World News: French Election - The Time of Ideologies is Over

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With three months before the first round of the French Presidential elections one thing is clear: The parties involved all seem devoid of a political philosophy, orphans of their ideologies, which to unite activists and sympathizers en masse.

While a large majority of the candidates in the presidential election have declared themselves, except for the outgoing President who likes to postpone the moment certainly for tactical and political purposes, it therefore appears that all the ingredients punctuating the flagship electoral appointment of the Fifth Republic are gathered. Programs, speeches, political meetings, activists!


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Everything is there! However, those who are interested in politics lack, perhaps for several decades now, a key element: ideologies. Both on the right and on the left, and what about the center that has always claimed to be the center of gravity without ever finding its own, understand without ever finding areal political philosophy, it is today sorely lacking in contemporary French political parties a backbone specific to each!

Around which would be structured programs that are both realistic and ambitious, imbued with chronicity as well as with the future. Does this mean that ideologies are dead, at least in politics?


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The idea is not necessarily absurd and would tend to be confirmed in practice after a quick overview of the situation which can easily spread to other European countries or even beyond.

Critic of Inequalities and Submissive Liberalism

The left, supported by Marxist thought, which for a long time served as an axis of rotation for progressive parties from the second half of the nineteenth century to the early hours of the twenty-first century, sees its box of new ideas sadly empty.

Critics of social inequalities, carriers of social demands capable of transforming society, the French left has gradually moved away from an working class already dormant since the seventies by transforming itself into a social democratic party without assuming its name and, moreover, by missing this mutation that could have saved it.

Unable to propose social solutions imbued with humanism and pragmatism in the face of globalization, the French left has sunk into the slump of movements unable to transform themselves because it is more concerned with its future than with its initial vocation when that was its survival.


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On the right, liberalism transmitted by inheritance and skillful intellectual mutations since the French Revolution, has given way to a savage financial and stock market capitalism that the crisis of 2008 has highlighted.

Here again unable, as on the left, to translate its discourse to rehabilitate the idea of freedom of enterprise without sinking into this destructive capitalism and bearer of inequalities that have become glaring, the right has allowed itself to be subjugated by the extreme right, sophist, and populist, while fighting it so much, finding there an opportunity to exist.

Defeated by itself, that is to say by the excesses of an ideology whose limits or dangers it has not been able to guess, the French right, known as republican, a new attribute supposed to make it more frequent, spends most of its time legitimizing its presence by explaining that it has nothing to do with the extreme right while borrowing themes that also hope to ensure its future.

Recording Chamber and Models

However, if the fight is not in vain, far from it, it must also be accompanied by other speeches capable of rehabilitating the liberal spirit on which it relied. As for the center, if it ever existed, which claims to operate the synthesis between the best advances of its two rivals, it turns out in the end to be only a recording chamber camouflaged under the banners of a political party without ever having been driven by any ideology.

However, the erosion of ideologies remains to date, an erosion that could begin in the mid-seventies, when Western economies found themselves in the impasse of mass unemployment and growing public deficits, impossible to absorb via the application of classical liberal or Keynesian theories.  


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The chute of the Berlin Wall, the crisis of 2008, the attacks of 11 September are all striking elements that also symbolize by the consequences generated the end of models carried or inspiring ideologies capable of structuring the world and contemporary societies.

So, to affirm that the time of ideologies has lived may appear radical, even Manichean, because others will certainly take their place. But for the time being, either these are slow to take shape, or they are still in gestation.

 

 

Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

 

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