Monday, May 07, 2007

Daniel Bensaid on French Elections

This is Daniel Bensaid writing after the first round of the Presidential elections in International Viewpoint from April: Assessment of the outcome of the French presidential election.

Bensaid makes the point that the second round isn't a classic left versus right battle: Sarkozy did well with a 'Le Penized' political disocurse, While Segolene Royal ran a 'catch-all campaign' and represents a Blairized left. Bayrou's 18% makes him an arbiter, so the overall perspective is that this is the end of the cycle of the Union of the Left and the Plural Left (1972-2002): Royal is now after a French-style Prodism.

Bensaid also discusses the reasons why Besancenot did so much better than the rest of the radical left, even though he lost a third of his electors from 2002, many of whom regretted it when they saw how well Le Pen did. The trauma of 2002 played the major role in the loss of votes for the radical left generally, people were scared of the possibility of a Sarkozy-Le Pen second round.

The second reason is about the political change since the No vote in the May referendum of 2005. It was an illusion, especially held by people around bove, that the presidential election would just be a continuation of this campaign. The leading Socialist No-ists had quickly assimilated to Royal and the Yes majority of the party. Europe just didn't figure in the election campaign.

Bensaid adds the multiplication of left candidates as a reason for the overall poor performance, but takes issue with Bove as to whether this is the main reason and doesn't think a unitary candidate woulod have done better than the cumulative 8.5%.

The dynamism of Besancenot's campaign explains why he did better. His vote was strikingly homogenous. He did well with young and new voters.

And next: an anti-capital ist alliance of the left of the left.

There's also an older interview with Frank Gaudichard: "We are faced with the challenge of a process of social reconstruction" - the battle in France now and the long term fight for socialism"
This somewhat more oblique (maybe a matter of translation, but he's quite a complex thinker), but includes points about the strategic relevance of the nation-state, but in a 'sliding scale of spaces', in which it remains a 'node of relationship of force'. There's a defence of 'Communism' as the 'real movement which abolishes the existing order' and a brief concordance between Marx's analysis of different forms of communism with various tendencies today. A defence of the relevance of Marx and a defence of the party, despite all its dangers. A defence of the LCR's strategic orientation around the Presidential campaigns. And the view that the fall of the Berlin Wall was a major defeat, not because of any regret of the Soviet bureaucratic regime, but because of the 'brutal reintroduction into the world market of a third of the labour force of the planet.



Post a Comment

<< Home