L’Express published this Wednesday on its website the second part of its interview with the Head of State. He said his word on the criticisms vis-à-vis France and paints a picture of a country gripped by a deep intellectual crisis.
On December 17, Emmanuel Macron granted L’Express a videoconference interview. From this interview lasting one hour and thirty minutes, the weekly has drawn two parts.
The first, published on the internet Tuesday, explored in particular the issue of communitarianism and what the executive referred to as “separatism”. The second, published this Wednesday, questioned the perception of France abroad but also the vision that the French have of themselves. The Head of State represented a France undermined by “defeatism”, in the midst of “malaise”.
“When the stranger does not understand us …”
While the Anglo-Saxon press has not hesitated in recent weeks to criticize the French cultural model and its relationship to freedom of expression or secularism, that a large part of the Muslim world has become angry with the caricatures of Mahomet appearing in France, Emmanuel Macron first said his desire to stand up.
“When the foreigner does not understand us or attacks us, it is a reason for fighting! And when I speak on the Al-Jazeera channel, when I write to Financial Times to defend our freedom of expression, our secularism, it is indeed this fight that I assume, that, secular, of the Enlightenment ”.
He compares this fight with an internal controversy: “I also take on this fight at home. Make no mistake: the camp of defeat, of the corporatists, of the egoists has always been very strong in the country.” He later continues: “A defeatism has been there for a long time and its responsibility is enormous”.
“Those who have ambition for the country, who want to take up the gauntlet, who believe in greatness, have never been the majority. The spirit of capitulation, people who doubt are legion,” he continues. he. Emmanuel Macron then adds: “I could refer you to Marc Bloch. There is an immense betrayal of the clerics in this French malaise that I mentioned.”
“The economic elite has globalized”
The double reference illuminates the meaning of this presidential word. Historian Marc Bloch, shot by the Nazis in 1944, is remembered for his posthumously published essay titled The strange defeat.
In this work, the academic explains the debacle of 1940 by the bankruptcy of the elites and their spirit of renunciation. “The betrayal of the clerics” evoked by the President of the Republic takes up the title of an essay by Julien Benda, published in 1927, in which he criticized the intellectuals of his time for turning away from aesthetic values and rational research for the benefit of partisan ideologies.
“Many intellectuals have not been able to think of a French future during these decades of crises”, accuses the Head of State who is developing: “The economic elite has globalized, which could have been a excellent thing if it had consisted in going to make the best of the foreigner to bring him home. Except that she left! She nomadized herself, she became out of nowhere. “
“But the world is changing, the generation that is there is not that of yesterday. There are more and more patriots”, assures Emmanuel Macron, however.
Robin Verner BFMTV reporter