What is happening in Notre-Dame-de-Landes illustrates a conflict that concerns the whole world. It brings together, on the one hand, financial powers determined to transform the resources of living and nature into commodities and, on the other hand, the will to live that animates millions of beings whose existence is rendered precarious by the ever greater totalitarianism of profit. Where the state and the multinationals that sponsored it had vowed to impose their polluting nuisance, in defiance of the people and their environment, they met with a resistance whose obstinacy, in the case of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, made power bend. The resistance not only demonstrated that the state, “the coldest of cold monster,” was not invincible – as the technocrat who represents it believes, in the stiffness of her/his corpse – it has shown that a new life was possible, against so many lives mutilated by the alienation of work and calculations of profitability. This is a society experimenting with the riches of solidarity, imagination, creativity, re-natured agriculture, a society in the process of self-sufficiency, which built bakery, brewery, market gardening center, sheepfold, cheese factory, a society which above all built the joy of taking, in self-managed assemblies, decisions to improve the lot of each. It is an experience of trial and error, with mistakes and corrections. It is a place of life. What remains of human feeling in those who send cops and bulldozers to destroy it, to crush it? What threat does the free land of Notre-Dame-des-Landes menace the state with? None, but the political fortunes of a few politicians that turn the wheel of great fortunes. The real threat is the weight of a truly human society on the dominant society, eminently controlled by the dictatorship of money, greed, the cult of merchandise and voluntary servitude. It is a wager for the world that is being played out in Notre-Dames-des-Landes. Either the aggressive sadness of the resigned and their so pitiful masters will prevail by inertia, or the ever-renewing breath of our human aspirations will sweep away barbarism. Whatever the outcome, we know that the bias of life is always reborn from the ashes. Human consciousness is drowsy, but never goes to sleep altogether. We are determined to start all over again.
(From lundi.matin 01/06/2018)