French Socialist Party leader falls from grace

The New York Times reports that:

For months, France has been buzzing with speculation that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the popular chief of the International Monetary Fund, would quit his job in Washington to take on President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s presidential elections. But on Sunday, French politicians and media met news of his arrest in New York for alleged sexual aggression with stunned disbelief and expressions of national humiliation.

The incident threw Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s political party, the Socialists, into confusion and set the stage for a new political calculus that could allow the National Front, the far-right party led by its founder’s daughter, Marine Le Pen, to become a more dominant force during the election campaign.

Even as pollsters cautioned against rushing to judgment and as Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said his client “will plead not guilty,” his would-be rivals were quick to declare his political death.

What is nearly astonishing here is the fact that Strauss-Kahn is a socialist (PS) who also heads the International Monetary Fund, a key institution promoting reactionary economic policies around the world. The current vacuity of the word Socialist does diminish the shock prompted by Strauss-Kahn’s IMF duties. But this empty-signifier also highlights the inevitability of the neoliberal economic ideology. The socialist political project was meant to defeat and eliminate economic reactionaries like the neo-liberals. What does this say about the PS? It tells us that socialists of the PS stripe are little more than an elite seeking power for the sake of having power. These socialists threaten only the proletariat and the other subordinate classes and groups.

The IMF has already replaced Strauss-Kahn with John Lipsky, a man who had been Vice Chairman at the J.P. Morgan Investment Bank.

2 Responses to French Socialist Party leader falls from grace

  1. SoulRebel says:

    My thoughts exactly as I read the NYT yesterday.

  2. Pingback: More commentary on Dominique Strauss-Kahn « All Tied Up and Nowhere to Go

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