THE FABLE OF LIBERALISM

INTERVIEW WITH DANY-ROBERT DUFOUR

If understanding the present situation necessarily implies to get out of the moment, to settle down, to get out of the modern rush, of the short and repetitive cycle car-work-sleep-holiday, and to reflect, it is with thinkers like Dany-Robert Dufour that we can do it and advance in our analysis of the world and the understanding of ourselves.
Philosopher, author of many books, his anthropology of liberalism enlightens us in front of the sidereal void of the media-political sphere.

Kairos : The organization of the city should normally be based on the control of passions, on temperance, whereas if we walk around, even if only here in Paris, we realize that it is quite the opposite, that we are rather in a society where passions are exalted, where we are pushed to consume more and more, but also with this impression of being in a schizophrenic game where we are told: « consume but be careful with the environment », « eat our industrial filth but not too much »… How do you analyze this situation?

Dany-Robert Dufour: I did a work on the birth of liberalism, trying to write a critical anthropology of this current of thought, generally situated in the European Enlightenment, not the German Enlightenment, which on the contrary proposed a control of passions and impulses, but rather what is called the English Enlightenment, and more precisely the Scottish Enlightenment. I worked a lot on an author who is very little read, yet extremely famous in the 18th and 19th centuries. This author, Bernard Mandeville, who wrote The Fable of the Bees in 1705, was a physician of French origin who had studied in the United Provinces, the so-called Netherlands, and had gone to London to become what was called « physician of the soul. This is how he became interested in people who were taken by passions, either sad, melancholic, hypochondriacs, etc.

This famous Fable of the bees came to him while he was translating La Fontaine’s fables in England, which were several decades old. The thought that obsessed Mandeville as a physician of the soul was what people suffering from mental disorders do when they get better. To make them better, he found a very interesting therapy, not bloodletting, which was the usual procedure at the time, but making them talk. In this way he cured or reduced the pain of women suffering from hysteria, and men suffering from hypochondria, etc., who were mostly caught in moral shackles that restrained their impulses. It is very interesting because one passes from the field of the psychic economy to that of the market economy.

The moral of the Fable of the Bees is that private vices make public fortune or virtue. When private vices are liberated, wealth increases, the subject wants more, no longer has moral brakes and is less limited in his desires. This idea will be used throughout English liberalism and, fifty years later, Adam Smith, the founder of so-called scientific political economy, will write The wealth of nations of which Lacan will say that « He’s not talking about the wealth of nations at all, he’s talking about the wealth of bankers.

It is a scandal in the eighteenth century, so important that In France, when it was translated around 1740, first by Voltaire’s mistress, Madame Duchatelet, and then by another translator,the proposal also appeared to be properly scandalous. While we were since antiquity in a moral that said: « Calm down if you want the social link, civility, to function more or less, you must be able to act within certain limits, you must control yourselves. And if you do not control yourselves, we will control you and we will put you in prison or elsewhere, to calm you down ».Mandeville’s proposal appears as the promotion and liberation of private vices: « Do whatever you want to do and it can only be good for everyone. These are the foundations of liberal anthropology: liberalism is first and foremost the liberation of passions, vices and private impulses, with the idea that this will bring about something incredibly positive when it is realized in a general way.

Mandeville’s book was burned but his ideas continued to spread, taken up by Adam Smith and then by all the English utilitarians. They went from England to the United States, like a kind of new religion. First fought against as an idea of the devil, they ended up winning the world. For a long time, this was counterbalanced in Europe by the other current of the Enlightenment, the German current, that of moral regulation, of the Kantian moral law which says: « I cannot generalize the freedoms I take because in the end it will turn against me ». So the whole program of modernity was to balance one with the other, until about the 1970s, when the current of German transcendentalism collapsed, not in Germany, but in other European countries like England and the United States, where in 1980 there appeared what was called the neoliberal wave with Thatcher and Reagan, which generalized this liberal anthropology of the liberation of the passions and impulses as being beneficial for everyone.

