ONE POINT OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN ALL: OUR « SUPERIORITY

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If we arrive at a point of explanation where we understand the processes that lead to the rejection of the source and the message, it seems incomplete. It is necessary to understand the psycho-social forces that justify this ease of rejecting certain information that should, however, be examined by those who want to be intellectually honest. Perhaps we should venture the hypothesis that this readiness to accept the convenient truth, as much by movements calling themselves anti-capitalist as by right-wing liberal parties, professional « socialists », business leaders, etc., stems from the existence of an identical common background. 

The soil that would transcend the different ideologies would be that of a feeling, conscious or not, clear or diffuse, of a Western superiority. This imperialist racism, or ethnocentrism, is relatively complex, as it does not take the same forms and varies according to the level of assumed acceptance of Western superiority. The ethnocentrist may be against war but acquiesce without thinking about the present, without considering the lessons of the past, to the justifications that power gives to wars; he may not really be in favor of foreign interference in a sovereign country but find it the least worst solution; just as he may be genetically programmed to defend any foreign intervention. But whatever their position, all of them, consciously or not, consider all countries on a continuum where some are ahead (or « more developed ») than others: Belgium or France compared to India or Burkina Faso for example.(1)

Depending on whether one assumes it or not, this imperialist racism would thus take different forms, but in any case it could not be admitted, both among the upper wealthy classes, who would see their pretexts swept away by the real reasons for their public solicitude brought out into the open, and among the intelligentsia of the left, constantly caught up in a double thought, This schizophrenia characterizes it and makes any recognition of the obvious unlikely, capable of recognizing the relationship between exploiting and exploited classes within a country, but incapable of admitting that the « underdeveloped » South is part of a single system that includes a « developed » North, and that the poverty of the former does not go without the wealth of the latter. This obvious fact is impossible to recognize for all the warriors of the « fight against poverty » who maintain this sweet fantasy of « all rich one day », a metaphor of the National Lottery, hiding the fact that they hope above all to remain rich themselves(2). They will obviously not recognize that without the South, there is no North, and therefore no scandalous wealth based on the exploitation of labor and nature. This denial has shaped the bosses of Zara or H&M, of Total, of Zuckerberg, of Gates… and all their intermediaries, minorities, who profit from the exploitation of the earth and the people; without the « South », exit also the distractors for the middle and working classes of the North, who are increasingly distanced from real change by the carrot of « purchasing power »: cars, smartphones, tablets, screens and other gadgets. The real changes that this consciousness in action would bring about would make them lose most of their gadgets but gain in freedom, autonomy, free time, the ability to think and to meet others. 

Among all those who claim to be « progressive », we are touching on a deep repressed. Most of us do not accept that, as Westerners, we have all been somewhat immersed in a culture of racism, racism that does not show itself in the most brutal forms of skinhead or hooligan whose posture has sometimes more to do with the individual psyche than with the social structure but in the common cultural practices acceptable and accepted, all the better that they are sometimes paradoxically in the subjective logic which made them be born, the sincere expression of a true will of altruism. This gentle racism is no less prevalent, in the solicitude of the benevolent white man, in « charity » and in Western aid to « underdeveloped » countries, in the adoption in Haiti and elsewhere of children who still have their parents, who do not have the means to care for them. This little black man, welcomed by the benevolent white man, whose presence is no longer surprising: he is part of the setting, like the bum in our streets. It is no longer surprising that the reverse is, if not impossible, extremely rare: who knows a Belgian child adopted by a Congolese family? We can already hear the cries of rage: « But what would the poor do without our western benevolence, our charity » (just as « but what would the tramps do without the soup kitchen, the « restos du cœur »…). Businesses and wealthy individuals are well aware of this and appreciate it, as they all have their own foundations and charities of choice, certain that they will be able to continue to enrich themselves by distributing their crumbs. Certainly, we reach out to the person who is on the edge of the precipice and we cannot condemn the adopter, but we must reveal that the micro-sociological act of adoption, as well as all aid based on this unequal relationship, is part of an ethnocentric structural framework in which the West welcomes the beings of the countries that it has destroyed and continues to destroy: it is therefore nice to extend the hand, but it is necessary to stop digging the hole, to finally arrive at an equal exchange where, if there is self-sacrifice and solicitude, it will be in both directions: we will then also see little white orphans welcomed by African families(3).

The racism of Western domination is the one that is omnipresent in the warlike and imperialist discourse of the United States, which Europe most often follows blissfully. It is explicit in the arrogant warrior minds that push for interventionism; it is latent and repressed in those who do not explicitly call for war — the defenders of human rights and other warriors of injustice — but ingest media lies like a pleasant drink, with such ease that it can only be the result of a system of thought that is ready to receive them, without looking further for where they come from. By relaying the media-political propaganda, whose economic interests in such wars are obvious, they support illegal and illegitimate acts, such as the bombing of a sovereign country like Syria by the United States, France or Belgium. Some people (the warriors) accept that we should go and bomb the « barbarians », the « underdeveloped », and others (the human rights activists) argue: « We are all on the same side, [Occident/Non-Occident] let’s go and save the victims of Hussein, Gaddafi, Milosevic, Assad… ». There is a genetic form of imperialism dominant in the former, recessive in the latter, which they have not yet been able to get rid of through what Raymond Williams called the « unlearning of the spontaneous spirit of domination »(4).

