On the French Socialist Party and rebuilding the French left

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“ It is difficult to say what the PS is today. Its figures, its staff, its members are not one single entity. Part of it has gone off toward Macron and En Marche. And it is also important to be clearly aware that the reason it got 6 percent was that it embodied defeat and had no prospect of winning after the Hollande years. There was a very strong sense of disillusionment (…) The Parti socialiste is no longer the leading force on the Left, but the Left is not yet in good shape. What really interests me is how we can accomplish the challenging task of rebuilding the Left. That means a Left that concerns itself with the March for Dignity and Justice, a Left that makes feminism relevant for our own time, and a Left that can bring the popular classes back onto the political terrain ”

Elsa Faucillon, ‘The Left Under Macron’, Jacobin Magazine

 

On who the Italian Left should take inspiration from

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“ What model of the European left should inspire the Italian left? Should it be the English Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn or the French President Emmanuel Macron? The answer, in fact, is already contained in the question. If it’s the left we’re talking about, the model can hardly be Macron and for a simple reason: Macron is not a leftist ”

Davide De Luca, ‘Why Macron is not a leftist’, Il Post

On the mainstream dislike of old-style socialism and the collapse of centrism in the UK

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“ The Guardian is a big influence, and it has to be said that both its comment writers and its news editorial stance have been about as pro-Corbyn as the New York Times was pro–Bernie Sanders — that is, not at all. And for the same reasons. These are the liberal elitists. It’s people who don’t like old-style socialism. All the identity politics around Corbyn, they’re different than the ones around Sanders, but they were there. Lots of mainstream feminists don’t like Corbyn. In the end, Corbyn has proved you can run a traditional left campaign and energize young people. The other possibility is so dire — a right-wing Conservative and racist UKIP alliance government. The Guardian, which I write for, has had this hope that some centrist party would emerge, a bit like Emmanuel Macron in Paris, or like the Clintonite Democrats. But that kind of politics has collapsed in Britain, and the Liberal Democrats, who are the small third party here, just have really not done anything ”

Paul Mason, ‘The Movement in Corbyn’s Wake’, Jacobin Magazine

On going beyond anger to counter neoliberalism

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“ While we are all clicking and fixing our eyes on the never-ending Trump show – the handshake with Macron, the hand-holding with May – he is, she argues, enacting policies that are systematically moving wealth upwards, and crucial questions are not being asked loudly enough: Is your social security safe? Is your healthcare safe? Are your wages going to be driven down? He benefits so much from that focus away from economics (…) Anger and rejection of the status quo will never sustain people on its own. The triumph of neoliberalism is the idea that the alternative is always even worse. To overturn that there has to be a boldness and a recapturing of the utopian imagination. If we can’t do that, then I really don’t think we have a chance against these guys ”

Tim Adams & Naomi Klein, ‘Trump is an idiot, but don’t underestimate how good he is at that’, The Guardian

On why if Macron loses, it will be his fault, not Melenchon’s

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“ For some Macron is a most unbearable turmoil of Le Pen’s victory, for others he’s not. If Macron was a bit more tolerable for them, the first would perhaps vote for it, and if Le Pen was less frightening for them, perhaps the latter would not vote for Macron to avoid her. In short, there is no great principle, nor universal rule: every vote has a part of conviction and a part of sacrifice and doubt, and each weighs the two parts with its meter, not with that of the others. Those who do not want to vote Macron obviously ‘knows how to distinguish between Macron and Le Pen,’ like those who deny dinner because they only have a worm dish or plum covered with mold; they see the difference between worms and a plum. To attribute to any leftist who does not want to vote for Macron a whimsical infantile selfishness is just as childish, supposedly, and incapable of sensitivity to the reflections and doubts of others: and the history of the elections is always made of contexts such as this (Trump also won because many Sanders voters did not vote for Clinton, and they have widely explained the reasons, the 5 Star Movement will also win thanks to those who would not vote for Renzi, etc. […]) ”

Translated from Italian.

Luca Sofri, ‘Turarsi il nez’, Wittgenstein

On the dissatisfaction with the establishment shown through the French election results

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“ …like Macron, Mélenchon benefited from a campaign fought outside the traditional party framework. In an election in which strong turnout did not imply satisfaction with the status quo – quite the contrary – this dimension is an important one. The surveys IFOP cited thus suggest that three-quarters of those who declare themselves ‘without party preference’ split equally between Mélenchon, Macron, and Le Pen ”

Roger Martelli, ‘The Left is Alive’, Jacobin Magazine