Without a doubt, Jean Castex is a brilliant senior civil servant. But that does not make him the right man to become Prime Minister of France. He has not thought about how to restore the social pact in the face of financial globalisation and is satisfied with measures to buy social peace in the short term. As soon as he was appointed, he showed that he did not want to reform the political class, that he was content to fight the pandemic by doing as others did, and that he supported the Maastrichian project conceived during the Cold War.
Jean Castex is a long-toothed Gascon who reminds us of the character of Eugène de Rastignac created by Honoré de Balzac. Putting his social ascension before any ideology, he resigned from his opposition political party on the morning of 3 July in order to be appointed Prime Minister to Emmanuel Macron in the afternoon. He is a member of the Siècle, the club of the business establishment.
The French administration works very well on its own. In this sense, it is one of the best in the world. The role of ministers is not to take the place of the directors of central administration who keep the machine running. On the contrary, it is to adapt the administration to the changes in the world; to steer it in the direction imagined by the President of the Republic and approved by the citizens at the time of his election.
The President of the Republic cannot have an opinion on everything. But he must think about Foreign Affairs and Defence, Police and Justice, Money and Taxes. These are the so-called regalian functions. At the moment, they must rethink this whole system in order to re-establish the social contract in the face of a profound change in the structures of society.
Inequalities in wealth have increased considerably. In recent years, the middle classes have melted like snow in the sun and a new social class has emerged, which has appeared in full view of everyone at the Yellow Vests demonstrations. The richest man in the country has a fortune equal to what a minimum wage earner cannot earn grossly in a million and a half years. This astronomical gap returns the country to a medieval organization and makes it impossible for democracy to function.