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Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Directorate of Intelligence France: Defection of the Leftist Intellectuals [ Confidential EUR 85-10199 December 1985 Copy 3 14 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Directorate of Intelligence France: Defection of the Leftist Intellectuals Central Mediterranean Branch, EURA, are welcome and may be directed to the Chief, This paper was prepared byl the Office of European Analysis. Comments and queries Confidential EUR 85-10199 December 1985 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential France: Defection of the Leftist Intellectuals Scope Note Intellectuals have traditionally played an influenti 1 role in French political life. Even though they have seldom sought a direct part in formulating policy, they have conditioned the atmosphere in which politics are conduct- ed and have frequently served as important shapes of the political and ideological trends that generate French policy. R cognizing that their influence on policymaking is difficult to measure, his paper focuses on the changing attitudes of French intellectuals and gauges, the probable impact on the political environment in which policy is made. Confidential EUR 85-10199 December 1985 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential Leftist Intellectuals France: Defection of the Key Judgments There is a new climate of intellectual opinion in F Information available as of 15 November 1985 was used in this report. least in the medium term. President Mitterrand's Moscow derives, at least in part, from this pervas rance-a spirit of anti- icult for anyone to olicies. Nor will French id before, to other West he United States on n policies are never iet Union that is now on likely to remain there at notable coolness toward the defensive with New Left intellectuals-and isj Marxism and anti-Sovietism that will make it dif mobilize significant intellectual opposition to US intellectuals be likely to lend their weight, as they European colleagues who have become hostile to broad issues like disarmament. Although Americ, immune to criticism in France, it is clearly the So Mitterrand's failure to garner needed support am powerful leftist intellectuals, moreover, reflects a presage a new role for the intelligentsia. No long rely on the intellectuals to provide a rationale for and to sell that rationale to a French public that great store in the explanations of its intellectual vogue. ng France's historically historic shift that may r can his Socialist Party its policies and actions as customarily placed lites. Mitterrand's policy failures and short-lived allia ce with the Communists may have accelerated disaffection with his government, but leftist intellec- tuals have been distancing themselves from soda ism-both the party and the ideology-at least since the early 1970s. Led by a group of young renegades from Communist ranks who billed themselves as New Philoso- phers, many New Left intellectuals have rejected Marxism and developed a deep-rooted antipathy toward the Soviet Union Anti-Sovietism, in fact, has become the touchstone of legitimacy in leftist circles, weakening the traditional anti-Americanism of the leftist intelle tuals and allowing American culture-and even political and econo is policies-to find new The wide acceptance of this more critical approa to Marxism and the So- viet Union has been accompanied by a general decline of intellectual life in France that has undermined the political involvement of leftist intellectu- als. Although they are now less willing to become involved in partisan affairs, we believe that New Left intellectuals wi 1 weigh in heavily on two fronts: ? They will support moderate Socialists who are triving to create a broad- based center-left alliance. v Confidential Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Confidential ? They will oppose any effort by hardline Socialists to reforge the now defunct "unity of the left" with the French Communist Party in the forthcoming legislative elections. This New Left activism is likely to increase bickering between the two leftist parties and within the Socialist Party, and it will probably increase voter defection from both Socialist and Communist camps. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential Contents Page Scope Note iii Key Judgments v Introduction 1 A Traditional Role 1 A Historic Shift: The "Loud" Silence of the Leftist Intellectuals 3 The "New Philosophers" 4 "There Are No More Sartres, No More Gides" 6 Causes of Leftist Intellectual Defection 6 The Bankruptcy of Ideology 6 Anti-Sovietism 7 Prospects for Intellectual Influence 8 Decline of Intellectual Life 8 Limited Reengagement 10 French Intellectuals and US Interests 11 Appendixes A. Cultural Aspects of New Right Thought 13 B. Important Books by Glucksmann and Levy 15 vii Confidential Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential Leftist Intellectuals There is a lethargy about intellectual life in this country that is quite spectacular. Never before have I known such silence, such emptiness. It's like a family in which someone has died. Introduction Intellectuals matter in France, probably more than in most Western democracies. They have traditionally played a key role in the political process as apologists for the positions of various parties and as important window dressing in the quest for domestic and inter- national respectability. Moreover, they are listened to-talk shows and magazines featuring heavy doses of intellectual debate are very popular. For a variety of complex reasons, the left has claimed the vast majority of intellectuals since World War II and has provided some of them with substantial leadership roles. French intellectuals have routinely defended the domestic schemes of both Socialists (PS) and Commu- nists (PCF), and they have led the charge against US policies in Europe and the Third World. President Mitterrand-an intellectual in his own right-has surrounded himself with "thinkers" and offered many important positions in his government to well-known intellectuals. Even before the Socialists took office in 1981, how- ever, it was clear that this intellectual identification with the left was fading. The worst kept secret in PCF circles for the past decade was that virtually every