May 4, 2012

Sarkozy "has made a cynical attempt to win over the first-round supporters of the National Front’s Marine Le Pen..."

"... (while formally opposing an actual pact with the party), despite the Front’s deep hostility toward immigrant communities and the European Union, and the fact that its founder (her father, Jean-Marie) had a well-deserved reputation for racism and anti-Semitism."
Le Pen is ''compatible with the Republic,” he stated soon after the initial voting. Sarkozy’s stunning acknowledgment of Le Pen’s legitimacy can only help her cause: In the days after the first round, nearly two-thirds of Sarkozy voters told pollsters they favored an electoral pact with her party in the legislative elections that will follow soon after the presidential campaign. Le Pen herself clearly wants Sarkozy to lose, declaring that she will cast a blank ballot in the second round. She has called [Sarkozy's party] no different from the Socialists, and, indeed, her nationalist stance offers a starker alternative to the two major parties than they do to each other. Can this alternative achieve major party status? Having helped to dissolve the traditional French right while failing to replace it with a coherent or popular ideology of his own, it now appears possible that Nicolas Sarkozy’s principal legacy will be the rise of Marine Le Pen.
Opines Princeton history prof David A. Bell at The New Republic, under the sub-headline "The implosion of the French right." Is that the right word, implosion?

Anyway, there's also some interesting discussion of Sarkozy's claim to be a Gaullist, and what "Gaullism" is really supposed to mean. (It includes concepts like "France cannot be France without grandeur.")

ADDED: "Implosion" is "The bursting inward of a vessel from external pressure" (OED).
W. B. Carpenter in 19th Cent. Apr. 615   A sealed glass tube containing air, having been lowered (within a copper case) to a depth of 2,000 fathoms, was reduced to a fine powder almost like snow, by what Sir Wyville Thomson ingeniously characterised as an implosion.
The figurative usage, which is about all we ever hear, dates back to the 1960s. Marshall McLuhan seems to have seared it into our brains. There are 2 appearances of this metaphor in his 1964 book "Understanding Media":
The rush of students into our universities is not explosion but implosion....

Our speed-up today is not a slow explosion outward from center to margins but an instant implosion and an interfusion of space and functions.
I can't believe I'm in the middle of explaining how people used to make more sense! Whatever. You talk now.

48 comments:

edutcher said...

Maybe more like the implosion of Chuck DeGaulle and all he stood for. Nic giving props to LePen really is a dumb move.

The National Front is often viewed as something just short of a Nazi Party, so, yeah, any kind of moderate Rightism has been pretty much blown out of the Seine.

I guess Nic just wants to spend the rest of his life playing with Carla and the baby.

(of course Carla won't have to put up with any more dirty looks from Moochelle, so there's an upside for everybody)

EMD said...

I admit to being mystified by French politics.

Smilin' Jack said...

"France cannot be France without grandeur."

Hee--I'm afraid that ship has sailed. Is pomposity an adequate substitute?

YoungHegelian said...

The E.U. is, and always was, beloved by the mainstream French political classes. For it to work at all, France would have to sometimes subordinate its interests for the greater European good. They knew this from the get-go.

I don't really see how Sarkozy's actions are really out of line with a Gaullist vision for France. I think Sarkozy would argue that he's trying to get the best deal for France he can, under the present circumstances.

edutcher said...

Smilin' Jack said...

"France cannot be France without grandeur."

Hee--I'm afraid that ship has sailed. Is pomposity an adequate substitute?


In WWII, Marshall's staff routinely referred to Chuck as YBSOB, YB meaning yellow-bellied, so this has been an issue for a while.

glenn said...

"I can't believe I'm in the middle of explaining how people used to make more sense!"

That's because we used to speak English. Now some of us speak pretentious bafflegab.

LarsPorsena said...

