Fighting in the Heart of Liberal Madison for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This blog will focus on liberal hypocrisy and the small, but significant victories of the right at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

28 November 2005

French Socialism a Success?

Over 6 homeless French citizens have died in the streets of France as winter edges closer. I guess the economically crippling high tax rate and the compassion of socialism is helping people (see French Riots).

14 Comments:

Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

There is a very good comment on this by the Holy Spirit over on The Christian Prophecy blog today. Apparently it's not so much about physical life than about QUALITY of life.

Mon Nov 28, 12:48:00 PM CST

 
Blogger butter said...

The only problem is you'll never get the French socialists to admit that the quality of their government isn't going to well.

Mon Nov 28, 12:59:00 PM CST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um...the president and prime minister of france are gaullist. it is the opposition that is socialist. so yes, it will be difficult getting "the French socialists to admit that the quality of their government isn't going to well".

Mon Nov 28, 11:37:00 PM CST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

take this picture down! it might prevent the hippies from moving to france!

Mon Nov 28, 11:59:00 PM CST

 
Blogger Bill said...

Earth to Bob...

Chirac's Party are the CONSERVATIVES. The Social-Democratic Party (center-left, electoral socialists) lost out to the NATIONAL FRONT (far-right neo-Fascist) Party in the general elections of 2002.

[b]The run-off election (final round of voting) was a conservative vs a fascist.[/b] The conservative won, needless to stay, but who knows how long it is before the French people are looking at another Germany 1932.

Besides, How can you complain about homelessness in France, if you ignore it here at home? Do you have any idea how many homeless people freeze to death in the United States? Have you even bothered to buy a copy of the Homeless Co-operative from a street vendor on State St? They only cost $1, and 75 cents of that goes to the vendor.

Did you know... Austin King (who was labelled a "radical progressive" by the Badger Herald during his re-election campaign for city council last semeseter) recently voted ALONG WITH THE ENTIRE MADISON CITY COUNCIL to severely restrict the liberties of pan handlers.

Or perhaps you just missed this when it was in the Daily Cardinal last month - http://www.dailycardinal.com/article.php?storyid=1022613

Tue Nov 29, 05:04:00 AM CST

 
Anonymous Ryan S said...

I don't think terms like "conservative" can be properly applied to France. However, terms like "screwed up" can be properly applied to France.

Tue Nov 29, 12:44:00 PM CST

 
Blogger Bill said...

I don't think terms like "socialism" can properly be applied to a country where wage-labor (and by extension CAPITAL) still exists (including France and the ex-Soviet-Union)

I think the term "screwed up" can be properly applied to any system of authoritarian government, France included, and the United States, and the exUSSR, just to name a few.

Tue Nov 29, 03:49:00 PM CST

 
Blogger Reif said...

Nice post Bob. Did the article you read mention if any of the 6 dead bums were stomped to death by French policemen for fun? From what I saw when I lived there, I wouldn't be surprised if at least 1 or 2 of them went that way.

Also, France to Bill.

Chirac is UMP not Conservative. While UMP government employs handful of Thatcherite conservatives like Sarkozy, they still fit into American political spectrum somewhere to left of Berkley Democrats but just to right of Progressive Dane. Keep in mind that French Communist Party is considered moderate-left since far leftwing is reserved for groups like the Party for the Workers, the Revolutionary Communist League, and Workers' Struggle.

Anyways, I'll ask when I return to France next week if they consider Chirac conservative. My guess is yes so in that way you are right but then again in France they would consider Austin King conservative. Last time I check they consider Chirac more a corrupt pig than conservative any how and he'll be in prison soon enough so who cares. I'm just going to eat cheese, drink wine, and enjoy myself while looking down my nose at all the racist French dogs, who treat their Muslims like Alabamans treated blacks in 1950.

Tue Nov 29, 09:48:00 PM CST

 
Blogger Bill said...

Reif-

Interestingly, I agree with most of what you said. The Communist Party in France (as was the case with ALL Communist Parties in the 1930s) was a part of Stalin's "Popular Front" strategy for fighting Fascism -- They aligned themselves politically with the Liberals (The Communist Part USA backed FDR in the 1936 election) capitulated to the program of Social Democracy, and never returned to a genuinely revolutionary ideology, even in the authoritarian/vanguardist sense. The Communist Party USA to this day supports the Democrats in every election, under the illussion that they will bore it out and then use it as a front for a revolutionary struggle.

