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Macron Wins in France

2017 May 7
by Ian Welsh

Le Pen’s result is actually somewhat worse than the polling, at 35 percent.

I remain convinced that the real loser of this election is Britain, which is going to find it brutal to leave the EU without an ally–and Le Pen would have been an ally.

Macron, who ran Hollande’s disastrous economic policy, will be a Trudeau-style leader, very shiny and so on, good on talking about social issues, but his policies are standard neoliberal: Take away workers’ rights, and grind them down in the name of labor market flexibility. These policies won’t improve the economy.

Hopefully next time, the real left will be in the final round (it was close this time with Melenchon).

It remains a pity that we have to grind this out, in great misery, rather than simply leaping to candidates like Corbyn, Melenchon, or (to a lesser extent) Sanders, but the electorate is still not willing to actually embrace positive change. Even when they want change, they want it done by assholes (Cameron/May/Trump) or by people whose track records indicate servile subservience to neoliberal norms (Trudeau, Obama, Macron).

So be it. We will simply have to wait for death and the time to make changes. It will cost us much misery and many deaths, but it is unavoidable.


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43 Responses leave one →
  1. zotter permalink
    May 7, 2017

    Trump loses a potential asshat/ally, I’ll take it.

  2. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 7, 2017

    Talk about the Lying Liar Media and The French Election, CNN right now is implying that this is a yuuuggge victory for Macron with the full weight of the French People behind him.

    But, Tom in the previous thread indicates voter turnout was abysmal at less than 30%. If so, CNN is engaging, once again, in pure, unadulterated Propaganda. The celebrations they’re showing in France are not representative. It’s a small percentage of the population as a whole and it does not represent the sentiment of the population, but for the average CNN viewer it does, and that’s CNN’s intent.

    Can Tom’s voter turnout statistic be verified? I can’t find verification of it online anywhere.

  3. Hugh permalink
    May 7, 2017

    French voter turnout was down at 65.4%. Macron got about 62% of this or about 40.5% of the total electorate (voting and nonvoting). This is better than Trump who got 46.1% of the popular vote where only 55.5% of the voting age population actually voted, or 25.6% of the total electorate.

    I think most elections nowadays are characterized by the Emma Goldman quote that “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” The Le Pen-Macron choice was as stark as it was false. It was a bad choice either way, much like the Trump-Clinton charade in the US. The British, of course, don’t have direct election of their Prime Minister. They have their own bad choice. It’s just differently constituted. Corbyn never purged the Establishment Labor MPs from their seats and he never really listened to the British electorate on issues like Brexit and defense. The result is Labor presents a fairly murky choice for voters.

  4. Tom permalink
    May 7, 2017

    65.4%? So a late surge after people got off work, when I first checked the turnout it was early morning which is probably why. But still that less than a super majority and Macron really doesn’t have the majority support. Well the French made their bed, they can lie in it.

    As for Britain, Corbyn fucked up, plain and simple, he isn’t a leader and he backed the wrong horses and let the wrong horses in his party run. Corbyn has no one but himself to blame.

  5. Jeff Wegerson permalink
    May 7, 2017

    @Tom. After church perhaps as most people don’t work on Sunday in France. More likely after sleeping in after late dinner out the night before.

  6. Peter permalink
    May 7, 2017

    It’s reassuring to see the French live up to their reputation of surrendering to the Germans whenever the opportunity arises. They had the opportunity to stand with many of the people of Greece, Spain and the UK but instead chose a safe space with the bankers and parasites.

  7. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 7, 2017

    The French majority was Penelope, and the National Front was Pepe Le Pew. :mrgreen:

  8. Max Osman permalink
    May 8, 2017

    >It’s reassuring to see the French live up to their reputation of surrendering to the Germans whenever the opportunity arises. They had the opportunity to stand with many of the people of Greece, Spain and the UK but instead chose a safe space with the bankers and parasites.

    You forgot Russia.

  9. Some Guy permalink
    May 8, 2017

    “So be it, we will simply have to wait for death and time to make changes.”

    Or perhaps we never will. Previous positive change generally came on the back of full mobilization warfare – that is suicide now. The trouble with normal is it always gets worse, maybe so far out as to be indistinguishable from forever.

    I guess time will tell, technology is a wildcard which means we can’t necessarily rely on past experience as a guide to what is coming, and so is the ongoing environmental collapse, I suppose, although that has closer historical parallels (none of them cheering, to those who actually want to see our dysfunctional ‘civilization’ stagger onwards).

  10. Some Guy permalink
    May 8, 2017

    Adding – your post Ian on the sterile elites looks 100% on target in light of the media response to the French election. It’s almost astonishing at this point, they are so far into their bubble they don’t even understand how lost and zombie-like they seem to an outsider.

