Everything is normal

Time is running out and getting shorter and shorter. The extent and the nature of the crisis we are facing seems to be more and more obvious, taking on the appearance of a catastrophe of which very few, too few, among the political decision-makers here and elsewhere, seem to be willing or able to take the measure.

In the same way, we also see that the masses, the peoples, the people, finally, are as well as paralyzed, subjugated and petrified by the perils that appear to them from far and wide, in the bend of a newspaper article or a brief on television or radio.

It is that, obviously and, alas, for a long time, the press, with rare exceptions, makes common cause with those who, by all means, obstruct and hide, transform, de-rotate and manipulate everything — and the speeches of all those — that could hinder the inexorable forward march of a progress whose face is everywhere disguised as a joyful and resolutely optimistic farce.

Here, the marvelous achievements of science and technology and their sensational applications are celebrated and sold in the best stores; there, the impact of industrial activities on the climate, biodiversity, air quality, water and food in circulation is falsified and falsely refuted; elsewhere, the seriousness and unalterable dedication of « democratically elected » governments to the happy citizens who are free to choose their car models and interior decoration is praised.

But we pretend to ignore that in these same happy countries, so free and prosperous — despite the distressing propensity of millions of people to become impoverished — the filing of citizens’ files has become the norm and no longer the exception, that, everywhere, parallel and discreetly set up services are interested in social deviants, In short, that this famous freedom is not without some restrictions, unfortunate, of course, but necessary for the smooth running of the State’s business and of business in general, as we have seen recently in Quebec.

Finally, the means available to those in charge of maintaining an order that does not suffer from being disturbed have been greatly increased everywhere, without the slightest objection being expressed to this state of affairs, except from afar and at the margin of the dominant discourse. It can never be said enough that it has entered practically all heads, and those who, here as elsewhere, have seen their illusions being lost at the same time as their awareness of the reality of things, are faced with a gigantic task. For it is a question of nothing less than assaulting a system whose vital center is language — and thus, thoughts, concepts and practices — which was instituted at the birth of industrial and capitalist society more than two hundred years ago.

Whether it is about the meaning given to property, to work and its division — local and international — to the nature and uses of money, to the fetishization of the commodity and its corollary, the irrepressible consumption of everything and anything. All this and everything that has resulted from it in all areas of social life is perfectly anchored in a maximum of heads. It continues to seem natural, in the eyes of the majority, that wage labor is the only reward for the forced labor of millions of people, that its absence is seen as a kind of curse or serious deficiency in the famous social insertion and the bonds that are tied to it, that it is felt as exclusion, these are the kinds of unquestionable statements, among many others, that continue to be asserted in all spheres of power — even in trade union speeches — and that do not suffer any challenge. Almost everyone agrees that economics has become a science, despite the resounding failures and, in many ways, the perfectly comical nature of the theses defended by so many patent specialists with abstruse language who, in the face of and in spite of the financial fiasco that is growing day by day, continue to inspire political decision makers.

Look at the disastrous situation in which Greece finds itself, starting with its people, for having been forced to apply the recommendations, or rather the orders, of the delegates of the European Commission, who came there with their pockets full of economic treaties for the use of bad managers.

Look at the state of Italy, Spain and Portugal, and observe the panic of the « decision-makers » in the face of the risk of a collapse that could spread to countries that think they are safe from contagion.

Now, in addition to these miserable affairs of money won and lost, of these more or less occult and sanction-free groups that speculate on the debts that are hitting and will hit the peoples of the continent more and more violently, these are finally only details that, accumulating, only add confusion and incomprehension to the poor spectators that the unfortunate citizens that we have become for the most part. Deep down in what we are witnessing, it is necessary to see and understand that nothing comes out of the fatality or the accidents of a universal project that we should have the courage to look at — in spite of the plastic arts, the literature, the music — as, finally, a disgusting and monstrous adventure of wars and massacres in which is embarked, for its misfortune, the totality of our species and, with it, all the creatures that made the beauty of a world. We will surely not — and perhaps never — have the opportunity to call upon all the sciences to try to understand how, at some point in evolution and history, we started down the painful path that has brought us to where we are today. Certainly, there has been a mistake, or a turning point, a mishap in the programming of a process, of which we are — we humans — at the same time, the artisans and the victims. And perhaps it is illusory to think or believe that, whatever the good will and talents waiting to influence the course of things, we can really hope to see the world become better than it is. And it is perhaps not indifferent that, from time to time, we have in mind that forces and movements of a properly unimaginable gigantism are at work, everywhere, in all the universes; and that this blue sphere, in which we struggle, is, with regard to the Whole of the infinite Nature, only a ridiculous and infinitesimal speck of dust; the men, the civilizations and the stars are mortal. But let this not console us nor absolve us of anything, it is on this speck of dust that we live; and that we must fight.

Jean-Pierre L. Collignon

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