icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
10 Dec, 2021 08:00

Is France ready to embrace a new revolution?

Is France ready to embrace a new revolution?

The upcoming French presidential election isn’t just another vote. According to one candidate, it’s a potential opportunity to reverse course and stop being “vassals of the US, NATO, and the EU.” Will the people take it, though?

For far too long, French voters have wanted their presidential candidates to bring them change. Just not too much of it, s’il vous plaît. For far too long, they have watched their social security system provide them with less and less – meaning more out-of-pocket costs – as taxation on their increasingly poorly compensated work fails to follow the same trajectory, while their cost of living increases.

Meanwhile, France has fallen into bed with the US-led Western economic collective suicide to the point of mimicking the American establishment’s worst tendencies, from deindustrialisation and outsourcing of industry to low-cost foreign jurisdictions, to adhering to whatever globalist narratives are cooked up. The entire system is sold as some kind of benefit to the entirety of the Western economic and political sphere, but it really just benefits global corporatism and its ruling elites.

France is a middle power, like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and others. And there’s a real role for such countries in the world that they repeatedly fail to exploit, preferring instead to shoot themselves in the foot by simply going along with the conventional narrative. Yet on the rare occasion when one of these countries dares to assert its own sovereignty and breaks away from the globalist straitjacket, it finds a distinct advantage. Which is why they should do so more often. 

For instance, France and Canada ultimately saved themselves considerable hassle (and money) by refusing to blindly follow the US into Iraq. Meanwhile, critics assumed that when the UK did the previously unthinkable and broke away from the European Union in the interests of regaining full sovereignty over its own decision-making, it would quickly wither away.  

The arguments often used on these countries by opponents of their independence is that they simply aren’t enough unto themselves. These nations are treated like trophy wives who can’t survive without their husband’s protection. France needs the EU, without which it would be steamrolled by the US, according to conventional wisdom. Canada needs the US, and particularly its military might, for fear of being targeted by pretty much any imaginary global baddie who might want to have a go.

As the UK has already shown post-Brexit, leaving a dependent relationship can allow you to date around, play one suitor off the other, all while enjoying your new-found freedom.

Until now, every French president elected this century has attempted to convince voters that they’d restore their once-cherished way of life. And every one of them has not only failed, but has presided over an overt decline. None has truly had the courage to take the more drastic measures needed to restore the kind of economic and political independence and national freedom of choice that would even have the chance to trickle down to the average citizen. 

Into this breach has stepped 63-year-old former political commentator Eric Zemmour – a different kind of presidential contender, running second to incumbent Emmanuel Macron in some early polls – who has spent a career thinking about the broad strokes of his campaign platform, all of which point to greater French independence. 

Zemmour referred to France at his candidacy announcement as the “country of the Concorde and nuclear power plants, which invented the cinema and the automobile, this country that you seek everywhere with despair, of which your children have nostalgia without even having known it, this country that you cherish, and which is disappearing.”

A few days later, at a massive campaign launch rally on December 5 which seemed to be teeming with young college-aged people, the crowd cheered at each statement as Zemmour promised that, if elected, he’d reduce the difference between gross and net salaries, and “massively reduce production taxes for all companies,” in the interests of France once again becoming a “global industrial power” to create jobs and spark innovation. He promised to put major questions of national importance to voters directly via referenda, and pull France out of NATO.

“We are France,” Zemmour said. “We are not the vassals of the United States, of NATO, of the European Union.” He added that France should “talk to all countries, the US, China, Russia, but also be skeptical of all, since geopolitics is never a long, quiet river.” 

This isn’t incremental change that the former editorialist is laying out. It’s revolutionary change back to the era where France enjoyed independence and prosperity under President Charles de Gaulle, whose blueprint Zemmour seems to want to follow. Some critics are saying that the world has changed too much for Zemmour’s ideas, that he’s living in the past and his ambitions are useless anachronisms. But it’s a bit like buying a lottery ticket, in that French voters can never hope to win if they can’t find the courage to even take a chance.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.