And Bush isn't particularily "conservative" anymore than Chirac is. Yes, Chirac is a corrupt pig. So is Bush. If conservative means one who upholds traditional values and is skeptical of radical social change, then Bush is hardly a conservative. The neo-conservatives claim they can re-shape Middle Eastern society into a liberal Democracy through the sheer force of military might, and many of them actually believe what they say! Conservatism is traditionally an isolationist ideology. Bush is a global corporatist.

I also happen to agree that France treats its minorities like Alabamans treated blacks in the 1950s, which makes it totally understandable how they openly rebelled against the pigs recently. Thats why its so scary that the French National Front is gaining stregnth, because it will takeover the job of the police state when the burgiouse government begins losing popular support of the French populace, which normally happens once capitalism hits a period of crises (like the 1930s) The National Front has its own private militia, is an explicitly racist and reactionary political party, and will seize power, most likely with the backing of some wealthy conservatives (like Henry Ford, who supported the Nazis before they took power, was awarded a medal by the Nazi regime, and built tanks for them throughout WWII)

And I might add, that Progressive Dane is not a particularily "progressive" party. Its a bunch of liberals, who posture themselves to the left of the Democrats, but aren't substantially different. All of the PD candidates continue to vote for increased funding of the Madison Police Department, and for authoritarian measures against the homeless described above, just to name a few things.

Wed Nov 30, 03:30:00 AM CST

 
Blogger Bill said...

I might also add that Dane County has the highest rate of African-American individuals behind bars of any county in the United States, thanks in large part to the "war on drugs."

We can thank Madison City Council and Police Department for that... Progressive Dane is an integral part of that system.

Wed Nov 30, 03:34:00 AM CST

 
Blogger Bill said...

Bob-

I just noticed on your profile you mentioned that "The Road to Serfdom" is one of your favorite books, which might explain this post you made about the supposed "Socialism" of France.

Besides pointing out that F.A. Hayek also wrote a book entitled "Why I am not a Conservative", I might point out that Hayek himself had some pretty unprincipled politics (see below quotes) His theories also formed the basis of the FIRST September 11th, in 1973, when Augusto Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Chile, and proceeded to "disappear" (i.e. assasinate) over 10,000 social activists and leftists in order to save the "free-market."

Further, Hayek's claims about how tryanny or Fascism comes about are only half right. Tryanny is not simply the product of "collectivist/socialist central planners" any more than free-markets are the product of corporate capitalist central planners. The state is neccessarily a body of centralized political power, that is legitimized by various authoritarian social institutions that support the state. And Hayek was no Anarchist or Libertarian- he understood that a State was neccessary in order to uphold private ownership of capital.

Fascism (or what Hayek might call "right-wing socialism") comes about when capitalism is in crises and the working-class begins winning more and more gains. So wealthy capitalists, in order to maintain their profits, must hire gangs of reactionary vigilantes (like the MinuteMen in American, or the French National Front) to go around violently smashing left-wing organizations especially unions, and blaming immigrants for sinking wages and skyrocketing costs, and proceed to impose an extremely authoritarian state ontop of the otherwise liberal burgiouse state to prevent revolution

Here's some writings on the subject - http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/talks/fascism.html
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/talks/fascism1.html

Stalinism or Leninism ("left-wing fascism") is when a new ruling-class rises to power on the back of popular revolutionary struggle, and claims to represent the interests of the working-class. This is an entirely different situation than what happened in Germany, Italy, and Spain during the 1930s, although the end result was basically the same. In fact, the Nazi's had their origins in the counter-revolutionary Friecorp which crushed of the 1919-1921 German Revolution led by the council communists (who V.I. Lenin harshly criticized in his book "Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder" for their refusal to work through parliamentary channels and the business-oriented trade unions) And yes, I know that Nazi means "National Socialist", but that was simply a propoganda technique. The Nazi's were very supportive of established corporate powers once they took state power.

