Thursday, 29 November 2007
Sarkozy on the way to Bonapartism
What happens, when a monarchy in a country like, let’s say France, is abolished? Do the people enjoy their “republican freedom” and is there more liberty for the individual? The French people looked for a replacement. François Mitterrand (1981-1995) was called “Le Roi Soleil” because he behaved like King Louis XIV, Jacques Chirac (1995-2007) thought he was the sun king, but his nepotism brought him trouble and he is now being questioned by investigating magistrates about his expenditure, which – according to his mates – is unfair, “after such a long time”.
And what about the new president, Nicolas Sarkozy? He behaves not like a king, but more like an emperor: Bonapartism is back and now known as Sarkozysm. His second wife ran away in September and the couple divorced a month later. Obviously Cécilia was not happy about the criticism of her using the state’s credit cards for her private shopping tours.
Now without a wife, what does the little new emperor do? He is asking mother to accompany him. Madame Andrée was seen in China greeting the Chinese dictator Hu Jintao with a polite: “Pleased to meet you.” («Très heureuse de faire votre connaissance.») while Sarkozy introduced his son Pierre to China’s leader with a doubtful recommendation: “We will send him to you. He needs discipline.” («On va vous l’envoyer, il lui faut de l’autorité.» http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/26/content_7146221.htm). Well, well, isn’t France’s president able to exercise authority over his son? Obviously Sarkozy’s authority was under scrutiny while he was exchanging pleasantries in China. The suburbs were on fire again and - who knows - perhaps the wannabe authoritarian played with a Chinese solution? Napoléon had no remorse to kill fellow countrymen, especially if they were Royalists. In October of 1795, Napoléon Bonaparte, then an emerging military officer, was placed in charge of troops sent to control a royalist riot in Paris. Though 100 men were killed, Napoléon succeeded in controlling the “mob”, and was soon given command of the French army.(Paris in the 19th century - http://dl.lib.brown.edu/paris/chronology1.html) After returning from his state visit to China, President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed action against rioters. Hopefully he has read Napoléon’s memoirs.
It seems, France is going through troublesome months. Since his election in May, Nicolas Sarkozy has earned a reputation of being omnipresent (Super Sarko otherwise also know as Zorro Sarko). He visited the prisoners of the Arche de Zoë in Chad, he spoke to rioting fisherpeople in the Bretagne, he attended the funeral of two firemen who got killed in an accident. There’s no event, where you cannot expect Sarkozy to turn up. At the same time he doesn’t want to be seen as president whose only duty is to represent the state. His cabinet ministers are sidelined and the Prime Minister was caught talking off camera about his displeasure that he, a personal friend of Sarko, has nothing to say. That changed briefly during Sarkozy’s visit to China, but as soon as he touched ground back home again, he went straight to Villiers-le-Bel, were the latest suburban riots started. The question is: Will his presence calm or upset the rioters? As interior minister in 2005 Sarkozy fuelled the uprising with his remarks.
Sarkozy tires to control everything. That includes his own political friends. Instead of letting the government do its job, he keeps a “kitchen” cabinet separate from the official cabinet making the ministers in charge look like puppets, when they are allowed to accompany their master to one of his frequent trips to a country hot-spot.
With the ever rising ego of Sarkozy the day can’t be far that he will be proclaimed Emperor Nicolas 1er.
A real Monarchy would not face this dilemma. That’s why the number of Royalists is on the rise in France. Before Sarkozy’s election the Royalists got 20 percent of the population behind their ideas. Sarkozy’s Bonapartism will make people realize that there’s something wrong with Bonapartism as well as with republicanism. Vive le roi!