Sacre Bleu!

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What
are we to make of the unexpected success
of Le Front National in France’s presidential elections this week?
It seems that Jean-Marie Le Pen’s anti-immigration policies have
not revulsed France’s voters enough as he now goes head to head
with Jacques Chirac for the final round of votes and a potential
five year berth at the Elysee Palace.

Be
it voter apathy, Islamic Fundamentalism, a fragmented selection
of Left-wing candidates or a protest vote, as the Leftist Oh la
las go up in a cacophony of shock and the Bordeaux wine is reached
for, I have watched this whole episode with a tempered degree of
mirth as the Left took to the streets to make their disapproval
publicly known and, for good measure, smash up a few Renaults in
a most undemocratic manner.

But,
I wouldn’t worry much about Le Pen making it to the presidency or
indeed having much influence if he got there. Firstly, the ideologues
of the Left will be forced to clench their collective molars and
indulge in a rare piece of pragmatism by voting for centre-right
Chirac in order to keep out extreme-right Le Pen. And "clench"
is the operative word for Chirac is being circled by Parisian magistrates
over alleged corruption during his tenure as Mayor of Paris. But
thanks to our tactical trotskyites, communists and greens he will
remain President of France and enter a state of presidential immunity
during that period of office. Politics is indeed a dirty business.

And,
even if leftists were kept bound and gagged at home on polling day,
the rules of France’s dual presidential/parliamentary system stipulates
that if the President’s party does not rule in Parliament, then
power remains in Parliament. Le Pen would be at best influential
but certainly not an autocrat.

So,
while the clamour and soul-searching was going on I had a look at
the other candidates and noticed a man fairly close to my own beliefs
in the form of Alain Madelin, former conservative economic development
minister and candidate for the free-market Liberal Democracy party.
He promised radical free-market reforms including big tax cuts,
competition within public services and massive further privatisation.
For me, that was the best manifesto and for that he got just under
4% of the vote which compared with top poller Chirac at just under
20%.

With
Monsieur Madelin, all does not seem to be a total void in French
politics, though one wonders what would have happened if Madelin
gained second place instead of Le Pen? Would we still have the same
hand wringing and tactical voting against a candidate who threatened
to dismantle the socialist infrastructure?

In
this light, an outsider looking in, let me observe three things
regarding the Gallic situation:

The
Failure of Socialism

Or
to be more precise, a socialist monopoly on immigration and redistributive
policies. Let us not be lulled into thinking the National Front
is a liberal organisation. It’s socialism with a peculiarly nationalist
and supremacist face, economic and racial protectionism via State
decree would be the withering principles behind the presidency of
an elected Le Pen.

And,
contrary to uninformed popular opinion, the Nazis themselves were
socialising Statists par excellence in their pursuit of power and
I recommend Adam Young’sarticle on them to drive
home the point as to why I see no reason for Le Pen to be any different.

Therefore,
immigration policy would continue to lie firmly and exclusively
with the State, the only change being the one from net inflow quotas
to net outflow quotas. According to 1998 figures, 6.3% of France’s
population was foreign compared to the EU average of 5.3% — this
figure is probably nearer 10% today; especially if we include illegal
immigrants which was estimated at 500,000 across the EU in 1999
compared to the legal inflow of 700,000.

Immigrants
also have a disproportionate claim on the Welfare State as well
as being generally less wealthy (40% of the EU GDP average in 1999).
As an example of statist welfare dependency, in 1996, Germany had
a foreign population of 8.9% but foreign nationals constituted 23.5%
of welfare recipients. This compared to 8.3% of the population and
7.2% dependency in 1980. These figures are skewed by German reunification
and the influx of poorer East Germans — but it is fair to say that
Germany has not been the economic power it was since that day.

It
comes as no surprise, therefore, that the National Front takes 25%
of the vote across the southern French coast, which is a magnet
for North African immigrants of both the legal and illegal variety.
The French State (and other EU members) has undergirded its centrally
planned quotas via the Welfare State in recent decades but has now
begun to pull back on these numbers as asylum seekers has become
a front-line issue. The more radical left insists the welfare payments
must continue (if not increase) whilst the vote-sensitive ruling
parties have taken this step back.

No
doubt about it, the absence of a State-run welfare system would
deter immigrants and Le Pen would probably not be in the position
we find him angling for today.

The
Failure of Political Correctness

There
is a natural rate of immigration and an unnatural rate of immigration.
Like other economic and social instruments that the State meddles
with, we find that government tends to overstate the rate (current
policy) or understate it (Le Pen).

Political
correctness allied with State socialism combines in theory and practise
a misconceived notion. That is, moral man is a blank whiteboard
that can be written over with the ethical agendas of other men.
The belief that men of any belief, practise or colour could live
in harmony if the right conditions were met was put into practise
via regulated demographics but a slack monitoring and feedback system.

The
result of this artificial, social engineering is there for all to
see and let’s face up to the brutal truth. Racism is an expression
of human society that is not going to go away in a hurry. I can
come to that sorry conclusion based on observing human nature over
the centuries (by reading historical accounts, you understand, I
am no Methuselah).

It
is also a conclusion that is predicated on my own personal theology
and the doctrine of original sin. Man’s chief inclination, if unfettered
or unredeemed by God, is towards sin. No State on Earth can engineer
the inward change that is required for men to live in harmony. When
the economic times are good and there is a provision of outward
things such as food and clothing, there will be tolerance but not
necessarily an acceptance of others by others. The real test of
a socio-economic system is when the hard times come, such as when
Germany was plunged into the hyperinflation of the 1920s; xenophobia
had a field day as Jewish Capitalists were blamed by the National
Socialists for the nation’s ills.

The
Failure of Democracy

Finally,
we are told it is a triumph of democracy when the results go the
way of the contemporary policy makers. When the result of a democratic
vote goes against the grain, it is not democracy at fault but the
people who voted the "wrong" way and they obviously have
to be sent to Room 101 for re-education!

Democracy
failed to stop Le Pen in the first round and indeed it does not
care and will not care as to who failed or succeeded in the Presidential
elections, it just expresses the will of the people — no matter
how good or evil they are. Just as universal suffrage allowed certain
sections of the poor to express their economic envy at the better
off, we now see racial envy being expressed at the ballot box.

So
we see that democracy is the ultimate legitimatised platform for
getting back at those you do not like and whom you wish to bring
down a peg or two. In this, it has notably succeeded in France this
week.

April
24,
2002

Roland
Watson [send him
mail
] writes from Edinburgh, Scotland.

©
2002 LewRockwell.com

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Watson Archives

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