Sunday, February 04, 2007
The Parish Commune. posted by Richard SeymourThe Segolene-supporting Le Monde carries a poll today claiming that in the ZUS (Zone Urbaine Sensible - the urban areas with the most difficult problems), where 5 million French people live, a high turnout is expected for the Presidential elections and the voters are looking to the left. 45% of youths polled say they are voting for a left-wing candidate while 19% will be voting for a right-wing candidate. Interestingly, beyond the votes for Royal and Sarkozy are: Olivier Besancenot (6 %), Arlette Laguiller (5 %), Marie-George Buffet (4 %), Francois Bayrou (3 %), Domenica Voynet, Philippe de Villiers and Jean-Marie Le Pen collecting 1 % each one.
Segolene Royal would get a plurality, but it seems clear that she isn't inspiring a great deal of enthusiasm among these voters, to the extent that even Sarkozy is credited with a better understanding of their problems than she is. So, she has taken to trying to manufacture 'authentic' moments of grassroots, direct democracy, in which French youths tell her why people are alienated from mainstream politics. In fact, I was told by savonarola yesterday that the Royal campaign has been putting up stickers and graffiti in a bid to create a quasi-situationist viral-marketing buzz. Another scheme being contemplated, which is being taken care of by Bernard Kouchner, is the creation of a 'national civic service'. By this is meant a non-military version of national service, obligatory for all 18-25 year olds. This is the latest version of her previous, crackpot idea, which was to tackle the situation in the banlieues by imposing national service. What could this mean? Obviously it involves the exact same proposition that the draft does - that people are the property of the state - but what are they going to do with them? Is this some weird Fabian idea to deal with unemployment by nationalising the reserve army of labour? Put them to work cleaning up graffiti and doing community service, is that it? I suppose they'll have them doing menial work in homes for the elderly and engaging in Duke of Edinburgh Award-style pursuits. Young people of France, take my advice and shoot these fuckers.
Update: savonarola sends this, in which Segolene Royal is supposed to be inspired by the French theorist, Jacques Rancière. A Maoist in the early 1970s, Rancière later became a critic of marxism, which he criticised for distorting working class discourse. He has been utterly contemptuous of the PS, as can be seen in his reaction to the farcical 2002 elections in which voters were left with a choice between a crook and a fascist: "April 21, 2002 showed that the socialists have nothing more to contribute to the people than their adversaries ... Today, it is the whole system that has begun to break down". So Segolene, the Blairite PS leader, is "inspired" by Ranciere, is she?