However, this ideological affirmation poses a problem, indicating that everything is permitted and that, as a result, anyone can do anything, with the corollary of destroying all forms of social ties and being together. It is then necessary to put injunctions, of the sanitary type: « Eat all you want but not too much fat « , « Get rich but give a little to the poor ». This gives this kind of false balance, which you called schizophrenia, which characterizes our societies.

No-limit…

DRD: Yes, no limits are tolerable, anything that limits me is anti-democratic. This reality is masked by a democratizing discourse: « I cannot be forbidden anything », « It is forbidden to forbid anything ».

Mandeville got it right, because more than three centuries later, we have reached a point where inequality has never been so great. Already in 2007, in The DivineMarket, you wrote that a few 200 people had the same thing as the 3.5 billion poorest people. Currently, we are at eight people.

DRD: Yes, that’s right. So we are making progress.

The delusion is that everyone accepts the situation. We were talking about scandalous things: in Belgium, for example, there was a campaign of the National Lottery whose slogan was « become scandalously rich ». The system is also maintained because there is a desire that crosses all social classes, right?

DRD: Of course. It would be wrong to blame only the rich, the « 1% ». This desire overflowed widely. There should be no limits, for example in consumption, you should always consume more: your smartphone, if it is one year old, you should change it for a new model. If you have the opportunity or possibility to have more, you have to, otherwise you look like a fool to others, like someone who is retarded, you are not in the loop. There is a generalized injunction that affects the poor classes. Most of the time, the manifestations of a political will are therefore those of a consumer will: they want to consume more. Those who have nothing do not fight for a change of system but so that they too can have what others have, under the same conditions of non-limitation. We know what this causes: if there are no limits in the production of manufactured objects and in the use of all the resources that allow these objects to be produced, we destroy the world, which is what is happening. The absolute limit of « always more » is not decided by men, but by nature, which is answering that it can’t take it anymore. The very mode of production destroys the world and its fundamental balances.

The limit is therefore always posed, but is no longer posed in the discourses. It is thus a question of reintroducing it now in a discursivity — that starts to come, thank God, what you make in your newspaper testifies to it — consented, political in the good sense of the term, of the polis, of living together, elements that are related to the observation, or observance of a certain number of limits without which this world is being destroyed.

To be a free man, one must be informed, but the « system » must lie in order to continue to exist and destroy the planet. You said that we must understand in order to act, not understand without acting or act without understanding. There are multiple examples of not understanding and trying not to make us understand. I’ll take two: unemployment, which you talk about in The Divine Market. All governments make the fight against unemployment their leitmotiv, while it is well known that a minimum unemployment rate « must » be maintained in order to weaken workers’ demands and restrict wages. The other, which has already been mentioned, concerns poverty. There are more and more poor people and we are still being led to believe that we are trying to fight poverty. You talk about « puritanical perverts », these people who amass an indecent fortune and have a charitable foundation, giving away their crumbs… it’s part of that ideological core. There are many struggles that are faked, for which we pretend?

DRD: We can no longer hide the problems that appear because of fundamental imbalances, from a social point of view, a democratic system that no longer works, a disruption of ecosystems, phenomena of overproduction, considerable migrations… But the system « must » continue, and for it to continue, there are placebo effects that appear here and there. For example, in relation to the legitimate concern for ecosystems, the market response is organic. Does it really answer all the questions? Probably not. This is a considerable problem, but at the same time the market responds to it with products that are supposed to meet people’s concerns. But everything remains in a market discourse.

In The Divine Market, you compare distributive justice with commutative justice. This is also an essential point, to have come to commit inequalities to restore equality. What is the difference with commutative justice?

DRD: Distributive justice is everything that has to do with the distribution of goods and honors, see the very good work of American philosopher Michael Walzer, Sphere of Justice. He starts from an idea already present in Pascal: there is a distribution of a certain number of qualities, for example you are beautiful, rich, kind… An injustice appears from the moment when because you are rich, you want to be beautiful, you want to be loved, you want to be heard, you want to be listened to. This is the problem of distributive justice, which therefore creates inequalities because those who have qualities think that with them they can have all the others. However, it is not because you are rich that you are intelligent, the proof by someone called Mr Trump in the United States(1).

