Not my tragedy

  • The other day, standing in a bar looking at a photo of the Notre Dame cathedral in flames on the front page of the newspaper, I had to stop myself from laughing with joy. Unlike most, I see the cathedral as a monument to the many crimes of the Catholic Church: organized sexual abuse of minors, the perpetuation of a patriarchal society, the social rejection of minority groups such the LGTBQ community, and the amassing of tens of billions of E taken predominantly from the poor. Others may see it as an architectural wonder, or a historical monument, but I prefer to focus on the human impact of our physical infrastructure, not its high-minded and often unfulfilled intentions.


2019ko maiatzaren 30an - 09:59
Zarata mediatikoz beteriko garai nahasiotan, merkatu logiketatik urrun eta irakurleengandik gertu dagoen kazetaritza beharrezkoa dela uste baduzu, ARGIA bultzatzera animatu nahi zaitugu. Geroz eta gehiago gara, jarrai dezagun txikitik eragiten.

That said, if the Catholic Church wants to rebuild, that’s their business. What’s truly reprehensible is the flurry of self-serving do-gooders who wasted no time in trying to use the “tragedy” for their own interests. French billionaires started donating millions of euros almost immediately, and just as quickly began suggesting that their “gifts” be 90% tax deductible. While these individuals claim that “in many other countries, we’d be congratulated”, they are simply hiding a twisted scheme where they make money, polish their public image, and screw over everyone else. Business as usual.

If Mr. Pinault’s 200 million euro donation is given a 90% deduction, this means a 180 million euros aren’t being given to the French government in taxes. In other words, the French government is being forced to pay 180 million euros to the Catholic Church, a tax-exempt organization with tens or hundreds of billions of E globally. At the same time, Mr. Pinault gets to promote his image as a benefactor to society.

Today’s world is one in which the rich have consolidated more wealth than ever in modern history, legally or extralegally have avoided paying taxes, and have branded themselves as the saviors of the planet for throwing crumbs our way. A single day after the fire, close to a billion E had been raised from people such as this. For a rooftop.

The true lesson is how easy it would be to fix today’s problems if the rich really wanted. Pinault alone has 26 billion euros that he is welcome to hand out on the streets. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t. The lesson is that these people can, but won’t give back the money that they have amassed. If we want it, we’ll have to take it. The government doesn’t seem willing to do so, but maybe the yellow vests can? They’re the only one’s paying attention to the real tragedies in French society, and a lack of churches most definitely isn’t one of them.


Kanal honetatik interesatuko zaizu: English
2023-01-18 | ARGIA
ARGIA: Worker-Owned Basque centenary Media
Independent journalism with solidarity-based subscription model

ARGIA is a news media funded in 1919 in Pamplona and published in Basque language. At first religious – called Zeruko Argia, "light of heaven” –, forbidden during the fascist dictatorship in Spain from 1936 on, in the 1950s and 1960s it had managed to come... [+]


2020-02-07 | Paul Iano
The future of the Basque economy: labor power or tech parasites

In this series of articles, it should now have become clear that venture capital has created a system in which two types of companies become global giants: companies with bad business models but good marketing, or good business models and horrible impacts on society. This... [+]


2020-01-29 | Paul Iano
The Coming Tech Economy
The creative destruction of peer to peer

One of the confusing aspects of the tech industry is that from a distance all the companies can seem the same. They use apps, have similar design styles, are based in hip urban centers, and strangely have millions of dollars without making any money. In part, this series is... [+]


2020-01-16 | Paul Iano
The reason Telepizza won't pay minimum wage: Undercover again

After publishing Glovolizacion, a three-month undercover investigation into the working conditions of Glovo riders, I received almost entirely positive feedback from the general public and riders alike. Most riders felt ignored and exploited, and most readers were interested in... [+]


2019-07-21 | Paul Iano
Who is Glovo?

This is the third in a four-part investigative series examining Glovo’s business model and its relationship with the world it operates. Based on public statements by Glovo’s founders, this article will contextualize their world-view and the changes they hope to... [+]


2019-07-11 | Paul Iano
Glovo and its Restaurants - Is It Good For Restaurants?

Almost all of the negative public attention that has recently been plaguing Glovo has been focused on the exploitation of their riders. This a welcome change of perspective but it also leaves out a significant part of the story: the restaurants that “collaborate”... [+]


2019-07-11 | Paul Iano
Glovo and its Riders - An Unbalanced Relationship

This is the first in a four-part series that will examine Glovo’s business model and its relationships with the world in which it operates. Based in extensive research into the company’s public image and dozens of interviews with Glovo “riders” in my... [+]


2019-07-01 | Paul Iano
What Happens When Guns Are Everywhere? Where Vox's ego will take us

If anyone is likely to have a gun at any time, society and daily life feel the consequences. Police shot first and ask questions later, and the possibility of being shot for absolutely no reason becomes a practical reality of going to work, going out with friends, and simply... [+]


2019-06-26 | Paul Iano
Hiding Profits in Fun: Amazon's Gamification of Work

In my Larrun article Glovalization, I attempted to call attention to the way that Glovo tries to pit its employees – oops, contract laborers – against each other in a zero-sum competion and a game-like application, and I predicted that this type of ingrained... [+]


2019-06-20 | Paul Iano
Glovo Kills: The True Price of a Pizza

Back when Glovo was a small company that no one had heard of in a few major Spanish cities, one of its first riders, Isaac Cuende, was hit by a car during a delivery. According to his account of the incident, the first question the company asked him was “are you carrying... [+]


2019-05-31 | Paul Iano
The double standard

Two major events have rocked the USA in recent weeks. First, the arrest in London of Julian Assange for allegedly helping Chelsea Manning in an effort to crack a government password . Second is the final, albeit redacted, Muller report, a long-awaited legal reckoning of... [+]


2019-05-03 | Paul Iano
Glovolization
The rise of Glovo and the decline of labor

Since its founding in 2015, Glovo has been expanding across the Iberian Peninsula and the world so quickly that we have not had the time to appropriately react and evaluate its impacts on our lives. The company uses a business model and marketing strategy that were first... [+]


2019-04-05 | ARGIA
Murder of environmentalist Gladys Del Estal: reward as punishment?

Environmentalist Gladys Del Estal was killed by a member of the Civil Guard at an anti-nuclear festival in 1979. The officer was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but shortly afterwards before serving his sentence he was awarded a medal. Del Estal has become a symbol of... [+]


Errigora: Navarrese asparagus to promote Basque

Errigora has started its annual campaign in favour of producing food and consuming it in the Basque Country under the slogan "Five years feeding what we love". Five years have gone by since they started the initiative. They use part of the profits which they make from... [+]


2019-03-06 | ARGIA
Pilota champion Bixintxo Bilbao was sanctioned for waving the Basque flag

The news spread around the Basque pilota world like gunpowder: “Bixintxo Bilbao has been punished for bringing out the ikurrina (the Basque flag) on the podium”. He was the world champion pilota player in 2018 along with partner Peio Larralde.


Eguneraketa berriak daude