France’s far-right wing party the National Front has won two seats in the French Senate. While these numbers are not enough to give them major political power in the 348-seat upper house, they do show a reactionary trend in French politics. The National Front is a political party that wants to preserve ‘Frenchness,’ which in their view is a homogenous racial and cultural standard that is under attack from multiculturalism and immigration. Many people from the former French colonies have made their way to France and the National Front have stood in opposition of this perceived intrusion. Indeed the National Front from its inception has been xenophobic while maintaining that colonialism has been a positive historical force, a contradiction that speaks volumes about the incoherence of the F.N.’s platform.
The National Front is a party that United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who is himself far from a beacon of tolerance, has condemned, citing their anti-semitic baggage. What is so alarming is that this political party can not only can survive but also achieve political saliency in a modern European society. With the history of French racism and their brutal colonialism allegedly behind us, has the recent prevalence of implied racism like what we saw in Fmr. President Sarkozy’s 2007 disaster of an address to the continent of Africa been replaced with a politically virulent racism?
The defeated and weak left in France has failed to capitalize on the declining economic situation in France, opening the door for more reactionary forces to make false claims about immigrants. Under the leadership of Marine Le Pen, the National Front has moved away from her father and founder of the National Front, Jean Le Pen’s, strategy of a top down political strategy to local elections in France. The freighting aspect of the National Front’s recent victories which also included 24 members elected to the European Parliament, is that a political party founded almost forty years ago with overt racist and insidious designs is not declining but growing. That the degenerate dreams of Jean-Marie Le Pen have found an audience in 2014 is a cause of concern not just for France, or Europe, but for all sensible individuals.