All this gives rise to a set of spontaneous reflexes, intellectual closures, nausea of ineptitudes and hateful behaviors, sophisms and vilenesses, evidences which are not, everything but an intellectual research, in subjects who, when one tries to tell them that « They react likea teenager whose mother has been insulted. 

THE OBVIOUS THAT ARE NOT… 

Certainty thus gives rise to statements that seem to be obvious. But on closer inspection, we discover that this is not the case and that these « obvious facts » are sophistries. 

The first evidence, which is not evidence, is quite simple: if we distinguish between the intentions of the messenger and the truth of the message and if we accept the proposition contained at the beginning of the article, that is to say that it is necessary to be able to adhere to the content of Bush’s sentence « The United States of America will never pretend that unchained dissidents prefer their chains, nor that women willingly accept humiliation and servitude« While recognizing the exact opposite in reality, we take note, referring to the current allegations on Syria but also the lessons of the past with Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, whose propaganda is more or less identical: 

a) that the « information » given by the dominant press(5) and their explicit allegations to help a country, have never been followed by political effects in the real world, other than the destruction and sacking of nations, which have benefited the interests of the most powerful;

b) that, taking into account point a, even if the veracity of the facts were to be proven, we are dealing with a « lie in the guise of truth », because revealing the exactions and tortures, for example of a leader, has no interest in itself for the Western media-political power that does not care about the potential victims(6) ‑For them, they are only levers, means like any other for military intervention. The only interests are economic (implicit);

c) that, in view of point b, there is a strong probability that the authorities, anxious to satisfy their implicit interests, if they do not find evidence of exactions, will invent them(7);

d) that one piece of information can hide another: thus, the identification of the « non-Western despot » will include all the other information, interesting but often disturbing for the Western order (for example concerning Muammar Gaddafi and his support for African independence or his intention to create an African monetary fund, the standard of living of the country compared to other African countries before the Western intervention…);

e ) that imperialism is one-way and that misinformation is necessary to justify wars: if the non-Western media also make propaganda, their impact is much less in the construction of the thinking of the Western population. This propaganda is also at the service of arms dealers, telecom bosses and other businessmen whose only concern is to make their fortune grow.

2. A second evidence would be that we could judge what is good or bad in the other, of his way of acting, in conformity or not with our values, and to send to those we want to help but not all, as Palestine for example, some fighter planes to liberate them, as if we were God, we who are so good. Again, in an egalitarian relationship, it would be a matter of allowing the other to do so as well… but being in an unequal exchange, the Other always considered inferior, there is only the Western master who can dictate his conducts to the student. However, there is nothing worse than the West in the destruction of peoples and the commercial colonization of the globe. You should therefore put your own house in order before giving lessons. But talking about the evil in others, as well as abounding in ethical discourses about ourselves and our values, serve the same function: they are a veneer over our abominable actions. And reassures us that we can continue to do so. 

3. Third false evidence: we should not trust what we hear but only the facts. Now, thousands of kilometers away and fed only by the information of the mass media which, for Syria for example, are no more on the spot than the non-governmental organizations, the only two solutions left to try to build the truth, seem to be to get an idea among the accounts of independent journalists who went to Syria, or the inhabitants, when they are not « rebel » terrorists for the dominant media disguised as civilians. On this subject, Eva Bartlett’s testimony before the UN is edifying(8)But more than what she says, it is the reactions of the Western media that speak volumes: directly stamped in the pay of Russia for having published articles on Russia Today (RT), the Canadian journalist does not allow herself to be disarmed and highlights the double standards of the Western media, for which one becomes disturbing when one stops holding the right discourse, and which then seeks to find the « proofs », this time the Russophilia of the journalist… : « That I describe what I see in Syria when I am on the ground, when I talk to civilians, and sometimes write for RT, has suddenly become a problem for the same people who supported me when I was writing from Palestine, from Gaza […] I am a freelancer and I write for whoever I want. ».(9) We come back to the assimilation we mentioned above, except that the reversal Eva Bartlett talks about indicates that this confusion of the messenger and the source (in this case, of the support of the message, i.e. Russia Today), is purely strategic, since when the information was not disturbing, it was not made. 

