As was obvious from the beginning, Macron is unsuited, temperamentally and intellectually, to be the president of France. His astonishing reaction to the rejection of the “reforms” – a word that oozes with bad faith, since the reforms are actually the stripping away of the reforms of the past, and should be so characterized – by the French street is to flood said street with armed policemen in tanks if necessary, and to send his friendly unshaven front man, Édouard Philippe, out to talk about how thousands of hoodlums are going to rock and ruin lovely Paris and murder people. Oh, and ps, we’ll postpone the gas tax and use this issue to make a plea to lower our funding of France’s social insurance system. Nothing says responding to the cry of the lower and middle income level that their lifestyle is seriously deteriorate than feeding them a big dose of neo-liberal whoopass. You want healthcare? well let’s lower funding on that! you want a clean ecology? Let’s do nothing about rising housing costs that force people to live out where the car is their only means of access to job and life. Oh, and for good measure, let’s just manage the railroad system into ruin, then auction it off and let the ticket prices go sky high. You want education? Well, tyr to get it as we freeze funding. The Macronists came from some casting call for the movie, “Atlas shrugged, then pissed, then had champagne and oysters” – a movie only a banker could love.
It appears that France is saddled with this boy-prince for another four years. That is going to be a long fall down the stairs. Macron is another in the long line of French conservatives who refuse to understand that a crisis in capitalism caused by the shortfall of demand cannot be solved by weakening even further the purchasing power of consumers. Rather, the magic formula is “investment”, which magically appears when you shuffle money to Capital with no strings attached. You then partition off the part of your brain that just performed this trick from the part that urges the reality of globalisation – which is, precisely, about the liquid flows of capital that seek the highest return on “investment” globally. In other words, the investment you have generated is not going to go to productive activities in France, but to hedge fund bets in New York.
It is all the logic of the spoiled child, which aims at one thing: getting all the candy. We have been trapped with the spoiled kids in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for some time now, with the plot twist that these kids took over the factory, and made Charlie work for them. In my view, Macron’s candystore visions are going to be stuffed down the throat of his party if some grown up doesn’t call a halt. Not that I think said grown up is going to appear: when the problem is so simple – the insane divide between the misery of the producers of wealth and the opulence of the profiteers – the solution has to be obfuscated into an incredible complexity, suitable for many a Le Monde editiorial about how complex things are.
Lefty parties were, as usual, late to the gate, but with opportunity throwing a brick at their heads, they finally are waking up. Not totally – connecting the dots between a French foreign policy mainly interested in bombing and droning peeps in the Middle East and North Africa and refugees streaming out of said countries still seems to be a conundrum they don’t get. But at least they are getting over the idea that gilet jeunes are just your dumb racist hicks who should pipe down and die behind the screens of the video games they all probably play. Let’s hope this goes much further. Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin, or Boil Boil, Toil and Trouble – mottos of the day! And now for a video the French cops proudly released.
I am a translator, author and editor living in Paris. I finished a novel in March, and am busy trying to find an agent. In the meantime, I thought I'd like to start a magazine. Willett's is meant to be a venue for the review of books, personal reflections, and political bitching - and everything else.

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