When elections become an act of class struggle…
France is uncountable. This country has always been rich in big surprises. And each big surprise changed the fate of the peoples and the world.
Jeanne d’Arc, a girl from the village of Domremy, in the 15th century made the Aquitanians and Bretons, exhausted by the war with the British, believe in Beautiful France – Beautiful Franceand saved the party.
Furious Robespierre, with the idea of inalienable human rights, announced to the world that the era of monarchies is over and the time has come for a community of citizens.
Corsican Napoleon reshaped Europe and left behind a codified civil law – the Napoleonic Code.
General de Gaulle pulled France back from the brink when the so-called Anglo-Saxon allies had already divided his country into protectorates. De Gaulle did not allow the Americans and the British to be in charge in his country.
Yes, France knows how to surprise.
The unexpected election of François Mitterrand forty-one years ago evokes parallels. Then, in 1981, the incumbent President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and the socialist Francois Mitterrand, who was credited with ties with Moscow and cooperation with the communists, fought for the Elysee Palace.
For Giscard and Mitterrand, as for Macron and Le Pen, this was the second match, they had already fought for the presidency in 1974.
In 1981, the incumbent went to the second round with 28.3% of the vote against Mitterrand with 25.8% (compare Macron 28.6% vs Le Pen 24.4%).
The 1981 elections were essentially an act of class elections. The privileged classes voted for Giscard. The people voted for Mitterrand. In 2022, according to the results of the first round, we see that Macron’s electorate is made up of wealthy fellow citizens, while Le Pen is supported by the poor.
In 1981, many members of the French bourgeoisie were worried that their country might fall under the control of the Soviet Union. In 2022, representatives of the same circles are afraid of dependence on Russia.
Marine Le Pen, like François Mitterrand in his time, proposes a course to reduce the social gap between the “tops” and “bottoms”. Mitterand, having become president and revised monetary policy, caused discontent in the capital markets – in Frankfurt and Brussels. Le Pen’s economic program will put her on a collision course with Brussels and Berlin.
Mitterrand’s surprise victory in the 1981 elections was called a leap into the unknown. After the first round, only 21% of voters bet on Mitterrand, compared to almost 57% who expected Giscard to be re-elected. Isn’t something similar happening now in France before the second round of the presidential elections on April 24?
Just like Emmanuel Macron, Giscard d’Estaing was extremely unpopular. Macron is not inferior to Giscard in narcissism, throughout the entire presidential term, he sought to pull on the toga of the emperor.
However, not only inflated conceit brings these two tenants of the Elysee Palace together.
Two years before the 1981 elections, the media reported that the dictator of the Central African Republic, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, presented French President Giscard with diamonds … Today, Macron is dealing with McKinsey Gate. In the report of the French Senate investigating the history of relations between the French government and the American consulting firm McKinseysaid: budget spending on consulting services doubling since 2018 calls into question “both our concept of the state and state sovereignty and the proper use of public funds”.
Giscard campaigned for re-election with the lowest popularity rating of his entire term. Macron’s disapproval ratings for 5 years of his presidency reach 87%. Part of the French population is so intolerant of Macron that guillotines were used to decapitate puppets of the French president in the yellow vest protests.
Macron’s fifth year was marked by rampant economic liberalization. Sell, buy, unite, divide – these are the hallmarks of the ideology promoted by Macron.
Macron began his career as the Minister of Economy under the government of Hollande, then the flagship of the French industry, an engineering company, fell victim to him. Alstomhanded over to the Americans. And under President Macron, France said goodbye to Lafarge, Suez, EDF. Today French industry is sold out and abandoned.
Angie, Total, Veolia… all these companies were sold. State industry is cut into pieces and passed into private hands. At the same time, 60 billion euros a year are allocated to private companies! By increasing the public debt by 700 billion euros (115% of GDP), Macron made France the world champion in dividend distribution. In 2021, at the height of the “pandemic,” French companies distributed €51 billion in dividends.
The father of French industry, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, in the 17th century wrote in golden letters the formula for industrial success: an increase in exports, a decrease in imports, and as a result, an increase in the flow of money into the country. In 2021, the Macron government posted an 87 billion trade deficit, demonstrating the failure of French industry.
Marine Le Pen has other priorities. Unlike Eurocentrists, it promotes national interests. She promises to cut fuel and electricity fees and support the middle class and small businesses. She promises that her first presidential action will be to hold a national referendum to change the Constitution. The proposed change is that French laws take precedence over EU regulations.
… In the title of the novel by Maurice Druon (1918-2009) “It is not good to spin lilies”, the idea is allegorically expressed that a woman cannot occupy the throne of France, but … another era has come. It’s time to spin the lilies.
Photo: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
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