Leninism/Stalinism happenens when the explicitly rightwing counter-revolutionary forces have been defeated, and a group of vanguardist revolutionaries proceed to setup a new state, thus counter-revolution comes from within elements of the revolution itself, which is very similair to what happened in the French revolution of 1789 with the Jacobins, and then Napolean Bontaparte.

Anarchists have always argued that the struggle in a post-revolutionary sitution is NOT to prevent the burgiouse from re-establishing capitalism (as Marxists think) because this is impossible without the state, but rather, the struggle is to prevent the state from re-emerging, which is exactly what happened during the Kronstadt rebellion in Russia - http://www.infoshop.org/faq/append42.html

Grassroots movements and popular resistance to ruling-class institutions (which can include both corporations AND soviets/"worker's councils", communist parties AND capitalist parties) is the key to preventing tyranny, NOT free-markets. A true free-market has never existed, and never can exist, simply because it is extremely rare that we ever engage in trade with other individuals. When you go to a store or shop, you are not purchasing things from an individual natural person (as you would in a true free market) but from an incorporate business entity which is given the legal status of a natural person by the state and court system.

Socialism is the movement for the self-emancipation of the working- class from wage slavery, despite the perversion of the term "socialism" by vanguardist revolutionaries and liberal politicians in the early 20th century. Whenever there is CAPITAL (an institution of property involving wages and prices) that is capitalism, regardless of weather it is owned by private corporations or the state commanding the wages and prices. Meaning that the ex-USSR and France are both forms of capitalism. France is actually more a Social Democracy than an outright State-Socialism (or State-capitalism... they are the same thing in practice) since most industry is owned by private corporations, but there is also strong trade-unions.

Anyways, here's those Hayek quotes--

"Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism." -Friedrich Hayek (sounds strangely familiar to the "dictatorship of the proletariat" if you ask me...)

"The question whether the state should or should not 'act' or 'interfere' poses an altogether false alternative, and the term 'laissez faire' is a highly ambiguous and misleading description of the principles on which a liberal policy is based. Of course, every state must act and every action of the state interferes with something or other. [...] The state controlling weights and measures (or preventing fraud and deception in any other way) is certainly acting, while the state permitting the use of violence, for example by strike pickets, is inactive. Yet it is in the first case that the state observes liberal principles and in the second that it does not." -Hayek

"Probably nothing has done so much harm to the liberal cause as the wooden insistence of some liberals on certain rough rules of thumb, above all the principle of laissez-faire." -Hayek

Thu Dec 01, 06:35:00 PM CST

 
Blogger Bill said...

I might also add one other thing.

The system we live under currently is a type of socialism -- SOCIALISM FOR THE RICH.

Thu Dec 01, 06:38:00 PM CST

 
Anonymous James said...

Socialism for the Rich, almost the way Clinton, Soros, Kennedy, Kerry, and Pelosi intended it. Now all they need is complete government authority to make us lowly peasants live exactly as they tell us. They can pay all the lip-service that they want about how things should be more far, but I highly doubt these rich people will give up their wealth in the interest of "fairness."

Face it, money talks and people on both sides are corrupted by unlimited greed.

Fri Dec 02, 05:49:00 PM CST

 
Blogger Bill said...

I agree James. We can also add Bush and his administration into that "Socialism for the Rich" category -- corporate welfare, defense contracts, the massive military-industrial complex which consumes almost half of your Federal Income Tax Money, Bechtel, the Carlyle group, Boeing, Northrop-Gruman, Halliburton, Lockhead-Martin, etc... Or Ronald Reagan, who (despite his "free-market" rhetoric) was a sworn Keynsian - a military Keynsian. "Supply-side" theory is still Keynsian in nature, it just changes the emphasis from consumer demand to investor confidence.

Clinton and Robert Rubin (his treasury secretary) are also responsible for passing NAFTA, which started a whole string of international neo-liberal "free trade" agreements. Rubin is now a top Citigroup executive. Also the World Trade Organization, IMF, World Bank, etc... almost all of which were started by Democrats, which have nothing whatsoever to do with free-markets, but are state-corporate monolopoly, the same system Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations in opposition to: Merchantalism.

Socialism For the Rich! Welcome to America!!

Sat Dec 03, 10:05:00 PM CST

 

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