The loss of Sarkozy is no great loss for France but could be for the world at large. Sarkozy bestrode the world intervening in the Caucasus, Libya and continuing France’s neocolonial role in Africa. In much of this he was ‘successful’ though his motives and preferred outcomes were undoubtedly part of the Big Game. His realpolitik was exposed after encouraging the Libyan revolution. Despite encouraging a rush to freedom, when Libyan refugees arrived in the south of France from Italy asking for asylum, they were detained and turned back. The south of France is of course a hot bed of right wing anti-immigrant politics in france and Sarkozy couldn’t afford to alienate those voters. The news that Sarkozy’s government was in bed with the former Tunisian autocrats was just the cherry on the cake.
But it was at home that Sarkozy failed. What Thatcher tried to instill as common sense, a limited state and a return to an old fashioned liberalism with an economic twist is seen as nonsense in France. The idea that the government should not manage the market has been vindicated with the collapse of the markets one day and the rampant exploitation of it the next. Sarkozy’s policies at home were considered natural in the UK with a rolling back of benefits, increasing the retirement age and decreasing taxes on the rich. Yet they failed in France, for France is not ready or willing to compromise its lifestyle to the modern neo-liberal capitalist world. Most of the world in general resists such changes. There is the idea of society to consider.
Hollande is the defender of such ideals and will undoubtedly slow them down. With the shaking of belief in modern capitalism, a general recognition of neo-colonial, a shifting of geo-political power, movements for social justice and dare I say the Occupy protests. his policies if well-tailored could help shape the world in a more fundamental way than Sarkozy’s copycat and opportunist nature ever could.