Lhe news that crosses our screens is made up of monstrous, strangely familiar images. A month ago: a dirty cat roams the streets of the open-air mass grave in Boutcha, Ukraine. Two months ago: The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia engages a nuclear power in a holy war – there is no forgiveness for those who organize Gay Prides [le 6 mars, le patriarche Kirill a situé le conflit ukrainien au cœur d’une guerre civilisationnelle dont l’homosexualité serait un enjeu]. Nine months ago, bodies clinging to a plane taking off crashed on the tarmac at Kabul airport in Afghanistan. Two years ago: at the height of the pandemic, the President of the United States announced that the stock market had just reached its historic high. This week: it is over 50°C in Pakistan.
This news is too frequent to be emblematic, too powerful not to leave a trace. They leave a deep impression on us: we are living in a crisis which takes innumerable forms and which seems inevitable. We wave a lot of words to describe it: the end, the disorder, the collapse, the chaos parasitize our vision. Time, we know – it’s even certain – has gone out of its hinges.
Fear of heights
These impressions are justified because we are going through “world-crises”: everything is changing because of the economy, terrorism, the pandemic, war – everything is changing in the climate emergency. Each different from the other, from break to break, these sudden transformations stun us. On television sets, in major newspapers, economists had been replaced by epidemiologists. Today, the invasion of Ukraine replaces them with generals. How to get caught up in this vertigo?
For almost three months, the war has caused a new earthquake. She revived specters, she brutally redeployed coordinates that had made us live in the illusion that we were turning the page and finding a post-pandemic balance. In this acceleration of history, are we standing still or are we falling?
To take a step back, a new method is needed: we are facing the symptoms of a deeper phenomenon. These impressive tremors, these telluric changes are the effect of the dislocation of a world. We are living in a moment of profound transition because we are collectively, in a disorderly and conflicting way, in search of a new point of balance. At all geographic scales, from the space of the single metropolis to that of the great continents, old political forces confront new technologies and industries. States collide to find their place. In our 2020s, we are experiencing the return of an inter-war period. Are we heading towards the precipice of a second cold war or a third world war?
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