Currently, many problems involve what I have called « extortion of consent, » where people, such as the unemployed, are placed in situations where they must « voluntarily » agree to a number of conditions in order to get a job. This is extortion of consent, which means that it is an operation where you pretend to have their agreement by contract, when they are obliged to do so in order to get the work. It is therefore a rigging of the fundamental democratic rules.

In this system of voluntary servitude, it is very difficult to have a discourse that is audible. But at the same time, there are those who fight and call themselves the true left, who are also paradoxically in favor of maintaining and continuing the productivist system. I am thinking for example of work and the idea of collectivization. In this regard, you rightly quote Simone Weil in The Western Delusion, who says: « The workers can be completely deprived of their rights in a factory that would be a collective property (…) If tomorrow we chase away the bosses, if we collectivize the factories, this will not change the fundamental problem that what is necessary to produce the greatest number of products possible is not necessarily what can satisfy the men who work in the factory.(2).

DRD: Since we are talking about unions and the labor movement, let’s remember the reception of Marx by the left-wing movements in European countries, and in France in particular. The Marx that has been translated is, on the whole, the Marx of Capital, the Marxist economist who was heard by the first political revolutions in Russia, with Lenin, the USSR, Stalin, who took advantage of the Marxian or Marxist discourse saying that it was necessary that the communist countries become competitive countries. In order to do this, they had to enter into productivist logics, with all that goes with them: a parcellarized work, ever more important production objectives, a total distinction between intellectual and manual work, an abandonment of all the creative side of work, that is to say, the transformation of those who were workers, into proletarians. The words say something: « worker », the one who accomplishes a work, and the proletarian has no more work, only a task, often repetitive. Simone Weil produced an excellent analysis in the 1930s on the effects of this parcelized work coming from Taylor and then Ford, which she understood perfectly; she speaks of the  » destruction of the soul » of those who were subjected to this parcelized repetitive work.

However, it is this form of work that was implemented in the USSR by Lenin, for whom Taylor’s scientific organization of work was to become the bible of production units in his country. Because it was necessary to beat the capitalists economically, the Soviets built a capitalist, productivist, but state-owned economy. And in fact, this did not change the main aspect, the productivism, the mechanization, the parcellarization of work, the destruction of the workers’ soul, their transformation into proletarians. So these countries have become a kind of mirror, a mime of the capitalist countries, instead of becoming an alternative that could have embarked on a production but without destroying the very idea of the work.

Why is it important for a worker to make a work? The human being always has doubts about his being, his existence, his durability, etc. Am I really here, am I really myself, do others see me, do they hear me? The human subject maintains a constitutive doubt about himself, he suffers from incompleteness, that is why he needs to produce objects of which he will be able to say « this object, it was necessary that somebody produces it, and this somebody, it is me ». Thus, the production of work is essential in the very constitution of a human subject.

After the 1929 crisis, whereas capitalism was a capitalism of production and therefore of extortion of surplus value, of extortion of consent, there came a capitalism that was slightly distributive of a certain form of enjoyment, in the form of manufactured objects that were offered, sold to those who worked, which Henry Ford theorized very well by saying: « The people who have to buy the cars that my factories produce and that my workers produce are my workers. While cars were then reserved for the elite of society as a means of prestige, as a means of social distinction, Ford’s genius was to ensure that it was his workers who could buy the cars they produced; with a kind of distribution, a retrocession of enjoyment that was confiscated from them before. So we had a double alienation: an alienation in work and an alienation through consumption. And this is where capitalism took an important turn, moving from a capitalism of production to a capitalism of consumption and could become there « mandevilian ».

It was necessary to make frustrated beings who have a meaningless job so that they consume all the more.

