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Macron has dynamited French politics Even with Le Pen neutralised, other threats lurk

Superman or superfool? (MOHAMMED BADRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Superman or superfool? (MOHAMMED BADRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)


July 8, 2024   3 mins

“Live dangerously!” was Nietzsche’s advice to his followers, those “good Europeans”, the “legislators of the future”. He wanted them to send their “ships into uncharted seas”, to “live at war” with their peers and themselves. That was the secret, as he wrote in The Gay Science, “for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment”.

Ever since he called a snap election on 9 June, Emmanuel Macron has been living dangerously. The decision was taken after his centrist coalition was trounced into second place by the National Rally (RN), who won more than double the vote in the European elections. Today, as it becomes clear that the RN threat has been neutralised by an unexpected surge on the French Left, it appears that gamble has paid off.

Even with his Ensemble party consigned to second place, the results can surely be read as a partial victory for Macron — a politician, we must remember, who was first elected to face down the far-Right populist wave. In 2017, Macron won the French Presidency in a landslide, beating Marine Le Pen 66% to 34%. Five years later, he repeated the feat, winning 59% of the vote. Within two months, however, his absolute majority in the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, was turned into a relative majority in the legislative elections. Over the next year, his popularity started to wane, largely the result of two bills: one raising the retirement age from 62 to 64, the other hardening immigration.

The first was passed by decree and the second with the help of conservative and even far-Right votes. Before yesterday’s results, there were concerns that, in trying to appease the far-Right, Macron may have emboldened it. Indeed, Jordan Bardella, the new leader of the National Rally, called Macron’s immigration bill an “ideological victory” for his party. It brought to mind another of Nietzsche’s warnings, this time in Beyond Good and Evil: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” By taking on the far-Right’s positions in trying to face them down, it seemed Macron was in danger of becoming a monster himself.

Isolated within his own party, however, Macron seems to have followed Nietzsche’s counsel to be “at war” with one’s peers and oneself. Aside from his inner circle, most of his party did not know he was going to call a snap election — not even his sitting prime minister Gabriel Attal — putting them in a difficult situation. Nor was his former prime minister Edouard Philippe informed: a still very popular politician who leads a faction within Ensemble. Philippe has stated that Macron’s decision to call the election means the “end of Macronism”.

“Macron seems to have followed Nietzsche’s counsel to be ‘at war’ with one’s peers and oneself.”

What happens next is anybody’s guess: with a hung parliament seemingly on the horizon, propped up by the New Popular Front (NPF), we are in the “uncharted seas” Nietzsche dangerously called for. Will a national unity government, spanning the centre-left (the Socialists and Greens) and centre-right (the Republicans), be formed? Although coalition-building was a feature of both the Third and Fourth Republics, France has lacked the political know-how to do so since Charles de Gaulle established the Fifth Republic in 1958 with a strong presidency.

What we do know is that, despite not losing to the RN, Macron finds himself in a weaker position than before the European elections. While the French Presidency, and therefore Macron, will retain a firm hand in external affairs, Macron’s foreign policy will be undermined. Macron has been at the forefront of trying to build European strength in the face of Russian aggression, to make Europe “acquire a single will”, as Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil on the subject of Russia’s “threatening attitude” and the need for an “equally threatening” Europe. In a similar vein, Macron has made clear he is open to sending French ground troops to Ukraine, to the horror of his Western allies, and has promised Zelensky the delivery of French missiles and planes to help in the war effort. The Left’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon, by contrast, has repeatedly called for the US not to “annex Ukraine into Nato”. For him, closer ties with Ukraine are certainly not a priority.

Thus, Macron, who has another three years to run on his presidency, could soon find himself in another tricky situation. Ultimately, it will be then that he will be judged. In his semi-autobiographical Ecce Homo Nietzsche wrote:

“I know my fate. One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous — a crisis without equal on earth, the most profound collision of conscience, a decision that was conjured up against everything that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far. I am no man, I am dynamite.”

