The dying Left 1

We wrote yesterday that a century of Leftism is coming to an end. (See the post immediately below, End of an atrocious era). The death throes can be seen in France, where the Socialist Party is about to lose power.

This is from PowerLine, by Paul Mirengoff:

The French Socialist party held its primary [on January 22] in the race to succeed Francois Hollande as the party’s standard bearer. Hollande’s presidency has been such a disaster that he declined to stand for re-election.

Former education minister Benoit Hamon came in first with around 36 percent of the vote. He will face former prime minister Manuel Valls, who captured around 31 percent of the vote.

Hamon is a left-winger. He represents what the BBC calls “the angry, radical wing of the Socialist party.” Apparently, his central policy idea is a guaranteed minimum income.

Valls is a centrist by French Socialist standards, anyway. As prime minister, he tried to implement a somewhat pro-business agenda. He also declared that France is at war with radical Islam and stated that if Jews flee France in large numbers, “France will no longer be France” and “the French Republic will be judged a failure.”

Unfortunately, Hamon has a very clear edge in the run-off. The third-place finisher, left-winger Arnaud Montebourg, is backing him. Combined, Hamon and Montebourg received more than 50 percent of the primary vote.

Valls has characterized the run-off as a choice “between an assured defeat [in the general election] and possible victory”. He’s right, I think, that defeat is assured if Hamon is the Socialist candidate. But it is probably a reach to say that victory is possible under Valls.

The big question is whether the Socialist candidate can finish second in the general election and thus make the runoff against against Francois Fillon, the closest thing to a Reagan-Thatcher conservative, at least when it comes to economic policy, ever nominated by a major party in France. Standing in the way is Marine Le Pen of the National Front party, a right-wing ultra-nationalist outfit. As far as I can tell, most observers expect that it will be Fillon vs. Le Pen in the runoff.

The bigger story here may be the collapse, at least for now, of socialist parties throughout Europe.

So Mirengoff cautiously allows for a resurrection of Socialism. We concede that its specter may haunt the world for ages yet, but we do not foresee it reigning again.

He quotes an article by Alissa Rubin in the New York Times:

The collapse of the establishment left in France is hardly a unique phenomenon. Across Europe, far-right populist parties are gaining strength, including in France, while the mainstream left, which played a central role in building modern Europe, is in crisis.

From Italy to Poland to Britain and beyond, voters are deserting center-left parties, as leftist politicians struggle to remain relevant in a moment when politics is inflamed by anti-immigrant, anti-European Union anger.

In Italy, constituencies that used to routinely back the center-left Democratic Party are turning to the new anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is Euroskeptic and anti-globalization

Rubin quotes a professorial view:

Wherever you look in Europe the Socialists are not doing well, with the exception of Portugal,” said Philippe Marlière, a professor of French and European politics at University College London. …

And Mirengoff comments, “Europe is in a state of tremendous flux and possibly a state of crisis.”

It is definitely in a state of crisis. At this critical moment in their history, Europeans have to choose between letting the socialist parties (a category that includes the parties calling themselves “conservative”) continue in power, which means the preservation of the European Union and the Islamization of the continent; or saving their nation states, their identity, their culture, their law, their heritage, their traditions, their liberty – in short, their civilization – by supporting the populist parties indiscriminately labeled “far-right” by the establishment and the media.

The outlook is brightening for the populist parties since Donald Trump won the US presidency. His success has invigorated them. Chances are they will soon win power in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy … and eventually even in Portugal.