DRD: That’s it: producing frustrated beings who are paid, finally bought, and then rewarded with alienating consumer products. What has been lost between the first time of the worker who produces his work and that of the proletarian who recovers the manufactured object? He has lost the object that he made himself with his hands, his intelligence, his own genius, which enhanced him as the craftsman built his object. His effort came back to him in the external form of a manufactured object, following a process that he does not understand well. We have therefore lost the production of our own objects, and yet it is an essential part of human subjectivation to be able to produce our own objects. You here, you produce an object, the interview that we are doing. To make this object, you had to train yourself, in this case to read my books, to know what questions to ask, and you finally produced an object which is going to be the fruit of your work: you are a craftsman who produces a non-manufactured object, which is going to circulate of course, but which is not similar to a car that you produce 10 million copies of. It is a singular object. It is the singularity of the object that has been lost in the passage to industrial, mechanized capitalism, which has such strong consequences on subjectivation and on the subjectivity of producers, which Simone Weil had perfectly perceived.

Are we not entering into mechanisms of alienation which, in the 21st century, have reached fantastic capacities? Perhaps we are losing the subject, and we can ask ourselves if, in the struggles, the critical spirit of those who have lost it can be recovered?

DRD: That’s exactly the question. If you are in a logic of consumption, you run after a quantity of manufactured objects which are proposed to you, but you yourself do not produce anything any more, the objects are given to you by the market of goods, including cultural goods. This obviously worries many people, who feel this as a huge frustration. So there is a thirst to produce these objects again. And it’s very important to support this. Obviously, it would be extremely interesting if this tendency were to become a series, a network, and if it were to produce a mode of sociality that is not alienated by the market, production and consumption.

You speak at length about television in The Divine Market, which has destroyed social and family ties. Debord said on this subject that the television reunites the separated and it is because it is separated that it reunites it.

DRD: This is a manufactured object produced by advanced industries. The diffusion of television in 1950 in the United States, 1960 in France, was one of the vectors of the introduction of the market inside the domestic space, and to introduce the market and to connect people to a whole series of products from outside that are presented on television, it was necessary to destroy the relations of discursivity that existed inside the families, where people had things to say to each other, to tell each other, with metaphors, tried to put in discourse their own affects towards the members of their family. This destroyed all this discussion and led to extremely violent relationships within the family, which were commercial relationships. I call television « the crazy one ». Why? Because it causes itself. Why is she talking to herself? When it talks on TV, it doesn’t wait for you to answer. Whereas when your brother, father or mother speaks to you, he or she waits for you to answer, so there is a reciprocal discursivity, which is normally set up between the speaking individuals. Television does not call you as a subject, it passes on to you a certain number of things, images, objects to be consumed, or attitudes to be adopted in all of your relationships, such as sexual relationships, the domination of porn on television in the evening or on the internet for example, which imposes pornographic and sexual behaviors in spheres of extreme intimacy of individuals. It comes from the outside as some kind of models that you have to follow or apply, and if you don’t do it you’re a jerk.

They have pushed the perversity far enough because now there are cartoons where they create a false interaction with the viewer, such as Dora for small children, who asks a question, then waits a little while to let the child answer.

DRD: You are right to mention this because people who deal with television know what its flaw is: that of reciprocity. They will therefore mime forms of reciprocity, the fundamental rule of which is: « I speak, you listen. You speak, I listen ». And we are constantly, in our life as a speaking being, in this relationship. Now it’s talking, and it’s talking to itself, I can’t answer. So it suffers from this flaw in the very definition of human communication. So the promoters of television try to cobble something together: you have to respond with the cell phone, by pressing a button, by doing this, that… Television penetrated the domestic space, then it was the turn of the individual space with the cell phone: everyone has their own little screen, watches, taps, etc. The cell phone is a fantastic tool for controlling people, we know at any time what someone is doing, where they are, what they are looking at, what emails they are sending. The extremely invasive side of the cell phone, which analyzes everything, which tracks you absolutely everywhere, is put to good use in commercial relationships. In a documentary, it was shown that the mannequins in the windows of clothes have, at the place of their eyes, cameras, so the mannequin that you look at you. What comes out as an image is analyzed by a number of algorithms: if you are a man or a woman, your age, the color of your hair, the shop window in front of which you are stopped, but it is also able to analyze the little smile that indicates that the person is happy when he or she saw that the model was wearing that jacket, those shoes, etc. The information is stored, noted and direct or subliminal messages are then sent to the one who had this moment of enjoyment, this affect in front of this product signalling « I would like too », « Well you are going to have it what you would like! So there is spying in the most innocent activity: you look at inanimate mannequins in shop windows and you are completely analyzed in your desires, in what you are supposed to want, and it will be given to you, in one form or another, and you will buy it.

