Two Democracies in Crisis:
France: Is De Gaulle Fascist?
On the morrow of the recent French municipal elections, an arrogant and impatient voice was heard in France. It declared peremptorily: “The present National Assembly must be dissolved as soon as possible. . . .” And added threateningly: “Events are too menacing to permit any delay. . . . Those who, having the authority to adopt the necessary measures for transition, avoid taking them . . . in order to prolong the present ill-fated regime will incur literally crushing responsibilities.”
Stepping into the limelight at a press conference some weeks later, the voice’s owner, General Charles de Gaulle, made crystal-clear his contempt for the majority of the present elected representatives of the French people: “The wave is launched. . . . I can only be sorry for those who don’t want to understand it. If they want to fight against this force, which recalls certain analogous forces that at times during our history . . . have swept away all before them . . . very well, they will be swept away! And if they want to stand on the shore hopelessly wailing . . . their criticisms and curses will no more matter than spitting in the ocean.” Adding a few further remarks on the need for dissolving the French Communist party and controlling the trade unions, he stalked off back into his momentary retirement at Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.
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