AT to believe many political leaders and intellectuals on the left, France has become an authoritarian regime. Comparisons with the Hungarian or Russian situation have become commonplace, to such an extent that the media use this terminology without questioning its relevance.
In political science, authoritarianism refers to a regime that limits and frames political pluralism, subordinates justice, relies on the adhesion of the mes to an executive charged with a project of “national regeneration” (against an internal or external enemy ), prohibits anti-regime demonstrations and takes comfort with the rule of law. Have we reached this point of negation of democracy in France? To claim so is to show shocking arrogance and contempt for people living under authoritarian rule.
The forced page of the law on pensions by means of constitutional artifices is, in many respects, open to criticism. The left is right to oppose an unjust reform that will punish women, the working and middle cles. We can also deplore that the Constitutional Council issued an opinion bearing, not on the constitutionality of the text of the law, but on the advisability or not of weakening the government politically.
A culturally conservative republic
Emmanuel Macron, president execrated on the left, would be, according to the same leaders and intellectuals on the left, a tyrant, a dictator, even Caligula (according to Mathilde Panot, president of the parliamentary group of La France insoumise, LFI). The detestation or demonization of political opponents contributes to the lowering of political debates. By concentrating on individuals and stimulating negative affects, they move away from reasoning that focuses on the structural mechanisms of domination. In short, there is nothing emancipatory about shaming a president all the way through columns or media speeches. It is letting oneself be drawn into the terrain of right-wing populism and, above all, letting go of the prey for the shadows.
Saying this is in no way validating the undemocratic nature of the institutions of the V.e Republic, the incongruous powers of the president, police violence, the constant right-wing of the government on economic issues and public freedoms, the trivialization of racism in public debates or the normalization of the RN. But if France leans more and more to the right, that does not make it, at present, a regime similar to those of Orban or Putin.
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