While all over Europe and the USA the authoritarian left is showing its fascist credentials, in France the “far right” Front National of Marine Le Pen is showing how socialist it is. It is also demonstrating how similar it is (in its Statist, corporatist socialism) to the very forces in the EU which it is fighting. The only difference is that Le Pen will carry out these policies solely from a nationalist perspective. In that the party will contradict the internationalist principles this website (with our emphasis on nationism, democracy, free trade, anti corporatism and competitive markets) has always upheld.
The website armstrong economics has summarised some of the most important policies of the Front National. (see below) That which puts the party firmly on the left of politics I have put in bold.
Extreme political parties of the Nazi and Fascist type arose in the past and are arising on the European continent today not because the “mainstream” parties – Conservative, Christian Democrat, Socialist, Liberal etc – stood for the opposite but because those very establishment parties had moved collectively and undemocratically towards that corporatist fascist system which both provokes and forms the basis of the Nazi and Fascist parties which follow them.
In the French National Front we see the closest example to that combination of nationalism and socialism, protectionism, anti internationalism and corporatism which characterised the German and Italian Governments under Hitler and Mussolini.
We must not blame the French in general for their desperate search for a party which will fight the poverty brought by the Euro, the mass migrations and the destruction of their democratic power brought by the EU, the bypassing of their parliament by big corporations and unaccountable supranational powers like the EU Commission and the UN, the import of Islamic fundamentalism and its destruction of French cultural and religious life. This is all as understandable as the unemployment and hunger in 1920s and 30s Germany which forced millions to gyrate between support for the Communist party and the Nazi party.
The mass of people have no time to examine the detail of the policies behind the simple and quick solutions of the big mouth “Leader” whom desperate economic times throw up. But that leader and those policies and the disastrous consequences were caused precisely by those establishment politicians who condemn them most.
In Germany and the USA of the 1920s and 30s it was precisely the corporatists and Statists who printed money, concentrated wealth in financial funds and big corporations, lost control of Government finances and then introduced draconian political and social controls. Germany’s emergency laws which Hitler then used to rule by decree were already in the Weimar Constitution and were invoked by Chancellor Heinrich Bruening of the German “Centre Party” in 1930 three years before Hitler came to power. And it was precisely the most “Establishment” Government in Germany in 1968 under the “Grand Coalition” of the Christian Democrats on the right and the Social Democrats on the Left which introduced for the first time since Hitler a new “Emergency Law” negating basic democratic rights!
The reaction to these corporatist centre parties and coalitions of the left as they move right and the right as they move left (forming authoritarian structures which are unchallenged because the people may have a vote but they no longer have a political choice) is always the same. The democratic welfare left and the democratic anti corporatist right make common cause at the educated level but tend then to be driven by “the street” when the nationalist right and the socialist left (combined as they are in the French National Front) take control.
That is what is so clear from an examination of the policies of Marine Le Pen’s “Front National”. She is appealing to the same movement which brought Donald Trump to power in the United States but Trump is no protectionist and no socialist. When he says “America First” he is not harking back to the gross protectionism of the 1930s but to an understandable desire (given America’s huge trade deficits with Germany, China and Mexico and the social devastation of the American de-industrialised “rust belt”) to see fair trade undistorted by subsidy, currency manipulation and non tariff barriers.
But that is not the Le Pen formula. Her inward looking, protectionism and anti internationalism is an engrained philosophy which also has strong support across all French politics. UKIP was able to support Trump but wisely rejected association with Le Pen’s National Front.
The socialist spending and corporate subsidies proposed by the Front National would cripple that economy. Paris think tank “Foundation Concorde” estimated the budget deficit would jump to 9% of GDP (in Britain we have less than 5% and are still in trouble!) “The Front National has adopted an anti-capitalist ideology” says the think tank.
As in every European country there is a happy medium between extreme nationalism and protectionism on the one hand and surrender to supranational corporatism, the end of democracy and the nation state on the other. Because there were not enough wise democrats in our parliaments to provide that alternative we are now confronted by Le Pens!!
Le Pen’s main points:
1 Referendum on EU Membership
2 Restore French franc
3 End Schengen area
4 End Refugee migration
5 Public contracts awarded only to French firms
6 International trade agreements are to be canceled.
7 The income tax for low-income earners is to be reduced by 10%
8 Small business are to be relieved of their wage costs.
9 The retirement age to be lowered to 60 from 62 years.
10 Child benefit regardless of income
11 Reduce gas and electricity costs by 5%
12 Maintenance of the 35-hour week.
13 Employers should pay a 10% tax on foreigners’ wages.
14 Free education will be only for the French
15 Illegal immigrants are to be deprived of free health care.
16 Immigrants without papers have no chance of legal residence status.
17 Asylum can only be applied for in French consulates abroad.
18 French citizenship not to be based solely upon birth in France
19 Increase domestic police by 15,000
20 Build new prisons with space for 40,000 prisoners.
21 Condemned foreigners are immediately deported
22 All foreigners who are connected with Islamism under the supervision of the secret services.
23 All radical mosques are to be closed.
24 Withdrawal from NATO