France is in crisis, but not because of the Pension Reform Law, or even because of the precariousness that struck it nearly half a century ago. A crisis which followed a revolution where, hidden under the cobblestones, the remnants of “Les congés payés”, a prelude to a slump that was to plunge France into darkness, under a leaden screed that even the sun’s rays would not be able to pierce.
A precariousness which was going to throw on the roads of a bygone industrial revolution the first pariahs, plagued by a monster which, after having kneaded them in the shade of the watchtowers overlooking the coal mines, would vomit them up as if this purge, this auto-da-fé would lead to the resurrection those spirits lost in turmoil. A youth who had dreamed of doves and psychedelic kaleidoscopes to forget the castrating grayness of which “Les trentes glorieuses” had given birth.
No, it’s not that crisis, that France asleep in the arms of an arachnid, which after going through the horror of an unspeakable war that only “Les justes” had left behind without having forgotten it, became “Soixante huitarde”, and which, for having chased from a bucolic landscape the imposing silhouette of an abandoned General whom the exodus had never ceased to precede, just like the shadow of an oak whose roots, bathed in the humus of a forest strewn with sleeping soldiers, was going to have to bear the burden of this irreverent act and to crucify entire generations to absolve themselves of this unpardonable sin, that of having committed the sacrilege of tearing out the heart of the Father of the Nation, the One who revived France from a long sleep.
No, France is not in crisis because, in the aftermath of the war, a man held out his hand to yesterday’s enemy, so that Europe would not be forever at gunpoint, but united, reunited from the Adriatic to the vast plains of the Ardennes, bearing the marks of cruelty and human ignorance.
This is not the embryo of this newborn having grown too quickly which led Europe towards the darkness of a bureaucratic obscurantism which trampled on it, torn it apart violently and threw it just like light years away into a Big Bang where Jules Vernes was about to explore the oceans and Monet to plunge his brushes into the meanders of a nebulous river where the Java dancers from the Moulin de la Galette and the human beast of Jean Renoir were reflected. A human beast straight out of nowhere to rush into an unnamed future.
Nor was it the France of May 1981, a Mitterrandian France succeeding to De Gaulles and his disciples, to VGE, which was only a pawn on the political chessboard, a smuggler in the night that suitors with a Borgian profile used like a stepping stone.
No, the crisis is not neither a France where the petals of a just-opened rose faded at the gates of Brussels and of an Anglo-Saxon neoliberalism, while at the twilight of a reign The Sphinx saw the ghostly shadows and nightmares of swastikas coming back like a boomerang.
The crisis, this is not the preposterous drifts of a long-term adventurer, a President, having “one hand on the heart and the other one on the cow’s ass”, decked out in skimpy costumes, and who related the Elysée to a retirement place and not to a headquarter spotted in the middle of a battlefield.
A palace where in the shade of the ornaments he would watch his political adversaries disappear one after the other between two sumo games.
The crisis is not the dissolution of the National Assembly and the consecration of a one-eyed man haranguing the crowds by distilling his gall in an “ubuesque” outrageous populism, or even the taunts and provocations of a power-hungry Playmobil that a Marshmallow ousted before getting lost in the deserted streets of a Lutecia bruised by the savagery of men, and who carried away by his romantic adventures, from the top of his faithful steed with his spiked helmet left, dagger in hand, the world of finance seize power.
The crisis, this is definitely not those crusaders of the third millennium erecting fortified castles and catapults to face windmills, even less some pseudo communists reinvigorated by the arrogance of billionaires shamelessly displaying a fierce desire to debase people and Nations.
No, none of this, of these false pretenses and pretexts resulting from an elaborate mechanism and set to cast shame on characters and events, obscuring such as the tree hiding the forest, a raw truth that the collective conscious denied to lessen her own suffering, to face the reflection of A Marianne disfigured by time and lies, lost in a world she no longer recognized, but of which she still believed to be the priestess was the beginning of the answer to the question. A crisis, what crisis?
The crisis was A Marianne who did not understand the retrocession of Hong Kong, saw after the fall of The Berlin Wall, a bloodless Russia reborn from its ashes, an Arab world emerging from the desert like a modern-day Atlantis.
A Marianne who has not heard the pleas of Africa for centuries and who has turned away from her. A Marianne that social networks and the media have put to sleep, letting her believe that each of her “protégés”, locked in an exacerbated individualism, had the right to speak, so that she would be better gagged. A Marianne whose cybernetic prose has rendered her illiterate under the impassive gaze of so-called AI and reality shows which have insidiously disconnected her from the icons that previous generations had adored, making political power vulnerable and questionable.
A Marianne who sold herself to the highest bidder, to her own executioners, laying her head on the block, out of resignation, out of spite, out of despair, but also a Marianne who wakes up again today and wants to regain her rights and drive beyond her borders these predators who cut her up, humiliated her to the point of stealing her dignity by mocking her, oppressing her without showing any compassion, remorse or any concern.
A stunned Marianne caught in the trap, in an identity crisis, at a crossroad, wanting to sing “Le temps des cerises”, but also to get married to a world that frightens her. The one of tomorrow which is already there. A Marianne who wants to live “The yesterday” when the future has already erased it. A Marianne stuck in an ideological “No Man’s Land” where time plays against her. A time that will not wait for her. A forced march to an unknown destination.
A Marianne who seeks herself, who searches in vain for her own marks, looking desperately the one who will take her across this river which separates her from what she will become tomorrow, a peaceful Marianne, mistress of time, of her history, tracing a route, her own road to hear her heart beating in unison with a brand-new world that she will have to get to know and to live with…