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by Robert Daoust

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The present document is a freely adapted translation of my work entitled "L'organisation générale contre les maux". It consists in a table (Summary) and a text (First Part : Conception of a Systematic Approach to Suffering).



Initial Idea
Purposes of a Systematic Approach to Suffering
General Purposes
Theoretical Purposes
Strategical Purposes
Practical Purposes

Levels of Interventions on Suffering
Questions about Specialities, Territories, Exclusivity, Universality
On Instinct, Religion, Philosophy, Politics, Humanitarianism, Science, the Global Approach to World Problems

Compassion and Rationalism
Action First
Openness and Neutralism
On the Use of Suffering for Doing Good
Other Principles

About the Individual who Undergoes Excesssive Suffering
About Excessive Suffering
About Work Concerning Suffering
About Systematizing Work Concerning Suffering
About Getting Mastery over Suffering
A Bravado Piece in French : "Harangue de Don Quichotte de la Dernière Manche à la Chevalerie Résolutionnaire Internationiale"

On the Postulate that Suffering must be Fought
On Objections from Spiritualism
On Objections from Revolutionarism
Against the Feasibility of Getting Mastery over Suffering
For the Feasibility of Getting Mastery over Suffering




· Related Concepts: Suffering, Pain, Distress, Affliction, Problem, Evil, Need, etc.
· The Nature of Suffering. The Concept of Excessive Suffering.
· About "Useful" Sufferings.
· Inventory of Attitudes toward Suffering.

· The Condition of the Individual who Suffers. Attitudes toward Him or Her.
· Inventory of Individuals who Undergo Excessive Suffering.

· On Classification of Sufferings; Categories of Sufferings; Major Sufferings; Receding Sufferings; Growing Sufferings; Geographical Distribution; Sociological Distribution.
· Inventory of Cases of Excessive Suffering.

· Measuring Techniques. In an Individual. In a Society.
· Estimation of the Occurrences of Suffering.

· Inventory and Classification of Causes.
· Major Causes.
· Structural Factors.
· Sufferings as Causes of Suffering.
· Good Things as Causes of Suffering.

· Inventory.
· Theoretical Work Concerning Persons and Organizations who Cause Sufferings.
· Practical Work Concerning Persons and Organizations who Cause Sufferings.



· The Global Situation in the Field of Work on Suffering.
· Relationships between Work about Suffering and Other Human Activities.
· Inventory of Strategy Ideas.
· The Global Strategy from the Viewpoint of a Systematic Approach to Suffering.

· Inventory and Classification of Solutions.
· Major Solutions.
· Structural Factors.
· Bad Things as Factors of Solution.
· Hindering and Facilitating Factors in the Solution to the Problem of Suffering.
· Critical Study of Solutions.

· Inventory and Classification.
· Theoretical Work Concerning Persons and Organizations who Contribute to Resolve the Problem of Suffering.
· Practical Work Concerning Persons and Organizations who Contribute to Resolve the Problem of Suffering.
· The Network of Autonomous Associated Activities for Developing a Systematic Approach to Suffering.



1. Health. Hygiene. Medicine. Psychiatry. Psychotherapy. Cardiology, Cancerology, Traumatology, etc.
2. Pain Research. Pain Management.
3. Charity, Philanthropy, Humanitarianism.
4. Third-World. Underdevelopment. International Aid. Hunger. Water Resources. Overpopulation.
5. War, polemology, militarism.
6. Social Problems. Human Rights, Discrimination (Race, Age, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Social Status, Handicap, Illness...). Torture. Refugees.
7. Economic Problems. Poverty. Unemployment. Ill distribution of wealth. Abusive Exploitation of Workers.
8. Criminology. Penology.
9. Spiritual Problems. Sin. Salvation.
10. Problems Related to Death. Bereavement. Suicidology.
11. End of the World Problem.
12. Disaster relief. Civil Security.
13. Sexual Problems.
14. Animal Welfare.
15. Ecological Problems. Pollution.



1. History. Prospective.
2. Politics.
3. Social Sciences. Geography.
4. Economics.
5. Psychology.
6. Religion. Spirituality.
7. Philosophy.
8. Sciences. Techniques.
9. Education.
10. Law.
11. Arts.
12. Communication. Media. Documentation.



First Part

First Chapter


First Section - INITIAL IDEA

At the beginning, in 1975, since I had to choose a line of work, I wondered what would be the best way for me to relieve suffering in the world. I thought : "Let us deal with the whole problem of suffering by developing a systematic approach that will deal, insofar as it is possible, with all elements related to the subject, all sufferings, all approaches, all causes of suffering, all solutions, all people, all organizations, all fields, all doctrines. Let us collect and classify as many data as possible, let us analyze them, let us evaluate their relative importance, and let us elaborate a global plan of action that will make possible for us to get mastery over suffering. Logically, a goal can be reached only if there is an organized and purposive effort to reach it. Therefore it seems of the utmost importance that we create among human activities an entreprise for the knowledge and control of suffering. And promoting that enterprise is surely the best way for me to help relieving suffering in the world." That is approximately what I thought at the beginning.

* * *

Second Section - DEFINITIONS

THE SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO SUFFERING which is proposed here may be described as a sustained and methodical endeavor to understand and to control physical or mental pain.

SUFFERING has no universally accepted definition. Here it is defined as a psychoneural experience of affective aversion, unpleasantness, dislike.  As a neural process, suffering may be considered as a concrete phenomenon which is measurable and modifiable. Terms usually associated to suffering are pain, distress, affliction, woe, sorrow, cruelty, need, problem, misery, sickness, accident, war, famine, disaster, crime, death, bereavement, injustice, despair, anguish, unhappiness, etc.

An APPROACH is a way of looking at things and of handling problems concerning things : an approach may be construed as a body of background knowledge together with a set of problems, a set of aims, and a set of methods (see Mario Bunge, Treatise on Basic Philosophy, vol. 5, p. 258-9, Reidel, Boston, 1983). At the start, the systematic approach to suffering is based on basic common knowledge in our modern culture, its methods are those related to that knowledge, its problems are those related to suffering, and its aims are those related to knowing suffering and to getting mastery over it.

The adjective SYSTEMATIC conveys denotations such as methodical, organized, rational, but it is also intended here to evoke a system-wide approach that is concerned with the whole set of matters that are relevant to suffering (see a table of those matters in "Summary", at the beginning of this document).

* * *



The systematic approach to suffering deals with those aspects of current work about suffering that are global or general. We must work against excessive suffering with a clear purpose and a methodical mind; with a feeling of common inspiration and of concerted force; with a scale of intention and of faith that is apt to mobilize massively the interest of the public, the political will, the workforce, the material resources, the money, and all the other means which might be necessary to match the unprecedented magnitude of contemporary woes.

It is a question of creating, in the sphere of work about suffering, something like a center of common reference; a hub toward which we can turn for tuning up, uniting, rallying, collaborating; a crossroads for sorting, arranging and coordinating our visions and actions; a network of various roads in which each of us can contribute by adding its own way so that everybody can advance thus much better than anyone could do alone.

A community of thought and of aim is already discernible in the current actions of million people who are addressing already the million problems that we must face. It is a question then, starting from this community, to gather those actions in a joint effort, against a common enemy, towards a common victory!  It is a question for us, the snipers who fight excessive suffering, to create a staff for designing a global victory. It is a question of presenting a bold perspective of solution which arouses and justifies and frames and stimulates our engagement. Concerning the many actions that are done presently against excessive suffering, we must acknowledge their value, but also denounce their shortcomings, maximize their output, act as a catalyst for new advances, set up structures to carry out greater investments, greater mobilizations, greater projects that will have multiplying effects... It is a question of bringing hypercomplexity of mankind's predicament within reach of our individual brains, while extending at their maximum our means of thinking and of acting so that they be proportionate to the global dimension of that predicament. We must bring the set of questions about suffering within a framework that any intelligent person can understand; we must provide new ways to inventory and to transform this apparently infinite matter; we must establish in our culture a central place which can be of use to everybody who has to deal with suffering. Since our compassion is requested planetarily and by thousands of different subjects, we should be provided with universal means of action.


As far as theory is concerned, the systematic approach to suffering calls for the development of a new discipline that will embrace phenomenal multiplicity within the conceptual unicity that is required for an overall action : a new discipline is necessary to collect, observe, classify, relate, explore, analyze, criticize, synthesize the matters of our concern.  It is a question of setting up a strongly organized framework that can accommodate every theoretical contribution and that can integrate it within the growing methodical knowledge on the subject. "Intellectual disciplines are the means whereby observations and concepts are ordered so as to plan and organize any subsequent focus on matters of concern." (Yearbook of World Problems and Human Potential*****, in the Introduction to section D).  The systematic approach to suffering brings human work about suffering into the modern rationalistic era.  From now on, any serious reflection on the control of suffering or any rational project on the humanitarian problematique must necessarily refer to the systematic approach to suffering, as do all other organized human activities to their respective intellectual disciplines.  Rather than restarting at zero each time somebody undertakes to reform the world, the systematic approach to suffering inaugurates a framework of systematic work that makes it possible "to join the lives and works of several so that we go thus all together much further than each one in particular could do."  (Descartes, réf.  1.1)

Au point de vue de la théorie, l'organisation générale contre les maux est le développement d'une discipline nouvelle pour embrasser la multiplicité des choses dans l'unicité des concepts nécessaires à une action d'ensemble, c'est-à-dire pour recueillir, observer, ordonner, interrelier, explorer, analyser, critiquer, synthétiser les matières dont nous nous occupons. Il s'agit de déployer un cadre puissamment organisé, de façon à pouvoir saisir toutes les contributions théoriques et les intégrer en bon ordre dans un développement (désormais méthodique plutôt qu'anarchique) de la connaissance du sujet. Une discipline intellectuelle, a-t-on dit, est le moyen par lequel les observations et les concepts sont ordonnés de manière à planifier et organiser toute mise au point subséquente sur les matières en cause. L'organisation générale contre les maux marque la fin de l'ère prélogique dans le travail global contre les maux. Désormais, toute réflexion sérieuse sur le contrôle de la souffrance, tout projet rationnel portant sur la problématique humanitaire, devront nécessairement se référer à l'organisation générale contre les maux, comme le font envers leur discipline intellectuelle respective toutes les autres activités humaines organisées. Plutôt que de recommencer à zéro chaque fois que quelqu'un entreprend de réformer le monde, l'organisation générale contre les maux inaugure un cadre de travail systématique permettant de "joindre les vies et les travaux de plusieurs afin que nous allassions ainsi tous ensemble beaucoup plus loin que chacun en particulier ne saurait faire." (Descartes, réf. 1.1)


L'organisation générale contre les maux présentera une collection de répertoires nouveaux, une série d'énumérations aussi exhaustives que possible réunissant côte à côte les innombrables problèmes et éléments de solution. Elle fournira des listes concernant les maux, les causes des maux, les personnes et les organisations qui causent des maux, les facteurs de difficulté dans le travail contre les maux, les idées de stratégie, les solutions, les personnes et les organisations qui contribuent à résoudre les maux, les documents intéressant l'organisation générale contre les maux, et bien d'autres amorces de listes diverses. Tous ces répertoires sans précédent ou presque, exigent un nouveau type de travaux de cueillette et de classification. Et les interrelations parmi tous ces éléments demanderont également de nouveaux spécialistes pour s'en occuper. En outre, il faudra mettre au point des opérations standardisées pour mesurer les souffrances excessives individuelles et collectives, mesures qui permettront de guider le travail de prévention, réduction, suppression, éradication. Une telle cartographie plus étendue et plus précise du domaine devrait mieux nous informer sur ce qui se passe et où l'on va, mieux nous préparer à jouer avec l'évolution de la problématique globale (déceler et contrôler les conséquences néfastes de certaines solutions, utiliser à bon escient certaines tactiques de ruse...), mieux nous situer dans la foison, la vastitude et la complexité du sujet. Chaque article, chaque fait, chaque idée a son importance. La méthode cartésienne des dénombrements exhaustifs s'est avérée très fructueuse dans les sciences qu'on dit maintenant "exactes", et il me semble que les sciences humaines n'ont pas encore su entreprendre cette sorte de travaux qui leur seraient pourtant si utiles. Par contraste avec la biologie par exemple qui compte aujourd'hui quelque deux millions d'espèces de plantes et d'animaux, la psychologie ou la sociologie tolèrent chez elles seulement quelques dizaines ou centaines de catégories (Yearbook of World Problems and Human Potential, réf. 1.2).