Macron’s name, of course, may not be “associated with the memory of something tremendous”. But it is fair to say that, since coming to power in 2017, he has dynamited the French political system, bringing an end to the dominance of the old Socialist and Republican parties. Shortly after dissolving parliament he said: “I threw my unpinned grenade under their legs. Now let’s see how they get on.” If Macron has blown up the French political system, we’ll soon know whether he has blown himself up in the process too.


Hugo Drochon is a historian, and the author of Nietzsche’s Great Politics.

HDrochon

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Victor James
Victor James
11 days ago

The dullards in the so called soggy center, so blinded by their fanatical zeal against anything the leftist press labels ‘far-right’, have just let in the extreme left.
France, like America and the rest of the Western world, needs partition. These soggy dull minded morons are too stupid to share a passport with.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
11 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

Won’t serve. France is a poisoned chalice right now. Let Melenchon drink from it, and allow the breaking of EU rules and bond vigilantes to do their work. As Le Pen says it’s just a matter of time. Unfortunately she has no solutions either. It is as this point that we should be more worriied. The wizard’s curtain is pulled back and we have to face the reality of our situation. Same in the UK. No one aged 32 or under has any voting memory of Labour. They are in for an awakening. Our problens are deeply structural in a meme world. Once the impotence to change things for the better is incontrovertibly revealed in 2027/8, we move to the next stage – the fight of our lives for the new governing arrangements within the context of a new world order, which hopefully avoids more bloodshed. It took Tony Blair only 2 days of a new Labour government to put digital ID on the table …. the elites want a supranational technocracy as the solution.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

The rude awakening seems a certainty, what is less certain is where the power resides. The ‘new world order’ like every other order before it, gets its power from the barrel of the gun, as Mao pointed out. OR reputedly, in Orwell’s words. The Rough Men Ready to do violence. Well, the cities of the UK are filled with many men who may turn out much rougher and more ready to do violence than the New World Order imagines. Ask Minneapolis police how they were forced to abandon a precinct by the Left. Well the ordinary ‘conservatives’ haven’t even begun to mobilise yet. The State collapses AND they may have to do so.

Victor James
Victor James
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

“we move to the next stage – the fight of our lives for the new governing arrangements within the context of a new world order, which hopefully avoids more bloodshed.”
Islamic supremacists are already forming Sharia based political parties in Europe. They will have lot of support from the start. So the choices are stark, just 3 options. Decolonisation of Europe, partition of Europe, or total Islamification of Europe.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
10 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

Could be broader than that? Threat could be autocratic (China), theocratic (Islam) or more likely some melange as strange bedfellows emerge (woke + islam in western politics, china + iran + north korea + russia geopolitically)?

Victor James
Victor James
9 days ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

“Could be broader than that?”
Sure, we can imagine all number of scenarios geopolitically. But, demographically, there’s only a few options. If the regime morphed into woke( far left) + Islam, for example, than that would almost certainly lead to the total Islamification of the continent.
If the natives organise and fight back, the only two options there are decolonisation or partition. If they don’t fight back, and the continent remains in this post-ww2 arrangement for decades to come, than Islamification will happen barring some sort of global catastrophic event.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

Only the US has a chance for partition. Its States may realise they need it. BUT for Europe, we will all end up in the sharing the same disaster.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
11 days ago

Vernon Bognador, Daily Telegraph yesterday: Whisper it, the election shows Britain is fast turning French. We apparently have it all to look forward to.
As for Macron, he’s backed himelf into a corner. Won’t hold, and won’t end well. France is becoming ungovernable. i was just listening to Rory Stewart who was challenged about why politicians lie and won’t confront hard truths. To which he responded that perhaps politicians are simply responding to incentives – are voters willing to hear such truths. This is a partcular problem in France where even modest reforms have proved intractable. Historic largesse with post GFC economies and ageing demographics cannot be squared.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
11 days ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Everyone, literally everyone, lies to each other, and lies to themselves.

Starmer has just won with a landslide because he didn’t say very much. Saying something meaningful will repel some people more than it attracts others, so the sensible thing is to not say very much.

