[lbo-talk] Michael Roberts on the French elections

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 16 10:07:51 PDT 2017

British Marxist economist Michael Roberts, writing on the upcoming French elections, considers the “Eurosceptic” programs of Jean-Luc Melenchon on the left and Marine Le Pen on the right as “utopian”:

"Melenchon’s program is similar to that of socialist Francois Mitterand (although somewhat less radical than Mitterand’s) when the latter won the presidency in 1981. He too wanted to take France on an independent line from the rest of Europe in expanding the economy through public spending, nationalisation and more taxes on business and the rich. That program fell down in face of the deep global slump in 1980-2, when financial investors fled France and the franc. The choice then was for Mitterand to go the whole hog and take control from French capital or capitulate to neoliberal policies. He chose the latter with his so-called “tournant de la rigueur” (austerity turn) in 1983. That choice would soon face Melenchon, in the unlikely event that he won the presidency.

"Apart from the economic utopianism of Le Pen and Melenchon under capitalism, they both face an immediate political problem. In June, the French vote for a new National Assembly, which, at least right now, would probably elect a majority of conservative pro-capital, pro-EU MPs who would be backed by a media campaign from big business, the EU Commission and other EU governments aiming to shackle the new president. The battle would be on from day one, while the euro and French financial assets reel from the shock.

“But it probably won’t happen."

Full: https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/france-the-choice/

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