Margaret Scott

La responsabilité de protéger prend forme

NEW YORK – Non seulement les bonnes nouvelles intéressent moins que les mauvaises, mais elles paraissent souvent plus improbables. Comme cas d'espèce, nous n'avons qu'à étudier les réactions à l'égard du nouveau livre magistral de Stephen Pinker, professeur en psychologie de Harvard, intitulé The Better Angels of Our Nature.

L'ouvrage de 800 pages foisonne d'arguments et de documents méticuleusement rassemblés, où Pinker démontre, qu'au cours de l'histoire, tant les conflits civils qu'internationaux ont connu une baisse surprenante et que cette trajectoire descendante continue sur sa lancée d'après la guerre froide. Pourtant les réactions de la plupart des critiques des travaux de Pinker ont amené leur part d'incompréhension, de rejet, ou d'obsessions tenaces sur d'horribles épisodes individuels, comme si, d'une façon ou d'une autre, ces dernières ne pouvaient qu’assombrir le portrait général.

Beaucoup d'autres personnes tarderont à accepter que d'énormes progrès ont été réalisés pour ce qui est d'actes de violence qui heurtent le plus les consciences – génocides, nettoyages ethniques et autres massacres à grande échelle. Pourtant ces gains ont abouti à des interventions, impensables il y a une décennie, que le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU a autorisées cette année afin d'empêcher le déclenchement de catastrophes sur le plan des droits des populations de Côte d’Ivoire et de Libye. Devant de tels progrès, il n'est plus irréaliste d'espérer que les charniers de l'Holocauste, du Cambodge, du Rwanda ou de Srebrenica ne puissent plus jamais se produire.

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