French Poppies for French Populism

Create: 05/14/2017 - 22:57

Photo taken by CN Staff member 

 

By Dr. Basil Wilson for Carib News

Emmanuel Macron, the ideological centrist running on the new Party line, On the Move, trounced his neo-fascist opponent Marine Le Pen in the decisive run-off election to determine who will be the President of France for the next five years.  There were fears throughout Europe and beyond that Marine Le Pen could prove the polls wrong and bring her anti-globalization, anti-European Union posturing to the French sanctuary of governance and proceed to destroy the European Union. 

Macron obtained 66 percent of the vote while Marine Le Pen managed to procure 33 percent of the vote.  Marine Le Pen desperately tried to sanitize her father’s fascist party, the National Front.  She tried to play on the terrorist incidents that have plagued France in recent years and spent much of her energy lambasting the immigrant population who have settled in France. 

            In the debate with Emmanuel Macron a few days before the election, she displayed her limited knowledge of monetary policy when she tied herself in knots trying to differentiate between the euro and the franc.  Le Pen over the years has expressed strong sentiments against France’s role in the European Union and its commitment to globalization but failing to put together a coherent ideological alternative.  She sought to turn France backward into a past era of protectionism and isolationism.

Macron benefited from the embezzled entanglements that damaged the candidacy of the center right candidate, Francois Fillon.  It was a remarkable victory for the thirty-nine year old Macron who is married to his former teacher, twenty-five years his senior.  Macron must now seek to elect a slate of legislatures on his Party line that even if they are not a majority of the 577 Assembly delegates will constitute a large enough bloc to establish a working coalition that will be able to enact his economic agenda.

 

            France’s economy over the last decade has performed sluggishly.  Growth has been meager and unemployment is in excess of 10 percent and youth unemployment is approximately 25 percent.  But the French economy unlike Greece is a modern economy.  France exports automobiles, aircrafts, machinery and agricultural goods.

The French enjoy a high standard of living and since the second World War has provided the French people with enviable governmental benefits.  Yet the French economy does not run as productively and efficiently as the German economy which has a four percent unemployment and runs a trade surplus with its trading partners.  Economists differ as to what is required to jump start the French economy out of its doldrums.

            The preceding Presidents, Sarkozy and Hollande have embarked on different fiscal policies to trigger a new round of economic growth.  Sarkozy introduced austerity measures to reduce the deficit and to cut taxes.  Hollande increased taxes on the rich and later in his term was forced to reduce government spending.  Hollande became so unpopular that he opted not to stand for re-election.

            The choices confronting the former investment banker and economist are more than formidable. France is recognized as having a dual labor market and protection of workers make it nigh impossible to fire workers. Attempts to give the business community greater flexibility in the hiring and firing of workers has met with fierce resistance from labor unions.  France has a potent labor movement that has no compunctions of turning out members in the street to protect coveted privileges.  Macron is like Blondin, the tight-rope walker, and will try to further modernize France while bringing along both business and labor.  Macron is considered as having an exceptional mind and his electoral mandate will be required if his five year term is going to be successful.

            Interestingly, minutes before the blackout media period kicked in, the same Kremlin hackers that interfered in the 2016 American Presidential elections, released material that they had criminally stolen from the Macron campaign.  The Kremlin was again furthering its own worldwide agenda to break up the European Union, NATO and placed spokes in the wheel of globalization.  Whereas the skullduggery worked in America, it failed in throwing the election to Marine Le Pen.  Previously, the Kremlin had provided the fascist candidate with loans of $12 million. Sputnik, RT Television and fake news on social media failed to have an impact on the French electorate.

            Under Putin, the Russians are on a tier.  They are bent on destabilizing democratic institutions all over the globe.  The Kremlin under Putin has emerged as a regime that is skilled in the art of kleptocracy.  It has no compunctions about poisoning and assassinating journalists or political opponents who threaten to expose or oppose these nefarious practices.

            The puzzle is why would an American President not be alarmed at the Russian interference in the American presidential election of 2016 and the racketeering that has become the footprint of the Kremlin under Putin?

            There is already much evidence that the present occupant of the White House is not particularly interested in public service but how to gain further enrichment by enacting governmental policy that exacerbates wealth inequality in America.  The other design is to link up with international forces whether it is in Russia or China to further the nest of the principals who constitute the Cabinet of the 45th President of the United States.

            Macron’s victory in France clearly demonstrates that there is a limitation to demagoguery especially in a country where the population is highly educated and there is a long tradition of social justice.  Despite relatively high rates of unemployment, the displacement of globalization and the impact of terrorism, Emmanuel Macron was able to trounce his neo-fascist rival in every geographic region in France.  The resistance in America must learn from the French and restore some sense of decency to the American democratic system with the election of 2018.

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