Most media outlets open their pages to columnists∙se∙s, people from « civil society, » with a certain amount of notoriety, and bringing original points of view, sometimes a little disturbing, but not too much, in relation to the newspaper’s editorial line. At Kairos, the editorial staff can count, in a similar way, on allies who have been contributing articles to each issue for a long time, such as our deans Paul Lannoye and Jean-Pierre L. Collignon. Their analyses, often caustic, bring elements of reflection that undeniably enrich our own perceptions on what is good for the positive evolution of the society we hope for.
The duplicity of a columnist in Le Soir
Our honored colleague Le Soir, also has a series of columnists, one of the most present being the journalist and essayist Jean-François Kahn. This one wrote this Monday, May 12, a text entitled » In May 40, they were already writing this … ». Let’s face it, this text stunned us with a perverse rhetoric that, skilfully, without seeming to touch it, intended to show that all ecologists, all supporters of de-globalization, all supporters of a relocation of many activities, especially agricultural ones… were… fascists.
How can we arrive at such a contradiction? And well going to extract in the years 1940 of the bits of sentences of intellectuals or politicians close to the collaboration or the extreme right, not too much opposed to the Nazis who invaded France in that time. If we compare these words with those we hear today in a completely different context (although also in the form of a brutal economic downturn), our valiant octogenarian takes exception. He discovers, horrified, » of the debauchery of tribunes renewing, in the press of the left, with all the radicalities (…) and utopian dreams, including the most sympathetically delirious, of the post-catastrophes and, in the press of the right, with all the declinist impulses which push to the hatred of oneself (of one’s own country) until resembling with commas the innumerable pensums of intellectuals who, after May 40, called for the jettisoning of the Republic and for the installation of the regime of Vichy As if it were an opportunity to be seized « .
Kahn should have realized that » comparison is not reason « . If the collabo writer, Paul Morand says in Paris under curfew » Ah, to find the studious evenings, the bed at 9 o’clock, the death of the noise, the air of the countryside in Paris, the reappearance of the moon, the rehabilitation of the stars, the disappearance of the publicity « Does this imply that those who today rejoice in a similar positive effect of confinement (alongside its disastrous sides) defend the same values as the Petainist? The answer is obviously no, but Kahn’s goal is only to instill suspicion: « There’s no smoke without fire, right? »
Jacques Chardonne, a collaborationist during the war and considered an extreme right-wing author, said: » We are finally disconnected from the Anglo-Saxon world and the old form of trading. I had built a world for myself, a bourgeois, liberal, artistic society. I realized my mistake. « . All those who consider that the Anglo-Saxon neo-capitalist model is the creator of ever greater inequalities and ecological destruction would therefore be on the same side?
At the same time
After spilling his venom, Kahn ends with a stunning about-face: » We said it in 1940, and we say it again: we must radically change our model. Down with the old system. No to liberalism. No to globalism. Changing the model? We’re right. Cold. But experience tells us that it is not necessarily in the depths of a disaster that it must be repeated. « . It sounds like some of the criticism directed at the person who asked the Prime Minister an « inconvenient » question: maybe it’s a good question, but not there, not now.
One must appreciate the skill of the character: playing on all fronts, passing himself off as a wise man neither of the left nor of the right… but always aiming his sharp arrows in the same direction: in 2008, he wrote a short book entitled Faut-il dissoudre le PS? His answer was: yes!
Kahn skilfully employs the strategy formulated in Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s seemingly enigmatic phrase in his novel Il Gattopardo(The Leopard): » Everything must change for nothing to change. What this novel and Visconti’s film based on it show is that, in order to keep their power and profits, the elites have to agree to superficial changes or words when revolutions threaten, in order to better consolidate this power later on.
Kahn has this ability to rebound despite his mistakes. Thus, during the Strauss-Kahn affair (which is not his family), he affirmed that » it is practically certain that there was no violent attempt at rape » and estimated that it was only a » trussing of a servant « . This display of » caste solidarity » was widely condemned and he publicly apologized and said he was retiring from journalism. This great bourgeois who was successively a member of the Communist Party, a left-wing centrist, elected as a European deputy on the list of Bayrou’s Modem (but never sat down)… now defends very conservative positions that are well disguised in the Macronian » at the same time. As Jacques Dutronc says, » I am for communism, I am for socialism, and for capitalism because I am an opportunist. There are those who contest, who claim and who protest, I only make one gesture, I turn my jacket, I turn my jacket… always on the right side. At the next revolution, I turn my pants inside out « . It is thus to this Jean-François Kahn, who has publicly renounced journalism, that Le Soir regularly offers a full page… Everyone is free to choose…
The procedure used by Kahn in » In May 40, they were already writing this … » is that of amalgam. When one cannot argue against the ideas defended by an opponent, one tries to find someone dubious who said more or less the same thing, in a completely different context, or with completely different motivations, in order to discredit the statement.
At Kairos, we develop a radical analysis of the dangers of the proponents of transhumanism and the illusions that these promoters of « disruptive » technologies try to sell. In particular, we have published articles that were concerned about the excesses and abuses made possible by the use of technologies in the medical sector, especially with regard to their uses, which are not well thought out collectively and not well controlled, in areas such as procreation or surgical and hormonal manipulations that allow for sex changes. Our reservations are based on reflections on the growth of « biopower », which is the will of the powerful, helped by technosciences, to act directly on the living (Foucault, 1976)(1). Indeed, we note a growing capacity of the powers that be to » manage and control populations according to the imperatives prescribed by the laws of the market » (2).
However, it is a fact that movements of a rather fundamentalist Christian inspiration reject, as we do, this instrumentalization of bodies. Dare we assume that this is, at least in part, because for two millennia this control over what did or did not happen in the beds was the prerogative of the state religions. Nevertheless, the criticisms born of a completely different conception of the good life are, as far as the observed facts are concerned, very similar to ours. And so, the supporters of a submission to technocratic imperatives jumped on the occasion to practice the amalgam and to assimilate us to these conservatives, even reactionaries. According to some, we would be suspected of participating, masked (it’s seasonal), in the actions of the March for All initiated by conservative Catholic circles.
It will therefore be necessary to reaffirm, again and again, that if we don’t howl with the wolves who want to carry unlimited desires to the point of changing human nature, it is because we are convinced that the technical « improvement » of the human is wanted by the dominant because it is a source of exploitable profits on the markets and at the same time destroys the material and economic conditions that allow men and women to live with dignity in the world. world.
- Foucauld Michel, La volonté de savoir. Histoire de la sexualité, tome 1, Paris, Galimard, 1976.
- Maucourant Jérôme et Neyrat Frédéric, « La communauté politique contre le néocapitalisme ? ». pp. 111–139, dans Werner Schönig ed., Perspectiven institutionnalischer Ökonomik, Münster, Lit, 200 (synthèse traduite de l’allemand : «Die politische gemeinschaftgegen den Neokapitalismus», pp. 139–143, 2001 ; https://www.academia.edu/7568105/La_communaut%C3%A9_politique_contre_le_n%C3%A9ocapitalisme?email_work_card=view-paper