Listening, closeness, emergencies, love - politicians today play up to the mother. Leaders dare not lead, the citizens are now so child-like that they simply wait to be told what to do by the State : the Leisure State behaves like those mothers who cannot stand to think that their children can play by themselves, and insist on keeping them busy. Where are the fathers ? Is this the end of the paternal reference and the symbolic order of things ? A psychoanalyst, Michel Schneider was formerly a director of music and dance at the Ministry of Culture.