On how an alternative political view must grow in France to defeat the Front National’s xenophobic rhetoric

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“ In addition to the necessary indignation and condemnation of the party’s chauvinism and undemocratic nature, it is crucial to challenge the FN’s social discourse directed at rightfully angry and disillusioned working class communities in France. In this respect, we cannot rely on traditional mainstream parties to fight the FN. In fact, the centre-right, represented by Les Républicains, which continues to push for more austerity measures, and the Parti Socialiste, which under the mandate of François Hollande fully embraced neoliberalism, betraying its original constituencies and promises, are at the root of the FN’s rise: both have uncritically defended the socially destructive policies of the European Union, increased inequalities and unemployment, and participated in the gradual erosion of the country’s social safety net. They have lost all credibility, and, although they declare themselves as the only barrier to the FN, they carry the historical load of its ascent. Only a radical, strong, alternative discourse, based on hope and solidarity, that denounces both the FN’s racism and xenophobia and that exposes its disguise as the upholder of worker’s needs, along with a credible political vision, will succeed in regaining the lost ground, and redirecting people’s anger in a progressive direction, towards those at the top society, instead of easy scapegoats. ”

Tommaso Segantini, ‘The truth behind Front National’s change of heart’, OpenDemocracy

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