The Daily Mail and support for French fascists


6:56 pm - April 21st 2012

by Paul Cotterill    


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Even by the Daily Mail standards, the decision to publish an article fully in support of Marine Le Pen as President of France is pretty extraordinary, given the paper’s support for fascism in the 1930s.

It is fairly clear that the author has had little recent contact with French politics, and the idea that France will be saved by withdrawal from the Euro and the defence of ‘national identity’ is little more than a sign of pitiful immaturity on the part of the author. But it causes concern when it’s passed through editorial hands at a mainstream paper.

What surprises me more is that relatively little attention has been paid by opponents of Marine Le Pen to what she really represents, and how recent acts continue to reflect this.

It is less than three months ago that Le Pen was guest of honour at a Burschenshaften [literally, 'fraternity] ball in Vienna, where she chose to dance with Austrian far right Freedom Party leader Martin Graff, who is a member of Olympia, a secret society which excludes Jews from its ranks.

Graff’s party is dedicated to the establishment of a ‘Germanic Cultural Community’ – the Nazi overtones are deliberate. The ball itself is notorious (and likely to be banned) as a gathering of far-right extremists, and Le Pen (like her father, a previous guest-of-honour) was likely making a knowing gesture of allegiance to far-right extremism.

Hollande and Sarkozy’s decision not to make a big issue of this is understandable; they risked giving the publicity Marine Le Pen craves.

What is odd though is that, to my knowledge, no British commentator on the French elections has done anything other than help to confirm the ‘detoxfication’ myth about Marine Le Pen, and how she apparently offers a radical alternative to the mainstream fare of the Hollande-Sarkozy show.

Indeed, more often than not, she is paired with leftwing candidate Jen-Luc Mélenchon, as comparable alternatives to the main parties. This is not just lazy’two for the price of one’ journalism; it’s also an enormous insult to Mélenchon and those who will vote for him in round 1.

Given this indolence, perhaps it is little wonder that someone as ignorant as the Daily Mail columnist feels empowered, alongside his editors, to promote the idea of a neo-Nazi as the leader of a major European power.

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About the author
Paul Cotterill is a regular contributor, and blogs more regularly at Though Cowards Flinch, an established leftwing blog and emergent think-tank. He currently has fingers in more pies than he has fingers, including disability caselaw, childcare social enterprise, and cricket.
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Reader comments


1. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Prospective assasins of young people camping on Islands please note!

“Prospective assasins of young people camping on Islands please note!”

That kind of argument on the left makes a mockery of the oft repeated stance that Islamic terrorists do not represent Islam or Muslims.

3. George Hallam

“Even by the Daily Mail standards, the decision to publish an article fully in support of Marine Le Pen as President of France is pretty extraordinary”

What will they use for a headline?

“Vive les chemises noires” is a bit to obvious perhaps.

The Mail may not outwardly support the BNP but it provides the far-right with all the fuel they could need. ‘Statistics’ about immigrants and crime. A complete misrepresentation of pretty much anything European, Muslim or public sector.

Good piece.
I was pretty shocked at the brazenness of it too.

I think the interesting thimg with the Daily Mail is if a far-right party is widely reviled and only getting a few votes, then the Daily Mail join in with the condemnation. If the party ever gets anywhere however, then they start praising them.

It’s as if they are just sticking their finger in the air and seeing the way the wind is blowing…….

It might look pretty staggering, but remember, Simon Heffer has a soft spot for Marine le Pen, as witness his enthusiasm at the editorial meeting where someone from the New Yorker was sitting in.

But Waghorne is talking utter bullshit. As I posted here:

http://zelo.tv/JgqeGL

he has no idea of how the French mainstream is thinking. The idea that any significant number of voters there are thinking in terms of shuttering up the borders and abandoning the Euro is the stuff of fairytales.

Two years ago, I’d have argued “whatever”. It is just the Daily Mail just blowing off in a ludicrous polemic to attract readers. Which it is doing.

What has changed is that the Daily Mail has determined to become an international newspaper. It wants hits from across the world, to become the biggest English language newspaper and to make a profit from its web site. Those are fair ambitions — to get loads of readers and to sell advertising to viewers is what periodicals strive to achieve.

So I feel more uncomfortable than in past times about this commentary piece — it was not an editorial — in support of a far right wing party. UK readers are far more likely to appreciate why this is about dog shit through the letter box than the international audience. If Paul Dacre is reading this — which I somewhat doubt — I advise him to concentrate on minor celebrities seeking attention wearing misconceived bikinis and to moderate his slower-to-think-than-type commentators.

@OP: Picking up on Paul Cotterill, is the Daily Mail’s past support for fascists and nazis pertinent? How many owners and editors has the newspaper had? Would the paper qualify under for rehabilitation of offenders?

On the same principle, can the Fabian Society be forgiven for past mistakes? When I read a piece from the Fabians, I judge it on who they are today.

8. Steve in Somerset

As a generally disinterested middle of the roader, can someone explain to me why is far-right extremeism is wrong, when far-left extremeism is not?

9. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@2 Actually it wasnt an argument. It was merely referencing others who have pointed out the similarity of views between Brevek and the some right wing columnists.
Maybe you could rephrase your retort more explicitly.

10. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@8 is that the issue here?

Such are those to whose legislative will we are subject as citizens of an EU member-state: neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists, Stalinists and Trotskyists, neoconservatives such as currently run France and Germany, wholly unelected technocrats from Italy and Greece, members of Eastern Europe’s kleptomaniac nomenklatura, people who believe the Provisional Army Council to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland, and Dutch ultra-Calvinists who will not have women as candidates.

Any criticism of a newspaper’s or commentator’s endorsement of one of of them is invalid unless, in principle and where applicable in practice, it would extend to any such endorsement of any of them.

Jacques Cheminade, a supporter of Lyndon LaRouche, has managed to collect the signatories of 500 civic dignitaries in order to make it onto the ballot. Next up, a Strasbourg seat. Isn’t the EU marvellous?

“Isn’t the EU marvellous?”

Why do Michael Heseltine, Kenneth Clarke, Tony Blair, John Reid, Patricia Hewitt, Peter Mandelson, Nick Clegg etc think Britain should have signed up to join the Euro?

Lord Heseltine says UK will join the euro [17 April]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17742675

13. Paul Newman

The problem with this is that the author is supporting Le Pen only on the grounds that he will safeguard French Democracy not his own views about what that democracy should say .When the entire political class are allied in abolishing France they do rather open the door
A for how very dare they Seamus Milne frequently defends Stalin and his opining passes unnoticed . Why is that ok ?

What does the author actually mean by “fascists”? Nowhere in the OP is this made clear. Perhaps it is self-evident from Le Pen’s one-time choice of dancing partners, I dunno. Still, an argument and not just a collection of nudges and winks wouldn’t hurt.

15. Charlieman

@11. David Lindsay:

Skip the tedious rant. Start after the gibbered quote below.

“Such are those to whose legislative will we are subject as citizens of an EU member-state: neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists, Stalinists and Trotskyists, neoconservatives such as currently run France and Germany, wholly unelected technocrats from Italy and Greece, members of Eastern Europe’s kleptomaniac nomenklatura, people who believe the Provisional Army Council to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland, and Dutch ultra-Calvinists who will not have women as candidates.”

Non comprehension.

“Any criticism of a newspaper’s or commentator’s endorsement of one of of them is invalid unless, in principle and where applicable in practice, it would extend to any such endorsement of any of them.”

Ditto.

“Jacques Cheminade, a supporter of Lyndon LaRouche, has managed to collect the signatories of 500 civic dignitaries in order to make it onto the ballot. Next up, a Strasbourg seat. Isn’t the EU marvellous?”

But the bonkersness become clear. David Lindsay wants us to love a Lyndon LaRouche supporter.

For this review, can I have a free copy of your book, David Lindsay? I need to think further.

Is there any serious prospect of the French electorate following the advice in the Mail and electing Marine Le Pen to the Presidency of France or it that just another lost cause?

Mind you, I suppose it accords with those values regularly espoused by the Mail: Patrie, Famille, Travail
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travail,_famille,_patrie

Sadly, the supply of travail is a bit short these days in France and Britain.

Charlieman @7: My point wasn’t that its support for the blackshirts in the 30s is actually relevant to this piece. It was that I thought the Mail’s editors might have been more conscious than they clearly were about the article raising what must – surely – be a matter of reputational regret. Or to cast it in your correctional terms, why would they do something like this if they wanted parole?

Steve in Somerset @8: You’re disinterested, so you wouldn’t be interested.

Paul Newman @13: She, not he.

Vimothy @14: I didn’t say Le Pen is a fascist (the headline’s not mine and I use a different one in the longer version at my place, from which this is edited).

I did say she’s a neo-Nazi. In a TV interview last week she reiterated her party’s proposals for a retroactive removal of ‘jus soli’ [the right to citizenship on the basis of birth in the country] in favour of ‘jus sanguinis’ [rights based on race]. That’s not all neo-Nazism, but it’s a cardinal element, and ut was the cornerstone of her father’s stance.

Paul,

Do you have some sort of reference for that? From what little I know, it seems like describing Le Pen as a neo-Nazi is hyperbolic.

* * * *

Re the Daily Mail’s support for fascism, how come no one ever applies these standards to, e.g., the NYT?

19. So Much For Subtlety

17. Paul

I did say she’s a neo-Nazi. In a TV interview last week she reiterated her party’s proposals for a retroactive removal of ‘jus soli’ [the right to citizenship on the basis of birth in the country] in favour of ‘jus sanguinis’ [rights based on race]. That’s not all neo-Nazism, but it’s a cardinal element, and ut was the cornerstone of her father’s stance.

A cardinal element? Well it is British law too. Does that make us Nazis? It is German law as well. Does that mean they are still Nazis? In fact this simply looks like bringing France in line with the rest of Europe. Ireland changed its law recently from jus soli to jus sanguinis. So no doubt you think they are Nazis?

By the way, jus sanguinis does not mean race. It means blood. Someone with a German Father but a Nigerian Mother is entitled to German citizenship. As they would be to British citizenship. So why misstate about it?

What happened to my comment? I was nearly finished typing it and it vanished.

Charlieman cannot read English.

21. So Much For Subtlety

Even by the Daily Mail standards, the decision to publish an article fully in support of Marine Le Pen as President of France is pretty extraordinary, given the paper’s support for fascism in the 1930s.

Dredging up half remembered lies from the 1930s is hardly a good way to start anything. Especially given most of the Left in the 1930s was solidly opposed to the British war with Germany on Moscow’s orders. I don’t recall anyone here condemning Raymond Williams or Eric Hobsbawm for campaigning for a British defeat in 1940.

It is fairly clear that the author has had little recent contact with French politics, and the idea that France will be saved by withdrawal from the Euro and the defence of ‘national identity’ is little more than a sign of pitiful immaturity on the part of the author.

Immaturity is a nice shaming tactic but it is not a rational argument. If you think that withdrawal from the Euro and defending France’s national identity – something that now all French political parties agree on – won’t work you need to say why you think it won’t work. Not avoid the topic by throwing insults.

What surprises me more is that relatively little attention has been paid by opponents of Marine Le Pen to what she really represents, and how recent acts continue to reflect this.

That would be interesting if you had the slightest evidence Ms Le Pen represents anything other than what she says she represents. I notice you provide no evidence of any sinister intent whatsoever.

It is less than three months ago that Le Pen was guest of honour at a Burschenshaften [literally, 'fraternity] ball in Vienna, where she chose to dance with Austrian far right Freedom Party leader Martin Graff, who is a member of Olympia, a secret society which excludes Jews from its ranks.

