Delivered. How, and in what state, will France emerge from the pandemic: aware of the changes that should take place on its own scale and that of the planet? Resilient and capable of driving in particular a vigorous European policy? Or, on the contrary, weakened and poorly positioned to ensure its own future?
Beyond that, wonders Michel Wieviorka, is the country capable – and politically capable – of facing the great contemporary challenges, which obviously go beyond the horizon of a presidential election? First option mentioned by the sociologist: France is “Metamorphosis”, that is to say, it is transformed in depth after having noted the destabilization of all its certainties. Michel Wieviorka is a great reader of his German colleague Ulrich Beck, who died in 2015, whose latest book, The Metamorphosis of the World (Polity Press, 2017), evoked the upheaval of the current world by preferring the term “metamorphosis” to that of “change”, which neglected, according to him, part of the analysis.
Second hypothesis: regression, with the idea that the Covid-19 pandemic, instead of promoting mutation, would cause the country “Misses the march, and perhaps even engages in a process of historical decline”. To explore this declinist option, the author refers, this time to the work of the German historian Philipp Blom, who examined the consequences on European societies of a sudden climate change that occurred in the 16th century.e century. If it had the consequence of sweeping away old structures and, in the end, of promoting an economic, industrial and social development in countries like England and the Netherlands, Spain, on the other hand, was sinking. in deep decline.
“Temptation of authoritarianism”
“For France, the idea of metamorphosis could well be just a waking dream, a utopia oblivious of very real tendencies to decline, all the more devastating as mistrust reigns and cultural and social fractures, and the temptation of authoritarianism, rights the country ”, estimates Michel Wieviorka. Who fears the establishment of“An illiberal power backed by anti-social movements, hatred, mistrust, resentment”, while the classic parties turn out to be weak or tempted by a radicalism without perspective.
A little dismayed, perhaps, by his own diagnosis, unless he accompanies it with the necessary share of doubt inherent in any prophecy, the author admits, however, that although it seems difficult to dismiss it. a rather bleak forecast, “The worst is not certain”. A historical episode, that of the reconstruction of the country after the disaster of the Second World War, has shown that new political alliances and reflections formulated on the spot made it possible to get out of a dramatic situation. Wasn’t the slogan once considered by the National Council of Resistance for its recovery program “Happy Days”?
You have 47.25% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.
We would love to give thanks to the author of this article for this remarkable material
“Metamorphosis or degradation. Where is France going? “: For Michel Wieviorka,” the worst is not certain ”