Discontent in France has translated into a drift of power towards the far right in the form of Front National.
But that’s stale brie. The media, more specifically those who control it, will remain implacably hostile until western peoples make a vigorous display of discontent. We can probably rely upon cowardice and emigration to do the rest. Though I thought the linked piece offered a few interesting perspectives.
None of this changes the fact that her (Le Pen’s) political agenda remains subversive. She calls for an end to the EU and has adopted policies critical of the French allies, backing Putin’s annexation of Crimea. She also wants to raise wages and pensions, restore the retirement age to 60, as well as establish border controls and reinstate the death penalty.
Subversive. What an illuminating choice of terms. End the EU, raise wages, establish border controls, reinstate the death penalty. None of these being remotely subversive in any traditionalist sense. Though that is not the perspective from which the writer opines. Le Pen, more than any other French politician, represents the French nation. A position of advocacy that is undoubtedly subversive to the regime and its remora. The term’s use here is a pristine gaffe on the part of the left. And one I quite like. Subversion is happening in France. And the monotonous conforming left had better clutch their pearls close.
Meanwhile, many voters hope that she will be the one to “save France,” in the belief that only radical policy changes can do so. Yet, it is highly questionable whether Ms. Le Pen’s vision, with its populist promises and scepticism towards free markets, free movement and free trade, is a road to salvation.
You can bracket save France in so many quote-unquotes that even the dimmest SJW detects the sneer. It still won’t act as a prophylactic against the idea many are finally beginning to grasp: a nation is not a patch of dirt, or a flag, or equality, freedom, or democracy. It is not a constitution or body of law. It is a people.
And it is highly questionable that Le Pen’s skepticism of widget countries is a road to salvation. I doubt the author and I share a mutual perception of what salvation would entail. Though I would like to mention what is not highly questionable. What is so unquestionable that it must never be acknowledged. That being the visible unvarying results of “free markets, free movement, and free trade.” National dissolution, disintegrating social capital, gouged public fiscs, and lots and lots of raped white girls.
The spirit that brought 4 million French closer together and onto the streets in solidarity after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo has already waned, and the polling numbers show how FN’s protectionism, conservatism and nationalism appeals to voters en masse.
Yes it’s an unpleasant surprise that inter-tribal mass murder wasn’t sufficient to soothe bitter feelings. Maybe next time. As, of course, there will be a next time. One day perhaps even liberal utopians will grasp that artificially contrived cultural petri-dishes do not well cultivate civic harmony. But I don’t anticipate matching Methuselah’s longevity to witness it.
FN is part of a broader trend in Europe, where the lingering economic malaise and associated unemployment of the Eurozone has led significant numbers to respond to the easy attraction of the far right or far left.
It can best be described as the politics of scapegoating, whether the blame falls on immigrants, Muslims, Euro-bureaucrats or Jews like in FN’s past, and the tactics are mirrored all across Europe. Voters are disillusioned with the political elite, and as the traditional, centrist parties lose political capital, voters turn to the fringe, where promises of sweeping, popular action sound like a welcome overhaul of politics-as-usual.
The politics of scapegoating. I often wonder if these writers consciously craft this cant, or are so flighty they actually believe it. Maybe the absence of permitted alternatives makes it a moot point. They write what won’t get them fired. Though let’s try this: I’ll move into your house, claim a room, eat your food, avail myself of your wife and any other domestic perquisites, punch you in the face whenever feeling slighted, invite my friends and their families to also take up residence, and perpetually scream accusations of ‘isms for the bother. So what are you going to do, make me the scapegoat for all your problems?
In conclusion, and despite the author’s anxiety, I doubt that Le Pen will win the presidency. It’s too easy to imagine the anti-French left aligning with milquetoast conservatives to elect some establishmentarian AI in a suit. But perhaps not. There’s an ember of nationalism in Europe, and the French have not been historically reticent once animated to purpose. How interesting if Ms. Le Pen emerged as the least of the far fars.