So not very secret is it? Your evidence is that she went to a dance party where she danced with a man you do not like? Wow. She ought to be in jail then. Come on, this is childish.

Graff’s party is dedicated to the establishment of a ‘Germanic Cultural Community’ – the Nazi overtones are deliberate.

How do you know they are deliberate? How do you know they are Nazi over tones? Sounds like normal pan-Germanic nationalism to me. But the fact that Graff supports anything does not mean a damn when it comes to Le Pen because all she did was dance with him.

The ball itself is notorious (and likely to be banned) as a gathering of far-right extremists, and Le Pen (like her father, a previous guest-of-honour) was likely making a knowing gesture of allegiance to far-right extremism.

Likely to be banned, but not actually banned? So we have the head of a legal Party who went to a legal party where she danced with the head of another Party. Kristalnacht it is not quite is it?

Hollande and Sarkozy’s decision not to make a big issue of this is understandable; they risked giving the publicity Marine Le Pen craves.

And because there is nothing to it.

What is odd though is that, to my knowledge, no British commentator on the French elections has done anything other than help to confirm the ‘detoxfication’ myth about Marine Le Pen, and how she apparently offers a radical alternative to the mainstream fare of the Hollande-Sarkozy show.

You assume it is a myth and even if it was, she would be a radical alternative surely? More so if it was a myth.

Indeed, more often than not, she is paired with leftwing candidate Jen-Luc Mélenchon, as comparable alternatives to the main parties. This is not just lazy’two for the price of one’ journalism; it’s also an enormous insult to Mélenchon and those who will vote for him in round 1.

Actually it is an insult to Le Pen. She has never been a Nazi but Melenchon has spent his life supporting genocidal and totalitarian politics. This is just more of the double standards of the Left who think mass murder from the Left is fine and dandy while effective government from the Right is a horror comparable to the Holocaust.

22. Arthur Seaton

I think this is wonderful, marvelous. The Daily Mail’s “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” days are back, fully fledged. They are actually and openly supporting Fascism. You can call them Fascists, and its not slander or hyperbole – its fact. Similarly nice guys like So Much For My Democratic Credentials above – a Fascist. I would suggest both the rag and the hag be called out and described as such at every available opportunity: lovers and supporters of a gang of Holocaust-denying thugs.

23. Charlieman

@20. David Lindsay:

Charlieman is fluent in English.

Charlieman presumes nowt.

15, the LaRouchies are among various people who keep a very close eye on me, and not in a good way, so I might post over on my website your suggestion that I am in any way sympathetic towards them or vice versa. It would certainly give them a good laugh, as it certainly gave them one. But it is water of a duck’s back to me. Oliver Kamm’s persecution of Neil Clark comes close, but I am not otherwise aware of any campaign against a British commentator comparable to the one to which I have been, and am, subject by Kamm, Damian Thompson and the rest. So do your worst.

I say again, look at the people to whom the EU subjects us in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. In that light, who cares if a Dublin-based American blogger for a London newspaper endorses Le Pen? She and hers have been making our laws for 40 years. As have numerous other undesirables. You cannot condemn Le Pen and the FN but not all of the others. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of those others. Are you? If so, then which one?

25. So Much For Subtlety

22. Arthur Seaton

I think this is wonderful, marvelous. The Daily Mail’s “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” days are back, fully fledged.

Why not? The Guardian’s “I Love Stalin” Days never ended. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

They are actually and openly supporting Fascism. You can call them Fascists, and its not slander or hyperbole – its fact.

But they are not and it is not a fact. Le Pen pere was a crypto-Fascist. Whether his daughter is or not is another matter. She looks to be more of a post-Fascist in the way that Fini is. What has she ever said that would indicate Fascism?

Similarly nice guys like So Much For My Democratic Credentials above – a Fascist. I would suggest both the rag and the hag be called out and described as such at every available opportunity: lovers and supporters of a gang of Holocaust-denying thugs.

Le petit Le Pen has never denied the Holocaust that I am aware of. When did she do so? Ideally, of course, no one would be endorsing Le Pen or the assorted Stalinists and Trotskyites on the other extreme. But they do. We have seen major newspapers like the Guardian employ KGB spies, publish people who took East German money – as does LC for that matter – and so on. The OP for some reason thinks it is reasonable to condemn the crypto-Fascists while praising the Marxist-Leninists. This is inconsistent and absurd. If he is going to praise one, there is nothing wrong with the Daily Mail praising the other. Especially as Le petit Le Pen has given up her father’s racism. If she ever believed it.

26. Tony Parkes

Speaking of indolence, Mr Cotterill, Martin Graf is spelt with one F.

Vimothy @18: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRwNfpp8J18&context=C46bb9f0ADvjVQa1PpcFPnpZE5JzPJEpu34mC7xUIzqFt-l-BOFks= (about 7 mins in)

See also http://www.frontnational.com/pdf/projet_mlp2012.pdf (p.6), with following policy intent:

Suppression du droit du sol et réforme en profondeur du Code de la nationalité française. La naturalisation se mérite et sera soumise à des conditions strictes de présence paisible et prolongée sur le territoire, en situation légale, de maîtrise de la langue française et de preuve d’assimilation. Plus généralement, la double nationalité ne sera plus autorisée en dehors des cas de double nationalité avec un autre pays européen.

SFMS @21

Excellent fisk of this sloppy and lazy minded post.

I found the original article in the Mail to be unpersuasive but intelligently and coherently argued. Whilst Paul was careful not to call for its censorship, the implication, that it was not deserving of publication, is on the continuum of left wing authoritarianism.

Being strongly against immigration generally isn’t ”right wing” is it? In itself?
I don’t know much about the FN in France these days, but not wanting even more people who are now residing in Africa to move to France in the coming years isn’t the same as racism against black French people.

Having spent a couple of weeks in Paris in December and travelled about in the suburbs north of the Gare du Nord station, the area resembles a poor ghetto and I’m sure has many problems with unemployment and lack of ingegration. So not wanting more people who aren’t actually in the country yet to move there, shouldn’t be automatically called racism. It so often is though. Or fascism even.

30. So Much For Subtlety

27. pagar

I found the original article in the Mail to be unpersuasive but intelligently and coherently argued. Whilst Paul was careful not to call for its censorship, the implication, that it was not deserving of publication, is on the continuum of left wing authoritarianism.

Actually I found it rather persuasive. If I were French I wonder if I could bring myself to vote for the FN? I really do wonder. I would probably abstain.

However the OP is dishonest in one more respect that I forgot to mention:

Even by the Daily Mail standards, the decision to publish an article fully in support of Marine Le Pen as President of France is pretty extraordinary, given the paper’s support for fascism in the 1930s.

The article is clearly not fully in support of Le Pen and the FN. Especially where it matters:

“Le Pen’s protectionist economic policies are both foolish and futile. Her campaign has often been poor and indistinct. This is particularly culpable during a European crisis which ought to have given her party an opportunity unparalleled since inception and suggests serious limits in her own capabilities. ”

A clear condemnation of her economic policies.

“Her efforts to regulate the political instincts of her party mitigate without cancelling out present reminders of its unacceptable past, most notable among which are her vocal and hot-headed father Jean-Marie Le Pen.”

And I assume that is a condemnation of the racism of FN’s past and perhaps much of its present rank and file. Calling the party’s past unacceptable is not fully supporting Fascism. It is, admittedly, a little soft on the FN’s past and especially her Father’s record, but it is not nothing either.

31. Martin Miller

David Lindsay is a mentally disturbed loser and fantasist who pretends to be an important political thinker. In fact he’s unemployed and unemployable and pretends to be an academic at Durham. He’s never held an academic post or published any academic work and his incoherent and insane “book” is published by a vanity press. Oliver Kamm once laughed at him for writing to loads of journalists under a fake name begging for attention and Damian Thompson banned him from the comments section of the Telegraph for insanity.

@21 “most of the Left in the 1930s was solidly opposed to the British war with Germany on Moscow’s orders.”

How do you come up with that? Surely the Labour Party was always far larger than the CPGB?

33. flyingrodent

So, to summarise: Marine Le Pen can’t possibly be a Nazi because she hasn’t personally invaded Poland and it’s totally fine for the Mail to publish puff-pieces about her party because, like, Stalin or something.

34. Margin4error

She rants about the islamification of france – she seeks to block the construction of new mosques across france by blocking both state funding and foreign funding of mosques (though not new churches, obviously) – and she seeks to establish jus sanguinis as the core principle of French citizenshp so as to be able to remove citizenship from those who don’t conform to the courts’ interpretation of Liberty, Fraternity and solidarity (so muslims basically).

And people are quibling about exactly what a fascist looks like?

35. Charlieman

@17. Paul: “My point wasn’t that its support for the blackshirts in the 30s is actually relevant to this piece. It was that I thought the Mail’s editors might have been more conscious than they clearly were about the article raising what must – surely – be a matter of reputational regret.”

Fair comment, Paul. I can’t be bothered to quibble. I do wonder, however, how many “youngsters” are aware of that piece of Daily Mail history.

Whilst Paul was careful not to call for its censorship, the implication, that it was not deserving of publication, is on the continuum of left wing authoritarianism.

What??

He didn’t call for i’s censorship. But vocally disagreeing with something is on the same ‘continuum’ as having it banned.

Hilarious to see ‘libertarians’ concocting such feeble arguments in order to line up in defence of fascists. Well, you know, anything to annoy ‘the’left’.

So, to summarise: Marine Le Pen can’t possibly be a Nazi because she hasn’t personally invaded Poland and it’s totally fine for the Mail to publish puff-pieces about her party because, like, Stalin or something.

It is possible for Le Pen to be a neo-Nazi. If so, an actual argument would help those of us not won over by the nudges and winks in the OP and the comments to understand what exactly the author means by neo-Nazi and in what sense Le Pen meets this criteria.

“How do you know they are Nazi over tones? ”

They only have one ball?

The problem I have with this sort of stuff is this:

When it comes to right-wingers it is enough merely to remind people of fascists or Nazis to establish that they are beyond the pale. The evidentiary standard here is connotative and vague. (I mean—rolls eyes—, what more do you want, proof that they actually invaded Poland?)

Whereas, when it comes to left wingers, it’s a completely different set of criteria. No one suggests that the left should be held to the same ooh-look-he-once-danced-with-a-member-of-the-Communist-Party-therefore-he-must-dream-of-mass-murder standard. (I mean—rolls eyes—, what are you trying to say here, that they’re, like, BFF with Stalin?)

The treatment of the Daily Mail in the OP and comments are a good example of this. Do people bring up, say, Walter Duranty with the same regularity? My magic eight ball says, “hell no.”

And the LSE is obviously an objective institution, right? It’s not like Sidney Webb ever wrote “Is Stalin a Dictator?”, is it? (Spoiler alert: of course he’s not, you big silly). They certainly shouldn’t feel the need to be circumspect.

No, that’s for people who aren’t liberals, i.e., for Nazis.

40. Charlieman

@36. vimothy: “It is possible for Le Pen to be a neo-Nazi. If so, an actual argument would help those of us not won over by the nudges and winks in the OP and the comments to understand what exactly the author means by neo-Nazi and in what sense Le Pen meets this criteria.”

It should not be necessary to start at the beginning, but vimothy asks that we do so.

The French NF was founded in the early 1970s by people who hung around with real Nazis. That wasn’t solely a French phenomenon; it was the pattern for extreme right wing parties across Europe.

The party has been going for 40 years with remarkable consistency. In the UK, the BNP/NF has gone through so many transformations that I am unable to count it on my 23 fingers and toes. The French NF, particularly when it achieved some electoral success, “moderated” its public position over the years. To win votes, a party must be “respectable”; is there resonance with the name of a left wing UK party? But the persona of respect does not change the fact that the French NF is a party of nigger and queer haters.

