Marine Le Pen drawing

Editor's Note: Marine Le Pen seemed the better choice for France, if "choice" is the correct term these days in any Western "democracy".  Dr. Petras' article elucidates this thinking. I have great respect for Dr. Petras' work; however, Mercier's article (2nd article, below) puts such thinking to rest and returns us - as in the US elections - to "None of the above". This is the importance of online independent media. Nowhere in corporate media are there truly opposing arguments, just propaganda serving the ruling class. When given no true choice - whether amongst corporate media or between political candidates - we must seek information and answers elsewhere. [updated 5-10-17]

Twenty Truths about Marine Le Pen

James Petras | May 7, 2017 | Lahaine - The James Petras Website

They obfuscate her program, substituting the label ‘extremist’ for her pro-working class and anti-imperialist commitment. Fear and envy over the fact that a new leader heads a popular movement has seeped into Emmanuel “Manny” Macron’s champagne-soaked dinner parties. He has good reason to be afraid: Le Pen addresses the fundamental interests of the vast- majority of French workers, farmers, public employees, unemployed and underemployed youth and older workers approaching retirement.

The mass media, political class and judicial as well as street provocateurs savagely assault Le Pen, distorting her domestic and foreign policies. They are incensed that Le Pen pledges to remove France from NATO’s integrated command – effectively ending its commitment to US directed global wars. Le Pen rejects the oligarch-dominated European Union and its austerity programs, which have enriched bankers and multi-national corporations. Le Pen promises to convoke a national referendum over the EU – to decide French submission. Le Pen promises to end sanctions against Russia and, instead, increase trade. She will end France’s intervention in Syria and establish ties with Iran and Palestine.

Le Pen is committed to Keynesian demand-driven industrial revitalization as opposed to Emmanuel Macron’s ultra-neoliberal supply-side agenda.

Le Pen’s program will raise taxes on banks and financial transactions while fining capital flight in order to continue funding France’s retirement age of 62 for women and 65 for men, keeping the 35 hour work-week, and providing tax free overtime pay. She promises direct state intervention to prevent factories from relocating to low wage EU economies and firing French workers.

Le Pen is committed to increasing public spending for childcare and for the poor and disabled. She has pledged to protect French farmers against subsidized, cheap imports.

Marine Le Pen supports abortion rights and gay rights. She opposes the death penalty. She promises to cut taxes by 10% for low-wage workers. Marine is committed to fighting against sexism and for equal pay for women.

Marine Le Pen will reduce migration to ten thousand people and crack down on immigrants with links to terrorists.

Emmanuel Macron: Macro Billionaire and Micro Worker Programs

Macron has been an investment banker serving the Rothschild and Cie Banque oligarchy, which profited from speculation and the pillage of the public treasury. Macron served in President Hollande’s Economy Ministry, in charge of ‘Industry and Digital Affairs’ from 2014 through 2016. This was when the ‘Socialist’ Hollande imposed a pro-business agenda, which included a 40 billion-euro tax cut for the rich.

Macron is tied to the Republican Party and its allied banking and business Confederations, whose demands include: raising the retirement age, reducing social spending, firing tens of thousands of public employees and facilitating the outflow of capital and the inflow of cheap imports.

Macron is an unconditional supporter of NATO and the Pentagon. He fully supports the European Union. For their part, the EU oligarchs are thrilled with Macron’s embrace of greater austerity for French workers, while the generals can expect total material support for the ongoing and future US-NATO wars on three continents.

Propaganda, Labels and Lies

Macron’s pro-war, anti-working class and ’supply-side’ economic policies leave us with only one conclusion: Marine Le Pen is the only candidate of the left. Her program and commitments are pro-labor, not ‘hard’ or ‘far’ right – and certainly not ‘fascist’.

Macron, on the other hand is a committed rightwing extremist, certainly no ‘centrist’, as the media and the political elite claim! One has only to look at his background in banking, his current supporters among the oligarchs and his ministerial policies when he served Francois Holland.

The ‘Macronistas’ have accused Marine Le Pen of extreme ‘nationalism’, ‘fascism’, ‘anti-Semitism’ and ‘anti-immigrant racism’. ‘The French Left’, or what remains of it, has blindly swallowed the oligarchs’ campaign against Le Pen despite the malodorous source of these libels.

Le Pen is above all a ’sovereigntist’: ‘France First’. Her fight is against the Brussels oligarchs and for the restoration of sovereignty to the French people. There is an infinite irony in labeling the fight against imperial political power as ‘hard right’. It is insulting to debase popular demands for domestic democratic power over basic economic policies, fiscal spending, incomes and prices policies, budgets and deficits as ‘extremist and far right’.

Marine Le Pen has systematically transformed the leadership, social, economic program and direction of the National Front Party.

She expelled its anti-Semites, including her own father! She transformed its policy on women’s rights, abortion, gays and race. She won the support of young unemployed and employed factory workers, public employees and farmers. Young workers are three times more likely to support her national industrial revitalization program over Macron’s ‘free market dogma’. Le Pen has drawn support from French farmers as well as the downwardly mobile provincial middle-class, shopkeepers, clerks and tourism-based workers and business owners.

Despite the trends among the French masses against the oligarchs, academics, intellectuals and political journalists have aped the elite’s slander against Le Pen because they will not antagonize the prestigious media and their administrators in the universities. They will not acknowledge the profound changes that have occurred within the National Front under Marine Le Pen. They are masters of the ‘double discourse’ – speaking from the left while working with the right. They confuse the lesser evil with the greater evil.

