Listen to this article :
As a new presidential term begins, and after so much noise and fury, it is time to reflect on the country we would dream of living in five years’ time, to describe it and to ask ourselves what should be done to make it possible.
If it is easy enough to write the dark scenario of a year 2027 where everything has failed (a ruined, divided, ungovernable France, in a defeated Europe, confronted with a conflict on its soil and a climate crisis that has gone out of control), it is more interesting to try to imagine what a France that has managed to escape its demons could be. And to ask ourselves how to make this ideal accessible.
To do this, we could be content with setting a few quantitative targets: a rate of growth, inflation, a level of employment, purchasing power, budget deficit, public debt, trade surplus, CO2 emissions (and better still, a value as low as possible of our carbon footprint). We could add to this a better PISA ranking of our different levels of education, a higher life expectancy in good health, improved social mobility, and the longest and happiest possible retirement for all.
It is tempting to leave it at this definition of the future: After all, in general, what is not easily measured is not clearly conceived.
And yet, I prefer to define differently the France I dream of for 2027: For me, it would first of all be a country that would have regained its confidence in itself; impatient of its future rather than nostalgic for its past; a country where everyone would have regained the feeling that it is possible for them and their children to live better lives; a country stretched towards the best, which would have the feeling that everything can succeed, as it sometimes feels when it comes out of a football World Cup winner or as it will perhaps have after the next Olympic Games, in Paris, in 2024.
For such a scenario to come true in 2027, France would have to be socially and politically appeased. Permanent mechanisms for institutional dialogue, which everyone would recognise as legitimate, would have to be put in place, enabling considerable progress to be made in five years in the quality of political debate, the effectiveness of social policy and ecological action. A country where everyone could transform their discouragement into a project and their resignation into motivation.
In particular, in 2027, at the time of the next major elections, we should have been able to put an end to the current denial of reality by the majority of the political class, in order to come to a lucid debate on the reality of the country’s problems, where we would at least agree on the figures, between two projects for society, one carried by a democratic left and the other by a republican right, both of which, differently, would be committed to reinforcing our influence in a Europe that is being built and in a Francophonie that is still to be built. A country where everyone’s anger has turned into impatience. A country where everyone will have regained confidence in our education system, our health system, our food, our security, our means of transport, our tax system. And above all in the ethics of all those who aspire to govern it.
To get to this point in 2027, from the state of great violence and material and moral decay in which we find ourselves, more than technocratic measures, it is the statement of visions and values that we need. Both by the government and by the opposition. Both by the trade unions and by the political parties, by entrepreneurs, artists and intellectuals. Everyone has a part to play, not just blaming others for our common shortcomings.
If we finally embarked on this path that our great masochistic country has always refused to follow, we would quickly understand that we are a privileged country, with an enormous amount of means, opportunities, chances, and talents; that we no longer have the right to waste them and that we still have the means to escape the slide, right there in front of us, which can lead us to an abyss.
If we succeed, the France of the 1930s will be the happiest country in the world.