I have vague recollections of internal conflicts within French NF about political direction. Nasty right wingers can never decide how to campaign nor acknowledge that they may be psychologically damaged.

The schism that currently controls the French NF have determined that they will get more votes by looking nice. By wearing suits. Nigger and queer haters in suits.

In the OP, Paul Cotterill does not deliver winks or nudges. He writes: “It is less than three months ago that Le Pen was guest of honour at a Burschenshaften [literally, 'fraternity] ball in Vienna, where she chose to dance with Austrian far right Freedom Party leader Martin Graff, who is a member of Olympia, a secret society which excludes Jews from its ranks.”

As a liberal, I reject “guilt by association”. But I can see when people cuddle Nazis.

41. scandalousbill

SMFS,

You say:

“Especially as Le petit Le Pen has given up her father’s racism. If she ever believed it.”

So when Marie Le Pen, during her campaign, stated that 98% of the meat in Paris was Halal, this absurd comment was not racial in motivation, just the remarks of an observant shopper? Try again Troll

42. flyingrodent

when it comes to left wingers, it’s a completely different set of criteria. No one suggests that the left should be held to the same ooh-look-he-once-danced-with-a-member-of-the-Communist-Party-therefore-he-must-dream-of-mass-murder standard.

Oh, yes. I think we can all agree that, when one of the UK’s top-selling newspapers publishes puff pieces endorsing the French national front, the possibility that somebody, somewhere isn’t giving George Galloway a hard time is by far the most important issue.

Okay everybody, stop discussing the Mail and the French NF and immediately start whining about a highly unspecific, generalised notion of left wing extremism instead.

Oh, well, since apparently I must:

“David Lindsay has generated a brilliant reconciliation of the conflicting strains of the Labour Tradition and is worthy of the closest attention.” Dr Maurice Glasman, Lord Glasman of Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill; Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Director of the Faith and Citizenship Programme, London Metropolitan University; founder of Blue Labour.

“This book is well researched, is full of facts and deals with contemporary and historical political and social issues. It comes from the left but it should also appeal to those who are concerned with and interested in the great issues and how they are dealt with by our political and other institutions. It is well worth reading.” David Stoddart, Lord Stoddart of Swindon; Labour MP for Swindon, 1970-1983; Government Whip, 1975-1978.

“Current orthodoxy – both in economic policy and right across the board – has so manifestly failed us that we desperately need some fresh thinking and a different way of looking at our problems. That is precisely what David Lindsay provides in this stimulating book.” Professor Bryan Gould, Labour MP for Southampton Test, 1974-1979; Labour MP for Dagenham, 1983-1994; Shadow Cabinet Member, 1986-1994; Leadership Candidate, 1992.

“Before Red Tory and Blue Labour there was David Lindsay. He was arguably the first to announce a postliberal politics of paradox, and to delve into the deep, unwritten British past in order to craft, theoretically, an alternative British and international future. It is high time that the singular and yet wholly pertinent writings of this County Durham Catholic Labour prophet receive a wider circulation.” Professor John Milbank, Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics, University of Nottingham.

“Parliamentary democracy was not invented in 1689. Banking was established by the Venetians, not the Dutch. Much in our history and development owes much to complex ideas and traditions, especially to Jacobitism. David Lindsay’s highly original book explains why and how.” Dr Eveline Cruickshanks, Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London; Chairman of the Jacobite Studies Trust.

“David Lindsay has written a provocative, informed, and idiosyncratic work that will intrigue those interested in the intersection of Christian social thought, populism, and Anglo-American politics.” Mark Stricherz, author of Why the Democrats are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party.

“An excellent College Tutor here at Collingwood.” Professor Joe Elliott AcSS, Principal of Collingwood College, Durham.

The University Directory describes me as “Academic/management staff”. Rather a high-powered collection is being put together in response to my book. And as my book sets out, the universally hated Damian Thompson publicly stated his reason for discontinuing my Telegraph Blog: that I was literally insane for pointing out the treasonable relationship between the Israeli Far Right and 80 per cent of Conservative MPs, including David Cameron. That blatantly obvious fact has since been confirmed by the resignation of Liam Fox, and will be confirmed even further if there is a public inquiry into the Raed Salah fiasco.

44. Charlieman

@38. vimothy: “When it comes to right-wingers it is enough merely to remind people of fascists or Nazis to establish that they are beyond the pale.”

Is that surprising given that the majority of commenters here regard themselves to be on the left?

“When the tanks roll over Poland again” was recorded by The Automatics. I haven’t heard it for years.

“Whereas, when it comes to left wingers, it’s a completely different set of criteria.”

Way back in this thread I mentioned that the Fabian Society has a questionable past. It doesn’t stop me reading or occasionally agreeing with them because they are no longer eugenicists or Stalinists.

45. Margin4error

vimothy

I’ve read a lot of resentment like yours about the disparity in perceptions over left and right extremes. And I’ve often struggled to understand the nature of the complaint.

The reason for that is two-fold.

The first reason is that communism is clearly by nature a nicer concept than fascism. I say “nicer” deliberately because a philosophy born of a desire for equality and an end to division on economic, religious, ethnic or national grounds – is clearly “nicer” than a desire to establish the superiority of one race, religion, ethnicity or nationality over others – even if the second is much more practical to achieve. As such I wonder what sort of petty person can’t hold in their un-related resentment about communism in when they hear fascism being decried.

But the second reason is more important. Communism IS spat with as much bile and vicious hate as fascism. So, in effect, your self-indulgent whinge is a lie.

For example, when Obama sought to reform American healthcare a key rant about it was indeed that it was “socialism” or “communism” by the back door. Of course this criticism is much more rare than “fascism” because there is much less communist influence over western democratic politics nowadays than there is fascist influence. That wasn’t so much the case 30 years ago, and both were relatively common criticisms of policy and people across politics. Basically, you hear the “communist” criticism less because fascism is much more influencial now and drives much more policy debate now. (compare the votes of fascist movements across Europe to communist ones for the evidence of this).

So – to sum up – give up the pathetic whinging that we should be finding and oucritcising communists too, every time you see fascists being attacked. If you want communists critcised – go find them.

Margin4error

”She rants about the islamification of france – she seeks to block the construction of new mosques across france by blocking both state funding and foreign funding of mosques …..”

I agree it’s not very liberal of her – but is it fascist exactly?
I had thought that fascism was a lot worse than that.

To talk about the ”islamification of France” is clearly daft as France is too big and its muslim population too small in comparison, but you might (if you were alarmed by such things) talk about the ”islamification” of particular neighbourhoods.

I saw this set of youtubes about part of the 18th arrondissement of Paris before I went to Paris over New Year……. so went and had a look around this particular neighbourhood when I was there – on a friday at prayer time too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vuY0v7mt_E

It wasn’t as busy as it shows in the youtubes, and I only saw a small number of people praying in the street when they couldn’t fit inside the small mosque, but it was stiil very ”Islamic” around prayer time – just because hundreds of people were all going to pray in that small neighbourhood.

But big deal – so what? There’s a new mosque development in that street, which I saw from the plans of it displayed, will be much bigger and more modern than the pokey little couple they have now.
But I wouldn’t bother to argue with someone who thought that that corner of Paris was quite ”islamicised” – because you just can’t win that argument with someone who insists that it is because it has lots of Muslim people living and working there.

Just like you couldn’t really argue that the local Metro station ‘Barbès – Rochechouart’ is not overrun by North African origin touts and husslers, selling everything from belts, to purfume, to contraband cigarettes and Metro tickets.
You can’t say that it’s not, because it is. That corner is a hangout for large groups of unemployed and under employed young men who speak Arabic.
They even pester people inside the station trying to buy Metro tickets at the ticket machines. It’s very off-putting if you’re a nervous type person.
I’m sure it’s just the kind of thing that annoys a lot of other French people.
In the evening I saw groups of up to a hundred men all standing on that corner – blocking the pavement. You have to walk through them. It’s a social gathering.

I don’t see what this has to do with George Galloway.

There is a double standard here, whereby if we want to establish Le Pen’s “Nazi” bonafides we just have to point to the fact that she was once at the same party as someone who’s a member of a secret club that doesn’t allow Jews, and presumably caught Hitler from a dirty wine glass, or something, but the same standard obviously doesn’t apply to, say, the Labour Party and capital-C Communism.

If anyone has a substantive argument as to why Le Pen is a Nazi, a neo-Nazi or a fascist, then I would like to see it. Seems like a reasonable request, and one that should be easy to meet–then I can get back to whining about left-wing extremism, or whatever it is I usually do with my Sunday afternoons.

48. Martin Miller

David Lindsay, there’s no need to confirm to everyone that Damian Thompson was right to call you “absolutely nuts”. The reason why he banned you from the Telegraph was because you didn’t know anything and you were a fake. You have no academic post and have never published any academic book or paper. Your total publication anywhere in the last year is ZERO. You were exposed by Palatinate for attempted fraud by writing to journalists under a fake name begging them to report you. Didn’t work, did it? The “book of responses” is also a total fantasy. As Thompson said, Lindsay is amusing for his fantasies but also disturbed.

49. Margin4error

Damon

In answer to your question – it is pretty fascist yes.

Not in isolation of course. But it isn’t in isolation is it? #

Her ranting is not born of a belief that religion is self-evidently a man-made construct that holds back human endeavour and denies us equality and clarity of purpose. (communist).

Her ranting is born of a view that islam is un-french in a way that catholicism isn’t. That is a very nationalist and rather fascist outlook on its own. After all, to seek to exclude arbitrarilly one group of people from what it is to be truly of the nation, is unambiguously nationalist and at least correlates strongly with fascism.

And that’s before looking at the move to change the rules on citizenship to make it easier to exclude that self-same group (muslims) from what it is to be French. And indeed, that’s without looking at a great many of her policies that add up to fascism.

Invading poland isn’t a fascist act in and of itself. We accept it was a fascist act in the 1930s because the many factors and influences around it ammounted to fascism. Sugesting that any one aspect of the French fascist outlook isn’t automatically fascist is as true as a completely superfluous statment can be. It is however a completely superfluous statement because one aspect doesn’t make a fascist. A great many aspects of fascism alighn with the French nationalists, which adds up to them being fascist.

50. Paul Newman

Being a Fascist is by no means Right wing Fascism was and is left wing revolutionary moment with a nationalist element but people such as Mussolini and Moseley are clear form the left France itself produced the father of Fascism; Napoleon
I think the problem here is Nationalism of which the left approve when it is the IRA or PLO and loathe when it is England and also , it would appear, dislike in the French.

51. Margin4error

Oh – and Damon

One could argue that the part of London my family is from has been Africanised. But no one does. The focus on islam is born of the notion of a growing threat to our way of life that other minorities scarcely engender in the minds of the wider population.

In this regard the “islamisation” polemic chimes much better with the anti-semitic polemic of 1930s Germany than it does with complains that Union Square in San Fransisco is over-run by hobbos (and trust me, it really is on a level I’ve never experienced in any city in the developed world) or that Kings Cross in London is hooker-central or that, as you suggest, Barbès – Rochechouart’ is over-whelmed with hustlers and touts.

None of those other complaints sound like more than a local policing issue to most people – the combination however, of a racial-religious minority of growing sway, changing the shape of a nation and influencing the lives of the overwhelming majority – that’s a very different form of propoganda.

Charlieman,

Way back in this thread I mentioned that the Fabian Society has a questionable past. It doesn’t stop me reading or occasionally agreeing with them because they are no longer eugenicists or Stalinists.

