The Covid-19 and its (im)world

If the current situation were to teach us a truth, it is undoubtedly that it is to the extent of an obligatory modification of our « habits » that we can take the time to stop and think. But have we really changed all our habits, knowing that the one that consists in informing ourselves, through the same media as before, has grown more? It is therefore also likely that shocks like the one we are experiencing can have the opposite effect. 

Is not the coronavirus a form of apotheosis of all that has been happening for a long time, which is cynically and « normally » part of the productions of a society that has given priority tohybris (excess) over the common good? Depending on where you stand, you can say that nothing is going well in our society, but from another point of view, that everything is working fine. In the first case, we will name the indecent gaps between rich and poor that are irreparably widening, the natural disasters that are increasing in number and scope, the disappearance of flora, the dramatic subjection of human life to algorithms and screens, the sixth extinction crisis of species, etc. In the second, we will see that multinationals have never been so powerful, that the media are concentrated in the hands of financial elites and other big fortunes, that dividends are raining down on the increasingly rich, that destruction is creating wealth, concentrated, above all. And that despite all this, many still believe in the trickle-down theory. 

Those who have a vested interest in seeing nothing change will benefit from this situation. The success of their business will depend on the reaction of the middle class, which is caught between the « top of the heap » and what remains of the working classes. What the outcome will be, we do not know. But the general apathy and ambivalence of a petty bourgeoisie that is content with what is offered to it, trading any hint of revolt for a city trip or the latest made-in-Foxconn gadget, does not bode well. Pessimistic you say? It is too late to think in these terms, establishing only that everything led to nothing; that the demands were too poor; that the hope was too present and timely. At this time, hope is ignored as an excuse to do nothing. We act. 

It is therefore useful here to proceed to a form of synthesis, which will make the thurifers of the « appeal to the rulers » squeak, who have not governed anything of the common good for decades, but are just content to ensure their career plan, and thus in a subsequent and logical way, to guarantee the perpetuation of capitalism, whose end is only an accumulation, which can only end, if we participate in it, on the devastation of the Earth that welcomes us. 

However, the words will delight those who have been struggling alone for a long time to hear something other than the psalms of the church of growth, relayed by their media dioceses. The latter are of all ages, but the tendency to consider heterodox thinking as outdated frequently accuses them of being « old ». Certainly, there may be something rewarding in being described in this way by the faithful who ensure the end of humanity by their daily certainties. 

It will be necessary to begin with the end that illuminates the beginning: if Coronavirus there is and if mediatized reactions of this type appear, they are only the result of what we are, of what we made, and of where we are. Nothing more, and it’s actually quite simple in the end. Western elites have always been able to count on a middle class that did not want to lose any of its prerogatives. This one has always ranted in an affected way, leaving the illusion of the confrontation while assuring its own perpetuation. Trade unions, development aid, NGOs and various associations, parliaments, are only the remnants of a struggle that has lost its radicality, and have even become indispensable, since they served as a prop for the dominant system. It was necessary to feign opposition, but not to oppose in any way the foundations of the system that allowed them to exist. The others, in revolt, had proved, in the areas that constituted our reservoirs of raw materials and labor, that real opposition had only one outcome: lethal. Biko, Allende, Sankara, Lumumba…, are the testimony. During this time, the generalization of the vote deluded the people that it participated of the collective, especially duped of this trick of prestidigitation that had made accept this oxymoron of a « participative democracy », because it could henceforth enjoy the fruits of the commercial consumption. 

Either, the successful revolutions have always been bourgeois. Why would he change it? We will start with a preliminary, however, which will try to show that whatever the will to achieve the crisis coronovarian present, the intention matters little, and it is perhaps that the worst: the orgy is what organizes us since a long time, it does not matter if it is wanted or not, it is an intrinsic part of a mode of social organization, it is thus its creation, always its accomplished form. The opportunity makes the thief, and any shock makes strategy. The only problem now is that the conflagration affects those who are usually sheltered. Before, yesterday, we didn’t mind consuming objects and clothes assembled and sewn by Asian slaves, or sending our electronic waste to Africa. We knew it, the important thing was not and still is not the information, but the will to be free, which implies the will to think. It is dying, and the « smartphone » generation may be the end of it. 

The following will be an attempt to explain, in a non-exhaustive way, this perennial fact that, again and again, nothing really changes, and therefore everything gets worse, and that « change in continuity » is perpetuated without end, and this is its pure logic. We will stop on this practice with the stamped harmlessness for the order in place, that are these daily applause for the medical profession. This will offer us an ideal transition, allowing us to question the bureaucratic medicine that cannot be questioned by a simple clap of hands, a noisy catch-all that is very sympathetic to « positive » in the novlangue. Therefore harmless. 

We must conclude by reminding ourselves that there is nothing new about the new and that the new is only dressed up to make us forget who we are and why we are there. Today, « we are all Covid-19 ». Will we be able to draw conclusions, or, as the lucid Jaime Semprun said, to strive again and again « not to conclude »?


CORONAVIRUS: A TIMELY SHOCK 

 » I call ‘disaster capitalism’ the kind of operation that consists in launching systematic raids against the public sphere in the aftermath of cataclysms and treating them as opportunities to reap profits « (1).

Naomi Klein, The strategy of shock.

What seems unexpected has its benefits in a capitalist system. That is to say, we can be sure that where the shock would risk shaking the foundations of the society in place, the elites would do everything to avoid it, that sometimes they succeed, other times not, but that each time they benefit from it. Therefore, the most important thing now is probably not to know if the Coronavirus is the result of a conspiracy, a form of secret organization of the disaster, but that the disaster is consubstantial to our societies and is thus inscribed in its very heart. Referring to the frequent, and justified, allegations of conspiracy in all US disaster areas, Naomi Klein pertinently explains that  » the truth is both less sinister and more dangerous. For an economic system that demands constant growth while refusing almost all attempts at environmental regulation generates by itself an uninterrupted stream of military, ecological or financial disasters. The thirst for quick and easy profits from purely speculative investments has turned the stock, financial and real estate markets into crisis machines, as shown by the Asian crisis, the Mexican peso crisis and the dot-com bust. Our common dependence on polluting and non-renewable energy sources generates other crises: natural disasters (up 430% since 1975) and wars fought over scarce resources (Afghanistan and Iraq come to mind, of course, but we should also not forget lesser conflicts such as those in Nigeria, Colombia and Sudan), which in turn lead to terrorist responses (the authors of a 2007 study concluded that since the start of the war in Iraq, the number of attacks has increased sevenfold) As the planet warms up, both climatically and politically, it is no longer necessary to cause disasters by means of dark plots. On the contrary, everything points to the fact that if we stay the course, they will continue to occur with increasing intensity. We can therefore leave the making of cataclysms to the invisible hand of the market. This is one of the few areas where it delivers. While the disaster capitalism complex does not deliberately unleash the cataclysms it feeds on (with the notable exception of Iraq, perhaps), there is ample evidence that its component industries are scrambling to ensure that current disastrous trends continue unchanged « (2).

