Wealth
Wealth, profit and speculation
1988 • 174 pages • Price : 18 €

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Summary

The worth of an object, e.g. iron ore, results from the concentration of productive resources that compares with the processes involved in sources to concentrate and mineralize rain water and transform it into drinking water. Money is the best of things when it represents real wealth and permits transactions, and the worst when it results from profit, i.e. from an increase of gain that corresponds to mere deception. "Advertising" makes for profit because it does not advertise the real advantages of a product and conceals its inconveniences. The market would be the best of things if it enabled one to compare effectively the competing types of riches offered, so that the best would win. Unfortunately it is systematically biased by "advertising", illegal agreements and economic war.
The pursuit of profit ruins the real value of objects and generates war between men: e.g. in the wreck of Erika an individual wanted to increase his profit by reducing transportation costs and therefore security, and he considerably impoverished the common heritage, that is the riches of the Atlantic coast. Contrary to the basic premise of political economy since Adam Smith there is no invisible hand that turns the sum of petty individual swindles into an increase of common riches. Finally the pursuit of profit, when detrimental to real wealth, is not a source of progress: the speculator compares with a ship's pilot who would burn up the ship and its load in order to fuel the boiler.
The lampoon against former president of the panel of "aggregation" examiners in philosophy, François Dagognet, occupies the second half of the book. It puts on trial a definite type of university culture, which has considered the works of the past as museum items since Victor Cousin, or else as springboards for careerists and not as guides for the man of today. That trial offers the opportunity for defining in the humorous mode what a philosopher and philosophy are. Are summoned before the court: L.F. Celine concerning A conversation with Professor Y, L. Infield concerning mathematician E. Galois, who was turned down at Ecole Polytechnique by reason of maths! P. Leroux versus V. Cousin, J. Ferrari versus "aggregation", Schopenhauer versus Hegel and lastly A. Giresse, the judge in the De Broglie case.

Excerpts / Classified by themes

Poetry

Puy Pariou

Philosophy

Against advertising, followed by Anti-publicity advertisement model
Profit is gained to the detriment of real riches, followed by Does advertising make one pederast?
Portrait of the rich
Kant, the foundation of democracy; Hegel, the foundation of totalitarianism and against Marx
Competitive examination "aggregation" in philosophy
The fear of death is the punishment of selfishness

Art criticism

Salvador Dali

Humour, contestation, provocation…

Portrait of a philosopher
Mania for meetings
Two colleagues
A sergeant in petticoat
Self-portrait caricature
Second letter to the minister (of Education)
Speech to teachers' meeting before resuming classes at N... Grammar School
Dear doctor D.
Careful! Work of Art
My "dunces' fair"

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