Abundance and freedom, An environmental history of political ideas
The Discovery, 458 p., 24 €
We have the habit of thinking about the history of our political ideas – and, in particular, the freedom – as falling within a sphere apart, in isolation from our relation to the world. In this vast fresco philosophical, which will be a date, Pierre Charbonnier, a young researcher in philosophy, close to Bruno Latour and Philippe Descola, currently in charge of research at the CNRS, shows that it is not. On the contrary, his work intends to expose how the political ideas of modernity are linked to a certain conception of the relation to the earth and to the environment. For him, our ideal of freedom share a consanguinity with the intensive use of natural resources and soil, the exploitation of which was used to fund the social progress in the past two centuries.
In the introduction, which could only be a mere anecdote, to the contrary, the striking illustration. Pierre Charbonnier is reported that the u.s. administration in charge of energy has recently christened the natural gas, a fossil fuel, “ molecules of freedom US “, summoning -” so brutal and naive “leading the author – an imaginary world where the freedom would be literally contained in the fossil materials, and the emancipation policy directly related to its operations.
But times are changing and the brief episode – the scale of the story – during which the abundance of material and energy has been the engine of collective emancipation is in the process of closing. Peter Collier does not deny the social progress that this intensive exploitation has allowed. This is the reason for the urgency of the ecological crisis as just today to transform itself into a political emergency. ” It is, in fact, that it is possible, for some at least, to live better in a world that degrades “, he noted. The welfare State and its protective mechanisms are weakened by the fact that they are dependent on the rule of growth, which determines their funding.
Réancrer ecology in the policy
With this book, Pierre Charbonnier means réancrer the ecological issue in the policy, then that “ dispossessed of the means of action adapted to the situation that we experience (…) we are always tempted to make the weapons and to situate the ecological issue beyond the policy – in a struggle for survival or salvation – or below – in the accumulation of gestures. “
For the philosopher, décarboner the economy is not a simple scientific question or technique, it is above all a political subject. Unlike other thinkers of the ecology, he believes that it is possible to carry it in now to the democracy, “ reinventing the institutions to protect, the urban infrastructure, their financing mechanisms, as well as social attachments, which find their place. “
The challenge is significant : “ There is a need to develop devices that reduce our dependence on energies without violating the collective aspirations that are embedded “sums up Pierre Charbonnier. To renounce the plenty, without giving up the freedom.