Somehow we need to get back to a place where we can debate rationally

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

I think the trains to that place got cancelled as part of the Beeching Cuts.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

We may now be too late. Hamas has 5 MPs and Jesse Philips acceptance speech tells us what lies in wait for more of Labour’s MPs next time out. Hamas aren’t satisfied at representation, they want to terrify any opposition to ensure it is ‘forever’, and Jesse not Reform, pointed it out.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
10 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Some polities year for the certainties of the knout.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
9 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

‘Somehow we need to get back to a place where we can debate rationally.’

Thay also serve who discuss and debate!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

It’s built into social democracy. As the state expands and centralises it attracts more and more parasites. Politicians are forced to lie because they are increasingly unable to reconcile the interests of the rent seekers with those of the wider society. A great example is the extraordinarily disproportionate influence enjoyed by grifter NGOs promoting agendas completely unsupported by the population at large.

The only solution is wider participation. That requires massive decentralisation and a return to local taxation along Swiss lines.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

“It’s your duty to vote” isn’t the whole story. In fact it short changes the public, when the choice of candidates are two versions of the uniparty, or even three or four!

By avoiding politics in polite society, we have avoided discussing the boundary between what is feasible and what is fantasy. And living in a technogically advanced country, where the Government should have some responsibility for so many large infrastructure projects, whether directly, as in a new road, a hospital or power lines, or indirectly, as in an oil refinery, where the oil company is spending their money, but the government influences planning, housing policy, down stream industries, and taxation, the education and experience in those areas in Westminster is minimal at best.

So, we need to improve the quality of our MPs. What have the successful candidates given us?

We are still lumbered with NET Zero, a non-solution to a non-problem. It’s not just the wasted wealth, it will be the lack of affordable Energy that will be painful.

The West was unprepared for the military action in Ukraine, that they helped to escalate. Ukraine needed military equipment, ammunition, and the West didn’t think about ensuring it could be supplied, having a dependable source, like having their own manufacturing capabilities.

They didn’t have a Plan B, either. So how did all those MPs with History degrees, that studied diplomacy and military History, from both universities, make such grave errors. An Engineer would at least have seen that the West’s poor military logistics would have encouraged a less confrontational approach. And, today, the Minsk Agreements look very attractive compared to what is likely, generous even.

But it’s no surprise when there’s a monoculture of Arts, Humanities and Social Science within Westminster and Whitehall. It’s been happening, ever since 1992, with Maastrict being a not completely random signpost to what lay ahead.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago

Russia is now even more formidable as a war machine than it was two years ago. It has taken Ukraine’s revolutionary drone wars and exceeded them. The mighty Abrams tanks can’t even survive Russian drone attacks. Russia’s electronic warfare capability has effectively nullified HIMARS, JDAMS, ATACM guidance weapons and they are seeking out, deep in Ukraine,via drones, Western kit. They’ve learnt that munitions shouldn’t be stockpiled near the front – in fact they just learned perhaps they shouldn’t be stockpiled at central factories either. BUT they learn.
So now no sweeping assaults, they rely on grinding down the Ukrainian Army. It has no reserves, it reinforces weak spots by moving units from quiet fronts THEN once the unit has gone to the meat grinder. Russia opens another front. Ukraine is also losing men because it is fighting too many political battles.
When NATO convenes shortly, many are predicting Ukraine counter attack on various fronts – something that will cost them dearly for nothing more than headlines so they can beg NATO for MORE of everything.
NATO who certainly didn’t prepare for a war like this one. They thought Russia might be as easy as Iraq. It now turns out they aren’t. Political commentators I listen to point out that Putin’s offers of peace were genuine, BUT Ukraine and the West refused them. Now they suggest there is no peace until Russia reaches the Dnieper River. Slowly but surely they are getting there, AND once Ukraine man power falls below a rapidly approaching critical level, then the advance will speed up rapidly because Ukraine will have to retreat rapidly. Each subsequent fortified fall back position is weaker that the one they abandon. Unlike Russia’s last summer.
Do you see ANY of this in the MSM? You might ask how I know it is true. Well, check out the battle line maps of BOTH pro Ukraine bloggers and Pro Russian bloggers. BOTH have the Russian fronts moving ever so slowly in some cases, but moving nonetheless deeper into Ukraine. Both talk of the issues re manpower, weaponry and ammunition shortages of the Ukraine.
We really have to hope that the Macron’s of this world don’t put NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine. IT won’t end well for NATO, which means Europe more than the US.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 days ago

