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Étienne Chouard : la liberté d’expression, la vraie...

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-I would like to know your opinion or... what emerges from it... ... about this small reading; that's going to be very short. Then: "Freedom of expression is applicable not only to information or ideas that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive or indifferent, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb. So... So goes with pluralism, tolerance and open-mindedness without which there is no democratic society." This is the European Court of Human Rights who wrote that in 1976. What does that inspire you? - Eh, I go back in time... further, because... ... I find this idea... in Athens, 2500 years ago. The Athenians cared about the isegoria, the right to speak for everyone, about every subject, and at any time, the right to public speech. They wcared about it more than about the isonomia, equality before the law and... They cared about it because, in fact, it was as an hygienic measure, a measure of protection, safeguarding democracy. Because when we call on everyone... ... we... it makes the citizens sentinels. Every citizen can become a ... a guardian of democracy and a whistleblower of... drifts. And... the Athenians were well aware that... there were going to be... false alarms, dissident thoughts that would be... stupid or... hostile or ... ... but it doesn't matter, it doesn't. It is better... As we don't know in advance what are the thoughts that will be useful and those that will be harmful or... inappropriate, as no one can say in advance what are the dissident thoughts which are going to be useful or not, well then they are given... we call on everyone, they are allowed all. And... ... many great thinkers have... defended this freedom of expression as ... ... a ... a base part of a free, pacified society. So... So on the one hand, this freedom of expression, it allows every citizen to become... a sentinel of democracy but it is not everything; there is also the will of... which... is in the background... which comes because a democracy ... ... bets that we can, we all together, gathered in an assembly, not by officials but all of us directly. So not all, because everyone doesn't come, but anyone who wants. In a democracy, necessarily direct... ... indirect democracy is an oxymoron; democracy is mechanically by definition, direct, direct democracy, this is a pleonasm. In a direct democracy, we ... we bet that we are able to make the right decisions for ourselves. So of course, the oligarchs or representatives, ... elected officials... ... claim that we are incompetent and we will make bad decisions. And the democrats know that... there is a risk of making bad decisions, to be... embedded by rhetoricians, ... speakers, people who ... who, speaking well, will misguide us, will deceive us, will take us into the wrong... decisions. We know that: So there are rules to protect against demagogues. And we also know we can make mistakes. And then there are procedures to change our mind, to... ... make other decisions later, once we realize we made a mistake, we... there are procedures for that. And above all... before making a decision, democrats, real democrats, who... organize direct democracy, that of Athens, not even that of Switzerland, eh, it's more... ... more generalized, more structurally... ... popular, a real democracy, than Switzerland, eh. Switzerland is the best we have on Earth at the moment but... ... it's very very very flawed! True democracy, therefore, as we decide our laws, directly, without representatives - representatives do something else, they ... ... but they don't make the laws - since we make our laws, it is important, before making a decision, to hear all viewpoints. Even the views we loathe. Above all, especially the views we loathe. And there are plenty of moralists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Chinese philosophy, Japanese philosophy, we find... aphorisms, ... proverbs, in all civilizations, almost, where... sages point out that ... ... we'd better listen to people we don't want to hear. It would be better, it is worthwhile to listen to people we don't want to hear. And that often... those who... those who speak ill of us, those who talk bad about us... .. are those whom we have the most to draw to progress. And that those who flatter us and speak well of us are those who... ... take us to the bad roads, bad habits. Well, but then the democracy, by obliging us to listen publicly... ... to people we don't want to listen, to people we hate, people we would put in jail... I exaggerate, but just barely. Forcing us to it, it pacifies the group. Each individual doesn't want to hear such and such he hates, but the group is going to benefit from the fact that conflicts are staged - this is an important word, that - in democracy ... The democracy stages the conflicts. It doesn't hide them, it doesn't overshadow them, it doesn't put them under the rug. A democracy gives voice to all dissident thoughts, in order to enlighten the decisions so that the decisions are... ... the least bad possible. And we don't seek perfection, we know we will make mistakes, it does not matter, we will be mistaken. We try to get it right, then if we're wrong, well we will change. Then the elected officials representatives shall not try to persuade us that they don't make mistakes, They make mistakes... as much as... ... as we will make mistakes when... the people will decide. - I just interrupt... couple of seconds. Don't you believe that today, there is a direction of.. ... there is a direction, first of all, which is made by the media? - Yes. But there, you think of manipulation. A direction is not necessarily a manipulation. It is not necessarily a... ... trickery. A direction, it can be... ... a... ... a decoration set, a... ... an emphasis that is used to show something important. Not necessarily with an intention to lie. It can be... the... the show in Athens, Greek tragedy, was an educational tool to highlight, In a caricatural - but at the same moment clear - way, the values defended by democracy. And... this is very important, it was not at all... And I think that even today, the culture as... ... folk art that serves to... ... to show to children and young adults - and even to adults - the ... values that the City acknowledges, this art is very important. And the... the ideology of management, our current ideology, there, the one of... merchants who can only count, who only focus on that which is profitable, only that which is profitable and... who destroy everything that is not profitable, everything which is outside from... market logic, these people are crazy! They are hemiplegic, they have only ... ... half a brain, and yet... And when they destroy everything that is cultural because it is not profitable, it is folly. - What is called culture, according to you, today? - So you must see the work of Frank Lepage, which is really exciting in this field. Culture should be political, it should be about the political education of young adults. Our grandparents, Franck... Franck explains that, Franck Lepage explains that... our grandparents, at the end of the war,... ... understood - the war had been a lesson - that one could be extremely cultured and Nazi. And so the... democracy is... to save a democracy, to preserve a free society, it was not enough to have a cultured elite, that... you could get cultured little rascals. And therefore, they deduced that it was necessary to educate children... not... to literature, to art but to politics. Then possibly to art and literature but also... ... especially to politics, to the values of democracy. A bit like the demo was ... Greek tragedy. And... A bit like the demo was ... Greek tragedy. Depoliticized the culture, reduced - and it is a disaster - the culture in the art; and that... depoliticizing the City, it's political. This is very conservative to depoliticize. It's very interesting. So today, culture is ... it was reduced in ... ... heavily in... intellectual tools that are not interesting in the... in terms of social justice and resistance to... ... the various projects of domination, the various ... various injustices. It is no fate, it is the popular universities... There are still many of artists who fight on the political front. But ... it's difficult, it is increasingly difficult for them today, because ... merchants have colonized our imagination in taking the power, because representative government empowers merchants, including money merchants who are the richest. As they have power, they also have the power to suffocate... to suffocate... true culture, culture worth the name, which would be a political culture.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 22 seconds
Country: France
Language: French (France)
Producer: Cinequaprod.
Director: Sylvain Durain
Views: 97
Posted by: tylerzemover on Jan 21, 2012

"La liberté d'expression vaut non seulement pour les « informations » ou « idées » accueillies avec faveur ou considérées comme inoffensives ou indifférentes, mais aussi pour celles qui heurtent, choquent ou inquiètent : ainsi le veulent le pluralisme, la tolérance et l'esprit d'ouverture sans lesquels, il n'est pas de « société démocratique »."
Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme - 1976

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