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Kempf, Hervé

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Le Monde - France | 18/05/2011

Hervé Kempf on DSK, Fukushima and human hybris

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima is just as hard to fathom as the sudden downfall of the French almost-presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Both events give clues to the inner workings of our society, writes Hervé Kempf in the left-liberal daily Le Monde: "Is there a relationship between these two unimaginable events? Yes, because they work according to the same logic. A logic of 'excessiveness' or hybris, a concept from Greek Antiquity. Hybris designated the pride that pushes humans to exceed their just boundaries and strive for things beyond what fate has meted out to them. This idea resounds strongly in today's culture, which demonstrates an insatiable greed while the biosphere has absorbed about as much as it can take of the ill effects of human activity. ... The Greeks associated hybris with its own punishment, nemesis or destruction: an excessive desire for power, money or sex brings disaster on he who is but the plaything of such hybris."

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