The return to the abnormal?
The stubbornness of the Belgian government to follow a straight path, despite the obstacles and multiple counter-proposals to take other paths and make other voices heard, characterizes the conduct of the Belgian government. All our questions at the press conference remained unanswered, as did the white cards and other open letters from scientists, doctors, lawyers, artists… » This capacity to make oneself blind and stupid, this stubbornness to not want to know […](1) « This is the illusion they want to sell us: that of listening to the people. The very people who spread the fog are then surprised that our vision is blurred, that we feel lost and that we sometimes find it hard not to think that, on their side, everything is thought out. When the art of politics consists in not saying what you do and doing what you don’t say, ensuring perverse communication becomes essential. Thus, the totalitarian measures put in place must be seen as moderate, democratic, at the service of the population. But what can we expect from such a proto-fascist configuration, when the new freedom of citizens will be only a temporary concession and not an inalienable right(2)?
Let us imagine, however, that the totalitarian Pandora’s box closes as mysteriously as it opened and that all the hygienic policies are forgotten, including the project of a sanitary passport, which has no other purpose than to facilitate the chipping of the population. In what state of daze would we find ourselves? The economy is swinging between recession and depression, plagued by explosive unemployment and a debt that cannot be reasonably met. Society, after long months of replacing living relationships with digital ones, is more compliant and atomized than ever. In place of locally solidarized individuals, all that remains is a disoriented, servile, obedient mass that has given up fighting for its rights and the law(3).
Psychologically, the citizens suffer, for the most part, from symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Already damaged by fifty years of neo-liberalism, inter-generational relations have become explosive: the younger generations feel — with good reason — sacrificed by selfish and irresponsible adults who wander between the sadness of renunciation, the anger of the loss of consumerist enjoyment and the self-satisfaction of imagining themselves nonetheless as « responsible and united » citizens. A part of the population continues, against all odds, to praise the political world for its » responsible action(4) « , the other looks at him, at best, with defiance and, at worst, with fear. The latter considers the test of obedience to be particularly successful: citizens are clearly willing to accept anything to maintain the illusion of their comfort and security.
(Fortunately, the Pandora’s box will not close again. The economic powers that have driven, instigated, or even created this crisis will not back down. First, because the accumulation of lies subordinated to their totalitarian tropism makes any step aside impossible; second, because mercantile blindness is profitable for them; third, because the crisis is systemic and inevitable(cf. the Meadows report, 1972). This means that we should not believe in a return to (a)normal, nor should we hope for it. On the other hand, understanding the real stakes of the Covid event allows us to mobilize ourselves to seize the opportunity that this crisis represents to go beyond the old alienations. In a world of global systemic crisis, everything becomes, by definition, possible. But this possibility must be conquered with great difficulty. Opening a bar will now be a revolutionary act. However, we will still be far from the account…
Michel Weber — Alexandre Penasse — Bernard Legros
- Frédéric Gros, Désobéir, Flammarion, 2019, p. 143.
- David Engels, « L’agonie de la liberté ou l’entrée dans l’ère du posthumanisme », in Tysol, mars 2021.
- Héraclite avait remarqué il y a 2.500 ans que les citoyens devaient se battre pour leurs lois comme s’ils défendaient les remparts de la Cité : les lois les défendent des abus internes ; les remparts les défendent des prédateurs externes. La Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen de 1793 sera plus spécifique : « Quand le gouvernement viole les droits du peuple, l’insurrection est, pour le peuple et pour chaque portion du peuple, le plus sacré des droits et le plus indispensable des devoirs. » (Article 35). Quant aux fonctionnaires assermentés, garants de la démocratie, reste à espérer qu’ils considéreront l’hypothèse que la crise politique est bien plus grave que la crise sanitaire et qu’ils feront barrage au totalitarisme dans le respect de la Constitution.
- Il suffit d’écouter les auditeurs de Vivacité intervenir à l’antenne.