Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taguieff on the FN

La reductio ad hitlerum ne fonctionne donc plus. Pas plus que n'opère le spectre d’une rechute fasciste. « C’est précisément la banalité du constat qui fait peur aux observateurs engagés », analyse Taguieff. Car à travers cet échec, l'auteur décrit la disparition de « l’homme de gauche » réduit à un hybride social-libéral-écolo-conservateur-progressiste-républicain avec désormais « la poche à droite » et un vague souci de préserver « les acquis sociaux »Un homme de gauche d’autant plus paumé que son adversaire historique d’extrême droite apparaît désormais, à certains égards — et c'est bien là le plus troublant —, plus à gauche que lui ! Libération, sous la plume de Luc Vaillant, s'est d'ailleurs récemment interrogé en ces termes :« Et si le FN était plus à gauche que Hollande, plus social que le PS, plus anticapitaliste que le NPA ? » 

6 comments:

Edouard said...

Mais, Dieu merci...

http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/2014/06/10/merci-jean-marie-sans-toi-le-fn-serait-au-pouvoir_1037342

Siegfried said...

@Edouard: if I were you, I wouldn't be so reassured, as the old man is 86...

FrédéricLN said...

"« la poche à droite » et un vague souci de préserver « les acquis sociaux »" is a very adequate description.

But the idea that FN would be more leftist in any sense, did not struck me so far. I would rather have thought that most the traditional French understanding of "the left" just dissolved. Maybe I need to think again.

Mitch Guthman said...

@ Frédéric,

I agree. The traditional understand of the "left" dissolved when the parties of the "left" collapsed. It continues to astonish me that the "Socialist" president of France venerates Jean Baptiste Say and will not defend the thinking and historic achievements of his PS predecessors.

To be clear, I don't think it's so much that the FN is moving "left" as the fact that the left is so terrified of sounding extreme (or outside the neoliberal orthodoxy)that they've simply abandoned any defense of the social welfare state or the middle class. For reasons that I do not understand, the FN has picked up these very popular positions and now finds itself increasingly the only defender of the social welfare state and the only opponent of unrestrained globalization.

There have been a great many economic and political thinkers of the left who have been urging the PS in France and Labour in England to reclaim these issues but the leadership of those parties (and of the left generally) seems to be more interested in ingratiating themselves with the financiers and oligarchs.

Anonymous said...

@Mitch ... and now Valls has totally capitulated suggesting the Left in France has had it and the Socialists are in danger of disappearing, all during a speech to rally his party! You couldn't make it up. See Reuters report "French PM warns disgruntled Socialists they could 'disappear' " and Les Echos for more detail.

FrédéricLN said...

@ Mitch Guthman "the leadership of those parties (and of the left generally) seems to be more interested in ingratiating themselves with the financiers and oligarchs" -> that may be the root of the issue. Every party needs connections with financiers and oligarchs, but it seems that (since the times of Naouri/Bérégovoy, I guess) the PS found it had to choose between these connections, and leftist ideas, and preferred the smell of power to the power to change.

Why? Perhaps there is not much social pressure for *change* in France. A "defense of the social welfare state or the middle class" looks like a very conservative agenda — in the meaning of: avoiding change, not pushing for change. I can imagine that, as soon as the PS elephants felt there was no true need for change (say, with Mitterrand's 1988 "ni-ni"), they admitted that "left" would remain only as a place on the political stage — not any more as the driving force of political move.

I remember the (not-French) "Euston manifesto" which sounded a bit like that: "we are the left, and here is the list of things we don't believe in any more".

Well, I felt some compassion, for sure, but put otherwise: if we, at the Center, don't feel that way, it just means we haven't been able to make our own agenda been enforced since decades. So, we should feel more envy towards the left, than compassion!