Communist intellectual of any stature had either died or defected from the party. Although Socialists man- aged to snag a few of the disillusioned, the newborn critics of Marxism seemed to drift more easily into neutrality or even to the right. With one or two exceptions, important intellectuals-such as anthro- pologist Michel Foucault-refused positions in Mit- terrand's government. And when Socialists later tried to arouse intellectuals to defend their foundering policies against criticism from the right, the intellec- tuals again refused, this time with a cascade of public This analysis focuses on the changing relationship between French intellectuals and political groups in the context of broad-base intellectual change within French society. It assesses the dramatic breakdown of the dominant post-World War II alliance between intellectuals and the left, t e more general decline of the intellectuals' status in rench society, the pros- pects for a resumption of i tellectual "engagement" in politics, and the implic Lions of these trends for both French politics and S interests. A Traditional Role French intellectuals-a tom encompassing journal- ists, artists, writers, and teachers-have carved out a special role for themselves as interpreters of political tradition, especially as interpreters of the conse- quences and implications of the French Revolution. Frenchmen have looked to the permanent intellectual debate about the meaning of their history as a basis for understanding French ociety, and the course of French politics has occasionally been shifted by a strong stand on the part o intellectuals (see inset). Leftists and rightists in Fr nce maintained a balance of intellectual forces for most of the period before World War II. In the 19t century and in the first abuse on the government. Confidential Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86 00588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Confidential The Dreyfus Affair of the late 19th century crystal- lized public thinking about what sort of society France had become and highlighted how various groups-the church, the military, politicians, jour- nalists-stood in relation to principles and values associated with the revolutionary tradition. Intellec- tuals, led by the novelist and journalist Emile Zola, played a leading role in mobilizing public debate about the issues in the affair. When Zola leveled his famous pro-Dreyfus editorials against the govern- ment and its allies, he accused them not only of subverting justice and morality, but also, more im- portant in the minds of his readers, of treachery against the revolutionary tradition. Dreyfus, a Jewish officer attached to the French General Staff, was accused and convicted in 1896 of passing military secrets to the Germans. Revelations that Dreyfus was convicted on fabricated evidence and that the government had concocted still more evidence to cover up its subversion of justice polar- ized French society and touched off a national soul searching about public morality and historical values. three decades of the 20th, conservative critics of the revolutionary tradition, such as de Maistre, Tocque- ville, and Peguy, were evenly matched against leftist intellectuals, like Babeuf, Proudhon, and Jaures, who encompassed the radicalism of both the 18th-century Revolution and 19th-century socialism. This parity evaporated, however, in the war. On the one hand, French conservatism stood discredited not only by its xenophobic nationalism, its antiegalitarian- ism, and its flirtation with fascism in the prewar years, but also by the participation of many of its leading exponents in the collaborationist Vichy re- gime. On the other hand, the left (except for the PCF in the brief era of the Nazi-Soviet Pact) had stood squarely against fascism and the occupation. It formed the backbone and largest block of fighters in the Resistance, and among these the Communists played a commanding (if often self-serving) role. The Figure 2. Jean Jaures, paragon of leftist intellectual activism, from an article by Andre Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Soviet Union, which was seen as standing alone for years against Germany, became a shining example to the Resistance; former Communist and leading French intellectual Annie Kriegel explains, "It's true that the Americans liberated us-but the turning point in the war was Stalingrad. It was the Red Army that gave us hope." While the French right was intellectually shattered by the war, the left emerged ready to claim the spoils of its success in the Resistance and the allegiance of all those who loved liberty and equality. In the postwar era the Socialists, and especially the Communists, attracted large numbers of intellectuals. The conser- vatives maintained their hold on power, however, and the left settled into the role of opposition in the 1950s and 1960s. Leftist intellectuals became masters at elaborating Socialist and Communist formulas for reshaping French society and of producing a constant barrage of criticism against the policies of successive conservative governments.' The Socialist and Communist Parties also tried in two ways to establish and perpetuate what one critic recently dubbed a leftist "intellocracy." First, they financed numerous journals, reviews, and newspapers through which intellectuals could channel their tor- rent of invective against the regime and French society. Second, they helped to institutionalize the leftist intellectual establishment and to make it self- perpetuating by underwriting the unionization of the university and secondary school faculties. Both efforts helped ensure that those who circulated into the French intellectual elite were ideologically atuned to its prejudices and partisan loyalties. This system worked almost flawlessly for a time; only since the late 1960s have renegades rejected the teachings of their former academic masters and led the charge against the left. ' Raymond Aron, one of the few significant thinkers to resist absorption, deplored the affinity of his peers with the left- especially their servility in accepting such outrages as the Stalinist purges and the crushing of the Hungarian uprising, and their hypocrisy in defending such shams as the Stalin personality cult. Aron reasoned in his study of the phenomenon-The Opium of the