Again? Op-ed by Philippe Aigrain in the aftermath of the Nice attacks

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Paris, 18 July 2016 — La Quadrature du Net publishes an op-ed by Philippe Aigrain co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

Yet another? But yet another what? One does not even know. Once more tens of people killed, many more injured. Once more, a human being has carried them over towards death and suffering in his trajectory of violence and self-destruction. And both ISIS and most western commentators rush to describe him as the soldier of a cause when one does not even know if and when he discovered it.

But also yet another opportunity for politicians to compete in destroying the values they claim to defend. When the French parliamentary investigation committee on the January and November 2015 attacks has just concluded that putting in place the state of emergency was useless in preventing the repetition of attacks, when President Hollande announced its removal on the morning of July 14th, here it is back. And again ten thousand soldiers are mobilized supposedly to to reassure the population, in reality to install a permanent state of fear. And those politicians who want to conduct the next government overbid by requesting anew the preventive internment of persons classified as “S”1Persons who are considered by police and security services as a threat to national security even though they have not been found guilty in court.. The word “war” ten times by minute from all mouths. Invoking in parallel the external enemy that is born from the disasters of our previous external policies and an internal enemy that does not exist yet but that one will soon be able to create by following the lessons of our American friends. In short, a huge competition to put in place exactly what those who claim the paternity of the attacks wish most: making our own universe unbearable so it resembles the caricature they draw of it.

What can an organisation like La Quadrature du Net say in such a situation, when it focuses on promoting what can make sense in a world to come, a world that resembles to what is at play already in the practices of many, from all origins. A world where commons are produced and the common good cared for. Where the future paths are considered open if only one asks the right questions, whether about technology, production and consumption models, capability-building for all, freedom and ability to express oneself, or the open debate on what is valuable. We can only repeat that what remains of dignity in Parliament will be measured by the number of votes to reject the state of emergency. What remains of justice and reason in our society will be measured by counting those who refuse to scream “war, war, war” with those who want to be able to say tomorrow that we have no choice but conducting it all out.

And we will keep sowing the seeds of other possible paths while it is the very idea of a polity that our failed politicians bury.

Philippe Aigrain, 18 July 2016


1 Persons who are considered by police and security services as a threat to national security even though they have not been found guilty in court.

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