Posts Tagged ‘French Left’
FN Appeals to Left Sovereigntist Intellectuals.
At the end of September the Front National launched an appeal to “left-wing intellectuals” meeting at the Mutualité (home of large public meetings, roughly a version as the Friends Meeting House in London) held by the weekly, Marianne. Around the philosopher Michel Onfray, Régis Debray, Alain Finkielkraut, Jean-François Kahn Jean-Pierre Chevènement are to speak.
Under the name of Bertrand Dutheil de La Rochère, the Front National launched, on the 24th of September, an appeal to these people (More details of the background: Le FN lance un appel à “Michel Onfray et ses soutiens”)
Your meeting of 20 October 2015 could be more than an amiable and friendly get together. It could become one of those crucial dates in the history of France. It could be the prelude to the union of the people of France. It is up to you to decide to open an inclusive discussion between all patriots, all Republicans, all sovereignists. Of course, the self-righteous will deliver anathemas and excommunications. It will be for us to despise the prohibitions laid down by the media-political caste.
The basis of this appeal is on “sovereignty” – that is the defence of the French nation’s power, through its own political institutions to make ‘its’ own decisions.
On this ground there should be, the FN asserts, some degree of common thinking.
The call is for a “une discussion entre tous les patriotes, tous les républicains, tous les souverainistes, sans exclusive.”
Open debate between all patriots, all republicans, all sovereigntists, with no exclusions.
As La Rochère says
Vous dénoncerez la trahison de tous ces partis qui se réclament encore de la gauche. Ils ont choisi la mondialisation ultra libérale au nom de l’Europe. Ils confondent désormais l’internationalisme avec les migrations massives qui pèsent sur les salaires et qui démantèlent la protection sociale. Ils ont oublié d’où vient l’insulte « jaune » que proféraient autrefois les syndicalistes ouvriers contre les briseurs de grève.
You will denounce the treason of the parties who still claim to be on the left. They have chosen ultra-liberal globalisation in the name of Europe. They have confused internationalism with the massive migrations which weigh on the wage earners and which erode social legislation. They forget the origin of the insult “jaune” (yellow) which trade unions used to throw at strike breakers.
I am at a loss here.
One theory is that Jaune comes from a strike of 1899 at Montceau-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire) used against a small group of miners, who refused to join in. The strikers smashed the windows of their meeting place, le Café de la mairie. The windows were replaced with yellow paper. Another theory is that comes from the dye colour (sulfur) of strike breakers at another disputes in 1970.
I would however bet, with the degree of possibility bordering on certainty, that the Front National meant……Chinese…..
There has been a great deal of debate about this appeal.
Those addressed have rejected the idea that they should engage actively with the FN.
Nevertheless it’s not hard to see that Régis Debray’s essay Éloge des frontières (2011), to cite one example (his writings on the Nation go back to the 1980s), indicates at least some meeting points on nationalism and the fear of cosmopolitanism and not only globalisation. Alain Finkielkraut signed the petition this year Touche pas à mon église – a protest against turning churches into Mosques, in actual fact a phenomenon confined to a handful of buildings – with strong echoes of Maurice Barrès’s defence of “la terre et les morts.” Chevènement has developed a patriotism and a paranoia about the Euro. He has come a long away (as has Debray) from his left-wing days in the 1970s. Jean-François Kahn who founded Marianne has preferred to accuse the liberal supporters of globalisation ignoring the social issues that have given rise to the FN, and distance himself from any complicity with either the FN (Qui fait le jeu du Front national ?) In short, Kahn would say that excluding the far-right from the national debate is not the way to deal with Marine Le Pen……
Michel Onfray – a home-spun philosopher, known in the anglophone world as an atheist, a hedonist (in the classical sense) but also a libertarian leftist, if not anarchist – has given a greater variety of contradictory responses than Bernard Henri-Lévy on a bad day.
Having read Onfray’s Traité d’Athéologie (2005), which offers a clear attack on the use of religion in politics, from Catholicism to Islamism, I can only contrast it with the utter confusion of his more recent tomes assembled under the name of La contre histoire de la philosophie (2006 onwards), which barely bear skimming.
The latest in the Onfray saga is in the Nouvel Observateur this week: Onfray : “Mon problème, c’est ceux qui rendent Marine Le Pen possible”
Last week a local councillor, François Meunier, Antony (Hauts-de-Seine) left the Front de Gauche and joined the Front National.
Of more importance was the turn in August of the economist, Jacques Sapir, from the Front de gauche to the Front National. Sapir is a sovereigntist. He has called for left-right unity around opposition to the Euro – a call perhaps not without echoes in the United Kingdom (Quand un économiste souverainiste “de gauche” drague le Front National.)
It is important to underline that it is this issue of the ‘Nation’ as the ground of the Republic which acts as a meeting point between ‘left’ and far-Right. That is not ‘migration’ as such, not race, and certainly not Laïcité.
