Why are the French surprised by Marine Le Pen?

Posted: March 9, 2011 in anti-fascism
BBC News – Marine Le Pen poll rating shock for French politics. What get’s me is that polite French society is shocked by the fact that the far-right are so strong.
Anybody who’s travelled around France will have noticed the huge amount of streets, squares, parks etc named after French generals, war hero’s and battles. One would have also noted the number of monuments to the grandeur de la France and wars past. National triumphalism is the term.
The French state is run as the well-oiled clockwork machine with its centre in Paris. An almost military style of bureaucracy is applied to the civil service and society in general.
The fanatical Jacobin republicanism applied across the French state -all must be equal so all will be forced to be the same- has resulted in the various populations -Breton, Corsican, Catalan, Occitan, Arpitan, Flemish, Alsatian, Norman etc- having their grass-roots identities torn away from them to be replaced by the homogenised product of a militaristic state – the French citizen. Indeed the French state has a long and less than glorious history of meddling with the identities of its citizenry.
….and then they are suprised that the militaristic, identity obsessed,  far-right has such a big audience!

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