Tag Archives: French socialism

Another French Party Of The Left To Appear

In the aftermath of World War II, socialism appeared to many as representing a powerful new direction that would set Europe on a course for prosperity. As the years passed and the European Union emerged as the key vehicle of economic success either socialist leaders lost their dreams or socialism, in the traditional sense, lost its direction. Over the past week-end, Jean-Luc Melenchon, announced the founding a new French socialist party which he hoped would unite those on the political left and become a force to combat the power of capitalism. France’s Socialist Party is torn with fractional disputes and fights are more concerned as to who is in charge rather than what the party represents in the modern world.

“The France of rebellion and revolution has once again found a will, a flag, and a party,” announced Melenchon. “There is a tremendous opportunity on the left to confront capitalism.” There is no doubt many Europeans have lost faith in traditional capitalism, but that does not necessarily translate into support of socialism unless leaders on the left have something to offer besides wanting power.

So far, as even Melenchon admits, his followers are disaffected members of the existing French Socialist Party. It will require new dreams and visions of the future for socialism to capture the adherence of most Europeans. Can the left furnish such a future?

French Socialists Move Left

Martine Aubrey, former Labor Minister who masterminded France’s adoption of the 35 hour work week a decade ago was the winner in the election to determine who would lead the Socialist Party in the coming years. She believes French Socialists must station themselves on the Left and offer their nation a progressive centered alternative to President Sarkozy. Her opponent, Segolene Royal refused to concede since she only lost by 42 votes and believes there is need for a recount.

The French Socialist Party has a distinguished history, but it is unclear if it has ideas which can overcome the increasingly popular Sarkozy. It is interesting that Sarkozy is now claiming the end of capitalism as we know it and the need for inventing a new economic order. Will his call for changing capitalism result in borrowing ideas from socialism? The lack of economic clarity in the modern world makes uncertain how Socialists can present a platform that deals with the current crisis. Mouthing old cliches will not work for modern Socialism, it must come forth with a progressive program that revamps capitalism while still keeping those aspects of this discredited economic system which make sense.