Le retour de Napoléon?


 

napoleons

A survey, “France 2013: the New Divisions,” conducted for Le Monde, caused soul-searching and political manoeuvring on all sides, with unemployment above 10%, contested plant shut-downs, more lay-offs and a fiscally inspired exodus.

The cultural and economic “decline” of France set the scene with 51% of the respondents thinking that in the coming years, the decline of France was “inevitable.” Among the supporters, 77% of the right-wing National Front (FN) thought so. By comparison, only 41% of the Socialist Party (PS)  supporters considered it “inevitable”.

According to the survey, this is a ten year trend, a period during which mostly conservative presidents occupied the Elysée and the Euro was – mostly – in French wallets.

63% thought that “French cultural influence” had declined over that period; and a 90% believed “French economic power” had declined.

Globalization was considered by 61% a “threat to France” with diverging politicized agreement from:

  • 82% of those on the far right,
  • 49% of those supporting right-of-center UMP,
  • 53% of the Socialists.

The solution? 58% agreed that France would have to “protect itself more from the world” ranging from 38% among PS supporters to 92% among FN supporters. Then a litany of deep and troubling issues emerged:

  • 62% thought that “most politicians are corrupt
  • 72% complained that “democratic systems function badly in France”;
  • 82% lamented that “politicians act mainly in their own self-interest.”

The survey offered an appetizing and easy solution: “We need a real leader in France to re-establish order.” 87% agreed!

Napoleon_I_on_the_Imperial_Throne_-_WGA11834

On a besoin d’un vrai chef en France pour remettre de l’ordre

The desire to have a “real leader” that would “re-establish order” was almost unanimous on the right.

  • Among UMP supporters, 98% agreed with it.
  • On the FN right wing, 97% agreed with it.
  • Even among supporters of the Socialists, 70% wanted a real leader to re-establish order.

The survey linked the desire for a “real leader” who would “re-establish order” to the concept of authoritarian rule and 86% agreed that: “Authority is a value that is too often criticized today.” Other topics in the survey:

  • laid bare the level of confidence the French have in the mainstream media – 73% thought that journalists caved to pressures from political powers.
  • exposed the French exasperation with immigrants.
  • addressed religious issues, particularly Islam—74% considered it intolerant.

Le Monde views French society as; “slipping from distrust to rejection, from worry to anxiety, from withdrawal to fear of the other, from pessimism to catastrophe.”

[Note: I suspect that the same survey would produce similar results in many EU countries. Perhaps the ‘gloomy French’ should take heart in the following articles:

  1. Der Spiegel  –  Defying the Odds: Why the French Economy Works Surprisingly Well. Stating that despite violating established economic principles, the French economy works surprisingly well.
  2. European affairs writer Craig WillyThe Economist’s War against France: Why the French economy remains superior to Britain’s. Concluding that the French would have to be out of their minds to Thatcherize France and make its economy more like Britain’s.  Peter]

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This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

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The Real Economy

Hello, I’m Ed Conway, Economics Editor of Sky News, and this is my website. Blogposts, stuff about my books and a little bit of music

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Professor Mark Elliott

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Am I my Brothers keeper?

An Anthology of Short Stories

Selected by other writers

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The Short Stories of David Goodwin (Capucin)

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