Obituary: Etienne Borne
Saturday 10 July 1993
ETIENNE BORNE, a founder of the French Christian Democratic Party, the Mouvement Republicain Populaire (MRP), was a philosopher, teacher and one of the principal ideologues of French Christian Democracy. He was a keen political polemicist and was involved in a number of famous arguments on behalf of the MRP and of his conception of society. He was not, himself, a deputy but he was a member of the most influential political circles of Christian Democracy and a friend of many of its great names including Emmanuel Mounier and Georges Bidault.
Etienne Borne was born in Manduel (Gard), was a student at the Ecole Normale Superieur, and taught at the Lycee de Nevers, the University of Sao Paulo, and a succession of French schools as the philosophy agrege. In 1962 he was made an Inspecteur d'Academie and in 1971 an Inspecteur General. He was Secretary General of the Centre Catholique des Intellectuels Francais.
Borne was a passionate moderate. He remarked that the doctrine of the centre was the hardest to practise. As the editor of the MRP's Terre Humaine from 1951 to 1957 he was influential amongst intellectuals. Borne was also the MRP's link to the French Labour movement and was on the Christian Democratic Left.
In 1950 Borne was engaged in controversy with the pamphleteer Joseph Hours, defending the MRP from the charge that it was anti-patriotic and insisting that the subordination of the state to a higher ideal (Europe) was not 'anti-statism'. Borne entered the ring on behalf of the European ideal. The building of Europe, he asserted, was the one great new idea (alongside nationalism and imperialism). His speech to the 1954 MRP congress was a famous call to arms over Europe.
Unlike many of his milieu, Borne was not a neutralist and had a healthy suspicion of the Soviet Union but he did take the 1952 Republican Party rhetoric about 'rolling back the frontiers of Eastern Europe' rather too seriously and condemned the United States' 'bad humour' and impatience. He was a critic of liberalism and of Marxism and looked to a 'people's democracy which was neither totalitarian nor individualistic'. He was a critic of the Fourth Republic's Algerian policy.
After editing Terre Humaine he was one of the founders of France Forum and, after hesitating whether to support the Socialist Gaston Defferre, threw himself behind Jean Lecanuet in the 1965 presidential election.
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 4 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
- 5 Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SharePoi...
£80000 - £95000 per annum: Charter Selection: A leading Global organisation Ja...