A Post- or Super-Nationality in the European Union
The French: Myths of Revolution
Did the French really intend to remove their king from his throne in 1789 or to introduce a political system in which the masses would rule themselves? In order to understand the events of the French Revolution, which the series defines as a “riot,” the volume dealing with the French analyzes the course of French history since the thirteenth century onwards, searching the depths of the French collective memory and the motives that dominate their behavior to this very day.
Demonstrations in Paris and elsewhere in France are still the most violent in Europe – rioting being a mode of political expression adopted by the French after undergoing the fourteenth century trauma, when the French population was reduced by 70 percent within a short period (a combination of the One Hundred Years’ War with England and the Black Death) – a rate of attrition previously unheard of in Europe.
The French volume also reveals that the French speak with a forked tongue with respect to a profound, hidden intent that has accompanied their membership in the European Community and the EU; namely, their desire for ideological leadership in Europe. This desire emerged due to France’s inability to lead the continent either militarily or politically as it did in the days of Napoléon Bonaparte – an inability that is due to a low birthrate and a resulting reduction in the number of conscripts available for the French armed forces.
One of the ways the French have found in order to promote themselves as ideological leaders of Europe, and the world, was through the construction of myths of revolution, including a legend according to which the French at the time of the Revolution wished to live under the rule of the masses (democracy) instead of a monarchic regime. The French, therefore, have pretensions to teach others how they should rule themselves. The French volume demonstrates that the myths of revolution created by the French about themselves are baseless and indeed contradict the facts of French history from the time of Napoleon to the present day. These historical facts clearly demonstrate that, since the French Revolution, the French have shown a preference for a single, powerful ruler (despite the fact that their titular head is the president of the Republic).
The French demonstrated their waiving of French national identity, when they overwhelmingly supported General Pétain and his Vichy regime until it became clear that Germany was losing the war. During that period, few French supported General Charles de Gaulle – the French were happy not to be forced to fight, even though most of France was under German occupation.
In line with these motives, the French will probably provide the EU with ideological leadership.
The British, however, have traveled a rather different road, one that nurtured and honored their national identity, embodied in their royal dynasty, which symbolizes their long imperial tradition. The British and French volumes argue that these differences explain why the results of the 2014 EU parliamentary elections should be understood differently in each, the French vs. the British perspective.