Monday, June 16, 2014

The Decline of the Socialist Party

Laurent Bouvet discusses the decline of the PS:

La fédération regroupant les élus socialistes (FNESER) a ainsi évalué à 30000 sur ses 60000 adhérents l'hémorragie due aux municipales. Si l'on tient compte de tous les emplois qui étaient liés de près ou de loin à ces mandats, on mesure combien le corps socialiste a été atteint. La déroute des municipales de 2014 n'est donc pas une simple défaite de plus dans l'histoire du PS, elle est un tournant même si le parti n'a pas «perdu le pouvoir» comme en 1993 ou 2002. D'autant que les élections locales (régionales et départementales) qui s'annoncent en 2015 pourraient bien être des répliques dévastatrices de ce mouvement architectonique.


Mitch Guthman said...

This was a very difficult article for me to read and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Laurent Bouvet to write. Frankly, I think he goes well beyond a clinical discussion of the decline of the PS to consider whether the once great party of the European left that is now only a shadow of its former self should be allowed to die in order that the left may live. It’s been clear for some time that Hollande and the PS will probably suffer a mortal defeat in the next presidential election and Bouvet at last says out loud what others only whisper.

Hollande’s response to the carnage of the last election has been to turn to Vallis and drag the PS even further to the right. Consequently, even if an upset of biblical proportions takes place in 2017, the PS is already dead as a party of the left. The question for my French friends on the left is whether they are prepared to go where Vallis want to lead them when (as will almost certainly happen) he claims the mantle of the PS's leadership in the wake of the the party's anticipated decimation.

Can the left change the political equation so as to revive the left and dislodge our neoliberal leaders without ceding power to the rampant forces of far-right extremism? Is there a way, at the same time, to reclaim the defense of left's achievements such as the social welfare state from the likes of Marine Le Pen? I think these are two sides of the same coin; namely, how to revive the moribund left in Europe and North America without destroying everything in the process.

Perhaps there could be discussion of a Republican Front/government of national unity between the Front de gauche, the Greens and the Gaullist elements of the UMP for a politically centrist administration committed to the protection of the social welfare state and an economic program looking towards growth and prosperity, combined with a willingness to confront Germany and pursue a more independent economic policy that favors French interests. This could be combined with an effort by the party members to replace the incumbent leadership of the PS with people who are committed to a "socialism of the possible".

Just a thought but it seems to me that, if I understand Bouvet correctly, something along these lines is the inescapable next step.

Anonymous said...

@mitch The wind is in the sails of the European Right and for that blame the US- and UK-led bankster-mobs.
The economic destruction they caused particularly the eurozone havoc in Europe, has provoked a backlash propitious to the rise of the hard Right, the only group not (yet)captured by global financial crooks. Start jailing all the responsible banker felons behind the ongoing scamming and you might just stem the tide.

PF said...

Oh, European bankers and regulators were plenty irresponsible and corrupt. Blame the US and UK, but don't use it as a scapegoat for continental European malfeasance. In some ways, the continent was more irresponsible and reckless, i.e. look at their bank-assets to GDP ratios.