This is a truth that the conspiracy theory fed by the media, official debunkers of fake news, risks to divert us, namely that « normal » policies strive to make this world unlivable, and that the disaster must last and worsen to ensure profits. This being said, one sees with a different eye all their calls for change, their fight « against » (poverty, underdevelopment, obesity and other « excesses » of all kinds), which are only a form of organization of the nuisance. One might be surprised that while nothing is supposed to be working « normally », some areas do not seem to be impacted at all by the situation. This is not a contradiction in terms, as some sectors work better in an upheaval situation. During Hurricane Katrina, for example, one might have thought that the devastated spaces would prompt a rapid rebuilding of the commons, but  » schools, homes, hospitals, public transportation systems, neighborhoods still without drinking water… In fact, there was no effort to rebuild the public sector in New Orleans. On the contrary, the storm was used as a pretext to obliterate it « (3). Like the guy who steals the wallet of someone who has just had a heart attack, we take advantage of the situation to destroy what remains of social protection against the tyranny of the market. However, we are still amazed to see the zeal to take measures that are totally antinomic with the common sense that the situation should inspire us. Referring to the testimony calling on the government to intervene, Naomi Klein said,  » Such introspective questioning was not in order at the Heritage Foundation, home of the true apostles of Friedmanism. Katrina was a tragedy, but, as Milton Friedman wrote on the Wall Street Journal opinion page, it was « also an opportunity. On September 13, 2005 — fourteen days after the levees collapsed — the Heritage Foundation organized a meeting of Republican ideologues and legislators with converging ideals. They developed a list of « free-market ideas to respond to Hurricane Katrina and rising gas prices » — 32 proposals in all, taken straight from the Chicago School textbook and presented as a form of « disaster relief. » The first three proposed solutions are: « automatically suspend David-Bacon wage laws in affected areas » (referring to the requirement that federal contractors pay a living wage), « make the entire area a free enterprise zone subject to a flat tax » and « make the entire area an economic competitiveness zone » (full tax benefits and suspension of regulations). There was also a demand for vouchers for parents to attend charter schools. Within a week, President Bush announced the adoption of all these measures « (4). What is happening in France and the application of « special powers » in Belgium are the same types of exploitation of a crisis situation. The timid and vague proposals — a strategy of slow and progressive ideological breakthrough — of the president of the Belgian employers’ association, Pieter Timmermans, of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium, indicate this strategy of shock:  » Together, our companies are capable of meeting great challenges. They have already proven this during the financial crisis of 2008 and after the terrorist attacks of 2016. But our companies, in all sectors, will have to be even more resilient this time (…) But the world will have changed after the coronavirus crisis. We must therefore anticipate the future. We will have to rebuild and strengthen our economic fabric, it will take « new ideas, a new approach, a new Marshall Plan to get stronger companies back « (5). Pieter Timmermans, boss of bosses, friend of billionaires and captains of industry, who was present on September 11, 2018 for the official launch of the National [« public-private »] Pact for Strategic Investments, with at his side: » Michel Delbaere, CEO of Crop’s (production and sale of vegetables, fruits and frozen meals) and former boss of Voka, but also, among other multiple functions, chairman of Sioen Industries; Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus; Marc Raisière, CEO of Belfius; Michèle Sioen, CEO of Sioen Industries (world market leader in coated technical textiles and high quality protective clothing.), former president of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB), Dutch-speaking manager of the year 2017, incidentally involved in Luxleak; Baron Jean Stéphenne, well established in academic and political circles, like his other acolytes, former vice-president and general manager of the pharmaceutical multinational GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, but also chairman of the board of Nanocyl, a spin-off from the universities of Liège and Namur, specializing in carbon nano-tubes (batteries, cars, electronics…) « (6). Let us be sure that they only want to ensure the common good. 

But the opportunism of the situation does not only consist in accentuating the liberal logic by destroying what still opposes it, but also in deploying « innovations » that the media propaganda was not enough to make acceptable, and that a confinement for example, reducing the power of contestation, will allow to deploy at the right time. This was the case in New Orleans, where Friedman’s apostles saw the hurricane as a boon for the privatization of education:  » Katrina accomplished in one day what the education reformers had been unable to do despite years of work . »(7) This is the case in Europe with 5G. Some may have believed that the absence of a federal government in Belgium would constitute a moratorium for technological invasion, especially that of 5G, that the appeals and open letters of thousands of scientists would be heard, but they were unaware that they are only listened to — like nurses and doctors in hospitals in times of Coronavirus — when they serve their interests. This was without counting on their determination and the opportunity of the situation that was offered to them: in Belgium, in the middle of a lockdown, the Belgian Institute of Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) announced the granting of provisional rights of use to enable the introduction of 5G. A public consultation, while we are stuck at home and cannot gather, is taking place until April 21… In a single day, on April 1, 2020, the state-industry corporation made public the decisions it had taken via their spokespersons, the media:  » Proximus launches 5G in more than 30 municipalities « . The announcement indicates who decides: it is not a political power (subordinate in any case to the business logic), or better yet a democratic force, but a company. 

In the area of health, it was stated and agreed that there were no longer any control groups(8) and that from now on, necessity to produce and consume always more obliges, we were guinea pigs in phase of experimentation:  » Since the use of mobile phones is now widespread, said a physician member of the Frémault Committee(9), an alternative to case-control studies is the analysis of the evolution over time of the prevalence of brain tumors « . Or: « let it happen, we can’t fight it, then we’ll see ». Caught in the loop of self-interest, the treatment of tumors and various disorders will benefit privatized hospitals. A win-win situation. 

THE FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY OF COVID-19 

Covid-19 comes at the right time in the face of a capitalism in a phase of disruption, which must avoid a possible large-scale popular protest. The climate marches and the emergence of protest movements, even if they did not constitute a subversive risk in themselves, could, with the worsening of the situation and the alternative information available on the internet, have led to a form of sedition by a significant part of the population. And this is what they must avoid at all costs, preventing the technological deployment, and, worse, being able to lead to an improbable, but possible, conscientization of the crowds coupled with a democratic takeover of our lives.  » We will have to inform, educate and give confidence in 5G « , says the CEO of Proximus(10), meaning « toaccentuate propaganda and lobbying « .

