Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DSK and the Socialists

In my previous post on BHL and DSK, I stated that if Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the champion of the French left, then I would hate to see its enemies. Like many other parties of the Left in the last thirty years, the French socialists have largely abandoned any reference to working class solidarity without a clear idea of what their mandate would be. At Counterpunch, Diana Johnstone has a brief account of the decline of the Socialist party from the election of François Mitterand to its turn to celebrity driven politics (there's a pun in there, as part of the article has to do with the 'DSK posing with a porsche' scandal). In sum, Johnstone writes,
But the real scandal for the Socialist Party is the one it does not even begin to recognize: that it was pinning its electoral hopes on a leading champion of global capitalism, the president of the IMF.  Whatever the outcome of the New York proceedings, the bursting DSK bubble marks the total degeneration of the Socialist Party in France, for reasons that have nothing to do with his sex life.
Before finishing this post, I will also mention that Counterpunch also has two articles (here and here) about Strauss-Kahn's attempts to reform the IMF, and how his fall marks the end of that tendency. Although lamenting reforms within the International Monetary Fund seems to me to concede too many premises for analysis (which risk turning the reader into somebody like BHL, who echoed the same sentiments), they are worth reading as a counterpoint. We should keep in mind, before shedding tears for DSK, that the reforms could have failed on their own without a scandal erupting, just as the French Socialist Party would/could have faced electoral difficulties without it.

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