Exactly.

Margin4error,

I usually find that in any argument, it easy to see who’s right: just look for whoever is foaming at the mouth.

One the other hand, at least you made an argument. Just not the one I was asking for.

Essentially, you are claiming that the Communists were good guys who just got a bit “lost in the moment”—whoops!—, whereas the Nazis were bad guys doing what came naturally.

To shake hands with the Nazi is to shake hands with the Devil, or at least, His earthly representatives. Therefore, as a principal of natural law, good people will shun the Nazi like they shun the Devil. Bad people will not. Le Pen shook hands with the Devil (danced the Charleston with Him; whatevs). Therefore, Le Pen is a bad person.

I suppose that’s consistent with the sort of asymmetrical treatment on display here. The only problem is that it is pure cant.

The Communists and Nazis were both mass murderers on an industrial scale. The reason that you see a qualitative difference between their programmes is that you have been eating your own dog food.

The function of this asymmetry is to make it seem as though any concessions to the right are betrayals of liberalism, which is synonymous with the Common Good by definition, because, you know, Hitler.

You want to limit immigration? Hitler.

You want to leave the euro? Hitler.

You want to leave NATO? Hitler.

To recap: your alternatives are liberalism or Hitler. You don’t want to vote for Hitler, do you?

Laying it on a bit thick, I’d say.

53. Charlieman

@42. flyingrodent: “Oh, yes. I think we can all agree that, when one of the UK’s top-selling newspapers publishes puff pieces…”

Sort that statement out. As we waffle, the Daily Mail strives to become the most popular newspaper in the world.

54. Paul Newman

Mélenchon

He is a Communist isn`t he , or near enough. Why is he not answerable for Stalin?

…how she apparently offers a radical alternative to the mainstream fare of the Hollande-Sarkozy show.

That is, in fact, a more interesting piece that Mr Cotterill implies. Le Pen’s support base, it suggests, is largely comprised of “reluctant radicals” who’ve said they don’t really identify with the Front National but will vote for them nonetheless. If people don’t want her and her comrades to gain power they should do more to address these voters’ concerns because trying to ignore them has been as productive as ignoring a receding hairline.

@48, and Damian Thompson is what, exactly? I mean, compared with Lord Glasman, Lord Stoddart, Bryan Gould and so on?

Frankly, I was always too good for a site which could not even be bothered to spell my name correctly and which is now in terminal decline as a kind of EDL noticeboard run by a man who has been sacked from his day job as Editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald, hardly the most obvious fit for someone of his views and lifestyle. It has improved by leaps and bounds since he was removed from it. As would Telegraph Blogs.

You are libelling me very seriously by suggesting that I do not in fact hold my position, as is perfectly easily verifiable from the University Directory and confirmed by the immensely distinguished Head of House. The Editor of this site knows perfectly well that the projected collection of responses is very real indeed. In the meantime, just for a change and not least in view of the calibre of the people who have commended it, perhaps someone might actually engage with my text? Dare I ask that a review might appear here?

What did I ever do to you people? Apart from dare to disagree with you, and dare to write at all from outside your cosy little London-Oxbridge mafia. Ah, there’s the rub.

57. Paul Newman

Margin for Error ,- can you possibly deny that the uncontrolled immigration we have seen in the UK has not influenced everyone’s lives ? As a consequence of home grown terrorism our civil liberties are compromised , our housing stock is under pressure, wages are dragged down and … well retail has been revolutionised , race relations has become an objective for ordinary police and so on

Of course immigration has changed everything and Islam is part of that . Now no-one was ever asked and no-one is being asked about the EU here or even in France who seem to imagine they can enjoy some sort of subordinated Gloire

58. Charlieman

@56. David Lindsay: “Apart from dare to disagree with you, and dare to write at all from outside your cosy little London-Oxbridge mafia. Ah, there’s the rub.”

I live in Leicester. Please redescribe your hate region.

@56, I was talking to @48. Of course, I know exactly who he is.

“Invading poland isn’t a fascist act in and of itself.”

Only if you invade from the west.

The OP i think gets both the FN and the Daily Hitler wrong. Le Pen pere started out as a poujadiste deputy, which is not exactly nazi. Not exactly pleasant either. For a UK analogy I would look at UKIP rather than BNP.

The Mail seems online at least to have split in two: One part is wall to wall celeb gossip which is what generates the traffic. Behind the screen is outoftheirtinyminds, Heffer’s reactionary ghetto, to which you will rarely see any link from the popular pages. I can see the split becoming even more pronounced in future.

61. Charlieman

@56. David Lindsay: “Frankly, I was always too good for a site which could not even be bothered to spell my name correctly and which is now in terminal decline…”

I do not have a fucking clue what you were talking about.

@56. If you’re really a don, how come you spend all your time on blog comment threads arguing the toss, and quoting ego-puff pieces in your support? Haven’t you a paper on the influence of the developments in ship-building techniques, 1450 to 1485, to be writing?

Oh, and funny how the only references to those quotes from Glasman, Gould et al, on the internet are those you yourself have written on the Telegraph comment threads, Spec comment threads, Staggers comment threads…

Oh, and as for your post of Collingwood SCR President, the college website makes it clear the SCR is a place for both current and former students of the university. It then proceeds to give a Hotmail rather than a DUR.AC.UK email address for you. Are you in fact merely a Collingwood graduate with top spot in the Old Boys Association and delusions of grandeur?

No, I am not a Collingwood graduate at all, and the SCR is not an Old Boys’ Association (I am no longer the President of it, either).

I do in fact have a dur.ac.uk email address, but I am not letting you have it. Perhaps the University has bumped me up to one of those people whose email addresses are not given out? Gosh, I really have arrived in that case. But I doubt it. So if you bothered to do the tiniest amount of research, then you would find it.

Why do I keep having to do this? No one else is subjected to this relentless, torrential defamation and abuse. What did I ever do to you?

Perhaps the site should have a dedicated David Lindsay thread.

66. Charlieman

64. David Lindsay: “I do in fact have a dur.ac.uk email address, but I am not letting you have it.”

I have a similar email address.

It is pb14@le.ac.uk. I publish it honestly.

67. Martin Miller

@63 you’re totally right that Lindsay holds no academic post and has never published any academic work. All Durham graduates know that a “college tutor” and “SCR President” are no academic posts, they are just like babysitting duty to make friends with undergraduates for anyone who (like Lindsay) hasn’t got a job or a life. His record is hilarious. He was expelled from Chad’s and was exposed by Palatinate, the Durham newspaper, for writing to lots of journalists under a fake name begging them to report his one-member party. He pretended to be an academic and got an unpaid blog on the Telegraph for 2 weeks until Damian Thompson realized he was thick and fraudulent and couldn’t write for toffee. David was booted off the page a few hours after he’d bragged about being on it! As Damian said last week, Lindsay is amusing because of his delusions of grandeur but also mentally disturbed. He can’t get published ANYWHERE so he has to use a vanity press and the “book of responses” is a fantasy like everything else.

@65, it is just as annoying to me, but these people are obsessed. You can see from @67 that they are utterly deranged.

Subjects on which I have published in the last 12 months or so include:

– Radical Orthodoxy;
– the connections between the Hebraic and the Hellenic traditions;
– the fallacy of both liberal and reactionary assumptions concerning the Second Vatican Council;
– Catholicism as, and as more than, Evangelical, Charismatic and liberal;
– Catholic imaginative writing, and anti-Catholicism as an imaginative stimulus, in Tudor and Stuart England;
– Newman, Hopkins, Belloc, Chesterton, Greene and Waugh;
– a Catholic defence of the Confessional State, including the Act of Settlement;
– the more recent works of Dr Edward Norman;
– the problems with, and the opportunities for, the Anglican Ordinariate, as well as the left-wing reasons why Parliament should in any case say no to women bishops in the Church of England;
– the left-wing defence of Opus Dei;
– reclaiming the traditions of patriotism and social conservatism on the British and wider Left;
– recovering Tory and wider conservative sceptical attitudes towards capitalism, consumerism, libertarianism, globalisation, American hegemony, uncritical Zionism, and knee-jerk hostility to Russia, China, France, Germany, Iran and the Arab world;
– the definition of the Conservative Party by successive Liberal takeovers of the Tory machine, now joined by organised and successful entryism on the part of the Far Left, Islamists, and Asian communalists;
– challenges to the standard accounts of Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill;
– the importance of Jacobitism to the emergence of the American Republic, to Tory action against the slave trade, to Radical and Tory action against domestic social evils, to the creation of the Labour Movement, and to opposition to the Boer and First World Wars;
– the conservative and Tory arguments against nuclear weapons and against Post Office privatisation;
– an entirely new policy programme formed and informed by the foregoing, including a potentially crucial role for the Liberal Democrats if they were willing and able to exercise it;
– the Catholic, left-wing and all-Ireland case for the Union;
– the intellectual and cultural challenges posed by Judaism and Islam, with their implications both for the Middle East and for the West;
– a radical reassessment of the nature of the American Republic and of British relations with it; and
– the devastating answers to fashionable attacks on the Catholic Church (child abuse, AIDS in Africa, the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition).

If you want to know about them, then you will have to buy my books.

Ah, the wonders of being attached to a college (although that is not my only academic affiliation, but it is my only one at Durham) rather than to a department: I can be as wide-ranging as I like, armed with my library card as “Academic/management staff”. My Durham email address is d.a.s.lindsay@durham.ac.uk, but I have wired it up to my Hotmail one, anyway.

Now, I quite agree, how about discussing the French Presidential Election, please?

@60 “Le Pen pere started out as a poujadiste deputy, which is not exactly nazi. Not exactly pleasant either. For a UK analogy I would look at UKIP rather than BNP.”

Pierre Poujade was apparently involved with a pro-Nazi party before WWII, collaborated enthusiastically with Vichy, and expressed anti-semitic and other reactionary sentiments after the war. Le Pen pere is also notorious for anti-semitic remarks. The FN’s first treasurer and a member of its political bureau for many years was Pierre Bousquet, a former SS member. Other leading members included neo-Nazis, far-right Catholic nationalists, monarchists, and former members of the OAS terrorist group. And the FN has a record of considering the BNP to be its UK sister-party ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8356284.stm ).

Whether or not la petite Le Pen (NOT “le petit”, as was incorrectly written by some previous commenters – she is female, so the feminine form must be used) has openly expressed fascist remarks herself, we know that she leads a fascist political party, so I think it would be unwise to discount that. Obviously, she has been attempting to present the party as mainstream, to detoxify it, as the OP noted. This does not mean that people here should be collaborating in that detoxification attempt.

I’m willing to officiate five rounds of muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu or mudwrestling between David Lindsay and Martin Millar. Otherwise I recommend that the latter finds a different hobby. Not because I’m a friend or fan of Mr Lindsay but because reading somebody mock his employment status is marginally less fascinating than the nutritional information on a can of leek and potato soup.

@64. Judging by your initial and the make-up of your SCR Secretary’s Durham email, it should be very easy to find if you’ve got one, but I really can’t be bothered, I’m having too much fun winding you up.

“Why do I keep having to do this? No one else is subjected to this relentless, torrential defamation and abuse. What did I ever do to you?”

You’re a bit funny, as they say in Wales, that’s what. You seem to think you’re the eminent political philosopher of our day. Political philosophers don’t argue the toss on website comment threads. Nor do academics. They talk to their fellow academics (in the SCR?) and get a better standard of conversation, don’t they?

And you seem to think you have worked out the answer to every political question through, presumably, the prism of Lindsay’s Universal Political Theory. There’s only space in the blogosphere for one nutter who thinks he knows it all, and Tim Montgomerie was here before you.

