I was surprised by the pandemic but, in my lifetime, I am used to seeing the unexpected happen. Hitler’s arrival was unexpected for everyone. The German-Soviet pact was unexpected and incredible. The outbreak of war in Algeria was unexpected. I lived only for the unexpected and the habit of crises. This way, I am living a new, enormous, crisis that has all the makings of a crisis. In other words, on the one hand, it awakens the creative imagination, and on the other, it awakens fears and mental regressions. We all seek the salvation of providence, but we don’t know how. We must learn that in history, the unexpected happens and will happen again. We thought we lived on certainties, statistics, forecasts and the idea that everything was stable, when everything was already in crisis. We don’t understand this. We must learn to live with uncertainty, which means having the courage to face, being ready to resist, negative forces. (…)
Crises make us crazier and wiser. One thing and the other. Most people lose their minds, while others become more lucid. Crises favour opposing forces. I hope that it will be the creative forces, the lucid forces and those that seek a new path that will prevail, although they may still be very dissipated and tenuous. We may have good reason to be indignant, but we should not close ourselves in indignation (..)
We are forgetting something: twenty years ago, a process of degradation began in the world. The crisis of democracy is not only in Latin America, but also in European countries. The domination of unlimited profit that controls everything is in every country. The ecological crisis is not outside, it’s here. Therefore, the mind must face crises to dominate and overcome them. Otherwise, we become their victims. We live like sleepwalkers for 10 years to end up in a hideous world war. I know the conditions are not the same, we’re not being threatened by Germany, but we see many conflicts breaking out in the world, and we also see totalitarian elements gaining ground, which have nothing to do with the last century. (..)
We have every means of surveillance, drones, cell phones, facial recognition. There is every means to create a totalitarianism of surveillance. (..)
On the eve of my 100th anniversary, what can I wish for? I wish for strength, courage and clarity.
We need to live in small oases of life and fraternity.
EDGAR MORIN 99 years
Creator of the complexity theory
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Interview published on 01/01/2021