At one point, as Friedman, the inspiration for the terror regimes of the neo-liberal dictatorships of South America in particular, said,  » only a crisis — real or supposed — can produce changes. When it occurs, the action to be taken depends on the ideas in force at the time. This, it seems to me, is our real function: to find alternatives to existing policies and to nurture them until politically impossible notions become politically inevitable « (11). Or, to put it another way:  » For the economic shock treatment to be applied without constraint […], one must count on a major collective trauma, which temporarily hinders or suspends the application of democratic principles . Applied to the present situation: a Covid19 is needed  » to help private enterprise achieve its objectives: to take advantage of collective trauma to bring about major economic and social reforms « (12),  » Fear and disorder are the engines of progress « (13). Bill Gates, the architect of world disorder, knows something about this, as he is currently giving good advice to the States and awaiting their financial involvement — and therefore that of the taxpayers — to make up billions of doses of vaccine,  » private companies can’t take that kind of risk, but the federal government can .(14)…  » Itis during moments of great malleability — those when we are psychologically unmoored and physically displaced — that these artists of the real roll up their sleeves and undertake to remake the world . »(15). As Michael Bruno, Chief Economist at the World Bank, told an audience of 500 economists:  » The political economy of severe crises tends to lead to radical reforms with positive results « (16).

Thus, Belgian ideological accomplice of Milton Friedman, Etienne Davignon, former Vice-President of the European Commission, who  » will make official » the fusion of the community with the business world ,  » Chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), Société Générale de Belgique, L’Union Minière, Vice-Chairman of Accor, Arbed, Tractebel, Fortis Belgium, director or member of the supervisory board of Anglo American Mining, Gilead, ICL, Penichey, Foamex, Kissinger Associates, Fiat, Suez, BASF, Solvay, Sofina, Recticel or CMB-Compagnie Maritime Belge. President of the AUME (Association for Monetary Union in Europe) since 1991, and of the Paul-Henri Spaak Foundation, he is today a member of the Trilateral Commission and Governor of the Ditchley Foundation. « (17), the architect of the disaster, gave us his good advice in a Belgian daily newspaper:  » a European plan for the survival of the air transport sector, which has been an engine of economic growth in recent years; concrete measures to support SMEs; an emergency plan for the medical sector; acceleration of the investment required for the « Green Deal »; development of scientific research, particularly in the health sector « (18). « Marshall », « Green New Deal » or « transitional society », always hear public subsidies to the private, privatization of health, acceleration of the total digitization of our lives, socialization of the costs of public research and privatization of the benefits, in an increased form. In other words, the mantra of the Chicago school: privatization, reduction of public spending, deregulation. 

Fear is healthy for capitalism. It must therefore last: counting deaths, patients in intensive care, giving statistics without taking into account essential criteria (such as the percentage of people tested in the population), announcing a « peak » to come, in two days, two weeks… and confining. The current situation shows the extent of media indigence and the mimetic capacity of journalists to all stammer the same nonsense at the same time. 

That said, this media misery can only be understood in the light of a global system where the shock is a godsend for those who pull the levers in the upper echelons, a jolt accelerating the implementation of an already fixed program that is being put in place too slowly in « normal » times. We do not see how and why the media in the pay of capital, which daily already helped us not to understand, tool of disinformation of the masses, encouraging the vilest instincts: covetousness, jealousy, affects, vile impulses, knowingly maintaining the silliness,  » i.e., in terms of the market economy, everything that is likely to sustain the consumption frenzy « .(19)In the meantime, they would suddenly turn into a champion of anti-capitalism. 

WHEN WILL CHANGE HAPPEN? 

 » And there, » said the Director sententiously, by way of contribution to this presentation, « is the secret of happiness and virtue, to love what one is obliged to do. This is the purpose of all conditioning: to make people like the social destination from which they cannot escape « (20).

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.

 » The so-called Western democracies are in this respect quite comparable to feudal societies whose subjects would be called upon to solemnly renew, from time to time, their approval to the princes, dukes, counts and other patricians who have long since seized power and whose only concern is to legitimize their coups de force « (21).

Alain Accardo, The Little Bourgeois Gentleman

Previous crises have all ended in a victory for capitalism, advocating stronger neo-liberal remedies, which have led us to the current situation. Why should it be any different today? What would have suddenly changed? It is true that inequalities have grown tremendously, thanks to favorable political measures, the climate is disrupted, biodiversity is dying and our children are caught in a spiral of cretinization by screens on one side. On the other hand, airplane flights keep increasing, car sales, smartphones, online shopping… However, it is difficult to see how we can change the paradigm if we continue to play the system’s game, if we want to have our cake and eat it too, if we want clean air but want to drive our children to school, if we want trees but want to eat meat every day, if we want to be authentic but want to go to the ends of the earth whenever we want… 

In order to maintain itself, the system absolutely needs our consent, our  » those members of the different fractions of the middle classes of which we are part and which constitute today the essential component of the population of the Western democracies, that is to say those whose adhesion is the most important for the support of the system. I think that, without the consent of these millions of citizen-wage earners to the existing order, this order could not be sustained, except to throw down the masks of democracy and to transform itself into a proven tyranny governing by terror « (22). This is actually what it has done and still does — tyranny — in the dictatorships of those countries that supply us with labor and raw materials. 

We would have many things to say here, let us retain one important thing which is that  » for the longevity of a system, it is imperative that those who make it work are willing to do so voluntarily, at least for what is essential. And the more spontaneous their adherence becomes, the less they need to think to obey, the better the system is « (23). We have delegated our responsibility to a central power and have been lulled into believing that representative democracy is not a fatal flaw. We let them do what they wanted, and that basically, having the freedom to consume in exchange, we wanted too. Resignation has never been as strong as it is today. Institutions, such as the media, which are supposed to play the role of a fourth power, have become  » devices for organizing unconsciousness « (24). The left-wing movements have identified an external enemy in order to better abandon the enemy within them, that is to say all the introjected structures that participate in the acceptance of the world as it is. Steve Biko said it best, with this aphorism:  » The most powerful weapon of the oppressor is in the mind of the oppressed . The media, owned by the wealthiest people, has been an essential weapon in organizing the  » consensus of blindness »(25). They continue their work in the episode Covid-19. 

To measure the poverty of the collective in our societies, some events symbolize more than others this reality of a middle class blind to the reality of this world. 

THE APPLAUSE AS A SYMBOL OF THE ABSENCE OF A COMMON 

Far be it from me to denigrate the subject taken as a person in his act of applause. But whatever his intentions, and whether he wants it or not, this one participates in a public dimension: nobody applauds in his living room, the walls as only witnesses… It is therefore necessary to attempt a sociology of this applause, which will obviously offend some. But it is a question of warding off the perpetual continuity of the deluge which, each time, reproduces itself irremediably, relying constantly on the idea that, this time, it is the good one. Some may think that this time, it is perhaps, finally, « the good one ». Let us therefore take a few precautions, one of which, apparently paradoxical, seems essential: always believing that this-time-is-the-good-time, we delegate our responsibility to others, as always, who will be the guarantors of the path to be followed, the one they have traced before with buldozzer and Progress, and which leads us where we are. However, let’s bet that without a massive participation of the people, the path will be the same and the markers placed by the same people. If the major financial crash is not for this time, in the next few days or months, let’s say — because there will be a crash at some point — it is certain that the politicians will continue in the same way. 

