Two days before the sixty years birthday of his death, the French newspaper Le Figaro dated of today pays a beautiful tribute to Albert Camus, by publishing an unpublished 1943 vibrant call – and formidably current in reality – for the renewal of the elites.
I have already written here the love I have for this writer, which I only really discovered when the First Man was published in January 1994. I don’t think I can say it better than in this post dated January 2017.
Even if he opted for a life without God, he shared with Christians the same horror of evil. To ideologues, he recommended to prefer men to ideas. To consensus seekers, he suggested the affirmation of what we are, without radicalism.
In 2019, young people stood up and asked us about the future we were preparing for them. On the climate, on biodiversity, on the depletion of resources, the “elements of language” will not be enough: “favor voluntary commitments, leave time for the transition, blah-blah-etc …”. Regulators must set an ambitious and courageous framework. In Europe, it has widely started to do so.
In the preface to an edition of Camus works dated 2013 (Quarto / Gallimard collection), Raphaël Enthoven thus sums up his call to action: “Albert Camus treats despair by feeling that it is not necessary to hope to take action ”.
And in the unpublished published today, Camus writes: “A spirit for whom count both the experience of a lifetime and the reflection on this experience knows that faith, zeal, solidarity, clear will of what you want, are not constant feelings. They have their eclipses and that is natural… ”
So, since the time has come for New Year wishes, this is my wish for each and every one of you for the decade ahead : take action – without being discouraged too often – for a more sustainable world ! Hope will come on the top of this action.
And the cynics, go to hell !
Iconography: the sea in Biarritz area, personal collection
After working as an international banker for emerging countries, Laurent Lascols became global head of country risk / sovereign risk (from 2008 to 2013) then global director of public affairs (from 2014 to 2019) for Societe Generale. In 2021, he founded Aristote, an advisory firm and training organization dedicated to environmental economics, sustainable finance and impact finance.