The “Injured” Liberal Democracy in Europe and the retreat of the Liberal Democracy Model as a Governance Instrument-Part II

A part of the pioneering political decision that strengthens the liberal democracy model as a means of governance is the Great National Debate (GND) announced by the President of France Emmanuel Macron to address the demands of the movement of yellow vests.

The pioneering political decision that strengthens the liberal democracy

The Great National Debate (GND) announced by the President of France Emmanuel Macron will take part in many local debates which will be open to all citizens who would like to participate and express themselves. This participation will take the form either digitally through an electronic platform or through “notebooks” in rural communities to record “complaints or hints” of problems and anxieties of citizens. 

This way of recording the problems and anxieties of the citizens of France is perhaps the most innovative decision and strengthens the political model of the Liberal Democracy as a means of governance and if it is applied in its entirety based on analysis that we will present in the following paragraphs.

More specifically, for the first time the executive authority of a country and in general a member country of the Eurozone/EU, France, tries to be in direct contact with its citizens-by putting aside local MPs and representatives of the citizens in Parliament-by recording digitally and in writing their real problems and anxieties.

by Thanos S. Chonthrogiannishttps://liberalglobe.com

National Assembly (French Revolution)
This photo by Author: scan by 9jules9.gravure d’ Alphonse Lamotte d’apres Jules Dalov
Source: Burin d’Alphonse Lamotte (1844-1914) licensed public domain

This process is pioneering because for the first time,

1. The executive power-central government is officially informed of the real problems and anxieties of its citizens by the citizens themselves.

2. For the first time, it is recognized by an official government that parliamentary political parties have been removed mentally from the country’s own citizens and their real problems.

3. This information is not made through party mechanisms, through polling companies and through media (e.g. newspapers, television and radio stations, etc.) where the real information and “image” for reality can be distorted or adapted according to the governmental party preferences of the ruling parties and in general the opposition parliamentarians.

4. The fact that all these problems are recorded in official “books” such as a digital platform defined by the State itself and notebooks located in rural communities and local government municipalities, is a kind of or “contract” of the official state to its citizens.

Our proposal as The Liberal Globe is that this pioneering system of recording the problems and anxieties of French citizens should become permanent and not to only keep two months as announced. In this way there will be a continuous recording of the problems of the citizens, always giving a real and not a static picture of what is happening in society. There should be a check for the practical implementation of the proposed policies that will solve the citizens’ recorded problems. Based on these documented problems, political parties should draw up their political programs and be civilized in national elections.

More specifically, these recorded digital and written requests, problems and anxieties of citizens should be ranked according to their incidence both by region and at national level. Then priority should be given to solving all these problems that are identical and have the highest frequency independently of the area being recorded. Next, should be met all these problems that show a lower frequency in the hierarchical list of all these problems.

This process will work both ways in elections and in any party debates before national elections.

On the one hand, the candidate members of parliament and the leaderships of the parties who will be asking for the vote of the citizens will be bound to the voters with detailed proposals and detailed plans to resolve these problems long before the national elections.

These political parties’ plans and programs will derive from the answers that should be given to these recorded citizens’ problems. In this way, the political parties will shape real perceptions and beliefs as to how society should work to achieve the common goal of all citizens who are the social well-being. Social prosperity that will be diffused to all citizens independently of the income scale in which they belong. Based on these beliefs, the political parties will be fighting to persuade citizens to follow their “vision” in the elections.

These proposed solutions and plans for solving these problems should then and if they have persuaded voters and voters have voted for these specific parties, the executive-central government that will emerge will be obliged to implement them.

On the other hand, the ruling party that will emerge from the elections pledging these plans will then be able to demand that the citizens of the country not only be judged in any upcoming elections based on the degree of resolution of these problems and implementation of the planned projects, but they will be able to demand as a majority during their governance the consensus and the non-creation of possible disturbances (i.e. riots) in the economy and in society in order to achieve these objectives.

What do the citizens-voters and political parties gain from this process?