The systematic approach to suffering will present a collection of lists, a series of enumerations as exhaustive as possible concerning suffering, causes of suffering, people and organizations who cause suffering, factors of difficulty in work against excessive suffering, ideas of strategy, solutions, people and organizations who contribute to solve excessive suffering, documents interesting the systematic approach to suffering, and many other lists.  All those inventories, mostly without precedent, call for a new type of gathering and classification work.  And the interrelationships among all those elements will also call for new specialties.  Moreover, it will be necessary to develop standardized procedures for measuring individual or collective suffering. Those measurements will be used to guide the work of prevention, reduction, suppression, eradication.  Such a wider and more precise mapping of the field will better inform us on what is occurring and where we should go, will better prepare us to react to the evolution of the global problematique (for instance, it would make it possible to detect and control the harmful consequences of certain solutions, or to use advisedly new shrewd tactics). It will make it easier for us to find our way through the abundance, the vastitude and the complexity of the subject.  Each article, each fact, each idea has its importance.  The Cartesian method of exhaustive enumerations proved to be very profitable in sciences that are now called "exact", and it seems that social sciences did not undertake yet this kind of work which would however be probably so useful for them (psychology or sociology tolerate only a few tens or hundreds of categories, by contrast with biology, for instance, which counts some two million species of plants and animals, cf. Yearbook of World Problems and Human Potential, appendix 3, réf.  1.2).


As far as strategy is concerned, the systematic approach to suffering proposes a general plan of solution to the whole problem of excessive suffering;  it proposes which steps would lead to a global victory;  it proposes a framework apt to accomodate all collaborations and to organize usefully their theoretical or practical contributions;  it offers "an operational environment supporting the mutual reinforcement of the approaches and the projects of solution, too often isolated and vulnerable at present" (Transnational Associations, ref...).


As far as practical action is concerned, people who are concerned with the systematic approach to suffering could contribute by providing information, personnel, funds, hardware, installations, technical means, structures of communication, collaboration...  As a matter of fact, overall action, overall theory, or overall strategy are going on in several ways at the same time, and it would not be very possible or desirable to frame the whole movement in a single structure;  however, theorists, strategists and practitioners will probably create eventually an agency in order to support the practical aims of the systematic approach to suffering.


Second Chapter


First Section - INTRODUCTION

(Text below this point must still be revised : it is a translation obtained from an automatic translation program)

The systematic approach to suffering is new, single and essential:  for the first time suffering is posed as the specific object of an enterprise which is systematically occupied some in order to overcome misfortune.  For the first time work against excessive suffering is considered in itself, out of the supervision of philosophy, politics, the religion, medicine, morals, benevolence...  This supervision always partly distorted the approach of work against excessive suffering, for the simple reason which the guardian fields never had like first concern to include/understand and to solve the problem of suffering.  For seeing this significant point well, it is necessary to review the prospects from which were considered until now excessive suffering and the fight against them.  We will initially examine these prospects as a whole, then the principal ones of them in particular, by announcing in the course of road the characteristics of the systematic approach to suffering.

* * *


1- When an individual is reached by suffering, it initially tries to be come out of there of itself, and it is the individual direct level.

2- Then in the event of difficulty it can call upon its entourage and it is the social direct level of the compassion and the mutual care.

3- If it did not find a solution yet, the individual reached will be able to resort to the organizations of the specialized level (techno-scientist or socio-humanitarian), the professions, the disciplines, various associations.

4- Then there is the level socio-policy with its ideological and institutional concerns concerning with work against excessive suffering.

5- Then there is the philosophical or spiritual level with its integrative and/or transcendent attitudes.

6- It is now necessary to add, I think, the level specific and systematic general practitioner of the systematic approach to suffering.

7- Lastly, there is still another level to announce, that of the intervention of "chance".

At the direct levels, field of the compassion, systematization is impossible:  the immediate thought is necessary and sufficient there.  At the more indirect levels we deal, more than with particular individuals, general categories of objects, concepts and abstract structures.  To think our action of these levels, according to the degree of complexity met, a simple hierarchical organization will be enough, or a systematic or integrative organization of vast range will be necessary.

The diversity of the interventions against excessive suffering adapts well to our individual preferences or our differences in character.  "the ones support an approach rational, scientific, structured, planned institutionnellement and reject the approaches individualistic, spontaneous, bâclées, disorganized.  The others support such approaches coming from the ' heart ', participative, personalists, organics, at once planned and detest the manipulative impersonnality of the approach coming from the ' head '."  (Judge, réf.  2.1).

* * *


The evocation of suffering is systematically used in own way of argument or pretext when it is of policy, religion, economic development, philanthropy, revolution, etc.  Each one wants to benefit from the pathetic impact of the pain to push before its favorite cause.  The systematic approach to suffering has the merit to release, extract, highlight this argument to make it continue its own career (see "speciality" below), independently of the covers ideological, morals, professional, organisational (see "territory" below), in the pure one and simple consideration of the consciences to be backed up, like a completely worthy task to be continued only for itself (see "exclusiveness" below).  As Marx in another context said:  we do nothing but return obvious it for what the men fight at the bottom.  We explicitly assume and specific the subjacent idea which animates through the society so much various actions.  This description melts at the same time of new interrelationships (see "universality").  Because the report/ratio is reciprocal between the fight against the excessive suffering and the fight against the ex

1.  SPECIALITY .  Each specialized social institution (media, political world, religion, legal system, science, benevolence, medicine) tends to disregard emotional, social and human aspect of the problems.  Each one tends to reformulate those in a new way to adapt them to its mode of particular processing:  the real problem becomes a history to be told in a report, an article of the program to be exploited near the electorate, a legal business to classify, a beautiful medical case...  Interior, one can even lose sight of the fact the difference between the external problem and the internal operations of the institution:  for example, the conceptual or administrative difficulties encountered in the action to solve the problem become, by slip, the problem itself!  (Yearbook of World Problems, réf.  2.2).  The systematic approach to suffering, with the suffering like speciality, is of course prone to the same tendencies.  The standards of orientation and the aspirations with the integrity are not enough to be freed from such limits. The hope brought by the systematic approach to suffering is that while joining the other institutions with its specific concern of the suffering, the whole of the institutions of will be adapted better as much to treat the whole of the problems.

2.  TERRITORY .  Each one among us tries to develop the range and the size of its own territory, of the field of which it is occupied:  its ideology, its organization, its station of responsibility, its discipline...  Often we adopt only one particular problem and we on-are identified with him.  Then the problem is likely to be used, as a war-horse for the conquest or the defense of our territory, without right consideration for unhappy realities which it represents!  (Transnational Associations, réf.  2.3).  Socially it results from it a great number of candidates under "key question" requiring the general attention and a maximum allowance of resources (Yearbook of World Problems, réf.  2.4).  "This attempt, almost subconsciously justified, this attempt at a sector to extend on all space from the system according to its own particular conditions, here which complicates the problem by splitting up the entirety of the system more.  Because the sectors cannot become systems, they can only dominate them;  and then they deform them.  It is thus necessary to be alarmed at this tendency to the extension of the sectoral primacy on entire social space.  It is one predicts, and of bad forecasts, the conflicts and dislocations which await us if we do not implement a intégrative approach at the size of the system."  (Ozbekhan, réf.  2.5).  The organizations which declare general practitioners are not with the shelter of temptations imperialists, quite to the contrary.  I believe that it is by the collaboration of the various organizations inside the same framework that each one will be able to escape its daemons best and to achieve its goals.  This is why the systematic approach to suffering recommends a general organization of the human activities as proposes it (by taking account of the elements mentioned with the two following paragraphs) the Directory of the world problems and the potential hum

3.  EXCLUSIVENESS .  Humanity would be well better, often hear us, if it were organized in a common ideological framework, under a world government, with only one system of values, or in a universal religion, etc.  However such a line of evolution would compromise the psychosocial variety which one finds in humanity, variety perhaps essential with his development and his long-term survival, despite everything the troubles that it causes in the immediate future (Judge, réf.  2.6).  "There is a persistent belief, nourished by the humane and religious groups, according to which a significant change can be accomplished only by the universal recognition of the fundamental implications of a single value or together of values (for example love, peace, justice, etc).  To concentrate the activities in such a prospect has the defect not to distinguish enters, on the one hand, surface adhesion with values with which (like ' maternity ') nobody has to dispute, and, on the other hand, the violent one dissension on their interpretation in practice (as it is the case with ' peace '). It then results a tendency from it to approve end of the lips the value in question while avoiding any more thorough engagement carefully."  (Judge, réf.  2.7).  And also:  "the promoters of a particular category of change tend to perceive this one like the only viable and interesting form (for example for the political activist, only the political change has interest).  They are unable to detect the way in which their action is counterbalanced, put in failure, is controlled or even sapped by other forms of change.  It is not possible still to determine how various types of strategy of change can be harmoniously molten in a compound adequately innovating.  No organization has the mandate to try that, and no intégrative discipline exists to legitimate such an approach."  (Judge, réf.  2.8).  The systematic approach to suffering is based exclusively on a value (the control of the suffering), and indeed the dissensions on the practical means to support this value prevent a suitable rallying of energies.  This is why it is so significant for this organization (or the whole of the human organizations), to be given for mandate to arrange an operational environment which can integrate the various contributions, even apparently contradictory, which claims to contribute to the control of the suffering (or with the improvement of the world). 

