Interview of Michel Serres (excerpts)

Les Echos, a French financial newspaper did a great interview of philosopher Michel Serres on topics related to money, governance and institutions. The automated translation is poor so I decided to translate some excerpts.

Society prefers money to its children

[…] This financial crisis is just one of several lights that turned red […] I don’t see any place in our living space that isn’t in a crisis as deep as the one you mention in the financial and economic world.

[…] Are you aware of the collapse of knowledge. We don’t teach latin or greek, poetry or literature. The teaching of science is collapsing everywhere.

[…] Philosophers are guilty. They have missed the magnitude of changes in the world. […] I see all institutions are true dinosaurs.

[…] Our relation to our planet is a one of terrorism. We are currently winning this war against the world, that is to say that we are losing it.

[…] I’d like to talk to you about why dinosaurs disappeared. We love to discuss the reasons why they died. But it’s very simple: they disappeared because they were growing. It’s their size that killed them. Life cannot exceed a certain size. We die of growth. […] Romans were victim of their greatness. The size of the Roman empire had become so big that it could only collapse. […] In the history of sciences, we see that there are topics that are a center of gravity at a given time. Before it was mechanics, tomorrow it will be life sciences. Tomorrow, the economy will be centered around life sciences, not mechanics.

[…] All the laws that we want to do with copyrights on the Internet are a joke. The Internet is a space without any Law. In this space without Law, a new kind of Law must emerge. In the world of tomorrow, a new type of Law must emerge. If you want to regulate the world of today with old Law, you will fail, just like we did on the Internet.

[…] (We need a contract with Earth) That’s what I meant when I wrote Le Contrat Naturel. (I cannnot imagine an international organization writing this new Law). I remember a discussion with the previous UN Secretary Boutros Boutros-Ghali. He was telling me that every time he talks about water, everyone tells me that they are not here to talk about water but to fight for the interests of the country they represent. As long as there will be intergovernmental organizations, the Earth will not be represented. […] We discuss fishing quotas while fishes are disappearing. Fishes do not have the right to speak. I am for this utopia that fishes would have a right to speak. I want a world institution that represent water, earth, fire… life. We need scientists who swear not to represent a country, an ideology, a corporation… and who represent fishes, air and water. International institutions are populated with dinosaurs.