Does the balance sheet of Holland's mistakes and the horrors of Stalin make us give up on changing lives? In her book, Natacha Polony refutes the end of history and rejects the merchant laissez-faire. A new world is possible, based on the sovereignty of peoples, therefore of nations. 


Change the life : we remember that the famous Rimbaudian formula had given its title to the program of the Socialist Party in 1972, then to its hymn, sung in 1977 at the Congress of Nantes: "Do not believe in the aftermath of singing/Let's change life here and now/It is today that the future is invented ... "

There can be no sovereignty of the people without sovereignty of the nation

If the future was invented during the Mitterrand years, the change of life was put back to a later date, that of 2012, in a slightly more prosaic form: "Change is now. The sequel is known to everyone and Natacha Polony is obviously not convinced that the slogan, more martial, of the winner of 2017, "On the move! ", Give more right to the exhortation and the hope of the poet. The important thing is therefore to say on what condition life, and, first and foremost, political life, could change. This is indicated by the subtitle of his book, presented in the form of a dictionary whose 82 entries constitute a coherent whole: "For a democratic reconquest. If democracy is to be reconquered, it is because we have lost it. We live in his appearances, but what we know by this name is "An oligarchic political organization validated by universal suffrage".

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It is not irrelevant that the dictionary of Natacha Polony opens with the somewhat forgotten word, if not repressed, ofalienationwhom she intends to honor in order to think our present. We have lost democracy because we are doubly dispossessed of ourselves. First, there is the European Union, which, since the Costa ruling, has the right over national rights, even though it is reduced to an economic area without political consistency. Faced with this major contradiction, Natacha Polony recalls that citizenship is inseparable from nationality and that there can be no sovereignty of the people without sovereignty of the nation. In the absence of a European nation and citizenship, the abandonment of sovereignty robs citizenship of all substance and discourages citizens from going to the polls. The " good governance " has already been substituted for "Government of the people, by the people and for the people". There is also, and more profoundly, through the neoliberal globalization, destructive of all identities, the reduction of the man to an economic agent governed according to the utilitarian principle of the well-understood interest: the autonomy of the political subject which takes his destiny into his own hands is then defeated by the heteronomy of the individual consumerist whose imagination is confiscated and desires oriented by advertising. Against this reduction, favored by the development of modern individualism, Natacha Polony strongly recalls this old Aristotelian truth that man is a political animal.

A socialism without barbarism

We are certainly not obliged to follow it in every respect. That in the space of a few decades, hundreds of millions of human beings have been torn from starvation should not lead to a blissful applause of globalization, but to qualify the criticism - and at the very least deserve not to be dismissed in a few sentences a little fast, if not casual. Similarly, when Natacha Polony relies on the high rate of abstention to question the legitimacy of the election winners, while seeing in the "dégagisme" Mélenchon "The electoral translation of an immense desire for more democracy", we want to tease her a little: we must not forget, dear Natacha, that the populist offer did not fail the voters and that the "dégagisme" of Mélenchon began by releasing Mélenchon himself ...

However, although Natacha Polony's theses often cross those of the left, they do not espouse dogmatism, sectarianism or blindness. To the rushed readers of Lévi-Strauss, Polony shows that Islamist barbarism is not that of another civilization whose otherness should be respected, but that it proceeds from the deculturation of individuals from our civilization and reject it. To the bad readers of Bourdieu, she shows that in universalizing the model of the symbolic domination that is supposed to exercise any holder of a cultural capital, it comes not only to make the school unable to accomplish its task, but also to forget "The main domination, economic and political domination". Is this a profession of faith of Marxism? Surely, Natacha Polony rejects the illusion that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet empire would have ended, at the same time as history, any class antagonism, but the Marxist concept of The class struggle must nevertheless be rethought at new expense: it is unprecedented divisions between the beneficiaries of neoliberal globalization and the others, and the conditions that would allow them to achieve class consciousness do not seem not met. On the question of immigration, she insists on the need not to dissociate her from an integration which presupposes an inevitably long and difficult acculturation for individuals who have grown up in archaic and patriarchal socio-familial structures. With regard to multiculturalism, the author highlights that while a society can be multiethnic without any contradiction, the division of society into closed communities exposes public space to a place of confrontation.

Sales argument: this book displeased Laurent Joffrin

It is easy to understand that Natasha Polony's socialism is not that of the party that bears this name. It is a libertarian socialism that fits in the tradition of Proudhon and in the spirit of George Orwell or, closer to us, Jean-Claude Michéa. Like these, Natacha Polony is a free spirit. His freedom of mind, combined with the lucidity of his gaze, the exigency of his reflection and the quiet strength of his conviction, is reflected throughout all his pages. Change the life. This book displeased Laurent Joffrin who devoted to him in Release an editorial full of gall. It's very natural and that's one more reason to read it.