Macron won in France: now what?

Emmanuel Macron

The triumph of Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential elections last Sunday, April 24, put a dam on the ambitions of the Front Nationalwhich led by Marine LePenfailed again in the attempt to reach the first magistracy, a wish that he could not achieve in life, his father, Jean Marie Le Pen, founder of this far-right political group, xenophobic and holocaust denier with few positive results.

Macron’s triumph, long heralded by all the French and foreign media, brought a bit of calm to a Europe shocked by Vladimir Putin’s Russia’s invasion of Ukrainea fact that the most relevant leaders of European countries, including Macron himself, could not prevent.

The repeated electoral failure of the Front led by Madame Le Pen, reiterates the rejection that the majority of the French people maintain with the extreme proposals (increasingly tempered) that try to capture the middle sectors, impoverished and expelled by globalization.

However, the anti-Islamist hatred that runs through large portions of France and the large number of immigrants from the Mediterranean, makes the chances of victory for the most reactionary sector of French society unattainable.

An example of policies that go against a secular state like France is the Front National’s proposal to prohibit women from wearing a headscarf on public roads, as indicated by the Muslim religion.

This proposed ban is a decision that goes against the French tradition of engaging in civic dress and France could not be the first European country (and in the world) to prohibit the use of Islamist clothing in public, it would be an affront to the tradition of a country that is considered the creator of Human Rights and there are no possibilities of application of this norm.

Macron won by the majority will of the French who do not love Le Pen, nor his reactionary ideas that embarrass them.

Leaving aside the unfeasibility of the illiberal Project that was proposed not only by Le Pen but also by Eric Zemmour, a new ultra-right political leader, the pertinent question now is: what is Macron planning to do, after a five-year period in which he had many inconveniences to ensure governability and had to face popular demonstrations against its social and economic policy (the gilets jaunes in the first place)’

France is divided like most Western European countriesafter exhausting the welfare economy project that guided its 45 “happy years” from the end of the war until the fall of the Berlin Wall, where the will and political decision of its notable leaders, General de Gaulle , first of all, and the former presidents George Pompidou, Giscard D ‘Estaing and François Mitterrand built a national and European Project, based on the equitable distribution of income, respect for Human Rights and fundamental freedoms and the construction of an industry of avant-garde, without letting agriculture, the traditional French bastion (which, let us remember, prevents the Mercosur-European Union Agreement) fall.

Exhausted by circumstances external to this project, the two traditional parties, the socialist left and the republican Gaullist right, did not know how to build an alternative that would limit the consequences of the rise of China and the effects of the growth of post-unification Germany.

France was exposed, without an alternative project to US power and without being able to reconcile a path with Great Britain and prevent its desire to leave the European Union, as it finally happened.

Let us remember that, during the 30 happy years, French culture had led the Western world, philosophy, cinema, literature, were invaded by what France produced. Its writers and thinkers were read and discussed throughout the world, along with the contributions of cinema and its themes, they were the focus that illuminated its youth in the West, “the French May” was perhaps the last expression of that ideological leadership with Marcuse and “his ban on banning” that spread throughout the world.

Now, this electoral victory that places Macron at the head of a historic moment of change is a requirement that is not easy to meet and we do not know if he will be up to the challenge at the juncture of defining himself, from being “nothing” as defined by one of his mentors, the former president of the European Central Bank, Jackes Attali, to being something attractive and innovative, that closes wounds and recomposes the Nation. It’s not an easy road due to the deep cracks that shake French society, religiously, politically and socio-economically.

In the first place, in two and a half months there will be legislative elections, which will appoint a new prime minister and where the left has already chosen an attractive candidate, who had 21 percent of the vote in the presidential election, Jean Luc Melenchonwhich presents a different proposal that conceals an attractive populism, because it is difficult to achieve in a Nation, respectful of institutions and attached to a republican tradition, demanding of order.

On the other hand, the Republican Party, a former Gaullist, will also play its cards, since it does not want to continue being the caboose of Macron’s liberalism, former President Sarkozy is among those who want to modify the current status quo and return to participate in the big leagues .

A new Congress will emerge from the next legislative elections that will have to define important unresolved issues, such as pension and tax reform, two issues that do not have a national consensus and that they are awaiting its modification in the face of the deep crisis that will most likely be triggered, in the event that essential reforms are not introduced.

For its part, foreign policy, which according to the Constitution has the President as the main executor, that is to say that it will be Macron’s responsibility and that it will have an extremely dense chapter with a difficult solution, since it will have to deal with Putin’s Russia and the Ukrainian conflict on the one hand and, on the other, with the needs of the United States that wants a Europe bent, without loopholes, to the project of reducing Russian power in Eastern Europe and weakening its alliance with China in Asia Minor.

Furthermore, Britain’s exit from the European Union and Germany’s reluctance to break with Russia have weakened the European project of which France has always been its main supporter and shareholder.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an issue that is impossible to ignore and that leaves the whole of Europe in a situation of weakness in the face of the other great extracontinental powers, increasing the loss of strategic weight that it has been manifesting.

China and the United States, the two great current players, do not perceive France, nor Europe, in general, as a significant participant in the definition of global power, as the Europeans (and the French in particular) consider themselves. themselves.

If Macron intends for France to participate in the design of the new international order, he must first manage to unify his compatriots, putting aside the obvious divisions manifested by his ruling class and his society, and seek a minimum agreement in the face of external challenges, so that France has a single voice and not be a scene of divisions and confrontations.

Historically, France has had, since its Revolution of 1789, an intelligent ruling class capable of overcoming the great problems that afflicted it and, although it went through very difficult periods, it always found a political way out that took it away from the abyss. That is the role that history demands of Macron, for this he must abandon his tendency towards liberal centrism and retake the flags of nationalist and Europeanist Gaullism.

The current time is not easy, Europe beyond the formal and having achieved the single currency is stalked by the military thrust of Russia and the intransigent and bellicose position of the United States (it is not in vain that NATO is always led by whom the United States chooses).

In addition, there is China and its non-stop economic and technological growth, which is beginning to overtake the West, taking away its supremacy.

The question is whether Macron, who has shown a peculiar intelligence to advance and defeat all his internal political enemies, who “stole” the French socialist party from Hollande and took him out of the “gauche” and who was the only president who encouraged to sit down with Putin to try to convince him not to invade Ukraine, he will be able to fill the void left by Merkel and make up for the disappearance of a European and increasingly Anglo-Saxon United Kingdom, close to the United States and moving away from Europe.

For this, a different path must be traced, bringing together his compatriots, especially the leaders, structuring an original design, far from Anglo-Saxon liberalism and the old socialist projects, which allows him to lead a globalized, disorganized world, which cries out for a a new international order that is fairer, less aggressive, more comprehensive, a better world.

If Macron fails, this aspiration will remain utopian.


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Macron won in France: now what?

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