Whine the Living

Whine the Living

Find page: “ capital ” — Expression not found.

Yet with capital we had a triple count: capital, capitalists, capitalism. We do research in Nicolas Truong's leading article which introduces a major summer series in Le Monde: " The thinkers of the living ". Not an occurrence. Finally if, to be honest, one: " We are living through a capital upheaval ". If the earthly situation were not so tragic, it would be almost funny.

Concerned thinkers

Also read Guillaume Pitron, “When digital technology destroys the planet”, Le Monde diplomatique, October 2021.

In any case, we are learning that there now has “ thinkers of life . Until now they were more or less biologists or zoologists. " Thinking about the living ", it must be more. But what exactly ? Essentially: to be concerned. To think about the living is to add to biological (ornithological, or entomological, or philosophical) competence the fact of being concerned. Because Le-Vivant is not well, he is even seriously in danger, we would cry with concern. And then ? And then that's all. Lady, that's not bad. With such great concern, we can make ideas festivals all summer long, go to Beaubourg, or on France Culture, to be a Great Conscience.

Great Consciousness ” is a perfectly identified segment of the cultural division of labor. You have to have a lofty view, worry about essential issues, speak on behalf of the maximum entities (the Living, the Earth, soon the Cosmos), sound the alarms, and not disturb anything. So we are received everywhere with open arms — since it's for fun. At least for those who control the definition of seriousness: the capitalists. The “ serious ” is when you start going after their interests. Otherwise, it's for fun. What capitalists find great about the cultural bourgeoisie is that it systematically takes the “ for laughs ” for serious — and ignores the serious. Under these conditions we can tolerate, even encourage the Great Consciousness (“ they shake us, they enlighten us ”) — and no one will be able to challenge the intimacy of capitalism and democratic pluralism. At the Fondation Cartier, for example, we can hold an exhibition " We the trees ", first because there are trees in the garden, then because that trees are important. When there is too much CO2. Bolsonaro devastates the Amazon. Bolsonaro is a truly hideous character. Who can love Bolsonaro ? Hardly anyone. In any case, not the Cartier Foundation, nor the curators of the exhibition " We the trees ", nor the visitors. Who will leave having understood that there was a tree in them and, suddenly, will feel more united.

It's not just the trees that we need to feel solidarity with: we are invited to enter into communion with the whole world. At the Actes Sud editions, property of Françoise Nyssen, former Minister of Macron Protector of the Living and Curator of the Eyes, a private collection, " Wild Worlds ", houses the most daring communion proposals: Living as a bird ; To be an oak ; The bear, the other of man ; and for the more flexible in their heads Think like an iceberg. One could think of a gag when the planet is falling apart, unfortunately everything is true.

The " sensitive communion " in a few years has established itself as the-political-thought-for-our-time: at the height of the major-ecological-issues . But installed with whom, and especially by whom ? Installed for a public conquered in advance: citizen and concerned cultural bourgeoisie, but above all by and for friendly forces of symbolic order, media " of reference ", cultural institutions under state surveillance or capitalist influence, all places where the " freedom of thought " should be less certain of having nothing in common with that of Florent Pagny. In any case, places always in search of their typical product: the radicalism that touches nothing. And who finally found it: Latourian intellectuals. Huge relief — the equation was hard to solve. The capitalist destruction of the working class did not interest the cultural bourgeoisie, so it was simple and logical to ignore it. That of the planet is more difficult to evacuate, impossible not to say " something ". But what — that won't be of too much consequence ? Along come the Latourians, who have not only found a wonderfully poetic way to rephrase the problem—" where to land ? "—but also offer the appropriate answer: anywhere provided that it is not in the only place where the track is ugly and dented: the questioning of capitalism. All the organs of the Great Consciousness wriggle with delight: the thrill of carrying oneself, and above all of inviting others to carry themselves up ; peace of mind in being quite certain that no painful disturbance will ensue, vis-à-vis neither their public supervision, nor their capitalist supervision, nor, and this is the main thing, their conviction deep.

Warning: radicalism is deaf

Deep and imbued, it is so deep that we find it everywhere, and even in the most unexpected places. For example in The World of Books. Where Roger-Pol Droit is worried about so much radicalism - this is a visibly angry essay by Eva von Redecker. “ Everything in this radical essay is based on the belief in a single axiom: “capitalism destroys life” (…) The trouble is that such an axiom remains highly debatable ”. It's true, we discussed it a lot at France Telecom for example, we talked about it again recently at the Lubrizol seminar, and the IPCC reports are much more dialectical than what we say. Alas the book-radical ignores “ quantity of well-known arguments (that) could make capitalism an ally of life. Moreover “ radicality makes you blind and deaf ” (this is the title of the article) — it looks like a nineteenth-century alienist in front of a child masturbator.

