Qu’est-ce qu’un idéal ?

Un idéal est une valeur morale, une idée éthique, une conception vers laquelle on tend mais qui est impossible à atteindre. Les idéaux les plus répandus sont la justice, la solidarité, et la liberté.

Comme déjà mentionné, le propre d’un idéal est d’être inatteignable. En d’autres mots, on ne peut que se rapprocher d’un idéal mais on n’arrive jamais au but. Il arrive donc souvent un moment où il faut choisir entre défendre son idéal ou réaliser un choix pragmatique.

En quoi les idéaux nous concernent dans la vie de tous les jours ?

Si des personnes n’avaient pas été jusqu’à défendre bec et ongles, et même donner leur vie pour défendre des idéaux, alors, des concepts tels que l’état de droit, la démocratie, la liberté de culte ou d’orientation sexuelle n’existeraient pas. Dans la société occidentale, des lois donnent de la force à ces concepts et structurent en profondeur toute l’organisation de notre société. En conclusion, écartons l’idée fausse qui dit “qu’avoir des idéaux, c’est être déconnecté de la réalité”.

La vie de certaines personnes est portée par un idéal qui les incite parfois à commettre des actes très forts.  A propos, ces gens sont souvent dotées de la personalité INFJ du test MBTI.


Berlin - "Tendre vers un idéal"

Berlin – une illustration de “Tendre vers un idéal”

Garden of Rama (Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee)

L’histoire se passe sur un vaisseau extraterrestre d’une intelligence bien supérieure à celle des humains. A son bord voyage une colonie de plus ou moins 2000 êtres humains dans l’espace. Tout allait assez bien au début mais malheureusement, un malfrat a pris le pouvoir et a instauré une dictature.

Dans l’extrait ci-dessous, on voit le dialogue entre la mère et héroïne du roman, Nicole Desjardin, expérimentée et réfléchie et sa fille Katie, inconstante et agitée. Nicole est prisonnière pour ses idées politiques et est condamnée à mort. Donc, le dialogue oppose d’un côté, une conscience forte doté d’un idéal de justice inébranlable, et de l’autre, un esprit un peu faible et qui a besoin de confort matériel. Katie ne comprend pas les idéaux de sa mère.

Idéal de justice

Juste à la fin du chapitre 9 de la partie “Procès”, Katie vient proposer un repas à sa mère en prison. Elle souhaite que sa mère se soumette au dictateur et trahisse ses idéaux en échange de sa vie.

‘Hello Mother,’ Katie said, unlocking the door and entering the cell. The two women hugged for many seconds. Nicole did not try to restrain the tears that were pouring from her eyes.

They sat on Nicole’s bed, the only furniture in the cell, and talked amiably for several minutes about the family. […]

[They have a dinner brought in the cell just for the two of them.]

‘So Katie,’ Nicole said with a warm smile after thanking her for the meal, ‘how about you? What are you doing with yourself?’

Katie laughed coarsely. ‘Same old shit,’ she said. ‘I’m now “Director of Entertainment” for the whole Vegas resort… I book all the acts into the clubs… Business is great even though…’ Katie caught herself, remembering that her mother knew nothing of the war in the second habitat.

‘Have you found a man  who can appreciate all your attributes?’ Nicole asked tactfully.

[La proposition]

‘Not one who will stay around.’ Katie was self-conscious about her answer and suddenly became agitated. ‘Look, Mother,’ she said, leaning across the table. ‘I didn’t come here to discuss my love life… I have a proposition for you, or rather, the family has a proposition for you that we all support.’

Nicole looked at her daughter with a  puzzled frown. She noticed for the first time that Katie had aged considerably in the two years since she had last seen her. ‘I don’t understand,’ Nicole said. ‘What kind of a proposition?’

‘Well, as you may know, the government has been preparing its cause against you for some time. They are now ready to go to trial. The charge of course is sedition, which carries a mandatory death penalty. The prosecutor has told us that the evidence against you is overhelming, and that you are certain to be convinced. However, because of your past services to the colony, if you will plead guilty to the lesser charge of “involuntary sedition”, he will drop…’

‘But I am not guilty of anything,’ Nicole said firmly. ‘I know that, Mother,’ Katie replied with a trace of impatience. ‘But we – Ellie, Patrick, and I – all agree that there is a high likelihood that you will be convicted. The prosecutor has promised us that if you simply plead guilty to the reduced charge, you will be moved immediately to nicer surroundings and allowed to visit with your family, including your new granddaughter… He even hinted that he might intercede with the authorities to allow Benjy to live with Robert and Ellie…’

[Abandonner ses principes pour survivre ? Le débat]

Nicole was in turmoil. ‘And all of you think that I should accept this plea bargain and acknowledge my guilt, even though I have steadfastly proclaimed my innocence since the moment I was arrested?’

