Home » News » “When they look at each other, the French are upset; when they compare themselves, they are… sorry again ”

“When they look at each other, the French are upset; when they compare themselves, they are… sorry again ”

Dn the already heavy clinical picture of the French, doctors in political science, economics, sociology or psychology have just registered a new pathology: fatigue. It was already there before the health crisis, but the Covid-19 has reinforced this feeling, which thus joins the distrust of institutions and the concern about the future.

All observers note that no other European country is the victim of such a depressive syndrome, even those whose economic health is more fragile and the social situation less enviable.

The Jean-Jaurès Foundation and the CFDT, faithful to its forays outside the union field, sought to find out more. They brought together a committee of twelve academics in the social sciences for their “Give back their place in public action”. Boss of the central cédétiste, Laurent Berger regrets that the public authorities have left this land fallow. That the mobilization of policies to support the economy and that of scientists to develop a vaccine – certainly essential – have relegated psychological and social suffering to the sole private sphere.

This feeling of fatigue is, however, one of the main lessons of the second wave of the survey carried out for The world by Ipsos-Sopra Steria, in partnership with Cevipof (Sciences Po) and the Jean-Jaurès Foundation (The world October 23). Asked about the three dominant feelings for them, the 16,228 respondents answered uncertainty (39%), worry (38%) and fatigue (37%). Hope collects only 25%, confidence 21%, well-being (19%), serenity (18%), revolt and anger 14% each.

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Not reducible to “Pandemic fatigue” identified by the World Health Organization, this diffuse feeling is “Less generalized fatigue than collective fatigue, a state of the social body as much as of individuals”, argue Mr. Berger and Gilles Finchelstein, Director General of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, in the preface to the test A tired society? written by the twelve academics. Its deep and general dimension makes it a warning signal, following several of them.

A “what’s the point? »Defeatist

Historian Patrick Boucheron, professor at the Collège de France, recalls that the fatigue of a people has sometimes been the breeding ground for “Great catastrophes”. If society’s complaint is to be listened to, he said, then it is “Not just out of compassion, but out of political vigilance”.

Pierre-Yves Geoffard, former director of the Paris School of Economics, fears that she “Turns into exhaustion, and that this exhaustion paralyzes any desire to act to the point that it makes us insensitive to the world”. More incisive, the philosopher Frédéric Worms notes that“It no longer leads to revolt, but to defection” – example of supporting hospital staff, including “Desertion” answer the “Loss of social sense of their work”.

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