'Away with fatalism, it's time to grasp hope': a call to political arms by Stéphane Hessel and Edgar Morin

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Stéphane Hessel and Edgar Morin (pictured) formed a formidable couple when they launched, here on Mediapart, a joint appeal to candidates in France’s 2012 presidential elections. The pair, then aged 90 and 94 respectively, had lived through similar experiences: Hessel was a German naturalised French, former WWII Resistance fighter, survivor of Nazi concentration camps, while Morin, widely acclaimed as one of Europe's greatest 20th-century thinkers, was born to immigrant parents and also fought in the Resistance movement. In this tribute to Hessel, who died overnight on Tuesday, Mediapart republishes the text and video of their outline for a "path of hope" for a new society that shuns "the futile, the disposable, and the wasteful”, an end to economic policies "driving us to disaster", and for a return to values of social responsibility.

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Edgar Morin, 90, and Stéphane Hessel, 94, make a formidable pair. Hessel, a German naturalized French, former Resistance fighter, survivor of Nazi concentration camps who helped draft the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, became a worldwide celebrity this year with his essay ‘Time for outrage', inspiring countless protests around the globe against the wayward drift of capitalism. Morin, born to immigrant parents, also a Resistance veteran, is unanimously acclaimed as one of Europe's greatest 20th-century thinkers. The two continue their life-long resistance against injustice with a joint appeal, launched here on Mediapart, aimed at candidates in the upcoming French presidential elections. They outline a "path of hope" for a new society that shuns "the futile, the disposable, and the wasteful", calling for an end to economic policies which are "driving us to disaster", and for a return to values of social responsibility. By Edwy Plenel and Hugo Vitrani.