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Who Are The Brave And The Contemporary Deserters?


The condemnation of desertion has played the role of binding societies for many centuries. It sensitized generations of men to this notion of courage and duty while insinuating the consequences of cowardice: physical or social death. The demonization of the deserter has made it possible to instill values ​​of boldness and sacrifice in a duelist logic by identifying the good and the bad compatriots. These honor-based societies have been gradually replaced by others more governed by the notion of gain and loss, making the culture of self-denial in favor in that of pleasure (a fortiori of consumption) illusion – ranging hand in hand with the abolition of conscription and the professionalization of armies -. Thus, it is no longer possible to sacrifice an entire generation of young people, as was the case, for example, during the First World War – which in itself is entirely desirable -. 

This age having disappeared, does it nevertheless exist today as an equivalent of this outcast of yesteryear that represented the deserter? 

We cannot generalize as there are always great differences in values ​​between countries – which is a good thing in my opinion -. However, we can observe a general tendency which proceeds from the often fantasized globalization. This movement of standardization – all in all relative by the very fact of its multiple influences – could be trivially summarized by a certain commodification or larger monetization of all spheres of our society. As such, we could even speak of a sort of desecration (/ desecration) on a large scale. Before this process is at work, however, there is a hard core of sacredness or at least a transfer from one sacred to another. What is it? 

If the answer is not entirely clear, then it should be known who these new deserters are. At first glance, if we study the model par excellence of this globalization – notably the United States – we would be tempted to say that these new deserters are those who did not want to join (supposedly) the rules of capitalism and all manifestations of liberal culture. 

However, if we look more closely, a new expression of the deserter stands. Who is the deserter?

He is by definition one who denies the common interest for the benefit of his own and his own security. The new generation has started to sketch this new character: the dominant narrative is changing. We are moving from a liberal discourse to a progressively ecological voice whose echo is more and more heard. Of course, we are in a transition phase, with its ups and downs, so there are still guilty words about the old model. It is quite likely that climato-skeptics and other refractories are put in the pillory because of their “betrayal” of the group’s interests.  

We can notice that there is a constant progression of the dominant discourse over time. This creates a change in “the enemy”. The corresponding group is constantly growing to be more inclusive. 

  The corresponding enemy The corresponding group
The age of nations  The deserter The nation
The age of empires Those who refuse “Civilization” The empire 
The failed attempt of a global communist world    The “bourgeois” The peoples adhering to communism
The age of liberal globalization  The refractories of capitalist globalization The human community having adhered to the liberal model 
The environmentalist age the climate skeptics  The polluters Those who refuse to submit to environmental injunctions  The whole ecosystem (humans, fauna and flora)

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