Hence the false sense of freedom… Individuals have never felt as free as they do today.

DRD: Of course, individuals feel free when they are totally tracked in their most simple affects. So, in relation to this reciprocity: we place screens next to the mannequins whose « eyes » analyze that you are happy and that you smile, you have a character who smiles, you make a gesture in front of the television screen, the character makes the same gesture, you hold out your hands, he holds out his hands to you There is a false interactivity that is created simulating a real relationship, but which is a false human relationship. Nevertheless, you are happy because you have been seen, identified, and above all you are free, in quotation marks of course: we have never been so spied on, it is a total control device. The television already induced an important control, but the cell phone represents an even more important control.

You talk a lot about this television that is watching us.

DRD: Yes, we are watched on television.

It also maintains this cult of identity, this narcissism, with all these programs where we hope to become the celebrity who, as you said in one of your books, is a celebrity who is not distinguished in anything. As Baudrillard said, celebrity is a tautology, we are famous because we are famous. There is no longer any distinctive feature, there is no longer any know-how.

DRD: Yes, of course, as we were saying earlier: you knew how to make a beautiful object, to compose a beautiful music, a beautiful poem, to arrange a beautiful flower arrangement, a beautiful dish, you knew how to present objects that interest you, and that eventually interest others. Now it’s over, this fame is over, you are taken at random, you are like everyone else; to be famous now, you must have no qualities at all. It is the man without quality. That’s how many young people let themselves be captured, and you see lines of 150 people in front of reality TV shows where they simply have to « be themselves » in front of others and show themselves, as if there was a « themselves »; the self is also built, it’s not something given just like that, we are constantly on the alert, in training Well, no, there would be a self that would make you immediately funny, beautiful, funny, intelligent, seductive, etc. There is nothing more to build.

We have not yet talked much about the I and the group, the I and the We as you say. You wrote in The Western Delusion :

« It is indeed that which it is necessary to seize well to understand the contemporary stupidity: the juxtaposition, the new knotting, of the egoism and the gregariousness »(3). We are more than ever in a group, but this one is like a kind of collectivity of atoms; the group as a founder of the individual identity does not exist anymore.

DRD: When you are solicited by advertising, which will have spotted in your supposed desires what could satisfy your appetites, it catches you by caressing you in the direction of the hair: « You want this object ». This is why there is a kind of ego flattery since we are going to satisfy the ego’s appetites. But this ego, as soon as it is captured, served, fulfilled in its appetites, it is put in the herd of consumers, it has nothing else to produce, especially no critical aim with regard to this mechanism which seized it and placed it in there, in the herd of consumers, thus we are in an ego-governed situation This is one of the forms of contemporary schizophrenia that you were talking about earlier: you think that it is your ego that is being flattered, but in fact you have joined the big herds; once you have joined one of these herds, we know what you want:

« You want such and such an object, you want to do such and such a cruise, tourism… We have the products that suit you, we have everything you need to satisfy you.

There are still quite a few circles that think the current system, but as you explain, they think it in a localized form of knowledge. You give this example of the Indian tale where blind people all perceive, by touching an elephant, something different. They think they are crazy, and ask the guide who accompanies them to help them, but this one is dumb. There is still a division between the knowledge, there is no holistic thought: there is sociology on one side which studies that, psychology, psychoanalysis on the other side.

