The campaign for the election of the next president of the French Republic on April 24, 2022 is unleashing passions in a very confused atmosphere. Social tensions can no longer be expressed, except through violence, because the political vocabulary has lost its meaning. The same words are used by everyone with different, even diametrically opposed meanings. Behind this hubbub, no one seems to notice that the country is no longer a democracy, nor even a republic.
Like all other Western countries, France is seeing its middle class shrink visibly, while its jobs continue to relocate to Asia. A new social class has formed of workers on the edge of the poverty line, expelled from the big cities and taking refuge in the nearby countryside. It is this class that revolted in 2018, wearing yellow vests, to demand more social justice. Simultaneously a few very rich people benefited from the investment of their capital and became extremely rich. This phenomenon is not new, but the scale of the enrichment of a very small number of them is. In fact, the unprecedented increase in wealth differentials prevents the functioning of a democratic system, which assumes a relatively homogeneous population. Voters, aware that their vote no longer matters, are rapidly turning away from the ballot box. The majority of them abstained from the 2017 legislative elections and two thirds from the 2021 regional and departmental elections. If France still has democratic institutions, its practice is no longer democratic.
The transformation of social classes is accompanied by a change in the population. Millions of people are coming from Africa and Asia to benefit from the European standard of living. They gather in certain suburbs of big cities. They do not seek to integrate as they could only become yellow vests, and be despised by the Franco-Americanised elites. They therefore impose their habits and customs in their neighbourhoods.
Society is split into three: on the one hand, the majority who remain attached to French culture, then a few million uprooted immigrants, and finally an elite fascinated by the United States, whose decline it does not perceive. For the first time, this division is observed geographically: the countryside to the impoverished middle classes, the suburbs of the big cities to the immigrants and the centres of the big cities to the elites.
Furthermore, the Covid-19 epidemic was managed by debt: the fear of large numbers of deaths in the short term led to the confinement of the entire population and thus to depriving them of their means of subsistence. The state then went into considerable debt to distribute allowances and maintain the population’s standard of living. The debt now reaches 115% of the annual GNP, depriving the country of its choices.
Lack of debate
Since President Chirac’s stroke in 2005, the French Republic is no longer presided over. This was followed by the confrontation between ministers Dominique Gallouzeau de Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa; the election of the same Sarkozy to wake up a sleeping country, but who turned out to be the grandson by marriage of the US founder of the NATO secret services; then the election of François Hollande, the man who did not represent any current in the Socialist Party and did not manage to represent his People either; and again the election of Emmanuel Macron who promised to unite the right and the left and could only leave the country divided. Three times in a row, the voters were wrong, each time worse and worse.
The presidential election of 2022 looked like a game of massacre: voters who did not recognize themselves in any political leader would have to choose the one they would dislike the least. Then came the candidacy of an outsider, the columnist Éric Zemmour. In a few weeks, he managed to impose his issue of French identity at the centre of the debate, and then to set up a vast political party, Reconquête, bringing together those disappointed by the institutional parties. Those who know him assure us that he is open and tolerant, but there are many among the others who think he is anti-Arab and want to beware of this.
The public debate is no longer rational since doctors have been forbidden to treat Covid-19 and have been forced to eradicate it with so-called messenger RNA “vaccines”. So it doesn’t matter which side of the argument you are on. All that matters is faith in so-called “vaccines” or the heresy of care. In this context, President Macron has just given a two-hour television interview. He made very little mention of the results of his action and hardly criticised his opponents. He did not set himself up as a professor, but sympathised with everyone’s pain. He concentrated on describing his feelings. Each of his viewers understood something different from this exercise of a new style. In fact, each one retained only the anguish that obsesses him. Emmanuel Macron has reassured pensioners whose life expectancy seems threatened by Covid and the upper classes whose benefits seem threatened by the rise of the Yellow Vests. He can thus rely on a third of the electorate, without arguments or solutions.
The confusion of values
The French can no longer prioritise tradition and the distribution of wealth, or distinguish between the right and the left. This is because they have lived through a very particular history that they have not analysed.
President François Mitterrand came from the Socialist Party. In reality, this man, of exceptional intelligence, had started out as a collaborator of the Nazis. He was decorated for this by Marshal Philippe Pétain, but managed to forget it. He did not change his opinions, but developed them in parallel with his news. He never broke with his far-right friends. One of them was his campaign manager during his election to the presidency of the Republic and discreetly followed him to the Élysée. He even hesitated to make the former director of PropagandaStaffel, who had become the richest man in the country, Prime Minister of a Socialist government. Mitterrand led a life comparable to that of a schizophrenic: he even had two families, a socialist wife and an extreme right-wing wife. He was an extreme right-wing personality at the head of the united left.
When he came to power, he took over a federation of neo-fascist chapels, the National Front (FN). This tiny party had been created on the instructions of General De Gaulle. It was a question of bringing together what was left of the Nazi collaborators and the terrorists of the Algerian war under the watchful eyes of his secret services. After the assassination of FN leader François Duprat, a veteran secret service agent in Africa, he was replaced by Jean-Marie Le Pen, a member of parliament who had actively participated in De Gaulle’s seizure of power in 1958. Mitterrand began to finance him with secret funds from the Élysée Palace, via a Swiss bank account. Le Pen was thus a Gaullist figure who led the anti-Gaullists.
