Abortion

Bon débarras, Le Pen!

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The French far-right party Front National, led by the Archie Bunker of Brittany, Jean-Marie Le Pen, suffered a humiliating electoral defeat during the Sunday's of legislative elections. From the (UK) Telegraph :

The days of Jean-Marie Le Pen as a force in French politics appeared to be over yesterday after his far-Right party received its worst drubbing in 25 years in the first round of legislative elections on Sunday.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has been a major political figure in France, has seen his support eroded by Nicolas Sarkozy. The National Front won just 4.3 per cent of the vote, down from 10.44 per cent in 2002.

In France, political parties are (naturally) funded by the state, provided they maintain a measure of popular support. So Sunday's elections were especially bad news for extremists on both ends of the political spectrum:

The party is also facing financial ruin, as its poor parliamentary score means the annual £3.1 million state funding it has received over the past five years will be cut by two thirds. The Communist Party is also facing financial difficulties, and is expected to drop from 21 parliamentary seats to between six and 12.

But as is often the case in Europe, these extremes are not, in fact, too far apart. As the Telegraph mentions, an internal struggle is taking place for the soul of the party, with Le Pen's daughter Marine attempting to reestablish Front National as a promoter of "'Left-wing' national popularism." This is an increasingly common position amongst Europe's radical-right parties. The "post-fascist" (read: neo-Nazi) NPD in Germany routinely rails against globalization, American imperialism and supports a robust welfare state (with racist exceptions, naturally). It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the party has attracted former Baader-Meinhof adherents Klaus Rainer Röhl (ex-husband of terrorist Ulrike Meinhof) and Horst Mahler. Germany's far-right newspaper Junge Freiheit hawks books by Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein and t-shirts bearing the slogan "revolutionary, socialist, activist."

The same is true for Sweden's extremist parties, who agressively support the "Swedish model." The current top story on the website of the far-right Sweden Democrats website demands, bizarrely, "less multiculturalism, more care for the elderly and less crime!" And so on.

In 2005, Michael Young discussed Le Pen's persistent legal troubles and "France's misguided effort to legislate values."

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  1. Is that bon d?barras? Word has betrayed you, I fear. HTML code for special characters is the only way to go.

  2. Another interesting twist is the embrace of Israel and rejection of anti-semitism among some far-right European parties, now they they’ve seized on Muslims as the 21st century “enemy within.”

    TNR had an interesting piece about the Belgian party which was the heir to the WW2 collaborationist regime. They’re actually providing elderly Jewish voters with transportation to the polls on election day.

  3. Okay, that’s great. Now my posting makes no sense.

  4. Money Shot:

    The Communist Party is also facing financial difficulties…

  5. Same old song and dance going on in Europe. Wake me when a European starts talking about individual liberty and property rights.

  6. Another interesting twist is the embrace of Israel and rejection of anti-semitism among some far-right European parties, now they they’ve seized on Muslims as the 21st century “enemy within.”

    Arabs are Semites too, joe.

  7. Warren,

    Nah, all those people left in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  8. Yes, crimethink, but the term “antisemitism” refers to prejudice against Jews, and does not refer to prejudice against Arabs.

  9. Here’s where we get to the difference between the literal/formal/technical/whatever meaning of a phrase, and the colloquial meaning.

    Do I really need to spell it out, or can we just move on?

  10. The racists here in the US always go on about democracy and majority rule.

    …that goes back to Stephen Douglas at least, doesn’t it?

    I’d expect that as societies become increasingly democratic, racists increasingly see democracy as an opportunity to squash minorities.

  11. Expounding on thoreau’s observation, I believe the term “semite” originally referred to anyone considered to be a decedent of the proverbial Shem, Noah’s kid.

    …which would include Arabs and a lot of other groups.

    But the modern use of the word is in flux. I think a lot of people now use it more specifically to refer to Jews only.

    The world “vulgar” used to mean “common”, hence the “Vulgate”. Words change. …and not all at once.