  11. Herman permalink
    May 8, 2017

    It would be interesting to see the demographic breakdown of the election. For a sizeable chunk of people the neoliberal order is not so bad or at least less scary than some right-populist or left-populist alternative. I am thinking of professionals, managers and other well-educated workers who now make up a larger share of the population in developed countries than they did in the past.

    Many working-class people are dropping out of politics entirely. I am not surprised turnout was down in the French election. If working-class people think that neither candidate represents their interests, why bother to vote?

  12. Tom permalink
    May 8, 2017

    https://www.ft.com/content/87d6f430-f521-11e6-95ee-f14e55513608?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754ec6

    At least Macron acknowledges France’s occupation of Algeria amounted to crimes against Humanity. Will be useful for getting better trade deals with them for oil and opening up markets.

    Still if Macron is serious, he needs to reign in the Lacite State apparatus and repeal the ridiculous veil bans and embrace secularism in order to nip radicalism in the bud. Turkey did Lacism, it doesn’t work and makes democracy a sham.

  13. May 8, 2017

    Tom said something I agree with! French laïcité is deeply problematic and anti-democratic and suppresses the individual rights of minorities. Hands-off/”open” secularism is where it’s at.

  14. Peter permalink
    May 8, 2017

    During the campaign Le Pen quipped that France would be ruled by a woman no matter the election results. It would either be her or it would be Angela Merkel.

  15. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 8, 2017

    Nah, not Angela Merkel. The other woman versus Le Pen is Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron. Don’t think she doesn’t control him entirely.

    Jesus Loves You More Than You Will Know

  16. Pelham permalink
    May 8, 2017

    It should be noted that about a third of the ballots were either spoiled or unfilled, which means that about two-thirds of voters didn’t want Macron.

  17. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 8, 2017

    Pelham, do you have a link to support the spoiled ballots percentage? A third is anomalous, I would think. It sounds extreme.

    So much for The Russian Meddling meme. The Mainstream Media, in America at least, asserted Putin was hacking Macron and trying to do in France what they claim he did in America, which is to say, they claim he stole the election for Donald Trump.

    Considering the results of the French runoff yesterday, the American Mainstream Media’s claims have less merit considering the fact that if the allegations about Putin’s meddling are true, he’s a miserable failure. Le Pen, his candidate of choice obviously, got trounced.

  18. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 8, 2017

    Here it is. Wow. It supports my earlier point. The French realized it was Shit or Shit, Small Pox or Ebola, so many said NONE OF THE ABOVE. Good on them. That’s the proper reaction. A step in the right direction.

    How Le Pen actually came THIRD: Record number of spoiled ballots and abstentions beats votes cast for the far-right candidate

  19. paintedjaguar permalink
    May 8, 2017

    O the irony! The same bunch who go on about “fake news” are still just giddy with anti-Russian hysteria. And all sorts of random bystanders have been infected, as usually happens with these propagandistic scenarios. But ok, fine. Despite the lack of evidence that they did so, let’s say that Russia affected the US election — by providing documentation that the establishment are a bunch of liars and cheats. That’s what these people are so furious about, though it’s the part of the narrative that’s never, ever mentioned.

  20. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 8, 2017

    by providing documentation that the establishment are a bunch of liars and cheats. That’s what these people are so furious about, though it’s the part of the narrative that’s never, ever mentioned.

    I don’t support hacking in any way, shape or form regardless of who is doing it. Hacking will ALWAYS be abused and rarely, if ever, is, or will be, used for anything good. Hackers are lowlife, cowardly scumbags. In otherwords, LOSERS. Hackers are not cool. Quite the opposite. They’re mistakes.

    Plus, I don’t need the hacked emails to tell me what is already ridiculously obvious to anyone with more than a brainstem, and for those with nothing more up top than a brainstem, no amount of evidence will convince them anyway.

    I’m not certain the revelation of the content of the hacked emails swayed very many people to vote another way than they had already intended. All it did really was allow Trump Supporters to froth at the mouth that much more like the rabid dogs they are.

  21. Peter permalink
    May 8, 2017

    Frau Merkel announced she is very pleased with the leader her French subjects have chosen. She immediately went on to dictate what the Mama’s boy’s policies will be.

  22. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 8, 2017

    Considering the results of the French runoff yesterday, the American Mainstream Media’s claims have less merit considering the fact that if the allegations about Putin’s meddling are true, he’s a miserable failure. Le Pen, his candidate of choice obviously, got trounced.

    Tsar Vlad failed here, too–if we’re speaking of the popular vote. Fortunately for Tsar Vlad, he could rely on the dinosaurian institution of the Electoral College in his shenanigans against the USA.