Good point. The reason the HQ of the Inst of Civil Engineers was close to H of Commons because many members were MPs. I give you Murdo MacdDonald, brilliant Civil Engineer and colonel in RE under alleny in Palestine in WW1. We no longer have MPs of this calibre.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Actually there are TWO solutions ONE voluntary, WHICH I doubt we will get, the other involuntary as the State fails. AND that is closer than anyone thinks. The Grid fails, and it will under Net Zero insanity, then the economy fails, that fails and society breaks down. We didn’t vote Reform to scrap Net Zero so unless Starmer lied, then Miliband will destroy the UK Grid in the next 5 years. Though it will effectively fail in about 3.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

The Grid fails, and it will under Net Zero insanity,
The economy will have disintegrated long before then. The National Grid’s own internal estimates say that de-carbonisation will cost £3 trillion.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

The event of interest in the UK is a sword with two edges. One, Reform – well publicised. BUT the other edge, and also a false flag and even more successful, Hamas MPs under the banner of ‘Independents’. 5 of them AND almost 8 – Naz Shah and IDS both winning only because the Hamas vote was split by their factions. Jesse Phillips too is on the brink of surrendering her seat to Hamas. Only the fact they masquerade as ‘Independents’ seems to mean the implications of their success is not studied. The myth that fear of Islamists is a Phobia may not be long for this world.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
10 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

I noted it with fear. I only hope that since 2 leading Labour acolytes (Jess Phillips and Shabana Mahmood) were on the receiving end, Labour may respond. But I worry that the lesson for MPs from David Ames and ongoing threats is personal protection and an amendment to parliamentary democracy (Hoyles’s complicit arrangements for gaza debate) rather than a formal integration policy and a robust tackling of incendiary teaching present in some mosques). For the rest of us …. let them eat cake.
But this one won’t go away. At best we will remain a less cohesive society if this is allowed to continue, midpoint most obvious balkanisation, and worst case violence. It will be interesting to see Labour’s approach on Islamophobia and a backdoor blasphemy law.

David Butler
David Butler
11 days ago

I believe that the object of the exercise is to destroy the nation state and reduce the citizenry to a nouveau serf class, governed by a global elite. Non?

David Harris
David Harris
10 days ago
Reply to  David Butler

Oui.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  David Butler

They are on the way to immolating the Nation State, BUT I find it hard to see how anyone NOT having a popular ‘armed wing’ then rises out of the ashes.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 days ago

It’s not really ‘an unexpected surge’ though is it? The left alliance and Macron’s nihilistic centrist stood down in each other’s favour in three way contests and their supporters voted tactically to stop NR. This was on the cards as soon as the first round exit poll was called.

I just don’t see how this ‘neutralises’ Le Pen or helps Macron. She now has more seats in the assembly than before the vote and he has fewer. There will be a PM from the left alliance which is itself fractious, and no clear or even possible policy platform between the assembly and the president, even the hard won and expensive pitched battle over pension reform may now have to be sacrificed. France’s intractable problems will continue tog get worse and the country will become even more difficult to govern by a government increasingly fractured. None of this will be Le Pen’s responsibility as we approach a Presidential election.

It’s still a mystery why Macron ever called this.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

But its quite possible that the left alliance may break up now and Macron’s Ensemble group may put together a governing coalition with the greens and socialists on the left and the moderate conservative Republicans on their right – leaving both National Rally and Melanchon out in the cold.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
10 days ago

So Macron has won a victory? Pretty pyrrhic in my view. He’s become dependent on the far left to see off the so called far right; the words frying pan and fire spring to mind. And to what end? All Le Pen has to do is what Starmer did – wait. Wait and let the situation worsen and for Macron to become increasingly isolated. He literally has no solutions and the bond markets will be looking at Frances antics and adjusting discounts accordingly, and this will weaken the euro further.

