woensdag 14 oktober 2015

The bankruptcy of the Left and the growth of Front National

Recently the French President Hollande (Parti Socialiste) compared the Front National (under the leadership of Miss Le Pen) with the former Communist Party of France* (PCF). This was meant to embarrass his competitor on the "left", the Front du Gauche (a coalition/alliance of several leftwing parties, among them the PCF). This Party also tries to win the truly left and old-communist voters and tries to withhold them to vote for the PS.  

For once Hollande hit the nail on the head! And how much did Miss Le Pen welcome this comparison!  

 Yes, the new political course of the FN is almost an exact copy of the PCF of the '70's and '80's. Therefore that a large part of the electorate in Northern France, the old-communist voters in the rundown industrial cities - the big losers of the globalization - vote for the FN.  Its economic program is one of economic protectionism**, something the PCF in those days also pursued. (As well as the opposition against homosexuality, which the PCF saw as a negative aspect of capitalism).

The FN and PCF also share their position in regard to the immigration question. In the '80's the PCF came to the conclusion that there was no place in France for the many immigrants, because the country already had 2 million native unemployed. It was the PCF-major of Vitry-sur-Seine in Paris, who personally got behind the wheel of a bulldozer to wreck down an asylum Centre for Malians. Under the leadership of the major from the "Red Banlieues" the PCF demonstrated in front of the house of a Moroccan family which was involved in drugs trade and demanded their departure. They also send an open letter to the Great Mosque in Paris to denote the problems associated with the multicultural society.    

There are also parallels with the new anti-globalist and anti-American course of the FN, to great umbrage of the old Le Pen (who, on an economic level, was a huge proponent of liberalism, this in contradiction to his daughter Marine, who is a convinced adversary of neo-liberalism and the reactionary austerity politics). He and his granddaughter (Marion, a niece of Miss Le Pen) rule in the more conservative South of France, with more rightwing and economic liberal politics.   

President Hollande rightly fears that the political vacuum he leaves behind in France will be filled up by a competitor. A competitor who masters the leftist language more than he or anybody else does. However, this competitor does not come from the 'left', but this time from the 'right'.

So Marine is not only the daughter of Le Pen, but just as well of Georges Marchais.

 * After 1982 the PCF slowly but surely left behind the Marchais-line in favor of a co-operation with the PS and a participation in the Mitterand-government (four and later two minister posts). After Mitterrand´s reactionary turn in 1983 (a turn of 180 degrees from the original common election program), the communist stayed in the government, contributing to the, for the workers, devastating austerity policies of Mitterrand. From this moment on the support of the PCF decreased until the party was put on a sidetrack by Mitterrand. For the many disillusioned PCF-voters of that time the path eventually led them to the FN of Marine Le Pen (usually with the PS as an in between station).

** Protectionism = a system in which the trade and industry from a certain country are protected against competitors from other countries: Prohibition on the import of certain products (closing the borders); regulations on import by imposing maximum quantities or by granting licenses; demanding import duties.



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