Tag Archives: Le Pen

All in play as France prepares to tear up political playbook, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Asia Times

The dice have been rolled and it looks like French electors may buck the political narrative

The Decline of the West; the destiny of Western civilization; the unraveling of the EU; the future of democracy itself. All stops are pulled when it comes to how the French presidential elections will shape the geopolitics of a young and turbulent 21st century.

And it’s about to come down to the fate of three men and one woman – not exactly rising to the occasion, rather overwhelmed by it.

The run-up to the first round this coming Sunday turned out to be an immensely entertaining Gallic House of Cards.

On the right, burdened by his massive unpopularity, the conqueror of Libya, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, a.k.a. Sarko The First, was eliminated right from the get-go alongside the conservative favorite, Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé.

The winner of the right’s primaries was former Prime Minister François Fillon – emblem of provincial Catholic France drenched in uncompromising neoliberalism (low corporate taxes mixed with an assault on social welfare). But just when Fillon seemed to be comfortably cruising towards a second round victory, he was spectacularly derailed back in January by pugnacious satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé; a mysterious source, with devilish timing, took Mr Clean to the cleaners.

Continue reading All in play as France prepares to tear up political playbook, by Pepe Escobar

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Who’s Really The Fascist?, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Source: The Automatic Earth

Like most of you, I too see an increase in the use of the term ‘fascism’ in the media, and it is -almost- always linked to the rise of Donald Trump in the US and various politicians and parties in Europe, Le Pen in France, Wilders in Holland, Erdogan in Turkey, plus a pretty bewildering and motley crew of ‘groups’ in Eastern Europe (Hungary’s Orban) and Scandinavia. I guess you could throw in Nigel Farage and UKIP in Britain as well.

And while I -sort of- understand why the term is used the way it is, and it’s not possible to say it’s used wrong simply because ‘fascism’ knows so many different interpretations and definitions, very few of which can be classified as definitely wrong, that doesn’t mean that just because you’re not definitely wrong, you’re therefore right, and certainly not comprehensive or complete. And there’s a story in there that deserves to be told. Who is really the fascist? From Wikipedia:

George Orwell wrote in 1944 that “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless … almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’”. Richard Griffiths said in 2005 that “fascism” is the “most misused, and over-used word, of our times”. “Fascist” is sometimes applied to post-war organizations and ways of thinking that academics more commonly term “neo-fascist”.

I’m inclined to venture that ‘terrorism’ is a good second for most misused word, but something tells me that once you get into economics and the way terms like ‘stimulus’, ‘unemployment’ and ‘inflation’ are used, this is an argument that would never end. Let’s stick with ‘fascism’ for now.

The prevalent definition -and public notion- of fascism today is connected first and foremost to Adolf Hitler, to the Holocaust, the SS and other German WWII ‘phenomena’. And it’s quite something to link Trump or Le Pen to that, even if they say things at times that may make you shudder. It seems at least a tad hyperbolic, no matter how much you may not like these people. Neither is responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

What’s more interesting, because it can provide perspective, is to look at what fascism is (or was) prior to, and beyond, Hitler and Germany. One man stands out in this: Benito Mussolini, Italian prime minister slash wannabe dictator from 1922 till 1943, who’s even often labeled the founder of fascism (though its roots go back much further). But for Mussolini, fascism was not what Hitler has made us define it as.

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