all the gallant work of the royalist Chetniks.rnBecause a very large number of conservatives had supportedrnthe regime of Petain, who for them had personified French endurancernin adversity, it became easy for Charles Maurras andrnMaurice Barres to be bracketed with out-and-out National Socialistsrnlike Deat, Doriot, and Celine (who thought the Nazisrnwere too moderate). “The Liberation had been largely a revolutionrnagainst the Right, extreme or conservative,” as EugenrnWeber notes in The European Right (1966). The right becamernassociated with the horrors of Belsen, the left with freedom andrnpatriotism. The left ended the war with an enormous moral advantage,rnupon which it capitalized by associating itself with therncause of the nation. Just as Stalin evoked “Mother Russia” forrnBolshevik ends, the nationalist iconography of the tall man inrnthe kepi was taken up by the French left, members of whichrnwere predisposed anyway because of the 1789 links betweenrnrevolution and nationalism. It was this nationalist pose of thernFrench left which made it so successful in the postwar period.rnAs one astute French observer has noted, the French electoraternis like an Edam cheese, red outside but white inside—revolutionar)’rnto obtain a pension and conservative to preserve it. ThernFrench people of all classes and opinions are deeply patrioticrnand protective of their national culture.rnThe myth of widespread, specifically anti-fascist national resistancernallowed the French to save face in the age of America,rnthat barbaric Anglo-Saxon backwater (as many Frenchmen sawrnit). The defeated Axis countries had their own m)’ths to invent,rnbut Italian Foreign Minister Count Carlo Sforza explained thernpostwar differences between his country and France this way:rn”The Italians must forget a defeat. The French must invent arnvictory.” In the interest of inventing such a victor)’, there sprangrnup folk memories of De Gaulle, the aquiline man of destiny,rnbroadcasting to his enslaved nation from just across the EnglishrnChannel and walking through the bullets of Cerman snipersrnhiding in the rafters to celebrate High Mass in Notre Dame inrnAugust 1944. De Caulle deliberately associated himself withrnthe powerfully symbolic Cross of Lorraine, the ancient emblemrnof national freedom once borne by Joan of Arc. His influencernremains powerful even now. The Gaullist spell wasrnsummed up neatiy by Luigi Barzini in The Impossible Europeansrn(1983): “Even those . . . who had feared and fought [DernCaulle] when he was alive, suddenly discovered they could notrnhelp but consider it sacrilegious to reject or betray his politicalrnheritage, his idea of France.”rnHowever, leftist aims and priorities changed, as a new generationrnof leftists came to the fore and wartime memories beganrnto fade. The Nazis were gradually transmuted into the “establishment”rnand the “police” —although they still survive as a potentrnpsychological warfare symbol of both absolute evil and absoluternbanality. To the more stupid leftists, there was actuallyrnno difference between the Third Reich and the Fifth Republicrn—an idea reinforced in their minds by the relative ease withrnwhich most ex-collaborators, like Maurice Papon, faded intornthe bureaucratic wallpaper after 1945 (although Robert Aronrnhas estimated that as many as 40,000 may have been summarilyrnexecuted during the Liberation). “We are all Cerman Jewsrnnow!” shouted the middle-class students across the barricadesrnof’68.rnSuch patriotic aspects of the French anti-fascist myth as existedrnwere slowly forgotten, superseded by the revolutionar’ aspects.rnThe cult of De Caulle fell into disrepair. Liberty wasrndropped in favor of equalit}’. Exclusiveness was excluded andrnFrenchness deconstructed. Nationalism became fascism, thernpreserve of warmongers and the far right. Instead, the leftrnturned fully towards revolutionary internationalism and multiculturalism,rnin accordance with its instincts. This turn hasrnhelped to accelerate both France’s drive towards Europeanrnunion and the reckless policy of admitting millions of immigrants.rnIt has also fatally weakened the left.rnThe left is now increasingly—and quite correctiy—viewedrnas the enemy of France and of Frenchness. The FN’s latest recruitsrnare very often ex-communist voters, who have been encouragedrnby the FN’s recent shift away from Pelagian free marketeeringrntowards a compromise between private and publicrnownership, in effect a move away from the recent Anglo-Saxonrntradition. This shift has caused some trouble within FN ranks.rnA professor of economics told me at the FN festival that hernthought the new line was “economically illiterate,” and thatrnthere was murmuring—but then he smiled fondly and said:rn”No doubt Le Pen will find some way around that, too!” ThernFrench are beginning to realize that European union will bernextremely expensive and that serious social problems have beenrncaused by immigration and multiculturalism. Only the FN isrnwilling to address these topics seriously.rnIf an FN government, or a government strongly influencedrnby the FN, comes to power in France (as now seems likely), therneffects will be incalculable. Europe’s political elite could easilyrnignore any of the Eastern European countries, Austria, orrneven Belgium if any of them were to elect an FN-st}’le government,rnbut they could not ignore France, a C7 nation with herrnown nuclear deterrent, the home of one of the world’s great civilizations.rnIf a countr)’ like France, sophisticated and even cynical,rncan adopt a doctrine of national preference, there wouldrnbe nothing to stop the same thing from happening in other G7rncountries. If France, which has often led opinion before,rnadopts a radical new philosophy such as that espoused by LernPen, then that new philosophy will be granted a degree of “respectability,”rnmaybe even a certain radical chic.rnOutside France, the effects would be felt most strongly inrnBrussels. Victory for an FN-style government would boost thernforces of Euro-skepticism in every country, and encourage thernfurther growth of FN-style parties. The effects would be immediatelyrnapparent in other parts of Europe, as the FN is organizingrna European Nationalist Alliance (EURONAT). Recently,rnLe Pen or senior colleagues have visited Belgium, Cermany,rnRumania, and Slovakia, among other countries, and FN representativesrnhave been regularly addressing crowds of 60,000 orrnmore. There would doubtiess be material help for parties inrnthese countries if the FN came to power. In countries likernBritain, where there is less scope for small parties, the ConservativernParty would undoubtedly move closer to the British “lepenisme”rnthat many Conservatives privately avow. The Canadianrnsituation would be altered in the long term, with thernQuebecois separatists heartened by such a result.rnIn 1831, Heinrich Heine aptly described France as “the Casconrnof Europe,” alluding to the traditional virtues —andrnvices—of the colorful inhabitants of Cascony. The word hasrnpassed into English as the disapproving “gasconade.” Butrnd’Artagnan was a Cascon, and so was Cyrano de Bergerac. Caseous,rnwrote Rostand, creator of Cyrano de Bergerac, are “freernfighters, free lovers, free spenders, defenders of old homes, oldrnnames and old splendours.” Wliat better way to describe the essentialrnFrance —and her new defenders?rn18/CHRONICLESrnrnrn