Kairos 46

The State: censor, not savior

Cécile Mirande-Broucas

Never has the feeling been more acute of being directed by a state that was acting without hindsight, mixed with the stinging impression that it was doing so for a purpose quite different from that of « saving us ». Indeed, if he had wanted to get us out of the doldrums, he had the opportunity to give some proof of it a long time ago. On the contrary, it has continued and continues more than ever its crazy race forward, with its eyes fixed on the growth curve, while fauna and flora, and therefore also us, suffer the effects of their demiurgic delusions on which we have no control for the moment, in spite of their dreadful consequences: repeated and devastating forest fires, constantly rising average summer temperatures, deforestation, biodiversity in perpetual decline; civil wars (sometimes advanced, especially in the USA), structural misery, growing inequalities… Our old people, on the other hand, have paid with their lives. It will be remembered that before the iron law of capital, life is of little importance — those who in distant lands ensure our « development » will tell you so. This article is peppered with quotes from George Orwell, because we have moved beyond 1984.

It was therefore necessary to make it clear to them that something was wrong, to take advantage of a press conference to state that  » the king is naked  » and that many could hear it at the same time(1). The legitimacy of a government and of groups of experts who eat from every pot and invite us to take care of ourselves while they take care to maintain the system in place, that is to say, to continue in a productivist race that makes it less and less likely that we will be able to change our descent into the abyss and give us other perspectives, is this not something that concerns us all? If the Covid-19 is an opportunity to accelerate the awareness of the functioning of this world and the power in place. 

« In some ways, the Party’s worldview is most forceful on those who are unable to understand it. It can make them swallow the most flagrant violations of reality because they do not grasp the enormity of what is required of them and are not interested enough in public life to notice what is going on. It is this lack of understanding that keeps them from going crazy. For them things are simple, they ingest everything without after-effects because what they swallow leaves no residue, just as seeds pass through the bird’s organism without the need to digest them. 

What is happening now is far beyond this comfortable « for or against » dualism, which divides the population into two groups of supporters and opponents: promasks, anti-masks, provaccines, anti-vaccines, pro-State/anti-State…, proper to a current that has relegated truth to the realm of absolute relativity, a truth that each person would hold according to his or her subjectivity. It is a question of putting the reflection upstream of the constitution of opposed groups to simply obtain impartial information and detached from all interests. However, when you try to question the Power on the legitimacy of certain decisions, or even those that some have to « represent » us, it will always try to place you in a discredited category — that said, this reflex is common among any interlocutor who refuses the debate. The most convenient one at the moment: « conspiracy ». So, if you doubt the need for a vaccine, question the private interests behind this solution presented as the one and only, you are a « confined mind » or a « corona-skeptic »(2). The Mosquito wrote recently (August 22–28), in an issue titled « Le virus du complotisme »:  » Anti-Bill Gates or Big Pharma rumors are circulating in many languages on social networks (…) The fear? That a significant part of the population refuses the future vaccine(s) against Covid-19 « . Why should we « fear » it, if it were to be justified? 

« When one governs, and must continue to govern, one must know how to double the sense of reality. For the secret of governing is to combine the belief in one’s own infallibility with the ability to learn from the past. It must be said that the most subtle practitioners of doublethink are none other than those who invented it and are therefore well placed to know that it consists in setting up bad faith as a system. In our society, those who are best informed about the event are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is. 

The media hype of information feeding the fear is accompanied by the presentation of solutions that seem to flow naturally: Generalized vaccination (« A vaccine in Belgium for January », DH, August 26, among hundreds of articles) or total digitization of our lives and school (« Le Covid m’a tuer. The school of yesterday », Le Vif, August 27, an example among the plethora of articles). It is necessary to instill both fear and its antidotes. The new war overshadows the other fights and makes them simultaneously illegitimate and inappropriate, even before they become forbidden.  » The population, the politicians, the media, with their qualities and their defects, each of us with our successes, our mistakes, we must move forward. This is what remains difficult: we have the art of fighting the wrong battle. The enemy is the virus « (3), will say Sophie Wilmès. 

« At thesame time, the awareness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes it possible to pass off as natural the concentration of power in a very small caste, presented as the sine qua noncondition for survival.

« War must go on indefinitely without ensuring victory. » 

More in issue 46

Notes et références
  1. Moustique, « Le virus du complotisme », 22 août 2020.
  2. Idem.
  3. La Libre, 1er et 2 août 2020.

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