    Let’s not get lost in semantics. …No, that isn’t a reference to the way the descendants of Shem used to talk.

  12. Arabs are Semites too, joe.

    crimethink,

    While this is true, the term “antisemitic” refers specifically to Jews.

    PROOF

  13. I’m an anti-punic myself.

    Carthago delenda est.

  14. Pro Lib,

    I love destroying Rome with Carthage in Civ IV, just because of anti-punites like you!

  15. So then why don’t we just start using antijewish and forget about antisemitic?

  16. Taktix?,

    Play your games, little man, but live with the knowledge that the Phoenicians are no more. Would you like salt with your fried city?

  17. “but live with the knowledge that the Phoenicians are no more”

    Tell that to the people living in the middle of Arizona.

  18. Pro Lib,

    Actually, the Vandals used Carthage as a staging point to conquer Sicily and southern Italy around 500 AD.

    Hannibal will return!

  19. Tell it to Lebanese nationalists, also.

  20. Bah. The Phoenicians are gone. Posit Phoenician substitutes all you want, but Roman might has prevailed. And, of course, we’re the true heirs to Rome, the Nazis were socialists, the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, and it was perfectly okay to make fun of Santorum’s weeping daughter.

    Did I miss anything?

  21. Oh, yeah, and Warren and I are going to go kick that censoring professor’s ass.

  22. But the modern use of the word is in flux. I think a lot of people now use it more specifically to refer to Jews only.

    I think everyone but a few pedantic, umm, pedants use “anti-Semitic” to mean “anti-Jewish”. Oddly, I often (though not always), see this meaningless little cul-de-sac trotted out by someone who is, in fact, anti-Jewish and is looking for a “dust-in-the-eyes” distraction.

    In short, making this argument is a good way to piss away credibility.

    Anyone know why the admittedly euphemistic term “anti-Semitic” came into use?

  23. Junge Freiheit! How very interesting. That was the paper that arch-Rockwellian Herr Hoppe gave an interview to and when there was criticism about him running around with racists (again) the Rockwell web site ran an article defending the paper and its positions.

    Add that to the article in the Ron Paul Newsletter which was widely seen as racist (which Paul insists was written by someone else — apparently Rockwell) isn’t there a disturbing pattern for libertarians?

  24. “isn’t there a disturbing pattern for libertarians?”

    dude, tell me about it – we haven’t even gotten into the star trek convention shit yet.

  25. Wow, there are some people just desperate to push the Ron-Paul-is-a-racist meme.

  26. “Oddly, I often (though not always), see this meaningless little cul-de-sac trotted out by someone who is, in fact, anti-Jewish and is looking for a “dust-in-the-eyes” distraction.

    In short, making this argument is a good way to piss away credibility.”

    We’ve got our weekly agreement, RC.

    “Actually, I can’t be an anti-semite, because I’m…”

    Shut up, Ahmed!!!

  27. vellyinteresting,

    I think it adds up to a disturbing pattern for Lew Rockwell.

  28. OF COURSE, THE ONE DOWNSIDE TO THE TERM ANTI-SEMITE ONLY APPLYING TO JEWS IS THAT IT FORESTALLS THE USE OF THE TERM FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HATE ALL SEMITIC PEOPLES.

    THE URKOBOLD? THE URKOBOLD LOVES ALL HIS SLAVES.

  29. Yep, semantic debates are often a “Hey, look over there!” tactic.

    “You think I hate semitics? Well, I’ll just distract you with some semantics!”

  30. Pro Libertate,

    Are you anti-Dacian as well?

  31. The anti-jewish activists in Germany and France called themselves anti-semites and founded anti-semite unions and associations.

  32. thoreau,

    This is where I would normally make a subtle joke about Thrasymachus and his definition of justice, but I ain’t.

  33. No, but I do have it in for the Parthians.

    And Grotius, the more amusing response to thoreau would’ve been to say, “I’m anti-phonetic.”

  34. Getting back to the original post… This is very good news. The commies and the fascists are going down in France and a (by European standards) centrist, pro-free market government is taking over.

