THE BLOG
08/14/2014 07:16 pm ET | Updated Oct 14, 2014

Doing Away With 'Queuillism'

Henri Queuille was not a politician with a poor record. Medical doctor, deputy for the Corrèze Department, resistance fighter and anti-Gaullist, served five times as Minister, especially as Minister of Agriculture, under the Third Republic and four times as President of the Council under the Fourth Republic, very popular figure, founder of Crédit Agricole and of rural engineering, he will remain unfairly in history only for a damning statement attributed to him: "There is no problem that an absence of solution eventually overcome."

In the reconstruction era, during a euphoric phase after the Liberation, when governments played a marginal role and inappropriately criticized, this sentence made sense: State inaction did not prevent economic growth from creating jobs and from reducing gradually shortages inherited from war and occupation.

Since then, many have, with this statement, theorized their cowardice, leaving to others, or to chance, or fate, the task of making the hard choices for them.

They point, unconsciously, to the idea that a religious or secular savior, arrives always on time. No matter the name: Messiah, Zorro, or the cavalry.

Many people apply it to their own private life, their own career. Many politicians find justification there for their inaction.

However, it is clear that, between 1940 and 1945, if the British, the Americans and the Russians had applied this doctrine, Hitler would have died in his bed, still in power, and Europe would still be divided today into two empires, one black and one red.

Because, sometimes, the long-awaited savior does not arrive: "He gave a sudden, joyous cry: 'Grouchy!' - Twas Blücher!" wrote Victor Hugo to tell in nine words the Battle of Waterloo story.

Today, "Queuillism" still dominates the world. It is because of it that the climate is being left to drift, that public debts have been increasing everywhere. It is because of it that so many international problems have been getting worse, that the border between Israel and Palestine remains uncertain, that Kurdistan was left in the front ranks faced with such clear evidence of a resurgence of Sunni fundamentalism, and that so many other problems, perfectly foreseeable, will arise soon.

It is also because of it that the hemiplegia of the European construction is being accepted, when everyone knows full well that the euro cannot survive without political federalization among the countries that share it.

Finally, it is also because of it that three successive Presidents of the Republic have let, in France, problems accumulate; that no reform of structure has been initiated, that schools have been going off course, that the number of young people without any qualifications has been rising inexorably. And so many other problems that time alone will not solve.

Similarly, none of our work issues or problems related to our personal lives will go away if we do not take action to address them to our benefit.

No, inaction was never a solution. No, making mistakes is never worse than doing nothing at all. No, cowardice, whether occurring in public or private life, never bodes well for the future.

In these critical times, when resistance, courage are required, Queuillism is the enemy and we must reverse its maxim: "There is no problem that an absence of solution eventually worsen."

However, in order to avail ourselves of that opportunity a solution has to be put forward with the courage to implement it.

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