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[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”Jose Saramago” link=”” color=”993300″ class=”” size=”16″]Born in 507 BC in Athens, democracy would be the mode of government most natural to man and the least bad of all political systems. It would still have to function properly and not be misguided by powers that are neither elected by popular vote nor controlled by citizens. .[/perfectpullquote]


Richard C. ABITBOL President

However, if, while trying to remain objective, we analyze the state of our democracy, we would be stunned.

Indeed, by exaggerating the line to better understand, we could see that our political system no longer presents either a clear hierarchy of norms, or a true separation of powers, or checks and balances, or institutional stability, or equal representation of citizens, or true political responsibility, neither intelligibility of power, nor constitutional neutrality, nor even critical analysis.

However, we would be doing neither democracy, nor the rule of law, nor European construction a service by refusing, on the pretext that Europe's intentions and promises are marvelous, to carry out the indispensable "examination criticism” to which Hannah Arendt invited us in the face of the totalitarian threat posed by the degeneration of democracies into technocracies.

But more serious still! This technocratic and bureaucratic drift is not only globalist or European, but it is invading the space and the very concept of our national democracy, in the sense that we have known it so far, to weaken its spirit and destroy our national paradigm.

Thus, beyond what globalization and the European Union impose on us as democratic submission, it is our fundamental freedoms that are tortured, even flouted, within our national democracy!

Thus, Man and his fundamental rights, acquired over the centuries, are called into question for the benefit of a new democratic paradigm which wants to debunk the concepts of enlightenment, the right to a fair trial and respect for others.

Certainly, you will tell me that I hit hard! But not so much if we analyze factually what is upsetting our understanding of the concept of democracy.

Democracy is not an empty word but a well-defined concept and construction.

Behind the question of the democratic nature of the regime arises nothing less than the eternal question of knowing “by whom or by what are we governed today, in what way and for what purposes? »

“Abolish the law and then what will distinguish the State from a vast band of brigands? » wondered Saint Augustine. That's the whole point.

You will easily understand that this editorial is the direct result of the latest events that have shaken our country, and even other Western countries.

Indeed, like Alain Finkielkraut, I was deeply challenged by the turn of recent events, and the drift that is looming in our conception of justice and which, surreptitiously, is transforming our criminal procedure into a system of organized media denunciation, drifting from a “new world” where the lynching of yesteryear, a pitiful medieval heritage, is replaced by media lynching. Sometimes deadlier than its predecessor!

In fact, one can only wonder about the accusatory violence that is pouring out on the media, and consequently contaminating our fellow citizens by leading them to condemn people implicated on simple suspicions of political incivility, corruption , or tortious or criminal acts!

Indeed, let's not forget that the first of the freedoms, in a democratic society, in a “state of law”, is respect for the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial!

In a "state of law", an accusation, however serious, is not worth a conviction.

The defendant has an absolute and fundamental right to be listened to, confronted with his accusers and confronted with a body of evidence before becoming a defendant.

Everyone, including the worst criminal, has the right to a fair trial. We saw it during the Nuremberg trials and closer to us during the trials of terrorists.

The pillorying of dozens of people on simple charges when we are so circumspect when it comes to criminals or terrorists caught in the act sends shivers down my spine!

If I were to read a novel describing such events, I would exclaim “fortunately I don't live in such a country where human rights are so dramatically violated”! And yet, yes, it is indeed in this country that we live!

We are in a country where we are fiercely  contre the death penalty for the culprits but absolutely  for that of those suspected of guilt! Unfortunately, this is the real state of things in our country.

Let us never forget that in French criminal law, testimony is not proof, and that proof does not make a person guilty!

The judicial process must follow a well-marked path and deviating from it can invalidate the whole procedure!

That's the rule of law and not jumping like a goat shouting at the top of the lungs “Rule of law! Rule of law!”.

Let us therefore know reason to keep and restrict our desire for information to enlighten our citizens on the rights of victims and the means of filing a complaint! And only that, and not to do justice to yourself, whether on the media or social networks!

Freedom of speech does not mean the right to accuse with impunity because the lives of those accused are at stake.

Because it is indeed their life that is in question: to accuse, to throw to the dogs, as Mitterrand said, a man or a woman even before the start of the investigation which could call him into question, is in a certain way, a homicide!

Because, everyone knows that no matter if a few months, or a few years, later, he or she obtains a dismissal, he or she will never be able to recover either his life, his situation, or even his family!

In the political field, the situation is no less worrying because democracy cannot be reduced to the simple right to vote, nor to the precedence of the right of the majority over the minority, but it is measured by the yardstick of its respect towards the minority.

Ironically, all dictatorships are led by rulers elected by an overwhelming majority (more than 65% of votes), with a single party and a rump or non-existent opposition but... but, forgetting to say that an electoral process leaves to be desired if it is based on the obstruction of the right of the opposition, which would have the sad privilege of being in the minority.

The subject is vast, and deserves a more developed contribution, so I will return in a future editorial to the impressive excesses of our political system and the setbacks that this entails for our democratic system.

Let's be vigilant because, often, the populists are not necessarily those who are denounced or those who are created but often those who shout haro on the populists.


In a future editorial, we will come back to the essential question: "by whom or by what are we today governed, in what way and for what purposes?" !

Richard C. ABITBOL

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