“To be a republican, like love, there are only proofs of a republic”

We propose personalities from all walks of life – politicians, intellectuals, historians … – and ideological sensitivities, to define the word “republican”, which is stripped of its meaning by the years of political language, which serves to describe the perimeter of acceptance as nothing. guess what it covers. To find out the presentation of this series.


There was a time when declaring oneself a republican was inappropriate or even worse… From the enthusiasm that caused the disappearance of Robespierre and Saint-Just, to the turmoil in the House during the vote that led to the change in Walloon, the Republic, ” a form that takes up substance said Gambetta, a fight with different manifestations: a fight for the regime, but also a fundamental fight, of which the 1905 law is the most striking example. The whole question is whether now this fight is necessary and can it continue.

Become a Republican in 2022

Should he continue? Sure yes. The calm inscriptions on the frontispiece in our town halls or in our schools, the clear and indisputable constitutional affirmation, the ritual invocation of political rhetoric (“Long live the Republic! Long live France!”), Undoubtedly marks the inscription of the national consensus. But what exactly does this one word consensus reveal? When, in the 1980s, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, then, in the 1990s, Philippe Seguin in some way revoked the republican need, this test meant that public activities were in danger of sinking because it was not the general interest or citizenship can be exercised within the national framework, consistent with our history. They are well insulated. Now, by contrast, who has not declared himself a republican?

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So what happened? It must be said: now that the republic, as a clear and living concept that carries wars, because it is not yet over, does not it endanger being free under the tight adhesions that wrap it around like bandages of a mummy? Not to die, no doubt, but to disappear to the point of definitely being denatured. And will it recover from this humiliation meaninglessly but not without danger?

Degrease the Republic of compassionate waste

One can suffocate under the diligent care of Molière’s doctors. If rediscovering the true meaning of the words is the condition for waging a constant fight, then the first urgency is to rid the Republic of the benevolent turmoil that, like citizenship, has dominated it today: the all a Republican, all action “citizen”.

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Too much love sometimes the frontier of passion submits and carries: all republics! No party has shamelessly used Republic as a registered trademark: devil! If everyone is a Republican under the effect of an unsubstantiated affirmation (LR) of an ecstatic adhesion (RN) or a Freudian-like denial (LFI), not including the hollow reference (PS) or the quasi -hold-up on the ecological parties: how to get out of deadly trivialization?

The basics

Go back to basics first. This is undoubtedly the first test, based on the critical spirit that, in our Republic, is doing the thing (“ res ”) Of the Enlightenment, as Professor Nicolet has so well shown, from which the nation of France received its philosophical form from it. This is what makes, how can we forget, that the French Republic has a universal impact. The Republic is an everyday invention, as is the Nation for Renan, because the two treaties are actually closely intertwined.

“As in love, there are proofs of a republic. »

According to Didier Motchane’s beautiful formula: if the country is not born with the Republic, it is the Republic that changes the country. Undoubtedly it is that those who do not love the country only give the Republic the respect of vice to virtue. This is also the reason, on the contrary, that those who claim to love the country above all refer to a Republic which they have stripped of its historical significance, which is thought to be an obstacle to an incomprehensible “civilization”, of a citizenship made of self-retreat. and in a concept of general interest which, to say the least, is dissolved in invitations without proof. It is indeed difficult to give evidence of a real republican action, because the Republic, rebuilt or revived, is a historical breakdown: Jean Bodin, this is the theory, there we go through life – to something that needs to be brought to life. General de Gaulle himself, often summoned, objected to the fact that it was easier to rebuild the Republic in the cracks of the country than to make it alive afterwards.

There are only republican proofs

And all the paradox is there: because the republic, if one wants to give all of its constituents the Gambetta formula, is an issue at the same time as an issue. There is no Republic so there is no conceptual approach. But no republic is without living content: like love, there are only proofs of a republic.

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So in the scope of the operation of the concept we need to return. Releasing citizenship means learning it in school in the form of civic education which above all gives full consideration to history and its struggles. Restoring the strength of the national cement is the establishment of an obligatory and universal national service, favoring encounters and a sense of common interest in action (civil protection, defense, acts of public interest ) worth more than ten proclamatory laws without a key. .

And yes, it is possible to give life to the concept of general interest: industrial planning and energy transfer, the momentum towards the recovery of a strong research position, the definition of the hospital system that needs to recover all its capacities, raising the level of education in the country, an independent foreign policy that ensures our sovereignty in cooperation with other European countries, these are the objectives of equal interest between the classes and the between generations. The Republican cement relies on these proofs of love more or less fiery declarations. Especially since the Republic, which in Jaurès, carries within it a social necessity, the result of the conflict between formal freedom and real freedom remains a sign of the unification of the whole people, but can only be enforced if the general interest will remain. the pilot: support policy for demographics is an example. No one holds the republican patent by proclaiming self -legitimacy. Real action, apart from burning words, is what responds to this compelling exercise, always alive because it is constantly being renewed.

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