Saturday, April 28, 2012

France This Week



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De Omnibus Dubitandum!
We need to question everything because everything we are told
 should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality!
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France’s Far Right Climbs Out of the Shadows
by Eric Margolis

Editor's Note:  I found this after my original post.  Because I  found this analysis compelling I have added this link at the beginning of the original post.  RK

It wasn’t another French Revolution, but the dramatic showing of France’s far right in last week’s presidential election was a bombshell that left France shaken and Europe confused and alarmed. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party won 18% of the vote in the first round presidential election in which ten candidates competed. Nine were from either left or right, and only one a self-professed centrist. In France, the center has all but vanished.

Can Socialism Fix France?
Will Marshall

When Republicans call President Obama a 'socialist,' it says more about their lunge to the right than Obama's policies. Besides, if they want to see what a real socialist looks like, they should turn to a country they love to hate: France.  Francois Hollande, the Socialist Party leader, has a substantial lead over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy heading toward their second round showdown on May 6, and stands a good chance of becoming France's first Socialist President in 17 years.  As Reds go, Hollande is not especially menacing – 'bland' is how he's usually described. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the gruff socialist from Vermont, is scarier.  But bland is what the French seem to want after Sarkozy, who is widely reviled as a vain and vulgar celebrity-president with a trophy wife – a Gallic Donald Trump. Hollande promises to be 'Mr. Normal' and restore dignity in the Elysée Palace.


By Christopher Caldwell

The French prefer “tenacity” to “cooperation” by a measure of 51-44 percent, according to a poll about political attitudes published this election season. By 57-41 percent they like “hard work and courage” better than “social justice and solidarity.” Such attitudes have not been widespread in France since the war. On Friday, Dominique de Villepin, the foreign minister who led France out of the Iraq war coalition in 2003, professed himself “frightened” of France’s right-wingers. As Attorney General John Mitchell said of the United States in 1970, This country’s going so far to the right youre not even going to recognize it.”

An Analysis By Wolfgang Kaden

François Hollande is predicted to win France's presidential election, but his victory could endanger the euro zone's carefully negotiated fiscal pact. He also wants to water down the European Central Bank's statutes, forcing it to lend more to promote economic growth. But his plans would do little more than borrow time -- and they could be very dangerous for Germany.  The whole ghastly process is now set in motion. Not just for Chancellor Angela Merkel, but also for anyone who still had a modicum of hope that the worst of Europe's debt crisis had already been overcome.  The opinion pollsters were right -- François Hollande won the first round of the French presidential election last Sunday. According to all the polls, he will also win the runoff vote on May 6. If he wins, he would become the second Socialist president of the Fifth Republic, following in the footsteps of François Mitterrand.

My TakeAre you prepared for the Sixth Republic?  It is interesting that the French Revolution was in stark contrast to the American Revolution….which I might add was a huge inspiration for the French.  The trouble with the French revolution was that it strove for utopia imposed from the top.  Socialism is a failure.  It has been a failure everywhere it has been tried.  It cannot be anything but a failure because it isn’t based on individual rights.  Socialism is a system based on envy and hate.  It is a system based on equal outcomes, not equal opportunities.  Is it any wonder that they are on their Fifth Republic?  Can the Sixth be that far away?  Yet America is still on it’s first Republic.  So why do we listen to people who claim Americanism should give way to European socialism?  Oh Wait…. I know ….  I know!  Misery loves company.


Will Hollande Really Wage War on Finance?
By  Gwynne Dyer

"My true adversary does not have a name, a face or a party," said Francois Hollande, France's next president. "He never puts forth his candidacy, but nevertheless he governs. My true adversary is the world of finance."  No other leader of a major power would dare say such a thing. If Hollande, who will be France's first Socialist president in 17 years, simply defies "the markets", they will certainly punish him and France severely. However, it remains to be seen how he plays his hand.  Hollande has one hurdle to cross before he is president-elect, but he beat President, Nicolas Sarkozy even in the first round of voting last Sunday, when 10 candidates were running. In the runoff vote May 6, the polls predict that he will trounce Sarkozy by a margin of 14 to 16 percent.

In France, conditions appear to be set for a rout that - relatively speaking - bears a triple similitude with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. Except that, this time, the scene takes place, not on the military-geopolitical ground, but in the realm of finance, and for that matter of the economy in general.  First similitude: in both cases there exists a gulf between, on the one hand, the illusions fostered by the ruling class and, on the other, the world as it actually is.  Indeed, just as Napoleon's France tried to impose her geopolitical pretensions upon the whole Europe even at the twilight of her power, so too a good tranche of today's political establishment in France keeps the public opinion under the illusion that a France with a shrinking weight in the world economy can maintain alive a profligate Welfare State that is seriously impairing the country's competitiveness and finances.



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