There is one thing that – even if it were considered essential – no student movement or urban revolt or global protest or what have you would ever be able to do. And that is to occupy the football field on a Sunday. The very idea sounds ironic and absurd; try saying it in public and people will laugh in your face. Propose it seriously and you will be shunned as a provocateur.
Not for the obvious reason, which is that while a horde of students can fling Molotov cocktails at the jeeps of any police force, and that at most (because of the laws, the necessity of national unity, the prestige of the state), no more than 40 students will be killed; an attack on a sports stadium (such as the recently thwarted attack in Paris) would surely cause the massacre of the attackers, indiscriminate, total slaughter carried out by self-respecting citizens aghast at the outrage. You can occupy a cathedral, and you’ll have a bishop who protests, some upset Catholics, a fringe of approving dissidents, an indulgent left-wing, the traditional secular parties (secretly) happy. And you can occupy a party’s headquarters, and the other parties, with or without a show of solidarity, will think it serves them right.
But if an overall revision of our human relationships is in process, let it also touch Sport. At this ultimate root it will discover the inconsistencies of Man as a social animal.
But if a stadium is occupied, apart from the immediate reactions, the disclaiming of responsibility would be total: Church, Left, Right, State, Judiciary, Chinese, League for Divorce, anarchist unions, all would send the criminals to the pillory. So there is a deep area of the collective sensibility that no one, whether through conviction or demagogical calculation, will allow to be touched. And there is a profound structure of the Social whose Maximum Cement, if broken up, would cause a crisis in every possible associative principle, including the presence of man on earth, at least as he has been present in the last tens of thousands of years.
Sport is Man. Sport is Society. But if an overall revision of our human relationships is in process, let it also touch Sport. At this ultimate root it will discover the inconsistencies of Man as a social animal. Here what is not human in the relationship of sociality will emerge. Here the deceptive nature of the Classical Humanism will become dear, founded on Greek anthropolalia, founded in turn not only on contemplation, the notion of the city or the primacy of Doing, but on sport as a calculated waste, as a masking of the problem, ‘chatter’ raised to the rank of tumour.