Steve Houseman
Steve Houseman
10 days ago

Sage advice and quite plausible. The whole of Europe seems to be going to hell on a hand cart. Best not to be on it.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
10 days ago

An admirer of nihilism analyzes a French election. Where else but UnHerd could you find such a confection? I look forward to him taking on Joe Biden, who appears to believe life would be meaningless without him at the helm.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
10 days ago

Don‘t understand why it is bad to pass a law, which increases retirement age from 62 to 64, in line with most European states. Also hardening immigration law with the help from the Right/Far Right seems to be a good thing. By doing so why did Macron stare into the abyss and the abyss stared back at him?
The author must be a great fan of Nietzsche, never saw so many quotes in one article.

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
11 days ago

Greetings from across the pond. I was surprised by the RN’s below expectations performance. The left apparently saw an existential crisis where by rivals came together to sacrifice some of their own seats to keep RN out of power. Je ne sais pas quoi dire.
Let’s see where Marcon goes from here.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
11 days ago

Clearly. However, I also suspect there are some former RN voters that have supported them previously as a form of protest and when it looked like they might win, backed away.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

Which may do more for RN’s future than imagined. Reform are going to reap the benefits of Labour doing a Tory! There is no way the current status quo can survive, yet Labour is going not only to keep the status quo, BUT is likely to try and reverse what progress the Tories had reluctantly made as they saw the lie of the land.
Reform will inherit a wasteland, BUT the very fact it is one should see the end of both Tory and Labour parties. The worry is the rise of Hamas under the guise of Independents.

michael harris
michael harris
11 days ago

RN got 37% of the vote. Did they expect more? They were done over by tactical voting in the phase nearest to First Past The Post of the French system. Cunning Macron! Now lets see if he can finesse Melanchon.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 days ago
Reply to  michael harris

RN are still the largest party in the French Parliament IIRC.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
11 days ago

I think it would be better to use Nietzsche’s God is Dead approach.
The God of globalist technocracy is dead, and the educated class killed him. Now comes decadence, nihilism, eternal recurrence. In other words Groundhog Day.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
11 days ago

Let’s remember, too, in the context of the election result:
“Socialism ― or the tyranny of the meanest and the most brainless, ―that is to say, the superficial, the envious, and the mummers, brought to its zenith, ―is, as a matter of fact, the logical conclusion of “modern ideas” and their latent anarchy: but in the genial atmosphere of democratic well-being the capacity for forming resolutions or even for coming to an end at all, is paralysed. Men follow―but no longer their reason. That is why socialism is on the whole a hopelessly bitter affair: and there is nothing more amusing than to observe the discord between the poisonous and desperate faces of present-day socialists―and what wretched and nonsensical feelings does not their style reveal to us! ―and the childish lamblike happiness of their hopes and desires.” (The Will to Power: An Attempted Transvaluation of All Values)

John Riordan
John Riordan
11 days ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

I got myself into a rather silly argument about communism last week on facebook (they’re always silly, I know), and your quote perfectly describes the attitudes from the true believers: an entirely uncritical conviction in the truth of communist theory combined with a childish and petulant anger towards anyone who dared question it. The commonest charge levelled against me – I was taking the position of judging communism according to what it does in practice – was that I was in no position to criticise since I clearly hadn’t read the sacred texts (ie Marx, Lenin and the rest of them).

This is of course abjectly silly, akin to christian fundamentalist quoting tracts of Genesis in a debate with an evolutionary biologist, but there’s no arguing with true believers, I guess.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

My cousin was part of the God squad at university, then she found socialism of the far left kind.
It has to do with fulfilling (not honestly though) an emotional need and is not an intellectual exercise

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

“Capitalism” is evolution. It will always assert itself in some way. Socialism is Creationism, at best the Intelligent Design version, but still a deadly fantasy.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
10 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

In student days I had similar discussions and, like you, was told to go away and read their scared books as all would become clear to me then. Said protagonists have since moved on to lives of long term unemployment, substance dependency and spending substantial parts of their lives in secure wards.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
10 days ago

The old battle cry, ‘Educate yourself,’ when they actually mean, ‘Indoctrinate yourself.’

