If this reign of despair causes suicidal behaviour to increase, then this desperation can itself give rise to desperate reasons, that is, transform this despair into struggle, by providing itself with objects of struggle. The problem is that it can get mixed up with some very bad intentions – and it is easy to let these bad intentions circulate, reproduce, and proliferate, more or less mimetically: youth needs to sacrifice itself. Youthfulness is an exalted state, tempted by excess because essentially transgressive, and this is where its very strength and beauty lie, as well as its future, and with this future, the future of the entire world: there lies its humanity. Because what is experienced by young people as exaltation becomes, in those with greater experience, tenacity, conviction, and patience, through which pleasure and reality are knotted together, and becomes the authority of those who pass into action –‘action’ here being understood in terms of those who work and act, and who transform the world through their practices. Such is humanity, a fact that Valery enjoined us to reflect upon, in the epoch of ‘the fall of spirit value’.
But whether or not such a maturity of adult belief exists, whether or not it offers reasons for hope to young people, they still need causes, however deceptive they may turn out to be, because the fundamental character of youth is not to be cynical, to not accept the cynicism that can reign in this world […], or that cynical reign of despair characteristic of the epoch of hyper-power, a hyper-power that shows itself to be nothing more than an effective impotence and an infinite injustice – therefore ceaseless reinforcing disbelief, miscreance, and discredit, drive-based behaviour and desperate reactivity, both suicidal and parasuicidal, both ordinary and pseudo-sublime.
Given this extremely serious context, it is the responsibility of the public collectivity to provide young people (and their elders, within whom they must find some of their resources) with reasons to hope - failing which the different generations, and firstly the youngest, will find such reasons wherever they can or wherever they believe they can, even if they are being deceived. If society does not provide the objects of sublimation without which it would be capable of elevating itself or transindividuating itself (because transindividuation, being the condition of what is called the social bond, is the outcome of sublimation), it will instead incite desperation, with a far greater need for explosive compensatory objects, and will take these objects more easily for its own, regardless of their provenance – from extremist ideologies, religious sects, evangelical churches, clandestine mosques, videogames in which the score is calculated by the death drive, or from ‘reality television’, which measures how degraded and ‘available’ brains are for the hype and brainwashing of ‘power’.
from Bernard Stiegler, Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals