Since the release of Capital in the 21st Century earlier this year, its French author has consistently made headlines, although the latest media bombshell might be one he and adoring fans wish to forget. Thomas Piketty’s former lover, French Culture and Media Minister Aurelie Filippetti, has gone public about their stormy relationship, which includes a legal claim she made against the academic star for alleged physical abuse in February 2009.
Their often stormy relationship came to an end as a result of the complaint, which resulted in the detainment and formal charges filed against the Socialist Party darling on March 17 of that year. According to a party source close to both individuals, Ms. Filippetti dropped the charges in hopes her daughter, Clara, would be spared the trauma in finding out the true nature of Piketty’s personality. Her spokesman told reporters that Piketty had acknowledged his behavior and apologized and the two agreed to maintain a public silence on the matter, in the interest of the party and each others families.
When asked to comment on the recent revelations, Mr. Pikkety only confirmed that he had been arrested and was detained by police, but held to his innocence adding that the case had been closed five years ago and there was no legal basis to follow through for prosecution. His denial is being cited by fans of the best-selling author to hint that Ms. Filippetti’s recent statements are politically motivated, despite their shared philosophy.
A source within the Socialist Party rebuffed this charge, declaring that Thomas Piketty’s former lover had wrestled with the question of going public with his continued abuse, and has longed for him to be brought to justice. The source went on to say that the violence was extensive and on-going, bringing Ms. Filippetti to ponder suicide as a way out, before finally contacting the authorities in 2009.
The French author, often referred to as the “rock star” of the left, is said to have often resulted to violence to settle domestic problems and disagreements, to which critics of his economic policies point to as indicative of an ideology that discourages open debate and challenges of their policy directives.
The two became romantically involved in 2007, when Ms. Filippetti served as a spokeswoman for the Socialist Party, while Piketty was one of its leading economic advisers. An investigator officer stated that Ms. Filippetti was very distressed and stayed for hours on the night she filed formal charges. As a result of the medical investigation performed on her, French police then detained Mr. Piketty. Following his release, the “left-wing rock star” made a statement that the charges were “stories from the gutter.”
While these latest accusations will most likely do little to undermine his supporters admiration, it does possibly shed light on the motivations of he and the far-left as a whole. Critics of socialism have maintained a long-held belief that that the ideology is motivated less on sound policy and a desire to improve the lives of the individual as it is one rooted on an emotionally driven campaign of anger and envy. They point to its first major success, the Bolshevik-led Russian Revolution of 1917 as a prime example. Whereas many historians agree that the Romanov government was ineffective, they also contend that the factions led my Vladamir Lenin had no practical economic policy upon gaining power and that such violent actions, such as the murders of the Czar and his family, were gestures designed to deflect attention from this and appease the radical elements within the Bolshevik army. Modern critics cite similar motivations in Piketty’s legion of fans, who roundly cheer his calls to place heavy tax burdens on successful individuals, while remaining conspicuously silent on how these measures will improve the lives of those at the bottom-rung of society.
At the time of the charges, this was merely a matter of a sad end to a whirlwind romance of two of the French left’s rising young stars. Given the success that Thomas Piketty’s leftist manifesto, his former lover’s public disclosure of alleged on-going physical abuse is sure to be a lightning rod for further vocal warfare between conservative critics and left-wing devotees, a war ignited more than a century ago when his forerunner, Karl Marx, lit up the charts with his own best-seller.
By Paul M Winters