Barnum

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It was with great difficulty that I managed to suppress a broad smile and even a violent fit of laughter, as I read, minute after minute, the reactions coming from everywhere about the « invasion of the Capitol » at the beginning of the year. The very honorable Jean-Luc Mélenchon — for whom, I might as well say, I have a warm sympathy — like a few others among observers of all kinds, will have been among those who saw in the intrusion of a few hundred olibrius in the sacred place where the members of the Congress were gathered, an attempt at a putsch by a nebulous of extreme right-wing made in the USA. As far as I know, it seems to me that for there to be an intention to stage a coup d’état, one must be able to count on the support and even the participation of the armed forces and the setting in motion of rigorously trained and organized groups, with clearly defined instructions and objectives.

Obviously, we were far from the account and the numerous photos and videos published afterwards showed that we were there in the most perfect improvisation and that, obviously, the people who wandered in the staircases, corridors and offices of the illustrious building, seemed to enjoy the mess they caused. Certainly, there are a few deaths to be deplored, some of those who took part in the assault were undoubtedly not animated by the best intentions, certainly, still, there were people openly in favor of such or such movement with not very relenting smells, but finally, it was only a heterogeneous cohort of people of all kinds: small fat people, tall skinny people, mothers, faces and disguises as we meet them every day — well, when we are allowed to put our nose outside — around us. Yes, of course, dear columnist, you will say, but there were some who were armed! Yes, I’ll grant you that; but in the United States you can walk down the street with a Colt in your belt and go shopping with your Kalashnikov, it’s an old tradition among our distant cousins and they are attached to it.  » But there were shots fired! « Yes, but it is difficult to know where they came from, some police officers in the Capitol itself seem to have opened fire to contain the invasion of the hemicycle by a handful of hotheads and, in addition, we have noted the little resistance offered by the local police at the beginning of the invasion of the premises. In short, I do not share the opinion of those who see in this burlesque episode an attempt to take power or a universal conspiracy to impose a fascist order everywhere. Of course, all that precedes commits only me, some may not agree with my words, but whatever, I persist and I sign.

Besides, let’s not be fooled: neo-fascism — or, if we prefer, its soft variant — has the figure of a young statesman in a suit, rather well brought up, smiling, affable, coming from the High Schools of the Republic, one time close to a social-democrat ex-President whose enemy was the finance; he didn’t need any arms or riot to reach his ends: he was elected democratically by citizens free of a choice (which was not a choice, we will remember); and it has the support of a large majority in the National Assembly. The list is long of laws, decrees, measures of all kinds which, little by little, and with the air of not touching it, have very severely and durably damaged the individual liberties in the country of the Rights of Man and Citizen. It was therefore not necessary to mobilize I don’t know what factious groups or assault sections of sinister memory to muzzle minds and superbly ignore any form of opposition to a policy strictly hyperliberal where we see — here and just as elsewhere — the scandalous wealth of a few sheltered from the claims of the poor for more justice. We may soon see hundreds of thousands of hungry people invading the boulevards and streets of Paris and the provinces, demanding bread for themselves and their children. Who will dare to say that we throw buns at them?

As far as we are concerned, there is no need to elaborate on the dramatic and unenviable situation related to this sinister and tenacious pandemic that sees our country not very gloriously placed at the top of a podium where deaths caused by a virus are counted, the face of which — if I may say so — changes from day to day, putting in difficulty those who are trying, by a thousand means, to find a remedy to a pernicious and elusive disease. Of course, there is, there will be THE vaccine; well, ONE or MORE vaccines that should, if things don’t go too badly, eradicate the virus… but nothing is less sure, in this respect; a growing suspicion is emerging as much among some scientists as in the public opinion, a large portion of which expresses its doubts as to the miraculous virtues of a vaccine, chosen and bought by hundreds of millions by the European community and distributed everywhere without the absolute guarantees of its effectiveness. Finally, the proud ship of progress is being pushed around in its pretensions to make this world a little less unbearable by means of a Market that should — and ought to — have solved all the problems facing our species and what takes its place as home. Because, it must be said and said again — this pandemic will eventually be eradicated, it will undoubtedly take time — but the issue of global warming and climate change is looming ever closer, and here we see that the Officials from all sides are far from being enthusiastic about the idea that it might be time to roll up their sleeves and set in motion a universal enterprise that could, at the very least, save what can still be saved.

Jean-Pierre L. Collignon

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