1. Principle of refusal:
escape the imposed debates, refuse to recognize the validity of certain ideologues as counterparts, and of certain problems as relevant. These themes make the confrontation of ideas impossible; their removal is the condition of the debate. In contrast to the myth that the public sphere is a place unified by deliberation, we must affirm that there are some problems which are mutually and absolutely exclusive. They speak only of the nation, of the people, of sovereignty or national identity, of disintegration. We wish to speak about class, exploitation, violence, repression, domination, intersectionality. Thus, these are the two scenes, and one is mutually exclusive of the other. From this point of view, combating today’s discursive hegemony sometimes means remaining silent rather than being accomplices.
2. Principle of designation:
to recognize individuals for what they really are, to no longer ratify their attempts at deception nor accept as valid subjects of debate those opinions which we know for a fact to be wrong. The alleged threats posed by migrants to the unity of France or Europe, the risks of gender theory, are not topics of discussion, these are insults and lies.
3. Principle of redistribution of shame:
to transform the scene is to change the space of the speakable. The “silence of the intellectuals,” in the end, is not the problem. The problem is who speaks and who remains silent. There are the individuals who we would prefer to remain silent, not by force, as we will surely be accused of advocating, but, on the contrary, by making them understand that their remarks are worthy of nothing but contempt. The ideologues of the extreme right can think what they want, the main thing is that they do not dare say it without incurring disrepute. “The civilization of morals” referred to by Norbert Elias is not the total disappearance of the ugliest thoughts, it is a society where those who wish to formulate them are led to control their impulses.
4. Principle of intervention:
as often as possible, to intervene, to occupy space. In short, to bring the left to life.