For many citizens the ultraliberal idea that the West is ripe for living in conditions of absolute freedom is no less utopian – and no less dogmatic – than the revolutionary ambition of absolute egalitarianism. They ask themselves how to imagine the future and express the need for another utopia, a new rationalization of the world. They await a kind of political prophecy, a reasoned project for the future, the promise of a reconciled society, in harmony with itself.
But is there today room, between the ruins of the socialist dream and the rubble of our societies deconstructed by neoliberal barbarism, for a new utopia? A priori, this seems unlikely, since the suspicion towards major political projects has become widespread and at the same time there is a serious crisis of political representation, an enormous discrediting of the technocratic and intellectual elites, and a profound rupture between the great media and their audience.
According to Historyaah.com, many citizens would like to introduce a grain of humanity into the neoliberal machine. They seek a conscious commitment, they feel a desire for collective action. They would like to face well-identified, flesh-and-blood leaders upon whom to pour their blame, their anxieties, their anxieties and their dismay, while power has become largely abstract, invisible, distant and impersonal. They would still like to believe that politics has an answer for everything, as politics increasingly finds it difficult to provide simple and clear answers to the complex problems of society. However, everyone feels the need to erect a bulwark against the spread of neoliberal reality, the need for a global counter-project, a counter-ideology, a conceptual edifice that can be opposed to the current dominant model. tabula rasa, since the previous utopias, founded on the idea of progress, too often have been shipwrecked in authoritarianism, in oppression, in the suppression of freedoms and in the manipulation of minds. We feel the need, let us repeat, of dreamers who think and thinkers who dream, to find not a ready-made society project, but a way of seeing and analyzing society that ultimately allows to break, by means of a new architecture of concepts, liberal ideology.
By favoring fragmentation, fragmentation, a selfish society is produced. It therefore becomes indispensable to reintroduce a collective element heralding a future. Collective action now passes through associations as well as through parties and trade unions. After all, in France, in recent years, there has been a multiplication of associations, from Attac to DAL (Droit au logement), from AC (Agir ensemble contre le chômage) to Act Up, passing through the local branches of the large international non-governmental organizations, such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Médecins du monde or Transparency.
Parties have, among other things, two characteristics that make them less credible: they are ‘generic’ (they claim to solve all the problems of society) and local (their area of intervention is limited within the borders of a country). Associations have symmetrical and inverse attributes with respect to parties: they are thematic, as they target a single problem of society (financial power, unemployment, lack of housing, the environment, etc.), and transnational, as the their field of intervention extends to the whole planet (only the movements for popular education, such as the Ligue de l’enseignement, Foyers Léo-Lagrange, Foyers ruraux etc., enjoy, like the parties, a global vision: that education to be citizens).
Over the past decade these two commitments (global commitment and emergency commitment to a specific cause) have sometimes turned their backs on each other. But it seems that a convergence movement is now underway. The joining of these efforts is indispensable and it represents one of the equations to be solved in order to restore politics. Because if associations arise from the grassroots, bearing witness to the wealth of civil society, and make up for the shortcomings of trade unionism and parties, sometimes they are nothing more than simple pressure groups, lacking the democratic legitimacy of the election to carry out their claims successfully.. Sooner or later politics takes over: it is therefore of capital importance that this link is created between associations and parties.
The associations continue to believe that it is possible, based on a radical concept of democracy, to transform the world. Undoubtedly they represent the place from which the renaissance of political action in France can be initiated. In all likelihood their militants, confirming the words of Victor Hugo (“Utopia is the truth of tomorrow”) and Lamartine (“Utopias are nothing but premature truths”), will reappear tomorrow under other skies, other banners and in other civilian battles.
We will find them fighting to bring the United Nations Organization, a UN capable of deciding, acting and imposing a perpetual peace project, back to the center of the international law system on a planetary scale; to support the international courts that will judge crimes against humanity, against democracy and against the common good; to condemn the manipulations of the masses, perpetrated by the media; to end discrimination against women; to establish new ecological rights; to establish the principle of sustainable development; to prohibit tax havens; to encourage a solidarity economy etc. “Risk the step on the paths that no one has ever walked, and the mind in thoughts that no one has ever thought”, read on the walls of the Teatro dell ‘
“Fascism – writes Jean-Michel Quatrepoint – does not fall from the sky. It always feeds on the impoverishment and exasperation of the middle classes, as well as the errors, sufficiency and blindness of the pseudo-elites of the moment”. After the great republican start of which the streets of France witnessed (almost one and a half million people took to the streets to demonstrate in the days following the first round of the presidential elections), national-populism did not pass on May 5, in occasion of the second round, and June 16 did not even pass, on the occasion of the second round of the legislative elections.
But if, after overcoming the fright, the same parties as always continue their usual liberal policy of privatization, dismantling public services, creating pension funds, accepting the dismissals dictated by the Stock Exchange, in short, if they continue to collide with the popular aspirations for a more just, more fraternal and more supportive society, nothing ensures that national-populism, allied with the collaborating forces of all time, will not end up prevailing in France next time.