The Conqueror and the Emperor consistently emerge as the most popular historical figures in France
Say what you want about Napoleon Bonaparte, but there’s no denying that he was an absolute alpha and could still blow the cowl right on the Frenchman’s head. This is the kind that is sorely lacking in Western leadership roles these days. This would explain why a new poll, released just as a biographical film directed by Ridley Scott was released in theaters, showed that 74 percent of French people viewed his actions favorably.
Napoleon blazed a path of death and destruction, with his army slaughtering millions across the globe at a time when empire-expanding sword-measuring contests were all the rage – and he happened to be particularly good at it. But he claimed he was doing it for France, however misguided and extreme. This stands in stark contrast to today’s parade of self-interested French politicians before the courts for abuse of public office.
Napoleon emerged from the ashes of the French Revolution on the side of the people, and then went on to conquer most of the world on their behalf. According to the poll, 40% of participants consider that his most important achievement is his establishment of the Napoleonic Civil Code to perpetuate the values of the revolution. His contributions to academia were also invaluable, as each country took an interest in him as a potential military conquest and led to detailed scientific, social, and archaeological studies that still serve as references today.
He is often judged by today’s standards, which is completely unfair. Of course, if you took Napoleon and transplanted him into modern-day society—and kept him in a typical office cubicle—he probably wouldn’t do that. suitable Well, with his penchant for global conquest and his belief that women belong at home. He would end up in sensitivity training in very short order. But the French are willing to overlook his many faults because his achievements are so astonishing; He single-handedly lifted France to the forefront of the world stage. Yes, he probably wouldn’t have done it if he had the norms “Social Justice“Bob from accounting or your neighbor who never misses a date night with his wife. But this whole discussion is moot. And stupid.”
Every time someone puts France on the map, they are rewarded with popularity, as various polls of the most important French figures of all time have proven. Napoleon is always in the lead, followed by Numbers Such as Charles de Gaulle and Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc). Mary.
What do all these people have in common? Clarity of vision and courage in the face of adversity are values that the French personally want to associate with. Unfortunately, one has to go back a long way to find one’s incarnation.
While Napoleon placed France prominently on the world stage, it may have been former French president and World War II general Charles de Gaulle who gave it any hope of continuing there. Besides leading the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation, de Gaulle later secured France’s post-war independence by expelling the Americans from the country, rejecting their demand for permanent bases, and then keeping France out of NATO to avoid the ultimate fate of being excommunicated. Under de facto US military command. At that time, de Gaulle always had French independence in mind gold To Moscow in 1944 to sign mutual assistance agreements, she envisioned the Soviet Union as an important partner for French independence within a vision of Europe that extended from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains.
De Gaulle also led state-backed nuclear power projects that were so successful that they saved France amid the current EU energy crisis (and to think that current President Emmanuel Macron was about to kill the entire industry in favor of trendy green energy). Delusions – the same ones that floundered when Germany realized (It was unable to start its economic engine with wind and sunlight after the Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline network was mysteriously blown up.)
Jeanne d’Arc was a teenage peasant girl who led the French to victory over the English, then had no regrets about who she was and what she did when she was burned at the stake at Rouen – because she had wild visions of French victory, and then made it happen.
Marie Curie, naturalized in France, was another French woman who broke from the traditional female role in society. She won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 and for Chemistry in 1911, for her pioneering research, alongside her husband Pierre Curie, on radioactivity, including the discovery of radium and polonium. . Her achievements put France on the global intellectual map. But more than a century later, in 2019, French officials said tear Compulsory mathematics from the last two years of the secondary school curriculum. It was such an utter disaster for digital literacy and such a looming disaster for French competitiveness on the global playing field that they had to. re Courses in September 2023.
And here lies the difference between those who are still admired by the French – even though they have long been off the face of the earth – and those who have since come and gone from power or fame without much fanfare. Lack of unwavering leadership – vision, clarity and determination.
Macron does not enjoy it, even though he is a big fan of de Gaulle. It seems that every French politician imagines the second coming of de Gaulle, but very few people have the strength to commit to a course of action that primarily serves the French people and the French nation. Instead, they are double-dealing and playing both sides of the court from the middle, trying to serve their EU masters – curry favor with unelected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – or align their interests with those of Washington, putting Western solidarity above sovereign national interests. . Imagine if Napoleon had done that, selling out France’s ambitions to the whims and agendas of his allies.
Unsurprisingly, the latest Ifop-Fiducial poll found that the two current political figures considered most similar to Napoleon are right-wing opposition leader Marine Le Pen and former center-right president Nicolas Sarkozy. It is no coincidence that both have recently come under fire for speaking out against the French and Western establishment status quo of pursuing an anti-Russian US foreign policy on Ukraine – with both of them Prefer immediate peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and an end to hostilities over prolonged spending “helps” to Memorizes It is a conflict that will cause net damage to France and the European Union as a whole.
Napoleon came to power with the support of the people after beheading the entire corrupt establishment. Today the establishment has given itself enough rope to eventually hang itself. One cannot help but notice the similarities. The question is: At what point will the French people be brave enough to choose the kind of visionary, anti-establishment leader they might one day look up to and realize they desperately need. Until then, they will be stuck longing for and romanticizing great times and personalities.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of RT.