First published in Le Monde Diplomatique. Translated by David Broder.
A system that has veteran TV journalist Christine Ockrent commenting on Trump’s election on France Culture and Bernard-Henri Lévy interviewed about it by pundit-commentator Jean-Michel Aphatie two days later is just as absurd as a problem that claims to provide the solutions. But more than that, it is a dead system.
We should not be surprised that the theme of the living-dead is enjoying such a resurgence in TV series and films. They are representations of our era, and perhaps it is indeed the confused sentiment of this era, both dead-already and still-alive, that is secretly working away at our sensibilities, making the zombie appear as the figure that best expresses the present moment.
Frédéric Lordon, author of The Willing Slaves of Capital: Spinoza and Marx on Desire, writes on the fallout of Brexit and the Left’s reactions to it. This piece was originally published on Le Monde Diplomatique and translated by David Broder.
It is said that looking out to sea from Dover on foggy days, the British are accustomed to remark with their inimitable wit that ‘the continent has been cut off’. But at least they’re only joking. Whereas when the pro-EU commentariat exclaim that ‘the UK has been cut off’ after Brexit, they are deadly serious. We should take the poverty of this kind of argument as a solid indicator of the political and rhetorical extremes the ‘defend Europe’ camp has reached, now it has nothing else left – or only this and the spectre of ‘war’ – to try and hold back a wave now at the point of sweeping everything away. Unable to convince populations with evidence of its good deeds, neoliberalism – its European branch in the lead – has no other resource than to oscillate between the imaginary of the turnip and the camp (ramparts, watchtowers, barbed wire) in order to get them to put up with it.
Frédéric Lordon is one of Nuit Debout’s leading figures. Although he speaks to the media very little, the economist and CNRS research director did agree to answer Bondy Blog’s questions for this extended interview. On the menu today: Nuit Debout, the death of Adama Traoré, and the legacy of Michel Rocard.
Translated by David Broder. Interview by Jonathan Baudoin.
On April 20th, Frédéric Lordon addressed a meeting at Paris’s Bourse du Travail to discuss what comes next for Nuit Debout. His remarks, translated by David Broder, are below.
We’re here in order to reflect, and ask ourselves a few fundamental questions: where are we going? What do we want? What can we do? So it’s worth picking up on every available spur to thought, even when they are matters of chance or seem anecdotal.
This appeal denouncing the police violence and the abuses that have become generalized since the state of emergency came into effect in France was produced by a collective made up of more than three hundred academics, activists, and artists. Translated by David Broder.
(Outside the Saint-Lazare train station, April 12, via Libération.)
Since last November and the proclamation of the state of emergency, the decomposition of the social-regression and police-truncheon state has massively accelerated. This state has dropped any inhibitions about its submission to capital — a capital that stamps its feet, impatient to be able to exploit and cast aside whomever it likes, whenever and however it pleases. Those who refuse to roll over — fighting for their dignity, their future, or simply their everyday lives — are being brought in ever-greater numbers before tribunals, treated as terrorists and, like the Goodyear workers, sentenced to prison terms. Developing in tandem with this has been the most methodical police violence.