Intellectuals (1955)-that the contemporary left, particularly the Communists, had succeeded in winning and holding the loyalties of intellectuals because it had gratified two deeply felt needs: it assured intellectuals of their relevance to the political process, and it organized and gave full rein to their unbounded penchant for A Historic Shift: The "Lou of the Leftist Intellectuals The situation had changed the Socialists came to pow kept secret in government i cials were surprised and cc of support from intellectua of any stature-Max Gallc Blanca-had accepte fered to them in the Mittel openly criticized governme especially the decision to ei Communists. More often, i of lapsing into an uncharac generated disturbing quest: relations between the govei allies. Important journals c sense even subtle shifts in 1 to question whether intellei left" and to note the ironic involvement in the governn who was himself a well-est; Mitterrand redoubled the e the intellectuals after he whis expansionary economic and adopt austerity measui criticism from both the left cially from conservatives of where an "intellectual rena (see inset). Almost certainli government spokesman Ma and historian-editorialize mer of 1983 on the "silence Gallo urged leftist intellect that the vital issues of the c ment's economic policies, b cal issues such as terrorism full public debate and that rebuttal merely abandoned Gallo's appeal drew a stron als, most of whom explaine "silence." At least one criti the government would be a the intellectuals as the best dramatically by the time r in 1981. It was a poorly ircles that Socialist offi- cerned about the dearth s. Only a few intellectuals 25X1 Regis Debray, and An- the numerous posts of- rand government; some t actions and policies, trust four ministries to the ntellectuals showed signs teristic silence that quickly ons from the press about nment and its intellectual f opinion, ever quick to he political breezes, began tuals were "always of the ent of a leftist President blished intellectual. ffort to enlist support from as forced by the failure of policies to reverse course -es that drew embarrassing and the right, but espe- France's New Right, issance" was in full swing i on Mitterrand's orders, Lx Gallo-a noted novelist 3 in Le Monde in the sum- of the intellectuals." uals to speak out, arguing lay-especially the govern- ut also its record on politi- and crime-demanded a the absence of a leftist 25X1 public opinion to the right. g response from intellectu- d and defended their c argued that Gallo and riser to accept silence from they could get, and that if Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Confidential "Intellectual Renaissance"on the Right The rejuvenation of conservative intellectual activity that forms part of the so-called New Right is largely separate from the movement of the New Philosophers or New Left. The spectacular effervescence of conser- vative thought in recent years is associated most closely with the work of Jean-Francois Revel and other renegades from the Ecole Normale Superieure who started with polemics against Jean-Paul Sartre's ethical gymnastics in defense of the USSR and moved on to exposes of the shallowness of Communist intellectual life. Now, says the prominent historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, they have taken on the grander task of reorienting intellectual discourse from its traditional focus on "right versus left" toward "totalitarianism versus liberty. " Encouraged by writers and publishers who are associ- ated in some way with rightwing press baron Robert Hersant, the New Right in France has taken up the idea of reviving classic European liberalism as the elixir that France needs to recover from Socialist "mismanagement. " More than this, liberalism-de- scribed by its adherents as diminishing the role of government and forcing people to be more self-suffi- cient-has become a conservative prescription for what has ailed French society for the entire postwar era. The young conservative politicians who are tak- ing up the refrain have argued in the press and in private conversations with US diplomats that the right should lead Frenchmen toward greater self- reliance. A conservative government's principal task, according to them, would be to shrink its own role- whether as taxer, manager, director, or spender. Allied to this concept of government, the new liberals generally applaud the devolution of the massively centralized French Government's powers and re- sources to subnational governments, a slow process that has recently gained momentum under the So- cialists (see also appendix A). leftists spoke out they would only join the legion of the government's critics. The failure of Gallo's effort strengthened the growing public perception that intel- lectuals had deserted the left. When Gallo himself departed from the government less than a year later- Figure 3. Former official Mitterrand spokesman Max citing a desire to return to artistic life-most remain- ing doubts about intellectual disaffection appeared to evaporate. The "New Philosophers." One reason for Gallo's failure to mobilize the leftist intellectuals was that he ignored a coterie of young intellectual firebrands who for more than a decade had been making well- publicized converts among leftist militants by assail- ing the French left as dangerous and implicitly totali- tarian. Billing themselves the "New Philosophers," they were mostly former Communists who had left the party after the traumatic events of May 1968.' Most of them were also graduates of France's most 3 Gallo drifted for a while, writing a book that, among other things, criticized the PCF. When the ownership of the Socialist daily Le Matin changed hands early this year, Gallo became its editor- some have speculated, on the urging of Mitterrand. A colleague told US Embassy officials that Gallo has used his editorials to defend the government and whi up leftist support, but to little effect. In ay- une 1968, a ter months of intensfying protests, students threw up barricades in the university section of Paris and initiated a period of guerrilla warfare in the streets of the Latin Quarter. The protest spread to other university cities; students were joined by 7 million striking workers (who occupied factories); transportation and public services ground to a