4.  UNIVERSALITY .  The person of globalist spirit will be able to find the approach of the systematic approach to suffering too short compared to the continuation of a positive satisfaction and a total development or a universal organization of the things.  If excessive suffering are the absence or the defect of positive phenomena, to rather turn our attention on them than on the goods could be harmful in several ways;  we are in fact incompetents to attach us to only negative objectives;  an invitation to continue the pleasure allures us well more than a call to tiresome work against excessive suffering;  wouldn't it be worth to better work positively for an individual and collective evolution integral within a completely universal framework of theoretical and practical organization? Isn't this the spaceship ground in its entirety which needs a coordinated piloting?  It is true that the systematic approach to suffering, in spite of its aspect universalist, is itself a speciality, with territorial temptations and exclusivists, and that it should be seen like a simple activity of solution among others in the fight against excessive suffering.  However, all the prospects, even more the general practitioners, present strong points and weak points all, are necessary, none is not enough without the others.  "the problem is not which form of intégrative action to adopt but rather how interrelier various forms of action so that they correct their weaknesses mutually and restrict their excesses mutually."  (Judge, réf.  2.9).  The systematic approach to suffering does not have response to all;  it lacks a positive objective to be enough like platform to individual or collective transformation;  it cannot be used as a basis for a religion, a philosophy, a political system;  it does not fill our need for integral engagement.  Elsewhere is its merit.

The systematic approach to suffering brings an essential principle of collective organization by straightforwardly posing the victory over misfortune like drank common.  And it brings a criterion of control by posing the excessive suffering like concrete and measurable object which should be sought to reduce "arithmetically".  In the history of the thought it was always a methodological progress in the theory and a strategic progress in the action, to seriate the questions, of to take as specific object of interest and to deal systematically with all that can have report/ratio with this object.  Extremely curiously, the suffering never had this honor until now. In front of misfortune, the human spirit tended constantly to precipitate, undoubtedly by escape or compensation, in theories of the existence where the suffering is explained or in search of happiness where the suffering is occulted.  During this time, misfortune of it is always drawn without one dealing with him in a specific and systematic way.  Although it is necessary to recognize the need for a positive and completely universal prospect, I believe that the direction of the priorities controls the direction of the action initially to be undertaken:  it is important more to organize work against excessive suffering that for example the accession with blooming, the development of the knowledge, or even the normal maintenance of the life (this possible or valid last being only one time assured normal survival).  There is not common measurement between the need for bread at the famished one, the need for butter at the poor one, and the need for toaster in the rich person!

* * *


1- Instinctive aversion in front of pain, first point of view on the subject, is of the order of the immediate reactions and hardly has general range, although it is the base of all.

2- Religious doctrines explain the meaning of pain and announce a form of salvation out of misfortune. It is not their first object however, except for Buddhism which declares a means of finishing some with the pain; but its "eightfold way" of solution did not lead it to become a omnidimensionnelle enterprise for the control of the suffering. The mystical, simple but major state of minds, conceal a religion or a universal philosophy which seems the prospect for the solution most probable to individual and collective misfortunes; but with that also it missed implementing a systematic organization against excessive suffering.

3- The sphere of philosophy and morals have seen epicureanism, utilitarianism, hedonism, pessimism, eudemonism, stoicism to try to arrange itself with the pleasant and painful affects of the existence. But the only philosophical or moral prospect is specialized too much to be enough to framework to an integral resolution of misfortune, just as a systematic approach to suffering is specialized too much to be used as a basis for a philosophy.

4- Politics is enough close to the systematic approach to suffering since often it is a general practitioner, it wants to regulate the problems and it is presented in the form of an effort of organization. It abundantly uses the sensitive cord of the suffering like pretexts with reform or revolution, but it also makes use of it to excuse the abusive interventions of the capacity. For the States, the pain is in fact especially a means of social control and sometimes of oppression, terror and war. But by certain sides, socialism on the one hand and the Welfare state of liberalism on the other hand are true companies of fight against the suffering, limited and subordinated however to the restricted framework of the economic thinking politico-. The national governments have almost all of the plans for the social security and health, and even of the plans for the integral development or the complete blooming of the citizens. UNO plays the same role at the international level. Many of these plans are a rain of blessings for the unhappy ones, but sometimes I think perhaps that one would arrive at happiness if one were satisfied to arrange the things only so that nobody any more is seriously injured, and that for the remainder one left free people make what good seems to them.

5- Humanitarianism was defined like "the whole of measurements aiming at relieving human miseries". The Red Cross is the typical humanitarian organization. At the end of humanitarism are attached the concepts close to benevolence, philanthropy, charity... The quotation following (Bénac, réf. 2.10) celandine this prospect:

"I Definitions

a) ' the humanité' is touched evils, the saving, relieves them, is accompanied by kindness, softness, benevolence, sensitivity, pity, compassion, etc.

b) ' philanthropy ', more theoretical and rational, seeks to prevent the evils; ' the altruisme' implies the love for others and the idea that the good consists in helping our similar.

c) ' the humanitarisme' professes doctrines aiming to the universal good of the men.

d) ' the charité' gives to humanity and the altruism a supernatural base.

II Examples

a) Of humanity: to avoid cruelty, cruelty, the suffering, death, the attacks with human dignity; to help people in danger, the patients, the poor, the victims of the war; to treat the prisoners well; to bring consolations morals, etc.

b) Of philanthropy: protection of the old men, the young people; fight against alcoholism, the disease; hospital; development of the means of culture, etc.

c) Of humanitarism: critical of fanaticism, cruelty, slavery, the war, the death penalty, the despotism, tyranny, pauperism; defense of the childhood which suffers, of the woman victim of the society; claim of freedoms, the equality, the tolerance, the economic welfare, etc: ex. Montaigne, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Martin of Gard, Duhamel, etc."

This synopsis reveals a humanitarism singularly close to the systematic approach to suffering. Nevertheless it acts according to current perception of a rather restricted field of concern: for example, the Service of the fires or the Ministry for agriculture could not be regarded as humane organizations, although one helps people in danger and that the other prevents the famine. The humanitarism is another prospect for approach of the evils and the fight against them which did not develop in a systematic organization against the whole of the excessive suffering. However, whereas as a whole the theories humanitarists of hello were relegated among the inviable little runts of the thought utopian, their spirit however infiltrated in almost all the aspects of the contemporary social organization.

6- Science believed well, in the euphoria of its technical progress, that its processes were on the point to finish some with all the evils. Hope now stray in the labyrinth without end of the branches of the high knowledge. Medicine remains however invested mission of eliminating the pain, the infirmities, the death and the varied torments of the spirit or personality, whereas the causes of suffering external at the human organism concern sociology, political science, technology of the engineer, economic science, etc. Science thus offers a very wide collection of disciplines against the evils. However interdisciplinary connections still leave something to be desired. It seems to to me that a new paradigm, even of order axiologic as that which the systematic approach to suffering proposes, would be necessary to the fertilizing connection of research in social sciences, just as with the systemic effectiveness of the techniques of solution.

7- The global solution of the world problems wants to seize the humane problems in all its unit, its diversity, its interrelationships, its complexity. It often makes call for that with the general theory of the systems. This prospect was illustrated by the Club for Rome, the United Nations, the Union of the International associations with the "Annuaire of the world problems and the human resources "and the" Total Network Action ", Institute for World Order with its World Order Models Project, Buckminster Fuller, the movements for a world government and a multitude of other individuals or organizations. The prospect for the global solution of the world problems is almost identical to that of the systematic approach to suffering, but the stress is laid there on one (D -) installation of the world which will allow inter alia things a control of the suffering, rather than on the suffering to be eliminated which requires one (D -) installation of the world. The suffering loses there its character of object first within multiple dimensions of the human activity. It results from it for the global solution from the world problems a difficulty of determining for which, or according to which value, will be carried out the installation of the world. The projects of a world nature are not able to be put into orbit because, according to me, they are too heavily charged with a badly purified fuel. Their motivations try to associate too many divergent interests at the same time.

The systematic approach to suffering is an apparatus antigravity of another type. Only the urgency of the worst sufferings develops the driving push to with it. Thus no ambiguity is introduced into the conceptual core of the project, nothing defuses or disperses the impact of the propelling reaction. The simplicity of the model combines lightness (conceptual), the power (motivationnelle) and stability (direct) necessary to launch the project and to see it rising, with a sufficient speed of exhaust, against gravity of the planetary problems... It then becomes possible to deploy on orbit the instruments of observation, communication and intervention which are the payload of the systematic approach to suffering! Such an innovation announces, can one hope, a true revolution in the sphere of work against excessive suffering.


Third Chapter



In this enterprise against excessive suffering, the conscious beings, particularly the individuals who suffer, are the authors first, the central concern and the final goal of all the efforts. It is them, taken one by one, which constitute the base, the supreme value and the raison d'être to which must subordinate all the remainder. It is at the concrete individual, in his single and solitary experiment, which the drama and the substance of the suffering reside. The systematic approach to suffering must take care not to relegate the concrete beings behind the organization, the doctrines, the action, the suffering, the conscience, happiness, work against the excessive suffering, the concept of unhappy, etc. The adversaries of misfortune too often fork, are made mislay, escape in another thing, embrace another objective which supposément includes work in favour of the individuals likely to suffer too much.

The goal first is to have as little as possible excessive suffering for the greatest possible number individuals, while as much as possible preserving the life and its potential of pleasure. The ethicians call that the principle of negative utilitarianism. A corollary of this principle is significant in the systematic approach to suffering: it is necessary to give the priority in the worst case, i.e., in the final analysis, with those which suffer more and in greater number.

Solicitude personalist is difficult to integrate into the companies of technical nature: the prone being lends itself better to the intervention sympathizing that with the institutional intervention. However, like the Pierre abbot A posed so well in theory, it is necessary at the same time to help that which suffers and to cure the causes of the suffering. The conditions which realise misfortune can change only while resting on the abstract theory and the rational organization. Fundamental research in the systematic approach to suffering wants to be a scientific step. Its concepts thus represent reality without claiming to replace. It is thanks to this kind of work on symbols that our knowledge and our control of reality increase. The suffering, more than of other subjects, is likely to involve in the researcher a put out of order implication of his emotions and its personal values. It is necessary to affect the concept "suffering" of a coefficient of tragedy, but to veil the sight in front of this tragedy (the mask of the welder) and to operate on tepid matters (representations). The surgeon should not tremble; the psychiatrist or the social worker should not sink in the pot with the black only it attends. Moreover to côtoyer the affliction, one tends to becoming less sensitive. Benevolence without heart, will say some, is often worse than the evil. It should be understood nevertheless that the good heart of its similar is not always reliable, and that, for example, in precaution of the hard blows it is to better trust the insurance companies and governmental measurements! It is a question all things considered of reconciling personalism and rationalism, these apparently contradictory requirements.

