Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The French Socialist Party helped the FN to rise

When I said yesterday that neoliberal Europe helped the National Front win the elections in France (get more votes than any other party) I included the French Socialist Party which, just like other socialdemocratic parties, has embraced neoliberal policies.

Today I read that French political scientist Fabien Escalona said more or less the same in an interview with the French journal Challenge of 7 December 2015. When asked the question: "Can we say that the Socialist Party (PS) has contributed to the rise of the National Front (FN) in recent years?" he answered:

"The question may seem paradoxical, as the PS appeared since the 1980s as a republican and universalist "bulwark" against the FN of father and daughter Le Pen. However, you can say that the PS indirectly contributed to its progress, as a government party who is responsible for policies and options rejected by a growing number of voters.In this regard, however, the PS shares this 'responsibility' with the right of the RPR then UMP and recently renamed "Les Republicains" (LR). In fact, both the PS and the LR have themselves more or less aligned with a moderate neoliberalism, unable to address mass unemployment and imprisoned by supra-electoral and supranational constraints of European integration, an integration endorsed by the two major government parties. For reasons of law and humanity, immigration flows (around 260,000 people per year), modest but negatively perceived by FN voters, have never been drastically reduced either. For all these reasons and because the FN never took charge of national power, it can present itself as an attractive alternative for those who fear (or objectively suffer) an individual and collective declassing.

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