1. The parties that will ask for the vote of the citizens should draw up detailed plans at both national and local level and depending on the nature of the recorded problems arising from these “problems and complaints” notebooks.

2. The drafting of detailed plans will force the parties to place in their classes and ranks qualified technocrats (to draw up detailed technical plans at national and local level), but also people who know first-hand the citizens’ problems (mainly at local level).

3. Full filtering of the parties drastically reducing the existence of populist, opportunistic and liars in their ranks.

4. Direct and effective association and bond of the parties with their citizens-voters.

5. Gradual restoration of the relationship of trust between citizens and the political world and parties respectively.

6. Drastic improvement and strengthening of the democratic regime and especially of the liberal democracy model as a means of governance.

This pioneering political process will must be applied to all types of elections-national, local and European elections-and will must be established by parliamentary resolutions both in the French Constitution and in all the Constitutions of all Euro-area member-countries and as well in the EU Constitution as the EU electoral process.

The causes of the problems that injure the Liberal Democracy model of France as a means of governance

Before we go into solving the problems afflicting today’s French society and more generally most of the societies of the Euro-area member countries and the EU, we should highlight the roots of the causes that are causing the emergence of these problems.

The author’s view of this analysis is because the causes of the problems are not the policies of all kinds implemented by the current President of France Emmanuel Macron that led to the outrage of French citizens. More specifically,

1. The first basic root of the causes of problems

The roots of the causes are much deeper and have to do with the liberal democracy model as a means of governance in the model of operation of the French state. Model of operation of the French state that have adopted all the states-countries of the European continent to date except Germany since the end of WWII onwards.

More specifically and concisely, we will mention that France together with England were those two countries that developed their own model of the newest state which deeply influenced most of the countries in Europe but also in their former colonies in the rest world. In combination with the development of their political institutions and their political ideas, they have profoundly influenced the other European countries.

We will not develop the similarities and differences of the state models of England and France because we will have to do another analysis. In summary, and for history we will mention that in Europe were the ancient Greeks who created the successful political institution of the city-state.

However, the form of the states today owes it to their imitation of the model of the newest state created by the French and the English. The formation of the French and English model of the newer state respectively was achieved gradually between 1100-1600 A.D. 

Thus, the current form of states with their extensive and sizable territorial integrity, which is enclosed in specific and internationally recognized borders, is due to France and England.

The model of the English newest state was first achieved after a series of victories-successful English wars in the whole territory of United Kingdom against a different nationality of peoples.  

The European states were imitated the organizational structure and power hierarchy of the French state model. This is because the model of the French new state was not created through the conquests of other peoples of different nationalities. That is why the European states chose to apply the French model as they were directed at citizens of the same nationality.

King John signs the Magna Carta
Artist James William Edmund Doyle (1822-1892)
licensed public domain
Source: Doyle, james William Edmund (1864) “John” in A Chronicle of England B.C. 55-A.D.1485, London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, pp. p. 226 Retrieved on November 2010
https://en.eikipedia.org/wiki/magna_carta

2. The second basic root of the causes of problems

The second major root of the causes of problems has to do with the political ideas that have been formed and the political institutions that exist in these two models of the newer state described above.

The root of the problem in this case is the different perception of the definition and theory of freedom. Theory of freedom that shaped and the respective political institutions that serve freedom in a free society. More specifically,

a. The English perception and tradition of the theory of freedom in society and the creation of political institutions that serve the beneficial functioning of a free society really in practice is based on long-term experience and non-systematicity-the without plan.

Identifying the essence and realization of the freedom and the respective political institutions that serve it in a free society in spontaneous evolution with complete lack of coercion to citizens. In other words, there is genuine respect for the political institutions when these political institutions have developed freely without coercion and in the depths of many generations.

The English perception favors a slow and semi-conscious development of freedom and the institutions that serve freedom in society. And it trusts to achieve the goal of the trial and error process.