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Second Section - ACTION FIRST

"To make" is difficult; we frequently run up against the resistance of reality and we then tend to give up our projects. It misses makers. It misses decisions, concrete gestures, executions. We bathe in an environment of perpetual rationalization of the problems: overdrive of the studies, research, reports/ratios, evaluations, inventories, consultations concerning the assumptions of policies, principles of action, orientations, plannings. It is easier to speak, observe, read, think, criticize, deplore, denounce, evaluate, recommend, wish, project, preach... "TO MAKE". Logos often vampirise Praxis. The theory is necessary, but it can continue indefinitely without never leading to the action. The bottom without end of the universe of the knowledge or the value aspires a crowd of spirits and marmorizes them in silence douillet infinite spaces, very far from terrestrial merdier. Moreover, in reality, the contact with people who suffer too much is so painful. Beyond the great theories, the great plans, the large organizations, it remains finally that all is played in the daily concrete pratico-practical action of the individual who MAKES. There the ideas are judged, are carried out their full significance, exert an effective power of transformation. Only the action proves the sincerity of what one thinks, one says. The integrity of the hero, his presence, his availability to make the good "forthwith" make that it goes towards the end with the minimum of means, whereas the unwillingness is talkative and claims always more means than one does not get of it (Jankelevitch to him, réf. 3.1). We know, despite everything the pretexts with the apathy, which we can make something, this would be only to help only one person, then another, then another... It would be already extremely valid. "So that the evil triumphs, it is enough that the goods do not do anything." (Burke, réf. 3.2).

A permanent temptation in the field of work against the excessive suffering is to replace the action on the problems by an interest in connection with the problems. The words like peace, development, ecology, justice, said a public character québécois, have good press and good people likes to rock some; but the transformation of reality that these words require, that it is not so much à.la.mode and few people are occupied some. The humane ideology acts like one calming: the war, misery, the suffering disappear under the banner from the words or the ideas. And one defers the action necessary to a Utopia ever undertaken.

But also, another "... temptation in our position at the time current, with respect to this enormous complex whole of problems, is to clutch quickly, quickly, but quickly, something which will hide us the darkness of the subject and which over all will give us something to make, preferably with our larger muscles." (Bateson, réf. 3.3).

The systematic approach to suffering proposes that we not only seek to act, but also to overcome completely. The calls to the goodwill and the quite disposed attempts of the people in the generous heart cannot be enough to deliver the humanity of its excessive suffering: one also needs a clear strategy of what there is to do and of the instruments of action allowing to act as one recommends it. The situation requires that one organizes oneself on a vast scale and thus which one founds a technical framework of systematic approach to suffering. Here is the first concrete action to pose so that the action has all its direction.

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The systematic approach to suffering requires all the varieties of approach. It wants to be at the same time popular and erudite. It must grant its action to the concrete reality of the things, with the current degree of evolution of the spirits. It is realizable only while being pressed on the people already with work, the organizations already places from there, work already in progress. It is opened with all collaborations and is held with the provision of any person or organization working against the excessive suffering. Moreover, the systematic approach to suffering proposes with whoever wishes it a useful and possibly profitable occupation. Unemployment is absurd, because the work abounds: there are so many needs to satisfy!

To indifferent we say: "BOF! one cannot expect that everyone is interested." To hostile we say: "Grrr!" and "Peuh!" On a side one cannot let oneself annoy with excess and other the conflict glu does not interest us. We would prefer to contribute to many malfaisants and of the nuiseurs rather than to oppose to us negatively to them. Moreover positive and negative, this is not, live of each one of us, and then, like known as Judge (ref. 3.4): "the present tendency to test ' unir' with the allies and ' of éliminer' the opponents is completely inappropriate because that destroyed the configuration within which individual and social energy is generated."

The systematic approach to suffering observes a land transideologism towards the questions political, economic, religious, morals, etc. Left framework "empties" open to all, ready to really engage in any action "résolutionnaire", the systematic approach to suffering hardly has positions suitable to defend. In practice, when it is necessary to choose, it presents in any impartiality the pleas of holding of various positions and adopts the side which with the examination is defended best. Its only requirement towards the other spheres of activity is that one acts as far as possible without carrying seriously reached to any being. For the remainder, it is not its business, and it yields readily at the legitimate requests of the interests which differ as of his.

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Is it justifiable deliberately to cause excessive suffering in certain circumstances?

1- Let us suppose that one seizes a terrorist who placed a nuclear bomb at delayed-action in the medium of a large city. It refuses to acknowledge where the machine is hidden. An officer of safety claims to be able to make speak the prisoner by means of torture. What to make? The problem, according to abolitionists' who militate against torture, is that if one allows this one in a case, it will appear also justified in other cases, until one finds exactly in the same situation as now: an irrational fresco of torments managed in the name of the public interest at every moment everywhere throughout the world, a kind of slow nuclear bomb but quite as appalling. The argument seems me to carry to forgery however. A poison used by the drug addicts can be essential to the pharmacists at the same time! Perhaps however, the reasoning in connection with the psycho-socio-moral phenomena concerns another bottom of logic...

2- Here another example drawn from the review Transnational Associations - Transnational Associations (ref. 3.6):

"(...) the event took place in London during the Second World War. The commander of a brigade of firemen was confronted with the following choice. A building containing 500 people burned. There was a possibility that the 500 people can be evacuated if it used all its men to make a passage of exit through fire. Necessary water was not immediately available, but could be obtained while flooding close from there a shelter anti-raid in order to constitute a tank for the fire pumps. The shelter anti-raid, however, contained 12 people captive of the debris following the bombardment; it was estimated that it would take two hours to release this small group, but then the 500 other people certainly would have died. It was to thus choose between (A) the possibility of saving 500 of them by flooding the shelter with the certainty to drown 12 of them, or (b)la certainty to save 12 of them by concentrating its resources on the shelter, with the certainty that the 500 would burn with death. The head of the firemen decided to drown the 12 and saved the 500 indeed. He was decorated as hero. After the war the relationship of the 12 attacked it in lawsuit for homicide, his wife divorced, its neighbors turned themselves against him and it committed suicide." Hero or monster?

3- Another aspect of this question is the problem of collective violence like means of defense. In the event of aggression, everyone, except the unconditional partisans of non-violence, recognizes with the community as with the individual, the right to defend oneself with a force proportional to that of the attacker. This right is also recognized, when it is about people to the catches with a tyranny or with a situation of violence known as structural. More however discussed is than one called the "right of intervention humane": "If (...) a state treats its nationals in such way that the conscience of humanity is revolted by it, other states could then intervene, if necessary by the force, to protect the persecuted nationals." (Humphrey, réf. 3.6). Is it necessary to use the evil for the good?

4- the systematic approach to suffering is likely to meet in the implementation of its strategies, the violent opposition of those which will see threatened their interests of insensitive exploiteurs. How will it be necessary to react? Will it be necessary to show the teeth, to ask the assistance of the police force and army, or not to hold head with malicious and to circumvent the obstacle by the trick? In the foolish poudrière where we live it is to better avoid the sparks. To be sharp with without understanding the powerful ones is likely to do everything to jump. The teeth of the systematic approach to suffering can only be those of a smile at the same time disarming and savagely solved.

5- Certain partisans of softness recommend to voluntarily undergo the violence of martyrdom for the largest good of all. I think that that is valid only in well little case: to offer itself like isn't victim, to cause the actualization of the crime? Too many often people are made unhappy while wanting to be useful. Wouldn't each one have, except exception, to initially take care of its own safeguard?

6- Which attitude to adopt towards exaggerated the sympathetic nerves which say: "Let live my own life to me, as I hear it, dussé I to suffer from it or die about it!..." Is it necessary to prohibit to them to take the roads which one can lead to misfortunes of all kinds, (madnesses for which probably all will have to pay, like reason)?

The embarrassing questions can thus multiply. It will be necessary to seriate and study all these problems of ethics, deontology, political choices... For the moment I propose, towards the use of the excessive suffering like means of fighting the suffering, which I would call the principle of maximum circumspection, which could be stated as follows: never not to use the excessive suffering to fight the suffering, except if it is out of any doubt (see the concept of clear zone in the following paragraph), after an extraordinary circumspect consideration, that not to use the excessive suffering would cause a suffering still much larger. I have the feeling which one cannot in the current state of the things allow to reject a priori any recourse to the use of the excessive pain or violence. The acceptable cases should however meet extraordinary requirements, when the situation is extraordinarily clear and the extraordinarily significant advantages envisaged. Quite dangerous admission of the wolf in the sheep-fold, will say some. Didn't we have enough lessons of the catastrophes caused by the admission "of a little evil" for the largest good of all? Wouldn't it be more clearly to refuse any excessive suffering, to devote itself to decrease it in an arithmetic and systematic way? I think that it is not necessary to exclude the negative one and to pose to us any imbus of innocence out of him, but to integrate it into the heart even our position and to know to use it to neutralize it. An idea which excludes its opposite is punished while being reversed by this one: we sufficiently knew that in the history of the idealism with the monstrous undertows of cruelty.

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The concept of "clear zone" can be useful in various aspects of work of the systematic approach to suffering: it is a question of distributing the matters causes some according to various zones of estimate and of not wasting its time in zone too dubious, or doubtful, or inimportante or out of matter; to stick with essence, the interests of first order, the clear zones; not to defend or pourfendre additional positions; but to remain intractable when it is about irrevocably necessary. The other zones can be captivating, but our energies should not there be delayed with the detriment of most pressing and most useful. In clear zones, there is already well enough work.

The success of a project depends fundamentally on the faith undertaking of its promoters, of their intesive work, their intelligent organization. One should not move back in front of the difficulties, the complications, the lengths, the darknesses, the risks, the nonsenses, fears. One needs courage, energy, perseverance. Not to fear neither the suffering, neither death, nor nobody. To remain ground-with-ground, advance gradually, with an inexorable constancy. To prefer a pragmatic approach, as directly concretes as possible. Not to take all that too much with the serious one. Not to enorgueillir itself of its methods and its achievements. Not to confuse the importance of its goal, or the refinement of its means with the real range of its work! To take into account the personal aspects of people, needs for success, affection, recognition, the psychological and social games which we play. One needs wisdom, science, large common sense. And that the heart overrides the head when they dispute with force equalizes, or when of adventure a being which suffers appears in front of oneself.


Fourth Chapter



There is in the universe of the beings which suffer too much and it is necessary that that ceases: here is the axiom first of this enterprise. To justify this proposal one can call upon the self-love and of others, the value which one allots to our conscience, our safeguard and our wellbeing, pity and the revolt that one tests in front of the fate which afflicts unhappy. Misfortune causes our aversion, our compassion and our insurrection. It ridicules the beings in their major intimacy. It tackles the heart of this emotional conscience which is perhaps the most significant thing in the existence, since without it nothing would have any value. We are unaware of the future results of our efforts, but all this enterprise would be infinitely invaluable (and it is the same for the simple epic for help as each one can pose), if it could tear off with the claws of misfortune would be this one being: because doesn't any conscience conceal a kind of infinite and each being which suffers is not it in itself identical to me or the person whom I like more in the world?

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The excessive suffering apparently is the common denominator (or the essential factor, or the substrate) of all our evils, the ultimate object of all our complaints, the only land enemy whom we have in the existence. Which problems would remain if the suffering did not exist any more? No painful problem, undoubtedly! Fault of having identified the essential matter of our evils, our action against them too often applies undue way to problems stripped of rough substance. We évertuons ourselves for nothing on a multitude non-problems. But even when each one of us in his sphere attacks truths problems, our dispersed energies are unaware of between them, instead of converging in a systematic strategy against a single adversary with the thousand disguises. The overall performance of our efforts is ridiculous because one becomes exhausted to cross to heads always reappearing of Hydre instead of acting in concert for all to cut down them of the same blow. "Really of such diversions (... quarrels of armaments, territories, markets, doctrines...) constitute the supreme fraud, a distortion of the whole human destiny, since they tend to dissimulate true terrors of the life. Because it is only when the human condition is exposed to the bones, when one measures with accuracy the major uselessness of as well of sufferings and the immense after-effects of the violences pulled by these sufferings, as perhaps the men finally will rebel against their past and themselves, and will find some manner a mobile, a determination and a method for their decent survival." (Segal, réf. 4.1).