  23. Dizzily permalink
    May 8, 2017

    “So be it. We will simply have to wait for death and the time to make changes. It will cost us much misery and many deaths, but it is unavoidable.”
    I have come to the same sad conclusion, Ian. Many in the West are too comfortable with the status quo, even if a growing number of the population are miserable and (relatively) poor, even if many know the current doctrines no longer work (if they ever did). The bread and circuses of today are far better than those of Ancient Rome, and the people are still waiting for the answer to what comes after the failure of neoliberal and neoclassical economics.
    It sometimes feels like we’re living in the 1920s with the stock market at record highs, yet great inequality and discontent, with the seeds of the great crash and all that would entail already planted. However, after having just buried a good friend yesterday who died too young, I am trying to be grateful for all that we do have now.

  24. paintedjaguar permalink
    May 9, 2017

    @The Stephen Miller Band “the revelation of the content of the hacked emails”

    Let’s be clear. There’s no credible evidence that anything was “hacked” or that Russia had any involvement whatever in the publication of the emails in question. But even if Russia were actually involved, that wouldn’t let the Dems off the hook for their own obvious and now proven corruption. This is politics, not a legal proceeding.

  25. Tom W Harris permalink
    May 9, 2017

    Sometime a comic strip sheds light on the whole sorry situation:

    http://www.gocomics.com/dogsofckennel/2017/04/30

  26. May 9, 2017

    The problem for Le Pen is that despite everything she is not “government-shaped”. (One contributing factor is, yes, being a woman, since French politics is ludicrously old-fashioned patriarchal for a society that squeals bloody murder at the appearance of hijabs. But it is not the only factor — see her father.) These non-government-shaped protest politicians from right and left have a hard time convincing the electorate they have the “fine skills” that would allow them to operate the levers of state. But their lack of such skills is simultaneously their appeal. I think many voters in the USA who protest-voted for Trump or stayed home did so knowing that there was a layer of bureaucracy and other systems that would keep the central figure from doing much damage. The relationship of many European leaders to the bureaucracy and the fine points of European integration make the head-of-government more directly involved. Much of the public knows that a satisfying protest vote for a screw-up could have far-reaching material consequences.

    The real danger to the established system (and, if a right-winger, to any kind of minority or non-dominant identity group) will come when someone manages to square that circle: someone who can appear “government-shaped” but capture the protest appeal.

  27. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 9, 2017

    But even if Russia were actually involved, that wouldn’t let the Dems off the hook for their own obvious and now proven corruption. This is politics, not a legal proceeding.

    None of this precludes my point. The emails were not a revelation. Much of what Wikileaks exposes is not an enlightening revelation. Most everyone, if not every one of us, who reads & posts here knows what those emails revealed in a general sense.

    Intelligent, conscientious people don’t need the emails to prove to them their suspicions. I, for one,. already knew all of that and didn’t need validation. My conviction goes beyond suspicion.

    I’m well beyond that point, and so too are many others. To jump up & down and make a big deal about the emails is regressive, not progressive, and it also supports & legitimates hacking.

    Imo, the emails were/are the epitome of a canard.

  28. anonymous coward permalink
    May 9, 2017

    Hollande won it going away. Hollande triumphed -or Hollandisme triumphed, to be more accurate- despite the man being so unpopular in his policies and person that he couldn’t even run. His handlers took a liter of his blood and a graft of his skin from his ribs and from it grew Emmanuel Macron in a vat. Hollande won because the French Left was ready to prove itself as stupid as the Left elsewhere. If they ever want their turn they must first disrupt and disable the status quo and strip it of its aura of invincible stability and inevitability. But they can’t do that on their own. They simply haven’t got the numbers so they have to join with other forces of discontent. The great majority are discontented and yet France just democratically elected the personification of the very forces making it unhappy. Democracy, you are the mother of all paradox.

    There was only one candidate the French Left could have voted for in the final round to break the hypnotic spell of neoliberal technocracy, and “Nobody” wasn’t it. Oh but for us to vote cynically for Le Pen – that is out of the question! What about our precious principles? They’re idiots and they deserve to languish in their permanent internal exile. If they’re starving, let them eat their votes for “Nobody.” They can turn to “Nobody” now for their bread. Well, perhaps with austerity as their instructor they can learn to subsist on sunshine and the nitrogen given off by their putrefying principles.

  29. Peter permalink
    May 9, 2017

    @PJ

    It’s probably best not to interfere with the tribal/party illusions of the Ivory Billed or Stevie snowflakes. This is Borg pattern dependence on the Hive Queen for their assimilated and purposefully limited agitprop that allows them to function as almost human beings. It’s obvious they are part of the collective because they and others are so easily interchangeable and uniform.

