France just changed the rules. The situation is
more dire than it was before. Let’s pick another random number and now say that
all gatherings of more than 100 people are banned in our fight for Corona
Exceptional situations warrant exceptional
measures. All schools will be closed until further notice. 12 million students,
out of a total population of 67 million people will have to stay home.
Where this really gets ridiculous is that municipal
elections will be maintained this weekend, all in the name of democracy, as
more than 45 million French people are invited to come and gather in their
townhalls to vote.
Meanwhile in America Trump leads the way. To fight the virus all you have to do is shake hands with corporate America. No better time to make money than when people’s lives are at risk.
A sick “democracy” must be better than a healthy world. Or maybe only the economy needs to be healthy.
France just passed a law last week making it
illegal to organize any gathering of more than 1,000 people because of the
Corona Virus outbreak.
The goal is plain and simple, try to contain
the spread of the virus as much as possible.
My first reaction was to wonder how they had
come up with this number. Seems almost random. Actually, I’m fairly sure it is
just as random as anything else. How does a group as large as 1,000 people help
prevent exponential growth? What are the economic numbers that would make
cancelling gatherings of 500 or 893 people to difficult?
In any case, the reaction was fairly logical,
at least in my books. Most events that I know of or have heard about since then
have been cancelled. Garage sales, school reunions etc., except for something
Political meetings. It is election season in
France, with all French municipalities voting in a few weeks for their mayors. Apparently,
who gets elected in places like Paris are more important than curbing the spread
of the virus as they tried to pack their meetings over the weekend by limiting
the number of attendees to just under 1000 people. Here, let’s organize a
meeting of 999 people, we are complying with the law. Now please vote for me
because I’m a responsible person who should take all sorts of decisions with
the powers you grant me…. That tells you a lot about the consideration
politicians have for their fellow compatriots, but no one seems to say anything
about it. I think these politicians should just go fuck themselves.
Now let’s turn our eyes to Russia for a second.
The Parliament just passed a bill that would enable Vlad Putin, to potentially
stay in office until 2036! Hey, when something in the law isn’t to your
advantage, just change it. Why would you ever want to surrender your power?
Fortunately, some opponents decided to hold
rallies to protest these rule changes that seem to come from another age, but…
those rallies were not authorized because of the risk of contamination due to
the corona virus…. The irony….
No here I am today, wondering what I should
think about the risks to me and my family, friends, loved ones, when some many
people, countries, governments are taking very different approaches to the
pandemic risk. The only thing I know for sure is that I shouldn’t base any of
my decisions on the laws that politicians pass as they have nothing to do with
what is right for people and everything to do with their own very personal
Here is a short text that I like a lot on the
topic of voting. I’ve tried to translate it into English the best I could. It
was written by Elisée Reclus in 1885
Letter to Jean Grave – Élisée Reclus
Clarens, Vaud, September 26, 1885.
You ask a man of good will, who is neither voter
nor candidate, to outline his ideas on voting.
The timeframe you are allowing me is very short,
but having strong convictions on the topic of electoral vote, what I have to
say can be formulated in a few words.
To vote is to abdicate; naming one or more
masters for a short or long period, renouncing one’s own sovereignty. Whether
he becomes an absolute monarch, a constitutional prince or a simple agent of
royalty, the candidate you are putting in power will be your superior. You appoint
men that are above the law, since they are in charge of writing them and their
mandate is to have you obey.
To vote it to be fooled; believing that men like
you will suddenly acquire the ability to know and understand everything. Your
agents having to legislate on all sorts of things, from matches to warships,
weeding to the extermination of tribes, it will seem to you that their
intelligence grows as their tasks grow immensely. History will teach you that
the opposite is true. Power has always caused anxiety; chatter has always
rendered dumb. In sovereign assemblies, mediocrity always prevails.
