Saturday, December 15, 2007

The PS and the Market; Le Monde Diplo

The Socialists, continuing with the renovation of the house of cards that the party has become, held a second forum on the subject today in Paris. Harlem Désir, now a member of the European Parliament, presented a text acknowledging that the PS has had a good deal of trouble defining its position in relation to the market despite what is described as a turn toward "economic realism" in 1983. What the PS needs to recognize, according to the text, is that "we are not confronting globalization but in globalization."

The formula might have pleased me more had I not recently heard Arnaud Montebourg speak at MIT during his visit to the United States. There, Montebourg compared globalization to a medieval torture in which a prisoner is placed in a cell too short to stand up in and too narrow to lie down. This, he said, is the situation of France with respect to globalization: permanent pain no matter what you do. If this is the gloss to be placed on the phrase "in globalization," I doubt that the PS will have advanced very much farther toward "economic realism" than it did in 1983.

Meanwhile, in what might be seen as a related development, Pierre Jeantet, the president of the Le Monde Group, suggested that Le Monde Diplomatique, which is in financial difficulties, might want to consider taking its distance from altermondialisme and reorienting its editorial line to appeal more to the "plural left." Le Monde Diplo, which played a role in the founding of the altermondialiste group ATTAC, has apparently suffered from the disarray in the leadership of that organization and in the anti-globalization movement more generally. Jeantet insists that his advice is offered "on a purely personal basis" and is not intended to weigh on the choice of a new president of the paper's "directorate."