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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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HomeDemocracy in DecayNapoleon Macron, would-be Emperor of Europe

Napoleon Macron, would-be Emperor of Europe

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BEGINNINGS and origins are important. They shed light on what comes later. If we take, for example, the book of Beginnings called Genesis in the Bible, we see human nature in the raw: political machination and the lust for power are there from the start. People prepared to kill other people . . .

I live in France where Monsieur Macron is playing the part of Historic Leader – enshrining the right to abortion in the French Constitution and insisting that Putin must be defeated in Ukraine, by whatever means. My longstanding suspicions about the man are being confirmed.

As a 15-year-old keen on acting, Macron had a romantic affair with his drama teacher to whom he remains faithfully married. He has higher degrees in Philosophy and Public Policy, and graduated from the École nationale d’administration, the elite training academy for top administrators and politicians. As an investment banker at Rothschild & Co he made his millions, and was appointed to the finance ministry by President Hollande. There he brought in France’s market de-regulation law. (For his CV, see here.) So how did a man who had never been elected to any public office suddenly become President ?

François Hollande had been a dud president. His party knew he could never be re-elected. So, the centre left political Establishment of France needed to find a successor. Marine Le Pen was becoming more and more popular as she addressed the concerns of ordinary voters. The Establishment needed someone new and dynamic to answer popular discontent with politics – Social Democrat Hollande appeared more concerned to bed a famous actress than solve France’s unemployment problem. Well, in came the professional marketing men from the American PR consultancy, McKinsey. The strategy was clever. Teams of youngsters wearing « En Marche » sweatshirts (E M = Emmanuel Macron) went out, ostensibly to discover what people really wanted from politics, while Macron held public meetings around France to which thousands flocked. For several months in 2015/16, Macron presented himself as the Saviour of France, and during those same months he proclaimed not one word of policy. He simply traded on popular discontent and on a popular craving for The Answer: he gave the voters a clever, charming and youthful media star from outside traditional politics. The whole campaign was brilliantly managed by the professionals in popular psychology and advertising. They stole the populists’ clothes and simultaneously created the domination of ‘Centrism’ in French national politics, marginalising the emerging radical stars of left and right, Jean-Luc Melenchon and Marine Le Pen respectively.

This is the Macron modus operandi – marketing and media manipulation. This MO explains all the contradictions of his seven years as President. He has failed: social tension and serious crime have got worse as he persists in media management, rather than address the actual cause of problems. Membership of the European Union is crippling many French working people, and subservience to the ethos and culture of the European Convention on Human Rights is stripping France of its identity and morale.

In reality, Macron is a front man for the globalist, materialist, humanist agenda of Western plutocrats. Macron believes in that agenda. This explains his year-long campaign to enshrine abortion in the French Constitution – a campaign declared on International Women’s Day in 2023 and orchestrated to culminate on International Women’s Day 2024 with a staged, televised public sealing of the Amendment. It explains his extraordinary declaration that Putin must not win in Ukraine, and that there can be no red lines as to what the West should do.

Now, there is a patently ideological dimension here. Putin champions traditional values and criticises the woke West. But is that the whole story? Does that warrant risking all-out war in Europe, and even across the world ?

In my view, Macron has unbounded ambition and a Napoleonic perception of himself.

I suspect that he is preparing the way to become Leader of Europe. War will give him the pretext of a State of Emergency, and the excuse to remain President despite the two-term constraint in the French Constitution. The stakes are high; the risks also. He will know the Von Clausewitz thesis and he will know Napoleon’s biography: how he rose to power and how he maintained himself in power.

War, after all, is merely the pursuit of policy by other means.

This article appeared in Graham R Catlin on March 10, 2024, and is republished by kind permission.

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Graham R. Catlin
Graham R. Catlin
Graham R. Catlin is a teacher. He has lived for several years in France and takes a keen interest in French politics and media. He is editor/ commentator of an edition of Edmund Burke's famous assertion of Conservatism, Reflections on the Revolution in France.

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