define it cyberloser because if it is «annoying»,
8. See the 6th annual Arbor
it generates a small impact in real life. It proves to be tiring even for those who launches. In fact, we can see it
Networks study on security
with a real-life equivalent of DDoS. To the attacker this is equivalent to mobilize a crew of zombies every morning
of world infrastructures.
at 7 am in front of the station, to prevent regular users to take the train and go to work. Since they are zombies,
DDoS attacks have exceed
users can pass them by, but being a little slow down or forced to take the next train. But in order to have zombies
100 Gbit/s for the first time
located at 7 am in place to create disorder, the attacker needs to wake up at 6. After several days, the attacker
ever. This represents an
gets tired, he gets up late again, so that zombies sleep and users take their daily train. The DDoS is a desperate
increase of 1000% from
attempt to save the epidermic and disproportionate burden of cybernervous who suffers a setback in life and
shows off his skills.
6 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Cyber-royal (for now), the match CHINA-US
In this case, we are in the court of the great, the cyberinfluent people, of those that count. A struggle between two powers in pursuit of the
instauration of cyberspace in real life, the struggles of influence and power of the usual real world. Face to face, several thousand cyberexperts
who have left some tracks in the snow during the effective campaigns, carried out with boldness. These tracks are sufficiently visible so that the
influence is perceived and understood. They are sufficiently fugitive so that reputation remains intact.
Stuxnet, ‘the Western virus’ that would have destroyed a thousand centrifuges in Iran
According to ISIS (Institute for Science and International Security), the virus Stuxnet has probably resulted in the destruction of thousands of
centrifuges in a uranium enrichment factory located in Natanz, in Iran. The study is based on official reports of the IAEA (International Atomic
Energy Agency). These documents mention several unexplainable failures on a block of centrifuges at Natanz in November 2009 and February
David Albright, ISIS president, thinks that the technique used by the virus Stuxnet has been to change the rotational speed of the centrifuges.
From a normal speed of 1007 cycles per second, the Stuxnet virus would have spun them at 1064 cycles per second, which would damage
some motors due to vibration or due to an increase of temperature.
About a thousand centrifuges (over 10,000) would have been hit before the Stuxnet virus was discovered. Of course, all this is expressed using
verbs in conditional, although Iranian officials acknowledge they have been attacked by a «western virus.» Needless to say that it we know that
he who launched the virus is the one that comes to mind, even if that comes to mind is that we know by hearsay that it is.
He has made what we think but without saying it. Do you follow me? Beyond academic interest for such a post-mortem analysis by ISIS9, the
main question is to know what was the real impact of the Stuxnet virus on Iran’s nuclear program and, in particular, to know if it has generated
a considerable delay.
An eighteen-minute black hole in cyberspace (April 8, 2010): 15% of the world’s
Internet traffic diverted to China
For those of you who are interested in global infrastructure of cyberspace, I
recommend reading the report made to Congress by the US-China Economic
and Security Review Commission10. Recall first that the Chinese intranet of
420 million users11, is, since 2006, a different cyberspace. In fact, from March
1st, 2006, China has maintained its management system addresses (Domain
Name System) while the other countries of the world are managed by ICANN
7 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
9. See ISIS essay, published on December 22 2010, ISIS
10. Report made to Congress by the US-China Economic
and Security Review Commission on November 2010.
The report is interesting for many reasons, is a precious
picture of the state of the art of the economic and political
relationship between the U.S. and China, as it is perceived
by the United States. USCC
11. Source : January 31st 2011, IRT Manager
(Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a private law non-profit organization still largely under
the control of American government.
The report, especially on page 244, deserves all the attention. May be noted that on April 8th, 2010, for 18
minutes, China Telecom has diverted “inadvertently” 15% of global Internet traffic to China.
This includes traffic to/from the domain en.gob and en.mil. Make way! As you can see, the impact on access to
documents classified as secret, ultra-secret and all documents of that sort, is considerable.
Similarly, in the real world, this goes beyond the maneuvers of progress of the great army. It rather represents
the preparation of a large-scale landing in enemy terrain to defeat him by surprise.
The social globalized cyberfight, initiated by the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples
This is the extent of the domain of the fight from cyberspace to everyday reality. These cyberfights have opened
a new field of possibilities in our finite world12. We watch the cyberspread of social conflicts in 2011. The number
of cybernauts, laptop and PC users has reached 2 billion in 2010, that is, one third of humanity. In the hands
of madmen who rebelled against the intolerable13, differences in income, serious difficulties to buy food14 or
to find a job15, laptops and PCs will be increasingly used in the coming quarters in 2011. For the coordination
and propagation of mass movements such as those we are seeing in recent days in Cairo or Tunis. The more
emotional an event is stronger, the more rapid is its spread. Jordan16, Indonesia, the Philippines, the United
Kingdom are serious candidates to this development17.
Cybersolidarity: The UN and WFP
In 2010, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)18 has launched an online social movement intended to
invite a billion Internet users to help a billion people who suffer from hunger. The driving force of the movement is
simple: over the years, 1 billion Internet users could contribute more to the fight against hunger than governments
that represent them.
The movement called “A billion to one billion» was born from a simple idea, if everyone takes part, we can make
a difference in the fight against hunger.
8 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
12. Kenneth Ewart
Boulding : “everyone who
believes that exponential
growth can go on forever
in a finite world is either a
madman or an economist!”
He spoke with knowledge
of the facts, since he was
13. IMF raises spectre of
cIMF raises specter of civil
wars as global inequalities
3rd, 2011, The Telegraph
14.Poor workers in Europe,
January 25th 2011,
Observatoire des inégalités
15. GEAB N°51 Published
on January 15th 2011
Global Systemic Crisis –
2011: The ruthless year.
16. Tunisia, Algeria, the
domino theory in the Arab
world, January 14th, 2011,
17. See our successful
anticipation MAP (Fall
2010) Social impacts of the
crisis in Europe: dancing on
18. See the United Nations
World Food Programme
We draw the path of a cyber-reality, of a mass communication of all towards all, almost infinite, at no cost. It is perfectly suitable for the
management and for the interactions of the societies of the 21st century, composed of very large sets of men, for which physical movement
becomes more expensive/problematic.
Like Gutenberg, in 1450, didn’t know his invention would lead, among other things, to the the four-color advertising brochure, cyberspace was
born 42 years ago and in the last 10 years it has been in its flattered phase. There is still plenty of cybersurprises.
One thing is certain. Traditional modes of political, economic, religious and cultural mediation, inherited from the world-book, are outdated and
must reinvent themselves or disappear.
9 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Southern Sudan: a first step towards the inevitable reconfiguration of African borders
by Franck Biancheri (Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
With the recent UN-supervised Southern Sudanese referendum, which provides for the restructuring of Sudan’s vast
territory and, as is the case in most African countries, its frontiers bequeathed from the colonial era, Africans have begun
the long process that will give them genuine mastery over their continent: the construction of their own internal borders.
Paraphrasing Saint-Exupéry, it could be said that the Little Prince has grown up. No longer is it said: “Please, draw
me a border,” but rather “We will redraw our own borders!» But every picture has its limits: it is eminently clear that
Africans asked for nothing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, they now realize that they will need the
international community to succeed in the peaceful restructuring of the continent in the twenty-first century, as is well
demonstrated by the case of Southern Sudan.
This is precisely what we proposed to the European Union in the Seminar GlobalEurope 4/EU-Africa, held in in May
2004 at the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during which we stated that “helping Africans to change their internal
borders should be the core of EU policy objectives on the agenda of relations with Africa.” (The summary is available here). Our reasoning was
simple, as is typically the case with that which leads to accurate predictions:
“The construction of modern Europe has been possible thanks to multiple changes of borders established between 1914 and 1989. The former
Yugoslavia represented the final stage of this process. It is sheer vanity to suppose that colonial-era borders, ignorant of ethnic, economic
or geographical realities, as is the case in Africa, could do anything other than fuel new conflicts. The border issue is often deemed ‘taboo,’
particularly by European states and their African satellites. It is absurd, however, to invoke this taboo, and warn of the potential threats of
conflict, in light of the millions of deaths in recent years. Taking into account these factors, it is clear that Europeans will play a historic role from
two points of view: on the one hand, they have conceived of the nation-state, and then exported it brutally to Africa; on the other hand, they
also created the peaceful regional integration mechanisms that have in turn outstripped those nation-state’s management abilities. If Africans
are willing to change – which seems to be the case, given developments ranging from the AU to NEPAD – it is imperative that the EU aid in
the process of starting the ‘reform’ of the continent’s political structure, so as to adapt it not only to the twenty-first century, but also to African
Europeans, prisoners of their taboos, have done nothing in this field since 2004. In Africa, the global systemic crisis is putting an end to the
exclusivist Euro-American world domination, which began around 400 years ago with European Industrial Revolution and colonial expansion,
and continued with American dominance from 1945 onward.
