Sarkozy’s France

It seems that the spectre than haunts Europe is that of 1968. Alain Badiou in The New Left Review:

Sarkozy has now finally finished off the cadaverous form of Gaullism over which Chirac presided. The Socialists’ collapse had already been anticipated in the rout of Jospin in the presidential elections of 2002 (and still more by the disastrous decision to embrace Chirac in the second round). The present decomposition of the Socialist Party, however, is not just a matter of its political poverty, apparent now for many years, nor of the actual size of the vote—47 per cent is not much worse than its other recent scores. Rather, the election of Sarkozy appears to have struck a blow to the entire symbolic structuring of French political life: the system of orientation itself has suffered a defeat. An important symptom of the resulting disorientation is the number of former Socialist placemen rushing to take up appointments under Sarkozy, the centre-left opinion-makers singing his praises; the rats have fled the sinking ship in impressive numbers. The underlying rationale is, of course, that of the single party: since all accept the logic of the existing capitalist order, market economy and so forth, why maintain the fiction of opposing parties?