Any European party that even hints at austerity or a reduction in social welfare statism is going to be swept out of power. The idea that there should be any restraint of the public sector is considered bizarre by the Euros.
Le Pen is working for Sarko's humiliation in order to pick up the pieces of the center-right. Stick a fork in Sarko, he's done. Hollande will win and the French will continue on there slow swirl down the commode of history.

glenn said...

And use that pesky synonym tool in Word to sound smarter. Often hilarity follows.

YoungHegelian said...

@LarsPorsena,

There seems to be a large stratum of Europeans (especially large among the Romance countries) that seem to think money grows on trees.

They're not sure where it comes from, but they know there should always be more available at the federal level.

Not that the attitude in question is unknown on this side of the pond....

Darrell said...

Of course by "Right," you are referring to the right side of the
Left spectrum when you are talking about Europe. Let's be clear.

damikesc said...

How do the National Front stick out as specifically anti-Semitic given the rampant anti-Semitism in French culture as is?

It's not like this has ALWAYS been very much in existence in France. Hitler didn't have to twist the French arms to ship Jews off to their death.

gerry said...

I can't believe I'm in the middle of explaining how people used to make more sense!

Converse (if it's possible) with a truly fashionable postmodern English or history professor. You'll likely discover that words can mean anything because of cultural biases and epistemological predispositions.

People made more sense decades ago because they were willing to actually employ words having definitions, rather than mincing around meanings to avoid faux pas originating from ecopolitical false consciousness.

Gee, it's easy to do! I'm 1/32nd Samoan-Sioux. Think I can get a spot on an ivy league faculty somewhere?

the wolf said...

The National Front is also anti-globalization and anti-free trade, so don't be fooled that the "right" in this case somehow comports to the right in the US.

traditionalguy said...

Implosion happens when the visible shell that looked permanent as always is no longer supported from within. Then a slight breeze blows it away like dust.

A French political party which loses its ideology that wons minds and hearts is ready to implode.

Another example is the US Dollar which is now set to implode thanks to deficit government spending. That has been a goal of the New World Order for the past 20 years and is also the reason for the 20 years of work put into creating the Big Lie that CO2 causes warming.

Chip Ahoy said...

The idea is unclearly expressed by implosion because the idea is unclearly formed.

The writer knows the Party will not explode leaving behind smoke and bits for people to collect and sweep up. Instead the writer sees the debris as a useless pile.

Two days ago I read what I thought is the stupidest thing in a long time by a writer observing the relationship between the Republicans and tea party activists. In the writer's analysis he saw Republicans absorb the tea party rendering them effectively out of further consideration. I think the term used was 'pet.' No explosions or implosions just a neutralizing absorbing and with that sentence delivered axiomatically as premise for further conclusion, I knew I was reading someone who has no idea what they are talking about.

chickenlittle said...

A considerable portion of the Los Alamos bomb project entailed how to engineer an implosion.

Couldn't have a good explosion without going through an implosion first.

chickenlittle said...

The whole rear end of the Titanic imploded.

Implosion happens

Carl Vero said...

Friday in France, in Paris, and a sprinkle of rain, a sudden whip of cool breeze, a graying sky to end the bright promise of the evening. Or so I thought, when I ambled past the Louvre entrance.

At the Louvre I met Mademoiselle Cathy
I endeavored to be more than her boulevardier,
She was naughty as well as natty –
Robing in prêt-à-porter
And avoiding paparazzi patty
Outside the Palais de l'Elysée –
Men were covetous, women catty
But none but I would later disperse her negligée …

But I stray.
The French love to regard themselves as intellectuals. Left and right are very much alike: elaborate little plans, fussy attention to small perfections, and then, when something goes wrong because of their inborn blindness, they scream frantically for help, for someone else to act. To do. To complete.

Mitch H. said...

Since de Gaulle spent his last years in office dodging pied-noir assassins pissed about his romancing of an earlier fascist right to get into office, and then screwing them over, I'd say that this sort of squalid stooping-to-conquer is *classic* Gaullism.

ricpic said...

