France and the liberal simulacrum of left and right politics

The first round of regional elections was quite surprising for the ruling Socialist party (of Hollande) and the right-wing Republicans (of Sarkozy). The victory of the “National Front” in the first round of elections was quite unexpected and was hitherto unimaginable in the context of modern French politics. But something had gone wrong…

General dissatisfaction

The results of the elections demonstrate that French society is quite dissatisfied by the criminal and inattentive politics of the Socialist Party, which has quickly lost its legitimacy. The last year showed the impossibility of the Socialists to prevent the terrorist attacks (after Charlie Hebdo despite the declarations of government and new security laws of July – there was still the13th of November terrorist attacks) caused by thoughtless policy on immigration, rising unemployment and the incoherent and vacillating foreign policy of France (e.g., the case of Mistral helicopter carriers).

 The huge cleavage between people and the government’s interests is ignored and political elites of France make their decision without paying attention to the requirements of French people. 41% votes in the north and 42% votes in the south of France turned out for the “National Front” and changed the map of French political system.  French people made their choice and gave their consent to the political program of the National Front, which includes immigration control policies, Euroscepticism and anti-globalism. The National Front is the only party in France, presented at the regional elections, which defends the real interests of French people. 

The “United anti-National Front” coalition

The triumphal success of the National Front in the 1st round of regional elections has raised deep concerns with their two main competitors: the Socialist party and the Republican party. This problem makes left-wing parties consider a collaboration with the right-wing in order to fight the “National Front”.

The idea of the collaboration of left and right forces seems to be extremely illogical, but Socialists have agreed that even the leadership of the Republicans is preferable to the National Front – their primary enemy - as a victorious team in this elections. This is practically the first time when the left has tried to join right-wing parties to fight against a force which has the potential to overtake the political system. 

French Socialist Prime-Minister Manuel Valls on the 7th of December asked the electors of  Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie and  Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region to vote for Republicans and decided to create a special anti-FN front. For this fight against the “National front” the Socialist Party withdrew their candidates in these two regions, and asked their electorate to vote for Republicans.

“The left is, then, the last rampart of Republican France against the xenophobic extreme right,” said Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, the first secretary of the Socialist Party, calling on all the left-leaning parties to join together to defeat the National Front.

As for the leader of the “Republican Party” Sarkozy, he tries to situate himself independently from socialist parties and to continue his right-wing politics, which he defines as different from left-wing parties' interests. He claimed on the 6th of December, that candidates from the Republican party wouldn’t join with other parties.

The conversation about a united “anti-National Front ”  have not yet brought the parties to a clear solution in the development of strategies to fight against 'enemy number one' of the French liberal elites: the National Front.

National Front as the enemy of neo-liberal pro-American system

The fact that the victory of the National Front makes left and right forces unite shows that the phenomenon of the National Front is not the part of the French political system. Both:  left-wing and right-wing parties in France are liberal. They have differences in narrow questions ( the comprehension of tradition, the different view on the organization of economics), but in fact on the general questions they do not have big difference on important positions. Both left and right political parties in France are liberal. Left parties are defending the values of progress and gender. They are concentrated on the protection of sexual and ethnic minorities and LGBT rights. The problem of nationalization of key monopolies or increased responsibility of the state in the public sector is not on their agenda.  The right-wing parties (such as the Republican party) are concentrated more on the privatization of key monopolies, flat income tax and free trade and globalization.  Such points as the reliance on religious tradition or the sovereignty of state or protection of family values is not among their concerns.

The “National Front” is the first party which overcomes this liberal left and liberal right paradigm, and is located out of the liberal system. For liberals it’s a very  powerful force and of course, enemy number one.

The criticism of immigration, its position on the European Union: radical Euroscepticism and the appreciation of France’s geopolitical role (France as continental country) - are the key-points of the political program of the “National Front”, which are directed against the neo-liberal capitalist pro-American political system of European Union.

From the Interview with Marine Le Pen: “I Don't Want this European Soviet Union', Spiegel (3 June 2014) :

"The EU is deeply harmful, it is an anti-democratic monster. I want to prevent it from becoming fatter, from continuing to breathe, from grabbing everything with its paws and from extending its tentacles into all areas of our legislation. In our glorious history, millions have died to ensure that our country remains free. Today, we are simply allowing our right to self-determination to be stolen from us.”

The “National Front” is a phenomena which could qualify in Karl Popper’s dictionary as an enemy of the globalist American “open society”.  The liberal system will do everything to block the victory of the “National Front”. The situation will be clear on the 13th of December – after the second round of the regional elections.