Jean-Marie Le Pen’s daughter, Marine, inherited the patrimonial party which she normalised. The Nazi collaborators and OAS terrorists are dead. Her party, renamed Rassemblement National (RN), holds the same discourse as its predecessor, yet after being reviled as anti-Gaullist, it now rightly appears as Gaullist. This is normal given its real history, but incomprehensible to people who ignore it. For years, everyone has been accusing the RN of being far-right, even though it is clearly not at all.
The litany of old political parties
If the RN is a legitimate heir of Gaullism, the Republicans are the only legal heirs. But under the leadership of Nicolas Sarkozy, they abandoned the principles of Gaullism and rallied to the global overlord, the United States. They supported the creation of a supra-national European Union, the reintegration of the army into the integrated Nato command under US control, and the end of immigrant integration. They will be represented in the election by Valérie Pécresse, a very bright leader who speaks Russian and Japanese. In reality, she comes from this Americanised elite of which her husband is the incarnation: he was vice-president of Alstom and was the only executive to remain in his post when this industrial flagship was sold to the American General Electric. She herself was a Young Leader of the French-American Foundation and invited by NATO to the Bilderberg Club.
Emmanuel Macron’s République en marche only transcended the right/left divide for a few months. Then it wandered, satisfying in turn those who listened to it before disappointing them. The Élysée talked a lot and did little, except what its long-time friends, the management funds BlackRock and KKR, told it to do. Emmanuel Macron has no programme, just a formidable skill at cajoling the electorate, promising everyone what they expect but will never see. Having no majority in the country, he can no longer undertake anything and has become useless to his sponsors. But he is hanging on.
The left has cowered, abandoning the working classes. It is nothing more than a collection of small groups of elected representatives and their children. After the manipulations of François Mitterrand, the Socialist Party has become a bunch of dreamers who propose to change the world, but above all do not want to know it. The Communist Party has only kept its name and no longer knows how to help the proletarians of today. Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Insoumis are trapped in the contradictions between the Marxist culture of their leader and the Trotskyite leftism of his militants.
As for Yannick Jadot’s Pôle écologiste, he tries to persuade himself that abandoning fossil fuels and nuclear power will create jobs. Despite appearances, its electorate continues a long tradition which, from King Louis XVI at Varennes to Marshal Philippe Pétain at Montoire, via Adolphe Thiers at Versailles, believes that copying the German model will save its social status.
Who will re-establish citizenship?
This tiresome litany of political parties shows their inadequacy for the times. They were a model of the industrial age and have become ineffective in the age of the Internet. Today, vertical structures have been replaced by networks, but parties have not yet undergone a transformation.
Contrary to the dominant discourse, it is not the populists but the elites who are destroying democracy (in the Greek sense of the word). The Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel has already instituted a rule with no legal basis: from now on, the work of an audiovisual journalist is deducted from his speaking time when he announces his intention to become a presidential candidate. Then a court condemned a former president of the Republic for a case on which the National Commission on Campaign Accounts had already ruled. Finally, a political party called on judges to ban the candidacy of one of its competitors on the basis of its interpretation of his statements.
Political parties are quite comfortable with the disaffection of the ballot box. They can more easily convince half of the population than the entire electorate. It is better this way, they think, because why should people get involved in complex issues that are so difficult for experts to address? They are wrong. Whoever should win will win a stay in the Elysée Palace, but he or she will not hold power.
Although the French are legitimists and passionate about politics, they vote and obey less and less. The crisis that began 17 years ago is dragging on. It will only find a solution around a way to restore national and popular sovereignty. Now, if under the impetus of Zemmour, some people evoke the reconquest of national sovereignty, none of them dares to speak of popular sovereignty. No one knows anymore what the word “citizenship” means.
Time has not only destroyed democratic practices, but also reached the foundation of France: the Republic (in the Latin sense of the term). Contrary to what is taught in schools, the Republic has nothing to do with the method of appointing a leader. It is not the antithesis of monarchy or empire: King Henry IV (1589-1610), who put an end to the civil wars of religion, declared himself a republican, and Napoleon I (1804-1815), who completed the Revolution, crowned himself “Emperor of the French Republic”.
The Republic is the withdrawal of particularisms in the private sphere and the service of the general interest in the public sphere. It is a way of living happily together. However, our current political failure is pushing us to withdraw into communities around this or that minority.
Two hundred years ago, France shook up the world when its People seized political power. It is not a question of pretending that every citizen has an opinion on everything, but that he is capable of controlling his destiny on all the subjects he knows in his daily life. We have gone backwards. Our elites have become parasites. They no longer bow down to their king, but to their American overlord. Two hundred years ago, France reorganised itself in a centralised way to put an end to regional imbalances. Today, centralisation means the loss of responsibility of citizens to Parisian bureaucrats. Two hundred years ago, libertine France bowed to hypocritical clerics in the name of their interpretation of religion. Today, the media, these new clerics, are imposing new dogmas and a new morality.
Our People grumble, but are keeping quiet. Until when?
Source: Voltaire Network