Régis Debray and Macron's France

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Régis Debray at home, in the Eure-et-Loir, May 2, 2017. LEA CRESPI FOR THE WORLD

"Le Monde" publishes exclusive extracts from his book "Le Nouveau Pouvoir", published on September 1st. For the philosopher, the election of the president embodies the victory of the values ​​of "global neoprotestantism".

The'insolent clear spring household gave heartburn to the professionals of the profession, those of France before. And for good reason: the public thing, in the hemicycle and the ministries, is feminized and skips a generation. Canada, Austria, Italy, is everywhere the short circuit of the new times. Neither the body nor the spirit of kids in town will not have much sweat at home. Valery the infallible warned us. "Modern life tends to spare us intellectual effort as it makes physical effort. It replaces, for example, the imagination with images, reasoning with symbols and writings, or with mechanics; and often by nothing. It offers us all the facilities, and all the short means to reach the goal without having to go the way. And this is excellent: but this is pretty dangerous. " Honorum curriculum squeezed, zapped antechambers, the native digitals expedient patres ad the septuagenarians, retired millenarians. At the museum!, The revolutionaries has been, who sometimes make fun and sometimes soften with their endless mourning. These offshoots of the big screen - the grand-nephews of the Battleship Potemkin and of Viva Zapata - had the third world for the land of salvation. Curtain. Fifty-year-old provincial managers with short-sighted views are thanked without excessive politeness. Those had grown up with TV - Léon Zitrone and the "20 heures" mass - and a big glow in the East, the united Europe. Curtain.

Our thirties swear by the global village : these are the children of the smartphone. The device is playing with borders and devices are e-mailing in Globish. The smaller the screen becomes, the more the user becomes global, and the more the mini grows to the mega. At the same time that our attention sequences are shortening, the rhythms, on the spot, rush, velocity of careers and learning. It took eighty years for all the French to buy a car, forty, for them to have the telephone, twenty for television, ten for the computer and two for the cell phone. When the gear advance, the bios goes back - credibility goes from the grognard to Marie-Louise. It is the novice who inspires confidence.

"Youthism in France is a product that works"

In 1965, in the middle of the presidential campaign, to defend a general on the return to face a Mitterrand in his forties, Malraux, at the Palais des Sports, unleashed the laughter by making fun of the youth argument. "If your grandfather is seventy-five, do you entrust him with your things? Good. But if your children are sick, do you entrust them to Dr. Schweitzer or a doctor of forty-nine, who has already killed eleven patients? " Today, in the face of ex-young leaders of the French American Foundation (President and Prime Minister), would sign his old con. The last of our scrofula healers is thirty-nine. Although worn by the wind of America where even more than elsewhere the value does not wait for the number of years, the Jeunisme, in France, is a product that works.

Privilege of the old con last draw: a place in the balcony, on the parade of generations. It is an advantage to have been able, as a teenager, to listen to the stories of fighters and resistant (1940-1945), plunge into the era of activists (1945-1980), to meet, going up, beside notable (1980-2010) and see, in its old age, the managers under the paneling (2017-2027). This turnover would be nothing but banal seasonal - an umpteenth all-change to not change anything Cheetah - if this new age group did not correspond to a new age of technocosme, with a strategic renewal in the equipment of the spirits. The "system" was not a beauty in fourth gear, in a pool of refit for damaged hulls. Our values ​​change with our tools, and digital has a Darwinian effect on the ruling class - the survival of the fittest.

"The undisputed magisterium of Transparency International "

There was a time when one was angry at being accused of transparency, or insignificant; and worse, to be called innocent, or idiot. The insults of a day are the flatteries of the next day. Personally, the only whole person "ingenuity, transparency, whiteness and candor" that I have been given to meet here, is the orphan of Misérables. And I could not imagine Cosette as a future deputy, minister or president.

But, "at the same time", I would be careful not to challenge, I confess, the undisputed magisterium of Transparency International - an organization founded in Berlin by a former director of the World Bank (headquarters, Washington), named in this capacity by the US government. Sponsored by BP, Shell, Carnegie, Procter and Gamble, etc., this NGO stands at the pinnacle of respectability. It is up to him to set and display the global barometer of corruption (although a country in the hot seat may find favor, it is said, with this body by means of certain financial arrangements). Leading countries are Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand - all prosperous and Protestant countries, models of society both of labor and clarity to which the French grumbler and not-very- clean-on-him is called to comply, without burning tires in front of the factories.

