Arthur Chevallier – Greens against pleasure


LThe proud dream of regulating pleasures they do not understand. The Europa Ecology-Els Verds party has discovered a specialty that is not included in its statutes: revolutionizing happiness in the name of its people. Ban the July 14 parade (Eva Joly), replace a Christmas tree in Bordeaux, punish the Tour de France (Grégory Doucet), the national holiday, Christmas and the most prestigious cycling race in the world. These bright ideas were not enough. Elected officials in the south of France have lamented the holding of the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Le Castellet, and have expressed the wish to see it disappear next year. Rest assured: Formula 1 should leave France next year. After all, why hold an event that only draws 200,000 people? And if ecology were a pretext?

In the middle of the XVIIIe century, theatrical performances were banned in Geneva. In an article by the encyclopedia, Alembert deplored it. Rousseau responded to the scientist with a famous text: the Letter to d’Alembert about the shows (Where Letter to the shows). Meticulously, the philosopher engages in a diatribe against the characters and works that, according to him, are the embodiment of immorality. He goes so far as to criticize works of ancient inspiration, by Racine for example, for portraying criminals who are not punished by justice… As for the young, he invites them to have fun in a virtuous way, to reject trivialities, at the forefront of which the theater. In short, Rousseau, who had also written plays himself, never disappoints us: as soon as a pleasure presents itself, the fight is in the name of the public good, that is, of its claim. Modernity has nothing to do with this puritanism. In IIe century BC, in Carthage, Tertullian, one of the greatest Christian theologians, wrote of his disgust for circus games, theaters and entertainment in general. Evil, intolerance and pride have no age.

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What is the relationship with the Europa Ecology-Els Verds party? The facts and times differ, but the logic does not. Ecology is a priority, no one disputes that. In addition, all Republican political parties consider the protection of the environment as a primary issue; and that’s okay. The Greens, pioneers of this cause, have been, in spite of themselves, stripped of their purpose. To survive, they had to overcome and imagine a dogma that no one can deviate from without being perceived as a criminal. Rigorism, imprecations and anathemas are the order of the day. Popular entertainments that call for extinction, however, have also taken up the cause of ecology.

From Tertullian to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, morality is the most convenient rhetorical expedient.

Formula 1 itself has made specific commitments. The cars are equipped with a hybrid engine, the power of which is the most efficient in the world, i.e. the one that gives more power while consuming less fuel, therefore CO2. The International Automobile Federation has pledged to be zero carbon by 2030. As an area of ​​excellence that concentrates phenomenal sums, Formula 1 innovates on an incomparable scale; and its innovations will benefit the entire automotive industry and therefore the environment. Some will say that they could do more, that perfection is human and that when it comes to ecology, zero tolerance is the order of the day. They will use this argument to ban what they don’t understand, what they don’t want. And they will divert the object of science rightfully enslaved by man under the pretext of survival, promising the apocalypse.

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And we understand why, from Tertullian to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, morality is the most convenient rhetorical expedient. The author of confessions he did not criticize the spectacles in the name of his idea of ​​virtue, but of social harmony: a world without vice. In the same way, the Europe Écologie-Les Verts party systematically attacks popular meetings, finding them unworthy and unconscious. All in the name of a title, that of apostle of the survival of humanity, which they do not have. In a democracy, the coexistence of passions and fears is a condition; nuance is a duty; the choice a power: 4.63% in the presidential elections. This is a figure that should temper the ardor of an oppression in progress.

book reference

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Letter to the showsAmsterdam, 1758.

Tertullian, Complete worksParis, Les belles cartes, 2017.


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