Will the presidential election of 2022 allow us to ward off the two greatest dangers threatening humanity - climate degradation and nuclear weapons? The likely answer, I fear, is no.
The struggle against global warming is happily mobilising young people and public opinion. However the action of the world’s governments, including France, is far from adequate. As for the other threat, which can hit us at any moment, not one of the candidates for the president’s nuclear button seems willing to talk about it. Will the Bomb, the cornerstone of the world system that dominates and despises humans, nature and life, be once again declared a taboo subject in the presidential campaign? No, that is unacceptable.
Unacceptable at a time when, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the effects of climate disturbance are adding to the international tensions aggravated by arms sales and the nuclear arms race, and so have brought us to 100 seconds away from the Apocalypse.
The world situation is far too serious for us not to band together to surmount it collectively, rejecting the bases of unbridled capitalism and state terrorism. In place of greed, rivalry and militarism, we need solidarity and cooperation.
In this stricken world, on the edge of the abyss, there are nevertheless some grounds for hope. I emphasised them ten years ago in the preamble to the "Charter for a Livable World". Since then the situation has just got worse. But some hope remains. Not for long, admittedly.
That Charter spoke of energy, climate, biodiversity, pandemics, human rights, fiscal justice, blank votes, citizens-initiated referenda.... That document of 123 articles, drafted in Saintes in 2011 by 150 citizens called together by 6 organisations and adopted unanimously on completion, then updated in 2019 by a group of Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Jackets) as "Charter for a Human France and a Human World", now needs to become our reference-point, along with the conclusions of the "citizens’ convention" on climate.
My candidacy is not a mere "testifying candidacy". It is a combat candidacy. It grows from a non-governmental, nonviolent combat that I have waged for 50 years with absolute determination. I will continue it as far as the French people see fit to go.
They wish - indeed 85% of them (according to a 2018 IFOP-ACDN poll) - that France will negotiate a treaty to completely eliminate nuclear and radioactive weapons, as required by Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty which France signed in 1992, and in conformity with her own Constitution. To force France’s government to respect law, the people need to be consulted by referendum on every question of importance relating to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Civil Society has inestimable resources. Let us have confidence in it. To paraphrase Rousseau - the sovereign is not a monarch (no way!), not parliament alone, not the lobbies, not the political class, it is the French people in its entirety. As for me, I do not believe in my personal destiny but in the difficult virtue of democracy. The French people is perfectly able to seize hold of their own destiny, provided our nation stops despoiling them of their rights and starts fully respecting the Republic’s motto of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
Come on, citizens, so as to help solve our social and societal problems, our health, financial and administrative problems - not forgetting any of the major dangers threatening our planet - the climate crisis, ecocide, nuclear weapons and militarism - let us form a team and act together!
Saintes, 4 November 2021
President of ACDN (Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire)
Candidate in the Presidential Election of 2022
Dr in Philosophy