Latourians have nothing against masturbation. They have found a way to be radical that does not risk the sling bed. Because we will say what we want, but to think like an iceberg or live like a bird, these are all the same ridiculously radical propositions - in the sense that: it's a hell of a gymnastic to get started. This is the kind of radicalism that appeals to Roger-Pol Droit a lot. As well as the radicality of the methodically pursued effort never to speak of capitalism – which all the same wrecks life a little more than Roger-Pol thinks.

Never talking about it is what makes the implicit and objective complicity of all these beautiful people. In Nyssenland (Arles), for example, and in all friendship, the Luma tower by Maja Hoffmann (of the Hoffmann La Roche laboratories), also offers to welcome all the radicals of insignificance. We are concerned about it for the planet with serious but intellectually creative faces and, as in an anti-bingo, the game is never to say the capital word (triple count), where a hint of logic would require that we is used in just about every phrase — but that's the whole point of the game (1). “ To be begonia ”: a dot ; “ Capitalists ” : minus one ; " Overthrow capitalism ": eliminatory. The impregnable champion is Bruno Latour. But he found an infallible method: capitalism does not exist. It's just a word. Of course we can put things underneath, but so many, and which make a whole so abundant, so complex, that in the end we no longer know what we are saying. Might as well not talk about it.

Which does not leave us at all without resources. Instead of saying things that we don't know what they mean, we can do workshops. Misfortune of carpet bomb prospecting, the Luma Days (sic) had the misfortune to send an email under the title “ Where to land ? ” without knowing exactly where they landed, in this case in the club of a not too Luma collective, and to invite them to a “ workshop ”… where we start landing. And now our facetious friends break the piece and give a copy of the email: it's a treat. It proposes to “ explore the options of the future in order to take the appropriate action in the present. A shared future, for humans as well as non-humans, animals as well as plants [here, all the same: not a word for minerals, the eternally forgotten, inadmissible lithophobia]. What to do ? How to act ? Where to start ? This construction site seems huge and out of reach. We give ourselves a few months during which: we will learn to describe ourselves, one by one, to introduce ourselves ”. “ Hello, my name is Michel, I am a ficus ” — “ Hello Michel ”. A few months may seem like a long time, but in fact we are going to make good progress. Of course during this time, at Total, Patrick Pouyanné thinks he has peace to drill as he wants, but he loses nothing by waiting.

Salvation by the " links "

The truth is that if someone came to tell him, to Patrick Pouyanné, the Luma Days landing workshops, he wouldn't believe his ears of wonder, and would slap his thighs in laughter. The truth is, the era is good to him: while it should be threatening to give him tar-rail or backhoe any moment, it gives him one opportunity for hilarity after another. Because while the Luma Foundation is doing Beginner Single Engine Workshops, another merry band is competing in the cutting edge and creating a “ Parliament of Links ”. Because here is our real problem: we lack links. We need to make a link, no more links. And all will be well. Let us ! But Papou (it seems that we nickname Patrick Pouyanné on the upper floors of the Total tower), Papou, therefore, is very much for us to bond. He himself has a Labrador and he demonstrates every weekend that he knows how to bond with non-humans. Arm in hand, paws in, they have to go for a walk in the forest from time to time. Papou will probably not go so far as to be hazel, because that's a bit radical, but if one day he saw a rabbit come out of a thicket, he too must have had his little emotion, maybe -to even be fleetingly experienced the universal connection.

Beaubourg, who raved about such a wonderful idea for a long weekend, must not have thought of that, and even less that Papou also has many other links: with his employees. And then its shareholders — they are very connected. In capitalism, unfairly accused, there are many links: not only that of the wage relationship, or even stock options, also that of the credit relationship with the banker, the counterparty link in the financial markets, that of the subcontracting relationship, etc. Links, links, links. The Parliament of ties then finds itself in the difficult position of either pushing through an enormous open door by calling for the creation of what already exists in profusion — society is a fabric of ties — or of failing to exercise of minimal discernment: to bind us, but with whom and how ? And if so against whom ? " Let's get together ", proposed a novel a few years ago in the same post-humanist and benevolent vein. There you go, fine – but by the way, who is “ we ? In the Parliament of the Links, this question will not be asked, and " against " is the word not to be uttered: kindness alone will save the world. The Parliament of Bonds will be Pentecost in Papuan. Because the spectacle of kindness is irresistible. Papou will realize - and all his fellows with him. We will plug the boreholes, we will close the rare earth mines, we will reforest the Amazon, we will put survival blankets on the glaciers.

Read also Philippe Descamps, “How to avoid climate chaos ? “, “Truths and lies in the name of science”, Way of seeing n˚179, October-November 2021.