The difference between America and France is that the French, at least a significant number of them, are not so terrorized by PC that they dare not say "Stop the invasion!" for fear of being labelled racisss.

Iuconnu said...

As for whether people used to make more sense, I think every age has its flim-flam artists and that obscure language is commonly their camouflage. The post you had about Orwell's advice to writers a while ago spoke effectively to the point.

The Crack Emcee said...

"France cannot be France without grandeur."

Riiight. A more accurate reading would be "France cannot be France without hubris."

rhhardin said...

Gaul is divided into three parts.

dbp said...

If Sarkozy succeeds in getting most of the National Front votes, then the only thing imploding will be the chances of the Socialist winning.

The Crack Emcee said...

Wow - since last night, almost every one of my posts is being eaten by the filter.

Or Meade's gone mad.

Amazing, either way,...

leslyn said...

So. Somewhere, sometime, maybe or maybe not in the future, someone identified with the "right" might gain some political power. Or maybe not.

Did I get that right?

cassandra lite said...

Remember 1990, when Lech Walesa was behind in Poland's presidential campaign until he accused his opponent of being at least partially Jewish? It worked.

It's a good thing Europeans are so enlightened. Otherwise Europe would be a really dark place with a really dark history.

Thorley Winston said...

A pretty good example of why I’m glad the United States never adopted a parliamentary system or proportional representation.

Sigivald said...

McLuhan is all noise and no message, honestly.

Our speed-up today is not a slow explosion outward from center to margins but an instant implosion and an interfusion of space and functions.

I mean, seriously, what the hell does that mean, especially the last bit?

Nothing, that's what.

Kirk Parker said...

Today's version: "France cannot be France without poseurs."

Icepick said...

Why do we care who the cheese-eating surrender-monkies elect President of France?


(This comment brought to you by the year 2002.)

Craig said...

When a tornado hits a house it is not so much the wind speed that does the damage. The normal air pressure inside the house is so much greater than the air swirling around it within the tornado that the roof of the house shoots up into the vortex of the tornado with the force of a rocket.

rhhardin said...

"Implosion" is "The bursting inward of a vessel from external pressure"

English usage depends on suckage, not pressure from outside.

Even the scientist wouldn't say implosion for a collapse from pressure. He'd say collapse from pressure.

lemondog said...

In WWII, Marshall's staff routinely referred to Chuck as YBSOB, YB meaning yellow-bellied, so this has been an issue for a while.

From Wiki

Unfortunately, de Gaulle’s relationship with Truman was to prove just as difficult as it had been with Roosevelt. With Allied forces advancing deep into Germany, another serious situation developed between American and French forces in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, when French soldiers were ordered to transfer the occupation zones to US troops. Wishing to retain as much German territory in French hands as possible, de Gaulle ordered his troops, who were using American weapons and ammunition to resist, and an armed confrontation seemed imminent.[46] Truman threatened to cut off supplies to the French Army and to take the zones by force, leaving De Gaulle with little choice but to back down. De Gaulle never forgave the new President, while Truman told his staff simply, "I don’t like the son of a bitch."[18]

Heh heh heh

MadisonMan said...

@Craig, completely wrong.

Structural failure in a house as a tornado approaches occurs when a side of the roof is lifted by the wind, and then removed. Then it's easy for the wind to blow down the walls. No house built is so air-tight that pressure changes don't occur immediately in response to the changing outside environment.

In this video, for example, note how everything collapses inward. It's not quite so apparent in this video (Stoughton, WI -- warning, Strong Language!) -- but the roof is lifted first by the wind, then the structure collapses.

chickenlittle said...

Nature abhors you, rhhardin.

Louis Plack Hammett showed in 1937 that arenes could both suck and blow, depending on the electronic pressure.

Nonapod said...