We should therefore not detect in this applause the sign of a sudden newfound solidarity, which would presage the best for the days to come. This would be a bit of a leap of faith and would show ignorance of the conservative will of those who pull the strings, of their formidable power, but also of the deep servitude of a majority of us. The late manifestations of a media-organized and politically tolerated « solidarity » are typical of our societies, we must « all be » something (Charlie, Brussels, …) to build this illusory unity, which participates in the great confusion and prevents us from thinking this world. The 8:00 p.m. clap every night to thank the medical staff is part of that. These, in spite of good will, remain wisely circumscribed within the framework of acceptable and accepted gestures. If these are the most sympathetic and good-natured, they still remain signs of an individual reflex. 

For some, it is a question of conjuring up a fear, a form of public outlet for a past anguish that has now been transformed into a demonstration of the delight of being — still — alive. This is the reflex of the landing after a turbulent flight which, rather than revealing the strength of a community, shows an instinct of individual survival quickly imitated by all the individualities present — one will concede that the reaction is less noble in the category of « solidarity », demonstrating the implacable weakness of the collective in our societies, if that is all that is left for us to be « together ». We suddenly realize that something could kill us, quickly, all the better because we don’t see that something was killing life, and humanity, more slowly, but surely, every day, yesterday, today. And tomorrow? 

Unfortunately, the pilot is forgotten as quickly as the fear of landing has ceased, just like the amnesia for the survivors of September 11 in the United States, inversely proportional to the political and media tributes of the time. Forsaken after the show, this is the classic attitude that, following the show, gives the measure of all the spectacular truth. After the Brussels attacks, it reached its peak, with podiums and concerts in tribute to the victims. After the lights went out and the square was swept, the rest was more difficult: some people are still waiting for the money from the State and from the insurance companies, which they had to pay themselves to pay for the multiple operations, revalidations, adapted material… No more scoop, we turn the page. The media is also passing by, it is no longer economically viable to talk about those who cannot pay for their wheelchair, and then we would have to go beyond the explanation of the system that generates this; which might not please the owners of the « brand ». Le Soir®, La Libre®, Le Vif l’Express®and others.

There are a few things that need to be clarified here. One, that the contamination effect, bad pun intended, is not absent. Like the phobic who, having overcome his anxiety about the plane to reach an elsewhere and decompresses on landing by applauding despite a trouble-free flight, sees his behavior imitated by the rest of the passengers, the sight of the neighbor applauding on Monday night, followed by two more on Tuesday, five on Wednesday, to finish with the whole block, leaves you in a situation, how can I put it? whose minority patients of Asch’s experiments have shown the effects(26). Two. Let’s admit that the applause can, in a movement of collective subversion, bring in the same gesture to use one’s hands not to slap them anymore, to use them actively and to take the street, and why not its cobblestones, or for example, and not the least, to refuse the privatization of the health care, of the hospitals (ah, hold on, the hospitals!), of the Post Office…, to finally not admit that one can continue to govern us, antithesis of the democracy — in which, it is still an intellectual step to cross, it will be necessary to realize that we are not any more -, we do not see well the intermediate stage between the phase « to applaud » and the phase « revolution ». 

Because, let’s say it again, at the risk of sounding like a killjoy (a strategic term that the right-thinking society uses, like « conspiracy theory », as soon as it can, to prevent us from thinking), the slightest modification of the bourgeois living environment arouses a wave of unprecedented revolt, much more radical than the applause, which exudes « celebration » much more than rebellion. I remember this attempt — not revolutionary in my opinion, revolutionary in hindsight given the reactions of the neighbors — to remove a parking space from the street and turn it into something other than an ugly and cumbersome junk heap. There were those who, calling themselves left-wing, said nothing, so great was the dissonance between some of their ideas and the will to change nothing. Their silence left the way clear for the status quo, of course. Then there were those who saw in this atrocious act a liberticidal political form, which speaks volumes about what Cornelius Castoriadis called heteronomy — the opposite of autonomy. This, more than the fact of being dominated by a group, expresses the certainty anchored in the individual that the institutions are not the fact of men, but were given to us once for all and that we cannot do anything about it. The oppressor’s weapon in the mind of the oppressed… here we are. Thus, the one who took refuge behind the argument of his freedom, displayed this form of anhistorical thinking, unable to imagine that the world could have been one day without a car(27)The fact that a voluntary movement of industries (including Ford) has participated in the destruction of public transport, instilled in people’s heads through massive propaganda the Pavlovian reflex of assimilating the car and freedom, to the point that in the United States being a pedestrian has become suspect. Suspect of being human? The way to the mechanization of man… 

What does that have to do with anything? This is because the society we are in is not the result of decisions made by an informed and free population, but of choices made by industry and institutional politics, both of which are intrinsically linked, one needing the other. When we mistake our desires, shaped by decades of advertising, for freedoms, we are playing into the hands of a system that is the same as the one that empties hospitals and schools of staff, while filling them with Silicon Valley technologies. The car has killed our cities, and our lives. As the excellent Jaime Semprun noted back in 1997, when the ravages of the car had already begun, but had not reached the current perfection that we know:  » Nothing gives better the feeling of the criminogenic environment and the desert of the soul than this heap of metal envelopes inhabited by human grimaces, of condemned to the prison of the sentence, that became what was called street. Each car is a projectile that has been fired, so it’s a permanent, stupid war, with no end in sight « (28).

It is therefore deplorable but not surprising — in view of the apathy of a part of the applauders in « normal » times — to notice that it is still and only at the moment when one risks being eaten by maggots or burned by flames a little earlier than expected, that one shows a sudden « concern for the other » — when one knows that etymologically « supportive » means « supportive ». said of a property common to several persons, each being responsible for the whole, and by extension of persons bound by a joint and several act »(29). The collective hysteria in the stores and the emptied shelves are however there to remind us where the cursor of cooperation is, in a society where for four decades at least, the competitive and every-man-for-himself beacons have been the only ones to give the course. The events, far from the frenzy of 8:00 pm — the time of the TF1 news — show isolated acts which indicate that it is above all fear and every man for himself which dominate, the nurses being sympathetic when they are far away taking care of the intubated, of which we only hope that the next one will not be ourselves or one of our close relations; from there to share the table with them, there are a few steps which we will not take.(30)

Sorry to come back to this, but we applaud first of all for ourselves, as we ostentatiously exposed ourselves on the terraces of Parisian cafés after the attacks: we clap our hands to be still alive, a bit like we can sometimes be relieved to be at the exit of a funeral: « This time, it’s not me ». This makes us fear that the exit from this monastic period will be manifested by conformist exultations and festivities of circumstance. We fear the worst, in a world where living has become synonymous with producing and consuming. A New Year before the hour… we can already guess the headlines and the opening of the TV news, silliness and cretinism in apotheosis. 

