Les concours approchent, la pression monte, la tension est palpable… et cette année, personne ne devrait (a priori) échapper aux oraux de langues, présents dans toutes les écoles, et qu’il faudra dès les écrits terminés commencer à préparer (garde donc cet article en mémoire). Mais en réalité, il n’y a aucune raison de stresser. Ci-dessous, tu trouveras sans aucun doute LA solution à tes éternels problèmes en colle et la clé pour réussir ton oral d’anglais.
Rappels de méthodologie
Avant de te présenter une colle d’anglais entièrement rédigée, commençons par un bref rappel sur la façon générale dont il faut procéder pour un oral d’anglais.
Tout d’abord, les 20 minutes de préparation doivent être efficacement utilisées : une lecture du texte Stabilo en main s’impose tout d’abord, puis la réalisation d’un résumé et d’un commentaire, dans l’ordre que tu souhaites, sachant qu’il vaut toujours mieux passer plus de temps sur le commentaire, mieux valorisé.
L’oral doit suivre différentes étapes :
- une accroche pour commencer et mettre dans le contexte ;
- pour un article présentant un événement d’actualité : une description de l’article (Qui ? Quoi ? Comment ? Où ?) suivie des éventuelles réactions citées par l’auteur ;
- pour une chronique/une tribune/un essai/un article d’opinion : une présentation des arguments de l’auteur avec un bref résumé de son raisonnement ;
- une transition entre le résumé et le commentaire, avec la problématique soulevée à la fin de cette transition ;
- le commentaire (qui prend la forme d’un essai mais à l’oral : il doit donc défendre une opinion) ;
- une conclusion, avec si possible une ouverture.
De façon générale, quelques conseils en vrac :
- éviter de faire de trop longues descriptions et de la paraphrase ;
- se concentrer sur le but suivi par l’auteur de l’article ;
- éviter d’utiliser tout le temps say mais plutôt d’autres tournures plus élaborées (cf. ci-dessous).
Expressions et tournures :
- The journalist is sceptical/questions/contests/supports/favours/endorses/concedes/agrees/attacks.
- Concession : at first sight.
- Assessing progress (intro) : the good news is that, this is significant progress, despite all the progress that has been made, more than x years after… we are now.
- Examples: datas and studies have shown…, but when it comes to…, the figures are less/more encouraging/nowhere is the problem more obvious than.
- Analysis examples: this suggests, essentially this means that.
- Introducing other dimensions: in focusing too much on sb is ignoring, but this is only half of the equation.
- Rejecting solutions: this strategy has a poor track record, it doesn’t hold waters.
- Proposing solutions: the most effective way to adress the problem would be, it is imperative that, the time has come for.
Of late the world’s older democracies have begun to look more vulnerable than venerable. In recent years political economists have argued that rising inequality in the Anglo-American world must eventually threaten the foundations of democracy; a book on the theme by Thomas Piketty, a French economist, has sold well over a million copies. That argument channels a time-worn view, held by thinkers from Karl Marx to Friedrich Hayek, that democracy and capitalism may prove incompatible.
As powerfully as such arguments are made, the past century or so tells a different story. The club of rich democracies is not easy to join, but those who get in tend to stay there. Since the dawn of industrialisation, no advanced capitalist democracy has fallen out of the ranks of high-income countries or regressed permanently into authoritarianism. This is not a coincidence, say Torben Iversen of Harvard University and David Soskice of the London School of Economics, in their recent book, “Democracy and Prosperity”. Rather, they write, in advanced economies democracy and capitalism tend to reinforce each other. It is a reassuring message, but one that will face severe tests in years to come.
Economists and political theorists have imagined all sorts of ways capitalist democracies might fail. The oldest is the worry that grasping masses will vote to expropriate the wealth (hard-earned or not) of entrepreneurs and landowners—and without secure property rights there can be no capitalism. Hayek thought that the governments of the early 20th century, in responding to the concerns of the masses, had over-centralised economic decision-making, a road that led eventually to totalitarianism. Other thinkers followed Marx in reckoning that it was the greed of the capitalists that would do the greatest harm. Joseph Schumpeter feared that as firms grew more powerful, they might push a country towards corporatism and clientelism, winning monopoly rights that would generate profits they could share with politicians. Mr Piketty and others say that inequality naturally rises in capitalist countries, and that political power becomes concentrated alongside economic power in an unstable way. Other economists, like Dani Rodrik, have argued that full participation in the global economy forces a country to give up a degree of either national sovereignty or democracy. Lowering barriers to trade means harmonising trade and regulatory policies with other countries, for instance, which reduces each government’s ability to accommodate domestic preferences.