On the racial issue a more traditional alignment between Right and Extreme-Right has taken place in the last week when one of Sarkozy’s politicians, Nadine Morano, was removed from a regional election for asserting that France is a country of the “white race”.
Perhaps most significant is the way the Front National has entered the intellectual arena.
This was confirmed a couple days in way that drew the attention of the Financial Times.
France’s National Front (FN), long a pariah on leading university campuses, has secured the right to create a political group at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), underlining the resurgent far-right party’s willingness to enter the circles of the French elite.
The newly formed group quickly obtained the 120 votes required to gain validation from the prestigious institute during a four-day “recognition” process of all student associations.
It will co-exist with other political groups, including the Socialist party, the centre-right Republicans party and the far-left Front de Gauche.
“The National Front has made a deafening entry at Sciences Po,” tweeted Marine Le Pen, the party’s leader.
The creation of an FN-linked organisation at Sciences Po, a school whose students traditionally lean to the left and whose alumni include the last five French presidents, reflects Ms Le Pen’s desire to become more mainstream. By doing so, she is breaking from her father and FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who positioned the party as an outsider on the fringes of French politics.
Political Confusion on the European Union Gains Ground on the Left: Jacques Sapir and the Front National.
Jacques Sapir: Red/Brown Alliance Against European Union.
There is an excellent French Blog site which deals in “political confusionism”.
Back in July it picked up on a development that’s hit the headlines in France over the last few days: the call by “left” economist Jacques Sapir for an alliance with the Front National. (JACQUES SAPIR, UN HOMME DE GAUCHE ?).
Like many people (including we note floating voter Tariq Ali who got a column in Le Monde recently hinting darkly at ‘the left’ turning against Europe) he is claiming that the crisis in Greece shows the need for a left-wing anti-European Union stand.
Sapir has gone one stage further than the NO2EU UK left and indicated that he would be favourable to this:
Like certain British Labour politicians he has a fondness for evoking memories of the Resistance.
Sapir gave the Conseil national de la résistance (CNR) as his model.
Sapir is no unknown: a prominent economist, and Director of the Centre d’études des modes d’industrialisation (CEMI-EHESS), he has been close to the Front de Gauche, to Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Parti de Gauche and to the “sovereigntist” former Socialist Minister (and leader of the left tendency inside the Parti Socialiste, CERES), Jean-Pierre Chevènement.
On the Confusionisme site Ornella Guyet adds,
Prominent in the current debate surrounding the Greek crisis, a prominent supporter of “de-globalization” – whose theories inspired the Arnaud Montebourg’s (1) discourse on the question – he is also an expert on Russia, known for his softness towards the Putin regime, equally famous for his careerism, his homophobia and his alliances with the far right in Europe. His site Russeurope, given legitimacy by legitimized by its academic pretensions Jacques Sapir is a frequent guest of the salons of the Russian embassy, as well as seminars of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, a think tank based in Paris to promote the image of Putin’s Russia in Europe. Not surprisingly, we find his name in several pro-Kremlin media, Voice of Russia and Sputnik News.
More recently, obsessed by the Euro, he has become ever closer to the “sovereigntists” of the Right: the groupuscule Debout la République
Sapir claims that the Front National has “changed” from its far-right origins, and that in any case he was talking about an alliance of the right and left involving a party that has “come from” this transformed FN.
Immediate reaction on the left to Sapir’s ideas was not favourable.
Eric Coquerel, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s close ally, called this strategy “an aberration”. He continued, “Given the scale of the current crisis, we must offer an alternative to fascist and xenophobic reactions. Their nation is not ours. ” Clémentine Autain (Ensemble), a leader of the Left Front has said that “The phenomenon is not massive…but it gives credibility to the FN . “
It is however well known that Mélenchon’s party is openly flirting with the idea of a “Plan B”, that is, leaving the Euro, “if a renegotiation of EU treaties fails .”
They plan an “internationalist summit for Plan B” to be held in late 2015 which bring together those in the like minded “left” who agree to work together on the subject. (More here)
Sovereigntism, that is the belief that the “nation” has the supreme right to decide “its” fate – faced with international forces, from the European Union to NATO – appears to be gaining ground on the British left as well. The collapse of sections of the left to the belief that Scotland would be better off governed by its “ain folk” in the SNP was one indication. After the Greek crisis, anti-European Union voices have become louder, promoting perhaps a return to a belief in a road to socialism outside of the EU.
At a time when fear of ‘foreigners’ – migrant workers, refugees in particular – is reaching an all-time high in Europe, playing with nationalism seems a dangerous gamble.
(1) Left-wing of the Parti Socialiste. Montebourg scored 17,19 % in the first round of the open PS French Presidential “primaries” of the party, which involved 2,700,000 voters who signed a declaration saying the backed the values of the left – without anybody wetting themselves about “infiltration”.
