“A country somewhere in Europe”: What would a Macron win mean for France?

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April 24, 2017 – Fort Russ – 

By Eduard Popov – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

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On this past Sunday, April 23rd, France held its first round of presidential elections. The voting results have just been published, according to which the leader of the En Marche! movement, Emmanuel Macron, won 23.75% of the vote, and in second place was the National Front leader Marine Le Pen, with 21.53%. These two will now go on to compete in the second round, which is set to take place in two weeks.

Following the first round, Macron’s former rivals, the Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon, and Francois Fillon have expressed their support for him. These are all members of the ruling establishment. In fact, Fillon’s declaration of support for Macron is a stab in the back to those representatives of Russian officialdom who saw in him, not Marine Le Pen, a more acceptable candidate for Russia. Support for Fillon, a Russophobic candidate, can only surprise those in Russia who themselves want to be deceived. 

A scenario is repeating itself in France which has been played out many times before. Representatives of all the “progressive” forces are uniting to prevent the “reactionary” Le Pen dynasty, first the father, and now the daughter, from winning. In short, the establishment is united against the anti-establishment. All of France’s establishment has thus rallied around Macron against the non-system candidate, Marine Le Pen.

What are the chances of victory of the non-establishment, or rather anti-establishment Madame Le Pen? The precedent of Trump showed that the people’s exhaustion of establishment politicians and the mass media is a potent factor. And yet, even assuming that Marine Le Pen will win in the second round (and all the forces of official media and the state apparatus will be thrown against her), she is unlikely to be allowed to win. The analogy between Trump and Le Pen is, in the end, very situational. Trump was not an anti-establishment politician, but rather a counter-system candidate, i.e., he represented an influential minority opposition within the establishment. 

Marine Le Pen is quite another case. Although she’s managed to partly eradicate the notion that the National Front is marginal or even dangerous for the political system of France (and all of Europe), this party is still avoided like the plague. No Islamist terrorist attacks will encourage the French ruling establishment to acknowledge this party, even at the cost of losing France. For the French mainstream, France is not the highest value. The liberal international considers France, like the US, to be but a tool, not a value. 

Therefore, even if we assume that Marine Le Pen will win in the second round (let us not jump to conclusions in handing victory to Macron), it can be safely assumed that otherwise favorable results for her could be severely rigged against her. Such has already happened before in the modern history of “democratic” Europe. Therefore, Marine Le Pen’s electoral headquarters should prepare in advance to protest against the falsification of election results.

Le Pen’s rival, Macron, is already preparing France and the world for his proclamation of victory. Is this not an indirect confirmation of the fact that he knows that he is assured victory? Surely the reader will agree that this is fairly bold behavior for a candidate who is only two percentage points ahead of his opponent.

The fact that Fillon and other establishment candidates have declared their support for Macron gives this former banker grounds to explain his victory, but does not guarantee such. He has already promised to be a president “for all Frenchmen,” but this is an outright lie. As in the US, any victor becomes the president of only half the country. The results of the US elections showed nearly 100% support for Hillary Clinton from African Americans and the overwhelming majority of Latin American communities, whereas only 8% of African Americans and 25% of Latino communities voted for Trump. Approximately the same split along racial and religious lines can be seen in France, although part of the Algerian and Muslim communities did vote for the former National Front leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Marine Le Pen’s main opponents are not Muslim communities, but the left electorate. 

In the end, a Macron victory, whether won in the ballot boxes or in the ballot counting, would effectively put an end to France as an independent state. Under General de Gaulle, France was the most obstinate partner of the US. But even under Mitterand and Chirac, France was still France. The charm of French culture was still great, as I remember from my childhood in the USSR. But what is the image of French culture perceived in Russia today? If we speak of French culture’s current state, the beautiful museum exhibits of the past are secondary to a manufactured imitation of American culture. 

Under Hollande, political France turned into a brilliant nothingness. Under Macron, France will be forgotten about, probably forever. Italian President Sergio Mattarella recently uttered remarkable words in this spirit: “The EU consists of small countries and countries who have not yet realized that they are small.” This brilliant thought sounds like a sad epitaph for France, once the leader of all of continental Europe and a formidable rival to Germany. Henceforth, thanks to the nobodies in power, it is turning into a small (not in size, but in significance) country “somewhere in Europe.”

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Genuine sovereignty is not only a gift, but a huge burden. Out of all the seemingly abundant choices of candidates for the French candidacy, only one of them can carry the burden of independence, and not be an obedient tool of the banking and political “elites.” Therefore, Russia wishes victory for the only truly French of all the 11 candidates for President of France. 

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