Its single character urgently emotional, place the excessive suffering or its going beyond at the head of list of all the priorities, before even death or survival. Because what good is it to live if is to be forever unhappy? The excessive suffering is a horror. That one thinks seriously of the dreadful pains which infest the life, and the frozen fingers of terror assemble us to the throat, our head is disturbed and our eyes drown. It quickly becomes unbearable this spectacle of tortured, famished, patients, desperate... Who thus never underwent the hateful pressure of this demon? It is him which puts out of order the human ones, precipitates them in the quarrels and in the wars, incites them with thousand maleficences, these maleficences whose malignity precisely lies in the sufferings that they cause. Because of misfortune one commits suicide, one assassinates, one makes evil with oneself as with the others; because of the pain and death one becomes grumpy, malicious... and one loses the capacity to continue happiness, to exceed the pain and death, to fight the evils. The excessive suffering introduced dégueulasse into the universe, which without it would be ô how much perfect! Because of it, the marvellous phenomenon of the life becomes a pathogenic agent in a criminal cosmos. How only one being suffers too much and all splendours of the world are outstanding! Isn't the destiny of humanity to be awaked by the evil to undertake the correction of nature? We are against suffering-in-too, not only because to suffer is painful, or because that insult our self-esteem, but also because the constraint with the pain devalues the life and the conscience, makes appear preferable death, the pleasure of happiness blames to exist, i.e. the justification even of our presence in the universe.

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"We are inhabited, held, had by the desire of a world where finally there would be no more evil, of a universe where everyone would be content with everyone. It is there undoubtedly one of the strongest passions, if not strongest of our life." (Bro, réf. 4.2).

"We all want to changes the world" (The Beatles, réf. 4.3).

"All the organizations are constantly, day and night, engaged in the resolution of problems; and it is the same for all the sequences évolutionnaires for organizations." (Popper, réf. 4.4).

The French Encyclopaedia of the year 1765, with the article on the virtue of humanity (ref. 4.5): "It is a feeling of benevolence for all the men, which hardly ignites but in one large & significant heart. This noble & sublimates enthusiasm torments sorrows of the others & need to relieve them; it voudroit to traverse the universe to abolish slavery, the superstition, the vice one & misfortune (...) I saw this virtue, source of so much of others, in much of heads & very little of hearts."

To flee the pain and to seek the pleasure are certainly of primary importance in us. Jeremy Bentham, the father of utilitarianism and one of the writers of the first declaration of the rights of man, recommended the calculation of the joys and the sorrows to rationalize the continuation of greatest possible happiness for the greatest possible number individuals. It wrote (ref. 4.6): "nature placed the mankind under the domination of two sovereign Masters: pleasure and the sorrow. It is according to them and of them only that we must determine what we must do as well as as should make us. Are attached to their throne, on a side the standards of the good and evil, other the chain of the causes and effects... "

Buddha (Ref. 4.7): "the truth on the pain, its cause and its extinction, which is used for peace, here are what I came to teach."

Christ (Ref. 4.8): "Then the King will say to those of right-hand side: ' Come, blessed my Father, receive in heritage the Kingdom which was prepared to you since the foundation of the world. Because I was hungry and gave you to me to eat, I was thirsty and gave you to me to drink, I were a foreigner and me accomodated you, naked and you have me vêtu, patient and me visited you, captive and you came to see me.' Then the right ones will answer him: ' Lord, when did manage to us to see you famished and to nourish you, assoiffé and you to refresh, foreigner and to accomodate you, naked and you to dress, patient or prisoner and to come to see you?' And the King will make them this answer: ' In truth I you say it, insofar as you did it these the smaller with the one of my brothers, it is with me that you did it.' Then he will still say to those of left: ' Go far from me, maudits, in the fire eternal which was prepared for the Devil and its angels. Because I was hungry and you did not give me to eat, I was thirsty and... (etc 12#.).'"

Other religions also, such Islam, preached and exalté the benevolence, the charitable acts, the mercy. Among Hindus, many were the heroes of charity, as Ramakrishna which was offered to be beaten in the place of an ox, or Vivekananda which rabrouait its too inclined monks to meditate instead of relieving the sufferings around them (ref. 4.9): "Dussé I to go in hell, said it, I will initially work to help my brothers, then then with my spiritual safety." The insistence of the religious speech on this question undoubtedly explains the major fear which exists in the majority of our cultures and which justify so many philanthropies, this quasi superstitious fear to be punished if one does not deal with the unhappy one.

The work of Marx, one noticed, was worked out under the influence of two great passions: science and pity. The solicitude of Marx towards the workmen, the poor, the ridiculed men, is obvious throughout its career, since its revolt of youth against the aristocrats who deprived the peasants of firewood, until his death of poor exiled, interdependent of downgraded and of persecuted. That one reads again Proclamation of the Communist Party: how many accents of commiseration in this lampoon of violence!

"the passion of the compassion haunted and carried out the best men in all the modern revolutions, over any other force." (Arendt, réf. 4.10). "In his main effort the man can only propose to decrease the pain of the world arithmetically." (Camus, réf. 4.11). "To lower the rate of the social pains, (...) to seek universal happiness such was, from time immemorial, the goal of all the plans, all the systems of social restoration." (Faure, réf. 4.12). "civilization it is the patient desire, impassioned, stubborn person that there are on the ground less injustices, less pains, less misfortunes." (Follereau, réf. 4.13).

"Considering that the ignorance and the contempt of the humans right led to acts of cruelty which revolt the conscience of humanity and which the advent of a world where the human beings will be free of speaking and believing, released from terror and misery, was proclaimed like the highest aspiration of the man, (...)" (Preamble to the universal declaration of the humans right).

"the turn of medicine towards analgesia is registered inside an ideological revaluation of the pain which is reflected in all the contemporary institutions. The pain and its elimination by its institutional assumption of responsibility acquired a central place in the anguish of our time. The progress of civilization becomes synonymous with reduction of the total volume of the suffering. The new sensitivity worries about the world such as it is, not because it is filled of sins, because it misses light, because it is threatened by cruelty: it exaspère because it is filled of pains. Under the pressure of this new sensitivity to the pain, politics tends to being designed less like one enterprise intended to maximize happiness than to minimize the suffering." "the elimination of the pain, the infirmity, the illnesses and death is a new objective which never had until now been used as policy for the life in society." (Illitch, réf. 4.14). Our civilization indeed, unlike all those which preceded it, cannot integrate the evil, absorb its virulence by the ritual one, give him a positive or saving spiritual direction. It endeavours to flee it, forget it, hide it, or to fight it, eliminate it, exceed it. "And this man, Einstein, also appearing brilliant psychologist, showed me how, through the whole ground, of the populations which, since millenia, suffered quasi like the animal which suffers and then it is all, (...), of the populations are starting to suffer to suffer. They cannot any more support, accept, grant a suffering which they know from now on, not only unjust, but absurd, monstrous, since humanity has average the techniques to bring remedy for their distress, with the suffering, with the anguish who breaks their kids and their own life." (The Pierre Abbot, réf. 4.15).

Freud (ref. 4.16): "the suffering threatens us on three sides: in our own body which, intended for the forfeiture and dissolution, cannot even occur from these alarms that constitute the pain and the anguish; side of the external world, which has invincible and inexorable forces to be baited against us and to destroy us; the third threat finally comes from our relationship with the other human beings (...) we do not astonish if under the pressure of these possibilities of suffering, the man usually endeavours to reduce his claims to happiness (a little as made it the principle of the pleasure while changing under the pressure of the external world into this principle more modest than is that of reality), and if it is already estimated happy to have escaped with misfortune and overcome the suffering; if in a very general way the task to avoid the suffering relegates to the background that to obtain the pleasure."

These observations of Freud would apply as well to the human companies with the individual. The great positive intentions cut down the wings in contact with reality and well quickly one is constrained to deal especially with in a hurry. See the international organizations: with the World Health Organization the efforts to promote a positive design of health are seen relegated in practice behind the urgency to eliminate the physical diseases, to International Labour Organization the blooming of the worker yields the priority to the alleviation of unemployment, with UNESCO the development of the personality must be limited to the elimination of illiteracy (Yearbook of World Problems, réf. 4.17). The total and harmonious development of society and its members, objective that all the governments register ingenuously with their program (whereas makes oppression of it, the collective murder and physical or mental misery are current realities almost everywhere) this objective of integral blooming remains actually an inaccessible luxury which it is obviously necessary to leave with the background until the primary and fundamental needs are satisfied. With what to look after choreography good when the ballerina chorée?

To relieve the suffering, to fight the evils, here is according to the most creditable crowd of people of the occupations to which a human being can choose to employ its life. Michel-angel, so that it is told, was afflicted so much insignificance of its work of artist compared to the suffering to help in the world, that it thought of destroying its own works as being, by comparison, méprisables and without interest!

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Aristotle (ref. 4.18): "the study of the pleasure and the suffering is the business of the political philosopher, since it is him which, by its art, the end determines on which we stare at for knowing what is good or bad." Marien (ref. 4.19): "Basically, our society lacks a vision global and inspiring, included/understood and supported largely, which can guide the formation of our fundamental policies." At present, in the absence of common vision, the psychological and relational difficulties make impossible an unspecified galvanization of the political good-will vis-a-vis the world problems. It is the era of the narrow territorial complaints in all the spheres of activity. "Only a thorough knowledge of the nature of the problems and their interrelationships will make it possible to conceive new and more adequate solutions having some hope to gain a broad support." (Yearbook of World Problems, réf. 4.20). "Several of the most serious conflicts afflicting humanity result from the interaction with forces social, economic, technological, political and psychological and cannot be solved any more by the fractional approaches of the individual disciplines". (Bellagio, réf. 4.21) "the problems behave badly. Instead of slipping clearly into well defined categories which correspond in the name of the ministries, of the scientific disciplines and the programs of solutions, they tend to merge and form a gotten mixed up net. Thus, when a society becomes more complex, the analysis of the housing problem brings us to industrial zoning, transport, the technological development, the tax policy and the intergovernmental relations. Any serious analysis of a problem of overpopulation brings us to considerations concerning the quantity of resources to support a given level of population, technologies appropriate to the use of these resources, the birth control, the social security, opportunities for education and the employment of women, as well as with various questions of culture and motivation ". (Gross, réf. 4.22) "the Club of Rome uses the problematic term" world "to indicate the current situation where humanity is not confronted any more with identifiable problems, quite separate, each one manageable according to its particular nature, but with a complicated labyrinth and changing situations, mechanisms, phenomena and dysfonctions, which, even apparently disjoined, interfere and interact the ones with the others, creating a true system of problems." (Yearbook of World Problems, réf. 4.23). "Our situation present is so complex and reflects so much the multiple activities of the man (...) that no combination of measurements and purely technical, economic or legal means can make substantial improvement. Entirely new approaches are necessary to rather reorientate the society towards goals of balance than of growth. Such a reorganization implies a supreme effort of comprehension, imagination and political and moral resolution ". (Club of Rome, réf. 4.24) "Several of the contemporary problems are with us for a long time and those of more recent vintages do not seem, in themselves, insurmountable. The completely new character in the political aspects of our situation is rather an alarming growth of the size of the problems and a tendency to consolidation whose dynamics seems irreversible. Walk of events seems sudden catch of direction and of significance overall which underlines more and more the insufficiency of all the solutions suggested and which reveal rigidities which is neither stable nor permanent also at the same time, which do not confine the problems but increase them, while deepening them. That suggests that our situation has a momentum intern which we cannot include/understand completely; or, rather, that we are trying to arrange us with that by means of concepts and of languages which were never conceived to penetrate of complexities of this kind; or, still, that we are trying to regulate that with institutions which were never planned for such a use. Then, even to be able to speak sensibly on these problems (or is only one problem to which we face?) we require initially to develop a conceptual approach and a practical language which correspond better to the gasoline of the situation that what we have at present." (Ozbekhan, réf. 4.25)

