The dogma of anti-nature

Image: Elyeser Szturm

By Raoul Vaneigem

The catastrophic management of catastrophism is inherent to the world-dominant financial capitalism, and today it is fought worldwide in the name of life, the planet and the species to be saved.

Disputing the danger of the Corona virus is certainly absurd. On the other hand, isn't it so absurd that an interruption in the usual course of disease is subject to such emotional exploitation and brings back that arrogant incompetence that once drove the Chernobyl cloud out of France? Of course, we know how easily the ghost of the apocalypse comes out of its box to take hold of the first cataclysm to come, to fix the images of the universal deluge and plant the plow of guilt in the barren soil of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The divine curse supported the power usefully. At least until the Lisbon earthquake in 1755, when the Marquis of Pombal, a friend of Voltaire, took advantage of the tremor to massacre the Jesuits, rebuild the city according to their conceptions and happily liquidate his political rivals with “proto-Stalinist” processes. Let us not insult Pombal – however hateful he may be – by comparing his dictatorial coup with the miserable measures that democratic totalitarianism has applied worldwide against the Corona virus epidemic.

What cynicism it is to attribute the spread of the scourge to the deplorable inadequacy of the medical means used! For decades, the public good has been compromised, and the hospital sector has paid the price of a policy that favors financial interests to the detriment of citizens' health. There is always more money for banks and less and less beds and health professionals for hospitals. What antics will conceal for longer that this catastrophic management of catastrophism is inherent to the world-dominant financial capitalism, and today fought worldwide in the name of life, the planet and the species to be saved.

Without depositing in this rescue of divine punishment which is the idea of ​​Nature getting rid of Man as it gets rid of an undesirable and harmful worm, it is worth remembering that, for millennia, the exploration of human nature and terrestrial nature imposed the dogma of antiphysis, of anti-nature. Eric Postaire's book, Epidemics of the XNUMXst Century, (Editora L'Âge d'homme), published in 1997, confirms the disastrous effects of persistent denaturalization that I have denounced for decades.

Evoking the drama of the “mad cow” (predicted by Rudolf Steiner since 1920), the author recalls that, in addition to being helpless in the face of certain diseases, we realize that scientific progress itself can cause this. In his call for a responsible approach to epidemics and their treatment, he incriminates what the foreword, Claude Gudin, calls the “cash register philosophy”. He poses the question: “By subordinating the health of the population to the laws of profit, to the point of transforming herbivorous animals into carnivores, do we not run the risk of causing fatal catastrophes for Nature and Humanity?” The rulers – as we know – have already responded with a unanimous yes. What does it matter, since the no of the financial interests continues to triumph cynically?

Was the Corona virus necessary to demonstrate to the most stubborn that denaturalization for reasons of profitability has consequences for universal health, that managed without disturbing a World Organization whose precious statistics soften the disappearance of public hospitals? There is an obvious correlation between the Corona virus and the collapse of world capitalism. At the same time, it seems no less obvious that what restores and precipitates the Corona Virus epidemic is an emotional plague, a hysterical fear which, at the same time, conceals the deficiencies of the treatment and perpetuates the evil by generating panic in the patient. During the great plague epidemics of the past, populations did penance and proclaimed their guilt by whipping themselves. Are the managers of world dehumanization not interested in convincing people that there is no way out of the miserable fate reserved for them? That only the flagellation of voluntary servitude remains for them? The formidable media machine only recalls the old lie of the heavenly decree, impenetrable and inescapable, where crazy money replaced the bloodthirsty and capricious gods of the past.

The outbursts of police barbarism against peaceful protesters amply demonstrated that military law is the only thing that has worked effectively. Today, it confines women, men and children in quarantine. Outside, the coffin, inside, the television, the window open to a closed world! It is a conditioning capable of aggravating existential discomfort by betting on emotions abraded by anxiety, exacerbating the blindness of impotent indignation.

But even lying gives way to general collapse. State and populist cretinization has reached its limits. She cannot deny that an experiment is underway. Civil disobedience spreads and dreams of radically new societies, because they are radically human. Solidarity frees individuals who are no longer afraid to think for themselves from their individualistic sheepskin.

The Corona virus has become the revealer of state bankruptcy. This is at least an object of reflection for victims of forced confinement. When my modest proposals to the strikers were published, friends told me how difficult it was to resort to a collective refusal, which I suggested, to pay taxes, fees, tax levies. Now, the proven bankruptcy of the swindler-State attests to the economic and social dilapidation that makes small and medium-sized companies, local commerce, modest incomes, family farming and even the so-called liberal professions absolutely bankrupt. Leviathan's collapse succeeded more quickly than our resolutions to overthrow it.

The Corona virus fared even better. The end of productivist harmfulness has reduced world pollution, saving millions of people from planned death, nature is breathing, dolphins are enjoying themselves again in Sardinia, the canals of Venice, purified of mass tourism, find fresh water, the stock market is in collapse. Spain decides to nationalize private hospitals, as if it were rediscovering social security, as if the State remembered the Welfare State it destroyed.

Nothing is guaranteed, everything starts. Utopia is still on all fours. Let us abandon to their heavenly inanity the billions of banknotes and empty ideas that circulate above our heads. The important thing is to “do our own business”, letting the business bubble collapse and implode. Beware of lack of audacity and self-confidence!

Our present is not the confinement that survival imposes on us, it is the openness to all possibilities. It is under the effect of panic that the oligarchic State is forced to adopt measures that only yesterday it declared impossible. It is the call of life and the earth to restore that we want to respond. Quarantine is good for reflection. Confinement does not abolish the presence of the street, it reinvents it. Let me think, Cum grain salis, that the upheaval of everyday life has unexpected therapeutic virtues.

* Raoul Vaneigem, founder of the Situationist International with Guy Debord, is the author, among other books, of The Art of Living for New Generations (Conrad).

Translation: Erick Correa

Translation published in magazine IHU ON-LINE (

Article originally published on the website lundimatin (

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