The son of France: Jean-Marie Le Pen celebrates the 90th anniversary
The creator of the French National Front did not enforce electoral successes, but became a nightmare for the ruling liberals and a symbol of hope for the millions of ordinary French people
French "election night" from 21 to 22 April 2002. Right-wing liberals ("Republicans") and left-liberal ("socialists") have frozen in anticipation of the outcome of the vote. Nobody doubts: there will be a second round, in which the current French president, the "rightist" Jacques Chirac and the republic's prime minister, and the equally "leftist" Lionel Jospin, should come out. Meanwhile, the numbers on the electronic scoreboard are changing rapidly. And suddenly…
"France, you are stupid!" - this was the reaction of a significant part of the establishment of the country, court "intellectuals" and well-fed townsfolk to the fact that on the second tour together with Jacques Chirac left ... 73-year-old creator and head of the "National Front" Jean-Marie Le Pen. The reaction, almost identical to that voiced in December 1993 by Russian liberals, when their favorites suffered a crushing defeat in the elections to the State Duma. Socialists are disgraced, Republicans are at a loss, the French national patriots are delighted.
Of course, right after that, in the face of the "fascist threat" almost everything was united: from the well-groomed bourgeois to the Trotskyites and anarchists, who yesterday tossed "Molotov cocktails" into the police. As a result, in the second round, Le Pen was defeated, after which he could not repeat his electoral success. However, he obviously did not count on winning the game according to the rules of the liberals. And nevertheless, he achieved the main thing: at the turn of the millennium, European liberals of all stripes suddenly realized the shakiness of their positions. So, even in France, the cradle of liberal "enlightenment", militant atheism and revolutionary anti-monarchism, as it turned out, millions of real Frenchmen who remember their kinship are still alive.
The biography and rapid political career of Jean-Marie Le Pen is not as unusual as it might seem at first glance. Neither his provincial Breton origin, nor the fact that he was born in a small village in the poor family of a fisherman and dressmaker, or even what the future politician sooner orphaned - all this did not become an obstacle to his further take-off. Unlike the Resistance movement, where the young Le Pen tried unsuccessfully to enter the years of World War II, the liberal political system was fairly open. The main thing is obedience and activity. This much later liberal social elevators will become much more selective, but so far, people could also get into politics "from the people". However, Jean-Marie came to her differently: from the "back door".
In 1956, the 28-year-old Le Pen was a young officer of the legendary Foreign Legion, who had already passed "hot spots" on the outskirts of the former French Empire - in Indochina and Egypt. It was then that the right-wing "Union of French fraternity" Pierre Poujade, unexpectedly for the liberals, gained 11.6% of the vote and got 52 seats in the last parliament of the Fourth Republic. Among the deputies was young Le Pen, who very soon, retaining the deputy seat, will again go to the war zone. This time - in Algeria, which became the symbol of the final collapse of the French Empire.
Then, in the second half of the 1950s, despite the true heroism of the French soldiers who defended the North African territories, which became the homeland for millions of French people who turned the poor desert into an oasis, the Republicans led by General Charles de Gaulle completely surrendered their victories. Algeria was granted independence, and hundreds of thousands of servicemen were "betrayed and forgotten", confronted with what would later be called a "Vietnamese" or "Afghan" syndrome.
Among these guys was Jean-Marie Le Pen, after the defeat in the election in 1962 for a time left his political career (taking up entrepreneurship, connected with the study of public opinion). In order to create a party already in 1972, whose biting name, like a whip of a scourge, will scare all kinds of liberals, radicals and other Francophobes for a long time: Front National - "National Front".
"National Front" on the march
Further years were a period of painstaking work. Bright, charismatic Le Pen enjoyed not only his natural talents, but also worked hard to bring to the French banal truths. The fact that, firstly, they are ... French. That France is not a colony of a young and, therefore, too borzoi transatlantic power corporation, and certainly not a sanatorium for millions of refugees from the Middle Eastern territories, the efforts of the same power that have become unsuitable for a normal life.
And finally, that the integration of Europe is possible, but not on the basis of bonded economic contracts and the unified currency, which is questionable in its favor for ordinary French people, as well as imposed post-Christian anti-values (gay parades, etc.), but exclusively as a "Europe of nations". So, in an interview in 2005, which Jean-Marie Le Pen gave to the author of these lines, he formulated his geopolitical position very clearly:
This should be the "Europe of Nations" stretching from French Brest to Vladivostok. Europe needs Russia, Siberia is needed, and Russia needs cooperation with Europe. France and Russia should have an equal union among themselves. Our countries traditionally have friendship, today it has special significance in connection with the need to prevent subversive destinies coming from outside from the United States ... "
"National Front" very quickly became the main reference point for all national-conservative forces in Europe, and its ideology has not lost its relevance today. With some amendments, right-wing triumphs of recent months are also attached to it: the Austrian Party of Freedom of Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strähe and the Italian League of Vice-Premier Matteo Salvini. By simplifying somewhat, this ideology can be formulated in two key points:
Moderate nationalism, expressed in the requirements to tighten migration legislation, and to provide the indigenous French population (regardless of race or ethnicity) a number of legal advantages over immigrants;
Cultural conservatism, aimed at preserving France's religious, cultural, linguistic and historical identity.
And the fact that the ideas of Jean-Marie Le Pen have already won in Austria and Italy (even though their spokesmen have entered into coalition governments as yet), has already become a much more serious success than 17% of the French presidential elections of 2002. There is no doubt: for Le Pen, "not checkers, but go" are important, not comfortable chairs in high offices (however, a 90-year-old mastodon of European politics remains a member of the European Parliament today), and genuine ideocracy is the power of ideas.
But here someone can ask: "But what about Marin? The daughter of Jean-Marie, who received 34% in the last presidential election? " However, I would like to leave this topic "behind the brackets". And not even because the inevitable conflict between fathers and children here was fully realized in the political sense, but because it was Marin Le Pen that literally the other day, June 1, 2018, symbolically buried his father's legacy, renaming the biting "National front "into an amorphous" National Association "(Rassemblement national). It is too early to judge whether this is a direct conciliation with the liberals, and not just an attempt to appear in the face of the inhabitants not as a militant "Front" but as a respectable "Assembly", but the fact of betrayal is obvious.
And right now, despite the fact that Jean-Marie's daughter tries to try on "nationalism from haute couture," a person returns to French politics, much closer to the traditional ideas of the "National Front": 28-year-old Marion Marechal, the granddaughter of today's jubilee. Returns after a maternity leave, which once again demonstrates the true conservatism of this young mother.
Will Marion Mareschal become a new Jeanne d'Arc, while talking early, but also for despondency there is no reason. However, Jean-Marie Le Penou has never had this sinful feeling. Like the desire to rest on our laurels. After all, in 90 everything is just beginning, is not it?