Jean Viard: “With the pandemic, we could see what a society would be like without tourism or leisure”

Lhe Great Pandemic, by confining five billion people to their homes, staged the first global fight for a reunited humanity. There is a world-event here that we are going to take years to measure, think about and understand, a world-event that opens the fight that we are going to fight more and more every day to try to save humans. Because the Earth can continue its adventure without us.

But this whistleblower that was the Great Pandemic has also shown us that if we stop going out for fun, dining out, traveling, taking vacations, then the city is empty, the culture sleepy, love predictable, absent citizenship. Because all these social practices invented in two centuries have become like the double skin of the world. Gradually urbanized and industrialized societies have left the agrarian rhythms of times and places to invent a new space-time, that of travel and vacation, urban leisure and multiple encounters. Along the way, this new order of life incorporated ancient festivals, processions and pilgrimages. Today there are more people on a beach or at a festival than in churches or in Billancourt. The large gatherings of our societies, in China as in France or elsewhere, now take place on highways, eternally saturated when Bison futé shows up.

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But this new civilization of the link, this double of a salary planet, has never been a project in itself. The project was production, education, progress, power. Only, the old aristocratic elites, not very good at work, continued to court after the death of the king, the new cultured elites wanted to see the magic places of their history books and the peoples wanted to decrease the pressure of work. and operation. This is how, little by little, we invented the pleasures of the sea and the snow, the love of the countryside and city trips, festivals and leisure parks. The city itself was transformed into a huge leisure center where residents and travelers began to socialize, to go to the Louvre or Paris Plages, to brasseries, theatres, cinemas, kebabs and McDonalds. So adults became big children equipped with multiple toys: gardens – for two-thirds of French people –, swimming pools – for three million of them –, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, flat screens, second homes – four million…

new religion

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