halt; and the 10-year-old govern- ment of General de Gaulle tottered. Marxist students looked to the Communist Party for leadership and declaration of a provisional government, but PCF leaders were already trying to restrain the worker revolt and denounced the student radicals as woolly-minded anarchists. Many students concluded that the PCF had made a deal 25X1 25X1 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential prestigious training school for teachers and thinkers, the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS), and they had in common not just their experience in the Left Bank student movement of the 1960s but also their rejection of the Stalinist sophistries taught at ENS. The New Philosophers were motivated by two devel- opments. First, the traditional leftist parties' pusilla- nimity during the student revolt of 1968 tore the scales from their eyes, causing them to reject their allegiance to the Communist Party, French socialism, and even the essential tenets of Marxism. Second, by the early 1970s most had also moved toward a searching critique of the Soviet Union, a trend accel- erated by the publication in France of Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago in 1975. Under these stimuli they reexamined the entire French and European leftist tradition. Two leaders of 1968, Bernard-Henri Levy and Andre Glucksmann, wrote a number of popular books that tried to lay bare the fallacies of the leftist intellectual tradition. They argued that no socialism existed in France that was not implicitly Marxist and that all Marxist thought is ultimately totalitarian. their often abstruse prose personalities, defending th long, intellectualized telev that the French relish. Th negative, however, since t Despite their sweeping de professed continuing anti came chief editor at the one of France's largest- that New Philosopher vie public. Books by New Phi ate best sellers-an amazi e than compensated for 25X1 y becoming exciting media it points of view in the it influence was primarily ey had little to offer in the s for a new program. unciation of what Levy left, the New Philosophers thy for Gaullism and only of capitalism. Levy be- rasset publishing house- here he was able to ensure s found easy access to the g feat in an era when most Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Confidential philosophical works could achieve publication only through the heavily subsidized university press. In- formed observers across the political spectrum have noted the profound influence of the New Philosophers on the thinking of the post-1960s generation. "There Are No More Sartres, No More Gides." The defection of young intellectuals from Marxism and the PCF left it to the aging Marxist mandarins to uphold the tradition. Sartre, Roland Barthes, Jacques Lacan, and Louis Althusser-the last clique of Com- munist savants-came under relentless fire from their former proteges, but none had any stomach for fight- ing a rearguard defense of Marxism.' Critics-promi- nent among them, the New Philosophers-have been highly successful in persuading the present generation of the "foolishness" of Sartre, the evils of Marxism, and the barbarism of Soviet Communism (one New Left wit jibed that calling the Soviets barbarians slanders barbarians). As a result, the Communist Youth Movement has atrophied even on university campuses, Communist publications directed at young intellectuals-such as the PCF's Revolution-are languishing, and no intellectuals of stature now be- long to or even support the PCF.' Causes of Leftist Intellectual Defection The Bankruptcy of Marxist Ideology. Disaffection with Marxism as a philosophical system-part of a broader retreat from ideology among intellectuals of all political colors-was the source of the particularly strong and widespread intellectual disillusionment with the traditional left. Raymond Aron worked long years to discredit his old college roommate Sartre and, through him, the intellectual edifice of French Marxism. Even more effective in undermining Marx- ism, however, were those intellectuals who set out as true believers to apply Marxist theory in the social sciences but ended by rethinking and rejecting the entire tradition (see inset). ' Althusser, who was Levy's and Glucksmann's mentor at ENS, strangled his wife in 1980 and spent the next five years in prison. In his last television interview Sartre admitted that Marxism had proved a failure. Defunct Marxist Scholarship in the Social Sciences Among postwar French historians, the influential school of thought associated with Marc Bloch, Lu- cien Febvre, and Fernand Braudel has overwhelmed the traditional Marxist historians. The Annales school, as it is known from its principal journal, turned French historical scholarship on its head in the 1950s and 1960s, primarily by challenging and later rejecting the hitherto dominant Marxist theo- ries of historical progress. Although many of its exponents maintain that they are "in the Marxist tradition, " they mean only that they use Marxism as a critical point of departure for trying to discover the actual patterns of social history. For the most part, they have concluded that Marxist notions of the structure of the past-of social relationships, of patterns of events, and of their influence in the long term-are simplistic and invalid. In the field of anthropology, the influential structur- alist school associated with Claude Levi-Strauss, Foucault, and others performed virtually the same mission. Although both structuralism and Annales methodology have fallen on hard times (critics accuse them of being too difficult for the uninitiated to follow), we believe their critical demolition of Marx- ist influence in the social sciences is likely to endure as a profound contribution to modern scholarship both in France and elsewhere in Western Europe. Leftist intellectuals who were not already hostile to socialism-Max Gallo may be the best example- were driven to defection by the obvious failure of leftist ideology implicit in Mitterrand's early attempts to socialize France. By 1983 most Socialists were ready to admit that their program of economic expan- sion and beefed-up budgets for social welfare would not work, and the dose of austerity that these policies eventually forced rang the death knell of leftist ideology for many