Our desire insisting of systematization in work against the excessive suffering is due to this need to form an enough complete structure to embrace and exceed the complexity and the structures of misfortune. It is necessary to encircle the whole herd of the problems for more which it escapes... Not a head of Hydre should not survive, under penalty of seeing the monster regenerating itself indefinitely with a multiplied power! The approach general practitioner is during necessary to the hyper-specialization which reigns at present with admittedly many advantages, but also with serious disadvantages to correct. In cybernetics, the principle of Ashby stipulates that only a larger order of variety in a regulator makes it possible to control the variety present in a system. In work against the excessive suffering, we need a level of systematization vaster than that of the problems to be regulated. Without such a theoretical system, there is not basic rational to act, not of broad possible consensus, not of powerful organization, not of enormous material means at our disposal... and thus not of great possible transformer movement. As said Mao Tsé-Toung, as long as the question of the methods is not solved, to discourse on the tasks is only useless chattering.

* * *


In this century of evolution galopante (crossed by a slow apocalypse, as one of my many committed suicide comrades said) the stake of the fight to misfortune acquires, we know it well, a scale without precedent. The destiny on the one hand significant of the conscience in the universe is played, with less than one aberration caused by our self-centredness, during our generation on our small planet. There is on a side the danger of destruction; but in addition there is the possibility of a cosmic victory of dimension, because which can say where progress in consequence of a happy exit of the current crisis will stop!

In addition, and more still since it is not of a simple possibility but about a quite real tragedy, the fate of the underpriviledged populations torments the modern conscience. There is what! It is Josue of Castro, I think, who said: "They poor, sick, famished, are badly placed, can neither read nor to write, die young people and increase per million in a few weeks!"

This double safety, rescue of the possible destruction and rescue of the material and mental misery which overpowers the multitudes, here is undoubtedly principal stake of our time. "It is unforgivable that so many problems of the past are still with us, absorbent of vast energies and the resources hopelessly necessary for nobler continuations: dreadful and futile arms race instead of a world development; remainders of colonialism, racism and contempt towards the human rights instead of freedom and of fraternity; dreams of being able and domination instead of fraternal coexistence; an ostracism towards great human communities excluded from the world co-operation instead of universality; an extension of the ideological fields instead of a mutual enrichment in art to control the men to make world a place of reception to diversity; local conflicts instead of co-operation between neighbors. While these concepts and these attitudes exceeded persist, the fast rate/rhythm of the change around us gives birth to from new problems which request the attention and the collective care of the world: the increasing disparity enters the rich and poor nations; the scientific and technological ditch; the explosion of the population; the deterioration of the environment; urban proliferation; the drug problem; the alienation of youth; the excessive consumption of resources by insatiable companies and institutions. The survival even of a civilized and human society seems concerned. The world is making burst its narrow political clothing. The behavior of several nations is certainly inadequate to answer the new challenges of our small planet in rapid transformation. The international co-operation expresses a considerable delay." (U Thant, réf. 4.26).

Put besides their priceless value of first need, I consider ridiculous the solutions implemented at present in the absence of a general framework of organization. I claim that we continuously and are deeply frustrated because us are missing continuity, permanence, coordination, the effectiveness, the overall picture. The present situation of extreme urgency and extreme gravity controls the creation of a enterprise of great scale, capable of an action radical, spectacular, fast, massive. Because misfortunes reach the masses, one needs a enterprise of massive scale. It is a question of scale to respect. We need a movement which can serve all to us. Times are now ripe for this resolution. To wait later makes from now on only vertiginously raise the risks and the costs in sufferings and deaths. We have enough sensitizing and conscientisation: each day the reports/ratios of tragedies skin us the heart with sharp; often we wish nothing any more but the insensibilization, the anaesthesia, the distraction, music, sport, anything... To tell the truth, to inform is not used for large thing if one does not offer at the same time a real means of acting against the excessive suffering. Here well what misses more and what the systematic approach to suffering comes to propose: the practical possibility for all and each one to react in a way coordinated to the black news which one waters us. Since our compassion is requested planetarily and by thousand various subjects, we should be provided with universal means of action. Since there is a vast sector of the human activities which aims to prevent, reduce or remove the excessive suffering, since the suffering represents a capital dimension of the life of the individuals and companies, since companies of hello, cure, benevolence, reform or revolution abounded through the history everywhere on the ground, since so many calls are addressed to us from Bouddha and Jesus Marx and Camus, so much of calls repeated daily by million our contemporaries who have some enough of the hell on ground, so much of calls also coming from a future to the unimaginable possibilities...... eh well! it is necessary to institute a theoretical and practical framework as that which the systematic approach to suffering proposes.

It is necessary that a enterprise straightforwardly keeps in mind the victory over misfortune, if it is hoped that one day this victory materializes. Because we must not only act, but overcome! And how to reach the victory if ever one dares to conceive it, neither to plan it, nor to act according to it! To regulate a problematic situation it is necessary more than simple wishes, denunciations, calls, offers of goodwill, half-measures, actions specific, palliative solutions, partial victories... It is necessary to want the success of what one wishes, to really believe and take in it the means necessary. As one would do it for any other enterprise, it is necessary to dare to direct work against the excessive suffering towards the total success.

* * *


Compagnons, compagnes, vous avez vaincu la faim et la soif, l'errance et le froid, l'ignorance crasse, les chaînes infernales de l'esclavage et la malfaisante bêtise de l'égoïsme. Calés dans vos estrapouilles, vous entendez gronder le long des sierras roses du soleil levant, la répercussion d'un tonnerre croissant: c'est l'approche apocalyptique des ennemis ancestraux de l'humanité. Votre destinée, camarades, a l'ultime grandeur du plus important combat de l'histoire. Vous connaissez les vertus d'amour, de liberté, de beauté; vous connaissez l'étonnant pouvoir de notre esprit; ...et vous connaissez l'abîme de vices que nous côtoyons. Vous êtes appelés par la voix du destin, par l'appel de vos ancêtres, par la prière des souffrants, par votre propre voix intérieure, vous êtes appelés à unifier vos forces, à n'avoir de cesse que vous n'ayez chassé tout le navrant malheur de la face de la terre. Voici les années 2000 au midi de tous les esprits. Ajustez vos montres. Avec une irréductibilité comparable à l'adamantine réalité de l'existence, défendons le règne heureux de la Vie Consciente, notre souveraine chérissime!


Fifth Chapter



Several people dispute for reasons morals, chocolate éclairs, philosophical, which the suffering that is a phenomenon should be fought or even on which one can theorize. Many darknesses, difficulties, confusions and major mysteries prevent at this stage which one establishes on universally recognized bases a theory or a practice relating to the suffering. We are unaware of what is the pain, we are unaware of the direction and the end of the history, we are unaware of what we are, we do not know anything. However, our brain and our faculty of communication establish significances, work out savoirs... and it is in this semantic forest that we must play. Because the pains are concrete objects on which our capacity to act is shown, it seems to to me justified to theorize on the suffering and to tackle the worst demonstrations of them. They is curious, but one forgets constantly how much it is horrible to suffer too much. Perhaps compared to eternity all it is well, but for the moment it is obvious that there are sufferings of too. It does not remain about it less than the concept of suffering to be fought is unacceptable for many people. Misfortune is a need, say with all kinds of arguments to the support.

Certain people find importuning very the contemporary spirit of fight against the evils "(... )l' obsession safety makes the life unbreathable (... )tous endeavour to cure the life of all (...) the society: a hell of savers! (...) the obsession of the remedies marks the end of a civilization (...)"(Cioran, réf. 5.1). "the indirect effect of companies dedicated has to protect the man against a hostile environment and the injustice practised with its costs by the elite, was to reduce autonomy and to increase the misery of humanity. The principal source of the suffering, of the illness and death, it is now technical harassing, deliberated or not. The principal diseases, the distress, the injustice, derive from the strategies implemented to improve the instruction, housing, the food or health." (Illitch, réf. 5.2). In the past the crises were caused by the misdeeds of the human ones. Today they are it by the too great success of our kindness. But then, contrary to the well-known rengaine, our knowledge and our average techniques would be late on our moral development? I incline to think it. Humanity knows the tops of morality for a long time; but the means of carrying out its ambitions are still lacking to him, in spite of the first bright stammerings of its progress techno-scientists. We are unaware of still the precise operation of an equipment which will have in addition still to be improved, and we especially probably miss the "know why" which should control our "know how": it is precisely what the systematic approach to suffering claims to bring. As for those which protest against the mania of the remedies, they recognize at least by there the immense popularity of this question which occupies us. I admit that they are right to condemn the antidolorism, because the rejection without discrimination of any pain is douillet, obsessif and very dangereous because of its blunt ignorance of realities other than the suffering. However, when they show excessive intolerance with the pain to exert more devastations on human dignity than cruelty itself, I find that they exaggerate étourdiment.

Certain opponents with the fight against the excessive suffering are cynical: the victims are not worth the sorrow to be saved, they deserve their fate, and their savers are idiots or profiteurs. Others are nietzschéens: "You wish to release yourselves from the suffering? We would live rather sufferings even larger and crueler... there are questions more raised than all these problems of pleasure, suffering or compassion." and "As for weak, with the malvenus, that they perish: first principle of ' notre' charity. And that one finally helps them to perish." (Nietzsche, réf. 5.3). Others still are malicious, sadistic, satanic, and would like to make suffer the whole world as much as possible. In a certain way, these people most significant are combined people who work for a systematic approach to suffering: nothing could be worse, we learned, than to lose its shade in full sun on the way out of the madness.

