FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE – 81 years ago, on June 18, 1940, General de Gaulle gave the BBC the appeal that would become a symbol of the Resistance. On this occasion, Maxime Tandonnet returns to the topicality of his message.
A keen observer of French political life and regular contributor to FigaroVox, Maxime Tandonnet has notably published André Tardieu. The misunderstood (Perrin, 2019).
June 18 is a compass, a key date in the calendar, a reference in these deeply troubled times of inversion of values and planetary threat to the survival of our country and our civilization.
What deep meaning does this call have, which must be rediscovered each year as its wealth is inexhaustible? It expresses the loneliness of the one who is right against almost everyone, political parties, high-ranking army officers, dignitaries, the political class, intellectuals, the state, the well-meaning society of the time.
His intuition, his culture, his conception of history, his sense of reality, lead de Gaulle to think, from June 1940, against the whole of France almost without exception, that despite the vertiginous French debacle, Germany would be defeated.
Disdaining insults (“renegade, traitor, felon”), and until the death penalty imposed on him, he relies solely on his vision of the world, his analysis of planetary power relations, notwithstanding apathy and general renunciation.
Nothing is more contrary to the spirit of June 18 than the attempts at political and electoral recoveries, and the posturing of all kinds around his memory.
June 18 is thus the date of clairvoyance against blindness, of light against despair and obscurantism disguised as consensus. He signs the victory of solitude against the herd instinct and conformism.
In a current France in the midst of disintegration, plagued by violence, communitarian fragmentation, economic disaster, unemployment and poverty, the bankruptcy of the rule of law and freedoms, the message of June 18 teaches us that even against all Obviously, our duty is to keep hope.
Certainly, far from this message which combines realism and hope, the image of the General has never been so trivialized and recovered as it is today by including the currents which have always hated de Gaulle. Nothing is more contrary to the spirit of June 18 than the attempts at political and electoral recoveries, and the posturing of all kinds around his memory.
Paradoxically, the work from June 18 is trampled on every day. Originally founded on the prestige of a Head of State based on the confidence of the people, the 1958 Constitution aimed to strengthen the effectiveness of the State, in particular to get France out of the Algerian war. It was based on recourse to the people by referendums on the vital choices of the nation. What remains of it is now a caricature of the Fifth Republic, a regime based on the narcissistic exaltation of the leader, just as powerless as the Fourth Republic to settle the major issues of the time: unemployment, public debt, school collapse. , control of borders.
It is in the periods of great confusion and obscurantism, given over to the despotism of vanity and particular interests where all political hope seems to be slipping away, that the light of June 18, 1940 takes on its full meaning.
The General’s European work is also betrayed. Its Europe, founded on the unity of nations intrinsically united by a common history and culture, is given over to a bureaucratic logic bent on destroying it and dividing its peoples: the perfect opposite of Gaullian Europe.
As for the personal model that the General offered, that of absolute integrity, the rejection of cronyism, clanism and family nepotism – the requirement to pay his electricity bills at the Elysee – he is today drowned in a frantic race for material privileges and vanities turned towards the sole imperative of their conquest or their preservation.
However, it is in the periods of great confusion and obscurantism, given over to the despotism of vanity and particular interests where all political hope seems to slip away, that the light of June 18, 1940 takes on its full meaning.