…But they do not want to know.
From the training for the unemployed to the democratization of the European Union and the construction of the Francophonie, all discourses given by leaders and political observers eruditely explained that France has moved Right and that liberal ideology now prevails in the country. Some have even gone so far as to say that the Left is definitively dead and buried. Indeed, all the polls for the forthcoming elections confirm this: an overwhelming majority of voters is about to vote for the Right, and even for the Far Right. In reality, all that is an illusion: France is more than ever on the Left, ideologically. And it is because of the failure of the Left-wing government that voters are seeking refuge in Right-wing and populist parties, and once put in power by voters, the latter will demand from them left-wing solutions.
Indeed, the country is going through a deep crisis of meaning and of facing reality head-on, in the shape of the disrepute of elites, the increasing greed of the wealthiest, the dramatic precariousness of the poorest populations, the growing concern of the middle-classes, worried about their standard of living and that of their children; and overall insecurity. Faced with this crisis, the French have clearly left-leaning priorities and demands. They relate to employment, education, secularism, equality, and social mobility, the fight against injustice, corruption, and privileges. They do not ask for less solidarity. And if they want fewer taxes, for those who pay them, they do not want a reduction of services that these taxes might finance. In addition, the demand for higher security and greater order is in no way established as being of the Right in nature, as it assumes a massive scale-up in State resources. Overall, in the present crisis, that all feel will last a long time, the reflex of French citizens is more than ever to turn towards the State, and not towards the market; as recent responses to Alstom’s situation have shown, and that of migrants in Calais, or terrorist threats.
The left to which the French aspire has nothing to do with Stalinism, bureaucracy or protectionism. It is separate from the « Democrature » in Hungary or the dictatorship in North Korea. Drawing particular inspiration from new technologies, that shape young people, it must promise increased sharing, collaboration, gratuitousness, altruism and responsibility towards future generations. And it is also what arises elsewhere in Europe, in all the driving forces shaping political renewal.
Thus, if the French are moving today into populism, made up of the Front National and some leaders of the « Republicans,» It is because the Left got carried away with the ideology of unfettered financial markets and it does not dare oppose to this ideology that of democracy; it is because it pursues and is committed to a liberal policy. The Right has realized that the market cannot be the only answer and that the new distinction is between selfishness and altruism. It is still time for the actual majority to dare to be itself; to offer a left-wing analysis of the situation (too big a market, not enough democracy), a left-wing strategy (brotherly solidarity, modern, open, internationalist, altruistic, in the interest of the country and in particular future generations) and a left-wing program. This consists in focusing on the consolidation of the fight against precariousness, the strengthening of schools, training for the unemployed and the general mobilization of the country to defend its liberties and values, including those of fraternity and secularism which are some of the oldest and most valued heritage in France.