Lower the masks in the public space?

When madness takes over our lives

 » Because the bits of information that are offered to these familiar with the tyranny of lies are normally infected with lies, uncontrollable, manipulated. However, they please those who have access to them, because they feel superior to all those who know nothing. They are only useful to make people approve of domination, and never to understand it effectively. They are the privilege of first-class spectators: those who have the stupidity to believe that they can understand something, not by using what is hidden from them, but by believing what is revealed to them.  »

Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

Since Thursday, midnight one, you are free not to wear a mask outside, this rule varies according to the regions, cities, municipalities(1). What will be the reactions of those who, for the most part, have subscribed to government injunctions? This question requires prior knowledge of the reasons for obedience. We can risk a classification of reactions to the obligation to wear a mask — without each being mutually exclusive:

- The subject of the State : passed through school benches, company headquarters, police controls, those hands of the masters, he reacts to orders without any other consideration than to obey. Pavloff’s dog of our societies, if he has moral considerations, these are secondary to the injunctions coming from above. There is a pleasure in the submissive position, an ease in not having to decide or think. They admire subjection, believing that obedience brings them a little closer to the world of the powerful: as if being « at the bottom » and accepting the hierarchy brings them a little closer to the top, the world of « decision-makers » to which they do not belong. They are specialists in overzealousness, ultra-conformists who will extend the prohibition zones on their own initiative by wearing the mask even where they are not obliged to do so. The writings on totalitarianism have described them, as their penchant for submission makes them unfailing allies of an arbitrary order. These subjects of the State will push obedience to the point of checking that others submit, just like the one who will apostrophize you in public transport to tell you that you are wearing the mask « badly », under your nose, and that it is forbidden. They will justify themselves by explaining that they are acting out of altruistic concern, but it is mainly for themselves that they are zealous relays for the police. Informers and little hands of the armed power, they are those who, in a group whose members should have remained united, denounce a guilty person to get away with it.

- The conformists If the previous category is obviously assimilated to it, there is a big difference between the two: where the first obey first by a form of personal resonance to the orders which, from outside, become self-injunctions — like these individuals who, alone in the street and in the middle of the night, wear the mask -, the second obey by mimicry: they do because the others do. Typical of a society which, with its schools and universities, has first taught us to think like others, these subjects no longer think for themselves, but first need to see what the other does to know what they can think. In short, they no longer think. In a world where the media is in the hands of the dominant, the process ensures ideological standardization.

- The anxious ones They are bludgeoned like the others by hourly updates of the « covid-cases » and follow the evolution of the health situation like the trader follows the stock market; they are unable to reason, so much so that the anguishing prospect of death has taken control of their capacity to think. If you fall in front of them in the street, even if their conscience tells them to help you, they will move out of your way, guided only by the anguish of death over which they have no control. The fact, however inescapable, of the death, has taken more importance of the sense of what precedes it, namely the life. Unable to grasp all the praxis in the words of André Comte Sponville, who said:  » I would rather catch the Covid-19 in a free country than escape it in a totalitarian state « , and that « nIf theythink that « not catching the Covid-19 is not a sufficient goal in life », they find every possible reason to protect themselves from others. Already dead from living, they will prefer to perish alone and without risk, than to enjoy and refuse this world in which their little person has taken on a far too great importance. Like the others, they accompany the shipwreck.

Man is no longer a wolf for man, he is a potential patient of Covid-19. And it’s worse.

- The heretics: they are the engeance, especially of the first, but also of the third, who depart from it as from the plague. Some people want to break the show, like this Kairos reader (Kairos readers’ letter of September/October 2020) who walked around the market in Verviers with a sign reading  » M’enfin, jusqu’où allez-vous vous soumettre?  » They are what remains to bring us back to the surface, a twig in the eye that we rub to tell ourselves that it was all just a bad dream(2). Conscientious objectors of the masked society, they are the Natascha McElhone of the film Truman Show, who tells Jim Carrey that his whole life is a show, where those around him play a role and obey the director. But their consciousness has most often not awakened with Covid, as if everything was fine before, knowing or sensing that things were wrong before and that Covid is just the logical continuation(3).

When will it end?

There is a high probability that the anxious will continue to wear the mask, while the subjects of the State will obey without reluctance the arbitrary and absurd order to wear the mask in the external spaces, without the contradictions of the governmental injunctions seizing them. Depending on the proportion of each of these two groups, the conformists will obey, or not. What will happen to the heretics? Are the correctional camps ready for them yet?

Still, this human division in the face of the wearing of the mask and the set of measures that contribute to kill what remains of humanity, generates dissensions within groups that should have remained united, especially those who fight to overthrow this deadly system. Man is no longer a wolf for man, he is a potential patient of Covid-19. And it’s worse.

In any case, the essential question must be asked: how long will we be subjected to the imposition of the mouth veil and other measures? When will we decide that life is no longer possible like this? That everything must change.

Notes et références
  1. Le masque reste obligatoire dans les lieux à forte fréquentation, nous disent « les autorités ».
  2. Devant la menace de la sanction pécuniaire, même les hérétiques se doivent parfois d’obéir, ce qui paradoxalement renforce l’effet conformiste.
  3. Si toutefois leur conscience s’est éclairée avec l’épisode sanitaire actuel, c’est pour mieux se diffuser sur tous les autres domaines de la vie, comprendre comment tous ses pans étaient déterminés par un même système productiviste destructeur.
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