RETURN TO NORMAL 

Macron, intrepid braggart announced on March 11, before going back on this libertarian effusion and threatening the recalcitrants with confinement:  » We will not give up anything, especially not to laugh, to sing, to think, to love, especially not to the terraces, to the concert halls, to the summer evening parties, especially not to freedom . This atavistic reflex of exaltation of the festival is not without significance. It emerges from the logic of bread and games, which this servant of the oligarchy that is Macron has well understood(31), giving to hear the sounds that make the middle class vibrate. With the next financial crisis, which he and his banker friends have concocted, we may not be able to laugh and sing much longer. The return to normalcy, if there is one, will be a return to the abnormal. It is abnormal that the media, in the pay of the political and financial powers, have been working for decades to make it seem natural, or at least as « without alternative ». Sorry for those who read us constantly, but it is necessary to go back to what two high-ranking figures in the editorial staff of Belgian daily newspapers told us at the time, when we were suffering the effects of unbridled neoliberalism and the endless lure of gain was leading us towards an abyss whose deep proximity we feel more and more. Béatrice Delvaux, current editor-in-chief of Soir, former editor-in-chief, wrote in December 1999, at the time of the Seattle revolts:  » The radical ‘no’ to globalization is untenable in a world where consumers are taking actions every day that take businesses beyond borders […] » The market remains the most efficient way of organizing economic life — not least because all the others have shown their limits . It was December 2, 1999. No wonder that more than 20 years later, the newspaper is still asking the architects of the disaster how to get out of it(32). Later, Francis Van de Woestyne, editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper La Libre at the time, wrote:  » On the eve of the weekend, the trade union leaders went on a « safari » in Brussels, a mini-trip designed to point out the « protected tax species » of Brussels. Fun? Rather distressing…(…) the systematic stigmatization of the « rich », as practiced by the unions, is deplorable. So what, you just have to be poor to be honest… ? A country needs rich people. To invest, to take risks (sic). The system should ensure that the wealthy, and others, have an incentive to invest their money in the real economy of the country rather than seeking high returns elsewhere. It is not the rich who are responsible for the crisis, but the sorcerers’ apprentices who took advantage of the flaws in the system to make it go off the rails » (…) France has been practicing an anti-rich policy for the past two years: we are seeing the results. The rich are leaving, the economy is shrinking and the poor are poorer. A rich idea, really « (33). Remember that they are the ones who are still « informing » you today. 

 » Losses and sacrifices « ? He must not have read Majid Rahnema, who has masterfully demonstrated how misery is specific to our modern societies and their productivist delirium, cause and effect of the valorization of pecuniary wealth(34). But do they even know who he is? These governmental preceptors do not seek to understand, they are apostles of the free market, they are there to convince us. Beatrice Delvaux in a discussion after a debate, had revealed to me that she was unaware of the media criticism movement in France, thus « The New Watchdogs » and the eponymous film, as well as Acrimed, Alain Accardo… unbelievable for an editorial director. It’s easier to be blind when you step away from the light. 

Let’s bet that the pilots of the situation (the rulers), praised by the power, will be applauded after the flight. Some of them will be dismissed, for having « badly managed the crisis », but they will be quickly replaced by new pilots, who will take place in the same type of aircraft and will choose the same ways. Unless… 

WE HAVE THE SOLIDARITY WE CAN 

Of course, behind the clapping of hands there is a desire to rediscover links, warmth and conviviality, but if this has been reduced to a form of individual demonstration in a system that has constantly scorned it, preferring consumer monads, it can only be what we allow it to be. It is then reduced to an ordered and subordinated act that we subconsciously know will have no repercussion on our life; like the self-censorship of the journalist who « knows » what he can, adding, to restore a certain mental balance, that he does what he wants: « it is necessary » like what we have to do « . This « will » in a society ruled by plutocrats who have with them the most advanced propaganda tools and more than zealous journalistic servants, is therefore of little value. You will therefore understand that the logic of the « 1% responsible » and the « external » system suits them perfectly. We can only be in solidarity in superficiality in a society that has made its only values those of producing and consuming more and more. In this world, we always work against someone, necessarily, inscribed in spite of ourselves in binary categories. One cannot respect the Other, when one lives in a society that depends on oil, has given birth to Ikea and reduced space to the car; one cannot do so either when one works in a temporary employment agency that exploits and humiliates troops of human cattle waiting for a few hours of a « shitty job »; when you eat in a fast-food restaurant where the toilets are run by a pensioner unable to live on her pension alone, not to mention where the food you eat comes from; when you meet a guy on the street before going home who will sleep there tonight; when you work during the day in offices that slaves clean as soon as the day goes by… To only applaud is therefore to seek some temporary advantages without the disadvantages and, whether we like it or not, to play into the hands of the system. A system that has known how to value and put in the forefront these guiltless practices, where charity takes first place. 

Even the most recalcitrant did not see that under their invitations, gentle or severe, to fall back on individual refusal, they were implicitly admitting that the collective was no longer possible, and were thus promoting a withdrawal into themselves that was specific to the system they wanted to see disappear. Can you blame them? Not having seen their years of struggle lead to a collective movement, the passing of time having instead deepened technological alienation and the destruction of the imagination, they retreated to the place where they still believed change could be made: the individual. Yet  » whatever we do or abstain from doing, our private strike does not change anything, because we live from now on in a humanity for which the « world » and the experience of the world have lost all value: nothing is of interest from now on, except the ghost of the world or the consumption of this ghost. This humanity is now the common world with which we really have to reckon, and against this, it is impossible(35) to go on strike « . Leaders are perfectly fine with our individual initiatives, as long as they don’t get to the heart of the matter. Is it necessary to remind that if  » at no time in history have the possessing and ruling classes been spontaneously willing to give up their domination and they have never given in to anything but force (at least the force of numbers), and today they are less so than ever, given the multiplicity and effectiveness of the protective mechanisms they have put in place (the European Union, for example, to name but one) « .(36) That’s how far we’ve come in the democratic dispossession: signing petitions on the internet thinking that it might change something. 

The medical sector is no exception, and we should not be deafened by the repeated applause that prevents us from hearing and seeing. 

THE BUSINESS OF MEDICINE 

 » As Europe was rebuilt after World War II, the Western powers adopted the following principles: market economies should guarantee sufficient basic dignity to dissuade disillusioned citizens from turning back to a more attractive ideology, be it fascist or communist. It was this pragmatic imperative that presided over the creation of almost all the measures we now associate with ‘humane’ capitalism — social security in the United States, public health insurance in Canada, public assistance in Britain, and worker protections in France and Germany. In sum, all these measures are born « of the pragmatic need to make major concessions to a powerful left » (…) « As long as the threat of communism hung overhead, Keynesianism, by virtue of a kind of tacit agreement, had life. Once this system was losing ground, all compromises could finally be eliminated and, in the same breath, the pure objective that Friedman had set for his movement half a century earlier could be pursued « (37).

