Date: Tuesday, 6 April 2021

ILC-France invited PH Tavoillot, philosopher, to analyse what the COVID crisis reveals about our society in terms of its management, the decision-making of our leaders, the impressive response of scientific research but also on the growing role of social networks and the intergenerational link.

COVID does not reveal the crisis of de-globalization, but rather underlines a common global experience, admittedly in a differentiated way according to the countries by the measures put in place by the states.

According to some essayists: “Man suffers, nature blows”. “Nature’s revenge is a godsend”. The decay phase generates calamitous effects.

A defeat of science? It is reminded that science is not the truth, but that science is the debate over truth explaining the different position of scientists. The development of vaccines in such a rapid time frame represents a scientific achievement underlining the performance of science.

A war of generations? This is an overly simplistic consideration. It still has not taken place, noting however that there have been a number of battles. On the contrary, this crisis has revealed that intergenerational relations are doing quite well.

So is everything going well? If we compare democracies versus authoritarian regimes, particularly in Asia, in this period, what can we notice? In Asia, China emerged from the crisis with authoritarian measures. Taiwan and South Korea, democratic states, have been able to cope in a remarkable way, as has Israel. The notion of crisis of democracy is surely an excessive term.

In a democracy everyone can have their say. However, we more readily listen to those who scare, at the expense of those who carry a rational message. It is in fact the least rational, the most sectarian word that is heard the most. Democracy is shaken up by social networks and must tame them.

In France, the crisis has revealed weaknesses that are very urgent to take into account, especially as the country is entering an election period.
We are in a society of living together. Several questions then arise. How to want it? Are we prepared to discuss it together?

Decision-making: few would like to be in the place of decision-makers in the current very specific context. Making a decision is not choosing between a good and a bad decision, it is choosing between a bad decision and a much worse decision.

The video is available in French here.