Mrs Le Pen has filled the vacuum. She has abandoned the free-market views of her father, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who once espoused “Reaganomics” and vowed to shrink the state.
She is eating into the Socialist base from the Left, vowing to defend the French welfare model against the “neo-liberals” and to defeat the “dictatorship of the markets”. She calls globalisation the “law of the jungle” that allows multinationals to play off cheap labour in China against French labour
Her plans include a national industrial strategy that swats aside EU competition law, as well as a cut in the retirement age to 60, and a “realignment of taxation against capital and in favour of workers”.
Pierre Gattaz, head of the employers federation MEDEF, calls it a radical agenda stolen from the Left that would destroy France. Yet it clearly makes a heady brew for voters when mixed with nationalist identity politics.
Because that is pretty much fascism. Nationalist identity politics along with idiot socialism.
In French terms, Poujadism perhaps, but in the larger sense, fascism.