Essay, Editions Fayard, Transversales Collection directed by Jacques Robin and Joel de Rosnay
At the heart of the incredible and terrifying mistreatment that humanity practices against itself, there is the fear and the pain of living: the 1 billion dollars annually spent on weapons, what are they if not the price of fear and domination? The 000 billion spent on drugs and narcotics, what are they if not the price paid by an increasing number of human beings to forget their own life considered too hard or too bland? And the 500 billion annual advertising expenses, what do they mean when we know that only a fifth of this sum would be enough to effectively fight famines, to ensure access to water and to basic health care for all living humans? on this planet?
It is not being catastrophic to say that humanity risks seeing its own adventure end prematurely because of its inability to deal with the great ecological, social, financial or cultural challenges that threaten it.
But these challenges can also be the occasion, as was the case during the biological process of hominization, of a qualitative, cultural and political leap this time in the way of its own humanization.
The relationship between personal transformation and collective transformation is no longer expressed by the old opposition of reforms of mentality or structure. It is in the complementarity of a dynamic tension between these two transformative approaches that the two reforms must be thought out and carried out. It is no longer just a question of dreaming of another possible world. We must recognize and bring to life other ways of being in the world that are already present but that we do not see. It is a qualitative change in democracy, combining the best of passion and human reason, that we must succeed, democracy being for a human community the equivalent of "work on oneself" carried out by an individual in quest for wisdom.
Patrick Viveret, philosopher, is adviser to the Court of Auditors. He is notably the author of Reconsidering Wealth (Éditions de l'Aube). Former editor-in-chief of Transversales Science Culture, he also runs the Pierre Mendès France International Center and was one of the founders of the Interactions, personal transformation, social transformation association.