Why is it so difficult to renew oneself politically and culturally?
The time of great crises, of great decisions, of great changes, must also be the time of renewal, of creativity, of gathering, of national unity, of the "project". This applies both at national and European level. Europe should be at the time of the Europe nation, no longer to preserve peace but to build a new European project, not to replace the nations but to put itself at their service. A unity of interest, a reasoned solidarity when the social and economic ravages of the crisis are pushing everyone into navel-gazing. We live in a paradoxical time, at once individualistic and deeply in search of a collective.
Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 called for a rupture, and applied the opening following his election. François Hollande then called for "change" while François Bayrou and others eternally wish for another form of alternation than the traditional left-right alternation. All are right about the need for novelty. The era needs to innovate in order to reinvent itself, this is true from the industrial, energy, scientific, managerial and technological points of view, and it is also true from the political point of view.
Where is the political innovation? How difficult it is to be innovative when you think you have tried everything. Political innovation is necessary, if it is difficult to find it in ideas when they are locked in silos, it can come from the state of mind, from attitudes, from openness, from telescoping.
Without getting into any bias, it is clear that the left-right divide is not very productive and is anything but innovative.
The dogmatic divide alone cannot be constructive.
Excessive activism puts blinders on thinking
Everything that the other has done or proposes to do is necessarily bad. Of course, it is necessary, and even desirable, to have convictions, and even very damaging to lack them, but these must not be dogmatic, populist or electoral. The State must be impartial when most are tempted to run a body of senior officials in the colours of their political party.
Yes, the high functions of the State must be placed above partisan militancy. The only cause, the only party, must be that of France.
Without criticizing the person, whom I respect, I would like, by way of illustration, to come back to a very small episode that went unnoticed (that's the tragedy) in November 2010, on November 16 to be precise. That morning, François Baroin was the guest of Jean-Pierre Elkabbach on Europe 1. It was the day after a reshuffle, and he was newly appointed, in addition to his ministerial duties, as government spokesman. At the beginning of the interview, François Baroin congratulates himself on a government at the service of the action of the President of the Republic... "To create the conditions for his victory in 2012 !
Well NO, Mr Baroin, the Government of the French Republic is not an electoral campaign tool, it is not at the service of the re-election of the tenant of the Élysée Palace, it is dedicated and concentrated on a single mission, that of serving France and the French. This sentence is heavy with meaning, it has gone unnoticed because it has become part of our customs. It was not even raised by Mr Elkabbach. Besides, I don't know what's worse, to make this kind of statement without even realising it, or to listen to it without saying anything.
Since this episode, and the successive campaigns confirm this point of view, and even if it may be symbolic, some would say utopian, an idea has been nagging at me concerning the Ministers and possibly certain very high offices of the State, in fact two ideas:
1/ to ask these public figures, in the service of the public, to commit themselves publicly and formally to serving the State, in a way to take an oath.
2/ As soon as a minister is appointed, and in fact places himself in the service of France, he should resign from his political party.
His party becomes France, the only cause that he must serve objectively, freed from his partisan contingencies, which could be easier for everyone. A step that is both simple and logical, but also extraordinarily new and significant, which would free us from the eternal conflicts of interest between the service of France and the servitudes of parties. So, let's go for it?
We must free ourselves to innovate, including from its partisan sirens.
First edition: February 2012 / edito #51 on atlantico