While the cultural bourgeoisie takes the oath to bind itself to non-humans, Elon Musk most naturally plans to send a few tens of thousands of satellites into low orbit, some of which are intended to broadcast advertising. We would never finish drawing up the list of crazy capitalist projects, delirious new borders, frenzied accumulations, nor the complementary list of repeated climatic disasters, of which the past summer has nevertheless given a striking spectacle. What is no less striking is the obstinacy of the friends of the sensitive and of links never to put the two lists in a somewhat clear relationship. The destruction of nature remains a causeless sadness, it only remains to whine about it - but in lofty forms: philosophical and artistic. The Living is destroyed, it's terrible, we proclaim concerned in Beaubourg or make a special week on France Culture, workshops in Luma. By the way, destroyed by what, the Living ? And even by whom ? We won't know — “ expression not found ”.

Let’s be clear: being an ornithologist and taking up the cause of birds from your disciplinary position as an ornithologist is a very beautiful thing in itself, and above all very indisputable. No, the problem is to get caught up without realizing it, or without wanting to realize it, by a game quite different from that of ornithology (or zoology, or dendrology), the political game of media and cultural institutions, which know very well what they are doing when they elect whom they elect, to say nothing of annoying—the very political game of depoliticization. To find oneself propelled into the very political position of thinking-at-the-height-of-peril without ever uttering the only political word at the height of the peril, without ever saying that the Earth is being destroyed by the capitalists, and that if we want save humans from earthly uninhabitability, we must put an end to capitalism, it is an achievement that well deserves an election. The game of concerned climatology to which the forces of symbolic order invite is the game of climatology without any idea of ​​the causes, and above all without any desire to find them: the game of whining climatology. That is, compatible.

As regards the Latourians, one hesitates between the hypothesis of foolish sincerity and that of the institutional habitus — which knows very well how far to endanger its essential interests and (in accordance with the concept of habitus) does not no longer even needs to calculate strategically to do so. More on the nerve of the time, Le Gorafi mentions for its part: " The cockroaches are beginning to think that even they will not survive the human ecological catastrophe ". But it's a lot of disorderly agitation, perhaps even exaggeration, on the part of the cockroaches, all that: Pierre Charbonnier, on the other hand, takes the side of a " centrism ” reasonable small steps. What a rich idea, we are struck by the accuracy of the position, by its adequacy to the times. Above all: balance, no abrupt and inconsiderate gestures, moderation in all circumstances. Yet Le Monde, a mecca of split thought, and logically a place of welcome for " thinkers of the living ", informs us that " the three-quarters of 16-25 year olds in ten countries, both North and South, find the future “scary” ”. But, it is true, continues to consider that " radicality makes you blind and deaf ". Which in a sense isn't wrong: the situation is radical, and obviously there are a lot of people it leaves blind and deaf — and moderate.

Prevent them from harm

We would be very wrong with the hypothesis of dishonest metonymy — which gives a quote from Roger-Pol for a complete picture of the World. The entire newspaper (but the entire media system of the cultural bourgeoisie could be quoted with it) confirms this. We can therefore both worry about the climate disaster with maximum headlines and rave about the last French unicorn valued at 4 billion euros for a story of digital Panini stickers to suck from the blockchain galore — excellent for the climate indeed. As they say on Twitter, " Ladies and gentlemen: capitalism." We will take the Latouriens and their media seriously when they dare to say publicly that we must prevent these cretins from causing harm. And not only them, because here too the metonymy is valid: behind the Panini boys, there is Musk, Papou, Bezos and everything that below them they make work at the knout. We must prevent them from doing harm.

In truth, political latourism (2) is a mystery: we never stop wondering how it can be organized in these heads the sincere love of their objects, the spectacle of their methodical annihilation, and the utter inability for these two things put together to result in anything remotely meaningful. There must be in these minds inhibiting counter-forces of phenomenal power to prevent seeing and naming at this point — rectification: the radicality (of the situation) makes one blind and dumb. At Le Monde, L'Obs, Télérama, France Inter and France Culture, we know what it looks like: yes, capitalism makes some mess, but it is capable of inventing the push broom. Capitalist innovation will save us from capitalist disaster — we relax, we breathe.

In a chilling book, Hélène Tordjmann devotes 340 pages to exploring this nightmare that serves as a mental crutch for the entire corporation of symbolic support: “ Sending sulfur nanoparticles into the atmosphere to attenuate solar radiation ; fertilize the oceans with iron or urea to promote the growth of phytoplankton, a large consumer of carbon dioxide ; fabricate from scratch microorganisms that never existed to produce gasoline ”, etc. We are in the hands of dangerous lunatics. So one of two things: tourism can continue to ratify this delirium, if only by the implication of silence, or else it can consider giving a finally serious answer to the question of knowing, not " where ”, but on what to land — and to crush it well: on capitalism.

When digital technology destroys the planet

When digital technology destroys the planet/ 01:00by Guillaume Pitron • Read by Anne Lenglet+- •Excerpt from the read version of the survey on digital pollution in “ Le Monde diplomatique ” from October 2021. To listen to this reading, log in or subscribe to the Audio Journal page. All Readings