To identify a group — « the medical profession » — is to reduce it to a more or less fixed form. And it is risking to forget some essential criteria that could divide it in two or more groups if we establish other criteria of distinction. This is, knowingly or unknowingly, what the thanks to the medical profession and its indistinction provoke. For if the latter is essential to « save us », whatever the ideology that animates the individual members, it must be specified that the doctors, mostly liberal, are at the origin of the numerus clausus, as two of them reminded us: 

-  » It was the doctors who demanded the numerus clausus! They will never move.  »

-  » Except for a few fads, but otherwise we are completely in the minority: 90% of physicians vote MR.  »

-  » They want to remain a caste: what is rare is expensive … » (38) .

Privileged in our societies, many of them have thus entered into a logic of maximization of their gains, opening the way to the logic of a two-tier medicine, cause of the hasty construction of private hospitals concomitantly with the destruction of public health, of which the first ones constitute mostly both the cause, and later, the consequence: 

-  » Doctors are still well paid, but when you hear them complaining, they don’t stop. Some doctors think they should be paid more than a prime minister because they would have more responsibility. For them, 10,000 euros net per month is nothing at all. […] In private hospitals [par contre], there is a strong individualism, which leads to inhuman excesses: I remember a gynecologist who delivered 400 babies alone every year and was proud of it « .

It makes little sense to applaud indiscriminately when the applauded group includes both those who want to maximize their profit from medicine and those who want to use their knowledge to participate in the common good of health. Of course, we know that a fireman will be able to put out the fire in your home, just as a liberal doctor will probably not leave you to die on the side of the road because you do not have a credit card(39)But he will have been partly responsible, more or less, for your misfortunes, or at least for the way in which they are now being dealt with. 

Everywhere, mega-hospital shopping centers are being built, with shareholders and dividends, whose primary objective is to make a profit, supported by public funding under the soothing pretext of « job creation ». Their goal is to treat the sick and not to reduce the disease in our societies, just as a gas pump must maximize the supply of fuel and not push motorists to use their legs with greater frequency. The objective of the private hospital is not health, it is just a way to make profit. As these private hospitals pay better, they also contribute to siphoning off staff from public hospitals, whose shortage of staff had already been compensated by foreign medical manpower, which in turn empties the medical services of often poorer countries. For example, the move of the private Cavell hospital to Brussels  » emptied the cardiology department « (40) of the public hospital Saint-Pierre. To « remedy » this? Public services are staffed with « managers » whose only goal is to play the game of competition with the private sector, with one medium-term result: to definitively kill the public service(41).

Furthermore, doctors in public hospitals « use » the consultations they give in public hospitals to redirect their patients to their private practice: « You know, you’ll wait a lot less in my private practice, » is a common practice. There is a hospital in the Liege area that offered an appointment within a reasonable time frame for twice the Inami price. No wonder then that  » at Cavell, for example, the majority of doctors refused to vote that the price should be limited to 10 times that of Inami! 10 times, you read that right. 

WHAT IS HEALTH IN A SICK WORLD? 

 » Schools produce education and motor vehicles produce locomotion in the same way that medicine produces care. Each company manages to dominate its sector and to have its products accepted as basic necessities that have all the characteristics of industrial goods « .

Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis(42).

It would be wrong to situate the medical system as an exception to the world in which it exists. At this level of reflection, we no longer distinguish between the private and the public, but perceive health as a particular domain in a sick system, where in fact the medical enterprise is a paradigm of the industrial institution:  » The pernicious medicalization of health is only one aspect of a generalized phenomenon: the paralysis of the production of use values by man, as a consequence of the encumbrance by commodities produced by him .(43).

The institutional medicalization of our lives, the inordinate expectation of the hospital’s holy church, is part of the practices of disempowerment that accentuate our heteronomy, depriving us of the ability to think about the modern conditions of life that make us sick and the means to eradicate them(44)The health organization becomes in itself the company that, like others, obscures the world that produces its ravages:  » The organization necessary to support this intervention [la médicalisation de la vie] becomes the health mask of a destructive society(45) « But it also privatizes health, in the sense that it delegates to another the function of taking care of us:  » The medical enterprise threatens health. The medical colonization of everyday life alienates the means of care. The professional monopoly on scientific knowledge prevents its sharing « (46), as if this evolution were normal and desirable:  » Citizens are increasingly aware of their dependence on the medical enterprise, but they believe that this is an irreversible phenomenon. They identify this dependence on progress(47)  »

There are therefore formidable lessons to be learned from the present exultations in favor of health, coming from a society where junk food is widespread, and where no one would deign to leave his private car and air travel to do his part in making our air breathable, and ultimately to perpetuate a sustainable lifestyle. Modern man seems to have an easier time staying homebound than banishing Amazon from his list of online consumer services. 

It is therefore more than surprising to take note of the fact that states : 

- who let the food industry do what it wants, contenting itself with pretending to regulate the intentions of the « consumers » by affixing an apostille at the bottom of the screen of a television advertisement which sold us shit, while warning us anyway that the abuse of fecal matter was harmful and that we should exercise every day — while watching television? 

- whose agriculture has been gradually colonized by the logic of profit and has participated in the lethal programming of small farmers, killed the soil, organizing the massive disappearance of bees, insects in general, earthworms and life; 

- who have encouraged intensive breeding, the thousand cows farms, the pig farms in Brittany whose millions of tons of slurry kill horses and poison walkers, the chickens whose beaks are cut off, whose young are crushed to make nuggets… That is to say, who have made the animal a vulgar exchange value; 

- who have agreed to trade with a country that destroys the Amazon rainforest; who cut down trees to build useless buildings, roads, free zones to let the deadly 5G waves travel; 

- that accompanied the privatization of health care, leading in part to the situation we are in now; 

- who encouraged car traffic and never initiated the slightest gesture in favor of its reduction, (except in the big cities recently, very slowly, at the rate of the inconveniences that the traffic jams caused to the employer’s sector), vitiating our air, whose fine particles and other scoriae of the individual freedom to drive colonized our lungs;

- which have favored the multinational sector, to the detriment of alternative, inexpensive and equally, if not more effective, remedies;

- who have exploited the « South » and continue to plunder it in an untimely manner, for our comfort in the North; have assassinated all the leaders who tried to give their people an autonomy, frowned upon here because it would have scorned the technological « autonomy » of the people, who want their car, their microwave oven and their smartphone; putting in place aid mechanisms that had more of a symbolic value than a real one, comforting the Westerner in this image of our innocence in the situation of the South;

- who have participated in or tolerated the concentration of the media within structures owned by the largest national fortunes, whereas a liberated information, if it ever existed on a large scale, remained the guarantee against the alienation of the population, a food for the critical spirit, and thus the assurance that it would not have accepted all the « innovations » imposed on it;

- who let information and communication technologies (ICT) and GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) take control of our lives and minds and participate in the cretinization of the masses, opening the doors of educational institutions to them…

- who can’t even abolish plastic, glyphosate, SUVs, tax havens, or rather encourage them.