Steve Houseman
Steve Houseman
10 days ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

We’ll said.

John Riordan
John Riordan
11 days ago

This would appear to support a suspicion I’ve had for some time about centrist politics, namely that it has the perverse characteristic that it fosters extremism. The reason is that centrist politicians, being pragmatists who seek compromise between competing factions rather than having convictions of their own to defend, produce an incentive in which those competing factions have nothing to lose by making more extreme demands, because this is what will drag the eventual compromise more in their own direction.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

That’s a perceptive insight. It works in reverse too. Thatcher transformed the Labour Party.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

But not enough!

As Ethniciodo says on this thread:
“It has to do with fulfilling (not honestly though) an emotional need and is not an intellectual exercise”

We have to wait for them to discover Reality.

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago

I always thought “The Gay Science” was an odd name for a book. I appreciate it is a translation from the German, but it is an unfortunate one.

Sean Lothmore
Sean Lothmore
10 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

The Wikipaedia article on the book is interesting on why it has that title.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
10 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

“Fröhliche Wissenschaft” would be better translated “Joyous Science”, as “Gay” nowadays is such a loaded word.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
10 days ago

Macron’s career, like those of all politicians, will end in failure. Sadly his arrogance may bring France down with him.
It is vital that people vote positively for principles they respect not negatively against people they fear.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
10 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

I tend to agree. However the issue is who to vote for? I’ve voted tactically once and have since cast single issue ‘protest votes’ for parties I wouldn’t vote for if they got near power, since 97.*

* admittedly I wasn’t registered in 01 and might have voted positively if I had been – that’s still over 20 years ago though.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 days ago

Is France returning to the 1930s when hatred bertween many parties caused it’s collapse ? For a nation to be created people have to think beyond the self, the family, the village, the valley : beyond the horizon and beyond next year. This requires a level of self -discipline to control selfish desires.This self discipline, a willingness to develop fortitude, the mental strength to endure hardship and pain with courage is on decline in the West. France is just a good example of the decline of the West.
Edison said genius is “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration “.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 days ago

Macron may have won himself some breathing room but still in the long run its all a bit too clever by half… those greeny/lefties are pretty extreme and in the next presidential elections may win a final round over either le pen or macron. Global elites would love that ( although they love macron also). France moves extreme left while in germany and nordic counrtries move right. The southern europeans and france beg for ecb to buy more and more bonds, one or more northern states leave ( my money on netherlands) and then the euro just becomes dust…its speculative but looks likely to me

0 0
0 0
10 days ago

There was a hint of this result at a village lunch yesterday. People normally discreet about their politics we’re keen to show their support for the New Popular Front and their fear of Le Pen’s party. And so the result proved in our circonscription and nationally.

Behind all this was distaste for Macron, on his haughty style and the way he put financial targets ahead of people’s concerns.The collapse of Macron’s bloc in the chamber was less severe than predicted only because fear of the far right remains strong despite efforts to moderate their programme. And behind Macron’s personal unpopularity lies growing distrust with centre right policies which have proved less beneficial than the centre left ones they replaced nearly a decade ago. Some have then gone further right but most, as it turns out, back to the left.

Macron will doubtless try to co-opt parts of the new left alliance but whether he succeeds or not France will continue to lack a majority government. But given that the most dislike the main things government has done recently, that won’t provide a crisis in the country. The real drama in the next few years will take place around how allegiances continue to be shaped in the country rather than anything around government.

Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
10 days ago

He who fights with monsters may risk becoming one. But Macron has prostrated himself before a real and very dangerous monster – Melenchon and his antisemitic communists. Macron has allowed real monsters to replace make-believe monsters of the so called “far right”.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
10 days ago

And once again, France snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, with ordinary citizens apparently having gotten out of their system their rage at the ongoing collapse of their culture and moving back to distracted ordinary life as terrified Leftists coalesce to save their dominance.

c donnellan
c donnellan
10 days ago

I’m really sorry I ever subscribed to UnHerd considering the type of people commenting out here who seem to represent a consensus in support of NATO, American led globalism, and endless mass immigration ultimately destroying Europe. This is the ‘sensible center-left.’

