To be Motionless is to be Beaten

To be Motionless is to be Beaten

A funny citation for a welcome page of a new website?

Definitely. But it corresponds perfectly to the essence of this website. The exact quote is taken from Colonel de Gaulle’s memorandum to the Political Authority Office and Military of France on January 26, 1940. “Dans le conflit présent comme dans les précédents, être inerte c’est être battu.” In this conflict, as like those in the past, to be motionless it to be beaten. Four months later, France fell in a few weeks.

Thank goodness 2014 is not 1940. But today, the inertia that pervades France left and right, in the political and intellectual realms, basically resembles an announced defeat: the defeat of original thought, determined action and political courage in a country overflowing with immense resources.

This website is a compilation of my articles, chronicles, interviews, opinions, and contributions to the public debate in my own fields: politics, economics, finance, and Europe.

In all of the proposals and ideas that can be found here, it is quite possible that more than one is displeasing, irritating, or perceived as excessive. Certain predictions and recommendations may not stand the test of time. Oh well. We live in a time where the worst risks is not to take one at all.

And for a French intellectual, the worst risk today is to have consistent and conformist thinking: to recycle or plagiarize (the list of my compatriots who indulged in looting is too long to list) publications and old ideas or too academic; aged, worn, tired ideas conserved in formulaic thinking; thinking administered to be learned through rote memorization, for good students and future pensioners. On this website, which is constantly evolving, there is one principle: the principle of No Precautions. There is one tactic: the war of movement on the battlefield of ideas.

We live in a very serious time in French and European history, heralding storms that we have difficulty clearly identifying today, but from which we believe we can learn a great deal. It is a time that Julien Benda and his Trahison des Clercs (Clerics Treason) (1927), or Marc Bloch and his Etrange Défaite (Strange Defeat) (1940) anticipated well: in a dangerous world that moves at a great speed, that which does not move today will be beaten tomorrow. Those who are not looking for new solutions and innovative approaches are sure to be swept away by the crisis that is coming.

During many years, I promoted a simple idea : Make a United States of Europe. Today, for reasons that you will read about or see on this site, the urgency is no longer for European politics, which will take decades, but for an idea awakening in France. This is far from current conservations on both sides and in contrast to the media postures and impostures that have for a long time prevented the emergence of a new French generation.

Enjoy the website and its different platforms!

Edouard Tétreau, 8 January 2014