10 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Alongside the “Arab Spring” taking place on northern coast of Africa, the successful referendum of Southern Sudan represents encouraging
news. These events constitute a major historic rupture: if the former clearly represents the end Washington’s imperial control of the “Arab
markets,” the latter is likewise a clear indication that the beginning of a process leading to the definitive end of the colonial period is underway.
These two processes figure to be at the core of Euro-African relations in the next ten years. Upon their smooth development depends Africa’s
integration into the new global balance of twenty-first century, as well as Europe’s avoidance of devolving into a compost heap of xenophobic
The Path to the World Afterwards
Europe and the World in the decade from 2010 to 2020
by Franck Biancheri
In this uncompromising book, Franck Biancheri (born 1961, Director of Studies at the Laboratoire Européen d’Anticipation Politique) attempts to address
the lack of anticipation of European leaders and elites when it comes to the
crisis and presents a concrete vision of the future in France, Europe and the
world by 2020.
“Because this crisis we are experiencing is not only the end of the “world
before”, it is also an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild a “world after”,
provided not to be mistaken about the dangers, challenges and opportunities
that lie ahead.”
ISBN : 978-2-919574-00-1
price : 20,00 €
11 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Anticipation GEAB / Arab World : a textbook case
Here is a summary of the elements that allowed GEAB giving its anticipation of the risks of political and social explosion in the Arab world in
June 2008 :
Heavy trends (analysis) :
Stranglehold of the Western world and the United States on the region to ensure its stability, but at the expense of freedom of the peoples
- this allows the stability of the region
- feeding, at the same time, a perpetual rebellion
This trend is thus the only factor of stability but, at the same time, brings with it powerful seeds of instability.
The global systemic crisis causes a break in this trend :
- in terms of legitimacy
- in terms of military power
- in terms of financial capacity
The United States is no longer able to control the region
The socio-political explosion becomes inevitable, the question is : when will it happen?
12 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Medium-term trends (information) :
Identify factors and indexes of acceleration of the trend to the explosion
factors : the closure of European borders prevents immigration process to play its role as a social safety valve, the development of the
Internet which offsets some of the flaws of the education system and allows activists to organize and structure their speeches, etc.
indicators : growth of fundamentalism, terrorist attacks, social movements, etc.
allow to identify a time zone in extreme tensions
(It is at this stage that sources are quite useful)
Recent or short-term trends (anticipation) :
Which trend (s) may accelerate the explosion?
Coup de grace : Resumption of economic crisis in a phase that begins to touch the people directly: increasing the price of food and/or
It is this last phase of the crisis that anticipations had mentioned as a likely cause of breaking out of events. And it is the same one that was
delayed for 12-18 months from the phenomenal injections of liquidity into the global economy.
Event drop of water : the immolation of a young Tunisian
Location of the outbreak : one of the areas in which it was less expected (weak link), part of the zone of conflict, but less monitored
because it was considered less problematic and challenging.
(Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
13 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
International food policy: towards a “diplomatic revolution”1
by Bruno Paul (Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
The problem has become inevitable for our policy makers: How to feed the world’s current and future population?
From recent studies2 and projections3 we will highlight the new central issues concerning the geopolitics of food4, in
order to provide elements that can help decision making5.
In the familiar context of global population growth6, we must anticipate how to use natural resources and, above all, food
The graph shows that in 2050 the Earth’s population will have between 0.5 and 3.6 billion more inhabitants (with a probability
1. This term refers to the Treaty of Versailles (1756)
2. Evolution of the agricultural sector until 2050 (French Senate Report,
01/2007) ; ”Les défis de notre agriculture globalisée” (France Culture,
3. Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA, 2005) ; Scénarios
Agrimonde (full version available in French in éditions Quae, 12/2010) ;
”Global Food and Farming Futures” (UK BIS Foresight, 01/2011)
4. The geopolitical perspective of agriculture has grown in importance
since the 2008 protests. Sources : Atlas Géostratégique 2011 Diplomatie HS14 (déc.2010-janv.2011) ; ”Une géopolitique au bout de
la fourchette” (IEMED, 2010) ; ”Veut-on nourrir le monde ?” (CIHEAM,
12/2010) ; ”Agriculture et alimentation : quels enjeux pour les relations
internationales ?” (diploweb.com, 01/2011)
5. A Manual of Political Anticipation (Ed. Anticipolis, 2010)
6. Even if the evolution of the global population is hypothetical and is
tied to the uncertainty of life expectancy and birth rate, as well as the
censuses in countries outside the OECD.
Latest published projections on world’s population
14 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
7. Source : IIASA -EEA, 12/2010
of 95%). Lower estimates predict a huge drop in birthrate in non-OECD countries, with a massive reduction of
poverty. The path to the fulfillment of the Millennium Goals is out of reach for 20158.
We are far from being able to supply food to the world’s population. Currently, food security crisis has been
clearly identified in 29 countries9.
8. ”Déclaration sur les
Objectifs du Millénaire
pour le développement”
9. In comparison, the list
had 37 countries in April
2008, 36 in December
2008 and 39 in February
2006. Source : Archives
FAO : “Crop Prospects
and Food Situation”; It’s
worth noting that China
appears in serious local
food insecurity from April to
10. “Global Information and
Early Warning System”
Countries in crisis requiring external food aid10
Red: exceptional shortfall in production or availability of food
Brown: widespread difficulties for the procurement of food (high prices, impassable roads)
Yellow: severe food insecurity for a specific problem (concentration of refugees, structural poverty, drought)
Key indicators of agriculture
The ability to feed a population in a sustainable way depends on a chain of limiting conditions: the area of land
available for agriculture, seed availability, weather conditions during the cultivation (including irrigation), energy to
grow (including the use of fertilizers) and harvest, crops, transport and distribution of food, access to food by the
population (according their prices), energy to transform food, losses between the field and ingestion (including
the production of biofuels), and diet (ratio of animal proteins, obesity). The accumulation of food reserves carried
out by the countries are only a palliative in the short term (a few weeks or, at the most, up to a year11.
15 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
11.The madness of
accumulation of food,
incidentally, has won
again ground to help
stabilize domestic prices
and to stop future crises
more effectively. Source:
“Le Maghreb multiplie
les achats de céréales”
(Journal des finances,
2011-2012 : The race against the clock of the international food policy
The key problem of food security in the reasoning of policy makers is clear: only if they are able to feed their populations they could maintain
their political systems. This is especially evident in countries in which the risk of falling into a crisis food is higher. For countries where the risk is
lower, the emphasis shifts to the geopolitical consequences in case of declaration of a crisis somewhere in the world (control of mass migration,
access to strategic raw materials).
The strategic and political importance of food security makes of this aspect an indicator that shows the effectiveness of international cooperation.
Social protests against rising food prices12 have escalated in recent weeks due to soaring prices13 in food, with consequences in Algeria and
Tunisia, which are public knowledge.
The price index of the FAO reaches absolute records14
12.“De nouvelles émeutes
de la faim sont redoutées”
(AFP, 01/2011) ; “FAO official
warns high food prices may
trigger more anger, riots”
(China Daily, 01/2011)
Jump to Record on Sugar,
01/2011) ; “Food prices
grow at fearful rate” (Pravda,
01/2011) ; The causes
of rising stock prices of
foodstuffs whose history
goes back to early 2000 are
complex, as explained in this
video from the TV show Le
Dessous des Cartes.
14. “World Food Situation”
16 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
These alert signals do not go unnoticed to the G20, as the regulation of prices of raw
materials and a reform of the FAO are in the agenda of next meeting in Cannes15.