    The only thing Moynihan says that I object to is his characterization of the demands of the Swedish party as “bizarre”.

  35. “The ‘post-fascist’ (read: neo-Nazi) NPD in Germany routinely rails against globalization, American imperialism and supports a robust welfare state”

    Interesting. Fuck the NPD, of course. But with slightly modified rhetoric (Americans are generally too afraid or too embarassed to acknowledge that we are an empire), there would be a significant constituency for a conjunction of those positions in the U.S. A bigger constituency, in fact, than there probably is for libertarianism. So what is “extremist” about those positions other than the fact that Moynihan, who is apparently trying to be Hit-and-Run’s outrage chief, disagrees with them?

  36. BTW, Lew Rockwell denies writing the Ron Paul newsletter, and I believe him; the writing style is too different from Rockwell’s essays.

    I suspect Gary North, who is a regular commenter on Lew Rockwell’s website, has a pretty racist reputation, and, I am told, worked with Ron Paul in the late 80’s is probably the culprit, since the writing style is closer fit.

    Of course, this is rank speculation on my part.

  37. “The evangelical lutheran church of Sweden was separated from the state in 2000, after having had the king as its highest defender since the 16th century and almost every Swede a member from birth. Politicians promptly passed a law requiring the Church to be governed by democratically elected bodies.”

    Interesting, and one might anticipate otherwise. As long as the church was formally part of the state, it was left to govern itself by its own rules. Then once it was divorced, the state saw a need & opportunity to assert its primacy this way.

    Might it be the same if gov’t divests itself of schools? That it would then see a need & opp’ty to micromanage the privatized schools more closely than when they were functions of the state?

  38. I wonder what Junge Freiheit did to get bombed by leftist activists. Btw, That neo-fascist NPD at least knows how to demonstrate peacefully (in Berlin), that is something that can not be said for their leftish brethren in Heiligendamm.

  39. @tarran
    I think it was Rudy. Makes complete sense to me.

  40. >…rejection of anti-semitism among some far-right European parties, now they they’ve seized on Muslims as the 21st century “enemy within.”>Arabs are Semites too, joe.>the term “antisemitism” refers to prejudice against Jews, and does not refer to prejudice against Arabs.

  41. >…rejection of anti-semitism among some far-right European parties, now they they’ve seized on Muslims as the 21st century “enemy within.”>Arabs are Semites too, joe.>the term “antisemitism” refers to prejudice against Jews, and does not refer to prejudice against Arabs.

  42. “…rejection of anti-semitism among some far-right European parties, now they they’ve seized on Muslims as the 21st century “enemy within.”

    “Arabs are Semites too, joe.”

    “>the term “antisemitism” refers to prejudice against Jews, and does not refer to prejudice against Arabs.”

    semantics, semitics, whatever.
    but all Islam is not semitic, not all Arab, etc.

    As for anti-semantics…I’m against all the abuse of the meaning of words. 😉

    Anti-semitism has been claimed by Jews. While the arabs are semites, if you are against against them, then you are anti-???. I mean, are all Arabs Islamic? No. Then, again, are all Jews, Jews? Practicioners of Judism…

    I’m with the guy who suggested anti-jewish, but then, are you talking about the people or the religion.

    It’s becoming a tower of babel around here.

    Back to the French economy.
    One of five people in France are born in another country. Why not bring to bear their ingrained economic models? …by economics models I’m not talking about small cars, or…

  43. Jerry, you are truly an idiot. The NPD does more to promote violence than any other major political group in Germany with its anti-Semitism and racism.

  44. “if you are against against them, then you are anti-???.”

    Arab. If you are against Arabs, you are anti-Arab. The word “anti-semitism” means “prejudiced or hostile towards Jews.” Always has, since it first entered the lexicon. It has never been used to refer to prejudice towards Arabs.

    “It’s becoming a tower of babel around here.”

    No, it’s not. There is not a single person who is having trouble understanding what the term “anti-semitism” means.