We’re British. We don’t like people with misplaced arrogance. In other countries, they fete such people. A prophet isn’t appreciated in his own country, and all that. Perhaps you could emigrate?

@68. No-one’s making you come back here to answer us back.

73. Martin Miller

“Subjects on which I have published in the last 12 months or so include:”

Hilarious. Lindsay means that he has paid a vanity press to “publish” two illiterate “books” that got no reviews anywhere despite him begging journalists to pay attention to him and he writes a blog.

Here is a complete list of all Lindsay’s published work in the last year, including every newspaper and academic journal:

@68 Stop rising to the bait and they’ll get bored.

75. Dick the Prick

@71, oh come on, he puts more effort in than our Sally. Back vaguely on topic, la petite Le Pen hasn’t endorsed Sarko which probably carries a bit more weight than something the Daily Angry has printed. Although number wise, it’s defo game on for either of them.

“There’s only space in the blogosphere for one nutter who thinks he knows it all,”

Have you ever read any blogs?

@71, I think that we can see who is winding up whom. But it is very tedious. Whereas the French result is rather interesting. Over, once again, to all you EU enthusiasts. The winner in a fortnight’s time will either have promised the earth, the moon and the stars to Le Pen’s voters in order to bring them on board, or else will have promised the Stalinists actual seats in government. Either way, he will then be legislating for us in the European Council, as both the FN and the PCF always are in the European Parliament. Yet EU enthusiasm is always held up as the mark of moderate. Why?

@69 Poujade was certainly a Petain supporter back in the day, but of course Mitterrand started out working for Vichy too. Le Pen fille these days prefers to deal with Nigel’s crowd. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Alliance_for_Freedom

@78 I think that after the war, Poujade’s and Mitterrand’s trajectories were very different, the former continuing with a rightwing populist approach while the latter moved to the centre and then leftwards, and although a Vichy civil servant, Mitterrand was also working for the resistance for at least the latter part of the war years.

@69 and @78,Mitterrand gave a job to Poujade, in whom the Legitimist and Bonapartist traditions met, who had endorsed him and who did so again.

Well, of course he did. Such was and is la France éternelle, the land of Charles Martel, in which his heirs are valiantly engaged in a demographic war, not only against the rise of a semi-feral underclass which is in any case nothing on that in the “Anglo-Saxon” countries that have ceased to will the means to a properly functioning bourgeoisie and proletariat, but also against the Islamic expansionism that dismembered France as recently as 1962, when she was mutilated by the loss, not of three colonies, but of three départements, integral parts of the French State and nation.

That was the perspective from which, in and through the person of a decorated veteran of the Algerian War, she opposed the greatest catastrophe since 1962 for what was originally Christendom on three continents, covering every inch of the Mediterranean’s shores.

For what remained of that, 1962 was the greatest catastrophe since 1948 (itself the greatest since 1923), and 2003 seems set to have been the greatest until a similar intervention in Syria. That will doubtless also be resisted, even if not by Sarkozy, then certainly by la France éternelle, the conscious, literal rebirth of which will have tremendous consequences in, for example, the United Nations Security Council, where they can expect the support of Russia and will also deserve that of the United Kingdom and of the United States.

Never forget that talk of what would originally have been a Second Western Alliance, but against Islamic rather than Communist expansion, has been a commonplace of French political discourse ever since the 1950s.

81. Martin Miller

“Damian Thompson: You ranting may or may not be the result of mental illness; but if this campaign of vilification continues I will take you to court, without the slightest anxiety about anything you may say in your defence. To repeat: you lost your blog because it was not of sufficiently high quality. It was rambling, self-important and defamatory. if a Zionist neocon had lost the plot in the same way I would have taken away his blog, too.”
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=385850764781059&id=751075569&comment_id=4838313

With that, David Lindsay ran away blubbing to his mummy. He’s laughed at by Durham students for the stupidity of his frauds.

@81 I wish you’d run away you sad tedious little man. If you want to start a blog dedicated to your obsession with Lindsay bog off and stop boring the rest of us with it. Please.

@82. Well, stop Lindsay coming on here with his deranged rambling that Maurice Glasman, Bryan Gould, et al, are all signed up to the Lindsay Universal Political Theory of Everything, and you have the end of the problem.

@82, welcome to my world, Jimmy. Welcome to my world.

85. Martin Miller

Is that the world where you claim that cabinet ministers write to you in support and the security services congratulate you on your blog? Loser. Fantasist.

86. So Much For Subtlety

33. flyingrodent

So, to summarise: Marine Le Pen can’t possibly be a Nazi because she hasn’t personally invaded Poland and it’s totally fine for the Mail to publish puff-pieces about her party because, like, Stalin or something.

It wasn’t a puff piece. It criticised the FN and their racist past. Their economic policies too. It said that the other parties were leading France to destruction and reluctantly Le Pen was the only choice. She is not a Nazi because, as far as anyone can tell, she is not a Nazi.

The Stalin thing refers more to people like you who do a very good impression of not caring one little bit about apologists for mass murderers as long as they are on your side.

Margin4error

She rants about the islamification of france – she seeks to block the construction of new mosques across france by blocking both state funding and foreign funding of mosques (though not new churches, obviously) – and she seeks to establish jus sanguinis as the core principle of French citizenshp so as to be able to remove citizenship from those who don’t conform to the courts’ interpretation of Liberty, Fraternity and solidarity (so muslims basically).

And people are quibling about exactly what a fascist looks like?

Unpleasant perhaps, but not Fascist. To use this term for these policies is to dilute the meaning to the point of irrelevance.

scandalousbill

So when Marie Le Pen, during her campaign, stated that 98% of the meat in Paris was Halal, this absurd comment was not racial in motivation, just the remarks of an observant shopper? Try again Troll

Well Halal is not a racial issue so it cannot be racism. The question is whether 98% of the meat in Paris is Halal and why she would think so. It may be totally motivated by racism, but we don’t know. You might support Arsenal for racist reasons – but on the face of it, supporting Arsenal is not proof of racism.

Margin4error @49

Her ranting is born of a view that islam is un-french in a way that catholicism isn’t. That is a very nationalist and rather fascist outlook on its own. After all, to seek to exclude arbitrarilly one group of people from what it is to be truly of the nation, is unambiguously nationalist and at least correlates strongly with fascism.

Yes I suppose so. I don’t know how much the likes of the FN get into all the Eurabia kind of stuff or whether they are just more generally racists who don’t like the ”otherness” of Muslims. In that street in the !8th arrondissement I mentioned, one of the oddest things I saw, was elderly Algerian or Moroccan women sitting out on a box or a chair on the pavement, some with a few things to sell on a stool in front of of them, They just sit there all day watching the world go by. Just like you see in Marrakesh. Those few streets (just off the Barbès Boulevard) are actually a bit like Algeria.
A fifth of the population of France have voted for a party who wants to keep a limit on that, and keep more of the people from North Africa who would like to move to Fance, out of France.

Then just a bit further up the boulevard are the African streets and market of Chateau Rouge. Where it really is a bit like West Africa, with hawkers and touts trying to sell things and attract African women into shops to get their hair and nails done.
http://pgoh13.com/paris_africanmarket.html

The Front National are just saying that they don’t want any MORE of this as far as I’m aware. I know that’s a pretty stupid idea because you can’t really stop it, but they aren’t bad mouthing the Africans already living in France are they?

But I do understand why even saying ”no more immigration” sounds insulting enough, as it implies that there was something wrong with the immigration that has already taken palce.

Margin4error @51

In this regard the “islamisation” polemic chimes much better with the anti-semitic polemic of 1930s Germany than it does with complains that Union Square in San Fransisco is over-run by hobbos (and trust me, it really is on a level I’ve never experienced in any city in the developed world) or that Kings Cross in London is hooker-central or that, as you suggest, Barbès – Rochechouart’ is over-whelmed with hustlers and touts.

I once hung out in San Francisco’s Tenderloin disctrict myself and it certainly is hobo central. As for Barbès – Rochechouart Metro station, there’s a tourist backpacker’s hostel right opposite to it, outside which stand all these North African guys selling their stuff and hanging out. And the reviews of the hostel are really worth a look at, as the place is a right dump and the people who run it are odious and obnoxious apparently.
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187147-d288357-Reviews-Friend_s_Hostel-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

None of those other complaints sound like more than a local policing issue to most people…

Its a difficult thing to police though. How do you just stop groups of men loitering outside the metro station when it’s their neighbourhood, they’re unemployed and they need to hustle to make a few euros? And some of them are illegal and can’t even work legally in the first place?

89. margin4error

Damon

Oh I’m not suggesting anyone go in with big sticks and arrest them all – it’s a shame they have little else to be doing. But whether it’s jobs programmes or arresting those who break crimes, there should be some social response to the situation.

As for the tenderloin – love the place – love the Edinbrough Castle – just can’t avoid the hobbos when wandering home from a day or night out.

In regards to nationalism in france – the front nacional tends to focus mainly on new immigrants because it is an easier win. But they also want the right to withdraw citizenship already granted from those deemed not suitably french. I would imagine that those african and algerian french people who are living their lives and suffering relative poverty (French employment markets are notoriously racist in outcome if not intent) are what they consider “un-french”.

And that’s the problem here. The idea that there is a right way to be French (Drink red wine maybe? Drive like a lunatic perhaps? Shag around behind your wife’s back probably? eat snail and garlic obviously.) that could be some how acted on by the state – is by nature a rather fascist outlook. It is a long way from liberal, which would hold that so long as people abide by the law, they should worship and interact as they see fit.

90. margin4error

Vimothy

so you are not smart enough to distinguish between a political philosophy and the actions of those who are inspired by it.

Fair enough.

For consistancy of idiocy though, I assume you think liberty is terrible too – what with George Washington engaging in the genocide of native americans and the British Empire (the founding force behind modern liberal thinking) inventing the concentration camp.

Because that seems to be consistent with understanding the philosophy of communism or fascism only by the actions of individuals who are inspired by them. Liberty has thus slaughtered more people than communism or fascism – and so is worse. Right?

91. margin4error

So Much for Subtlety

In isolation those things are not sufficient to make her a fascist – but read my explanation in 49 to Damon – and you’ll see that it is not in isolation and that she pretty unambiguously is fascist.

92. So Much For Subtlety

89. margin4error

But they also want the right to withdraw citizenship already granted from those deemed not suitably french.

They don’t want the right to do so. The French government has the right to do so and exercises it regularly. They want the power to do so.

I would imagine that those african and algerian french people who are living their lives and suffering relative poverty (French employment markets are notoriously racist in outcome if not intent) are what they consider “un-french”.

Of course regulations tend to adversely affect the powerless so socialist France is racist by outcome and probably intent. I am sure they are the people they have in mind as not French. Because in fundamental ways they are not French. They are citizens of France, but they are not French in the same way that even Le Pen is French (which she only sort of is, given her father’s background is as a Breton who aren’t, of course, ethnically French either).

And that’s the problem here. The idea that there is a right way to be French (Drink red wine maybe? Drive like a lunatic perhaps? Shag around behind your wife’s back probably? eat snail and garlic obviously.) that could be some how acted on by the state – is by nature a rather fascist outlook. It is a long way from liberal, which would hold that so long as people abide by the law, they should worship and interact as they see fit.

Well a lot of anthropologists are going to be upset to be told their entire discipline is Fascist. Because to say there is such a thing as French culture is self evidently true to most people. And to say that the State has a role in defending and strengthening that culture is also obviously true. You have just written off the entire history of the French Republic as Fascist given that half of all Frenchmen at the time of the Revolution did not speak French and the French government has been acting to make sure they do ever since. Events like the Tour d’France are naked efforts at State building by the French state and yet most people tend not to see that as Fascist.

