Le gâchis de la guerre

NEW YORK – Comme l’a fait valoir Karl Marx dans une formule célèbre, l’histoire a systématiquement tendance à se répéter, « la première fois comme une tragédie, la seconde comme une comédie. » Au vu des événements qui se jouent aujourd’hui, difficile d’imaginer comment les différentes tragédies actuelles pourraient être suivies par autre chose que par de nouvelles tragédies. Et nous voici en cette année de centenaire de l’explosion de la Première Guerre mondiale, confrontés à une escalade de violences, d’impostures et de cynisme, du type de ceux qui entraînèrent précisément le monde vers le désastre de 1914, les régions de la planète concernées à l’époque étant encore une fois les régions concernées aujourd’hui.

La Première Guerre mondiale a débuté selon une mentalité précise, consistant à considérer les moyens militaires comme autant de solutions aux problématiques sociales et politiques pressantes d’Europe centrale. Un siècle auparavant, le théoricien militaire allemand Carl von Clausewitz n’avait-il pas en effet décrit la guerre comme une « simple continuation de la politique par d’autres moyens. » Une conception qui trouvera clairement écho chez les dirigeants politiques de 1914.

La Première Guerre mondiale démontra néanmoins de manière tragique combien la philosophie de Clausewitz perdait tout son sens à l’époque moderne. À l’ère industrielle, la guerre ne peut entraîner que tragédies, désastres et dévastation ; elle ne saurait résoudre quelque question politique. La guerre ne constitue en rien une continuation de la politique, mais bien la conséquence de l’échec politique.

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