informed observers. Alain Tou- raine-leftist sociologist and sometime editorialist for Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 The US and USSR in French Public Opinion Recent opinion polls show that the Soviet Union has declined steadily in French esteem over the past three years, while the United States has gained substantial- ly. Surveys taken by France's most respected polling firm just before the recent Reagan-Gorbachev sum- mit show, for example, that 59 percent of the French have an unfavorable opinion of the USSR, as opposed to only 9 percent favorable.a In contrast, opinions of the United States were 43 percent favorable and 27 percent unfavorable-a notable improvement over a similar poll in 1982 that showed 30 percent favorable and 51 percent unfavorable. Questioned on specific issues, those polled strongly approved Washington's record over Moscow's on economic development, wor- kers' rights, individual liberties, antiracism, reducing social inequalities, raising the standard of living, access to health care, and aid to the Third World. According to the US Embassy in Paris, other pub- lished polls showed similar dramatic advances in public confidence in the United States at the expense of the USSR. published in Le Monde, 19 November 1985 the Socialist daily Le Malin-may have written the epitaph of socialism: "The essential merit of the leftwing government has been to rid us of Socialist ideology." One noted academic recently remarked how doubly ironic it has been in the Fifth Republic that it fell to de Gaulle to rid France of colonialism, and to Mitterrand to rid it of socialism. Anti-Sovietism. According to various knowledgeable observers, hatred of Soviet totalitarianism has taken deep root in the French left (see inset), motivated partly by the searching and relentless polemics of Glucksmann and Levy. Academic studies and press articles on the bankruptcy of Marxism in France have credited the New Philosophers with a central role in convincing an entire generation of French intellectu- als that: ? The Soviet state is proof that "Marxist Revolution is a myth," a cynical hoax that, far from causing the state to wither away, imposes a monstrous reaction- ary machine.' ? The quintessential mark of intellectual distinction and freedom in the mod rn world is to have a decent loathing for the Soviet Union. The persistent cult of Stalinism within the PCF and the party's obsequious support for Soviet interests, manifest in all PCF newspapers and journals, helped to translate anti-Sovietism into revulsion for the PCF. The recent publication of secret documents concern- ing French Communist re ations with the Kremlin during the invasion of Cz choslovakia have shown vividly how meekly the Fr nch party accepted Mos- cow's direction and justifications. Remembrances of the strength of the Stalin rsonality cult in the French party-especially n its heyday in the 1950s, when party intellectuals heaped ludicrous praise (in prose and poems) on the S viet leader at every excuse-have made the reaction of Sovietism all the more personal and heartfe t, according to academic analyses. Both academic servers and journalists 25X1 gentsia and French Com unism (see inset).F_ ~ 25X1 have also noted that the i tellectual bias against Marxism, combined with iewly fashionable disdain for the Soviet Union, has thrown up an apparently impregnable barricade between the New Left intelli- This aversion even figure to an extent in the strong antipathy of leftist intellectuals toward the Mitter- rand government. When t e Socialists forged the "union of the left" as an election tactic in the late 1970s, the New Philosoph rs criticized them; when the same alliance resurfaced in 1980, the New Philos- 25X1 ophers prepared to desert he Socialist Party; and when Mitterrand invited me Communists into his government in 1981, they moved into full opposition. 6 In their popular books (see appendix B), Glucksmann and Levy argue that the machine feeds on gullible humanity in part through the sophistries of corrupted intellectuals. In fact, says Levy, "The only successful revolution of this century is totalitarianism," of which the Soviet state has prove the durable and consummate master. Hence, also, the New Philosopher equation, popularized by Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential New Left thinker and defector from the Spanish Communist Party Jorge Semprun mirrored the think- ing of the present generation in responding to a question in the intellectual journal Le debat. LD. What is it to be a leftist [intellectual] in France, today? S. Today, the touchstone of leftist thought is a critical attitude toward the USSR, of which one of the corollaries is to reject the parties issuing from the Comintern tradition [the PCF] .... The essen- tial question is not the barbarism of Pinochet, nor the demolition of the Lorrain steel manufacture, nor even the imperial redeployment of Reagan. The fundamental question is that of an attitude toward the USSR. Jacques Rouknique, expert on Soviet affairs at France's respected Institute de Science Politique, keeps a close eye on both the Soviet Union and French opinions of it. He told one interviewer before General Secretary Gorbachev's recent visit to Paris, "There's been a dramatic change in the Soviet Un- ion's image here over the past 10 years. The intellec- tuals have abandoned Marxism, discovered the gu- lag, discovered the horrors of the Soviet system. Generally speaking ... [Marxism] no longer inspires people on the left, or even within the Communist Party [where] there are strong critical voices.' Intellectuals who remained in Socialist ranks lapsed into silence. Nothing Mitterrand has done-including the Socialists' hard line with the Soviet Union, Mit- terrand's explanation that he needed to name some Communist ministers to buy labor peace from the Communist-controlled trade union, and the Commun- ists' departure from the government in 1984-has reversed the New Philosophers' hostility. Levy re- marked scathingly that it was like "having four fascist ministers in the government." Thus far, New Left intellectuals have shown no inclination to forgive Mitterrand for his flirtation with the Communists or to commiserate with his spectacular failure to make Prospects for Intellectual Influence Although leftist intellectuals have played a key