Michel Onfray will also suffer from the vindictiveness that falls on those who do not say what the media nomenklatura wants to hear (a nomenklatura that, it should be remembered, works for the media belonging to the most wealthy families): « It was enough that in the course of an interview with Le Point, Michel Onfray had the misfortune to point out that any intellectual worthy of the name should obviously always prefer a « fair analysis » (whether formulated, he wrote, by Alain de Benoist) to an « unfair analysis » (whether made by BHL) for him to immediately find himself at the center of a media storm that was truly mind-boggling ». Jean-Claude Michéa draws the necessary conclusions: « For the modern left-wing intelligentsia, yesterday’s fairy is always likely to become today’s witch(10) (…) and, secondly, this intelligentsia has clearly not advanced an inch since the time when it proudly proclaimed that it preferred « to be wrong with Sartre than right with Aron. This once again verifies, if need be, Orwell’s well-known prophecy: « The real enemy is the mind reduced to the state of a gramophone, and this remains true whether or not one agrees with the record that is playing at a certain moment »..(11)

The West tells itself a story, it tells it to itself every day via its propaganda organs; we tell it to ourselves every day, connected gramophones, when we convince ourselves that « everything is normal » and that what happens unexpectedly is only an accident. Now, the accident is part of the norm that produces it and it is the ideology, which holds the structure together, that gives it the attributes of the accident. « The experience we have of our own lives, the story we tell ourselves in order to justify what we do, is basically a lie. The truth lies elsewhere, in our actions.(12). All we have to do is stop believing. However, whoever dares to name the fact that it is not reality that is being told to us, but its spectacle that is being played out, is condemned by the Western inquisition. 

Notes et références
  1. Croyance qui contient deux dénis: celui de la participation du « Nord » dans le sous-développement du « Sud », et celui de la reconnaissance du mode destructeur de notre civilisation occidentale qu’il serait impossible de généraliser, d’où l’impossibilité cognitive pour les thuriféraires de l’aide au développement de reconnaître qu’une croissance infinie dans un monde fini est une impossibilité, et donc que le développement est une idéologie universellement irréalisable.
  2. « En 1996, pratiquement deux tiers des Américains (64%) âgés de 18 à 21 ans pensaient qu’il était ’’très probable’’ ou ’’assez probable’’ qu’ils deviennent riches (…) Dix ans plus tard, ils ne l’étaient toujours pas: la part de la population gagnant 100 000 dollars par an avoisinait 7%. Bien entendu, il reste à cette cohorte particulière encore un peu de temps, mais le fait est là: dans une société où seulement 7% de  la population gagne 100 000 dollars par an, le fait que 64% de cette population s’imagine pouvoir rejoindre ces 7% relève d’une profonde erreur de jugement. » Michaels, W.B., La diversité contre l’égalité, op.cit., p.137. L’auteur continue ensuite sur la similarité entre cette croyance et l’illusion propagée par des émissions comme American Idol (nous dirions The Voice). Le propos est d’un intérêt majeur.
  3. Ajoutons que cette comparaison Nord-Sud permanente, nourrit l’aliénation du sujet indigent du Nord qui, voyant par la comparaison internationale toujours plus pauvre que lui – il y a maintenant des échelons en dessous du dernier sur lequel il reposait – se voit comme « supérieur ». Les écrits d’Albert Memmi, analysant ce contexte sociologique de mise à proximité rendu possible par la colonisation, sont en ce sens d’une formidable pertinence : « Le petit colonisateur, le colonisateur pauvre se croyait tout de même, et en un sens l’était réellement, supérieur au colonisé ; objectivement, et non seulement dans son imagination ». Albert Memmi, Portrait du colonisé. Portrait du colonisateur, Editions Gallimard, 1985, p.16.
  4. Raymond Williams, Culture and society, 1963, p. 376, cité dans Saïd E.W., 1980, L’orientalisme, l’Orient créé par l’Occident, Seuil, 1980, p. 51.
  5. Voir notamment L’opinion, ça se travaille, Ibid., qui contient de nombreux exemples du travail de propagande médiatique.
  6. Comme disait un caricaturiste faisant dialoguer deux personnages: « Il faut que la violence s’arrête pour qu’on puisse continuer à s’en foutre ».
  7. Voir à ce sujet l’excellent documentaire de la chaîne parlementaire LCP « Mensonges, guerre et vidéo », https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8sg0Dqc3_I, où l’on voit la délirante construction de la « preuve » (les armes de destruction massive, et la fameuse fiole de Colin Powell brandie devant le conseil de sécurité de l’ONU).
  8. https://francais.rt.com/international/30587-onu-journaliste-dementrhetorique-presse-syrie
  9. https://francais.rt.com/international/30905-medias-contre-realitesyrie-eva-barlett.
  10. Ou la sorcière d’hier la fée d’aujourd’hui. Pensons à Bart de Wever dans les médias et discours politiques avant et après les élections.
  11. Jean-Claude Michéa, Notre ennemi le capital, Climats, p.211. (12) Slavoj Žižek, ibid., p.69.
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