The issue is under discussion since the demonstrations of 2008. Although it is true
that from 2009 onwards the Council on World Food Security has implemented a major
reform, the global strategic framework for food security and nutrition will not be ready
before October 201216. While the problems of the effectiveness of global food policy are
identified at the highest level, the establishment of internationally coordinated solutions
takes time, especially when applied to preventive mechanisms for price regulation and
not only for mitigation measures (such as emergency aid when the crisis is declared).
Together with mechanization and fertilizers use, the oil prices have a deep impact on
prices of agricultural products, and this has paved the way for financial speculation
in agriculture market. It has been established an implicit relationship between the
regulation of prices in agriculture and the regulation of commodity prices in general.
If the regulation in one of these markets is effective, it could be used as a model for
regulating other markets. This case law on the regulation will be monitored closely by
the lobbies of speculation.
15. “L'actualité au secours des objectifs français au
G20“ (Nouvel Obs, 01/2011)
16. “CSA 36 Rapport Final” (FAO-CSA, 10/2010)
17. “G20 La déception” (AGEFI, 11/2010) ; “Doha
Round : Agriculture Negotiations” (FAO, 2010)
18. Like “China Brazil food bridge” (Financial
Times, 11/2010 ; China Daily, 08/2009) ; or the
increased use of bilateral practices of “land
grabbing” are still very minor.
19. “Crise et sécurité alimentaires : vers un nouvel
ordre alimentaire mondial ?” (Revue internationale
de politique de développement, 2010)
The meeting in Cannes will be held in a context of significant
degradation of the effectiveness of international coordination and
the latest multilateral agricultural negotiations of 2008 and the last
Seoul G20 Summit17. were a clear evidence of this.
The global systemic crisis accelerates events, speculation
plays with money injected and helps to create asset bubbles in
commodities, the agenda of multilateral negotiations is taken by
surprise, and diplomacy can no longer handle the “time” factor,
adding pressure on convergence strategies.
That’s why we think that the number of bilateral agreements on
food sales will increase18, and price control policies will continue
to be inconsistent, and therefore they will continue to fail to
successfully manage sharp increases in the prices of food for the
next two years.
Current price regulation of food commodities19
17 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
The temptation of the food weapon in the diplomatic game
The problem of food security will hardly be addressed by itself. Probably will be an important element in the balance of all the G20 or bipartite
The temptation to change progressively the sense of food from being a «right» to be instead a «weapon» has become more evident. This is
particularly true if we compare the situations of countries that are usually on opposite sides: largest food exporters, that is, Europe and the U.S.,
burdened by economic problems, compared to countries like China and India, which are o are becoming strong importers that are in a phase
of economic growth. In the same vein, while Russia and Brazil have the two advantages above mentioned, all African countries suffer from the
two problems above mentioned.
In the next years, it is plausible to imagine the U.S. doing massive food
products exportations to China and, in exchange, China purchasing, on an
ongoing basis, Treasury Bonds20. This perspective would radically change the
common perception of the location of the economies of developing countries,
based essentially on the export of raw materials. The current global crisis can
lead to ironies of history like this.
20. In addition to
Exports and imports of foodstuffs
between China and the U.S.A.
from 1999 to 200921
18 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
21. “ Food Exports
And Food Trade
Surplus With China
Sets Record Highs
In 2009 ” (Daily
Wheat, spinach, walnuts and radishes: the rush to gold green
If governments continue to be ineffective at the international level after 2012, in the presence of increase and replication of the difficulties in
high-risk countries, regional food policies will be applied to large economic zones.
As a logical consequence, the current deglobalization has made that the food security policy re-focus on regional blocs that grow up fastly.
That’s why the question posed by the UN, «How to feed the planet in 2050?» is been gradually replaced on the agenda for this one: «What food
safety policy can be designed to national or regional level within 5 years?», which contains in itself the risk of serious crisis. In fact, exchanges
of food products as a whole are considered less and less a priority, and traded volumes will depend increasingly on ups and downs of crops22.
All indicators show it: the world food system (with all its
components) is in a permanent state of alert since many
years ago. If production problems persist for two years in
a row, world stocks would collapse, the food distribution
in high-risk countries23, would be cut off, and prices of
foodstuffs would be subject to the wildest speculation ever
existed, with no terms of comparison with the situation
in 200824. Although no one wants this to happen, it’s
necessary to stop acting as if it would never happen.
22. Like last summer, “Début de l’embargo sur les exportations
de blé russe” (Le Monde, 15/08/2010)
23. Focusing throughout Asia (from Kazakhstan to Timor,
with the exception of Japan), North Africa, East Africa and
the Great Lakes.
24. Recall that in 2008, prices shot up so that 100 million
people were victims of famine.
19 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
The map of the food crisis does not highlight enough outbreaks of chronic
undernourishment. In Asia, problems are measured taking into account
how many people are affected by malnutrition. In addition, the FAO map is
based mainly on statements made by the States themselves, and tend to
ignore the famines that these States deny for political reasons. In order to
avoid a delay in the alerts, it is therefore necessary to use several sources
This context so favorable to the «diplomatic revolution» highlights the major
trends in the global ecological crisis25 which operate under the surface of the
global systemic crisis.
If the global regulation of food prices -which is effective today-, comes to
fail from 2012 onwards, the agricultural context of regional blocs will lead
to a quick geostrategic redistribution in a few years. We will assist to an
acceleration of current trends: food dependency imposed, expansionist
strategy, strategic search of partnerships with major supplying countries,
but also a quest for food sovereignty at all costs, with national policies
that encourage an increase in the use of fertilizers and GMO, especially
to cultivate low-yield areas (saline soils, drought areas26). The result is a
weakened ecosystem and the beginning of a second phase of the global
25. “The global ecological crisis has
begun” (MAP n°1, Fall 2010)
26. “Lutte contre la faim : il
faut recourir à tous les progrès
techniques“ (AFP/Les Echos,
20 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Projections to feed the world
The MEA four development projections, which are exploratory, assess consequences of possible changes and
The Agrimonde study made two food and agricultural projections on this basis, pointing to a sustainable global feeding. The AG1 context (a breaking point scenario) is based
on conditions much closer to current reality, especially with
respect to changes in agricultural yields and arable land.
One of the main conclusions is that AG1 has a great need
to further international cooperation on trade in agricultural
products and in the regulation of this market.
21 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
The MAP question
In what year was made this anticipation?
When the wireless will be used perfectly, the whole Earth will become
a giant brain, that is, what is the Earth is already in practice since all
things are nothing but particles of a single rhythmical and authentic set.
We will be able to communicate with each other instantly, regardless of
the distance. And there is more, because thanks to television and telephone, we can see and feel perfectly as if we were face to face, even
though thousands of miles separate us, and the devices that allow us to
do so will incredibly be simpler than current phones. The man can carry
it in his jacket pocket.
Answer : 1926 (Nikola Tesla) Source : “La pensée “sans fil” de Nikola Tesla”, Histoire Globale
22 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
The crisis: a source of banking innovation?
by Ludovic Follot (Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
The financial crisis has had the merit of demonstrating the extent to which our daily life depends on financial
institutions and more specifically on the banks. Everyone has now fully accepted that our estate loans and its
eventual consumer credits, both in Europe and the United States, have been the basis of economic expansion over
the past 30 years1. Retail banks and investment banks have been key players in this game, and they have played
their role perfectly, allowing Western companies to satisfy their insatiable consumer appetite taking money and
then giving it at a little higher loan rates.
However, we’re in the middle of a revolution. It’s now possible to create in Europe a bank which can offer financial services to individual
customers or businesses. Subject to a strict regulation in terms of prudential rules2. these ‘payment institutions’ increasingly become privileged
interlocutors of consumers. Among the newcomers, we must include some important internet economy companies which do not seek to respect
the established order, in order to seize these new instruments of growth, a source of considerable profits, since they are the basis foundation
of our way of life. A quick look at the horizon will prove that this trend can be observed everywhere in the world.
