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The covid, the climate, and me and me and me

 Is there any slack in respecting the rules of re-containment? And what reflections can be drawn from this in relation to the fight against climate change?

we see the emergence of "a sort of systematic primacy of the self over the common order" (Eric Sadin) • Credits: Paul Linse - Getty

Once is not customary, let's start this column with a quote. That Frédéric Dabi, deputy director general of the FIFG, one of the main polling institutes of the country, who expressed himself in these terms this weekend in the World: ' the first confinement was perceived as a lightning war waged in a sort of fraternal union. Today, we are in a war of attrition with the return of individualism ' .

I must say that this analysis came to reinforce the impression of “not already seen” which is mine since the beginning of this reconfinement. A few conversations caught here and there, and the crowd, not always masked, crossed during the daily derogatory outings, maintain the feeling that there is relaxation compared to this spring, each developing small strategies to get around the rule to their advantage. . It floats like an air of 'every man for himself' in this month of November.

Here is what, by spirit of staircase, made me think of the excellent essay published last month by Eric Sadin: ' ' The era of the tyrant individual. The end of a common world '' (Grasset). Known for his analyzes of the digital world, the philosopher this time deploys a broader, civilizational reflection on how the question of individual freedom ended, at the end of a long historical process begun with the Enlightenment, by being perverted by individualism, " a sort of systematic primacy of the self over the common order" , "the advent of a new condition of the contemporary individual" .

Eric Sadin is certainly not the first to make this observation of an individual who has become the epicenter of his own existence and that of others. Time Magazine had felt the tide in 2006 when it awarded the title of personality of the year to '' You '', that is to say to each of us, supposed to hold in our hands a power until then unrivaled (his smartphone).

Except that what the philosopher shows is that this omnipotence of the individual, offered by digital tools, is also an alienation, and that this ` ` impression of holding an increased power relative to certain areas of his life '' 'was accompanied, at the same time, by a' 'dispossession of oneself ' ', as working conditions worsened, as inequalities increased, as public services declined:' 'how not not grasp the volcanic ferments that such tension keeps germinating? ''

Well, it seems to me, in the observation of the moment made by Frédéric Dabi, and in the analysis of the time formulated by Eric Sadin, elements which can help to think our difficulty in committing ourselves more durably and more strongly in the ecological transition.

The moment first. Like the Covid epidemic, and even more so, the fight against climate change is not a lightning war. It is a long-term war of attrition that is difficult to wage by making only sacrifices. Once the effect of astonishment has passed, and to hold on to the length, you also have to be able to catch your breath, give yourself some privileges, even if the sum of these small individual concessions slows down the efforts undertaken collectively.

The time then. By keeping everyone in the illusion that they are capable of solving their problems on their own, the individualism that characterizes our time reinforces the idea that political action is no longer useful, or at least more to a great extent. thing, that individual decisions are the most effective.

It follows, as Eric Sadin writes again, " the emergence of a completely unprecedented situation: a state of permanent ungovernability" . It is with this state that democracies are confronted today, and it would be illusory to think that this can remain without impact on the way they manage the climate crisis.

I have ambitions and goals in my life, and I am now trying to achieve them calmly, as the name also came on my channel and website.