Marine Le Pen during a two-round meeting of the 2022 presidential election.
Atlantic: The second round of the presidential election seems to be tougher than in 2017, but most supporters argue that if Marine Le Pen wins, it will be political and economic turmoil. I often hear that. How is it dangerous and intellectually tricky to use this rhetoric?
Chantal del Sol: please think about it. Shouldn’t we imagine the devil’s invasion once the devil is in power? What has always been described as evil (of course, its existence fits well with the candidate, so I will not forbid it), once in power it will not bring Diabolos, that is, separation, Hatred, civil war, do you know what I am? Moreover, for decades, the entire debate over the presidential candidate has been to appoint a wicked man to destroy France. If Marine Le Pen is elected, her opponents can rush to create a great deal of confusion (strikes, demonstrations, mayhem) in order to do the right thing. Chaos is announced as an executive speech, and in fact, in this case, it is: We need to prove what has been announced for a long time-Cassandre creates a war at the same time as announcing it, it is its existence. The reason is.
Eric Deshawan: On the enemy side of Marine Le Pen, it is a fair game to warn against the risk of rupture that he constitutes to take power. Just as it is a fair game for Marine Le Pen supporters to take advantage of the dissatisfaction caused by Emmanuel Macron’s actions. The trap in this regard lies in the fact that the logic of simplification that the Politicomedia debate follows does not support the “rational political” camp. Excessive turmoil or catastrophe debate contradicts the claim to embody the reason. Of course, it is legitimate to point out the problems posed by the implementation of the Marine Le Pen project. For example, the constitutionality of the referendum on immigration and the principle of national priority, or the foreseeable economic impact of protectionism and the European roots of France. You just need to be careful of the overkill that leads to damaging the credibility of the criticism.
Macron / Le Pen: A big and fuzzy bad guy game
However, this rhetoric is a sign of anxiety within the elite caused by the new political situation. This new Macron / Le Pen duel reveals an embarrassing reality. The decisive political division is no longer an ideological division between right and left, but a sociological division between France from above and France from below, the “elite block” and the “popular block”, A choice between rational government and mass protests determined by social status, level of education, and income. This cleavage was, of course, already decisive in 2017, but then covered in a wave of Macron’s “skepticism,” which triggered the illusion of a break, the “revolution of continuity,” and even expectations for novelty. I did. I’m skeptical if I’m not very interested. The far-right demonization rhetoric, which was used during the two rounds of the election, looked like an old string that was already a bit worn out. It was hardly a problem, as the momentum was clearly in favor of Emmanuel Macron. In 2022, the desire to dissolve with “clearance” opposed it, and anti-fascist rhetoric lost much of its credibility and power of belief. The opposite of good and evil is replaced by the conflict between the elite and the people, the “ring of reason” and the syndication of dissatisfaction. Today’s trap is to trap it in the opposite of contempt and hatred.
Year 0: Joint death of sarcodism and kirakiism, secondary victim of the first round
With the PS and LR atomization identified in the first round, suggesting that a rational political alternative to the current state of valid idealism is not possible inevitably causes some immobility. Is not it? Is it a way to not see or react to the feelings and demands of the French?
Chantal del Sol: The liberal democracy we live in and love is based on constant debate among adversaries who disagree with the vision of the public interest. Among the adversaries, this argument tries to be polite, we do not hurt democracy. In democracy, if a party is created that is considered an enemy in consideration of its program, institutions such as the post-war German neo-Nazi party or the Communist Party of South America must ban this party. .. Because these are the parties that use democracy to destroy it.
What is happening to us today is a new and highly twisted scenario. If the Le Pen party was an enemy of democracy and we couldn’t participate in the debate, it had to be banned. However, successive rulers on the right and left allowed the party to stand up, treating it as an enemy rather than an enemy. All commentators know that Francois Mitterrand deliberately allowed the rise of the National Front at the time. why ? It’s so convenient for presidential candidates to find in front of them that it’s not an enemy to discuss or respect, but an enemy to be destroyed that can be named for insects and diseases (“Populus Leprosy”). E. Macron says. Evil is pointed out to the population by pointing out itself as the only line of recourse. It is democracy because democracy can only have enemies, not enemies. But it works for a while. Until the day when the public begins to understand that if the devil was really there, we could have prevented him from growing up. Is a very useful demon to fool the ruler.
Thomas Zlowodzki: “After the failure of the reconquest !, the combination of rights is not for tomorrow.”
Eric Deshawan: The conflict between PS and LR was not just a left-right conflict. It was also about opposition between the two parties, splitting the country’s elite and forming a class-to-class interests alliance in preparation for the exercise of power. Therefore, the new order is not limited to the disappearance and emergence of political forces. It is the political system itself that destabilizes, the balance of the democratic game. Macronism becomes a coalition of governing elites, a party of rational government surrounded by populist forces, which inevitably leads to rhetoric dominance with no alternatives.
However, we must distinguish between political change and alternative politics. In democracy, changes are always possible. It arises from arbitration between dissatisfaction and legitimacy, between desire and fear of bursting. Alternative politics is another, as long as political decisions are constrained by areas of possibility. For example, protectionism to protect a country’s production and increased purchasing power to satisfy consumers may be needed, but in reality it is difficult to coordinate the two requirements. According to the Bank of France, access to goods from low-paying countries can save French consumers an average of € 1,000 per household per year. Choices are, of course, possible, but they always have undesired consequences, often forcing governments to question the programs they have been elected in the face of dissatisfaction caused by their implementation.
Has this discussion already been used in France or abroad in the past? How and what are the results?
Chantal del Sol: It seems to me that France is the only country to play this kind of evil game for democracy. Elsewhere, we have seen the ban on parties that are dangerous or, in any case, regarded as such by society. Or it was treated like a normal enemy because an extreme party was swallowed by a coalition with the Moderate Party and was not banned. This method of treating a party set up in a democratic landscape as an enemy is very French. France is 93 countries, don’t forget it. Robespierre is never far away.
The pandemic has shown that it is possible to take steps that would have been considered impossible at the time of the crisis, without causing a real challenge from the opposition. Does the fact that it comes from a “reasonable” party raise a double standard?
Eric Deshawan: Crisis situations certainly lead to unimaginable decisions in peacetime. But it also highlights the constrained nature of political decision-making, the fact that creativity for solutions to a given problem is relatively limited. It turns out that during the pandemic, the opposition remained stingy on the alternative. There were protests, some alternative strategic projects, but in reality it wasn’t, and there was good reason. We had a lot of discussion in the Western countries. What is legal in democracy is a decision made by the government to deal with a pandemic, but the strategies adopted, first in captivity and then in vaccination, were about the same everywhere. The difference was mainly in the timing and the means implemented. Certainly there was an alternative strategy, a “zero-covid” strategy implemented by Asian countries, but it was not a coincidence, European countries did not adopt it, and in France, political power did not propose it. It is definitely a lesson to be learned that differences in culture and political system determine political decision-making and constitute the political color, creativity and inescapable constraints of those in power.
Is it possible to get out of this rhetorical and intellectual trap? If yes, how?
Chantal del Sol: If it was a technical trap, you would find a technical means. It’s easy. But it is a trap that arises from our national spirit. I will not change the way of thinking like changing shirts. France has a tendency for political hatred, which is the opposite of liberal democracy. In this respect, France is an immature country.
Eric Deshawan: It will be necessary to be able to at least get rid of the opposition between the circle of reasons and protesting populism, if not the simplification of political speech. This is the challenge of the upcoming political restructuring. But the future is more uncertain than ever. A very smart person will know what the required reconstruction will look like.