For many everyday activities, banks have a privileged and even mandatory interlocutor:
Simple services such as cheque books, credit cards
Consumer credits through their branches that specialize in this type of offer
Stock exchange investments
Loans granted to businesses, etc
1. The cost of U.S. growth: from 2000, 1
dollar of growth costs more than 5 dollars
Source : Financial Sense, 10/09/10
2. Règles prudentielles pour les EPs.
Source : Etablissement de Paiement,
Retail banks, investment banks or credit banks as we know them are subject to a clear set of strong regulatory obligations, in order to guarantee
funds deposited by their customers. This closed circle of institutions authorized to manage the money of citizens and States, financing public
deficits, has a certain inertia, by virtue of its structure. In order to preserve their prerogatives and to prevent the arrival of a possible competitor,
the status quo is preserved.
Until now, important actors such as the distribution brand names or the telecommunications giants were not able to cooperate with banks,
23 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
because neither party consented to be in the background and, therefore, to reduced its profit margin3.
3. Banks and operators
neutralise each other on the
payment market. Source :
La Tribune, 19/02/10
4. Directive sur les Services
de Paiement. Source :
Figure 1: the cost of U.S. growth in the last 60 years
2010: the most important year
For several years, important innovations have taken place at all levels :
European legislation has seen the implementation of European Directives on the means of payment in 20074
and the creation of payment institutions5. In practice, under certain conditions, a company duly authorized and
subsidiaries are licensed in the same way banks, accounting year to offer services to individuals and businesses.
The big players in the distribution that, in addition to have a customer base already consistent, have –or at
least some of them- a mobile virtual network operator, may propose, from that moment on, consumer credits to
their customers via mobile phone. The dates appear on their monthly phone bill. France, the last country to use
extensively checks might consider replacing it with a mechanism of transfer6.
5. Un nouvel acteur sur le
marché bancaire français,
l’Etablissemnt de Paiement.
Source : NetIris
The economics of informatics aimed to the general public and the economics of Internet announce changes :
- Google7 buys Zetawire to integrate a payment solution in its mobile platform.
- There are circulating rumors of a possible new iPhone8, with NFC technology that has yet to be shown
on a large scale to ensure its survival outside of Japan.
24 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
6. 2011, la fin des chèques
en France ? Source :
7. Google a racheté
Zetawire, spécialisé dans le
paiement mobile. Source :
8. Different sources :
Clubic, 08/04/10 ; The Mac
- There have been several offers for micro-payments from social networks. In France,
Zong9, Boku10 or AFMM11 allow to register purchases on the mobile phone bill.
The telecommunications giant announced in a more or less official way that they intend to
penetrate this market :
- In the U.S., AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile come together to create a payment platform .
- In France, these three operators create a join venture to propose a platform for on-line
payments, under the code name MNOP13.
9. Startup Zong bets on Mobile Payments.
Source : Bloomberg, 27/04/10
10. See Boku
11. AFMM, Solution de micro-paiement
mobile multi-opérateurs. Source : GNT,
12. Press release about ISIS, 16/11/10
Even the payment industry undergoes major changes :
- Gemalto14 buys Trivnet in August 2010. By doing so, one of the leaders of the card with
the chip regains an innovative company bursted from mobile payment.
- During the summer of 2010, Visa15 and Mastercard16 have regained companies that
allow them to get rid of a partnership with banks. In fact, Visa has become a payment
institution in the United Kingdom.
- Paypal17, already glorified as «a payment solution more secure than cards» in the U.S.,
no longer hides his ambition to become the mean of payment by definition on the fixed
or mobile Internet access.
- In May 2010, 30 European banks have held different seminars on the project
MONNET18 in order to propose a system of cards without Visa or Mastercard. Planned
since 2008, this European project, if completed, could radically change the balance of
power between the actors.
The established order questioned by newcomers
The above examples serve only to illustrate the current trend. After three years of waiting we
are witnessing an acceleration of the movement. All actors are preparing to take to the field
and propose deals. A battle is fought to gain new customers and retain existing ones, keeping
thresholds of acceptable profitability.
25 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
13. Different sources cite this project : 01Informatique, 08/08/10 (página 9), 09/06/10,
Le Paiement Mobile, Journal du Net. This
solution wouldn’t include payments made in
14. Gemalto set to acquire Trivnet. Source :
Telecom Paper, 23/07/10
15. Cybersource, plus de clients de mobile
pour Visa. Source : Le Journal du Net
16. Mastercard rachète Datacash. Source :
Le Journal du Net
17. Paypal seen as more secure than credit
cards for online shopping. Source : BusinessWire, 12/08/10 ; Journal du Net. There
is the opinion of Internet users in the U.S.
18. Monnet : trente banques européennes
veulent créer un nouveau système de cartes
bancaires. Source : L’AGEFI, 07/05/10 ;
Remote banking facilitates clients’ lives and allows them to put institutions19, in competition. This is very easy
because until now it has not yet been found alchemy to fully satisfy customers20.
Between regulatory evolution and technological revolution, everything tightens around the banks that still have
the trump card: in addition to their know-how gained many years ago, no one should underestimate their ability
to answer, because it is their financial survival.
New models to be invented
Within the next few months the first offers should be available in packages and as with the Internet package,
people will get used to using new services provided by hitherto unsuspected actors. Given the special relationship
with money, there will certainly be a period of observation by the users but the general trend is clear, and it is
encouraged by the authorities :
In Japan, NTT DoCoMo already offers a form of payment21. Since it has its own bank, the group was able to
free itself from an unfavorable partnership.
In Africa, a first battle has already been lost22.
There are different actors that are able to offer payment services to the entire population. Niche markets and
offers to the general public, the bank as a solid institution has to adapt very quickly, in order not to find itself
blocked by challengers which have enough financial strength to secure little by little billions of euros in the
Consumption patterns are changing very quickly, so it is necessary to evolve just as quickly. Although is still
difficult to say what would be the final result, it is undeniable that the battles to come will seriously alter the current
situation. The consumer will arbitrate the match between Latin conservatism and Saxon pragmatism.
26 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
19. On this issue, see this
20. Les banques face au
21. Japan’s NTT updates
the Pay Phone,
22. Most of the innovative services offered are
initiatives by telecom
operators, because the
bank often serves only
as a moral guarantor in
some rare exceptions.
Source : Jeune Afrique,
23. In 2009, within the
euro area, the payments
all methods combined
payments amounted to
16 400 billion euros.
Source : Banque de
Figure 2: The main means of payment used in Europe
27 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
A readers’ digest
Crise systémique globale - 2011 : l'année impitoyable, à la croisée des trois chemins du chaos mondial
En Janvier 2006, LEAP/E2020 indiquait à l'époque qu'une période de quatre à sept ans s'ouvrait qui serait caractérisée par la “Chute du
Mur Dollar”, phénomène analogue à celui de la chute du Mur de Berlin qui entraîna dans les années suivantes l'effondrement du bloc
communiste, puis celui de l'URSS. Aujourd'hui, nous estimons que l'année à venir sera une année charnière dans ce processus s'étalant
donc entre 2010 et 2013. Elle sera, en tout état de cause, une année impitoyable car elle va en effet marquer l'entrée dans la phase terminale
du monde d'avant la crise.
LEAP/E2020 - GEAB N°51
Should Human Rights and Free Trade Be Linked?
By Justin Frewen
Up to 50,000 people a day die from poverty related causes with 22,000 of these fatalities being children under the age of five. The plight of
the world’s most impoverished and vulnerable people have been further aggravated by the current global financial and food crises. According
to the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), this international instability has resulted in a massive increase of some 11
percent in the number of chronically hungry people from 915 million in 2009 to 1.02 billion in 2010.
Intégrer des cursus à double-diplomation aux programmes TEMPUS et ERASMUS-MUNDUS pour le
bénéfice mutuel des partenaires,
par Jean-Paul Guichard
Une réflexion sur la finalité des programmes Européens destinés aux Universités s’impose. Ces programmes présentent un gros défaut,
essentiellement celui d’être à sens unique, qui peut être surmonté, l’Université de Nice et ses expériences de programmes d’enseignement
à double-diplomation l’ont prouvé…
28 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Europe and the Hungarian 170 pages strong media law,
by Margit Reiser-Schober
Despite sharp protests in Hungary itself and from the EU the right wing conservative government pushed a new media law through parliament,
getting two thirds of the votes on 21.12.2010. The law intimidates journalists and bloggers and polarizes once again the Hungarian society.
