Demostalgia, this evil that affects the citizen and the politician

BERTRAND GUAY via Getty Images A protester holds a sign reading “French dictatorship no to vaccines” during a demonstration against new safety measures against the coronavirus, including a mandatory health card required by the government, in the Louvre Museum district of Paris, July 17, 2021. – People gathered in several French cities to protest the government’s decision earlier this week to require health workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and for citizens to bring health tickets to most public places. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY/AFP) (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

DEMOCRACY – Dialogue breaks down because trust disappears. In recent months, we have sometimes witnessed, and often been actors in, unexpected scenarios that have been especially damaging to our collective: angry explosions and demonstrations, a health crisis, an unprecedented climate emergency, and even war. This context has gradually corrupted our society where bad life has become legion. Fueled by the desire for urgency, this social fragmentation is gradually infusing us with death.

For months, even years, intellectuals, researchers, philosophers and professors have been drawing the same alarming observation about the weakening of collective beliefs as a result of the progressive disenchantment with the social contract and, to some extent, representative democracy. . We are no longer a society, but a system.

There was a fatigue in being more radical in the lack of trust in the institutions, their representatives, and also in the neighbor. Between the war of belief and the peace of compromise, our political organization has never seemed so fragile to us, even though it forms the foundation of our collective. And so he endlessly composes order to chaos. It is difficult to find a course of action between the acceleration of decisions, new relationships with time, the flexibility of space and the questioning of certainties.

name the evil

This general distrust of our institutions, this widening gulf between citizens and politicians, deserves a word for these evils: demostagology. This neologism, which has a nature that reflects our grief, is based on the Greek demos means people. suffix From the Greek algos, “algia” is translated as “pain”. Where “sadness” in french. Pain and sorrow have slowly engulfed our society. Frustrated and bitter, sad and distraught, many of our compatriots are deeply losing their bearings. Let us avoid the sad passions which lend credence to the simplest statements and appeal to the most pernicious statements.

Demostalgia is mainly realized by a feeling of regret for what is known, or sometimes by a fantasy of an unknown past. Then it becomes either inaction, which leads to the clinical death of democracy, or symptoms of anger, which is a remedy worse than a disease.

Fundamental break

Let’s face it most clearly: the ills of our society are the expression of a deep brokenness. After making such a diagnosis, the main mistake would be to resign ourselves to victory. This is not the case, because fortunately the break is not broken. It looks more like tears.

Of course we suffer from breakouts. However, we are what the breakdowns want to teach us about ourselves. To be broken is to endure, to resist, and to strengthen oneself. Therefore, this break is a test of maturity, a form of understanding our responsibilities in front of the democratic system, which remains connected to our history and identity despite everything. Therefore, the situation is not irreversible. There is still time to act to heal our ailments!

While doomsday evangelists rage, let’s choose reasoned optimism. Consider that a breakup usually offers another chance, a form of rebirth, or a fresh start. Accept the change of direction. Let’s assume. Let there be a creativity, courage, collective impulse that only moments of despair can create. For its full realization, brotherhood must find its place in a national narrative that demonstrates commitment to a collective project. Ours is sold. Let’s restore the taste of discussion. Find the meaning of the words. Hurry up.

Delphine Jouenne is the author of DĂ©mostalogie (scheduled for publication in January 2023), the disengagement of the citizen from politics.

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