90. margin4error

what with George Washington engaging in the genocide of native americans and the British Empire (the founding force behind modern liberal thinking) inventing the concentration camp.

The problem with leftist idiocies is that they are so idiotic. The British Empire did not invent the concentration camp. The Spanish used them in Cuba and arguably the Chinese had been using them for a thousand years before that. What is more you have fallen into the usual purile mistake of thinking that because the British used one name in South Africa and the Germans used a different name decades later they must be describing similar institutions. They do not.

And when did Washington engage in genocide?

Because that seems to be consistent with understanding the philosophy of communism or fascism only by the actions of individuals who are inspired by them. Liberty has thus slaughtered more people than communism or fascism – and so is worse. Right?

Liberty has not slaughtered more people. Even if it had, the murders of the Nazis and the Communists grow directly out of their ideologies. They killed because they were Nazis and Communists. Nothing similar can be said about liberals.

49. Margin4error

Her ranting is born of a view that islam is un-french in a way that catholicism isn’t.

Which is a simple statement of fact. When the Algerians made exactly this same claim in the 1950s – that their Islamic religion meant Algeria was not and could never be part of France – I don’t recall anyone objecting. Do you?

That is a very nationalist and rather fascist outlook on its own. After all, to seek to exclude arbitrarilly one group of people from what it is to be truly of the nation, is unambiguously nationalist and at least correlates strongly with fascism.

No it is not. It is a simple statement of fact. The French have had to invent a new language to distinguish between the traditional and common view of what it is to be French – what we might call indigenous French – and the new idea of the legal citizen of the French state. But in the French tradition, to be indigenous meant to be Catholic or at least recently Catholic. It is not an arbitrary exclusion at all, but one grounded in history, culture and ethnicity. Which has its exact counterpart on the other side of the Med when the Algerians said that non-Muslims could not be citizens of the new Algerian state and so drove out not only the French but the 100% indigenous Jewish population too. To the cheers of the Left. Was that Fascist? In many countries to be a nationality tends to be aligned with a particular religion. In Malaysia, while Britain left them non-Malay non-Muslim communities, to be Malay means to be Muslim which means to be a proper citizen of Malaysia.

And that’s before looking at the move to change the rules on citizenship to make it easier to exclude that self-same group (muslims) from what it is to be French. And indeed, that’s without looking at a great many of her policies that add up to fascism.

The rules exist as they are now. France does reject people who hold French citizenship. So France is already a Fascist state? These people are already not ethnically French. They are citizens of France. You cannot exclude them from what ordinary language and understanding already excludes them. You can argue that they should be included better, but that is a different argument. It is not even clear to me that Le Pen wants to strip them all of their citizenship so much as stop new immigrants entering the country.

By the way, the Scottish National Party wants to change the rules about Scottish citizenship to deny the majority of British people the benefits of Scottish identity if they so choose. Does that make them Fascist?

A great many aspects of fascism alighn with the French nationalists, which adds up to them being fascist.

Except you have yet to find one. At best your argument is a weak form of the old “if it walks like a duck” argument. Which didn’t get a lot of respect when the House Un-American Activities Committee tried it back in the day.

93. margin4error

SMFS

Wow – you really are quite dumb aren’t you?

I mean to imagine that anthropologists, who study cultures without judging cultures, equates to fascism, a philosophy that makes strict value judgements about how people be made to live, with punishment for failure to conform to a prescribed cultural norms – is really quite dumb of you.

Likewise, concentration camps. You might be right, by some interpretation or another, that the British Empire was not the first to create camps in which to hold specific ethnic groups away from the wider populace. But you somewhat blight your nit-picking by being stupid enough to think that I’m suggesting the British used gas chambers in sub-saharan africa, just because we use the same words to describe nazi “concentration camps”. This is obviously very stupid of you. Clearly, just as all fruits are fruits, but not all fruits are pears – so all concentration camps are concentration camps, though only some are machines for genocide.

You also seem a bit dumb about american history. So let me enlighten you. Washington, as great a man as he was in other regards, played his part no small part in the military slaughter of native americans. Indeed he offers a good example of the early use of germ warfare – “donating” plague hospital blankets to indian tribes to help kill them off. (Perhaps this isn’t so dumb of you – you may just not have learned much history).

And then a big area of stupidity from you. While fascism seems undeniably driven to salughter because of its ideological aversion to difference and to plurality – communism doesn’t share that. It is hard to find any ideological link between, for example, the gulag and communism as a philosophy, or between the mass starvation of the ukranians and a philosophy of “from each his ability, to each his need”. (communism, incase you are also too dumb to know that).

Even dumber is your notion that liberty as a philosophy is incidental to the destruction it has wrought. Just the slave trade demonstrates how dumb a notion that is for you to put forward. Literally, the enslavement and killing of millions and millions of people – on the purely liberal basis that every man has a right to do with his property as he chooses. Brilliantly stupid of you to overlook that.

I know it seems a little un-subtle to label your stupidity stupidity on a chat page – but I’m sure, given your name, you won’t mind me lacking a degree of subtlety in my attempt to educate you.

94. margin4error

smfs

on the french fascist stuff.

fascism is a political order in which the state takes a view of the cultural norm and requires everyone to abide by that or face sanction for failing to do that.

Obviously we all have a degree of that in our societies, be it discouraging smoking, requiring people to wear clothes or whatever.

Typically though, this is not fascism because such dictatorial conventions within a society serve particular purposes in a degree of isolation. In otherwords, while it might be a slightly fascist act to ban herion, it is not typically indicative of a fascist ideology at work. Likewise with requiring people to wear clothes, though some examples of people being made to all wear specific clothes have occured under fascism.

What makes something fascist is the extent to which a cultural norm is defined, the narrowness with which it is applies, and the fate of those who cannot confirm.

This is because fascism typically derives from something greater than a desire to ban one or other activity. It tends to derive from a sense of superiority of one group of people to another, be it racial, religious, national or some other superiority.

With the french fascists – the trend is pretty clear. no one act is itself a fascist act. It is the combination of them in the persecution of a minority as part of a wider ideal of the “right” kind of person – that makes it fascist.

I suspect this is a bit beyond your grasp. I suspect this because I think you are probably not very bright. But I also suspect it because having explained that no one act in isolation demonstrates fascism, it is the combination of them all that demonstrates an agenda – you then rather ludicrously isolated each individual act to try to demonstrate that they are not fascist. Which is obviously a pointless waste of time.

But maybe I’m wrong – maybe you can try seeing things as a cohessive whole and try offering something worthwhile to this discussion.

Here’s hoping.

Why is it a surprise, The Daily Mail has been a facist paper for 100years and even today you can find some really eye opening insults at Jews just before WW2. What is a surprise is the number of people who are awre of this and specifically suport the Daily Mail based on this.

Its really not worth arguing or engaging with SMFS, he is a fascist sympathiser with extremely damaged intellectual capacities.

97. margin4error

Joe

ok – thanks for the heads up. I just thought SMFS was a bit dim. I’ll keep in mind that he/she is also rather nasty in terms of political agenda. I will however continue to engage as I think that’s important. People should be given the chance to learn even if they spurn that chance.

98. Abdul Abulbul Emir

Mrs A says

Abdul it is wonderful that the French people are at last getting the chance to express their love of country and desire for independence just like our beloved Mahatma Ghandi.

Vive Marine Le Pen.

I say silence woman.

Ghandi was an upper caste Hindu of no help to us.

Peace

‘Literally, the enslavement and killing of millions and millions of people – on the purely liberal basis that every man has a right to do with his property as he chooses.’

Good point – and of course colonial subjugation was cheered to the hilt by liberalism’s heros – Locke, Kant & Mill. Today, liberals no longer support colonialism and slavery but prefer neo-imperialism and wage-slavery wrapped up in the langauge of liberty and equality.

100. margin4error

Left not Liberal

I won’t worry certain people’s pretty little heads with some of the more complex difficulties of modern society. The slave trade was unambiguously a direct result of liberal philosophy in itself, and serves the purpose of pointing out the absurdity of claiming liberty’s casulties were not at all a result of liberal philosophy, for those who think it is some how different to those who died because of fascist or communist ideology in the past.

That sort of selective interpretation is the preserve of those with an agenda. Those seeking to grow their understanding of the world are better people.

I posted my view on the Daily Mail pages, but unfortunately the moderators (Winston Smith perhaps?) never let it appear. Perhaps Liberal Conspiracy believe in freedom of expression. I don’t believe any law was broken by it.

“What a disgraceful article. The Daily Mail uses the freedom of the press to promote fascism.

But the Mail has a track record.

Lord Rothermere “The minor misdeeds of individual Nazis would be submerged by the immense benefits the new regime is already bestowing on Germany”

and then there was the Mail article about Mosley, “Hurrah for the Blackshirts …sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine”.

You were on the wrong side then, and you are on the wrong side now.”

102. Just Visiting

wow that’s some attitude you guys have.

> That sort of selective interpretation is the preserve of those with an agenda. Those seeking to grow their understanding of the world are better people.

Are – ‘better people’ eh ?

So people who agree with you are ‘better people’ – and those who don’t are so low that you think it wise to criticise their intelligence in a juvenile manner?

103. So Much For Subtlety

93. margin4error

I mean to imagine that anthropologists, who study cultures without judging cultures, equates to fascism, a philosophy that makes strict value judgements about how people be made to live, with punishment for failure to conform to a prescribed cultural norms – is really quite dumb of you.

Except that is not what I did. You claimed that anyone who said that there was something to being French was a Fascist. I pointed out anthropologists do this all the time. It is how they make their living. The only person equating that with Fascism is you. So I am not sure how your pathetic accusations of stupidity are going to work out when you can’t even quote yourself accurately.

Likewise, concentration camps. You might be right, by some interpretation or another, that the British Empire was not the first to create camps in which to hold specific ethnic groups away from the wider populace.

By some interpretation or other being, you know, the actual facts. But hey, why bother with them right? I mean you’re all so smart and stuff you don’t need the actual facts do you boyo?

But you somewhat blight your nit-picking by being stupid enough to think that I’m suggesting the British used gas chambers in sub-saharan africa, just because we use the same words to describe nazi “concentration camps”. This is obviously very stupid of you.

No, it is not stupid because that is clearly what you were doing. You may want to back away from that piece of stupidity now but I doubt you will for long. It is not nit picking to point out the British did not invent the concentration camp. When, you know, they didn’t.

Clearly, just as all fruits are fruits, but not all fruits are pears – so all concentration camps are concentration camps, though only some are machines for genocide.

Indeed. And in a discussion of genocide, it is reasonable to assume that when you use the term you mean the latter not the former. Otherwise your comments were not merely stupid and childish but also wrong. Your choice.

You also seem a bit dumb about american history. So let me enlighten you. Washington, as great a man as he was in other regards, played his part no small part in the military slaughter of native americans. Indeed he offers a good example of the early use of germ warfare – “donating” plague hospital blankets to indian tribes to help kill them off. (Perhaps this isn’t so dumb of you – you may just not have learned much history).

There is one accusation of giving smallpox infected blankets to Indians and that was during the seige of Fort Pitt. Although there is no evidence the British ever did so, Lord Amherst certainly suggested it. I don’t recall if Washington was at Fort Pitt at the time. I think not. But either way it does not matter as he did not order it or do it. So you’re making sh!t up again. So where else did Washington get involved in this slaughter of native Americans?