role for more than a decade in hardening public attitudes toward Marxism and the Soviet Union, their influence appears to be waning, and they are unlikely to have much direct impact on political affairs any time soon. Anti-Marxism and anti-Sovietism, which cut such a swath in the early 1970s, have taken on a life of their own and become so much a part of French intellectual orthodoxy that the New Philosophers no longer seem to have anything new to say. Moreover, there has been a popular trend away from ideology and toward a more pragmatic approach to political problems, and this has tended to undermine the stature of intellectu- als of all stripes. Decline of Intellectual Life. Many leftist intellectuals appear to have succumbed to a kind of listlessness following their vigorous rejection of ideology and party affiliation; others-like Emmanuel Le Roy La- durie, Pierre Chanou, and Michel Sarre-have tried to stir a national debate on the noticeable decline of French intellectual life. Some have pegged the decline of the intellectuals' stature to the rise of a high- technology economy and society in France, and there is no gainsaying that French youth, who once joined every new intellectual fad, now think of careers in science or business: ? Opinion polls show that "intellectual professions" have lost significant ground to business and techni- cal careers in the esteem of young people. ? Last year, student elections across the board pro- duced an overwhelming number of new university officers who were either nonideological or conserva- tive, according to press reports. Historian and for- mer Communist Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie wrote that he was surprised to find how much students and junior staff at the University of Paris have shifted away from the left. ? Additional proof of the shift in attitude is obvious in the classroom. Educational reforms of the past decade designed to push students into business and socialism work. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Some Responses to Interview Questions About Marxism and Radicalism on the Nanterre Campus of the University of Paris Guy Lachenaud, a junior professor in 1968 and now, at 46, vice-president of Nanterre: There is no longer a student movement. The only groups that still survive combine a minimum of militant rhetoric with a lot of photocopying. The operator of the campus newsstand on sales of Marxist publications, such as Rouge, Revolution, and Lutte ouvriere: I order five copies [of each] per week, and I have trouble selling two or three. A student: In '68, papa was on the barricades. Me, I'm going to do my thing in the bank. Anonymous: Today? This is the permanent nonrevolution. technical courses were at first fiercely resisted by students and professors in the 1970s. As recently as the spring of 1983, when Mitterrand tried to extend these reforms, students rioted in several university cities. Now, the rioters' younger brothers and sis- ters swell business and science classrooms to over- flowing, even on formerly red-hot campuses like the University of Paris at Nanterre, where Marxist intellectual chic ruled supreme as late as the mid- 1970s (see inset). ? Intellectual careers, once almost guaranteed to those who attended the elite schools, are apparently no longer assured. The Fabius government, for example, recently announced a program to find jobs in local and national governments and in business for the unemployed graduates of the ENS. Social- ists have also moved to force resident foreigners out of low-level teaching jobs, presumably to free scarce positions for French teachers. Some critics, like the philosopher Michel Serres, argue that intellectuals, particularly on the left, are merely "revving up," but others point to a decline of intellectual vitality. Marc iglet, editor of France- Political Studies, argued that French intellectuals are unable to mobilize and entage in a lively discourse because they are not as ca0able as they once were. He viewed this development a~ part of a decade-old Other intellectuals like Al in Besancon conservative thinkers agre with Riglet guishing of the intellectua Is is part of a cultural decline. They arg a persuasivel and books as well as on to evision-that indeed no Flauberts, Prou ts, or Baudel over, keen observers, like istorians Bes Pierre Goubert, say there s no reason t soon. Mitterrand and Cull ure Minister despite more than doubling, the Culture and numerous that the lan- cycle of y-in articles there are aires; more- ancon and o expect any Jack Lang, Ministry mplaints that that, across inovation is budget, have failed to ste the tide of co "creativity is in a slump i France," ani the cultural spectrum, "thJe absence of i striking." A conference in Paris last year, organized to consider the issue of "French ident ty," turned quickly to the lethargy of French intellectuals and its implications for their future political role. Participants appeared to agree that ideology-left or right-was unlikely to mobilize intellectuals in t e future. The bad taste left by disillusionment with Marxism in the mouths of virtually every leftist intel ectual has translated di- rectly into a kind of neutr lism that has contributed to their immobilization. Even "liberalism"-meaning ' Lang's well-publicized attack o "American cultural imperialism" in 1981 and his later convocatio of an international conference of leftist intellectuals drew stingin criticisms, notably from the Wall Street Journal, about the recent poverty of French cultural produc- tivity, especially in comparison with American accomplishments. These charges gave rise to a gre t deal of self-criticism on the part of French intellectuals, like Bes ncon and Riglet Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential less government and more self-sufficiency-has only weak support in both intellectual and public opinion, judging from recent polls and media reports. Limited Reengagement. Nevertheless, some issues will probably continue to draw intellectuals into the fray. In a recent survey, most prominent writers indicated that they are prepared to resume much of the political involvement once characteristic of leftist intellectuals-but that they would stop short of mobi- lizing for parties and ideology. A more likely theme to reengage intellectuals would be French cultural