Essentially the English tradition says that the primacy of law/laws and institutions serving a free society is not based on the genius and wisdom of a man or group of people but is based on a slow and long process of trial and error in from the passage of time and centuries to reach the fairer form of law/laws and the most ideal form of political institution/institutions respectively. So, this English perception and tradition is based on the jurisprudence of Anglo-Saxon law (Common law).

I will mention briefly that followers of this rationalist tradition, among others, are the Scottish philosophers David Hume, Adam Smith and the French philosophers Montesquieu, Benjamin Constant, Alex De Tocqueville etc.

For semantic reasons and only, I will mention that the author of this analysis is a follower of English perception and tradition.

b. The French perception and tradition of the theory of achieving freedom in society as well as the creation of political institutions that serve the beneficial functioning of a free society is based on a combination of theory and rationalism and considers that both the laws and political institutions created in a free society are purely conscious devised to serve a human purpose.

By identifying in turn, the essence and realization of freedom and institutions that serve freedom in a society in the spontaneous pursuit of people and the attainment of a collective purpose.

The French tradition therefore favors a dictated intentional of planning to achieve the ideal form of laws and political institutions in a society. It trusts the objective to be attained by an exclusive and valid plan from above. This tradition is based on the jurisprudence of European Law (Civil law) which in turn is based on Roman law.

Followers of this tradition are Descartes (whose views have permeated the French Enlightenment) that his model had prototype the Lycurgus model of ancient Sparta/ancient Greece. According to Descartes, the primacy of the laws of ancient Sparta were due to the mere fact that they came from a single person-Lycurgus-and were imposed overall of society.

But ignoring that, all the laws of ancient Sparta directed in a single purpose in the sacrifice of the individual in favor of the glory of the city-state (the basis of fascism). Other followers of this tradition were Rousseau, the naturalists and the British William Cod Win, Jefferson, Price etc.

We should mention that these two traditions are based on different perceptions of how society works.

The overwhelming success of political doctrines and institutions derived from French tradition is very likely because these political dogmas are based on flattery of people’s pride and ambition. Political doctrines such as socialism, national-socialism, communism and other beginnings of authoritarian democracy are purely based on the French perception and tradition of freedom and institution-building that serve freedom in society.

Currently, the French concept and tradition of freedom in conjunction with the French model of the newer state translates, among all others, to states with large and dysfunctional bureaucracy, high state and governmental expenditures for their maintenance and powerful labor unions.

Liberty Leading the People
Artist: Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) licensed public domain
Source/Photographer: Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives via artsy.net
https://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eugene_Delacroix_-_Le_28_Juillet_Le_
Liberte_guidant_le_peuple.jpg

How do the causes of these problems appear in other Eurozone/EU member-countries?

As we said above, the European continental states adopted the French concept and tradition of freedom and shaped the respective political institutions and organizational structures in their state structures by adapting everything to their own case and temperament.

Their aim was to achieve the best possible service and operation of their state based on the French model of the newer state and the French perception of freedom and the creation of political institutions serving freedom in a free society.

This is what we are going to keep because we will need them in the further analysis that we will do, since the whole of the member-countries of the euro area and the EU had and have adopted the French model of state and the French perception and tradition of how are achieved freedom and the creation of functional political institutions, respectively, in society.

For this reason, the analysis we are doing for France and the French liberal democratic model-as a means of governance, applies respectively more or less to the other continental member-countries of the Eurozone/EU.

As we said in the above paragraph only Germany (originally West Germany) differs from the other European continental states because after the end of the WWII, the winners of the WWII were forced to follow the Anglo-Saxon model of state and the English perception and tradition on the freedom and creation of political institutions in society.

Germany is currently the world’s most liberal society (more than the US) and its economic achievements and the prosperity it offers to its citizens evoke the admiration and envy of other European states.

How to restore the “injured” model of the Liberal Democracy as a means of governance will present it in the third part of this analysis, where we will present the other modern causes that also injure the function of Liberal Democracy in both France and the other Eurozone/EU member-countries.

Thanos S. Chonthrogiannis

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