One can only praise the authors of this critique of “confusionnisme politique”, the translator’s excellent work, and the Charnel House for publishing this important work. There is a very disingenuous reply full of the tropes of cl assical Europen rhetoric, and little substance (‘essentially’ repeating, it’s an Indigenes thing, you wouldn’t understand), here: http://indigenes-republique.fr/vacarme-critique-les-indigenes-la-faillite-du-materialisme-abstrait-2/
Originally posted on The Charnel-House:
The Charnel-House introduction
A few months ago, I wrote up a critique of the “decolonial dead end” arrived at by groups like the Indigènes de la République. Despite being welcomed in some quarters of the Left, wearied by the controversy stirred up after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, it was not well received by others. Last month, however, a French comrade alerted me to the publication of a similar, but much more detailed and carefully argued, piece criticizing Bouteldja & co. in Vacarne. I even asked a friend to translate it for the new left communist publication Ritual. But before he could complete it, someone describing himself as “a long-time reader/appreciator of The Charnel-House” contacted me to let me know he’d just finished rendering it into English.
The authors of the original piece — Malika Amaouche, Yasmine Kateb, and Léa Nicolas-Teboul — all belong to the French…
View original 6,318 more words
La France doit soutenir la Grèce!
As the Greek crisis develops some new, just now from Libération (adapted)
Monday morning: receiving a delegation of political and community leaders supporting the Greek government, the Head of State said he was convinced that an agreement is “close.”
Will France stand alongside Greece? This is what President of the Republic assured a delegation of signatories for the appeal “The role of France is alongside the Greek people” launched last week at the Elysée, this morning.
In the Green Room of the Elysée, the Head of State reiterated his government’s position on these policies to this delegation from the left, “There has to be an agreement” , ” Agreement is near” and “Tsipras’s proposals are acceptable ” .
“He gave credit to Tsipras for standing up to the Troika demands” , insists Julien Bayou, the spokesperson for French Green Party (EELV) and a member of the delegation.
A note of caution: “Acceptable does not mean accepted. This is a negotiation “
Anne Sabourin, of the Parti Communiste, spoke of how President Hollande sided with Tspiras’ negotiation stance.
“He’s grasped that it’s not Greece that’s being intransigent.” added Eric Coquerel of the Parti de gauche, who was present with other members of the Front de gauche.
Coquerel, however, noted, that one can always leave an audience with François Hollande at the Elysée with the impression that the President is on your side.
Afterwards…..the real facts come into play.
The Economic Times reports,
PARIS: A comprehensive deal with Greece allowing it to remain in the euro zone and live with its debts must be found either at a euro zone summit on Monday or in coming days, French PresidentFrancois Hollande said.
“If we get a deal tonight, that would be better, but if not, we’ll need to set the foundation tonight so that a deal can be reached in coming days,” Hollande told reporters in Paris before he was due to travel to Brussels for the summit.
Latest from Chron.
French President Francois Hollande says “progress has been made in the negotiations” between Greece and its creditors, which include eurozone states like France.
Hollande is urging Greece to find an agreement at a Monday summit in Brussels between Greece and its creditors.
“We must do everything so that an agreement is found tonight,” Hollande said at an event in Paris before heading to Brussels.
If Monday’s talks are inconclusive, Hollande insists an agreement would need to be found “within the next days.”
“France and Germany are aware that Greece must remain in the eurozone,” he said.
More at l’Humanité,
There have been reports that the Parti des Indigènes de la République – much admired in the English speaking world by a fraction of the left, such as the US journal ironically titled Jacobin and Richard Seymour (often for their hatred of Charlie Hebdo) has been in the news recently.
In the May Issue of Le Monde Diplomatique Serge Halmi cited this statement by their spokesperson, Mme Houria Bouteldja.
« La perspective décoloniale, explique-t-elle, c’est d’abord de nous aimer nous-mêmes, de nous accepter, de nous marier avec une musulmane ou un musulman, un Noir ou une Noire. Je sais que cela semble une régression, mais je vous assure que non, c’est un pas de géant. »
The de(anti)colonial standpoint, she explained, is above all to love each other, to love our own, to marry with a Muslim man or woman, a black person with a black person. I realise this may seem a step backwards, but I can assure you it’s a giant step forward.
These are some of their tweets (hat-Tip K)
The Tweets read: the integration of whites into the marginalised is as impossible as the integration of the ‘indigenous’ into the republic.
For us races do not represent a theoretical concept, but a relation of struggle.
A white person converted to Islam can de-convert: but an Arab, even perfectly atheist, remains a Muslim.
For us there is a relation of force between the races, the aim of our organisation is to bring this relation in out favour .
When a White asks, How do you see the link between races and classes, one should not reply.
The struggle against domination, goes through the abandoning of privileges in favour of the privileges of others.
For more information see above.
The article largely refers to this: Racisme (s) et philosémitisme d’Etat ou comment politiser l’antiracisme en France ?