Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mélenchon's Herring Sticks in Duflot's Throat

So much for the Front Écolo-Pinko. Jean-Luc Mélenchon has written an apparently incendiary screed entitled "Bismarck's Herring," an attack on Germany, or, more precisely, on those misguided souls who take Germany's apparent economic success as reason to emulate its wrong-headed "ordoliberal" thinking about economics. Duflot sees in her erstwhile ally's book a "Déroulèdian" attack on a country that is not France's Enemy. As far as I'm concerned, the chief interest of this scrap in a teacup is that it will serve to remind the young collègiens in whose tender minds la classe politique entière has taken an inordinate interest these past few weeks of the existence of the unlamented nationalist Paul Déroulède, founder of the Ligue des Patriotes and revanchard extraordinaire. They might learn something about the history of the Republic in whose name everyone is shouting at everyone else by reading a bit about M. Déroulède.


brent said...

JLM has apparently been caught (once more) acting out in print, in public, and Duflot's wonderfully nuanced rebuke does us all a kindness. But let's be clear: Germany's "apparent economic success" is a debatable truism, and JLM isn't wrong to challenge it. Even the fact-checkers at Le Monde have only minor corrections to offer, and the larger German picture--increasing poverty and decreasing life expectancy at the lower end, low birth rates among the discouraged young, etc,--are the dark side of those positive trade balances and high worker outputs. Libé's astonishingly surnamed Lilian Alemagna offers a whole bibliography of recent French scholarship making a similar case.

What is most remarkable here--apart from the resurgence of M. Déroulède--is the endearingly big-sister tone of Duflot's take-down. JLM is tragically self-destructive--always has been--but the forbearance of Duflot may just save the red-green-pink alliance. Laurent clearly wants to. Now the question is whether Mélenchon will take his medicine quietly, or lash out in his next blog post. If he does, it will (I hope) hasten the ascendancy of Duflot as standard-bearer for the movement.

Unknown said...
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Edouard Bustin said...

Who needs to read Déroulède when you have Alphonse Allais (1895)