A case for the European public !
Quatre mois sans gouvernement : la Bosnie-Herzégovine sur les traces de la Belgique ?
Quatre mois après les élections du 3 octobre, la Bosnie-Herzégovine n’a toujours pas de gouvernement central, non plus que la Fédération
croato-bosniaque. Optimiste, le membre de la Présidence collégiale Bakir Izetbegović veut pourtant croire que les négociations aboutiront
en février et que la Bosnie ne battra pas le record européen de vacance gouvernementale détenu actuellement par la Belgique.
Courrier des Balkans / Association Sarajevo
Big Questions of Our Time: Is the Theory of Everything Possible ?
By Sundeep Waslekar
The search for the unified theory has become intense in the last 50-60 years due to the lack of harmony between Einstein’s General Theory
of Relativity, which explains gravitational force governing planetary bodies, and quantum physics, which explains electro-magnetism at the
subatomic level. Since the universe is made of atoms, and atoms are made of protons and electrons, scientists believe that the laws of nature
determining the behaviour of protons or quarks have to be the same as those shaping supernova. Some scientists hope that a string theory
may pave the way for the unified theory. In fact, Hawking also shares this hope in his recent writing. Some others are not so hopeful…
Strategic Foresight Group
Kosovo after the Hague
Notwithstanding these developments, Kosovo and Serbia, Kosovar Albanians and Serbs will live together. Whatever the outcome of the talks,
Serbia will be Kosovo’s neighbour and Kosovo will be Serbia’s neighbour. From the few, limited options they have, the best is to create the
conditions for the next generation; the generation of Serbs and Kosovars holders of the EU passport. So if I were asked to give a label to the
talks process I would rather call them “The Next Generation Initiative“ : A generation of hope of peace and conciliation.
29 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
The humor of El JEm
This quarter, El Jem has chosen to comment on the article entitled “Why almost everything you hear about medicine is wrong”
published on January 23, 2011 by Newsweek and republished on January 27, 2011 by Nouvel Observateur which provides a brief
overview of the situation of pharmaceutical industry.
This article illustrates the beginning of the fall of the pharmaceutical industry – or at least as we know it.
The appointment of Prof. Ioannidis as head of the Prevention Research Center of Stanford University, after years of fighting unfounded
allegations in the field of medicine and health, makes one think of Ron Paul being appointed head of the United States Federal Reserve. This is
no mere coincidence; rather, it is the result of several years of scandals and criticism of the system. Moreover, we see that the pharmaceutical
industry is becoming toxic to those who, up until now, have supported and profited from it. In fact, just as any politician with an ounce of common
sense would no longer be seen in the company of a Goldman Sachs banker, who could ever wants to appear next to Servier in France (bearing
in mind that Sarkozy awarded Jacques Servier with the Grand-Croix of the Légion d’Honneur in 2009)? And without any support (or collusion
and corruption), it is easy to realize that many drugs are not as active as supposed, or altogether inactive, as reported in an August 2010 story
in LMOUS, which in turn referred to an American article.
In the same vein, the IGAS estimates in its January 2011 report (cf. also “Mediator : le rapport de l'IGAS accable Servier et le système de
santé français”), that the medical system “works so that doubt favours not patients and public health but companies.” In fact, according to
IGAS, procedures are conceived as “a sort of right for the pharmaceutical industry to market its products, whatever the state of the market and
whatever the interest of public health for the products in question.” Such a complaint, in my opinion, would not have been possible a year ago,
and proves once again how criticism, in brutal terms, of the whole system is arising.
This also connects to a crisis within the industry: (1) there are virtually no more new molecules to feed Moloch; (2) generic medicines and new
players are increasing in importance (especially in India and China); (3) contrary to popular belief, drugs are not active on the entire world’s
population, but only on some of its sub-groups, and that leads to a potential reduction of the potential market of 6 billion people without changing
their development costs (order of magnitude: 1 billion Euro/medicine in 10 years). This situation triggers brutal losses of future revenues of
several hundred billion in the next years, especially with the elimination of patents, for large groups.
These large groups are therefore completely restructured, and have changed their entire strategy of drug development (in short: upstream
research is stopped, being replaced by acquisitions) and there is a diversification of other areas of health. SANOFI has entered in the market of
food supplements (buying back, among others, OENOBIOL) and has also considered taking part in private health societies, health care homes,
etc…(would it do it?). In any case, their business model is dead.
It is said that the public health system will not fare worse when the extent of its errors is recognized along with the mindset that predominates
30 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
in the industry (cf. “Un labo soigne ses visiteurs médicaux avec un clip SM ”, wherein it was revealed that, in order to motivate persons tasked
with drug promotion, Eli Lilly France has created a parody of a video in which a doctor submits to a whipping).
How did we get here? What abuses could lead a well respected and useful science to such a state of decay?
The first answer that comes to mind: money. But this seems inadequate to explain the numerous mistakes that have been committed, especially
at the scientific level (and I do not think, in any case, that the employees in this sector are all motivated by a desire to make money and are
ready to do anything to achieve this purpose).
We must, in my opinion, consider another factor, one that is common to other industrial sectors that have recently failed (e.g. finance), but also
in non-commercial sectors (e.g. the sciences): the need for speed, the requirements of the endless race that do not allow for reflection. As a
result of this race, it is impossible to control anything. It is not possible to verify the quality of results, nor the relevance of the methods and tools
(e.g. medication protocols, calculation of financial risks). We must move forward, and quickly, or we will be “outdated,” “detached.” The most
important thing is not knowing where one is going, but being the first to leave.
In this way, over time a building has been erected whose foundations are fragile, erroneous. This can only lead to a speedy collapse.
This is not only the case in industrial sectors.
In science, especially in biology, there is a perpetual, and potentially meaningless, avalanche, with results that later prove to be false (cf. Erwin
Chargaff’s “Heraclitean fire”). In this case, it is not a race for money, but just a race.
In another area, that of information, the situation is comparable: a flood of false or unimportant information (and no one cares, for such information
is hidden once issued). A few days ago, I heard one RFI talking head say: “In France, there are fewer journalists than communicators, therefore,
the journalists are content to pass on what communicators say.” They do so without verification, without reflection. Why? Because they must
run, run, and keep running. Being aware of this sad reality, now they propose training (brace yourself) to resist communicators!
But is it possible to build, to guide, to decide, to vote correctly based on erroneous data?
So my anticipation (undated) is as follows: if our societies do not take note of this craze, it will be to their own detriment (because of asphyxiation,
disinformation, misunderstanding, wrong decisions), much like a duck which runs after its beheading.
(Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
31 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
2012-2013: The double electoral shock of French and German elections
According to LEAP/E2020, the French elections in 2012 (presidential election followed by the legislative
elections) and the German federal elections planned for 20131 will set the scene for two major shocks
destined to disrupt the balances of political power in these two pillars of Euroland and the European
Union. Their simultaneous timing and – despite reverse agendas – their similar effects, will provide further
evidence of the brutal changes to the national political and social fabric as a result of the global systemic
crisis. This double shock will also define the fundamental nature of Europe’s political leadership, when a new generation of world leaders is
faced, as a group, with a last chance to prevent the global geopolitical dislocation from morphing into widespread confrontation2.
The double shock could take the form of two cataclysmic announcements on the night of the French presidential and German legislative
elections: namely, that France’s Front National3 (National Front) is ahead of the UMP4 and that Germany’s Die Grünen5 (the Greens) are set to
beat the SPD6. They will send seismic tremors
through the political landscapes of their respective
Accordingly, in France, the party led by the current
president, sole master of the country’s political
destiny since 2007, with absolute control of all its
institutions, will find itself lagging behind a party
viewed as extremist and ultra-populist; a party that
President Sarkozy prided himself on having almost,
if not entirely, crushed when he came to power in
Whereas in Germany, the socialists, the junior
partner for over twenty years (in both the federal
coalitions and at the Länder, or regional, level) will
take over as kingmaker and decider of political
fortunes, or rather of future government coalitions.
