lundi 22 août 2011

Shoplifters of the World Unite -- Slavoj Žižek

But one should also avoid the temptation of the narcissism of the lost cause: it’s too easy to admire the sublime beauty of uprisings doomed to fail. Today’s left faces the problem of ‘determinate negation’: what new order should replace the old one after the uprising, when the sublime enthusiasm of the first moment is over? In this context, the manifesto of the Spanish indignados, issued after their demonstrations in May, is revealing. The first thing that meets the eye is the pointedly apolitical tone: ‘Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic and social outlook that we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.’ They make their protest on behalf of the ‘inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development and consumer rights for a healthy and happy life.’ Rejecting violence, they call for an ‘ethical revolution. Instead of placing money above human beings, we shall put it back to our service. We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from.’ Who will be the agents of this revolution? The indignados dismiss the entire political class, right and left, as corrupt and controlled by a lust for power, yet the manifesto nevertheless consists of a series of demands addressed at – whom? Not the people themselves: the indignados do not (yet) claim that no one else will do it for them, that they themselves have to be the change they want to see. And this is the fatal weakness of recent protests: they express an authentic rage which is not able to transform itself into a positive programme of sociopolitical change. They express a spirit of revolt without revolution.

The situation in Greece looks more promising, probably owing to the recent tradition of progressive self-organisation (which disappeared in Spain after the fall of the Franco regime). But even in Greece, the protest movement displays the limits of self-organisation: protesters sustain a space of egalitarian freedom with no central authority to regulate it, a public space where all are allotted the same amount of time to speak and so on. When the protesters started to debate what to do next, how to move beyond mere protest, the majority consensus was that what was needed was not a new party or a direct attempt to take state power, but a movement whose aim is to exert pressure on political parties. This is clearly not enough to impose a reorganisation of social life. To do that, one needs a strong body able to reach quick decisions and to implement them with all necessary harshness.

Conclusion d'un article (qui réussit à placer Staline et Zygmunt Bauman à quelques paragraphes d'écart !) disponible sur le site de la London Review of Books, ici.

Ici, en France, nous serons bientôt en novembre 2011 ; quoi, en six ans ? Des plans Marshall en carton-pâte, une Fadela Amara pour la galerie, du Kärcher et quelques saillies d'Hortefeux, histoire de rappeler qui sont les vrais Gaulois et comment ils se pensent drôles.

Quoi ? Quoi, non pour répondre, c'est certainement trop demander, mais pour ne serait-ce qu'entendre ce qu'écrivait Mohamed Rouabhi :

Où allons-nous maintenant. Que nous réservera l’avenir. Un nouveau sursaut républicain ? Un de plus ? Nous avons laissé nos rêves s’étioler et flétrir. Qui croit, en toute sincérité, que cela changera un jour et que la machine s’inversera, que le rouleau compresseur cessera de tracer des routes à travers les corps de tous ceux qui ont le malheur de trébucher une fois ?

Pour beaucoup d’entre nous, nous portons la vie à bout de bras, chaque jour, pour la mener au lendemain, pour recommencer le jour d’après la même chose. Notre existence est-elle devenue un fardeau, pour que nous n’ayons même plus conscience du peu de joie qu’elle nous procure ? Et du peu de temps que nous consacrons à lui donner le visage de l’insouciance et du simple plaisir de vivre, comme ça, gratuitement, pour le simple plaisir de la vivre ?

Qui croit sincèrement, au fond de lui-même, que cette société que nous avons construite sur une faille sismique, sera capable de résister encore aux cataclysmes à venir et recommencer comme si de rien n’était ?

Sans jamais essayer de boucher les trous dans le sol.