"Forget Florence to go back to Stockholm"

To hide his game, to manipulate the allies, to frequent thieves, to launch false promises, to liquidate his rivals, to throw away his first supporters, to slander his adversaries: the cunning is to say the least borderline. Florentin, it was said formerly, more elegantly. That's how I saw all the good professionals I was approached. From then on, two things one. Or this strategist does his job well, and he insults morality. Or he invests in morals and insults the profession. In any case, repudiating the shambles for the false ass does not bear witness to a very combative temperament - unless it is another trick to the captain at the maneuver. Thus we can see in this pastoral of transparency the alibi nobility of a cowardly relief or a prudent retreat designed to flatter a rather unflattering collective resignation. But that would probably be the new ideal of us, the devious superego of a retraction: to forget Florence to go back to Stockholm, clothed in candid linen, to extract from a doubtful chiaroscuro where, for at least three thousand years, the sublime rubs the infamous, and the parricide the fratricidal, for an air finally pure and diaphanous where wickedness is no longer appropriate. In Rimbaldian terms, to desert the battle of men, be it civil, military, economic or spiritual, for a penitential sanatorium and sacrifice, in so doing, the Croix de Guerre to the Red Cross.

"Become neo-Protestant? "

We were, in France, Catholic-laymen. Can we tomorrow become neo-Protestants, and barter without regret the virtù against virtue? That's the question. The countries of the Reformation have an advantage over their neighbors, more backward: they do not put shutters on the windows. Virtue cultivates glass houses, vice, brothels (prostitutes in Amsterdam are in the window). A citizen worthy of the name, in these northern countries, does not cross red a deserted street at three o'clock in the morning. In the poorly heated home of the pastor, the descendants of Adam and Eve do not cheat with the taxman. We play the piano and we read the Bible at night, aloud, as a family. This lack of curtain comes from far away. From the very beginning of the Christian era.


A good Protestant has nothing to hide, and as Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, once said, "only people who have things to reproach themselves care about their personal data."

The rise of "neo-Protestantism made in the USA" in our suburbs

We see it: tyranny alternately smiling and tense, our "down the masks" is not due to the recent devices of capture and control, nor to infinitely renewable energies vile feelings, such as envy, jealousy or "the pain caused by the prosperity of others". The question touches deeply: a country of Catholic stock, with one hundred ordained priests a year and only five thousand active, ten times less than a hundred years ago, can it not only erase the sad revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV but still follow the footsteps of parpaillots redone? Like it or not, the answer is yes. Provided, of course, not to ask him to go to the temple or place a Bible on the bedside table in each hotel room or subscribe to the excellent weekly Reform. We speak culture, not worship. A culture is what remains of a worship that is extinguished or disintegrated. And the halo of a neo-Protestantism made in USA growing from year to year in our mores and suburbs. And who knows if it's not for our good at all? Why would not the Hexagon also benefit from a vague theopopulist that covers from Latin America to sub-Saharan Africa, from Central Asia to the Far East? And if this modernization of the faith went from Le Havre to Marseille, regenerate our hearts already damaged?

The Ricœur generation and the "art of compromise"

Connected to the spirit of the milieu, Ricœur was able to stimulate a deliberative convergence between center-left (CFDT and Rocardians), and center-right (Christian Democrats). The quest for the least evil makes one dream of"An action that is not vertical (taken in a relationship of power) but which escapes at the same time the back and forth of the debate" (Emmanuel Macron). It is an art of compromise, austere and precarious, between intransigence (warlike and sterile) and compromise (soothing but pusillanimous). In short: the market, yes but not too wild. The boss, yes, the boss-thug, no.

The New Power, Régis Debray, Editions du Cerf, 94 pages, 8 euros.

Regis Debray is a writer and philosopher. Director of the journal Medium whose last issue is devoted to "New powers, new easements" (No. 53, July-December 2017, € 28), he notably published Civilization. How we became American (Gallimard, 2017, 240 pages, € 19).

The New Power, Régis Debray, Editions du Cerf, 94 pages, 8 euros.

Regis Debray is a writer and philosopher. Director of the journal Medium whose last issue is devoted to "New powers, new easements" (No. 53, July-December 2017, € 28), he notably published Civilization. How we became American (Gallimard, 2017, 240 pages, € 19).


Source: ©  Régis Debray and Macron's France

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