For the first time, a “green” party, with its roots in
the baby-boomer movements of the 1970s, will
32 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
1. But they could take place earlier, since German political tradition gives the federal
chancellor some flexibility in setting the date of the legislative elections. As a result, many
legislatures have lasted only three years instead of the four years prescribed by the
Grundgesetz (Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany). Source : Wikipedia.
2. On this point, see how Franck Biancheri anticipates the outcome (along with two
alternative scenarios) in his latest work, “Global Crisis: the Path to the World After”.
Source: Ed. Anticipolis.
3. The Front National is the party of the far right and was formed by Jean-Marie Le Pen,
who is now handing over the leadership to his daughter Marine Le Pen.
4. The UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) is France’s ruling conservative party. Its
leader is President Nicolas Sarkozy, who controls both legislative bodies (National
Assembly and Senate) and therefore the French government.
5. Die Grüne (the Greens) are the ecologists, who were the minority party in the coalition
with the SPD when Gerhard Schröder was chancellor.
6. Le SPD is the socialist party and traditionally one of the two major government parties,
the other being its opponent, the CDU.
be able to make its mark on the government of a major country.
Clearly, there are specific national forces at work in each of the two countries, but the events that we anticipate
also reflect a number of broader trends affecting Europe as a whole.
France 2012: the National Front overtakes the UMP
In the case of France, 2010 brought increasing public awareness of a triple failure in both the UMP’s strategy and
its leader, Nicolas Sarkozy, resulting in the lowest approval ratings for a president since the founding of the Fifth
Republic in 19587. These ratings herald the electoral shock in 2012 :
failure to keep the main electoral promises regarding growth, employment and wages (summed up in the
famous election slogan: “Work more to earn more”). In fact, the global crisis dashed any hopes of reducing
unemployment (which rose instead), and the austerity measures are weighing heavily on the middle and
a government style that continually offends a large majority of the French, whilst also proving inefficient from
an operational standpoint. Three examples suffice :
- On foreign policy: France’s return to NATO, its increasing military engagement in Afghanistan, and, on
the diplomatic front, its almost total alignment with Washington. Those decisions were taken without ever
having been mentioned in the election campaign (regarding Afghanistan Mr Sarkozy had announced
quite the opposite) and without being put to the vote afterwards. Consequently, they shocked the public,
particularly a large portion of the traditional UMP electorate with its Gaullist attachment to national
independence. Indeed, that same electorate is enabling the candidature of dissident Gaullist Dominique
de Villepin8, prime minister under President Jacques Chirac and defender of France’s refusal to support
the American-British invasion of Iraq. In a recent poll of conservative voters he equalled the president’s
score of 15% as their preferred candidate in the 2012 elections9.
- On political, fiscal and social policy: the handling of the pension reform, with no real negotiation, and of
the “tax shield” 10 (both of which are opposed by large majorities of all groups, including the right wing)11
added to the general impression of failure to deliver on socio-economic problems, resistance to any form
of dialogue, and systematic favouring of the rich. The Bettencourt affair (concerning the heir to the L’Oréal
empire, the richest person in France), whose disclosures raised questions about the country’s leaders
and created legal chaos, had a strong impact on public opinion, particularly amongst the many blue-collar
workers who had transferred their allegiance from the National Front to the UMP at the 2007 elections.
The split between “them and us”, with the “rich and powerful” on one side and “the people” on the other, is
33 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
7. Source : Le Figaro,
8. The feud between
Dominique de Villepin
and Nicolas Sarkozy,
stoked by the obscure
«Clearstream Affair», is
so vicious that the former
is now clearly bent on
preventing the latter from
being re-elected in 2012,
whatever the cost. He
even declared recently
“Nicolas Sarkozy is one
of France’s problems”.
Source : Le Monde,
9. Source : L'Express,
10. This grand gesture
symbolised the beginning
of a five-year term, but
the government is now
obliged to consider abolishing it.
11. Sources : Le Figaro,
15/10/2010 ; Le Point,
08/10/2010 ; France 2,
now working against the UMP, whereas it had been the undoing of the Socialist Party in 2007 (the term “gauche caviar” was coined for
Parisian socialists who had broken their ties with “the people”).
- On the great republican principles: the government’s policies on education and treatment of minorities and immigrants are fostering
an increasing sense of exclusion. While different groups react to different policies, two trends emerge systematically: a feeling that
the government has betrayed many of the Republic’s core values12, that solid base of shared values underpinning modern France for
almost two centuries, a legacy not only of the Enlightenment but also of the Christian tradition. This last point was demonstrated by the
Catholic community’s vociferous protests against the treatment of the Roms. In short, on this question of principle, the UMP increasingly
resembles – including in the eyes of a traditional, more centrist portion of its electorate – a political movement that has abandoned the
country’s values. Indeed, the Nouveau Centre13 (New Centre), an offshoot of the UMP, intends to present its own candidate, Hervé Morin,
the current defence minister, at the first round of the 2012 presidential elections. That should knock a few more percentage points off the
UMP’s share of the vote in the first round.
a presidential style destined not to survive the crisis: the 2012
elections will see the UMP paying the price of the “beautiful
people” image that Mr Sarkozy has tried to project in office. We
shall never know whether, in a crisis-free world, that bling-bling
style, a mixture of modern glitter and time-honoured splendour,
might have managed to seduce the French. But the global
meltdown and the ensuing economic and social strife put paid
to any such attempts. Furthermore, the problem dogging the
UMP is that the French president seems unable to rid himself
off that image in the public’s mind. And with the socio-economic
crisis set to worsen in the run-up to 2012, that image is totally
counter-productive as a political message.
12. Note the failed attempt to appoint the president’s son as head
of the organisation running a key business district, La Defense; a
move that deeply shocked many conservative voters, who believe
that such honours must be earned. See Wikinews.
13. Which is striking an increasingly discordant note on those very
values (pensions, the Roms, etc.).
Approval ratings of French presidents from June 1981 to September
2010 (green: positive/red: negative)
Source: France-Inter, 09/2010
34 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
In summary, our team notes that if, as seems highly probable, Nicolás Sarkozy14 runs for a second presidential term in 2012, there is every
likelihood that the UMP will suffer a record defeat in the first round – abandoned by the centre-right15 and the Gaullists and also by the workingclass voters garnered from the National Front in 2007. And according to LEAP/E2020 the National Front16 will be the chief beneficiary of that
collapse for three main reasons :
most of the working-class voters who put Mr Sarkozy in
power had come from the National Front, which had scored
badly as a result. But disappointment with the Sarkozy regime
has driven those voters back to the NF, which performed very
well at the latest regional elections. This reversal explains the
French government’s increasingly radical stand on security
and immigration, in a vain bid to win back those supporters.
Indeed, UMP delegates are now preaching the virtues of an
alliance with the National Front at the legislative elections in
201217. The risk of a legislative rout, preceded by the loss
of the presidency just weeks before, is clearly preoccupying
a growing number of the ruling party’s members; hence the
interest in similar alliances in the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy
the spread of these European alliances between the socalled “traditional” right and the far right reflects a fundamental
trend18 that the crisis has served to accelerate. Socioeconomic
angst adds to the impact of simplistic political rhetoric with
its fondness for scapegoats (e.g. minorities and immigrants),
whereas the democratic credibility of the traditional right-wing
parties has been severely undermined by their collusion with
the powerful bankers at the root of the crisis and by their
management of unpopular measures. Sadly, in the political
arena, some things never change. And that will be all too clear
in France in 2012.
14. Of course, the UMP could present another official candidate, but that
would signal the implosion of the party itself, which was conceived as the
electoral machine of the French president, and a fierce internal power
struggle. If Prime Minister François Fillon were presented, his candidature
would continue to be penalised by two of the three failures outlined above
(only the “presidential style” would no longer be a handicap). But this is
unlikely to prevent the party from producing a number of rival candidates,
since François Fillon does not possess the electoral clout to assert his
15. Members of the centre-left, who had deserted their candidate Ségolène
Royal are already cured of any illusions about the current French president,
as evidenced by the failure of the “opening to the left”. This enterprise is
now consigned to oblivion, as the coming cabinet reshuffle will prove.
the emergence of a new generation of National Front
leaders or “Frontists”, embodied by “the boss’s daughter”,
35 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
16. Don’t forget that in 2002, the National Front astonished the world at
large by qualifying for the second round of France’s presidential elections,
displacing the Socialist Party.