DRD: This is the drama of current thinking. We live in a totality that is called the world, and this world is cut into as many discs that are meant to be intelligible. I faced a lot of adversity at the university, where people said to me « You are not an economist, why do you talk about economics »… Not only did I talk about economics but I said that the market economy is related to the psychic economy because in the market economy one wants to satisfy supposed desires of individuals. We cannot understand the current economy if we do not understand the psychic economy. If we touch the psychic economy, the market economy, we also touch the political economy, that is to say « what is the form that unites the whole ». In college I was told, « You’re not allowed to do that, you’re not allowed to cross borders. I said: « If I don’t cross them, I don’t understand them anymore ».… I will do monographs on depression, another will do a monograph on the usual forms of consumption, another will do something on the crisis of politics… but if we don’t link the whole, we won’t understand anything. This prohibition to see the elephant, to perceive the whole, is maintained by the current economy of knowledge which is divided into as many washers as there are specialists to produce predictable discourses on each of these washers. But something that brings it all together, that we don’t have.

This division serves the market fantastically. I think for example of the two environment pages in a newspaper, as if the environment could be put in two pages, when it should be everywhere.

DRD: Of course. So there is something of the intelligibility that is lost.

In The Divine Market, you quote Virgil’s palindrome: « In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni  » [« We turn in the night and are consumed by fire »(4)]. Ten years later, this sentence is even more true. It seems like the system is locked down on all sides, which raises the question of optimism and pessimism and how we look at the future. I felt in your last book The desperate situation of the present fills me with hope, optimism in the good sense of the word, lucidity, but also the impression that you do not believe in it too much anymore, and I have the impression that this is shared in the lucid and radical circles:

« How could we do it, but let’s try anyway », « Let’s try to refound the us, but without believing in it ».

DRD: At the great age at which I am arriving… I was twenty years old in 1968 and since that time I have seen a certain number of attempts, of attempts, so that we can try to build a more or less livable world. I must say that from that point of view, I must be disappointed: we were always at least one step behind. The opportunistic side of capitalism is striking, in the sense of the perverse side of capitalism, that is to say, being able to take something here and there, including from the enemy, in order to rebuild oneself, in forms of satisfaction of all appetites, of all desires, which is, after all, a slogan of ’68, that neoliberal capitalism has fulfilled.

At my age, should I still believe in it? No, it is difficult. So there is the idea that life goes on and can perhaps bring us some surprises, perhaps even good ones, it is not sure, I believe in it less and less given the state of the world, including the physical, chemical, atmospheric, systemic state of the world, we wonder now how much longer it can go on; we are not sure that in twenty or thirty years, it can go on. The study, which gave the interesting film Tomorrow, which was published in the journal Nature in 2012, tells us that in five, ten or fifteen years, the majority of the planet’s major ecosystems will be altered(5) Something will therefore begin that will resemble a considerable alteration of this world. How can you be optimistic under these conditions? It is true that we must give hope to young people, « It’s not their fault, they come into the world so old people like me have to be able to welcome them, but yes, yes, not everything is ruined, etc. », but in my heart I have strong doubts.

What is serious is that young people have also come to say to themselves « there are no alternative models, it’s all over », we hear this among younger and younger people.

DRD: The idea is that it’s probably screwed up but we’re trying anyway. It’s denial: « I know that but still… », « I know that it’s fucked up but I’m trying anyway ». In the end it is Borges’ proposal:  » The gentleman only supports lost causes ». Even if we lost, we still have to try.

In your last book, you mention the decisive institution that is the press, because it has control over the representations of the world, which is no small thing. I think it’s a fundamental fight, if the fight of the press is not won, I would say it’s lost.

DRD: I think it’s very important, the press. We see in France, and it is the same elsewhere but maybe worse in France, a press that belongs to the big industrialists, of the armament (Dassault), of those who control the networks, the Internet (Altis, Free), the newspaper Le Monde which now belongs to these people too. If they are interested in this, it is not out of altruism, but because there are interests to be defended, and the ideas that are expected by the population segments of each newspaper must be served. So we have here a phenomenon of confinement of opinions on themselves, a bit like when you make a request on Google, there are algorithms that have determined that you are old, young, female, green, left, center, right, internationalist, racist, leftist, convivialist, anarchist, feminist, etc. And when you make a request, Google responds based on your profile, which is what you want to hear. It locks you into your thought bubble. The press, which now has its market segments, also responds in the same way and locks readers into what they want to hear. So it’s the opposite of a free press that makes you think, regardless of what you want to hear. So here too, we are building up herds of newspaper consumers and opinion seekers who go along with them.

