Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Atos Represents Global Capitalism, not France!

Crippen! Lose the French stereotype!

Mostly I enjoy Crippen's work. He, usually, manages get his point across in this medium using comedy to temper the political message.

This cartoon, in my opinion, fails because he's resorted to stereotyping in a shallow way. The cartoon portrays Atos as a beret-wearing-onion-selling-Frenchman, armed with a model guillotine.

Why the need to stereotype this multi-national company (it operates in 42 different states) as French? Are the French especially noted for their aggressive approach to capitalism; are they more rapacious than, say, the Dutch (whose Origin BV came together with Atos to form 'Atos Origin' in 2000)?

The point is that Atos Origin is a capitalist venture, and thus doesn't show loyalty to any one state; no, it shows loyalty only to profit. Capital(ism) isn't bound by national boundaries, flags or anthems; it moves wherever it can to find, or create, the optimum conditions to make maximum profit - for the most part adopting the doctrine of following the line of least resistance (resistance is usually any factor that impedes the maximisation of profit, wage bills, taxes, etc).

So Crippen, there's no need to portray Atos as a Frenchman, or French, a pig in a pin-stripe suit would have more than conveyed the message - that is greed breeds greed; and, the pinnacle of greed is the total control of all processes, including appeals.  

Anyway, the representation of the French onion seller is false as he doesn't have a bicycle nor is he wearing a Breton smock!  

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