Katie nodded. ‘We don’t want you to die,’ she said. ‘Especially for no reason.’

‘For no reason,’ Nicole’s eyes suddenly flashed. ‘You think I would be dying for no reason!’ She pushed away from the table, stood up, and paced around the cell. ‘I would be dying for justice,’ Nicole said, more to herself than to Katie, ‘in my mind at least, even if there i not a single soul anywhere else in the universe who can understand it.’

‘But Mother,’ Katie now interjected, ‘What purpose would it serve? Your children and granddaughter would be deprived for ever of your company, Benjy would remain in that foul institution…’

‘So now here’s the deal,’ Nicole interrupted, her voice rising, ‘a more insidious version of Faust’s pact with the devil…

Abandon your priniples, Nicole, and acknowledge your guilt even though you have not transgressed a all. And do not sell your soul for mere personal Earthly reward. No, that would be too easy to reject… You are asked to take the deal because your family will benefit… Can there be any possible appeal to a mother that is more likely to sway her ?”

[La réponse est non]

Nicole’s eyes were on fire. Katie reached into her purse, pulled out a cigarette, and lit it with a trembling hand. ‘And who is it that comes to me with such a proposition?’ Nicole continued. She was now shouting. ‘Who brings me delicious food and wine and pictures of my family to soften me up for the self-inflicted knife that will surely kill me with much more pain than any electric chair? Why, it is my own daughter, the beloved issue of my womb.’

Nicole suddenly moved forward and grabbed Katie. ‘Do not play Judas for them, Katie,’ Nicole said, shaking her frightened daughter. ‘You are so much better than that. In time, if they convict and execute me on these specious charges, you will appreciate what I am doing.’

‘This is bullshit, Mother,’ she said a moment later. ‘Total bullshit… You’re just being your usual self-righteous… Look, I came here to help you, to offer you a chance to go on living. Why can’t you listen to someone else just one time on your goddamn life?’

Nicole stared at Katie for several seconds. Her voice was softer when she spoke again. ‘I have been listening to you, Katie, and I do not like what I have heard. I have also been watching you… I don’t think for a moment that you came here today to help me. That would be completely inconsistent with what I have seen of your character these last few years. There must be something in all this for you…

‘Nor do I believe that you in any way represent Ellie and Patrick. If that were the case, they would have come with you. I must confess that for a while earlier I was confused and feeling that perhaps I was causing too much pain for all my children… But in these last few minutes I have seen what is going on very clearly… Katie, my dear Katie…’

‘Don’t touch me again,’ Katie shouted as Nicole approached her. Katie’s eyes were full of tears. ‘And spare me your self-righteous pity…’

[Goodbye, Mother]

The cell was momentarily quiet. Katie finished her cigarette and tried to compose herself. ‘Look,’ she said at length, ‘I don’t give a shit what you feel about me, that’s not important, but why, Mother, why can’t you think about Patrick and Ellie and even little Nicole? Is being a saint so important to you that they should suffer because of it?’

‘In time,’ Nicole replied, ‘they will understand.’

‘In time,’ Katie said angrily, ‘you ‘ll be dead. In a very short time… Do you realise that the moment I walk out of here and tell Nakamura that there’s no deal, the date for your trial will be set? And that you have no chance at all, absolutely no fucking chance?’

‘You cannot scare me, Katie.’

‘I cannot scare you, I cannot touch you, I cannot even appeal to your judgement. Like all good saints, you listen to your own voices.’

Katie took a deep breath. ‘Then I guess this is it… Goodbye, Mother.’ Despite herself, fresh tears appeared in Katie’s eyes.

Nicole wept openly. ‘Goodbye, Katie,’ she said. ‘I love you.’

Garden of Rama

Garden of Rama

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Merci à Alexandr Bormotin