 — …

It is therefore frightening that these States, which have participated in this collective decline, now remember us, our health and our lives, as if these were now taking precedence over the economy and growth, and one can only see, beyond the spectacle(48)It is not a great conspiracy, but the morbid continuity of a mode of organization that they are not ready to question after the Covid-19 episode, on the contrary. Of course, this role of poisoner-apothecary is proper to a State that has believed that it must serve companies and their bosses before the common good and that has, moreover, made the arrangements they had put in place to protect us somewhat from the throes of capitalism (social security, health insurance, paid vacations, public services) dependent on a growth economic system. It is obviously necessary to underline that, usual hierarchy in the deaths obliges, it is because of the fact that the Coronavirus attacks all social classes confused(49) that the elites are interested in it today. Here, the deaths are important, because the epidemic also affects the bosses of industries in Bel20.

Let’s come back to this:  » It is society that multiplies the causes of physical, mental and social maladjustment and that makes it necessary to spend fantastic sums of money to care for, rehabilitate or keep alive the maladjusted(50) « .  » The idiot cycle « (51)…  » Morbidity trend analysis shows that the general environment (which includes lifestyle) is the primary determinant of the overall health status of any population. Nutrition, housing and working conditions, social cohesion and cultural mechanisms to stabilize the population play the decisive role in determining the health status of adults and the age at which they tend to die. While, with the transformations of the industrial age, the old pathological forms tend to disappear, new forms of morbidity appear. Diet again takes precedence in determining the type of common diseases, especially if tobacco, alcohol and sugar consumption are included. A new type of malnutrition is becoming a modern epidemic with a particularly rapid rate of expansion. One third of humanity survives at a level of undernourishment that would once have been lethal, while more and more people are absorbing poisons and mutagens in their food(52).  »

It is with the industrial era that new diseases appear. In the United States, the progress of industrialization is accompanied by a decline in the quality of food and therefore a deterioration in the health of the population.  » The destructive intervention of man on the environment has intensified in parallel with the alleged progress of medicine; the poisoning of nature by the chemical industry has gone hand in hand with the allegedly increasing effectiveness of medicines; modern malnutrition, with the progress of dietary science « (53). As health deteriorates, the management of health problems is seen as a huge profit opportunity. Thus, while tobacco and junk food bring in a lot of money for corporations — and for the state through taxes — the health consequences they cause bring in financial gains for pharmaceutical companies and privatized health sectors. Eliminating the cause would in fact produce two unthinkable effects for states that are intertwined in a pernicious logic of a public system financed by destructive activities, and that do not want to modify their functioning: 

- to deprive themselves of the revenues from the taxation of harmful products; 

- deprive themselves of revenue from medicines and health services. 

This would reduce disease, but also profits, which made Ruth Mulvey Harmer say  » that the World Health Organization has an interest in the continued use of toxic pesticides because of its public health programs « (54). Obviously, if what harms us structurally (air, water and soil pollution, deforestation, systemic stress, overconsumption of screens, …) does not disappear, it is because it is part of economic growth. But if we do not fight to see them disappear, it is also because we find in the use of the objects which produce these nuisances more advantages than defects, keeping in mind that the nuisances are especially undergone by people whose existence we most often try to forget, as Véronique de Viguerie indicated without ambiguity when she named her report « The oil companies kill to satisfy their customers… us!(55)

Science is worshipped, self-awareness and grandmotherly remedies that have proven themselves over the centuries are denigrated. Consensual group effects always contain a hidden meaning, which is obviously difficult to hear, since it reveals the myth of this new unity around a common theme. Paradoxically, then, the unanimity around the defense of health care indicates an overvaluation of hospitals that reveals a way of thinking that will perpetuate the bureaucratic domination of our lives. 

CONCLUSION

We should remember the horror that our system generates and requires in « normal » times. It has become « populist » and inappropriate to say that a child dies of hunger in the world every five seconds as a direct consequence of our development model. This reality is deeply disturbing because it tolerates only one answer: a radical change. There is therefore a lesson to be learned, the reason for which we have partially evoked in this text, but which seems difficult to come to consciousness: we should no longer expect anything from politicians, and it is indeed this belief that has made us waste precious time and participate in this perennial delegation of our collective power to a plutocratic caste. If there is no financial crisis of unprecedented magnitude during this Corona event, it is certain that politicians will return to their first love, namely a dismantling of what still makes society. Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, including those who collect rubbish and clean hospitals, cashiers, garbage collectors, postal workers, etc., will again be on their own when it comes to finding people to prevent them from being swallowed up by the profit spiral. Acceptable protests will then be insufficient, joyful expressions of solidarity disengaged, empathetic. 

The conspiracy thesis will be pulled out of the hat as soon as we want to say that the Covid-19 and its management are a product of this world. A schism, already begun, will be established between those who, even « of the left » — or especially of the left, sometimes… — are intimately persuaded to be in a modern, advanced world, and taken in hand by a State full of solicitude, for whom the events of crisis are only « accidents », avoidable, of a system which, once rid of them, will have reached perfection, a schism will thus be established between these last ones and those who do not believe any more in a protective State guarantor of the common good. Unhappiness, misery, illness and death are not only the pangs of existence, but also the intrinsic condition of a disastrous system that has made production-consumption a value. . 

In this sense, the panic is timely for a capitalist system in full disintegration. It is notably the occasion : 

- to test the submissiveness of large-scale populations; 

- to increase the profits of the pharmaceutical multinationals in an astronomical way, with the States assuming the burden of research and the private sector the profits, in the usual logic of socialization of costs and privatization of profits; 

- that the multinationals, as they always do, are instrumentalizing the States in unprecedented dimensions. Without them, global screening and vaccination cannot be coordinated; 

- to dispense with the opinion of a confined population for good, with governments allying themselves as never before with the private pharmaceutical sector, but also forming committees of experts from the corporate and banking sectors. 

- to make this leap possible by the massive instigation in the population of a collective fear which will authorize an « after ». As the Belgian Prime Minister said:  » It is a long process of reconstruction that awaits us. It is obvious that there will be a before and after Covid-19; whether it is in the way we consider our relationship with others or in the functioning of our society, more generally. We must ensure that we emerge from this ordeal strengthened « (56).

We must radically change our relationship with the world and with others, change our society, and fight capitalism. We will get out of this, collectively, and we will get out of their condition those who are dying because of our lifestyles, if we finally understand that. 