iden- tity, which is tied closely to the emotional issues of alien influences in France, immigration, and racism. Anti-immigrant rhetoric and the racism associated with the rise of the extreme right National Front have galvanized many leftist intellectuals into action, largely in street protests organized by an antiracist group called S.O.S. Racisme. Anti-Sovietism, currently a fixture in the mentality and writing of intellectuals, continues to have great potential for stirring ferment. General Secretary Gor- bachev's visit to France this fall generated protests not just from rightists: the New Left, and especially dissident intellectuals, used the visit as an opportunity to vent frustration about Soviet brutality in Afghani- stan, continuing repression in Poland, and disregard of the human rights provisions of the Helsinki accord. Thousands of students turned out for Left Bank demonstrations, shouting "Gorbachev Gulag!" The Sakharov case also excites continuing fascination in French intellectual circles. Although the government probably short-circuited some planned protests by promising publicly to take the lead in broaching human rights with Gorbachev and by prohibiting street demonstrations during the visit, intellectuals nonetheless used the visit to press for the release of Sakharov and his wife and for a tougher French line with Moscow. This antitotalitarian and anti-Soviet sentiment among French intellectuals will militate against any signifi- cant modification of the government's already tough stand against Moscow. By now, in fact, most Socialist leaders must calculate that a tough attitude toward both the PCF and Moscow is the only way they can hope to galvanize the intellectuals into backing them in the 1986 legislative election. The intellectuals will also make it difficult for any rightwing government to engineer a resumption of the "special relationship" with Moscow that characterized the presidency of Valery Giscard d'Estaing. In our view, the strong currents of anti-Marxism, anti-Sovietism, and disillusionment with ideology among leftist intellectuals may also have a powerful effect on the Socialist Party. Mounting evidence suggests that the Socialists face a significant electoral disaster in next year's legislative elections. As the party heads for the political wilderness and tries to make sense of its experience in government, the New Left intellectuals are likely to play an important role in this soul searching and in reshaping the Socialists' attitudes and self-image. 25X1 25X1 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential In particular, deep anti-PCF sentiment among intel- lectuals may prove decisive in subverting machina- tions by Socialist Party chief Jospin and others on the left of the party to rekindle enthusiasm for the "union of the left"-the myth that the Socialists came to power in 1981 only through their alliance with the PCF and that the left can only achieve power in the future through unity! Intellectuals are likely to weigh in heavily against this notion and will probably sup- port overwhelmingly the strategy-long touted by Socialist dissident Michel Rocard, but now apparently accepted by both Mitterrand and Prime Minister Fabius-that the long-term future of Socialism lies in forging a center-left alliance. In sum, New Left activism is likely to increase bickering both between Communists and Socialists and within the Socialist Party. It will also probably lead to increased voter defection from both camps. French Intellectuals and US Interests In the postwar era, French intellectuals helped signifi- cantly to generate and shape international hostility to US policies, both in Europe and in the Third World. From Beirut to Lisbon to Mexico City, influential intellectual elites listened to and mimicked the think- ing and prejudices of cafe savants like Regis Debray. Now, on the other hand, anti-Marxism and anti- Sovietism appear to have permitted the younger gen- eration of French intellectuals to adopt a more open attitude toward the United States. This in turn has given rise to a new wave of genuinely pro-American sentiment, rooted in the vogue of American popular culture, in respect for the American economic vitality of the 1980s, and in admiration for the new image of self-confidence that the United States now projects in the world. In France, the anti-Americanism that used to be taken in polite circles as circumstantial evidence of an adequate education is no longer in vogue. Knee-jerk slander of the United States-what the New Left 8 Mitterrand's Socialists benefited far more in 1981 from the 16 percent of Jacques Chirac's Neo-Gaullists who stayed home rather than vote for Giscard d'Estaing and from the 5 percent of centrist voters, previously in Giscard's camp, who crossed over to give the intellectuals have taken to calling "primitive anti- Americanism"-is now identified with the Commu- nist daily I'Humanite and is considered bad form. Anti-Americanism former y also stood as a mark of intellectual status, separat ng thinkers from ordinary folk (who were generally s spected of harboring good opinions of the United Sta es, even in the Vietnam era). Now, just the opposite is true; finding virtues in America-even identifying good things about US Government policies-is 1 oked upon as an indication of discerning judgment. A tempts by some to revive significant and sweeping c iticisms of US policies are seen as transparent effort to divert critics from their legitimate target, the acti ities of the Soviet Union. 25X1 This climate of intellectua opinion will almost cer- tainly make it very difficu t for anyone to mobilize significant opposition among intellectual elites to US policies in Central America, for example. It is also likely to deny to other European intellectuals-nota- bly, in Scandinavia and est Germany-who are hostile to US policies and interests the powerful leadership they formerly r ceived from the French (in the era of US involvement in Vietnam) and the support they now need to create a West European consensus on transnationa issues, such as disarma- ment. The heated debate in the West German press between Glucksmann and leading German intellectu- als over pacifism and INF basing provided graphic evidence of the distance between the two and of the ability and readiness of New Left French intellectuals to argue persuasively agai 1st attitudes that play into Soviet hands. Although U policies are certainly not immune to powerful intell ctual criticism in France, even on the right, it is the Soviet Union that is now clearly on the defensive a d likely to remain there, at least in the medium term. