[Marine Le Pen] has come out with a detailed critique of capitalism and a position promoting the state as the protector of ordinary people. “For a long time, the National Front upheld the idea that the state always does things more expensively and less well than the private sector,” she told me. “But I’m convinced that’s not true. The reason is the inevitable quest for profitability, which is inherent in the private sector. There are certain domains which are so vital to the well-being of citizens that they must at all costs be kept out of the private sector and the law of supply and demand.” The government, therefore, should be entrusted with health care, education, transportation, banking and energy.Inside the New York Times Magazine, Russell Shorto has an in-depth portrait of France's (Kinder, Gentler) Extremist, whose economics are "frankly leftist" and whose "economic stance is drawing interest from the left as well as the right": "When I pointed out that in the U.S. she would sound like a left-wing politician, [Marine Le Pen] shot back, “Yes, but Obama is way to the right of us,” and opined that proper government oversight would have averted the American financial crisis." Mainstream parties across Europe "have not found answers to this pan-European movement," adds the director of the John Adams Institute in Amsterdam, "for which the term “far right” seems increasingly inadequate."
Read also (en français) :
• "Le besoin d'Etat fort" : les mots de Le Pen prouvent que la (l'extrême-)droite française n'a rien à voir avec le Republican Party et les Tea Partiers
• Dans l'élection de 2012, L'es électeurs du FN sont pour Obama à 70%
• Critique de la privatisation et de la politique ultralibérale : Marine Le Pen prouve que les conservateurs US n'ont rien à voir avec les thèses du FN
• Le programme officiel du Front National : un Etat fort et interventionniste ainsi que le refus du libre-échange
• FN et la gauche, même combat ? Un leader du Parti de gauche énervé qu'on dise que les gauchistes et les Le Pen sont sur le même terrain (anti-libéral)
• L'objectif du FN : capter les peurs engendrées par la mondialisation et surfer sur l'insécurité et la souffrance sociales
Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was a founder of the National Front in 1972 and served as its leader, and perennial presidential candidate, until his retirement in January, at 82. Along the way, thanks in part to his penchant for crisply expressed opinions — that the Nazi occupation of France was “not particularly inhuman,” that the gas chambers were “a detail,” that “the races are unequal,” that someone with AIDS is “a kind of leper,” that “Jews have conspired to rule the world” — he and his party became emblems of European right-wing extremism.
…Then in January, Marine — at 42, the youngest of his three daughters — won a battle to succeed her father as president of the party. Almost overnight, she brought the National Front not just back into the spotlight but also into outright competition. The polls that show her matching or outpacing [Nicolas Sarkozy] have shuffled the French political game board.
…Marine Le Pen’s sudden prominence draws attention to the contrasts between her and the man she hopes to replace. Where Sarkozy is stylish, Le Pen tends toward simplicity. Where he has become, to many, a classic say-anything-to-please-anyone politician, Le Pen’s followers find her to be a straight-talker. Sarkozy is seen as representing the elitists who support the increasingly unpopular European Union, while Le Pen wraps herself in the mantle of the French republic. Even in derisive nicknames, she comes across as the stronger: Sarkozy is Monsieur Bling Bling; Le Pen has been called la peste blonde — a play on both la peste noire, the French term for the Black Death, and, more recently, la peste brune, which referred to the Nazi menace.
…This jump in support for so polarizing a figure raises a question that has ramifications not only in France but also in other places where the far right is resurgent: is Le Pen fille a different person from her father, or has racism simply become mainstream?
…The family has a closeness, and a dedication to an iconic ideal of the French state, that seems almost cultish. … Le Pen works assiduously at the fine political balancing act of remaining loyal to her father — and maintaining the support of the party’s base — while distancing herself from the elder Le Pen’s outrageousness. She has jettisoned her father’s frank anti-Semitism, but she keeps the anti-immigrant policy plank as a central feature of the platform and will occasionally use headline-grabbing rhetoric, as when in December she likened the French having to endure Muslims praying on their streets to living under Nazi occupation.
She insists that her message on immigration is not xenophobic but rather commonsensical. She pointed repeatedly to the United States as a model: “In France, we often say the U.S. is a multicultural society, but it’s not. It’s multiethnic but one single culture. I don’t say that nobody should enter our country. On the contrary, in the old days immigrants entered France and blended in. They adopted the French language and traditions. Whereas now entire communities set themselves up within France, governed by their own codes and traditions.”
…Sarkozy’s recent and highly visible use of the French military has given Le Pen another opening to exploit. She is opposed to his involvements in Libya and Ivory Coast and to globalist enterprises in general; she sees the uprisings in the Middle East to be partly a result of “policies put into place by the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization toward an impoverishment of the North African countries.” Sarkozy’s aligning France with NATO might win support in the White House and 10 Downing Street, but it has done little for his popularity at home. For the country’s disaffected, it only reinforces views of him as an elitist and a globalist. Where in the United States many of the disaffected might look to a return to Christian and free-market values, their counterparts in Europe find comfort in a turn toward nationalism, which includes state protection, and away from the institutions of globalization. Le Pen is locked into that mind-set.