And then a big area of stupidity from you. While fascism seems undeniably driven to salughter because of its ideological aversion to difference and to plurality – communism doesn’t share that.

Except the Fascists had a greater tolerance of difference and plurality than the Communists ever did. So your claim falls over at the first hurdle. But who would expect any different from you?

It is hard to find any ideological link between, for example, the gulag and communism as a philosophy, or between the mass starvation of the ukranians and a philosophy of “from each his ability, to each his need”. (communism, incase you are also too dumb to know that).

Apart from Marx insisting on the necessity of revolutionary terror – and on the need to re-educate criminals through forced labour. You know, apart from that, no ideological link at all. What is more collectivisation of agriculture was directly driven by Communist ideology. You can continue to deny the evidence all you like, but the mass murder under Communism was in fact a direct cause of those governments’ Communism. They did not slaughter at random but in a highly directed and organised manner in line with their ideology.

Even dumber is your notion that liberty as a philosophy is incidental to the destruction it has wrought. Just the slave trade demonstrates how dumb a notion that is for you to put forward. Literally, the enslavement and killing of millions and millions of people – on the purely liberal basis that every man has a right to do with his property as he chooses. Brilliantly stupid of you to overlook that.

Except the slave trade long pre-dates liberalism. The slave trade did not need liberalism to exist, nor to justify it. You may as well say that liberalism is to blame for smallpox. Another feature of the world that had nothing to do with liberalism at all. And liberals were, from the start, torn on the issue of slavery. But that would be too advanced for you so let’s start with the basic historical fact that not one single human being was enslaved or killed as part of the slave trade because of liberalism. You are making sh!t up again.

margin4error

fascism is a political order in which the state takes a view of the cultural norm and requires everyone to abide by that or face sanction for failing to do that.

No it isn’t. You’re making stuff up as you go along. We have a cultural norm that people may not discriminate against people of African origin. Indeed they may not even say they do in the right circumstances. A cultural norm which is backed up by legal sanctions. Thus Britain is a Fascist society? Come on, stop being so stupid and actually think for a change.

What makes something fascist is the extent to which a cultural norm is defined, the narrowness with which it is applies, and the fate of those who cannot confirm.

So you’re using the Leftist Colouring Book definition of Fascism to mean whatever you want it to mean? Not all that interesting really.

With the french fascists – the trend is pretty clear. no one act is itself a fascist act. It is the combination of them in the persecution of a minority as part of a wider ideal of the “right” kind of person – that makes it fascist.

Except that there has been no persecution of any minority or even much sign that the FN wants to persecute anyone. Any more. The trend is only clear to you, and you have so many problems with reality and facts that I don’t think anyone is going to find that convincing. No one act is in itself a Fascist act? Sure. As they are former Fascists by and large.

I suspect this is a bit beyond your grasp.

Sure. Because it is only apparent to the tin-foil-hat brigade.

Margin @ 90:

“so you are not smart enough to distinguish between a political philosophy and the actions of those who are inspired by it.”

If attempts to implement a particular political philosophy always end up killing large numbers of people, do you not think that’s suggesive?

“Liberty has thus slaughtered more people than communism or fascism – and so is worse. Right?”

Your first statement is rather debatable — perhaps you’ve got some actual evidence as to the total number of people killed?

Also, it’s probably worth pointing out that, whereas communism and fascism consistently end up killing and oppressing people, liberal countries don’t. Even if you can point to instances of people acting in the name of liberalism who ended up committing atrocities, the chances of a liberal regime committing atrocities is lower than the chances of a communist or fascist one doing so.

105. Margin4error

Just Visiting

those who agree with me are right – and those who disagree with me are not. Obviously.

he he

only joking

no – I like people with different views to me. I just don’t like people who use a patently absurd and inconsistent interpretation of “evidence” to back a view they hold, rather than consider that perhaps, if that’s the only defence of that view, perhaps it needs changing.

Also – I’m rather drunk right now, so I apologise for my poor spelling and grammar if I’ve demonstrated any.

106. Margin4error

P Ve M

I suspect you’ve entered a conversation part way through and thus not understood what I’ve been discussing. Which is fair enough.

basically people were using a classic distraction opposition to the criticism of fascist policy as “fascist” – ie – saying that those criticising it lacked credibility by not simultaneously criticising communism.

Obviously, as I’m sure you know, that is a stupid complaint to any rational human being – a bit like saying that complaining about a terrible piece of legislation on healthcare is discredited by not also complaining about a terrible piece of tax law.

So I pointed out that it was a ridiculous self-indulgent whinge. It is that because communism is spat with similar bile when polices are put forward that right wingers don’t like (eg Obama’s health reforms) – and because communism is so weak as an influence on modern politics (as evidenced by its electoral oblivion) in western democracies that it just doesn’t represent the threat that fascist inspired policies do – and because an idealism based on everyone being equal and having their basic need met is, by nature, less nasty than an idealism based on persecution of particular minorities who fail to confirm to a national norm.

As a result of this, some one suggested that communism is not based on notions of equality for all because communist regimes oversaw huge numbers of deaths. I pointed out that the idiot saying this presumably hated liberty with at least equal passion because of the huge number of people killed under liberal regimes (be it the genoice of native americans, the slave trade or the irish potato famine and so on.

The idiot then claimed that stuff happened under liberal regimes but was not a result of liberal ideology – which of course somewhat undermined their own notion that the starvation of 7million ukranians was a result of communist ideology – because it indicated that regimes don’t embody ideologies at all.

However, that would be the wrong interpretation in this instance – because the slave trade was unambiguously a liberal phenomenon. It was born of an ideology built around the sanctity of private property and a man’s right to do with that property what he wished. The slave trade was, unambiguously, fostered by the philosophy of liberty.

Of course one might claim it was a misinterpretation of liberty by, ironically, the founding fathers of modern liberal thought (Mill, Hobbs, etc) – but that would in turn suggest that perhaps soviet communism was a misinterpretation of communism – which would some what ruin the position the idiot had taken in an attempt to defuse an attack against fascism by shifting attention to communism.

I hope that helps to explain why this probably isn’t a discussion worth wading into with a defence of libery. I, after all, am unambiguously liberal. I just like to point out the idiocy of people who defend, rather ignorantly given their demonstration of their own lack of knowledge, fascism.

107. Margin4error

SMFS

wow – you are really weak at this stuff ain’t you?

I’m pretty drunk now – but even I can see you are now quibbling over subtle wording or meaning of posts – which sujests you have long since accepted your defence of fascism has failed and now you just want to save face by having some sort of response to my superior understanding of the subject.

so lets give this a ry.

1 – your first paragraph is a lie. I never claimed that and you and everyone else knows it. If you don’t know it then you really are not very good at understanding the english language and lack the capacity to understand several things as a cohesive whole, only as isolated incidents.

2 – wow – your second and third and fourth paragraphs are just very stupid. I made clear and explained that you were wrong to assume something that hadn’t been said – and yet you repeat the assumption. That’s just very dumb.

3 – fifth para – pick out one aspect and pretend that’s the point. Well played. very internet warrior of you. You understand presumably that Washington ordered his officers not to accept any overture of peace from the Iraquoi while their total destruction was assured? That’s called genocide.

4 – your sixth paragraph is just opinionate assertion – try evidence. It does wonders for discussions of this sort.

5 – para 7 – you mistake my pointing our your stupidity for a defence of communist regimes. I am not a communist and never will be. I do however see the rather ridiculous nature of you pretending that slaughters under communism are intrinsically tied to communist ideology while slaughters under liberty are not intrinsically tied to liberal ideology. Collecvtivism was not quite the slave trade for its intrinsic link to the prevailing ideology – and Marx of course wrote that communism could not be bought about by revolution but only through evolution, undermining your sillyness about terrorism – but it was inspired by it and it came a a terrible price to human integrity. (Sorry, have I ruined your idiotic outlook by not being a communist?)

6 – Oh – and the slave trade pre-daing liberal hegemony? No. Just go away and study the subject for a while and you’ll find out how utterly and ludicrously wrong you are. That you are being so wrong to some one with such extensive researched knowledge of the subject is rather unfortunate for you in this instance. But that’s the risk you take in making up rubbish to save face when it otherwise becomes apparent how stupid you are.

108. Margin4error

SMFS

Now for the fascist bit

This is the fun bit. It is fun because this is what the debate is actually about. It is also fun because it is where you demonstrate how dumb you are. Best of all though, it is fun because you defend fascism by using your ignorance as evidence. I love it.

In your first para – you wonderfully and stupidly ignore the aspect of state enforcement that I explained to you – and the explanation that I gave you that that individual acts of enforcing cultural norms inspired by wide ranging motives are not fascism – in order to complain that any cultural norm can’t surely be facsism (which is so obviously the case only you could be stupid enough to think anyone considers it so.

But best of all – and I mean best of all – you then reveal your real outlook by using this opprtunity to offer an absurd example to complain about a pet hate – the fact you are not “allowed” to moan about black people.

Seriously, if I were not drunk I’m sure i’d pitty your ineptitude.

Brilliantly, you then actually quote the line I posted that explained why every cultural norm is not fascist as you pretended I had meant at first.

And better still – you pretend this, a case you were ineptly trying to make as a counter-point to what you pretended was my first point (but that you had in fact just not understood because you are quite stupid), is “Leftist Colouring Book” fascism.

Utterly brilliant. well played you moron!

Finally – and wonderfully as something as this actually returns to the subject of the article – you claim that FN doesn’t seek to persecute anyone – but offer no counter-point to the starting point of this conversation that a lot of their policies seem geared to making life less pleasant for muslims in France.

Any view on that?

109. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

I love watching people waste time with smfsbot.

There’s a reason it can interpret new information or provide evidence.

110. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

cannot* – rather.

111. So Much For Subtlety

107. Margin4error

wow – you are really weak at this stuff ain’t you?

Can I say Marge, how much I admire your Black-Knight-style refusal to even acknowledge reality. I am actually impressed.

I’m pretty drunk now – but even I can see you are now quibbling over subtle wording or meaning of posts

The irony. You have been wrong on every historical issue you have raised so far. You really want to go down this route Marge old bean?

1 – your first paragraph is a lie. I never claimed that and you and everyone else knows it. If you don’t know it then you really are not very good at understanding the english language and lack the capacity to understand several things as a cohesive whole, only as isolated incidents.

I never said you or anyone else knows it. I merely pointed out that everyone knows the French as an ethnic group exist and hence there is a way to be French – which is something anthropologists study. You continue to deny this I suppose. Well, it’s a free country.

2 – wow – your second and third and fourth paragraphs are just very stupid. I made clear and explained that you were wrong to assume something that hadn’t been said – and yet you repeat the assumption. That’s just very dumb.

And yet historically correct. As bluster to cover the fact that you were wrong I rate this quite highly to be honest. But it still won’t help. You were wrong. Accept it like a man, learn from your mistake and move on.

3 – fifth para – pick out one aspect and pretend that’s the point. Well played. very internet warrior of you. You understand presumably that Washington ordered his officers not to accept any overture of peace from the Iraquoi while their total destruction was assured? That’s called genocide.

The aspect, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that you lied when you said Washington handed out smallpox infested blankets to Indians. He did not. I have no idea what Washington did or did not order. I know that you do not either. What I do know is that Churchill said the same about the Nazis in WW2 and yet that was not genocide. If you are still talking about the French-Indian War then Washington had no involvement in negotiations at all. And he fought on the same side as the Iroquois – against the Algonquian. If you mean the War of the Revolution, the Iroquois were not exterminated in that war either.

So you’re, as usual, full of it either way.

4 – your sixth paragraph is just opinionate assertion – try evidence. It does wonders for discussions of this sort.

