Nothing was more expected than the jasmine revolution.
Nothing could be less predictable than the date of its outbreak.
Everyone knows, indeed, at least since 20 years, that democracy is
underway around the world. Not by the game of politics, but by the
market economy. At least in theory: it is known at least since the
analysis of English history by Karl Marx, that the market creates the
conditions for the birth of democracy. Because it creates a Bourgeoisie
who needs legal security and freedom of innovation. On this subject,
as on many others, the theory of the author of Capital proved to be true.
At first in Western Europe, then Eastern Europe, then in Russia, in South
America, and partly in Africa and Asia.
Much of Africa and Asia, and almost all the Arab world until now
remained deprived of the first foundations of democracy.
Some pseudo experts, traumatized by the hijacked revolution in Iran,
the massacre of Tian an Men Square and the Burmese difficulties, went
as far as saying that dictatorship is the future. And that democracy
will soon back down in front of religious fundamentalism.
What has just happened in Tunisia shows instead that the demonstration
of Marx remains valid: Tunisia which became a market economy could
only become a democracy. And after it, this will be the case of Egypt,
Vietnam, China, Africa, Sub Saharan Africa and much later (because the
market economy is still in its infancy), Algeria and Syria.
However, Marx could not foresee neither the time nor the tactics. Even
if he had thought, based on the case of the Commune of Paris, on how a
revolution can abort or slip into a dictatorship.
France is particularly concerned by this debate, because these
uncertain countries are, for many of them, former colonies and
First, it must assess the conditions for a successful
revolution. In fact, for a revolution to become a real democracy,
it must meet five conditions 1. A trained and powerful Bourgeoisie
2. A secular army 3. Youth having nothing to lose. 4. Absence of a
charismatic and populist leader. 5. A favorable international
When success is possible, France must learn how to manage these
changes. And for that, she should say loud and clear that democracy is
the only tolerable system, a leader cannot remain 20 years in power.
That he cannot reserve his succession for his son. She should finally
say she is the friend of a nation, not of a president. Even if this
may hurt, briefly, her interests.
Finally, to understand indeed what is at stake in each of these
countries, France has to use the formidable networks that represent
here the various immigrant communities (they know far more than the
French diplomats on what is happening in their country of origin) and
overseas the huge communities of French. (They know, too, more than
diplomats on what is happening in their country of residence).
Hopefully we will not forget these lessons before the next revolution,
those of bougainvillea or reed.