But if capitalism and democracy are such uneasy bedfellows, what explains their long co-existence in the rich world? Mr Iversen and Mr Soskice see capitalism and democracy as potentially mutually supporting, with three stabilising pillars. One is a strong government, which constrains the power of large firms and labour unions and ensures competitive markets. Weaker countries find it harder to resist the short-term expediency of securing power by protecting monopolies. The second is a sizeable middle class, forming a political bloc that shares in the prosperity created by a capitalist economy. A bargain is struck in which the state provides mass higher education on generous terms, while encouraging the development of frontier industries that demand skilled workers. Middle-class households thus reckon that economic growth is likely to benefit them and their children. (Rising inequality is not a threat to capitalist democracies, the authors reckon, because middle-class voters care little about the poor and do not support broader redistribution that could raise their tax bills.)
Providing the education, infrastructure and social safety net that support a prosperous middle class requires substantial tax revenue. For the system to hold a third pillar is needed: large firms that are not very mobile. Before recent rapid globalization that was no problem. Yet even now firms are more rooted than commonly thought. Though multinationals are adept at shifting production and profits around the world, in a knowledge economy leading firms cannot break their connections to networks of skilled individuals like those in London, New York or Silicon Valley. Their complex business plans and frontier technologies require the know-how developed and dispersed through these local networks. That increases the power of the state relative to firms and allows it to tax and spend.
From The Economist, 2019
Joe Biden’s election in the USA last year has put an end to four years of a turbulent presidency with Donald Trump. But the campaign and the troubles among the results of the election have thrown a light on how seek is currently the American democracy, undermined by strong inequalities. The same analysis could be elaborated with other countries of the English-speaking world : the period of Brexit was very tough for British democracy, as well as the protests in Honk Kong against the Chinese authoritarian regime trying to make Honk Kong’s democracy in peril.
Le résumé (attention il s’agit ici d’une chronique)
In this article of the Economist the threat of wobbly democracies is at the heart of the debate and the journalist begs the question of the relevance of analyzing collapsing democracies with the influence of the capitalism : the main argument is that according to economists the growing inequalities may prove that capitalism and democracy are incompatible.
Indeed, theorists have imagined the different ways capitalism and democracy will die together, arguing that both systems can not be compatible. According to Schumpeter for example, big companies are going to become so rich and powerful that they will be able to share power and profits with politicians. The risk is the reaction of the masses who will vote to destroy private property, which means the end of capitalism. Another theory developed by Thomas Piketty claims that capitalism naturally generates inequalities and so that way, economic and political power could be held in the same hands, which means in fact the end of democracy.
But history has not yet confirmed such theories. What explains the coexistence between capitalism and democracy is that they tend to support each other in rich countries thanks to a strong government, a middle class that reaps the benefits of capitalism, if it is well-educated, and big firms that develop local networks.
Although the text doesn’t express a clear opinion on the debate of capitalism and democracy, the objective seems to be to warn the reader that the three pillars turn the relationship into love could not work eternally, as inequalities are putting a smoke in the wheel of such an harmony. This raises the question of the most effective way to address the problem, and overall if capitalism should be changed to save democracy?
Capitalism is still not able to cope with the problem itself created and it teems urgent to change it.
With the current compounding gap between rich and poor capitalism is digging is own grave. Even worse it could bring the democratic system to its fall. Indeed, as Stephan Hawking stressed, the low trust of the masses in the corrupt elites could pave the way for more populism, as an increasing discontent is voiced against the top 1% that owns one third of the world’s wealth and appears to be the only winner of the current global economic system. Moreover, capitalism favors social immobilism ; inly few women managed to break the glass ceiling and scandals in some American universities shed light on how minorities can be discriminated during their careers.
That’s why capitalism should be changed to reduce inequalities and give a chance to everybody. Some better “Robin Hood policies” should be implemented, not by taxing the benefits of the firms, which prevent from investing, but by taxing the rich to invest for example in real health systems. For example, inequalities in the USA have never been so high since the beginning of the covid crisis as poorest people have had less access to good care. Government have also a big role to play in investing in education and lowering tuition fees in top universities that seem to be a privilege of the rich. Their role is finally to regulate finance that can trigger disastrous crises and to come up with a long-term solution for the climate issue, like Joe Biden wants to.
This is how capitalism should be changed to really face democratic problems. It is not because there is nothing better to take up the slack that we should.