Thursday, February 28, 2008

Speaking of Tocqueville

Speaking of Tocqueville, I came across an interesting remark of his this morning:

Impetuosity, or what one might call legislative light-headedness, is the leprosy of democracy, and impetuosity leads to oppression.

Substitute "executive" for "legislative" and you have an interesting comment on the ills of the Sarkozy presidency. "Leprosy" is a rather strong word for this particular malady. (The quote is from a speech Tocqueville delivered in the National Assembly on May 25, 1848, OC III.3, p. 84)


Anonymous said...

Today's NOuvel Obs (left) paints a somber portrait of the president and his majority. Even a balladur-man like Leotard is presenting his worries. To compound it all, a historical gaullist, Edgar Pisani wrote an article for le Monde where he is trying to come up with a solution that pretty much removes NS from power (there is no impeachment system as I can tell.)

MYOS said...

Well, it seems that Bayrou agrees with the left, the balladur-man (?) and the gaullist.
Apparently Bayrou said this:
"Ca ne peut pas durer comme çà pendant cinq ans.Il va y avoir un accident.
Quand les ponts se rompent entre un président et un peuple, il se produit forcément quelque chose".

The worst is that people don't seem to be "screeching". There is a genuine fear that a totally uncontrollable, unpredictable president and the French, who are angry and worried about the rising cost of life, will clash.
And of course such clashes are never good for a country.

MYOS said...

I realized that my comment may be taken as advocating a coup or such. It's not at all my opinion, nor is it the opinion of Bayrou whom I cite (and not of the people in the Nouvel Obs I assume!) However there is something very odd and worrisome going on here -- hard to pinpoint it -- perhaps an interrogation- could the Head of State not be entirely sane? While in parrallel people are restless and upset, have grown terribly desillusioned with the President. I sense a very large number of people no longer believe a word he says.
In a sense, it's good Sarkozy carries the weight of disapproval because the government is spared -- but around here the government is seen as more respectable than President Sarkozy, but just as ineffectual. The (UMP) municipal Right has removed the "UMP" logo from its pamphlets so as to not be associated with the President's party.

Unknown said...

"Impetuous" is a long way from "unhinged." Public perceptions are as undisciplined as Sarkozy's actions. He may not be focused as he should be, his policies may be getting more confused and incoherent by the day, but let's keep things in perspective.