She “adored her students, she loved her job”. “And she was adored by them, there really was a relationship. “Agnès Lassalle, the teacher murdered in full course at the Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin college in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, devoted her time to teaching. Like most teachers, she had dedicated her life to her students, even if she had her life, she prepared her classes and her students for life, she opened the doors of classes and consciences, she made a language a means of understanding another culture, another civilisation, another way of being, of thinking and of living. She asked her students to attend and listen, to learn vocabulary and do their homework, to listen and talk constantly, in order to progress on the way to school. This path only taken by those who have the privilege of living in these countries where it is still possible to learn for all, all ages, all sexes, where school is compulsory and necessary, because it is part of civilization, culture and a certain idea that we have of man: a being who must learn. A man and not an animal. So killing a master in the middle of class is a symbol. You must undoubtedly be mad, but you must also want to prevent speech.
The teachers provide living knowledge, which is not formatted or governed by algorithms, knowledge born of culture, reading and reflection on the world. They offer by their life of service, self-sacrifice and vocation lessons of life, straight and modest directions, idealistic horizons. Far from the dogmatism of institutions and tyrannical minds, without bias, without prejudice other than that of wanting to transmit, with the vital aim today of bringing young people out of imbecility, this living knowledge which gives keys to not undergoing this confusing era – but to free oneself from it through intelligence, and perhaps to thwart the pitfalls of its modernity. Philosophers, linguists, historians, mathematicians, physicists, sports, science and economics teachers, those who teach letters and the humanities: their thoughts enlighten us and bring us back to our humanity. They give us benchmarks, they come to remind us of the complexity of reality in the face of the single thought of social networks, this non-thought that awaits us when we express our desires and our desires, our centers of interest and our choices, making us slaves attention capitalism. Men, in flesh and blood, facing the Internet and the generic knowledge of digital culture that format zombies. Men who speak to men, not to a market.
Masters are at the heart of all true thought. Alive, they provide questions more than answers. The teachers build a bridge between the generations: eternally young, they remain all their life in contact with childhood, they are a landmark for those who listen to them, they hear the heart beat of each student and know the evils of society, inside. They have no authority, they only have doubts. They no longer have a need, they are weakened, insecure, stigmatized. They have no more money, they only have debts. They no longer have prestige, they are invisible. They are jostled, vilified, stabbed, beheaded. But to decapitate them is to decapitate society. Because they remain, even if they are at the bottom of the social scale, the elite of the nation. This nation which commits suicide when it does not treat them, this society which massacres itself when it leaves them defenseless because they are not protected, neither physically, nor morally, nor ideologically, nor economically.
Will every teacher have to be accompanied by a bodyguard to understand it? Will every teacher have to go to high school with fear in their stomachs? The murdered professor is one of the most worrying symptoms of the failure of modernity and of man, since the human is their domain. Curiosity, the relationship to others is not the business of politics which will replace teachers with algorithms, which will subject them to the dictatorship of figures and electoral discourse, which will make them slaves instead of masters. It is a monumental mistake not to listen to teachers. A mistake not only made by students. To kill a master is also, through the man and the project, to suppress his word, his teaching, his knowledge, it is to prevent transmission, it is to cut oneself off from his past, from his intelligence, and from his identity is to assassinate the future.