“The virus is like the Gestapo.” The comparison goes lightly over the lips of the 98-year-old sociologist Edgar Morin: “You never saw it, suddenly it was there and you were gone.” The resistance fighter hopes for the Corona crisis and ex-communist signed a new social contract. “We’re at war,” Macron blew in the French. They experience the epidemic as a debacle as the 1940 surrender. Eighty years ago, their army, which they thought was the strongest in the world, was overrun. Marc Bloch wrote “The Strange Defeat”. Now the French certainty that the world’s best healthcare system is falling apart is collapsing. The sanitary disaster even has military consequences: More than half of the two thousand sailors on the nuclear powered aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” are infected, “the political instrument of national size”, writes “Le Monde”, is no longer operational.
The aftershocks of the 1940 trauma regularly shake the country. Reminiscences from Vichy played a decisive role in the election of Mitterrand and in the re-election of Chirac against Jean-Marie Le Pen. Even under Sarkozy and Hollande, France’s foreign policy obeyed the “never again” imperative: in the wars against Hussein, Milošević, Gaddafi, which were called for by the “new philosophers”, the aim was to defeat “the revenants of Hitler” and his return to prevent. Macron no longer wants “humanitarian wars”. But since his election victory, the coordinate system for dealing with the past has replaced the left-right scheme.
Macron against the rest
The strategy of Macron’s maintenance of power is aimed at the duel with Marine Le Pen and the populists. His minister Darmanin berated the yellow vests as a “brown plague”. In January, Health Minister Agnès Buzyn proclaimed: “If we commemorate Auschwitz, Marine Le Pen is not welcome.” Buzyn is the daughter of a survivor, Le Pen has thrown her own father out of the party because of his provocations with the gas chambers.
At the same time, the book “Libres d’obéir” by historian Johann Chapoutot was published. The leading French historian of National Socialism attributes the methods of modern management to National Socialism – the title should also be translated as “obedience makes you free”. After the first AfD politicians entered the Bundestag, Chapoutot had “automatically” thought of the election of Nazi MPs to the Reichstag: Hitler and Pétain were known to come to power in a democratic manner.
A year ago, the philosopher Michaël Fœssel dedicated the essay “Récidive: 1938” to the obsessive and unbearable comparison of epochs, which was preceded by the historical dispute over Hitler and Stalin. In criminal law, the term stands for repetitive acts. The continuation of the scenario since then resulted in the vision that even the moderate rights would now rely on Marine Le Pen in the new edition of the duel. Like 1938, when she kept up with Hitler to clear up the popular front of the Jew Léon Blum. Vichy condemned Blum as a scapegoat of defeat.