But the majority of the opponents are it by indifference: "They are the different ones which suffers so much, that does not concern us, one does not want to be emmerdé by all that, it is too painful and depressing, better is worth to take the things on the good side and to draw its pin from the play." Many feels reluctant to be interested in the excessive suffering. Their eyes all that touches with the suffering and death is taboo; they do not want to even hear negative terms, as if to name misfortunes were likely to unchain them against them. It is true that we prefer to stick to the positive concepts: pleasure, the good, the beautiful one, freedom, prosperity, health... But even when we adhere to the positive values, it is often with reserve (one wants to be realistic) and with selfishness. At the bottom we do not want happiness for all; if we really wish it, there is no doubt that the situation would be largely better. We are satisfied to deplore the situation and to hang to us to the pleasures life by drawing our pin from the play, while maintaining the "realistic" sights and "fatalists" to justify what fatally our sights contribute to perpetuate. Perhaps let us be us taken with the trap of a "comfortable faintness" which we do not dare to leave to improve our lot. Or perhaps let us be us so occupied by the house, work, the close relations and other obligations, that in the free moments, rather than to go to prop up us against the immense levers to be moved to direct the train of the events, we seek only the recreation and the relaxation. It does not remain about it less than to be concerned with its personal wellbeing without worrying about the misfortune of others against any personal interest good included/understood is. It is immoral, inintelligent, ignoramus and dangerous. Immoral because we are one, inintelligent because the reflexion is null, being unaware of because it is clear that the world would be better for all if we recognize our interdependence, dangerous because the egoistic person sows winds of storm of which she will be itself most of the time victim.

* * *


Spirituality wants to make reach the human being a transformation of the conscience and human nature, but by the interior. "Then one cannot ask him, like known as Aurobindo (ref. 5.4), to seek to cure the infirmities of the life by panaceas, by the remedies mechanical, political, social and other than the mental one test continuously, but which never succeeded in with nothing solving and will never succeed there. The most radical changes obtained by these means do not mean anything, because the old evils reappear in a new form; external appearance is modified, but the man remains what it was, (...) a being whose designs are surface and nonspiritual, and who is unaware of at the same time his own me and the forces which push it and serve as him (...) Découvrir in oneself to be spiritual is for it the true task of the spiritual man, and to help the others with the same evolution is the true service that it can return to the mankind. Until that is accomplished, an external help can help and attenuate the evils, but one cannot - or to hardly hope some more."

"the reformer is, in truth, a danger with regard to the fundamental change of the man. Intellect will not solve in any way our problems human (...) the thought made an effort to many ways of surmounting, to transcend our distress and our anguish (...) It worked out churches, savers, gourous; it invented nationalities, and, in the nations, it divided the people into communities and classes which are fought. The thought separated the man from the man and after having caused anarchy and of great afflictions, it endeavours to invent structures to join together them. No matter what makes the thought, it can only generate dangers and anguish." (Krishnamurti, réf. 5.5).

"(...) the most frightening evil that we have to face is undoubtedly the will to even finish some with the capacity of the evil (...) It acts of an attitude which under pretext of remove the evil generates the worst continuation of calamities who are (...) our century does not finish any with the ideologies, those which accumulate the worst sufferings to deliver suffering (...) We are inhabited, held, had by the desire of a world where finally there would be no more evil (...) But we are one day taken of giddiness: because we are brought to discover that it is the same passion of justice, the same will to rectify the world which lives the victim and the torturer (...) It does not have there other manners of refusing the evil only these two-Ci: or in the name of justice, one becomes hardened to remove the evil but, at the same time, one becomes hardened against the men and God; or, being disarmed of any justice, one by the evil is let wound as God himself in was wounded (...) Which is thus that the mercy? If not this division even of the wound of God opposite the evil. It is to take on oneself the evil, not because it reaches us, or because it is our duty to assume it, but because the love made us divide the destiny of that which suffers more than us (...) the depth of the mercy locates beyond any idea of victory or defeat. It is caught love when it is absolute, and thus when it does not have anything any more to fear, to lose or gain: _ then it can release all the exemption from payment and the violence infinite of its need of gift and of division (...) I maintenance that the choice of mercy be the only attitude completely victorious of evil, and only provided that it himself measure not with research of effectiveness." (Bro, réf. 5.6).

Like Balzac (ref. 5.7) said: "(...) the humanitarism (...) is with divine catholic charity what the system is with art: the reasoning substituted for work."

If I included/understood well, spiritualism denounces the rationalist companies of fight to misfortune like the perversion of the compassion in cold and dangerous systematized pity. It is necessary to not seek the end of the suffering, but the beginning of the divine joy. To claim to organize itself to abolish the evils, it is to remain hung with a tempting illusion, it is to deviate out of the only thing which really imports. I however claim that a reality as capital as the suffering deserves to be the specific object of a systematic enterprise of study and action. If the sought solution proved to be the mystic love or a version improved of the aspirin, this honest work would lead to it quite naturally. Any doctrines which would refuse with human the right to seek to control their living conditions would constitute a dangerous inanity. Basically, to work against the excessive suffering is to work for the love, happiness, the conscience, freedom, justice, the compassion... Admittedly, it is necessary to be interested in the being en-soi, beyond the research of happiness or the combat against the suffering. I agree with spirituality on top. I repeat it, the systematic approach to suffering, in spite of his aspect general practitioner, is only one speciality among others.

But spirituality also has its limits. For example: "There is a persistent belief, nourished by certain points of view philosophical and religious, according to which the world is perfect such as it is. It is then the need to be opposed to other groups which is itself the origin of illusory perception that the world is not satisfactory. From such points of view insist on the need for personal transformation and regard the other initiatives as a wasting of effort. This belief indeed rejects the possibility of a useful collective action directed towards the transformation of the external world. It has the defect not to take account of the way in which people and the groups are instigated by the opposition, whereas however it is in consequence of this opposition that takes place the individual and collective training." (Judge, réf. 5.8).

* * *


"part of the middle-class seeks to remedy the social anomalies, in order to ensure the continuity of the middle-class society. In this category line up the economists, the philanthropists, the humanitarians, people who deal with improving the lot of the working class, to organize the benevolence, to abolish cruelty towards the animals, to found temperance societies, in short the doubtful reformers of any quality. And one went until working out this middle-class socialism in complete systems (...) for the Socialists and the Communists critico-utopians (...) the future of the world is solved in the propaganda and the practical application of their plan of society. They are certainly aware to defend, in their plans, the interests of the working class above all, because it is the class which suffers more. For them, the proletariat exists only under this aspect of class which suffers more. But the rudimentary form of the class struggle, as their own social condition carry them to be regarded as good above any antagonism of classes. They wish to improve the situation of all the members of the society, even of most privileged. Consequently, they do not cease calling upon the very whole society even preferably, without distinction, and with the reigning class. And, in truth, it is enough to include/understand their system to recognize there the best possible plan of best possible companies. They thus push back any political action and especially any revolutionary action; they seek to achieve their goal by peaceful means (...)."(Proclamation of the Communist Party, réf. 5.9). The humanistic ones emerge when the revolutionary pressure of the poor and the famished ones increases. They preach the dignity and the happiness of the man, but the result of their social and political practices is always the same one: the exploited masses suffer and are ridiculed. Humanism is a refuge of middle-class man and a substitute with the true action, it is the ideological construction of a sentimental goodwill chapeautant a system of interests of class (the ideology being seen as a system of ideas which is presented in the form of obvious and which is offered to the community as a solution with all its evils, but which is in fact an alienating phenomenon and without true catch on reality to be transformed). The humane practices reduce the evils without curing them and they defuse the revolutions which could do it. Worse still, see like the misfortune of the ones made grassement live the different ones, see the figures on the industry of poverty, the disease, of the criminality, see how all measurements of help maintain a perpetual system exploitation of misfortune! Wouldn't a systematic approach to suffering be the systematization more pushed even of all that in an organization general, total... totalitarian?

I say that the systematic approach to suffering prejudges not solutions with misfortunes of one or others, but that it understands well that all are come out of there, by any means which will be presented in the form of most economic in excessive suffering, this means had it to be the revolution. The systematic approach to suffering is not fundamentally an ideology, neither a humanism, nor an idealism, but it has certainly a side like that: it poses an axis of value and significance while being based on the universal phenomena which are the suffering and the aversion with the pain. It is not a question to bring, as said Nietzsche, the herd with the greens pastures, because the awakening of each one is undoubtedly the condition to exceed misfortune. I think that the shelf to be avoided, for any person, is to believe themselves of ideology, or free from absolutiser the ideology, or even not to see it like a freely authorized construction. Like Colette Moreux (ref. 5.10) writes it, the ideology is a universal and essential phenomenon, which makes reach Homo sapiens the social and human order, which allows the coherent operation of our individual and collective thought: "On some side that it is observed, the ideology thus has like function essential to bring a response to desires, needs, an interior faintness and, like such, to get an emotive relaxation with actors whom their personal or collective concerns put in a state of psychic imbalance. It is a normal response to a pathology individual or collective (...) the ideology is essential universally like the most functional answer, surest, that which does not present counter-indications, does not deteriorate physical and mental health and resists wear best. Moreover, it does not cost anything. Lastly, its practice is easy and connected to a universal human faculty, faculty symbolic system (...)."the systematic approach to suffering has rather thin doctrinal contents. It is presented especially as a framework of reception for all the opinions, so that they are attended, are fertilized, appear in their falseness or their true supremacy. This kind of step seems to me suitable in our situation where the dissensions are numerous on the nature of the problems to regulate and of the solutions to be implemented.

And then the revolution also has its limits. For example: "There is a persistent belief, nourished by several, according to which the problems of the world are due initially to the activities of a well defined group (for example capitalists, Communists, multinationals, freemasons, trade unions, etc). It does not act whereas to eliminate the group in question, or to rehabilitate those which are affected by its activities, to bring the new desirable order. This belief has the defect not to take account of the negative consequences of the activities of those whose acts "are thus bleached" by the designation of such emissary goats. While accepting the idea that the enemy is elsewhere, any responsibility towards the painful improvement for its own action is returned in a way making safe with the reinforcement of its action against this enemy. The responsibility to counterbalance its own excesses "is thus delegated" indeed to these groups by which one is perceived like the enemy." (Judge, réf. 5.11).