17. Source : Le Figaro, 20/10/2012
18. On this point, it is worth re-reading the anticipation published by Franck
Biancheri in November 1998, entitled «Europe in 2009 could end up in the
hands of the post modern great grand sons of Hitler, Franco, Mussolini and
Petain». Several of the trends shaping the world today and fuelling the electoral shocks were already apparent twelve years ago.
Marine Le Pen. The promotion of a young woman increases this structure’s appeal to voters by softening and
modernising its image and distancing it from its founder’s inflammatory past. Marine Le Pen is typical of a rising
political generation in Europe, peopled by the grandsons of families with names like Wilder (Netherlands), Fini
(Italy), De Wever (Belgium), Strache (Austria), Vona (Hungary), Tudor (Romania), Kjaersgaard (Denmark), not
to mention the granddaughters of Pétain, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and others19.
Germany 2013: the Greens overtake the SPD
The political situation in Germany is clearly different, first because the shock that we anticipate will affect the Left
(and not the Right as in France); and second because it concerns two parties that currently form the opposition
(whereas in France one is the ruling party). In addition, the German case presents a change in the balance
between parties20 that have been partners at regular intervals
at the federal or regional levels for years. But it will still have
a radical impact on the country’s political equilibrium and will
deal an unprecedented blow to the SPD, Germany’s biggest
left-wing party since the dawn of the twentieth century. Two
factors have contributed equally to this state of affairs: the
collapse of the SPD and the increasing importance of the
19. For a complete picture
of this generation of the
European far right, see the
excellent map published in
L'Express on 11/10/2010.
20. Spiegel provides a useful guide to Germany’s political parties.
Our team has identified three key reasons for the SPD’s
plummeting electoral prospects :
Creeping paralysis of its organisation and programmes.
Like many socialist and social-democrat parties in Europe,
the SPD suffers from the inability to renew its structure, its
working methods and its political programme. It remains
a deeply bureaucratic machine, peopled by apparatchiks
there for the long term and destined to become uninspired
managers21 blocking any brave spark of modernisation in its
key political programme and proposals. The weight of the
SPD’s machinery precludes any meaningful involvement of
the rank and file in defining its policy, leading to a programme
increasingly disconnected from its electorate’s real needs.
That same problem afflicted France’s Socialist Party at the
36 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Voting intentions for the leading German political parties from 2005
to 2010 - Source: Spiegel, 2010
end of 1990s, heralding the routs of 2002 and 2007. Now the SPD is sinking into a similar phase of electoral
Inability to choose between the logical approach of a government party and the SPD’s fundamental culture
of opposition22 : the party paid dearly in terms of votes at two points in its recent history, when it opted for
“government realism”, whilst failing to rein in its principles. This first occurred during the era of Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder and the Hartz IV reform, which sacrificed low-wage earners and a portion of the welfare
state to the country’s competitive cause; the second instance was during the “Grand Coalition”, when the
SPD had to accept a raft of socioeconomic measures proposed by the CDU chancellor Angela Merkel. In
both cases, the party steadily alienated more and more of its working-class electorate, which transferred its
allegiance to Die Linke (“the Left”) whose founders included many SPD dissidents, such as Oskar Lafontaine.
l A loss of electoral identity: given the characteristics outline above, it is fair to wonder who is still voting for
the SPD today. It can no longer be the party of “the people”; it is too “governmental” to represent change; and
it is too “traditional” to seem “modern”.
Its current spell as the opposition was meant to give it a new lease of life, but no major change is apparent so
far. Our team sees no factors that could divert the SPD from its recent trajectory of electoral woes.
Quite the opposite, because while the SPD struggles, the Greens are riding high on a wave of popularity. Here
too, LEAP/E2020 sees three main reasons for the current trend :
l Especially in Germany, the Greens embody the generation of the baby boomers, which is now reaching the
peak of its demographic influence, given the virtual disappearance of the preceding generation23.
l the German Greens have maintained a strong culture of popular democratic opposition, enabling them to
participate in government (federal and regional) in a variety of coalitions but mainly with the SPD, though while
never severing its links with a voting public prepared to speak out on issues dear to the country’s heart:
nuclear power, war, referendum, and recently, Stuttgart 21,...
21. In a country where Angela Merkel sets the minimum
level of « necessary electoral charisma », this speaks
volumes about the dullness
of the SPD leaders. As a
test, all non-Germanaphone
GEAB readers should see
whether they can name the
current SPD leader.
22. Which is necessary, of
course, not only when you
are part of the opposition, as
is currently the case for the
SPD, but especially when
you claim to be a reformist
party, in a world dominated
by your adversary’s ideology.
23. And the extremely limited influence of the younger generations, owing
to the decline in births. In
2009, the birth rate registered yet another record low.
Source : Deutsche-Welle,
the relative collapse of two other minor parties, Die Linke (“the Left”) and the FDP, whose voters will swell the ranks of the Greens. In the
case of Die Linke, the departure of Oskar Lafontaine leaves the party with a more marginal profile. Many left-wing voters close to die Linke will
seek to vote usefully in 2013 while nevertheless retaining their fighting spirit. And rather than the SPD as portrayed above, it is the Green party
37 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
whose image comes closest to meeting those needs. The FDP, the right-wing liberal party, reproached by many
for being client-serving24, will see many of its voters migrating to the Greens, whose reputation as defenders of
civil liberties has enabled them to position themselves as left-wing liberals. Even so, they are now less likely
to defect to the CDU, since, with a view to poaching on traditional SPD electoral territory, Angela Merkel has
managed to get the message across to the media that her conservative party is adopting more of a socialdemocratic profile.
So for LEAP/E2020, Germany’s coming legislative elections will be marked by a brutal shock to the Left, with the
SPD, traditionally the German Left’s dominant party, reduced to a minor role in favour of the Greens. The regional
elections in the State of Baden-Wurtemberg on 27 March 2011 will be a good indicator of the developments
discussed here. Traditionally a bastion of the CDU party, this region is currently shaken by the uproar surrounding
the Stuttgart 21 project. Chancellor Angela Merkel is using the elections here as a test of her government, and
the Green Party (actively involved in getting this vast urban project in the centre of Stuttgart rejected) hopes
to make them flagrant proof of its own strong electoral appeal25. For the first time in this party’s history, it can
realistically hope of seeing its regional leader, Winfried Kretschmann, become Ministerpräsident of a German
Land. If he did, the German shock might even come earlier than planned, as the legislative elections would have
to be moved forward.
Could we be in for a double Franco-German shock in 2012, signalling that Euroland is becoming politically
38 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
24. And for its neo-liberal
promises of lower taxes,
inappropriate in a time of
crisis. Indeed, its approval
ratings have plummeted, as
the chart above shows.
25. The ecology party currently credited with 32%
of votes according to the
polls for this regional ballot,
compared with 33% for the
CDU-CSU. Source : Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace,
February 20, 2060 : Shoot again
by Olivier Parent (Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
FuturHebdo is the magazine of our immediate future. Taking the approach of press dispatches for a hypothetical
publication, FH proposes to explore our daily life such as it could be in a few decades. Created in 2006, FH
provides a weekly popularized prospectivist article, in the social, medical, economic, and political spheres…
(02.20.2060) The European police and Gendarmerie are being equipped with new Multi Task Handguns (MTH): firearms
(more specifically projectile-launchers, consisting of ceramic darts fired at high speed), Flashballs and high-voltage
incapacitating discharge generators. On default mode, these guns shoot a laser beam that stuns the attacker through
an electromagnetical discharge. If the gun detects a foam ball, it becomes a Flashball, and then, following a particular
process called genetic detection of the weapon-bearer, the gun becomes a firearm.
The police in the rest of the world have long since adopted this weapon. Europe hesitated over its adoption for historical
reasons: Taser-related scandals in the years 2010-2020 were a major impediment in the eyes of relevant government institutions.
