TEDxParis 2012 - Yann Dall'Aglio - Comment sauver l'amour ?

Uploaded by TEDxTalks on 18.10.2012

What is love?
It's a hard term to define
in so far as it has a very wide application.
I can love jogging,
I can love a book, a movie.
I can love escalopes...
I can love my wife.
But there's a great difference between an escalope and my wife,
for instance.
That is, if I value the escalope,
the escalope, on the other hand, it doesn't value me back.
Whereas my wife, she calls me
the star of her life.
Therefore, only another desiring conscience
can conceive me as a desirable being.
I know this, that's why
love can be defined in a more accurate way
as the desire of being desired.
Hence the eternal problem of love:
how to become and remain desirable?
Once, the individual would find
an answer to this problem
by submitting his life to community rules.
they had a specific part to play
according to their sex, their age,
their social status, and they only had to play their part
to be valued and loved by the whole community.
Think about the young maiden that must remain chaste before the wedding.
Think about the youngest son who must obey the eldest son,
who in turn must obey the patriarch.
But a phenomenon
started in the 13th century,
and happened mainly in the Renaissance in the West.
It caused the biggest identity crisis
in the history of humankind.
This phenomenon is modernity.
We can basically summarize it
by a triple process. First,
a rationalization process of scientific research,
that has accelerated technical progress.
Next, a political democratization process,
that has developed individual rights.
And finally, a rationalization process of the economic production
and of trade liberalization.
These three intertwined processes
have completely annihilated all the traditional
markers of the Western societies.
It brings a radical consequence for the individual.
Now, the individual is free
to value or devalue
this attitude, this choice, this object.
But as a result, their own self
is confronted to this same freedom that others have
to value or devalue them.
In other words, my former value
was ensured by submitting myself to the traditional authorities.
Now, it is quoted in the stock exchange.
On the free market of individual desires
I negotiate my value every day.
Hence the contemporary man's anguish.
His obsession: "Am I desirable? How much?
How many people are going to love me?"
How does he respond to this anguish?
Well, by hysterically accumulating
the symbols of desirability.
I call this accumulation,
along with others, the seduction capital.
Indeed, our consumer society is largely based
on the seduction capital.
It is said about consumption that our age is materialistic.
But it's not true! We accumulate objects
in order to communicate with other minds.
We do it to make them love us, to seduce them.
Nothing is less materialistic or more sentimental
than a teenager buying brand new jeans
and tearing it at the knees,
because he wants to please Jennifer.
Consumerism is not materialism.
It is rather engulfed matter,
sacrificed in the name of the Love god,
or rather in the name of the seduction capital.
In the light of this observation on today's love,
how can we think the love of the years to come?
We can envision two hypotheses.
The first one consists in betting on an intensification
of the narcissistic capitalisation process.
It is hard to say what shape this intensification will take,
because it largely depends
on social and technical innovations,
which are, by definition, difficult to predict.
But we can, for instance,
imagine a dating website
which, a bit like the fidelity programs,
works with seduction capital points
that vary according to my age, my height/weight ratio,
my degree, my salary,
or the number of clicks collected on my profile.
We can also imagine
a chemical treatment for breakups
that weakens the attachment feeling.
By the way, there's a program on MTV already
in which seduction teachers
treat heartache as a disease.
These teachers call themselves "pick-up artists".
"Artist" in French is easy, it means "artiste".
To "pick-up" is to pick up someone,
but it's about picking up chicks.
So they are artists at picking up chicks.
And they call heartache "one-itis".
In English, "itis" is a suffix that means infection.
One-itis can be translated as "the infection of the one".
It's a bit disgusting. Indeed, for the pick-up artists,
falling in love with someone
is a waste of time, it's squandering your seduction capital.
So it must be eliminated like a disease, an infection.
We can also envision
an amorous use of the genomic map.
Everyone would carry it around
and present it like a business card
to verify if seduction can develop into reproduction.
Certainly this seduction rush,
like every fierce competition, will entail
big disparities in narcissistic satisfaction,
and therefore a lot of loneliness and frustration too.
So we can expect that modernity itself, When the seduction capital comes into being,
from which the seduction capital originates, to be challenged.
I'm thinking particularly of the communitarian reactions
of a neo-fascist or religious type.
But such a future doesn't have to be.
Another path to think love may be possible.
But how?
How to renounce the hysterical need to be valued?
Well, by becoming aware
of my uselessness. (Laughter)
I'm useless.
But rest assured:
so are you.
We are all useless.
This uselessness is pretty easy to demonstrate,
because to be valued
I need another to desire me,
which implies that I do not have any value by myself.
I don't have any value in myself.
We all pretend to have an idol.
We all pretend to be someone's idol, but actually
we are all impostors, a bit like the man who goes by
lording it indifferently over everyone in the street,
while he has actually anticipated and calculated
everything so that all eyes are on him.
I think that becoming aware
of this general imposture
that concerns all of us
would pacify our love relationships.
It is because I want to be loved
from head to toe, and to be
justified in my every choice,
that seduction hysteria exists.
And therefore I want to look perfect
so that another can love me.
I want them to be perfect
so that they can reassure me about my value.
and it leads to couples obsessed
with performance
who will break up precisely
at the slightest underachievement.
In contrast to this attitude,
I call upon tenderness, upon love as tenderness.
What is tenderness?
To be tender is to accept the loved one's weaknesses.
It's not about becoming a sad couple
of orderlies. (Laughter)
There's plenty
of charm and happiness in tenderness.
I refer specifically to a kind of humour that is unfortunately uncommon.
It is a sort of poetry of unabashed clumsiness.
I refer to self-mockery.
For a couple who is no longer sustained, supported
by the constraints of tradition,
I believe that self-mockery
is one of the best means for the relationship to last.
There is a lot of beauty
and humanity in the fact of understanding
that I am too small, too mediocre
to confront the other and harm them, and vice versa.
In this regard, I would like to conclude this talk
letting you contemplate and meditate
on a sentence that you may already know,
but I believe it really deserves to be
rediscovered everyday:
♪ Us mere nothings should not be tearing♪
♪ each other apart ♪
♪ Music! ♪