SUBMISSION

Many men take an interest in politics and war, but these diversions never appealed to me.  The elections could not have been less interesting; the mediocrity of the ‘political offerings’ was almost surprising.  A centre-left candidate would be elected, serve either one or two terms, depending how charismatic he was, then for obscure reasons he would fail to complete a third.  When people got tired of that candidate, and the centre-left in general, we’d witness the phenomenon of democratic change, and the voters would install a candidate of the centre-right, also for one or two terms, depending on his personal appeal.  Western nations took a strange pride in this system, though it amounted to little more than a power-sharing deal between two rival gangs, and they would even go to war to imose it on nations that failed to share their enthusiasm.

*****

The idea that political history could play any part in my own life was still disconcerting, and slightly repellent.  All the same, I realised – I’d known for years – that the widening gap, now a chasm, between the people and those who claimed to speak for them, the politicians and journalists, would necessarily lead to something chaotic, violent and unpredictable.  For a long time France, like all the other countries of Western Europe, had been drifting towards civil war.  That much was obvious.  But until a few days before, I was still convinced that the vast majority of French people would always be resigned and apathetic – no doubt because I was more or less resigned and apathetic myself.  I’d been wrong.

Michel Houellebecq, Submission.

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  1. Pingback: TWENTY SIXTEEN: IN REVIEW | TEETH, FEET & FINGERS

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