Where the truth has no place, the word « truth »…

DRD: But of course, the word « truth » is derisory. We have entered the era of post-truth, of post-history, of alternative facts, and so each person will constitute his or her own narrative sphere in which local truths are constructed, but facts that would refute this local truth are removed. So it’s not just Mr. Trump who is in the post-factual era, the press in general operates by dismissing the things it doesn’t want to see. I am well placed to know this since a certain number of newspapers at a certain time no longer wanted to hear what I was saying, whereas before they absolutely wanted to hear.

There is a considerable deficit in our democratic societies, we are each locked in our own little bubble of opinion. I say, « This is serious. I am aware of this seriousness, especially since I know Brazil well, which is dominated by two or three newspapers, including the Globo channel, for example, which has managed to pull off a media coup by forging an opinion on the former president accused of corruption, when it turns out that there is nothing. But all those who accused her of corruption are themselves corrupt. The main accuser is now in prison because we couldn’t help but put him there. Today, coups are no longer carried out with the army, as they were in the 1960s in Latin America, but with the press; the press that tinkers with opinion, to determine who is corrupt and who is not, accusing of corruption the one who is not and clearing the one who is totally corrupt. We know what it does. Compared to this, there are alternative presses, extremely critical blogs, etc. and fortunately this alternative press exists compared to these big groups. And I think it’s the same thing in Europe: there must be a press like yours, like free blogs that exchange, that meet and that put in the public place things that the big press doesn’t want to know. This seems to me to be a decisive struggle for the formation of the free man.

In France, this manufacturing of opinion takes place in a « soft » way, let’s see the case of Macron in terms of image of the press…

DRD: Of course. That Macron got seven covers of major French magazines in one year, when he was a complete unknown guy, indicates that there are a lot of obvious media constructions. It is not a coup d’état, but it is still the imposition of a figure unknown a year or two ago. It is therefore possible to invent media characters who suddenly impose themselves.

Interviewed by Alexandre Penasse, June 26, 2017 in Paris, transcribed by Alexandre Penasse and Bernard Legros.

Interview filmed by Thomas Michel, available here.

Notes et références
  1. Pour compléter: « Alors que la justice commutative suppose une égalité entre les justiciables, la justice distributive d’aujourd’hui préconise une distribution selon le poids social des individus : elle peut donc être amenée à donner moins à ceux qui ont plus et à donner plus à ceux qui ont moins. Elle préconise en somme de commettre des inégalités pour rétablir l’égalité. Cela s’appelle l’équité, concept central chez Rawls. L’équité permet de pratiquer une politique inégalitaire… prétendant réduire les inégalités. C’est donc une politique qui se pratique après-coup, c’est-à-dire après que les inégalités ont été produites, pour tenter de les corriger. Un des effets immédiats de ces théories de l’équité, c’est qu’elles permettent de passer au second plan, voir à la trappe, la question de ce qu’il faudrait faire pour éviter le surgissement d’inégalités décidément trop criantes ». Dany-Robert Dufour, Le Divin marché, Denoël, 2007, p. 332.
  2. Le délire occidental, Les Liens qui Libèrent, 2014, p. 112.
  3. Ibid., p. 212.
  4. Un palindrome est un mot ou groupe de mots qui peuvent être lus indifféremment de gauche à droite ou de droite à gauche, la séquence de lettre étant symétrique.
  5. NDLR Dany-Robert Dufour a certainement quelques points de vue critique sur Demain, que nous n’avons pas explorés lors de cette interview. Pour lire notre position, voir Le spectacle de demain : https://www.kairospresse.be/article/le-spectacle-de-demain

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