Gaullism and “The Gaullism Myth”


I have read the wiki page and read a few articles but I still cant wrap my head around what this ism exactly means. I understand that it is a very specific thing during a specific time and maybe that’s why I am having trouble.

In: Economics

Gaullism is French nationalist movement where the French saw themselves as a both a historical and current exceptional power, and should focus on themselves. This would include avoid getting into free trade agreements with other countries, allowing French colonies to split away because they were a burden to mainland France, etc. Gaullism called for a strong central power, where the French president had a lot of control over the country and the executive was stronger that the legislative. To support these ideas, Gaullist historians like to focus on moments in history that put France above the rest of the world. These traits seems fairly right wing, but also included leftist elements such liberal views on the economy, trade unions, and stuff like that.

In other words, it was an ultranationalist movement, but one that wasn’t really far right like other nationalist movements of the time. It wasn’t “we want to conquer to the world” nationalism, but more like “we want to control out or own faith” nationalism.

I am not sure what the myth part is suppose to mean. Maybe the myth is how Gaullists tried to portray France as shinning star in history, which is certainly an exageration.

Gaullism is something of a French version of the “America First” ideology; we’re different and special, and we need to be strong to make sure we have the power to protect our interests in the world. It’s not really a fleshed out ideology, and is more akin to Patriotism: the political party mixed with a healthy dose of WWdGD (what would de Gaulle do?).

The “Gaullist Myth” is about how Charles de Gaulle was turned into a larger than life hero after the war, sorta the way Americans view Washington.