In the world of finance, economics, and politics, there's only one message left: “There is no alternative.” That would seem to be today's slogan, the very definition of political pragmatism. No alternative. Only growth can better people's lives.
The non-redistribution of wealth is a necessary evil. Economics alone is legitimate, and numbers have permanently replaced letters. This supposed absence of alternative is supported by the violence of proofs and the brutality of quantitative analysis. After the horrifying financial crisis of 2008, deregulation, tax evasion, the privatisation of work, and the insanity of financial speculation are back with a vengeance, and often with the complicity of central banks and governments.
All things considered, there is no alternative to the market economy if we can only imagine such an alternative within the parameters of this very market economy.
The gradual replacement of political forces by their financial counterparts always presents itself as inevitable and self-evident. So was the divine right of kings. And yet, we cannot accept this inevitability, so useful for the few mega-wealthy who preside over the world's future.
It is now our turn to declare that there is no alternative to culture and education. And never mind if it's been said too often. Never mind if it's been screamed into the desert again and again, never mind if a minority says it to another minority who hears it. There is no alternative than to consider the problem under the light of a different desire.
No, art should not and cannot be no more than a consolation in the face of rampant liberalism, than an excuse for tax exemptions, than an elegant and luxurious mask to hide our impotence. Art is precisely what tells us that everything is possible when nothing seems to be and when those in powers proclaim that very impossibility to assert their domination.
There are alternatives to the fallacy according to which the remedy to a world dominated by economic liberalism would be even more liberalism. We have to change our point of view, elevate ourselves, and more than anything start fighting not for our own victory, but for that of future generations. For those who believe, if not in History, then at least in the future still, it is art that lets us overcome the despair of lucidity and touch the beauty of hope.
But one can't help but feel alone sometimes, distraught and powerless! Where to find the strength necessary for this inner, spiritual change that would value knowledge over possession, wonder over predation, and the encounter with the other over the accumulation of useless technology? Only there will we find alternatives to a way of life that destroys meaning just like it is destroying our planet.
It has long been common knowledge that a man alone cannot hope to triumph over the violence of the world, and that only a political organisation able to bring together different struggles and build a revolutionary mass could change it. Yet this new generation believes much more in singularity than it does in the power of the mass. Singularity is the name physicists give the all-powerful centre of black holes, the origin of an unknown energy so powerful it might be able to stop time. In other words, a perfect definition for art: a singularity which contains so much positive energy, it can curve time and put a stop to the legacy of calamity. That is what happens during this mystery that is the performance outside of time. A community converges towards the centre of meaning, and all political alternatives become possible again. It is in that sense that the performing arts are transcendental, not because they ask us to celebrate the power of a god, but because it reminds us that the collective is made up of a sum of singularities which, by coming together, can truly alter the course of time. The collective is a transcendence in and of itself, and to listen to its silence in the darkness of the theatre allows us to experience it all over again.
We hope for a change in the very nature of politics that would no longer subjugate our future to economic necessity and to the unknowable gods of finance. We are learning to desire something else, so that future generations may still experience the exhilaration of possibilities.