    You’re just playing dumb, and it’s incredibly transparent.

  45. @Ashish George
    Promote? Are you serious? Nobody takes the NPD serious (except you perhaps). Yet, the G8 protestors get free air time across Europe to promote their vile ideas.

  46. Pro Libertate,

    The pathetic Romans could never quite defeat the Parthians.

  47. Well, as I asked on another thread and never received an answer, would someone please point me to Lew Rockwell’s racist writing?

  48. Grotius,

    Because they never really tried. Besides, why bother when you’ve got the very nice Mediterranean region all to yourself?

  49. The People’s Liberation Front of Gaul will kick your Roman butt all the way to Sicily, but only after we eliminate those traitors in the Gaulish People’s Front of Liberation.

    FREEEEEEE DOOOOMMMMMMM!!

  50. What nobody has referred to here is “cementics”. Which, of course, refers to those people who’s minds are all mixed up and permanently set.

  51. …as opposed to sementics, mentioned here ever so much.

  52. Pro Libertate,

    For not trying they sure did lose a lot of legions in the process.

  53. “So what is “extremist” about those positions other than the fact that Moynihan, who is apparently trying to be Hit-and-Run’s outrage chief, disagrees with them?”

    i’m pretty sure “extremist” in the original post refers to the (relative) far right and far left convergence on these topics.

    just a guess, ya know.

  54. Jerry–
    From the NPD Wikipedia page:

    “Since its establishment in 1964, the party has never won the minimum 5% of votes in German federal elections that allow a party to send delegates to the German Parliament. However, it was represented in several state parliaments in the 1960s and has repeated this feat recently, winning 9.2% of the vote in the 2004 state election in Saxony. The NPD currently sends 12 representatives to the Saxony state parliament, the Landtag.”

    And later:

    “After the recent 2006 September State Parliamentary election in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania where the NPD received 7.3% of the vote, the NPD gained representation there as well.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Democratic_Party_of_Germany

    I know it’s ever so much fun to score cheap points against the damn dirty hippies, but next time it might be better if you were a bit more informed. Apparently a lot of people take the NPD seriously. The government takes them so seriously that they’ve tried to ban the party (which I would oppose on free speech grounds). And as for the German public: “According to an ARD poll, a large majority of the population considers the NPD to be undemocratic and damaging to the image of Germany.”

    http://www.infratest-dimap.de/?id=229&aid=40

    dhex–
    What’s problematic is classifying people as extremist simply according to where their ideas are situated relative to mainstream political discourse without considering how popular or sensible those ideas are. A lot of very distasteful ideas may be very popular and a lot of very good ideas may be very unpopular. People use the tactic of calling libertarian proposals to legalize all drugs “extremist” all the time to marginalize libertarians without addressing what libertarians have to say. And so long as they are allowed to get away with that, libertarians will be kept from a lot of mainstream political discourse, thereby keeping them at the “extreme.” There is no need to do that to address the strengths and weaknesses of someone’s positions, even if what you basically want to say is that some political group has no idea what they’re talking about.

    It’s troubling to see the word “extremist” used so lazily, and I was simply trying to point out that perhaps Moynihan should think about how he is deploying the term more carefully.

  55. Can we stop calling all those parties “far-right” now? Since every single one, including the BNP/NF in the UK, is an avidly socialist party? Those parties were always socialist except now people are actually paying attention to what they have to say.

  56. Grotius,

    As did the Parthians. Anyway, fighting the Parthians was more of a Roman hobby.

    Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’ll take being among the heirs of Rome over being among the heirs of Parthia. Though I suppose I was only half subjugated, ancestor-wise, being half Scottish.

  57. ashish – i see your point, but i don’t particularly have a problem with calling some libertarian positions extremist, even. contrasted to the political spectrum, they are.

    i mean, i didn’t take anything particularly negative – outside of describing racist parties as such, which is a fair call – from moynihan’s usage.

  58. Pro Libertate,

    There were a lot of cool aspects to Parthian society. All that poetry reading being one of them.

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