The first obligation of equality is fairness
— french writer
We go through things without touching them. We address the issues at length and profusely, but not in depth. I don’t know if it’s a cultural issue or if they don’t want to let us get into the essence of the problems. In any case, that is the situation. Overexposure does not ensure overcomprehension. That is why I have not been shocked by the fleeting, frivolous step that we have taken on an issue that has been presented as the arrogance or foolishness of a football player -Mbappé is his name-, when it is actually a debate of background that has been in the public opinion of several countries for months and that affects a principle formulated by John Stuart Mill, called equal sacrifice. Others speak of fairness in the war effort. When the player responds with bravado, he does so because the journalists ask him about something that has been discussed for months in France. With the chuflas regarding the “sailing car” and a controversy over football clubs, we have dealt with an issue that the French minister considers should be regulated by the EU and that involves a specific analysis of whether the wealthier classes can ignore the “mobilization” for their money and if the defense effort in this war is going to fall on the usual. It would not be the first time.
The beginning of the public scandal has been social network accounts that have been dedicated to monitoring the movements of the private planes of some French, Canadian or North American billionaires. As you know, there are applications that allow you to verify the movements of planes and ships and that includes private ones. This is how public opinion discovered that the French media tycoon Bolloré had flown five times in one day (Paris-Palermo-Nice-Paris-Toulon-Paris) or that during the month of July the five grand patrons, that is, Bolloré, Decaux, Pinault, Bouygues and Arnault had emitted 520 tons of CO2, the equivalent of the emissions of an ordinary French citizen for 52 years! We do not have data in Spain, nobody has worried about it, but I can tell you that we are the fourth European country in private flights.
The truth is that private flights have suffered an exceptional increase after the pandemic throughout Europe. The rental of private jets already accounts for 17% of European flights and is increasing. Now not only do those who can buy their own plane fly like this, but hourly rentals (about €3,500 an hour) are breaking records. They fly to do business or for medical reasons, but also because of the “need for comfort” that has been detected by many of those who can afford it. In Roman paladino it means that as massification has increased in commercial aviation, not even the class business It gives them the exclusivity they want and can afford. Figures from the European Business Aviation Association indicate that if in 2019 business aviation accounted for 9%, in 2021 it had risen to 20%. And it keeps going up.
Faced with this issue, the French Minister of Transport touched on an important focus of reflection: “When every French person makes efforts in their day to day, those who can do the most and those who pollute the most must also act”. In this way, he formulated a human condition that is difficult to deny and that consists in the fact that we are a species called to cooperate, yes, but we humans cooperate if others cooperate and we stop cooperating if we understand that others are not doing their part. It is not, therefore, exclusively a matter of whether pollution from private jets accounts for only 4% of emissions, compared to 71% from commercial jets, as the sector alleges and as supporters of the parrot’s chocolate formula will repeat, which used over and over again to deny efforts to elites. What underlies in the background is the way in which each one is going to collaborate to achieve energy savings and to manage that end of abundance that Macron advocates and that is a reality on a scale.
The relevant debate, the one that is not taking place in Spain and the one that some political specters will try to avoid, has to do with the issue of equal sacrifice. Although it is a principle related to the fiscal effort, it is exactly applicable to the management of the current energy effort: “Just as governments should not make any distinction between people and classes in terms of the requests they can make, the sacrifices that requires them to pressure everyone equally as much as possible, ”established Mill. It is what I translated into popular language: it is about equitably distributing the shit. It is evident that this supposes that the discomfort, the sacrifice, must be equitable. For the upper classes, the price of gas is not going to be cold and the price of gasoline is not going to prevent them from moving, but it would be a hell of a lot to have to stop wasting energy and polluting on their private flights. It doesn’t matter that deleting them won’t fix the problem. Nor is it that a citizen leaves the steaks he is going to get that the farts of the cows and their consumption of water screw up the planet. But this is an effort of humanity and either we are all screwed or the boiler will explode. That is why the response of the brat Mbappé has stirred up the French.
Consulting the other day about the lack of equity that Spanish families that have a community boiler are paying much more expensive for gas than those that have an individual boiler – they tell me that the Government is aware of it, but that it is difficult to fix,! take fucking unequal! – someone told me: “it’s because we’re at war”. I take it. We are in war. But no one would tolerate now that, in the event of a mobilization of human troops, the rich managed to avoid having to take up a weapon by paying. Until the arrival of the compulsory levy with Carlos III – ours, you will see that I have managed to obviate the British nightmare in this column – the elites could avoid going to war by paying. If you fought in the Cuban War, you could get rid of it by paying 6,000 reais, the equivalent of 4 years of salary for a worker. Who went to Cuba? Well, a great-grandfather of mine, for example, like so many of his.
Would they tolerate that now? Well, in this energy war, in which it is not only about not being able to pay, but about not being able to get energy, the sacrifice has to be equal, the fucking similar. Not taking it into account will accelerate the defection that Putin hopes. It will be what he wants, but he has read the Russian classics and knows the human soul.