To vote is to conjure treason. Voters probably
believe in the honesty of those to whom they give their votes – and maybe they are right, on the first day,
when candidates are still bathed in the fervor of their first love. But there
is always a tomorrow. As soon as the environment changes, man changes with it.
Today the candidate will bow to you, maybe too low; tomorrow, he will straighten
himself, maybe too high. He begged for votes, now he will order you around. Can
a worker who becomes a master remain himself? Doesn’t the fiery democrat learn
how to bow down when the banker deigns to invite him in his office, when the
kings’ valets honor him? The atmosphere around these legislative bodies is unhealthy.
You send your agents in a corrupt environment, don’t be surprised if they end
Do not therefore abdicate. Do not give away
your destiny to incapable men and future traitors. Do not vote! Instead of
trusting others with your interests, defend them yourself; instead of engaging
lawyers, act! Opportunities abound for men of good will. Holding others responsible
for one’s conduct is to lack bravery.
Today, I saw something that totally disgusted
me. Something I did not know existed.
And yet, I had seen it before. It was out there
in plain sight. I can’t even say that I am surprised about it now that I have
seen it. Human nature sometimes is just that bad.
What do you think the following images have in
Modern city architecture.
That’s probably what I would have answered had
someone else asked me that question. Or maybe I would have come up with
something else if for some reason my system 2 had
kicked in and wondered why the hell you had asked me the question in the first
I can only guess what my response would have
been. Bad art, waste of taxpayer money, why the hell do they make things complicated
when they could be easy and so on…
Another guess I’ll make is that you probably
don’t know either what the common element is in those images.
Honestly, I don’t know if I would feel better if
you didn’t know, which somehow might help me believe I wasn’t the only one to
be fooled or If you did know. People who know can then either turn a blind eye,
the worst-case scenario, or hopefully stand up and do something about it.
Now here is the answer to the question. These “things”
are what are called “anti-homeless architecture” Like I said, I didn’t know
there was such a thing.
If you didn’t know about those either, take a
look at this thread.
That’s where the pictures come from and how I learned about this. Look at each
one of those constructions and imagine just how twisted the minds of some
One, you have to determine you need something like
anti-homeless architecture to start with. That means someone has to invent the
entire concept, give it birth, make it real. Two, you have to agree that this
is what you need in your town or city. Three, you need to bring it up to the
town council. Four, the town has to go through some kind of RFP process to look
for architects who could create such “architecture”. Five, architects actually
have to agree to make proposals. Six, the municipality has to decide that it will
have these built and installed. Seven, someone has to build that thing. Eight,
someone has to install it.
While I do believe at this point that some
people along the chain might not know what these devices actually are, it is
impossible that most people aren’t aware.
Are you that afraid or disgusted by homeless
people that you want to remove them from your sidewalks? Does it make you feel
better if you can’t see these people? Do you actually believe that they are
people? I know they have these around nice monuments to prevent pigeons from
shitting all over the façade, but is that really necessary for humans?
How is this even possible? Do you not find it
shocking? I find the lack of humanity in this appalling.
Every time you go vote during elections; you surrender
a part of yourself. People get voted into office because they collect some kind
of majority. They then govern, taking decisions on topics you will never even
know were discussed, while pretending to represent you. That includes building
anti-homeless architecture, and a truck load of other horrible things. They will
use your vote to bring these into existence. Now you did not expressly agree to
this decision, nor is anyone else “responsible”. It is just how the system
works. It removes the responsibility of individuals and hides it behind a
system, a group, a council. That is where inhumanity happens. But behind those
systems are people. And people can be stopped. Do not surrender to them.
To vote is to abdicate. To say nothing is to
I refuse to let people take such decisions on
my behalf, in my name or with my vote, that is why I believe not voting carries
a lot of value.
But there is one more thing I can do. It isn’t
much, but at least it’s something. I will take a picture of these man-made
creations of inhumanity every time I see one. I will post the picture online, while
calling out whatever municipality I have found them in. Make people see what elected
bodies do without your permission.