Manifesto for a society of advocacy

Published on 03/05/2022

It will take more than a Gérard Majax trick to remake society, so profound are the changes that are coming. A new political landscape, changes in the democratic relationship, repeated crises, so many anomalies that are jamming the societal machine. How can we reverse the trend?

Brutal Azimuth towards a political and institutional renewal!

The twelve strikes of the end of the presidential election have just rang with the re-election of Emmanuel Macron. Some would speak of a natural extension, but that would be to dismiss out of hand the profound political and sociological changes that have taken place before our eyes.

The balance of power that drives the common interest game will change and with it the pieces of the political spectrum.

The legislative elections are a first milestone, that of the recomposition of the National Assembly, followed in 2023 by the senatorial elections. Once the parliamentary station has been completely renovated, new trains of measures will be able to set off again. At high speed? Let’s anticipate some delays because the conditions of the debate will be so complex, let’s meet the new elected representatives, let’s help them build the society of tomorrow.

Politicians, public opinion and the media will have to rediscover the democratic alchemy.

« The more it picks up, the more it’s stupid, » Sylvain Tesson said mockingly in an interview about social networks. Ultra-connected, infobese, stuffed with bad news, our critical mind has trouble getting off the couch. Yet making sense, acting, debating has never been so good for the health of public debate. Let’s recalibrate our brains by ensuring the conditions for a useful, reasoned and reasonable dialogue. From the constitution to digital uses, the opportunities are numerous.

The black swans of the crisis are still flying around, especially in a society that is already badly regulated.

Yet some would say that our model of society has become more resilient, enduring crisis after crisis without falling, « Better to bend than to break ». However, reading the latest pages of the world, we are getting dangerously close to the precipice. Let us become anti-fragile[1] by finding the democratic means to move forward faster and stronger than these crises that are hitting us head-on.

To make our model of society work again, we must be able to overcome political, institutional and societal blockages. And what if advocacy, a concept dear to public affairs professionals, made this possible?

100 days to remake society

Democratise advocacy at all levels and in all dimensions, both real and virtual.

Governments, elected officials, companies, associations, citizens, all can now build advocacy. From setting up a collective consultation, to creating a common interest organisation, to a communication campaign combining public relations and digital influence, the how is no longer a problem, it is the why that counts.

Restore the « Taste of the Real » to make our model of society unique and engaging again.

In the age of cognitive capitalism, the clash is always more profitable than the truth. We are only beings of emotions after all, sated with notifications in our digital caves. Let’s turn on the « Lights[2] », as the Bronner Commission recommends! Let’s invest in learning the methods of disinformation, let’s democratise the logic of digital consultations, let’s re-compose the democratic chain to give it back all its singularity, its aura. It will once again produce collective actions that impact – in the right direction – on citizens.

Let us rehabilitate the long term so that societal causes resonate with the interests of each individual and produce concrete actions.

What if we turned down the volume of the clash to regain some attention and debate calmly? Advocacy is about designing a healthy space for discussion where each actor can debate – with full responsibility – without a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. There are plenty of ways to do this, whether it is through collective meetings, individual meetings or online discussions via collective consultation platforms.

« The only freedom men do not desire is freedom. [3] Let’s go and find it, let’s make it desirable to as many people as possible so that we can move forward together, as best we can. It takes a certain amount of courage to engage in advocacy, to open up one’s raison d’être to others, to try to move society’s debates forward, to get people to act now and for the future, in other words, to create societal utility. Courage, but also a lot of ambition, is what the contemporary situation calls for without always being clear about it.

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