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Again in The New Republic.
Thanks for this wealth of analyses!
An hesitation about “A second-round confrontation between Mélenchon and Macron would have focused attention on Macron’s failure to make good on the social aspect of his 2017 program”. I rather expected such a second-round confrontation to focus on (so-called) support of “islamo-leftism” by Mélenchon / LFI and more broad the radical Left and the Greens. That would have been such a straightforward line for Macron and his supporters (defending l’État against all enemies), as well as a straightforward line for Le Pen and her supporters — overemphasizing this (alleged) weaker flank of LFI in order to hide social topics as well as avoid to support explicitly Macron. I didn’t expect LFI to be able to voice social concerns in front of such an accusation.
Within a system ruled by the center-left, the center, the right or the far right, LFI may look like a Trade Union in front of the CEOs, and as such, fully legitimate when pleading for higher wages, higher social care, a younger retirement age and the like.
Put in the hypothetical perspective of becoming the rulers, LFI people would be, in my humble opinion, immediately smashed as the Fifth Column of anti-France.
The geographical segregation of votes in the 2022 election as opposed to 2017 strikes me. E.g. Melenchon obtained ~50% or more in many cities of a broad “banlieue Nord”, including Argenteuil. That gives LFI the perpective of becoming a large opposition party, with likely more than 50 MPs (instead of ~17), sustainably rooted in urban culture, multi-cultural neighborhoods, and the professional ethos of civil servants. Without, I guess, any perspective of ruling the country, as long as small towns and rural areas (the majority of France) do not feel concerned.
My favorite part of the article was this point about Mélenchon: “His campaign trick of appearing in several cities at once via holographic teleportation is perhaps an indication that his presence is more like a ghostly visit from the past than a harbinger of the future. When Marx wrote that “a specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism,” he of course had no idea that he would be describing the Mélenchon campaign’s high-tech legerdemain, but in fact he hit the nail on the head.” One wonders what Derrida would say about Mélenchon’s haunting by the Marxian spectre, or his own holographic haunting of the French electorate – the Hamlet’s ghost of French politics?
Are you the Martin Roberts I used to know?
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