Le Moyen Age 2.0 | Tania Sollogoub | TEDxLaBaule

Le Moyen Age 2.0 | Tania Sollogoub | TEDxLaBaule

Impact of War and Literature

  • The speaker reflects on the significance of the book "War and Peace" by Tolstoy, passed down by their grandmother, and discusses the impact of the recent war in Ukraine on their friendship with Natalia, a Russian friend, emphasizing the importance of maintaining correspondence during difficult times.

Polarization of Minds

  • The speaker highlights the phenomenon of polarization of minds, where people increasingly view the world in binary categories, leading to a lack of compromise and increased violence.
  • They cite the example of the United States, where polarization levels are at an all-time high, and discuss the implications of this trend on politics and society.

Uniformization of the World

  • The speaker introduces the concept of "uniformization of the world," coined by Stephen Zweig in 1925, referring to the standardization of human nature and the erosion of individuality.
  • They discuss how this trend was accelerated by the rise of mass media and the spectacle of politics, particularly during the Nazi era.
  • The speaker concludes that World War II did not significantly alter the trend of uniformization but rather accelerated it, leading to the current state of affairs.

Stages of Polarization

  • The Americanization of the world, characterized by mass consumption, mass production, and the rise of consumer culture, led to the belief that trade would naturally democratize and pacify the world.
  • However, this idea faced challenges as some countries did not democratize, cultural resistance emerged, and progress stalled in Western countries, leading to frustration among the middle class and the rise of anti-establishment parties.
  • The second stage of polarization occurred in the 1980s with the financialization of globalization, resulting in a new wave of uniformity as people in major cities adopted similar lifestyles and aspirations.
  • The third stage developed in elite universities where the global elite's children studied economics, leading to a simplified understanding of the world based on indicators like GDP and inflation.
  • This economic discourse, combined with the divergence of lifestyles and the invisibility of inequalities, created a situation where different experiences and realities coexisted, leading to a growing divide and a resemblance to medieval societies.

Current State of Polarization

  • The world has become increasingly polarized, with three layers of polarization: disappointment in mass consumption, inequality, and divergence of lifestyles.
  • Saudi Arabia, India, and China are not viable alternatives to the current economic system, and the technofuturist solution is also not a solution.
  • The current dual economies are creating a system that is anchored in polarization, which in turn fuels violence and fear.

Preserving the Spirit of Peace

  • Romain Rolland, during World War I, called for the creation of a space above the fray where people could continue to meet, exchange ideas, and seek the words of peace.
  • The author believes that correspondence and the preservation of the spirit of peace, even in the midst of war, are forms of resistance against polarization.

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