* * *


"the imbecile inlassablement remakes the world", said I do not know more which malignant. To think of abolishing misfortune is as idiotic today as to think of eliminating death. Initially they are there things essential to the operation of the life, which without them would not remain more than one magnet without negative pole. Misfortune is a problem of a universal nature of which description overflows the analysis; it is a too vast subject to be circumscribed within the framework of an unspecified organization; in this type of problems, not only we cannot envisage solutions, but it is even impossible to predict the side effect of any measurement which one could try to implement. To continue the realization of this kind of impossible dream concerns the schizoid Utopia which does not accept reality as it is and is warned to build another world where the most painful aspects would not exist any more. "to be It which, in prey with a despaired revolt, takes this route to reach happiness, will not lead normally to nothing; reality will be stronger than him. It will become insane extravagant of which nobody, most of the time, will help to realize is delirious it ". (Freud, réf. 5.12) the misfortune of the human condition is irremediable, repeats one, and each one explains this conviction according to its own vision of the world. A crowd of thinkers, from Ecclésiaste and Lucrèce Freud and Malraux, while passing by Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, repeat us all the intrinsic impotence of the man or her civilization to make move back the fundamental suffering of the human beings. And in front of the enormous current waste on planet, several do not believe any more in the chances of humanity to avoid the worst. Fatalism with an extreme degree, but spread enough, goes until denying that one can do anything to improve so much is little the destiny of whoever. Often the fatalistic position is adopted by impatience and irritation in front of our impotence to deal with the problems. "One proclaims the evil incurable, inevitable, sometimes one decorates it with the name with providential, it exerts a crowned function by which the destiny is achieved." (Bouthoul, réf. 5.13)

We hear since same eternities the rengaines tireless of hello that it is always necessary "particularly now" to take in heart... and never nothing changes. The human activity and its products escape our control, and even the best actions which are can prove to be disastrous by joining the extraordinary magma of the interactions between organizations, disciplines, ideologies, action plans, country, problems, values, things, people... "This benevolence which does not go until the end and which we let us achieve while giving for the drugs, the good sisters, the dispensaries, the hospitals, etc, to attenuate the pain of those which suffer, it leads exactly contrary to what one seeks, it leads to worsen, tous.les.jours in a more dramatic way, the pain of these people... by preventing the kids from dying, by curing the patients, by prolonging the life of the old men." (The Pierre Abbot, réf. 5.14). Alms and the begging degrade the poor one, inflate the rich person of vanity and nourish misery rather than the pauper; the rich person gives a dollar of alms per hundred stolen dollars through the injustice of the social structures; the laws of assistance to needy constantly tend to perpetuate a class of bet; in fact, our charities do not abolish misery and they defuse the revolution which could do it (Fluegel, réf. 5.15). Actually, the majority of the solutions are painful and generate new problems, all the more large problems as the solutions are more effective. And then the events and our defects renew miseries constantly to be fought. Civilization, has one says, creates more major suffering and sufferings, than it does not decrease by it by its fight increasingly wide and increasingly victorious against the causes of suffering. One can see that as follows: to any progress in the history of humanity or the individual, an extra work of work proportional corresponds; for example one attends the lengthening of the early childhood at hominidé or the period of education at civilized; to maintain this progress it is necessary to maintain the labour force corresponding, with the risk to déchoir when one cannot keep any more on the same level of performance his system of behaviors; the more the evolution is advanced, the more the possibilities of regressions, therefore from sufferings, are varied and extended; at the same time the growing power of the modern means of action causes successes but also disasters of width increasingly larger.

But there is quite worse: the human beings scorn the suffering and exaltent hardness, here is the brutal truth. The capacity, prestige and the pleasure are preferred by far with justice, fraternity, the major joy, the development of all. See a little the state of the world and what that reveals of selfishnesses, ignorances, impotences... Besides try to change the things. You will see that those whose interests are related to the existence of the problems will make you more miseries than it is not allowed between civilized people. These insane-there would atomize you the world with fire and blood so that nobody touches with their hochet!

And then will once this systematic approach to suffering in place, into what the situation be changed so much? As always, one believes capacity to circumscribe a subject then one realizes that the infinity of the things escapes our systems. At the beginning we overflow of enthusiasm because we believe to see a "end" with our action and thus to cease patauger in the incommensurable one. Then the billion elements destroys our hopes of control and there we remain stupefied to seek to keep the account with our counting frames. Not that any change is impossible but our claim to lead it is ridiculous. "There is a persistent hope according to which, by the adoption of an unspecified action plan privileged, the society could be found in an unspecified new situation where all the problems and conflicts would be solved. The problem is that it seems impossible to give contents to this situation or to put it to the test, in order to réalistement make it attractive as an accessible option. It is even possible that such a situation is primarily évanescente." and "There is a persistent belief, nourished in large expenses by several conferences of the Naked one, according to which it is possible to formulate a coherent action plan, which will answer in a way appropriate to the current total situation. That it is proposed by an individual or an Intergovernmental Group, such a plan does not escape the charge to constitute a form "of conceptual or strategic imperialism", with all that that implies. Like such, it causes plans n the other hand undermining its coherence and dividing the resources which it wanted to mobilize." (Judge, réf. 5.16).

The systematic approach to suffering, in any event, is an enterprise that is marginalized at the start. Suffering is neither funny, neither sexy, nor paying; it is a subject taboo; the suffering people constitute a minority and rejected class: a mutual incompatibility separates like a pit the people in good health and the others; people and the organizations which really work against the excessive suffering are very few; they are "specialists", and even sometimes they are alienated or trapped by what they do. The complexity of the solutions to be implemented causes collective inertia and diverts the attempts at participation of the individuals. Several do not have any more confidence with the organizations and fall into states of apathy, cynicism, despair or disillusion. Any organization of vast scale, in the same way moreover as all "world problem", is a so enormous and impersonal entity that an individual is not attached easily meaning manner to it (Transnational Associations, réf. 5.17). Remainder, what this mania of the organization? "One must belong to an organization. The organization became a religion with an influence choking on the thought of the Western world. It is the only way of making that the things are done '. The processes which cannot be organized are ignored or condemned (...) But the weakness of the organized company is that it is foreign the needs and with the individuality of the person, and especially from the point of view that the person can have. That becomes ' out of matter '. People more and more conceal themselves with the hook of the organizations." (Transnational Associations, réf. 5.18). "It is also difficult to develop an organization so that it produces what one wants, who this is in the case of a physical machine... a good share of the organisational machinery is unable to do what people who operate it ask him, it does not matter addresses to them, their good intentions or their well formulated objectives." (Popper, réf. 5.19).

* * *


Optimism and pessimism are two presumptions that only the future will decide between. But for the present, if it is a question of engaging or not in a fight to be finished against the excessive suffering, it is better, being given the possible consequences, to bet on the victory and to engage, that to bet over the defeat and nothing to make. If we "want" that the future is free of excessive suffering, we should suppose that such will be indeed reality. We believe that we will make a success of our enterprise, and perhaps will succeed we because we believe and undertake.

The attachment with fatalism, the defeatism, pessimism is one of the roots of the perpetuation of the evil. This attachment paralyses and defuses stupidly the forces of possible solution. By nourishing realistic sights (like one says), one maintains a world realities wretched and supposément unchangeable. It is not true that misfortune and its elimination do not lend themselves to any attempt valid treatment. Happily, the nature of the things is not so immutable that it appears it. The great victories of the past were often carried out against alleged impossibilities, by alleged insane utopians. The evolution can make resolvable what was insoluble; however we know a fantastic acceleration of the history. Our faculty to introduce the new one caused us many miseries, but it also gave us the capacity to change the unchangeable one. To overcome the excessive suffering we should continue current civilization with its science, its culture, its technology, its laws, its industrialization, etc; if not we are likely to start again to zero the horrors of the circus of the history or the large zoo of nature. Us here at a decisive time bus: "In fact any more the resources limit the decisions. In fact the decisions create the resources!" (U Thant, réf. 5.20) If one thinks of the half-million scientists working with the armies and the billion and half dollars devoted each day to the soldiers on planet, what a immense reservoir of resources will be mobilizable when one presently decides to rather declare the war with the enemies of the human beings than to the human beings themselves! That one equips simply the systematic approach to suffering of means comparable with those with NASA and the face of humanity will be changed, while its foot takes a step of giant out of serious gravity of misfortune. Is the question of misfortune too vast to be the subject of an organization of it? I say that all the human organizations of great scale are exceeded by the dimension of their object, and yet several of them, if not the majority, manage to usefully control realities of which they are occupied. The same applies to work against the excessive suffering. "a tendency which was never contradicted (since the modern era) carried to creation of organizations and large-sized technologies, and with the orchestration inside vast structures or collective systems of a multitude of efforts and businesses one-man hitherto fragmented." (Gillingham, réf. 5.21) "the rational organization of planet and the victory over misery, dreams vague of some idealists without practical possibilities, became for the first time of the rational and realizable political goals for the heads of the contemporary States." (Tibor Mende, réf. 5.22)

"For two centuries, the myths heralding the hypercomplexity have spouted out history: democracy, socialism, Communism, anarchism are as many facets which return to the same ideal system: system based on intercommunication and not on coercion, polycentré system and not monocentré, system based on the creative participation of all, system slightly arranged hierarchically, system increasing its organizing, inventive, evolutionary possibilities with the reduction in the constraints. We smell today that that is at the same time possible and impossible. Impossible, because it is not a question that of a reform or a phenomenal revolution which would liquidate for example the dominant class or the dominating empire without reaching the generative system of the domination. This one is very deep, and it is naive to believe that it is enough to destroy the capitalist contemporary expressions of them, official, pseudo-Socialists to extirpate the roots of them. Our society carries in it of the deep primatic roots, a paléo-structure inherited the paléo-society as the paléo-céphale is inherited the brain reptilien, a arché-structure inherited the antiquated society, finally its own structure of historical society, which carries in it Léviathan. Impossible because nowhere the historical society is not in the process of deterioration, that it multiplies in order to to it fatal time, inevitable, necessary for the ethniques and racial emancipations, while the great empires concentrate increasingly enormous capacities. Impossible finally because the Constraint today arises under the admirable aspects of the Release, that its tricks, at least as long as it is almost invincible did not seize the capacity where consequently it crushes. Impossible, because the aspirations with the hypercomplexity derived and are canted in the infallible Doctrines which claim to have solved the enigmas of the history and to carry in it the conscience of becoming. Impossible finally because the revolution which is essential goes far beyond all that one understands by this term: it is at the same time a question "of changing the life" and "to transform the world", to revolutionize the individual and to link humanity, to carry out a méta-microphone-méga-society which articulates interpersonal relation with the world order. Homo sapiens brings the possibility, the genetic and cerebral promise of a society hypercomplexe which was not born yet, but for which the need is expressed, and in this direction we can foresee, hope for, call a fourth birth of humanity." (Morin, réf. 5.23).

We tend to think that pleasure and pain are indissolubly bound, like the poles of a magnet. The pain seems necessary at least to inform the organization of a danger and to justify it to adapt to survive without lesion; indeed, but even in this role the pain is not as essential as it is imagined: the scientific researchers could study people reached of a rare congenital defect, who are deprived of painful sensitivity (Melzack, réf. 5.24)! So even it is not possible or desirable to abolish any suffering, it remains possible or desirable to prevent, alleviate and remove its worst demonstrations. Not more than the pleasure and the pain, happiness and misfortune are not indissociable: it is clear that certain people know qualifiable lives the happy ones and the satisfactory ones, whereas for others it is the opposite. If the unhappy ones become happy, as one often, that doesn't it show sees it the curability of misfortune? Does there exist a cosmic structure which makes forever necessary the existence of damnés? Surely not. The suffering is not a gigantic invincible mythical entity for which it is necessary to sacrifice lives as to the Moloch god. It is a concrete thing sticking to the bodies individuals who suffer. It exists in space and time, in a given number of nervous systems. It reacts to the operations that one applies to him, it is reduced, stopped, prevented.



© Robert Daoust, Montreal 1986

Last update : 2006/10/30

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