Monday, 7 May 2007

The Fall of France

What an unmitigated disaster: the end of Gaullism, of an independent French foreign policy.

A third permanent seat on the UN Security Council is now in the hands of a supporter of the neoconservative war agenda. Britain and France will still be like that even after the US itself has ceased to be. And if even the French can no longer be bothered to maintain an independent foreign policy, then what hope is there for us, or for the Germans, or for the Italians, or for anyone at all really?

Chirac really was a conservative, and the neocons' problem with Gaullism was that it really was a conservative ideology. So, no "Someone Else's Country [America, Israel], Right Or Wrong". No use of "realist" as a term of abuse. And no idolisation of the Whiggish "free" market, with its utterly corrosive effects on everything that conservatives, properly so called, exist in order to conserve.

Oh well, goodbye to all that.

Even I do have to hand it to the neocons. Theirs is an ideology with no roots in the mainstream political tradition of any country on earth. Yet they have managed to convince Americans that world-remaking military interventionism is not only American, but American even in a conservative sense. They have managed to convince conservative Australian and Canadian voters to support subordination to America (thus redefined, of course).

They have managed to supplant the Social Catholic tradition in Germany (at least beyond Bavaria), Italy, Spain and Portugal, a tradition less like which their own ideology could not conceivably be. They have managed to supplant even the Tory and Labour traditions in Britain, at least in the sense that no political party now embodies, or seeks to give effect to, either of those traditions. And now they have even managed to supplant Gaullism.

Chilling. But impressive.

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