Alexandre Penasse

Notes et références
  1. Naomi Klein, La stratégie du choc. La montée d’un capitalisme du désastre, Leméac/Actes Sud, 2008, p. 14.
  2. Naomi Klein, La stratégie du choc. La montée d’un capitalisme du désastre, Ibid., p. 516.
  3. Ibid., p. 501.
  4. Ibid., p. 494–495.
  5. www.feb.be, consulté le 08 avril 2020.
  6. «“Créer le chaos et renverser les tables”?. Réflexion sur la démobilisation organisée et en cours » ; Voir aussi « L’invasion technologique à la lumière de la 5G ». www.kairospresse.be
  7. Naomi Klein, La stratégie du choc. La montée d’un capitalisme du désastre, Ibid. p. 14 (voir note de bas de page 9).
  8.  C’est-à-dire d’un groupe protégé des ondes qui pourrait être comparé à un groupe exposé.
  9. Voir « L’illusion technocratique à la lumière de la 5G », Kairos février 2019, voir https://www.kairospresse.be/journal/kairos-38.
  10. La Libre, le 02/04/20.
  11. Naomi Klein, La stratégie du choc. La montée d’un capitalisme du désastre, Ibid ., p. 15.
  12. Ibid., p.17.
  13. Ibid., p.18.
  14. www.gatesnotes.com, consulté le 08 avril 2020.
  15. Ibid., p.33.
  16. Ibid., p.314.
  17. Geoffrey Geuens, Tous pouvoirs confondus. États, Capital et Médias à l’ère de la mondialisation, EPO, 2003, p. 114 et 27. Ses fonctions ont changé, la citation étant tirée d’un ouvrage datant de 2003, mais cela en dit long sur le personnage.
  18. Le Soir, 1er avril 2020. Georges-Louis Bouchez profitera lui pour relancer l’idée d’une « allocation universelle au bénéfice de tous », nous faisant croire que le MR se souciait désormais du bien commun… https://www.mr.be/le-gouvernement-federal-precise-ses-mesures-de-soutien-pour-les-travailleurs-les-independants-et-les-entreprises.
  19. Alain Accardo, Le petit-bourgeois gentilhomme. Sur les prétentions hégémoniques des classes moyennes, Agone, Marseille, 2009, p. 54–55.
  20. Aldous Huxley, Le meilleur des mondes, Plon, 1932, p. 40.
  21. Alain Accardo, Le petit-bourgeois gentilhomme, Ibid., p. 37.
  22. Alain Accardo, De notre servitude involontaire, Agone 2001/2013, p.44–45.
  23. Alain Accardo, Le petit-bourgeois gentilhomme, Ibid., p. 32.
  24. Alain Accardo, De notre servitude involontaire, Ibid, p. 54.
  25. Alain Accardo, Le petit-bourgeois gentilhomme, Ibid., p. 49.
  26. Solomon Asch a réalisé des expériences devenues célèbres sur le processus de conformité et l’adhérence individuelle aux normes du groupe.
  27. Voir « Vive la bagnole », Kairos de novembre-décembre 2017, https://www.kairospresse.be/journal/kairos-32.
  28. Jaime Semprun, L’abîme se repeuple, Éditions de l’Encyclopédie Des Nuisances, p.31.
  29. Dictionnaire étymologique du français, Le Robert.
  30. https://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_un-infirmier-expulse-par-ses-colocataires-a-schaerbeek-suite-au-coronavirus-ils-ont-change-la-serrure-le-soir-meme?id=10472841&fbclid=IwAR1DmIATcLrGLO46JJUjx69DQ9X22NQZ_ghwaU0cfEb50X6AWddqH0raxQI
  31. Voir, notamment, Opération Macron, Éric Stemmelen, Éditions du Cerisier, 2019. Recensé dans le Kairos de septembre 2019.
  32. « Les “rédactions autorisées” Ou comment empêcher que certaines questions arrivent jusqu’à leurs oreilles… », www.kairopresse.be.
  33. Respectivement Le Soir, 02/12/99 et La Libre, 06/01/2014.
  34. Majid Rahnema, Quand la misère chasse la pauvreté, Fayard/Actes Sud, 2003.
  35. Günther Anders, L’obsolescence de l’homme, Éditions de l’Encyclopédie Des Nuisances-éditions, Ivréa, 2002, cité dans L’emprise numérique, p.397.
  36. Alain Accardo, De notre servitude involontaire, Ibid., p. 147. Voilà notamment pourquoi les oligarques demandent comme réponse à la crise « plus d’Europe », entendez plus de libre-marché, dérégulation, privatisation et réduction budgétaire.
  37. Naomi Klein, ibid., respectivement page 74, 304, 306.
  38. « La santé en système capitaliste : un bien commun ? », paru dans Kairos de février-mars 2018. Voir https://www.kairospresse.be/journal/kairos-33. Les citations qui suivent sont tirées de cette même interview.
  39. Enfin, le « progrès » made in USA arrive : « Va-t-on vers un système à l’américaine ? ». « On y est déjà. J’ai vu une patiente en hémorragie mise dans le tram d’un hôpital privé vers un public, refusée parce qu’elle n’était pas solvable ». Voir « La santé en système capitaliste : un bien commun ? », ibid.
  40. « La santé en système capitaliste : un bien commun ? », Ibid.
  41. Voir à ce sujet le documentaire « Burning out », Jérôme Le Maire, www.burning-out-film.com/?lang=fr
  42. Ivan Illich, Nemesis médicale, Œuvres complètes, vol.1, Fayard, p. 661.
  43. Ibid., p. 583.
  44. « Les rituels de la médecine font croire aux gens que les traitements qu’ils subissent feront du bien à leur santé, alors même que leur résultat le plus clair est de les priver de la volonté d’exercer un contrôle sur leurs conditions de travail et d’habitat », Ivan Illich, Ibid., p. 650.
  45. Ibid., p. 586.
  46. Ibid., p. 585.
  47. Ibid,. p. 681.
  48. Voir « Nous sommes pris dans le spectacle », Kairos février-mars 2020.
  49. Ainsi du décès de Philippe Bodson, ancien patron de Tractebel et Président honoraire de la Fédération des Entreprises de Belgique (FEB), grand ami des milliardaires. C’est un truisme que de dire que si la paludisme avait touché eux ou leurs proches, cela fait longtemps qu’il lui aurait trouvé un remède.
  50. Ivan Illich, Nemesis médicale, Ibid., p. 657.
  51. Titre d’un documentaire montrant la consanguinité entre les entreprises qui fabriquent les produits qui nous rendent malades et celles qui fabriquent ceux pour nous « soigner ».
  52. Ibid., p.600–601.
  53. Ibid., p. 601–602.
  54. Ibid., p.601.
  55. « Nigeria : la guerre du pétrole brut dans le delta du fleuve Niger », Météopolitique.com, cité dans De quoi Total est-elle la somme ? Multinationales et perversion du droit, Alain Deneault, Écosociété/Rue de l’échiquier, 2017, p. 275.
  56. « Allocution de la Première Ministre », 5 avril 2020, www.sophiewilmes.be
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