I am providing as much evidence as you have – none. But it is still a fact if you like it or not. And simple to prove. The East German Communist leadership was made up almost entirely of German Communists who spent the war in Hitler’s prisons. Because over half the Central Committee of the German Communist Party was executed by Stalin. Stalin was less tolerant of German Communists than Hitler was. That is to ignore all the Social Democrats and Catholics who survived the war utterly untouched by the German secret police.

5 – para 7 – you mistake my pointing our your stupidity for a defence of communist regimes. I am not a communist and never will be.

No I don’t think I do. I think you are desperate to change the subject and pretend that you are doing something else. You are wrong on this too.

I do however see the rather ridiculous nature of you pretending that slaughters under communism are intrinsically tied to communist ideology while slaughters under liberty are not intrinsically tied to liberal ideology.

I notice you have moved to “liberty”. I also notice you have moved to “slaughters” when in fact most of those deaths from the slave trade took place in places that cannot be described as liberal. If one African autocracy murders Africans in another African autocracy and sells the survivors as slaves, it is not the fault of liberals in Britain – especially if they sell them to Portuguese traders who send them to Brazil. Not all slaughter under Communism is inherently linked to Communism as an ideology, but most are. Because collectivisation was entirely driven by Communist ideology. No liberal defended the slave trade as central to their ideology and liberalism survived nicely without it. There is no link.

Collecvtivism was not quite the slave trade for its intrinsic link to the prevailing ideology – and Marx of course wrote that communism could not be bought about by revolution but only through evolution, undermining your sillyness about terrorism – but it was inspired by it and it came a a terrible price to human integrity. (Sorry, have I ruined your idiotic outlook by not being a communist?)

I don’t think Marx did actually. Engels and Marx were willing to talk about it, but Marx in the mainstream of his work said revolution was inevitable. Your first sentence there is garbled so it is hard to know what to make of it. You have not ruined my outlook. I expect a new group of fools who need an education every time Hols start in the UK.

6 – Oh – and the slave trade pre-daing liberal hegemony? No. Just go away and study the subject for a while and you’ll find out how utterly and ludicrously wrong you are.

I do enjoy it when people display their limited education so well. Yes, the slave trade pre-dates liberal hegemony. There were slaves in New York before it was New York – and well before liberalism existed. The first Portuguese expeditions down the African coast brought back slaves. And that is to ignore the older and more widespread Muslim slave trade – and the Romans before them. You are being publicly stupid. Not a good look.

That you are being so wrong to some one with such extensive researched knowledge of the subject is rather unfortunate for you in this instance. But that’s the risk you take in making up rubbish to save face when it otherwise becomes apparent how stupid you are.

By all means, Marge, bring on the extensive research. An essay you wrote two years ago for your GSCE’s is not research.

108. Margin4error

Best of all though, it is fun because you defend fascism by using your ignorance as evidence. I love it.

Good for you. Except I don’t defend Fascism.

In your first para – you wonderfully and stupidly ignore the aspect of state enforcement that I explained to you – and the explanation that I gave you that that individual acts of enforcing cultural norms inspired by wide ranging motives are not fascism – in order to complain that any cultural norm can’t surely be facsism (which is so obviously the case only you could be stupid enough to think anyone considers it so.

So what aspects might these be? We have cultural norms. We enforce them. You claimed this defined Fascism. What else is there to your, generously defined, argument? So your point was irrelevant if people enforce cultural norms for other reasons? This is not working for me Marge. You need to do better.

But best of all – and I mean best of all – you then reveal your real outlook by using this opprtunity to offer an absurd example to complain about a pet hate – the fact you are not “allowed” to moan about black people.

I fail to see where I complain about that at all. Reading comprehension is not being taught well any more is it? Why do you make this sort of thing up?

Utterly brilliant. well played you moron!

Glad to please. I notice that you fail to address any substantive points at all. Or indeed any non-substantive points. Abuse, as John Cleese one said, is not argument. This is not going to end well for you.

Finally – and wonderfully as something as this actually returns to the subject of the article – you claim that FN doesn’t seek to persecute anyone – but offer no counter-point to the starting point of this conversation that a lot of their policies seem geared to making life less pleasant for muslims in France.

Seem. That is the problem isn’t it? This is not an argument about what the FN is doing – because it is not doing anything much – but about what you think it wants to do. That is, the problem is in your head. Tin-foil stuff. As such you may preach to the converted, but you will not convince anyone else.

Any view on that?

Alcohol improves your posts?

112. Margin4error

smfs

ok – slightly hung over so two things occur

1 – breaking down people’s posts para-by-para is clearly very stupid. It can only serve to negate genuine debate about the subject in hand – which is about the french nationalists being fascist. It is done to nit-pick and to deliberately misinterpret comments and views so that the stupid can pretend to have some parity with those who understand things they can’t grasp, or so that those with no answer to something they want to criticise can criticise it – which in this case is probably what you are doing.

You want to defend fascism, but don’t have the mental tools with which to do it – so you instead try to collapse the discussion utterly by engaging on peripheral stuff. It’s a bit like being faced with tax legislation that you want to oppose but, without an capacity to do so, you focus on whether the chancellor has eaten a pasty.

2 – on facsism –

enforcement of laws and thus of cultural norms (like locking up murderers, banning heroin, etc) is – as I’ve explained but you are too stupid to understand – not fascism. This is because the mentality behind it is not one of a broader theme of superiority of one group of people over another. We don’t ban heroin because we think Britons are racially superior to non-Britons, or ban murder because we think Jews are more English than Muslims. We do it because we fear that heroin will destroy lives and we want to halt that, and likewise murder wil ldestroy lives and we want to halt that. With having to wear clothes in public, this is about ensuring that people, whatever their race, religion, nationality or whatever, are not overly embarrassed or offended as they go about their lives.

And this is where the FN are fascist. They are not doing fascism because they are not in power. But were they in power their manifesto is pretty unambiguous. They seek a raft of restrictive measures that would make life harder for muslims because they see muslims as being inadequately french. One example is their proposed restrictions on building mosques. Likewise they seek to end duel citizenship, which deliberately disproportionately hits french muslims.

This constant theme of treating islam as un-french is a fascist outlook because unlike banning murder or heroin, it is born of a view that one group is inferrior to another – in this case that group being muslims and the inferriority being that of not being adequately french.

Now – you might argue that it i utter coincidence that so much of what the french nationalists propose hurts muslims quite specifically. you might argue that their regular rants about ismalification of france are not evidence of a view that islam is un-french. you might argue that, but in the first instance you would appear idiotically naive, and in the second instance rather stupid.

I understand of course that you will try to break down this post too – into parts of arguments paragraphs to be criticised – because you have not the wit to counter the whole concept behind fascism and the rather obvious fascist traits demonstrated by FN.

But I will continue to try to educate you as best I can. I promise.

113. tigerdarwin

@ 8 As a generally disinterested middle of the roader, can someone explain to me why is far-right extremeism is wrong, when far-left extremeism is not?

Far right extremism is the dominant response to economic uncertainty. It was what plunged Europe in to war in the 30s, it was not the Soviet Union ( I would argue that Stalinism was a form of fascism however).

I thought Osbourne showed great historical awareness in agreeing to the 10 bn fund, for the failure to support the Weimar Republic was the reason, at least in part, for WW2. He is aware of the power of the far Right, so it is not just the liberal left that worries, it is also the democratic Right

Only in Spain in the 30s did the liberal left achieve a democratic victory in response to the depression, and that was routed by Franco.

“Even if you can point to instances of people acting in the name of liberalism who ended up committing atrocities, the chances of a liberal regime committing atrocities is lower than the chances of a communist or fascist one doing so.”

Liberal regimes tend to commit their most serious attrocities abroad. Orwell pointed this out in his provocatively titled ‘Not Counting Niggers’.

115. tigerdarwin

@ 25 SMS crypto-Fascist

that’m from Red Dwarf Timeslides

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA6ykQMVP3Y

@113: Far right extremism is the dominant response to economic uncertainty. It was what plunged Europe in to war in the 30s, it was not the Soviet Union ( I would argue that Stalinism was a form of fascism however).

What? There seems to be a lot of far left extremism as a current response to economic uncertainty in France just now, for instance. Far left and far right are in very many ways undistinguishable.

And saying that Soviet Union wasn’t what plunged Europe into war in the 30’s, I think you just do not want to face what happened: the two great men with moustache were very much in it together.

117. So Much For Subtlety

112. Margin4error

1 – breaking down people’s posts para-by-para is clearly very stupid. It can only serve to negate genuine debate about the subject in hand – which is about the french nationalists being fascist. It is done to nit-pick and to deliberately misinterpret comments and views so that the stupid can pretend to have some parity with those who understand things they can’t grasp, or so that those with no answer to something they want to criticise can criticise it – which in this case is probably what you are doing.

In other words you know you have been caught out making error after error and you would like me to stop pointing it out. Ain’t going to happen. It is necessary to understand what I am replying to. Hence the break down. You may want to obscure the idiotic comments you have been making, but that does not help further debate. On the contrary.

And only a moron would claim French nationalists are Fascists. Some are – Jean Marie Le Pen verged on it and France had plenty in the 1930s. But most French nationalists are not and never have been Fascists.

You want to defend fascism, but don’t have the mental tools with which to do it – so you instead try to collapse the discussion utterly by engaging on peripheral stuff. It’s a bit like being faced with tax legislation that you want to oppose but, without an capacity to do so, you focus on whether the chancellor has eaten a pasty.

You have no idea what I want to defend and lack the intellectual capacity to debate with me on any subject so your comments here are irrelevant. It is not peripheral when you make mistake after mistake on every issue you raise.

enforcement of laws and thus of cultural norms (like locking up murderers, banning heroin, etc) is – as I’ve explained but you are too stupid to understand – not fascism.

Then you should not have claimed it was. Not rocket science.

This is because the mentality behind it is not one of a broader theme of superiority of one group of people over another. We don’t ban heroin because we think Britons are racially superior to non-Britons, or ban murder because we think Jews are more English than Muslims.

Then in fact the enforcement of cultural norms is irrelevant and it is the feeling of superiority over others that is the problem. If you think so you should have said so. Not that it is because lots of people think one culture or another is superior and only a small subset of them are Fascists. But you lack the sophistication to work it out on your own so you’re reaching.

And this is where the FN are fascist. They are not doing fascism because they are not in power. But were they in power their manifesto is pretty unambiguous.

Where is their manifesto unambiguously Fascist?

They seek a raft of restrictive measures that would make life harder for muslims because they see muslims as being inadequately french. One example is their proposed restrictions on building mosques. Likewise they seek to end duel citizenship, which deliberately disproportionately hits french muslims.

They will indirectly make life harder for Muslims. We can agree. But that is not the definition of Fascism is it? That is just being nasty to a minority. The Swedes sterilised Sami and Gypsies for decades but were still Social Democrats.

This constant theme of treating islam as un-french is a fascist outlook because unlike banning murder or heroin, it is born of a view that one group is inferrior to another – in this case that group being muslims and the inferriority being that of not being adequately french.

Islam is, historically, un-French. This is a simple statement of fact. Nor does viewing one group as inferior to another amount to Fascism as lots of people think that without being Fascists. The Soviets used to claim the Soviet way of life was superior. Fascists?

But I will continue to try to educate you as best I can. I promise.

And maybe you will get lucky. I doubt it.

tigerdarwin

It was what plunged Europe in to war in the 30s, it was not the Soviet Union ( I would argue that Stalinism was a form of fascism however).

Stalin invaded Poland along with Hitler. How is that not plunging Europe into war?


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