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  • Bertrand Badré

Grand soir ?

Wherever I have discussed the necessary changes to our model I have heard: “You, French, always think a revolution will make the trick. You dream of a happy remake of the “abolition of the privileges”. You fantasize about “Le Grand Soir” (The Big Night. Wikipedia note: “Le grand soir is a well-known expression in French, and is often used ironically”). The concept is born in the late XIXth century and describes the overnight collapse of the social order and the emergence of a regenerated one. A silver bullet to change the world! With tensions rising in the US -in DC where I live- the idea is back. How to respond to “enough!” while being aware of reality. “Grand soir” seldom happens to say the least. It is unlikely our world will become just, fair and sustainable overnight. But this should not prevent thought and action. Discouragement can’t be the order of the day. Tomorrow can be truly another day if we work tonight, instructed by what we just have been through, by what we are seeing and witnessing. It might look naive. Possibly. I like to remember the words of MacArthur: When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old.” I don’t want to age too fast.


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