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Report: The letter Z marks the death of conservatism in France

Time to read: 10 min

Presidential elections are of crucial importance in France. The French President has a central and almost exclusive role in driving new policies; he decides on the main appointments and concentrates numerous powers in his hands. So in France, the country’s future is in fact decided by the presidential elections. And in 2022, the French re-elected Emmanuel Macron - who would be described almost everywhere in Europe as an ultra-progressive left-wing centrist. On the economic front, he has increased the debt and kept France as the runner-up in Europe for compulsory taxes. He has appointed a number of leftists (each one more delusional than the previous one) to various highly paid positions. He let into the country more and more migrants each year (reaching the record number of over 320,000 in 2022) and has appointed a particularly lax Minister of Justice. It should be noted that the said Minister used to be the lawyer of African dictators and of major French criminals, as well as of the brother of an Islamic terrorist who had brutally murdered little children because they were Jewish. Not to mention the complete failure of his “security” policy, which has beaten all records in terms of both statistics and the level of barbarity and impunity. So everything seemed to be set for 2022 to be the year of the Right’s return of to power in France. And yet...

The commentators, in view of the polls on both intentions of voting for the individual political parties and on social issues, repeat over and over again that France is positioned on the right. Nevertheless, election after election is won by the progressives. For this presidential election, we cannot say that the French didn't have a choice. Between the Trotskyites, the communists, Mélenchon, the socialists, the extreme centre of Mr Macron and Mme Pécresse, Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, several projects and the corresponding models of society were offered to them in the first round. And in the second round, two completely different personalities and political programmes, or even philosophies, were within voting range. What we can also learn from this election is that no candidate has raised the enthusiasm or hope of a significant part of the French people. To state the obvious, there is a general mistrust of our politicians which might be only paralleled by that of journalists. How could it be otherwise when we see that Mr. Macron, being the head of state of France, a country which has never been under the influence of so many foreign powers since Louis XVI, has a catastrophic record and strings together scandals like pearls. In our poor country, there are no longer any elites in the true sense of the word, or organisations that have the interest of the general public as their objective.

Therefore, in normal circumstances all the conditions would have been met for a conservative candidate to come to power. Given that with regard to morals, Ms. Le Pen is rather progressive and Ms. Pécresse ("centre-right") ultra-progressive, the only candidate who could be termed conservative was Eric Zemmour. Alas, he started his campaign by making his official and public mistress aged 28 his campaign manager and by giving the finger to a woman who insulted him, with the comment "And very deeply", while his young lover laughed... Moreover, he surrounded himself with a team composed essentially of young people from the Parisian upper class who had not done much in their lives - except being friends of his mistress. In addition, throughout his campaign, Eric Zemmour gave the impression that his aim was to please himself rather than to help his ideas win and turn France around. Above all, he took too long to understand the obvious: proposing to stop immigration would not be enough. First of all, because even if 70% of the French are in favour of this proposal, very few consider it a measure of primary importance for them. We see this at every election: in this day and age, individual interests come first. If so many unconvincing elected representatives are in power, it is because they have practised unbridled clientelism, and that is why we have elected them. Even if Zemmour had successively managed to flesh out his programme, he presented himself, and is now identified, as a monothematic, even monomaniacal, anti-immigration candidate who spends his time pleasing himself.

The problem with the French conservative elites is that they want to have their cake and eat it too: denounce the decline of France while continuing to revel in the pleasures of the system currently in place. The only thing that disturbs the cosy little lives of the French conservative elites is immigration. They fail to understand that their less fortunate compatriots have already been living with the effects of mass immigration for a long time and have had to get used to it. These elites have asked peripheral France to vote for them to solve their only problem – immigration - without the slightest concern for other problems of their working-class compatriots. And all this while they had cowardly abandoned them during the Yellow Vests revolt, not out of opposition (because they had the same ideas), but because they did not come from the same milieu and did not understand their codes. The patriotic elites did not understand that any possible civil war would be between the party of the state (progressivism) and peripheral France. They did not understand that proposing to financially drain the progressive ecosystem and using the money that was intended for the latter to quench the needs of abstentionists was the only way to win in 2022 and to sweep the progressives away for a long time. Eric Zemmour has not only done the opposite, but by discrediting himself among the working classes he has also discredited the conservative movement among them.

Incredibly, even before the Russians entered Ukraine, Zemmour's supporters were using the letter "Z" as a rallying sign - the very Z that was also to flood the TVs worldwide in February-March 2022 as a symbol chosen as an identification sign by the Russian imperialist troops who wanted to enslave the Ukrainian nation, right in the middle of the French presidential campaign. Seeing European civilians flee from the bombings and the humanitarian crisis, Eric Zemmour declared himself opposed to the reception of Ukrainian refugees who were essentially women and children. He who had said so much good about Putin was also to give an ambiguous speech on the measures to be taken against Russia.  Finally, during that time, his political supporters were even trying to make Russia look like a victim. How do you expect the majority of the population to believe people who tell them that Russia, the largest country in the world, with one of the most powerful armies, the largest holder of nuclear weapons on the planet, could be a "victim"? All this will leave an indelible mark on the public opinion. In my opinion, right-Putinism will be as destructive for the right as Islamo-leftism has been for the left. For it is the same denial of reality, the same unholy alliance, the same mental confusion.

How could the French conservatives fail to understand that it was necessary to support a European people who decided to become a nation, to defend its culture, its identity, its sovereignty, its flag and its borders against the post-Soviet imperialist objectives of an Eastern power? Moreover, to do so, this nation entrusts its future - its children - to women, and its defence - its weapons - to men. In three weeks, the Ukrainians have made the progressives swallow, one by one, all their creeds. French conservatives missed not only a historic moment, but also a golden opportunity to take advantage of the sympathy of the vast majority of French people for the Ukrainian struggle to demonstrate that their own societal and cultural assumptions were the only right ones. Instead, the conservative elites preferred to isolate themselves, to sulk towards the rest of the French population, to stunt themselves and thus to commit electoral suicide. I hope I am wrong, but the letter Z may have signed the death warrant of conservatism in France for at least a decade.


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