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 days ago
Reply to  c donnellan

Well I don’t for one.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
10 days ago
Reply to  c donnellan

I don’t see anybody agreeing to mass immigration or globalism in most Comment Sections. Quite the opposite.

Steve Houseman
Steve Houseman
10 days ago
Reply to  c donnellan

c. d…perhaps you should just try getting your money back? Suspect it’s not that difficult.

zee upītis
zee upītis
6 days ago
Reply to  c donnellan

Poor you, looking for an echo chamber and finding there are a few voices in opposition 🙁

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
10 days ago

“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.”
—Klaus Schwab, channelling Emperor Palpatine

Rainer Zuhlke
Rainer Zuhlke
10 days ago

It is more than slightly ironic when neutralising the RN threat (quoted) means bringing the extreme, radical left (LFI) and the communists into power (or close to it).
LFI and Melenchon represent nationalistic, illiberal, anti-EU and antisemitic positions. Melenchon is as much a populist as top representatives of the RN.

Harrydog
Harrydog
10 days ago

I thought we just had an articled a few days back that made the case that Le Pen had moved the RN towards the center by moderating policies and expelling extremists. Yet, the standard play is to invoke the boogeyman of the far right. France is falling apart. Can’t wait to see the leftists act out during the Olympics.

Kate Collingwood
Kate Collingwood
10 days ago

Article makes some mistakes. Edouard Philippe, the former PM, is not “popular;” Like many French politicians his “popularity” and viability exists only within the political and journalistic elite class.
Regarding French retirement age battles: Yes, it seems silly that French people get furious about having to retire at 64 rather than 62. But on the other hand, French people are not stupid. The government says: Sorry, we can’t afford for you to retire at 62. But the people see the government spending LOTS of money on : immigrants, war in Ukraine, the energy “transition;”. So people say, hey, cut the nonsense , there is money for the things you want to do to curry favor with your WEF and NATO buddies.
Finally, COVID is NEVER mentioned. But French people, always cynical, were made even more cynical by the bizarre covid “pandemic.” and the vaccine mandates. ( All gone and forgotten now. Well, that”s weird, because covid is still around. Hmmmmm….)

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
10 days ago

It’s funny that Macron and Sunak both called early elections and both didn’t do so well. I guess that rewrites the wisdom of ‘early elections’, if nothing else …..

RA Znayder
RA Znayder
10 days ago

Despite ending the rule of French’s two mainstream parties, the banker Macron has shown himself to be the embodiment of the Western status quo, as far as I can see. It seems he and his party were probably always PR constructs to some degree. Big consultancy firms were found to be deeply involved in the party. Policies, ranging from progressive window dressing to conservative migration policies, do not seem to originate out of any ideology. They are calculated decisions. Macron’s main task, then, is not to dynamite anything but precisely to protect the status quo against the radicalizing masses. Of course, the radicalization is still slowly but surely happening as the electorate, both left and right, continue to be unhappy with the direction of the country.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
10 days ago

The global political scene is dividing into two camps: nationalists and globalists. The former have some reverence for the local culture, traditions, history, and people; the latter does not. In democratic systems, people often get what they deserve. Unfortunately, this includes the people who did not vote for a particular outcome.

zee upītis
zee upītis
6 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

That’s nonsense. EU hasn’t destroyed any local culture, traditions or history — in fact, for smaller countries this has given more exposure for theirs; as well as funding to research and preserve.

c donnellan
c donnellan
10 days ago

More mass immigration, crime, cultural degeneracy, and possible war with Russia. It might be a pyrrhic ‘victory.’

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke
9 days ago

He has dynamited the French political system but as long as those trying to challenge the elite are called Le Pen the EU/globalist elite in France will still win.