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Appendix A Cultural Aspects of New Right Thought The more esoteric side of New Right intellectuality has focused surprising energy on demands for cultural renewal, arguing that what is essentially wrong with France is that its culture has been eroded by external influences and degraded by neglect. Conservative writers, many of them associated with the Group for Research and Study of European Civilization (GRECE) and the Clock Club (Club de l'Horloge)- both composed mainly of young graduates of France's elite school of administration, ENA-have found an outlet for their arguments in Hersant publications, notably Figaro Magazine, which is edited by GRECE kindred spirit Louis Pauwels. Pauwels and two proteges, Jean-Claude Valla and Alain de Benoist, have worked overtime to give the New Right a stridently elitist ethic. Led by Benoist, all three charge that cultural decline in France is linked directly to egalitarianism-to the allegedly foolish denial of the essential superiority of some men, and to the imposition of man-in-the-street mediocracy on French society. Pauwels and others have encour- aged rightist anthropology that looks beyond the Revolution to Christianity as the source of egalitarian weakness in European civilization. Pauwels and Ben- oist have often praised the "perceptive elitism" in pre- Christian European societies as the source of cultural virtues to which modern Europeans should look for revival and renewal. This insistence on the reasonableness of elitism dove- tails with the New Right's predilection for classic liberalism in the vision of a society in which govern- ment refuses to impose an artificial equality on citizens and in which individuals are free to realize the full advantages of their talents. Some New Right intellectuals argue also that because egalitarianism is artificial it requires a heavyhanded, enforcer role for government. This they believe is the root of totalitar- ianism Elitism in the thinking of the New Right is almost certainly one important reason that few French intel- lectuals have made the journey from the left to Confidential GRECE.' In our view, the many will do so in the futti sional similarities and alli2 ly, New Right intellectual; antiegalitarian and even ai GRECE/Horloge thinking and conservatives like Re v "men of the left" are still i the essence of the democr~ France. Conservative polite gladhand the faithful at Pauwels seldom ruminate paganism and elites. ' There are two near exceptions t Jean-Edern Hallier are prone to smack of invention by GRECE. Hersant daily Figaro, but as crit New Right ideas e is little prospect that re, notwithstanding occa- have played down the , but leftist intellectuals el who consider themselves tic-republican tradition in orloge functions, and even now on the virtues of nnie Kriegel writes for the of the left and not as exponent of Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Confidential Reaction to the controversial social and ethical posi- tions of the New Right intellectuals has been varied. Marxist intellectuals who remained faithful to the ideas and biases of the left have rejected them outright; others who belong to neither New Right nor old left circles have found virtues in them. Regis Debray, for example, who still touts the agenda and ideology of the left and (sometimes) advises Mitter- rand on foreign policy, writes diatribes against the modern intellectual renegades, condemning them for forsaking written discourse in favor of becoming glib media personalities (mediatics). He charges that the leftist New Philosophers especially have been re- shaped intellectually by the TV medium into shallow talking heads, incapable of precise philosophical writing.a Raymond Aron, the revered dean of contemporary conservative thought in France, detested the New Right intellectuals, often equating their elitist anti- egalitarianism with the worst antidemocratic strains in French conservatism. Annie Kriegel joined Aron in fearing that racist and fascist sentiments lurked in New Right hostility to alien cultural influences and in their thinking about genetics, heredity, and ethnology. But Aron is dead, Debray is no longer taken seriously as a thinker, and Kriegel has never commanded a large public following. Against these critics, the New Right can point to kudos from Michel Foucault, France's most profound and influential thinker. Fou- cault has praised the upstarts for, among other things, reminding philosophers of the "bloody" conse- quences that have flowed from the rationalist social theory of the 18th-century Enlightenment and the Revolutionary era. 25X1 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5 Confidential Appendix B Important Books by Glucksmann and Levy Andre Glucksmann La cuisiniere et le mangeur-d'hommes (The Cook and Read as a commentary on The Gulag Archipelago, this tween the state, Marxism, and the concentration camp detailed survey of the disastrous economic and political seen against the high-minded declarations of its leader the Man-Eater), 1975. "essay on the relations be- ," is a painstakingly history of the USSR, as Les Maitres Penseurs (The Master Thinkers), 1977. lucksmann's acclaimed examination of the impact of 19th-century German philosophy on the forging of the German state and on the 20th century. Most important, it exposes the relationship between philosophers such as Marx and Nietzsche and modern tyrannies. Bernard-Henri Levy Barbarie a visage humain (Barbarism With a Human ace), 1977. Levy locates the roots of modern totalitarianism in the optimism an rationalism of the 18th- century Enlightenment, which, he argues, first defined the state as the agent of progress. In this role, says Levy, the state has invariably demanded absolute power, and in one degree or another has diminished the authority of the individual. 15 Confidential VIII Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5 Confidential Confidential Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/05/13: CIA-RDP86SO0588R000300380001-5