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Born in 507 BC in Athens, democracy would be the most natural mode of government to man and the least bad of all political systems. Still, it should work properly and not be misled by powers that are neither elected by popular vote nor controlled by citizens. .

José Saramago


Richard C. ABITBOL President

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

Indeed, by exaggerating the feature to better understand, we could see that our political regime no longer presents a clear hierarchy of norms, nor a true separation of powers, nor counter-powers, nor institutional stability, nor equal representation of citizens, nor true political responsibility, power intelligibility, constitutional neutrality, or even critical analysis.

However, democracy, the rule of law and the construction of Europe would be of no use, refusing, on the pretext that the intentions and promises of Europe are wonderful, to carry out the indispensable "examination criticized by Hannah Arendt in the face of the totalitarian threat posed by the degeneration of democracies into technocracies.

But more serious! 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 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 violated, within our national democracy!

Thus, man and his fundamental rights, acquired over the centuries, are challenged in favor of a new democratic paradigm that wants to twist the neck to 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 factually analyze what is upsetting our understanding of the concept of democracy.

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

Behind the question of the democratic character of the regime is nothing less than the eternal question of "by whom or by what are we now governed, in what manner and for what purpose? "

"Remove the right, and then, what will distinguish the state from a vast band of robbers? " asked St. Augustine. That's the whole point.

You will easily understand that this editorial is the direct result of recent events that shook our country, even other Western countries.

Indeed, like Alain Finkielkraut, I was strongly challenged by the turn of events, and the drift that looms in our conception of justice and surreptitiously transforms our criminal procedure into a system of organized media denunciation, derives from a "new world" where the lynching of the past, a sorry medieval legacy, is replaced by the media lynching. Sometimes more deadly than his predecessor!

Indeed, we can only wonder about the accusatory violence that is spreading on the media, and consequently, contaminates our fellow citizens by causing them to condemn people implicated on mere suspicions of political incivility, corruption , or delinquent or criminal acts!

Indeed, let us not forget that the first freedom, 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, no matter how serious, is not worth a condemnation.

The respondent has an absolute and fundamental right to be listened to, confronted with his accusers and faced with a bundle of evidence before becoming an accused.

Every individual, including the worst of criminals, is entitled to a fair trial. We saw it during the Nuremberg trials and closer to us during the terrorist trials.

Putting dozens of people on simple accusations when we are so cautious when it comes to criminals or terrorists caught in the act, makes me cold in the back!

If I read a novel that describes such events, I will exclaim "Fortunately I do not live in such a country where human rights are so dramatically flouted"! And yet, yes, it is in this country that we live!

We are in a country where we are fiercely  against the death penalty for the guilty but absolutely  for that of suspected guilt! Unfortunately, the real state of affairs in our country.

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

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

This is a state of law and not jumping like a goat shouting "Rule of law!" Rule of law! "

So let's keep reason and restrain our information will to enlighten our citizens on the right of victims and ways to complain! And only that, and not to do justice to oneself, even on the media or social networks!

The liberation of speech does not mean the right to accuse with impunity because it goes of the life of those which one accuses.

Because it's all about their life: accusing, throwing dogs, as Mitterrand said, a man or a woman even before the beginning of the investigation that could put him in question, is in a way, a homicide!

Because, everyone knows that it does not matter if a few months, or a few years, later, he or she gets a nonsuit, he or she will never be able to recover his life, his situation, or even his family!

In the political field, the situation is not less worrying because democracy can not be reduced to the simple right to vote, nor to the precedence of the majority right over the minority, but it is measured by the respect of its respect towards the minority.

Ironically, all dictatorships are ruled by rulers elected by an overwhelming majority (more than 65% of the votes), with a single party and 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 law of the opposition, which would have the sad privilege of being a minority.

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

Let us be vigilant because, often, the populists are not necessarily those we denounce or those who are created but often those who shout haro on the populists.


In a forthcoming editorial, we will return to the essential question: "by whom or by what are we now governed, in what way and for what purposes? !

Richard C. ABITBOL

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