This article was originally published in October 2013.
Being the House Frog of this august assembly, I'm often asked what I think of France's Front National, despite the fact that I made quite clear, in my debut article here, how negative my opinion of that party is (if it has changed in a year, it's not for the better).
Last week-end's by-election was no exception to the rule: several American and British friends asked me to comment on this earthquake that no less than shattered the foundations of La République. My real surprise was that people outside France would have heard of it at all. Not only was it a by-election, but what was at stake was merely one seaton a département's council (the département is the French equivalent of the county in the U.S. or the borough in Britain, though it is directly controlled by Paris).
That such an insignificant event can make the headlines of the Western media tells you much about how increasingly insecure our ruling class is, however wrongly so.
Jim Goad, who forgot writing a few months ago that he wouldn't mind if all French people died overnight (suffocated with freedom fries, maybe), saw Front National's "victory" as “a step in the right direction.” I'm heartened to see that Jim came back to his senses, but what if Goad wasn't one of us? And what if these "victories" were not good news for those who genuinely want our race and civilization to have a future?
I'm not sure words are sufficient to make people understand how terrible this party is. I have written many times against stato-nationalism. I have argued numerous times how any organization that places the "nation" above the race and civilization is as much an enemy as any mainstream party. Yet even people with whom I have exchanged hundreds of emails and met with in real life continue to define Front National's Marine Le Pen as a “white nationalist.”
Two factors explain why even people with whom I agree on so much else get this wrong:
- We rely on (liberal) national media from our country to know what's happening in other Western countries. In France, right-wing people I know look at America with envy because you have... Sarah Palin (!). Since many right-wingers merely invert the liberal worlview to define theirs, the fact that liberal journalists depict Palin as the new Eva Braun is enough for them to like her. As a Swiss friend of mine says, leftists would just need to state publicly how they hate excrement for righties to stuff their nose into a pile of turds at once.
- Relatedly, many in our circles believe that if a politician is hated by "the Left," who of course is our only enemy,“he must be doing something right.” By this idiotic standard, Dubya was doing something right when he made up the WMDs thing to justify his invasion of Iraq, right?
If words are not enough, will pictures suffice? Here are two campaign posters and a press picture of three candidates, the first one for the general elections in 2012, the two others for the municipal elections next year.
Now, has this appeasement been fruitful? Besides this totally unimportant by-election last Sunday, Marine Le Pen got 17.9 percent of the vote in the last presidential election. Which obviously means that 82.1 percent of the electorate didn't vote for her, without taking into account the 22 percent who didn't vote (I was one of them, of course) at all.
One can wonder what the next step in this normalization process is before Front National can not only have a candidate in the second round, like Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002, but in the presidential palace, and whether the party will still be remotely national when it happens (if it does).
That, of course, is if one believes that actual power lies in public office. Ironically, right-wingers seem to be the last democrats. Only on the Right can one still find this naive belief that the President, or Prime Minister, has a kind of control panel in his office where from everything bad in the country can be solved with a simple tap of the finger.
But let's be serious with politics, will we? When syndicated columnists define the American president as "the most powerful man in the world," only eunuchs and morons can be impressed with that phrase. Who with a three-digit IQ seriously thinks that Barack Obama is more powerful than, say, George Soros? Or Lloyd Blankfein?
Even if nationalist politicians managed to get elected at "top" positions in the Potemkin political system, it wouldn't change a thing since there's nothing at the other end of the wheel. Yet even that is impossible since the real rulers (bankers, bureaucrats, CEOs, media owners) need the democratic fiction to go on, as the victory of a nationalist party, even one as castrated as Front National is, would prove that no actual power is in the ballot.
And this would make their situation sensibly more precarious than what it is now.
The predictable outcome is as follows: Front National will gain votes in the years to come, and what is taboo on the mainstream Right for now (an alliance with the "Far Right") will become possible, with a victory of this awkward coalition in the process.
Marine will get a ministry, which of course won't help her in any way to fix France's problems, in the unlikely hypothesis that she still knows what they are and how to fix them. I'm not sure if Mungo Shematsi or Sofiane Ghoubali wouldn't be a better choice than her.