«The idea of catastrophe pervades society, weary of themselves» (Liberation, France)

Michael Fessel (Michael F? Ssel) philosopher, not Nostradamus. In his latest book, "After the end of the world" (published by Seuil), he makes no bold predictions, but shows how, in the face of many crises demand progress gave way to anxiety and catastrophism

This specialist in political philosophy, a professor at the University of Burgundy, believes it is better to revise the concept of progress based on alternative political experience, cooperative or the protest movement. It has all the features to learn it, because he lives between Berlin and Paris.

Economic, social, ecological crisis: it turns out, we are in a period of extreme sensitivity to performances, full of gloomy pessimism?

Heightened sense of crisis reinforces the belief in an irreversible catastrophe associated with the existence of the Earth. For many reasons, accident took place paradigm of progress: the depletion of the growth model, lost the revolutionary feeling increasingly negative perception of art, de-politicization … The idea of the disaster gets a backward modern society tired of themselves. That is why the expectation of the end of the world is a Western perception characteristic of the European psyche: it is the feeling that they missed during the course of world history, tried to change the world, but they were a disaster (USSR, Nazism). In Mexico, where the maximum growth of 4%, this feeling is absent. These pessimistic fears are particularly distinct from 1989, when, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, everyone thought that capitalism and democracy at the same time gain a foothold. Today, probably, it is time frustration associated with these expectations, the frustration that sometimes causes anger. End of the world — is an atavistic fear.

What is the nature of our?

End of the world in the context of the Apocalypse appears in the Jewish religion, then to I-century Christianity. "Apocalypse" means "revelation": that God had the upper hand, it is necessary that the world lost. That is the end of the light symbolizes the hope that in the end we get a synonym of deliverance. Today, this particular apocalypse, there is no revelation, there is no God. See photos of September 11 or Fukushima: the end is a picture without a future.

Do not you think that today prevails a sense of loss of meaning rather than an imminent disaster?

These extremely pessimistic fears prevailed precisely because they are based on the experience of "the loss of the world" — sensitive subject, which was celebrating the idea that nothing can be done, that the reality does not meet any our expectations and a sense of deprivation. End of the world — is a fantastic version of everyday experience "loss of peace." Look at the hero of the film "Shame" by Steve McQueen (Steve McQueen). This is not a portrait of a man obsessed with sex as a portrait of an ascetic, who rationalized the experience. He has a great apartment, he lives in a virtual world does not understand what is going on around him. He has no peace. He wants everyone to calculate, all to provide, so do not give due importance to an event that happens to him, dinner with the only woman whom he had met not through a dating site. Any novelty, any dissimilarity is perceived as a threat. A world that no longer meets, which is no longer able to satisfy our desires, a world about which alone can be that hope that he will one day stop. In addition to the social causes of the world, do not underestimate the impact of technical tools — such as the same dating sites — logically justifying our lives and not trusting the innovations that destabilize our usual order of things.

What do you call a man without world?

The man without the world — a man, cut off from its features. Of course, I think of social disorder in which the individual no longer has the means to fit into a positive future. The economic system has deprived of his property, he does not believe in this world. Today the world is losing — it is also to have no sense that the world exists before and after of our lives: we are developing in the present, in the immediate. As traders, and it shows that this phenomenon is related not only to poverty. This rootedness in this very close to disaster: a relationship with yourself and your real often brings misfortune and sadness. And there is still a criminal figure of a man, devoid of peace. Hitler said: "We can die, maybe. But we will carry with them the world. " He sought a triumph, even at the cost of the Apocalypse. Napoleon sought glory, that is, wanted to get into the story. Have their own world — to have a horizon, to know that there is a future after life. It is to be aware of history. Very encouraging to know that the world older than you and that he'll get over it. This establishes a salutary distance from the present.

Reigning world catastrophism has serious political implications, you say …

Often catastrophism — this is an argument to keep everything unchanged. The survival and the threat of the far left will defend "the state-Providence", the right — to impose security sector reform, and the political environment will result in the end in the preservation of life at all costs. The entire political discourse today is formatted disaster. Take the Treaty on European Union. It is not about how to think about the possibilities, and that the need to impose. In the context of the logic of survival is not progress sludit counterweight. Antikatastroficheskie laws are the embodiment of catastrophism. Freedom and progress can be dissolved in the logic of survival and security. Is no longer a dispute, there is no conflict. But freedom has some risks.

How can change the world?

We speak without interruption about the disaster and long-term measures for the conservation of the planet, but it is contrary to the short-term, in which the working policy. Must rethink the progress, while being less naive. Modernity was born out of the conviction that collapsed, as well as the stability of ancient and religious space. Based on this experience in the XVII century, was considered another way of viewing the world. The idea of progress was born like a new hope. We can not go back to that hope after the Holocaust and Hiroshima. It is best to develop what I call the politics of probability, that is, the need to abandon the policy. Likely involves the common experience of life, the creation of cooperatives, as well as protest movements, such as "outraged." All these attempts to restore the universes of meaning within social units, the poor of the world. While these initiatives exist at the local level. Will not be in vain hope that one day they will develop at people who can reconcile economic and social optimism with the requirements of freedom. I doubt that it will happen in Europe

Cecil House (Cécile Daumas), Alexander Shvartsbrod (Alexandra Schwartzbrod)

Category: The prophecies and predictions, visions and hypotheses

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