I'm not sure that there was a proportionally greater number of people who made more sense in the past than there are today. The apparent incoherence of a lot of people is more likely due to the ease of modern communication in general. In the past, before the radio, TV, and the internet, communication on a large scale was a much more difficult proposition. There was a much higher barriar of entry and consequently I suspect people tended to be much more careful and deliberate in what they said. There was more proof reading and vetting. These days when a public figure blathers incoherently there is virtually no filter, it just ends up online. It's more a question of volume than of the signal to noise ratio. Oh look... now I'm blathering incoherently.

Icepick said...

No house built is so air-tight that pressure changes don't occur immediately in response to the changing outside environment.

Yeah, the atmospheric pressure in the house isn't going to be more than 1 (approxiamtely), and a vacuum can't be lower than zero. 1 atmospheric pressure isn't going to launch a house like a rocket....

Rabel said...

A more complete version of Sarkozy's statement (but still with an ellipsis) gives it a considerably different meaning.

“If there is a candidate from the National Front, it’s because she had a right to be a candidate….So from the moment you run in an election you have the right to run in the election, as far as I know. You are compatible with the Republic.”

But Bell's an Ivy League professor, so his reality may be different from mine.

Does that make sense?

Crunchy Frog said...

Louis Plack Hammett showed in 1937 that arenes could both suck and blow, depending on the electronic pressure.

"MegaMaid has gone from suck to blow."

One of the things they used to teach folks in tornado country is to leave a couple windows open to avoid sudden, catastrophic pressure differentials - typically occurring when a large piece of debris smashes through a window at 100-plus mph.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow - since last night, almost every one of my posts is being eaten by the filter."

Thanks for the heads-up. I just liberated all the falsely accused comments.

You weren't deleted intentionally. It should all be there now.

Michael McNeil said...

A considerable portion of the Los Alamos bomb project entailed how to engineer an implosion. Couldn't have a good explosion without going through an implosion first.

Yes, you can — thus the “Little Boy” (rifle type) uranium bomb used on Hiroshima — but not with plutonium, whose physics is different, therefore the “Fat Man” (spherical implosion) bomb that hit Nagasaki.

Methadras said...

EMD said...

I admit to being mystified by French politics.


There is no mystery. The french have such an inflated sense of themselves and their place in history and the world that they expect their president to literally float above them in an even more cultured and educated manner than themselves. They want a president who is aloof yet possess that typical french sanctimony so they can put him on a pedestal so the can point to him and show the world what a wonderful socialist utopia they claim to be. A country of union members for the union by the union. And they will get a president who will give them what they want.

Sakrozy made serious mistakes in his tenure as the french president and as seen being to cozy with the affluent business people and corporations than he was with the unwashed masses. And oddly enough he was seen as being a bigger dick to the french than the french are to everyone else. That is a serious mistake to make.

Methadras said...

cassandra lite said...

Remember 1990, when Lech Walesa was behind in Poland's presidential campaign until he accused his opponent of being at least partially Jewish? It worked.

It's a good thing Europeans are so enlightened. Otherwise Europe would be a really dark place with a really dark history.


I do remember that. In France it would be the equivalent of calling Sarkozy a capitalist.

Michael McNeil said...

One of the things they used to teach folks in tornado country is to leave a couple windows open to avoid sudden, catastrophic pressure differentials - typically occurring when a large piece of debris smashes through a window at 100-plus mph.

I once heard a tornado expert poo-poo that advice (not that a window breaking was the problem, but rather the house exploding as a result of the pressure differentials), saying that there's no point in opening or breaking windows to avoid that fate because the tornado itself would see to it that your windows are open — using your neighbor's house to open them with.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@icepick

1 atm is 14.7 psia. Exerted on every single square inch of a building's interior, that's plenty of force to "launch it like a rocket." The building doesn't have to be airtight. If the change in pressure outside vs. inside is rapid enough, as in a tornado moving at 40-50 mph, pressure doesn't have time to equalize by leakage before the structure fails.

Lyle said...

This is a little like Weimar Germany... inching toward the racial hatred of the nationalist right.

Jose_K said...

So what Hollandeis looking the votes of a maoist who thinks Chavez is role model