15.2.10

"La Mutualité"

All legal residents in France are insured for health care and pensions by a system called “La Sécurité Sociale” (Social Security), created in 1945. Costs are covered by employees and employers, but today (fortunately) also unemployed benefit from the health care advantages. Employers and labour unions jointly control the funds under state supervision. Some 75% of the health expenditures are covered by this system. For the difference between the 100 and the 75%, employees are covered to a quite high extent by complementary insurance systems via different mutual funds, once again with costs shared between employers and employees. (Private insurances are of course also possible.)

“Mutualism”, built on solidarity between its members with common funds, may be differentiated from as well capitalism as socialism – some kind of “compromise”. It started to appear already during the 18th century, but it’s of course to a large extent linked to the 19th century labour movements and the industrial revolution. Well structured since some 100 or 150 years, well before the “Sécurité Sociale”, there are today several hundred mutual organisations in France, acting in insurance, banking...

These different French non-profit mutual bodies and their central organisation have some kind of “home” in Paris, in this building from 1930, in a perfect “art deco” style: “La Maison de la Mutualité”.

Since its creation it has been the place for a lot of political and social meetings, but it has also a big concert hall and many artists like to perform here, maybe sometimes also for political reasons. Charlie Chaplin has registered some film music and a surprising mixture of artists has performed here, including Jacques Brel (his last concert), Herbert von Karajan, Peter Gabriel, Björk...

... and there is aslo a nicely "art deco" decorated restaurant.




32 comments:

Thérèse said...

I had no idea that it could look so modern and so pleasant... a very classical Art Déco.

Corine said...

Peter,
You are a wonderful teacher as well as a visual person. Love the staircase and stained glass. Thanks again for the info :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
V Rakesh said...

I was told that France had one of the best systems for public healthcare, which is state controlled. Your post has made me wonder, and certainly has taken me many steps closer to reality!

Brilliant pics!

claude said...

C'est un endroit que je ne connaissais pas du tout mais dont quand même j'avais entendu parlé. Merci de me le faire découvrir.
J'aime assez la déo.

Olivier said...

magnifique cet immeuble, je suis passe souvent a cote, mais je suis jamais rentre, maintenant je regrette.

hpy said...

Comme c'est joli, beaucoup plus joli que les comptes de a sécurité sociale!

alice said...

Beaucoup plus chouette que les bâtiments de la sécu!

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» knew neither of the building nor the story until reading this post.

«Louis» really likes the Art Deco style. Carolyn at Oakland Daily Photo has been doing a series on Art Deco buildings in Oakland.

Adam said...

I've seen a few concerts here and it's a great venue, but I've never noticed a restaurant before.

The offices are possibly going to close soon - there's a meeting tonight for those who are interested in saving the original function of this building!

Cheryl said...

When I began reading your post I thought you might be heading towards a comparison of the French and US health care systems. I'm glad it wasn't! That's a really beautiful building. Art deco is so pleasing to look at.

James said...

I hope to go to Paris at the end of this year and your posts are very helpful for me. Thank you for showing the not so touristy places. The maps are also a great help.

Bob said...

Who covers people that don't work or contribute to the 'fund'?

ConnieMotz said...

Love the photographs!

Catherine said...

Une façade assez austère vue de l'extérieur, et une décoration si raffiné à l'intérieur. Ca gagne la Mutualité !

dutchbaby said...

Hello Peter,
I arrived here via Ruth. I adore art deco and you present a visual feast here. I adore the stair banisters and the stained glass screen.

I am so saddened that the US has not figured out how to break the political logjam that paralyzes our ability to provide adequate health care for our population.

Thank you for telling us about the French health care and for showing us these stunning images.

Cergie said...

J'adore, c'est simple et de bon gout et me fait penser à un tableau de Klimt encadré par du bois et du métal ; ce qui est plus beau que les cadres des impressionnistes au Musée d'Orsay

Ruth said...

The building is splendid! Such heaven to go to work there.

Funny, I just listened to a Jacque Brel song . . .

JM said...

Art Deco at its best! Just wonderful!

Peter said...

Thérèse:
I was also positively surprised. Recently renovated as I understand! :-)

Corine:
Thanks for these compliments! :-)

V Rakesh:
I believe the system is comparatively very good, but nothing is perfect! :-)

Peter said...

Claude:
Content que tu aimes (assez) le décor! :-)

Olivier:
L'immeuble est toujours là! :-)

hpy:
En effet! :-)

Peter said...

Alice:
C'est clair! :-)

Louis la Vache:
Thanks for the link! :-)

Adam:
As I understand, it's the question whether some of the facilities (medical care) will remain owned by the Mutual organisations or become "private". :-)

Peter said...

Cheryl:
No comparison needed I believe; we know that ther are differences! Yes, art deco can be very nice ... like here! :-)

James:
I would be happy to join you when you come! :-)

Bob:
It's payed by all of us, some kind of solidarity! :-)

Peter said...

ConnieMotz:
Thanks! and thanks for your visit here! :-)

Catherine:
En effet! Une bonne surprise! :-)

dutchbaby:
Thanks for finding me (thanks Ruth)! Yes, there are clear differences, generally accepted in Europe. ... and yes, the art deco is very nicely represented here! :-)

Peter said...

Cergie:
En effet, ceci est un bon exemple d'art deco "at its best"! :-)

Ruth:
Nice, even if you don't work! The restaurant for example! :-)

JM:
I clearly agree! :-)

ParisBreakfasts said...

Another divine place to visit next time...
Merci
Carolg

Peter said...

ParisBreakfasts:
The list is getting longer and longer again! :-)

Jeanie said...

Whenever I visit, I learn something new. That's one thing I LOVE about coming here!

Nathalie said...

Je n'avais jamais réalisé que la maison de la mutualité avait une aussi belle architecture art déco !

Peter said...

Jeanie:
Good! May I then hope that you will back here often? :-)

Nathalie:
Pour moi aussi, une surprise! :-)

Trotter said...

Many meetings at la Mutualité; late sixties, early seventies... ;)

Peter said...

Trotter:
Where have you NOT been? :-)