    Trying to disrupt their howling at the moon or using logic or facts to counter their nonsense will just send them further into denial and victimhood. It may be best to let them burn brightly and burn out, their position as powerless losers will become reality.

  30. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 9, 2017

    Au contraire, mon Péter. I want Trump to keep his campaign promise — or at least one of them. This one.

    What’s he waiting for? What are you waiting for? It’s what his supporters want. So what’s the hold up?

    How come he hasn’t gotten Sessions on this yet? Where’s The Beef?

    I would love to see The Clintons behind bars. In The Hague like Milošević would be nice. I’m all for it.

    So, Let’s Roll. Let’s get it done. What do you say, Petros?

    Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!

  31. May 9, 2017

    This is why we are where we are – people want to get even rather than get ahead.

  32. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 9, 2017

    Stirling, we are where we are because everyone is trying to get ahead and everyone, naturally, cannot be ahead. If everyone was ahead, there would be no such thing as ahead. It’s the delusion that you can get ahead that lures us into the Rat Race and makes Rats of us all.

    On the other hand, you shouldn’t let a few molded strawberries spoil the entire basket, therefore, you need to go through them and weed out and throw away the moldy ones and wash the remainder and slice them up and put them on your Progress Ice Cream for a nice, wholesome, non-toxic (so long as the strawberries are organic) dessert.

  33. Willy permalink
    May 9, 2017

    TSMB, you’re going into the Hillary box whether you want to or not. All of Peter’s arguments are depending on it.

  34. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 9, 2017

    I reckon I’d be for locking her–and her hubby–up too, if I believed what may well be the best-financed and most dedicated smear campaign in the history of human civilization.

    I can’t say “most successful” smear campaign, however–Bill won twice, in spite of it. 😛

    Pete’s team won on a Hail Madoka pass on the last play–with serious questions, throughout the game, about the honesty and competence of the officiating–but he acts as if his team won 77-0. 😆

  35. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 9, 2017

    If the Peters of the world are correct, and Bill and Hill actually are wolves, then the GOP and its allies accidentally immunized them by setting up a gigantic, lavishly funded propaganda apparatus to shout “WOLF! WOLF!” through amplifiers turned up to 11, 24-7.

  36. Tom W Harris permalink
    May 9, 2017

    I’ve made this point B4 but it’s worth re-posting (on the off chance that his paymasters will read this thread). His entire output ain’t worth 2 shits a decade much less 2 cents a day. Cut. him. loose.

  37. Peter permalink
    May 9, 2017

    @Stevie

    I could believe you want to see Trump try to ‘Lock Her Up” but I can’t buy you waving that flag at a rally. You carry too much water for her and her ilk especially with the Trump/Putin witch-hunt.

    Trump has the Red Queen right where he wants her and she is no longer a threat just a two time loser and any action against her would bring her back into the spotlight. The steady undiminished chant ‘Lock Her Up’ at his rallies sends the snowflakes into fits but Clinton knows if she behaves she is safe.

    Trump has already kept many of his actual campaign promises and will deliver as many as possible. His corporate tax plan is already showing results with Apple committing to spending a $billion on new jobs in the US.

  38. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 9, 2017

    Crazy Uncle Peter would follow his Dear Leader into the bunker, even though his Dear Leader would throw CUPeter under the bus in, well, a New York minute, if Dear Leader could make five cents off selling CUPeter’s corpse to a third-rate pet food company.

    No, strike that–CUPeter would throw himself under the bus so DL could have that extra nickel, if DL asked him to.

  39. Peter permalink
    May 9, 2017

    Poor Ivory B Snowflake comes unglued at the simple mention of the deadly ‘Lock Her Up’ chant.

    Obama was the under the bus driver while Trump cruises in a tank crushing his opponents while being loyal to his team. Even Mike Flynn was given time to try to salvage his position.

    The witch-hunter Clintonites will be foaming at the mouth tomorrow after Trump fired FBI Director Comey today.

  40. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 10, 2017

    I thank CUPeter for the correction.

    He’d throw himself under a tank if the Orange Grifter asked him to.

    Putin Cheetolini thanks him for his canine loyalty.

  41. Tom W Harris permalink
    May 10, 2017

    What we have here is a failure to communicate.

  42. Peter permalink
    May 10, 2017

    Poor little Tom H, he whimpers about communicating after his earlier spittle flecked snowflake outburst. It’s obvious that communicating, discussing or debating ideas are beyond his skill set which leaves him dependent on the lower forms of attack.

  43. Tom W Harris permalink
    May 10, 2017

    Nowhere near low enuf to get thru 2 u, Little Peter.

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