The big turnaround

Note kindly translated by Anne-Marie de Grazia

It is clear by now that we are living, in France, though a major turnaround in our conceptions of politics.

For this, we have paid the price of 130 dead, of tenths of injured. This is an atrocious price. This price could have, and should have been avoided. For the causes of this turnaround have been beckoning by the way of numerous signals over the years. The responsibility falls entirely onto our political personnel who was not able to, did not want to see the realities, whatever they may be declaring now. We are permitted to think that if account had been taken of the referendum of 2005, if the people had been listened to, this price would possibly have been less costly, maybe that it could have been avoided altogether.

In due time, we will be compelled to debate about the responsibilities in the attacks which occurred on Friday, November 13. Today, we must become aware of the big turnaround before us.

 

The turnaround concerning Europe

It consists first of all in taking into account the impotence, even the noxiousness, of the institutions of the European Union. We have seen, as early as 2013, that when it comes to fighting against fanatics and terrorists France remained alone, or almost alone. The hostage taking in Bamako on this Friday November 20 confirms the importance of that region in the strategy of the terrorist groups. In the same time as the bloodshed in Paris on Friday November 13, the criminal group called Boko Haram and its various side-kicks perpetrated a carnage in Nigeria, as they have been wont to do, alas, for months. Little was spoken about these attacks which are no less cruel, no less insufferable than those which have thrown Paris into mourning. Alone in Europe, France is carrying the weight of this day to day fight. We see today the same countries whose leaders speak so loudly of federalism having refused to put in common their intelligence which, maybe, could have prevented the attacks of November 13 from taking place.

The European Union is bankrupt, morally and politically. This evidence today is incontrovertible. But this bankruptcy is also economic. With the risk of repeating myself, I must remind that the Euro, which was presented to us clad in all the virtues, as a guarantee of prosperity, has plunged numerous countries into impoverishment. The latter are no-longer confined to Southern Europe. At present, Finland is hit [1]. This poverty and depression are feeding despair. But they also come accompanied by imbecillic policies which worsen their effects and which are jeopardizing our own security.

The President of the Republic said so on Monday, November 16 before the Parliament convened in congress at Versailles: the security pact is more important than the stability pact. But this security commands that we find back the way to a strong growth as soon as possible. There is no such thing as a middle or long term solution to security policy. After the normal acceptance of the measures proposed by the government, in three or six months, legitimate questions will be raised. They will need to be answered. Then, it will become evident that the fundamental problem cannot be resolved through an increase, however justified it might be, in the budgets of the Ministries of Defence or of the Interior. One will then come to understand what is already glaring today. The text of the treaties adopted for years in order to prepare, then to secure the Euro is in contradiction with the prosperity, and therefore with the security, of our country. The institution of a single currency prevents it country from finding back to prosperity.

This President and this government will be faced, whether they want it or not, with the lessons to be drawn. Nobody doubts that it will painful. The rupture with the illusion in which these leaders have been living, the return of the real tearing away the curtains of ideology, is always painful. But unemployment which is directly or indirectly the lot of over six million Frenchmen, job insecurity hitting over fifteen million households are far more painful than this return to reality. It would be good that our leaders understand this and draw the necessary conclusions.

 

A turnaround in regard to Russia

But the turnaround which is taking place concerns not only our relationship with the European Union and with the Euro. The foreign policy of France, such as it has been conducted under two successive presidents, is a total failure. If the priority given to the European Union was disastrous, choosing to follow American policies reveals itself to be even more calamitous.

Indeed, it’s a nice spectacle to see our Minister of Foreign Affairs pretend that the others have changed when, in reality, it is our own position, which at present has become entirely untenable, which must urgently be abandoned [2]. We see it in the matter of Syria, we must draw the conclusion in the fight against terrorist organizations: it has become necessary to move closer to Russia.

The chiefs of both armies are engaged in coordination procedures. We can bet that these were already being discussed in secret over the past few days. Beyond the symbolic, are we fully measuring how odious the policies of the members of this government have been towards Russia for the past three years? The absence of an official representative at the May 9th parade, the cancellation of the contract for the two BPCs of the « Mistral » class, were insults, as deliberate as they were useless and counterproductive. The fact that they were accompanied with multiple gestures of “friendship” towards countries whose attitude on the support of terrorism or at least of the ideology which inspires them renders this situation even more insufferable.

In this case too, a turnaround had been demanded by numerous voices to the left as well as to the right. This is now happening. We can bet, again, that there will be much gnashing of teeth. What’s important is that it take place, and that it not be limited to the sole military domain, however important it may be. This turnaround must widen to a political cooperation with Russia and to taking up economic cooperation again (which actually never came to a full stop).

 

Return of sovereignty

Finally, this turnaround concerns the fundamental question of sovereignty. In deciding to impose the state of emergency, François Hollande made an act of sovereignty. In proceeding, though it was by small strokes, and granted that it was through innuendos, and against his own will, to these diverse readjustments in foreign as well as economic policy, he is again acting sovereignly.

For, by taking indirectly his distances with the institutions of the EU, in deciding not to respect the all too notorious « stability pact, » our President acknowledges that there is a « general interest » of the French which is distinct from the general interest of the Germans, of the Italians, and of some others. He acknowledges the fact that the EU can only be a coalition of sovereign States. This is the signature at the bottom of the death certificate of the federalist theses, whether he is aware of it or not, whether he likes it or not.

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/12001895/Finlands-depression-is-the-final-indictment-of-Europes-monetary-union.html

[2] http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2015/11/19/01003-20151119ARTFIG00250-syrie-comment-la-ligne-fabius-du-ni-assad-ni-daech-a-vole-en-eclats.php

 


Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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