French Socialism at the Crossroads

  • Harvey Goldberg
Keywords: Marxism


What ails French Socialism? "It is the progressive cléricalisation of the Party; there is clericalism whenever an institution, no matter what it is, becomes an end in itself rather than a way of serving the ideal which gave it life." The Party has become a contented clergy. The national leaders are nothing but cynical politicians; "the exercise of power seems to have consumed and destroyed their personality." Flaunting the ideal of human enlightenment, they have enforced strict censorship over news to the rank and file to conceal their crimes. "The Party papers, like le Populaire and le Populaire Dimanche have been devoted solely to adulation of the men in office." At the local level, the little chiefs are "weary, prudent, unenthusiastic, slow to react." A clubby atmosphere predominates, and the leadership has degenerated into une équipe de camarades. French Socialism? Just another political racket, played out by aging members (70 percent over 40; 37 percent over 50) in futile debates.