“For the agora, the general community, no longer exists, nor even communities restricted to intermediary bodies or to autonomous institutions, to salons or cafes, or to workers in a single company; no place where people can discuss the realities which concern them, because they can never lastingly free themselves from the crushing presence of mediatic discourse and of the various forces organized to relay it. Nothing remains of the guaranteed relatively independent judgment of those who once made up the world of learning; of those, for example, who used to base their pride on their ability to verify, to come close to what one called an impartial history of facts, or at least to believe that such a history deserved to be known. There is no longer even any incontestable bibliographical truth, and the computerized catalogues of national libraries are well-equipped to better suppress the traces. It is disorienting to consider what it meant to be a judge, a doctor or a historian not so long ago, and to recall the imperative obligations they often recognized, within the limits of their competence: men resemble their times more than their fathers.”



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