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"Finally, a technocrat. Let's hope he won't blow the chance", a friend reacted to Emmanuel Macron's election in France. Indeed, his victory over the much bigger evil Le Pen seemed like good news, and a breath of fresh air. But is it really? Let's dig a bit deeper into this.

When French journalist Olivier Tonneau of The Guardian described on his blog how he met another French journalist during the presidential election campaign, the latter having dedicated his entire column to bashing JL Melanchon, the leftist candidate, and praising Macron, the candidate of the French oligarchy, Tonneau directly inquired if there was some sort of general plan on part of the mainstream media to push Macron to the 2nd round of the election, thus giving him a certain victory over Le Pen. The response? "What kind of quesiton is that? Of course there is! We have worked on this for a whole year".

Of course, with or without this anecdotal confession, the PR strategy of the ruling class, in combination with a few oligarchs who happen to control 95% of the French media, was pretty apparent. A synthetic political product was created out of nothing, to guarantee the continuation of the neoliberal insanity - not without the help of a unprecedented, totalitarian political media campaign.

When in 2016 a group of banks started shaping up Macron's movement, some PR experts came up with a weird name for it, En Marche, meaning In Movement. The purpose must have been something short, bearing their candidate's first letters. Except, that slogan doesn't specify the direction they want him to be moving the country. After all, moving in a circle is still movement, or even moving backwards. As Umberto Eco defined fascism, its key feature is the drive for "action for action's sake".

Still, I'm not saying Macron's ideas don't have a direction. Oh, sure they do. It's a direction back towards to the 19th century, plus some ideologically "modern" technologies. The French constitution actually allows for much more opportunities for the president to become an autocrat than Erdogan now has in Turkey. Which is why Melanchon was calling for "toppling the monarchic power" and introducing real democratic institutional reform. As if he knew that fascism wasn't where the media were saying it was, the most obvious enemy Le Pen. As if he knew what was coming.

Here's the deal. Macron is planning to shove a few dozen decrees down France's throat as soon as this summer. The plan is to cruh the wlfare system and complete the destruction of the Labor Code. Once this is done, there'll be no further obstacles to the wealthy class. But why decrees, you may ask? Well, Macron might be suspecting that it'd be hard for him to get the needed parliamentary majority to support his measures. When Hollande was delivering the first fatal hits on the French welfare system, he had to bypass parliament through the infamous Article 49.3 of the Constitution. Now Macron will probably even ignore parliament altogether and not bother informing it about his actions, citing Article 38. In other words: government decrees. The PR and anti-democratic post-politics that we're seeing in Trump now could become reality in France very soon, and the law can say nothing against this. What would follow is social unrest, and politics would move to the streets. Just as it happened in the 19th century. But Macron will have all the tools to crush dissent, and to those who are ready to raise a voice of criticism, he'll be able to play the Le Pen card: "What, you want the fascists instead, heh?" Very convenient.

Hollande, the president who's leaving the political scene with the lowest approval ratings in French history because he failed to keep any of his social promises, was doing his magic to the masses in 2012 with his famous Le Bourget speech. Back then, he claimed his true enemy has no face, no party, would never run in elections, therefore would never be elected, but was still ruling - it was the world of finance that he was talking about. Now that enemy has an embodiment, a face, and a name. It's the new president. Shortly after that speech by Hollande, he became Hollande's protege. That's how fast Hollande did his U-turn, which precipitated his political downfall.

So what now? Many people on the left are aware that the cancer that's about to start suffocating the French society will create a series of metastases, and provoke right-wink movements of all sorts, advocating for a perverse form of self-defense. These should be worrying the French, because they're not going away any time soon. France held its nose and voted for the lesser evil at the 2nd round of this election, which is exactly what the financial oligarchy was aiming for. They chose slow cancer to fast poisoning. This may make you feel the Schadenfreude a bit, but you shouldn't hurry to laugh at the French, because this sort of stuff tends to spread around fast.

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] talk_politics.

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