Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tunisian Ruling Party Was a Member of the SI

As though we needed more reasons to think less of the tepid, soft-neoliberal Socialist International, it has recently come out that the repressive ruling party of Tunisia, Ben Ali's Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) was a member of the organization until they were recently expelled. I find this unsurprising, given imperialist, neoliberal tilt of other member parties like Labour Party in Britain, the German SPD, the French PS, etc.

Sarkozy and the French Right, of course, are already trying to use this to deflect (entirely legitimate) criticisms of their own imperialist stances toward Tunisia. Though the deflection is clearly an illegitimate move on the part of the French Right, there is more than a grain of truth to their accusation that the French "center-left" is similarly guilty. This is no stain on socialist politics as such- on the contrary, this is just another indication of what we already knew: that the neoliberal French Parti Socialiste is a bankrupt and politically conservative force in France. Their perpetual triangulating overtures to the Right make it hard for one to even make the case that they ought to reasonably included within the socialist tradition at all. The genuine socialist tradition consists neither in the opportunist, class-collaborationist politics of Social Democracy, nor the bureaucratic, top-down trajectory of Stalinism.

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