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Disarming violence

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10 years ago, with Mickaël Berrebi*, we predicted the worst. It was neither a natural pessimism nor an editorial concern, but simply the fact that everything we are experiencing today is part of the fragmented evolution of our societies. “What is exceptional in this present we inhabit is that we sense the gigantic difficulties to come, we try without much success to conceptualize the threats, but we hesitate to transgress the prohibition, that of evoking the explicit, dangerous, cruel conflict, the one we call war.”

No triumphalism, no feeling of having been right about a certain number of economists, a simple observation. Many of us forget that history is repetitive, that the mistake of each generation is to think that it has a particular destiny and that progress is synonymous with positive evolution, in reality, we are often Rousseauists.

In this context, the ambition of the Rencontres d’Aix-En-Provence is immense. It is a question of trying to appease these eruptions of violence.

Four sources of tension

This shows that the worst is not certain. We can highlight the four major elements of tension in our societies: demography and its potential for intergenerational tensions, inequalities and the certainty of growing tension, uncontrolled technology and the perception of a loss of identity for each of us, and unlimited financialization that breaks with the tradition of linking savings and investment.

There are also more than fundamental fears related to the climate and the environment, the exacerbated competition between the Global South and the old West. Faced with this unimaginable convergence of terrain conducive to violence, we must imagine the conditions for a peaceful world. Many problems will remain, including the huge financial needs of future transitions. But this is not the essential challenge.

Class Action

It is first of all a question of finding the elements of a new social organization where everyone rediscovers the perception of mastering his or her destiny. This obviously means that many problems can only be solved collectively, that for us Europeans, joint projects are the only way to give ourselves a scientific, technological and ecological destiny.

But it also means that power must be, as was the dream in the 70s, as close as possible to individuals. We must therefore put forward the seven avenues that reflect this ambition for collective action at all levels, and also for the return of individual fulfilment.

Six consensuses to be found

No program, no technocratic measures, but just the absolute necessity of finding a consensus on the six major issues of European and French society:

  • Restore hope and confidence to young people;
  • Faced with the demographic shock: building an intergenerational project;
  • Controlling the debt, an unavoidable constraint;
  • Financing transitions with fairness and justice; Placing innovation at the heart of the European project;
  • Connecting Europe and Africa;
  • Giving meaning to work: remuneration, recognition, prospects.

It is first and foremost a question of confronting these territories that have been abandoned intellectually and politically for decades, beyond discourses that are far too optimistic in relation to reality. How else can we explain these extreme positions that break with our traditions? This work is not there to judge electoral programmes but to reconstitute the basis for analysis and direction of actions that would make it possible to move towards a more serene climate.

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