by Valerie Lux Schult.
French conservatives have a problem. Their candidate for the presidential election 2017 Catholic François Fillon apparently has paid his wife Penelope for years by means of the state budget. Without working she got around half million euros from him. The state of his marriage is obvious: his wife is only together with him if and only if he pays her money. This unhealthy relationship should be normally tackled with a couple therapist but instead Fillon swifts his eyes to the French judiciaries who start to prosecute their „business romance“. Mister Fillon claims that judges who institute proceedings against him would not be independent judges, “Judiciary should not mix up with politics” he furiously reported.
However if these allegations are not true, Fillon could lean back and be sure that the trial yields to his innocence. His enraged response shows that the judges maybe hit a wound spot. Fair trials are essential of a democratic states, as French Philosopher Montesquieu firstly pointed out during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. If Fillon negates neutrality of judges he shows very little belief in the functioning of his own democratic institutions and their theoretical back-up by French philosophy. As a law-maker he is also responsible for the laws which keep society stabilized and if he doubts the impartiality of judges he doubts the whole institution of rule of law.
Savaging the law keepers while you are in the position of making the law is not wise.
Fillons incapability to recognize fair trails in a constitutional democracy is traditional among conservative candidates. His predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy also claimed to be the victim of a secret judge conspiracy when he was under investigation for an illegal spending of his campaign.
Fillon benefits from staying relaxed and listening to his fellow country man Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau wrote famously about how governments are responsible for implementing the general will of the people and not act according to their own individual needs. The current minister of economic affairs is well advised by Rousseau to take a step back:
“In order to discover the rules of society best suited to nations, a superior intelligence beholding all the passions of men without experiencing any of them would be needed”.
While hiding money under the mattress for his wife, Fillon proved to not have a superior intelligence, because he acts passion-driven for his wife and not for the benefit of all people of France. A sensible politician knows about all passions of human beings but does not indulge in them. What to advise to the French people for the elections in 2017? The best president in the modern age would be a superior intelligence, a robot, which has knowledge of all romantic love films made in France. The robot knows the best when emotional relationships between politicians and people are about to fail. To receive a Yes or No answer, politicians simply have to push the button before they enact a law. In that way the neutrality of the ancient French democracy in the modern age can be saved.
Reference: Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1762): The Social Contract. Translated 1782 by G. D. H. Cole. Book II, Chapter 7, The Legislator.