The text that follows is directly inspired by the book
"De notre servitude involontaire"
written by Alain Accardo Editions Agone.
However, it's important to note
it reflects only part of its contents
(the more ideological or psychological part
and not the political-activist one)
and that the author does not agree completely
with my interpretation of his writing.
Globalization, led by liberal ideology, which we know
today, has the effect of enriching few people, impoverishing the majority,
while undermining life on the planet, materially as well as spiritually.
Only profit is taken into account, and anyone who would dare to stand
out of this motto would be most often disapproved.
Marketing at all costs, borne on a global level, has
come to rub off on all our behaviours and this at all levels of society.
It's even so well assimilated that social work, political commitment,
education, culture, for instance, all end up appealing to marketing techniques
in their working methods, and everyone seems to think this is "normal"
or at least acceptable. The current crisis is not throwing any real disorder
in such reasoning, even if we can perceive the first weaknesses, forcing
mentalities to evolve. Political will for change is still confined to
reform means to make run the system, it does not change the system itself,
being too much influenced by the logic of it.
Whatever political leaders, they all have almost exactly
the same objective: make run the machine pursuing the same logic, however
largely inadequate. And democratic functioning appears mostly like a masquerade,
avoiding to reveal the inadequate foundations on which the capitalist
system is based.
Most representatives of the intellectual or ruling elite
of the society (exceptions apart): executives, professionals, politicians,
artists, or even sometimes some teachers, are convinced of the validity
and accuracy of integrating commercial principles and values to their
work, and getting involved then professionally to go further in that direction.
They interpret any abuse of the system as accidents or exceptions.
And this effect is even more perverse because this alienation
is often accompanied by a critical mind that refers to a pseudo-objectivity
on reality perception. This state of mind helps to actively participate
in the system while believing they are fighting or escaping it.
At the opposition side, the criticism against politics,
both from the right or the left (left-wing politicians pursuing a policy
of moderate slightly right) shows the disability from those who express
it, to see inside themselves what they castigate in the representatives,
or conversely to see the resemblance between the representatives and themselves.
For, without having abandoned themselves their modes of operation that
they condemn, their actions only serve to allow the system to adapt to
a internal opposition to it, without actually conducting a substantial
In fact, feeding on anger and opposing the system aren't
probably part of the solution. And as such, some or even many alterglobalist
struggles, as we know them, are not necessarily always in adequacy to
the problem. There are lot of time and energy involved to ultimately bring
The population as a whole, is conditioned to obey unconsciously
to the system rules, and to participate at it in perpetuating its construction,
still more forward, to even more growth, more profits, while accepting
in return to enjoy some benefits of these profits, and ignoring voluntarily
or not, the "collateral damages" that this engenders, namely:
injustice, poverty, environmental destruction, and all that, at a globally
We all obey, individually, to non-explicit requirements.
If they are indeed actually promoted, it takes place tacitly. And we assimilate
them through education, media and the political system. It is virtually
impossible to escape that.
So on the one hand, criticism of the system is able to
develop and consolidate it, without really questioning it. And on the
other, each member of society is adopting a consenting attitude provided
that they receive sufficient compensation in terms of recognition, material
security, or access to certain conveniences. And these compensations will
have as effect to anaesthetize every rebellious feeling. This adherence
concerns mainly the middle classes that make up the population majority
in western countries. It is more implicit than voluntary, permitted by
the unspoken, conditioning, automatism, habit. And everyone participates
then, without intend, by blind obedience, to a functioning of which he
only perceives the positive part.
And since we are not all equal in front of education,
it can be observed that those who spend most time in schools and universities,
will be the less able to challenge these conditionings, to the point that
many of them consider themselves above those who were less marked, under
a form that Alain Accardo calls : "racism of intelligence '.
And when we come to praise the failings of liberalism:
we are neither totally liars nor totally victims of indoctrination. Let's
say all that suits us well. It is a form of 'complacency' towards the
system, which consists in obeying him objectively, giving ourselves subjective
socially honourable reasons to do so, or not noticing it, without that
it can be talked about hypocrisy, since we are the first to want to believe
the reasons we have given ourselves.
It is because everyone, practically, assimilates the
system without really being conscious of it, that the system can remain
so strong and durable. It is not really voluntary, but there is no real
resistance, however. To question the system it is necessary to go beyond
an external criticism (at a political and economic level). By limiting
ourselves to an external criticism we take more the risk to support what
we want in fact to see disappear.
It is rather inside ourselves that we should seek. Because
the system keeps the human in adolescent behaviours, where "having"
prevailed over "being" and "doing", and where power
relationship and competition are the main functioning models.
If richness is so much coveted, it is not so much by
greed as by seeking status, recognition, power or even security. And the
search for profit which is not an explicit value in our educational system,
remains, however, the main force in the race for success, and remains
one of the foundations of Western society.
It appears to be impossible to find valid solutions if
the problem is not correctly defined. We can’t operate effective
changes in society, as long as we go on taking as objective reference
the subjective view that we have on it and on ourselves. As we go on failing
in being really conscious, we persist to change the appearances while
persevering to support what's going wrong at a deeper level.
To define correctly the problem and find real solutions,
we must develop our capacity to free us from the glasses that blind us
in front of reality.
And the difficulty of freeing us from that is coming
from the fact that we have internalized, integrated, assimilated the logic
of the system, so that it is part of ourselves. Our individual functioning
model, our way of thinking, are in total adequacy with this logic, which
makes us invisible the substance of the problem. And even when we denounce
our model of society and its rules at a global level, we continue, at
an individual level, to keep them as references. Our psychic structure
is built from these standards. It is therefore impossible to change the
standards outside of us, while they remain integrated within us. For it
is this integration which allows to be agreeing (unconsciously) with the
system, through behavioural automatisms, spontaneous inclinations, learned
personal values. This way, we always justify this logic with well supported
arguments provided themselves from identification with our dominant mode
As long as we cannot discern this complacency that we
demonstrate, as long as we do not discover the concessions we made to
our own integrity to keep the satisfaction offered to us by system, we
can’t give us the means to return to the values linked with consciousness,
heart and rationality, replacing the pseudo-values based on the pleasure
It is necessary to revive the human in us. For, hiding
under the freedom to "do what we like”, leads us to an imprisonment
of thought, conscience, and all our moral values: what makes our obedience
to the system almost infallible.
Changes in society can’t happen without changes
in mores. At first these changes can only happen at an individual level
and can not be forced from outside. These changes are outside the scope
of asceticism, they require to put an end to our complacency in the system.
If we want to change the system, to change the World,
we can not be dispensed to change ourselves.
If we understand that the system manipulates us, and
therefore the success of its action on us is related to its sneaky functioning
(which we are not aware of), it appears that to break free of it, we will
have to highlight each of its effects on ourselves. For a manipulation
made visible doesn't work anymore. That can not happen without effort,
but the game is worth the effort. This is a daily and voluntary work,
without which any political struggle, any seeking for change at a global
level, can not succeed.
Version from 05/04/2009 – translated December 2011
This text has been written originally in French and has been translated
by the author (who is French speaking). The translation quality is therefore
not guaranteed : see more details here.
Your help could be appreciated.