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Henri Guaino

The End of the West?

Henri Guaino is Magistrate in the Cour des Comptes [Audit Office], a former representative for Yvelines, previously a special advisor to Nicolas Sarkozy during his five-year term, and former Commissioner General of Planning. He was one of the principal driving forces behind the campaign against the Maastricht Treaty alongside Philippe Séguin and Charles Pasqua in 1992, in Jacques Chirac’s campaign on “social breakdown” during the presidential race of 1995, and in Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign in 2007.

“Is the West going to die? Throughout the world, millions of people fear this, and millions of others hope for it. What is certain, is that once again the danger is real, because in the depths of the void that is being created in Mankind, we won’t find the “good savage,” but the cruelty and inhumanity of nature. In every person there is both light and darkness. The light is the civilization that turns it on. Turn off the light, and only the darkness remains…”

The new intellectual and moral crisis that is occurring in the West is that of an unprecedented depreciation of an inner life, of the spiritual, moral, and aesthetic dimension of life, of the way in which that life consoles us, shelters us from what is inhuman and painful in life…

The main concern, then, is knowing whether the decimation of what is henceforth called “the old world” by the blind forces of “creative destruction” won’t be accompanied by the destruction of all that the old world has deposited in each of us: sensitivity, emotion, feelings, wisdom, intuition, instinctive knowledge of good and evil, of beauty and ugliness, and more generally, all that enables the soul to endure the tragic condition of human existence while maintaining hope and joy.” H. G.