that they had all been active in thenResistance. Among the victims of thisn”legal” confiscation was the prewarnbourgeois daily, Le Temps. Within anfew weeks, without even bothering tonchange the lettering, Le Monde rosenfrom the ashes of its predecessor. Itsneditor in chief was Hubert Beuve-nMery, a Christian-Democrat, innFrench ideological context a leftliberalnwith, as is natural, a secretndesire to please the communists, thenvictors of the day.nLe Monde paid its staff and contributorsnwell, and more important,nBeuve-Mery knew he had Prime Ministernde Gaulle’s backing. De Gaullencounted on the paper to become thenorgan of a respectable opposition to hisnown policies, something to take thensail out of the communist opposition’snRonald the Redn34/CHRONKLES OF CULTUREnLIBERAL ARTSnFor years the left has struggled to comento terms with the naked facts of thenSoviet Union’s policy of oppression atnhome, aggression abroad. Jack Newfieldnof the Village Voice has found thenkey:nFor me, the left is Jefferson, Brandeis,nand Martin Luther King. Thenright is McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover,nand Ronald Reagan. In mynmind, the Soviet Union is part ofnthe right, not the left. Its oppressionnof domestic dissidents likenAndrei Sakharov, its miserable rolenin Poland, its invasions of Afghanistan,nHungary, and Czechoslovakia,nall make it seem like RonaldnReagan and J. Edgar Hoover havenruled Russia.nReagan in the Kremlin? Jack wouldnprobably prefer to have it the other waynaround. ccnpapers. Did he know of Beuve-Mery’snleftist sympathies? He did, but as annex-right-winger (Maurrassian), denGaulle needed certification by the left.nFrom the beginning, Le Monde followed,nthen increasingly led, the leftwardnorientation of France, the West,nof culture, of Church, of justice, ofnyouth. Its brilliant reporters andnwriters—almost all successful novelists,nessayists, professors, and judges,ntoo — became (well-remunerated)nworkers in the devil’s vineyard. Theynundermined France’s staying power innIndochina. They were even accused ofncarrying documents and dynamite fornAlgerian terrorists in their briefcases.nThey were present, from Vietnam tonNicaragua, wherever they could harmnWestern interests in favor of Moscow,nof Mao’s Cultural Revolution, of Castro’sndungeons, of the massacre ofnCambodians. They did so in a stylenthat makes the writers for the NewnYorker look like country bumpkins,nand with the “objectivity” of thinkersninhaling Hegel’s Weltgeist. Their domesticnline was somewhere betweennthe communists and the left-wing socialists.n(Since there is no Americannequivalent, I should say between Castronand Allende, a crack so narrow thatnyou can’t squeeze through a blade ofngrass.) Yet, a few of Le Monde’s leadingnwriters have fellow-traveled somewhatnnaively. When in a Paris weekly Inattacked the most prestigious amongnthem, Andre Fontaine, he replied:n”Mon cher Confrere, we are all anticommunistsnat Le Monde. Proof isnthat the Communist Party keeps denouncingnus.” I was flabbergasted,nbut recovered soon enough to remindnFontaine that the communistsnprefer to attack the weak sisters, not theirntough adversaries.nMore than any sector of publicnopinion or political class, Le Mondenprepared the way for Mitterrand andnhis communist ministers. In Mayn1981, the paper almost grew wings innits enthusiastic celebration of leftistnpower and imminent utopia. By then,nin fact long before, in the 1950’s, LenMonde had become the number onenflag-bearer for the world’s far left enterprises,nterrorists, subversives, culturalncorrupters. As a subscriber sincen1958—I admit, it is like drug addiction,nbut Le Monde is the best andnbest-edited newspaper of five con­nnntinents—I could write volumes onnits systematic destructiveness. Its positionnis, with utmost consistency, onnthe side of the devilish, the crooked,nthe obscene; yet always in the name ofnmorality, beauty, truth, humanity,nand progress. For this double reason itnis one of the most-quoted dailies of thenworld. When its sister ship, the NewnYork Times, needs an “impartialnsource” from abroad, it is mostly then”independent liberal” Le Monde thatnis quoted. And the latter, always courteous,nreciprocates. If anything, this isnthe leftist conspiracy, out in the opennand advertised, that naive conservativesnsearch for under the bed.nYet, even the High Conscience ofnthe World makes mistakes. After thenstill half-decent Beuve-Mery, his famulus,nJacques Fauvet, became directornin the late 60’s. Under him, the leftistnflow became a Mississippi, particularlynin matters of culture, always the firstnsymptom of corruption. Everythingnloose, sex-ridden, and counterculturenwas now fit to print, while on thenpolitical pages McGovern, OlofnPalme, but above all Uncle Ho, Allende,nand Jane Fonda were celebrated.nIn fact, one of the political arsonistsnamong the foreign correspondents,nJean Lacouture, later admitted that hisnreports helped Pol Pot’s victory and thenCambodians’ extermination. Crocodilentears; Lacouture is now backnagain, bemoaning Vietnam’s “economicnisolation.”nThe mistake came with the newndirector, Andre Laurens. Le Mondenremained just as brilliantly written andnedited as before, but now it wentnoverboard. Its readers began to desertnit, for a simple reason: until 1981, itnhad been an “opposition paper” (innfact, it dictated policy to the likes ofnGiscard); when Mitterrand came tonpower, Le Monde became a kind ofnofficial organ; it was thus made indirectlynresponsible for the Socialist-nComrriunist criminal and grotesquenmismanagement. The paper could notndistance itself from Mitterrand’s absurdnpolicies; in fact, it still led thendance. But readership began to fall. Innwhat must have been a desperate act tonrecapture the progressistes, directornLaurens serialized during the summernmonths of 1984 a story (instead of thenusual novel) in cartoon form, depictingnendless copulations of the mostn