A considerable investment in technological development was required in order to create this new weapon. For its detractors, it was a costprohibitive device, while, its promoters thought the price well worth it. Three technological challenges presented themselves. First of all, it was
necessary to find ways to set a highly powerful repeating energy source in a small space. Secondly, it was necessary to solve the problem of
generating an electromagnetic beam able to incapacitate without killing. The last challenge was the easiest: detecting the fingerprints of the
bearer of the weapon so that he becomes the only possible user. The authorities have declined to comment on the possibility of «bypassing”
this limitation, so that another policeman could use the weapon in the presence of a stronger force. The fear of seeing these weapons invade
the streets was an underlying concern.
This weapon increases the high-tech arsenal of the police forces (think of the Associated Intelligence, Bagheeras and other unmanned aircraft).
The police unions are celebrating the arrival of the MTH, given that they now have more ways in which to react to acts of violence. Human rights
NGOs have expressed concerns over this escalation of increasingly repressive tools. The fact that this weapon has been qualified as «nonlethal» by the police does not justify wild behavior like «shooting first, asking quesitons later,” one NGO spokesman warned.
In the middle of the twenty-first century, the old adage is still in force: the proper administration of justice is that which is rendered unnecessary.
39 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Does current English takes the place of medieval Latin?
by Christian Tremblay, president of the Observatoire Européen du Plurilinguisme (Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
It is often said that English is in the position Latin occupied in last centuries. In any case, this is certainly a good argument for the promotion of
English, which needs to be promoted. But although it can be irritating, it’s better to know it: this is just a promotional argument. The only aspect
that the American hegemony and the Roman Empire share is hegemony.
Let’s look back in History. Latin continued to be spoken in Western Europe until the 7th 8th centuries, that is, two centuries after the fall of the
Roman Empire. Latin disappeared gradually, dying in two to four generations. The main cause of this foretold death is none other than the
decline of cultural and educational structures. Subsequently, Latin would continue to be the language of the clerics and scholars. Theology,
Philosophy, Sciences texts were predominantly written in Latin until the nineteenth century, as well as university courses were held in Latin until
XVIII-XIX centuries. It is still being used nowadays in the fields of Law, Medicine, Religion, Pharmacology, Biology, Zoology, among others.
Let’s talk about what prevents any comparison between the evolution of the Roman language and the current situation of English in the world
-unless intention is purely advertising.
The Latin we are talking about belongs to no one, to no people, to no nation, and that is why it can legitimately achieve universal status.
l Apart from Medieval Latin, Latin is a language that remained very stable over time, coming to us without fundamental changes while
remaining a constant source of terminology renewal for European languages.
Latin coexisted -in literature and science- in vernacular languages, the only languages spoken by people. Descartes wrote his Discourse on
Method in French and then translated into Latin.
Until 18th century, German university courses were taught at Latin. Many writers continued to use it during the 19th century, along with other
languages. At that time, the texts written in Latin coexist with other texts, written mainly French and German. Until the ‘50s, scientific journals,
especially in mathematics, were published in several languages. A French article could be published in a German or American journal or vice
Some useful articles on the subject were published by Christian Houzel and Alexander Grandazzi in L’ArchiCube December 2010. In the same
journal, the French linguist Claude Hagège rightly points out the negative effects of exclusion of other languages in favour of English in scientific
«The need for English as the language of ‘official’ scientific publications is an artifice. This is just the slogan of a true cultural imperialism
imposed from North America. In Chicago, the bibliographic record that contains world scientific publications systematically excludes works that
40 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
are not written in English. It is easy to predict the consequences of such practice: many researchers who might occupy a prominent place on
the scientific scene will never be cited or recognized by the mere act of writing in another language. The others, those who publish in English,
perhaps less skilled and therefore more compliant, may be read widely.» (op. cit. page 37).
A clear example of this phenomenon is found in economic sciences in the last 30 years.
Jacques Attali points out in page 156 of his latest book, Tous ruinés dans dix ans? (Everybody ruined within ten years?), that many research
areas in Economics have been abandoned in the last thirty years, especially areas of study that could play an important role to confront this
crisis that leaves us without answers. Works seem to be directed more towards sophisticated exercises of witchcraft apprentice eager to test
his neoliberal theory on a real scale, with the aim of showing superiority of the model of absolute sovereignty of the market.
The current crisis is also an intellectual crisis which is inseparable from the political, economic and military hegemony, with all its ideological
and linguistic extensions. It is not a coincidence that Joseph Stieglitz makes an appeal for reforming of research and teaching of economics in
the United States.
Does the linguistic hegemony jeopardize scientific research?
A Manual of Political Anticipation, by Marie-Hélène
On many occasions during the last 25 years, the sphere of influence focused around the personage of Franck
Biancheri has, de facto, provided fertile ground for the correct anticipation of major historic events: the fall of
the Iron Curtain, the crisis of the European Commission, the collapse of the Dollar and the global systemic
crisis… are some of the most striking predictions in the story (which is still unfolding) of this sphere of influence whose very diverse features (European context, network organisation, political objectives, independent
state of mind…) allows one to suppose that they play some role, without doubt, in this « ability ».
ndeed, if one’s correct anticipation is the result of chance, the second can be good luck, but by a third, it becomes possible to hope that some rules and a rational approach are at play.
The work done within this sphere of influence has even forced the respect of academics, giving rise to a need
for a contemporary approach, which is the purpose of this manual.
Editions Anticipolis ISBN : 978-2-919574-00-1 price : 20,00 €
41 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
FICTION Jacques Spitz’s L’œil du Purgatoire
When the ability to foresee the future is born from
sickness and becomes a terrible burden…
A forgotten masterpiece of French literature, a classic of French futuristic fiction, L’œil du Purgatoire (translated into English as The Eye of
Purgatory), published for the first time in 1945 and reprinted (as well as magnificently illustrated) in 2008 by Editions de l’Arbre Vengeur, is an
eminently aesthetic and philosophical portrayal of the gift (or curse) to forsee the future, presented in all its tragedy.
Jean Poldonski, a failed painter on the brink of suicide, takes part in a scientific experiment wherein he is inoculated by a crazed laboratory
assistant with a bacillus which affects his eyes, allowing him to “see” objects and mortal beings as they will be in the future. Jean Poldonski, thus
transformed into an observer of the future, finds himself living in an “aged present,” a new temporal dimension whose nightmarish character
the author reveals as the hero realizes that the process is speeding up: what was at first an advance of a few minutes becomes days, weeks,
centuries. Poldonski’s strange journey «to the sources of causality» where «his footsteps leave no trace» makes him see the food on his plate
as it will appear after digestion, or see his family grow old before his eyes. He will be the impatient and ironic witness of his own death. . . before
finding himself staring at a sky empty of stars.
In this novel which is more “about anticipation» rather than an «anticipation novel,» Jacques Spitz has drawn an incredible picture of Time,
consumer of life and meaning, in the same spirit as that which Goya left us two hundred years earlier.
(Translation : Rosalba Ciancia Biondo)
“Spitz is first and foremost a novelist. He is also a logician, a moralist
and a disenchanted humorist whose work creates a bridge between
the pataphysics of Alfred Jarry and the post-surrealism of René
Dauma, Curval Philippe, Philippe Curval, Daniel Drode, Serge
Brussolo, Antonie Volodine or Alain Damasio. Along with the orthodox
aesthetics born from Verne and Rosny, this philosophy has always
nourished French science fiction, and the work of Spitz is one of the
most original expressions in this field. In this way, Spitz is indeed one
of our forgotten parents.” (Serge Lehman, quoted in the back cover
of L’œil du Purgatoire, Jacques Spitz, ed. L’Arbre Vengeur, 2008)
42 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP
Political Anticipation Magazine
MAP is published by the European Laboratory of Political
Anticipation (LEAP) with the collaboration of NewropMag
Publishing editor : Marie-Hélène Caillol
Special Editorial Advisor : Franck Biancheri
Editor : Michaël Timmermans
Contributors : Jérôme Defaix, Ludovic Follot, El JEm,
Casual partners : Olivier Parent (FuturHebdo),
Christian Tremblay (Observatoire Européen du Plurilinguisme)
Computer graphics Portraits MAP : Bruno Timmermans
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not miss the next issue of the Political Anticipation Magazine (July 2011)
do not hesitate to send us your comments :
Thanks for your comments which helped us to create improvements you have seen in MAP1 and MAP2
Texts are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a
letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Illustrations belong to the autors mentionned in the references.
43 MAP Winter 2011 - Published by LEAP