If Macron wins this election (and nothing is guaranteed!), he will certainly implement his ‘hard’ and ‘extreme’ neo-liberal agenda. When the French workers go on strike and demonstrators erect barricades in the streets in response to Macron’s austerity, the fake-left will bleat out their inconsequential ‘critique’ of ‘impure reason’. They will claim that they were right all along.

If Le Pen loses this election, Macron will impose his program and ignite popular fury. Marine will make an even stronger candidate in the next election… if the French oligarchs’ judiciary does not imprison her for the crime of defending sovereignty and social justice.

Author:

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.  He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles [and] over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.


FrenchElection2 300CompMacron and Le Pen: Two Faces of the Same Con

Gilbert Mercier | May 7, 2017 | News Junkie Post

Photo: Left side "State of Emergency!" Right side "Cut on the dotted line: Forfeit nationality"  [Translations - Ed.]

It is sad that a nation defined by a great revolution has come to this: the docile copycat of a pseudo-ideological struggle at play elsewhere between globalism and nationalism. It is sad that in the country of Danton, Mirabeau, Montesquieu and de Gaulle millions have become resigned to their fate and submissive like farm animals. It is sad when lions behave like sheep, but it doesn’t have to be that way in France. The French electoral system and its two-round presidential election gave citizens a lot of options for their big-ticket item. Yet, after the first round, from either impulses dictated by anger and fear, or some convoluted Byzantine calculus, the French people have once again shot themselves in the foot and embraced their own collective submission in the old adage: plus cela change, plus c’est la même chose. ["The more things change, the more they stay the same."] It seems that, regardless of the country, the handful of kingmakers of the global corporate elite finds ways to con the citizenry into dead-end choices, ways to breed an eternal status quo that serves their interests and places their servile politicians in apparent positions of power. In a global economic system where eight men own as much as one half the world population, income and wealth have been siphoned upward at an alarming rate. Banker Nathan de Rothschild once bluntly said, “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the British Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.”

Anti-establishment Rothschild man

One of Emmanuel Macron’s keys to success in the first round of the French presidential election was to pose as a political outsider. Let us keep in mind that he was a member of the Socialist Party and also Minister of Economy and Finance for two years in the unpopular Hollande administration. As a matter of fact, he was groomed at the exclusive École Normale d’Administration (ENA), which is the hallmark of almost all the so-called French top public servants. Pretending to be an outsider is his best campaign trick. In 2016, Macron shrewdly did a bait-and-switch and started his own En Marche! Party, to distance himself from Hollande. One cannot help but notice the Orwellian irony of a former Rothschild banker’s party name echoing a verse and the mood of the revolutionary song “La Marseillaise.”

French NuitDebout 300CompPhoto: Left "One fist-that's all"  Right "The capitalists live about our means"

As expressed by last year’s movement Nuit Debout, France, like most countries worldwide, is fed up with its conventional political class. The French term raz le bol [as in English we've had it "up to here"] captures this notion best and also implies that, at any given point, spillovers will occur in the form of social unrest. Many in the international press, for the sake of analogy and simplification, compare Emmanuel Macron to Hillary Clinton and Marine Le Pen to Donald Trump but, as a matter of fact, Macron’s trajectory is similar to that of Trump in the sense of pretending to be anti-establishment and not to belong to the conventional political class. Like Trump, Macron’s recipe for success is the made-up charm of the fake political outsider. Of course Macron is purely an establishment tool, a company man just like Trump, and he will be France’s next president, handpicked by the Rothschild family. The country’s political system has become moribund and democracy not much more than a con game. Case in point: regardless of the French people’s fate, the global financial market was already salivating after the first round at the prospect of a Macron victory.

Vichy patriot

After five years of the corporate technocrat fake-socialist François Hollande’s presidency, many in France were hoping that Jean-Luc Mélenchon would be in the second round against Marine Le Pen to give the country a real-left political option. But Mélenchon came in fourth, behind Fillon, Le Pen, and Macron respectively third, second, and first. What was remarkable about the French presidential first round is that the top four candidates came within less than a four-percent margin bracket in the polls, in a range of 19 to 23 percent of the votes. The third-placed François Fillon has already urged his supporters to vote Macron.

FrenchElection3

Photo: Melonchon, the colors - In Nazi camps, the inverted red triangle was worn by political prisoners: social democrats, socialists, trade unionists, Freemasons, communists, and anarchists.

The leader of La France Insoumise, Mélenchon, who has denounced the elections as a charade and said that France was on its way to become a banana republic, came up short of endorsing Macron but said that he would vote in the second round and that it will be under no circumstance for Le Pen. It happened before in France: a sort of union sacrée is shaping up to prevent the Front National’s candidate from getting elected.

Many French people feel that they now have a moribund democracy, at least as far as the executive branch of government, which has been reduced to a lesser of two evils scenario all too familiar to American voters. It is incredibly ironic that Marine Le Pen has lately styled herself after General de Gaulle, and even called her supporters patriots, after shamelessly seeking some form of foreign endorsement from both Moscow and Washington. Le Pen’s fans in Russia and the United States, as well as her sometimes gullible French supporters, should remember that the Front National ancestor, called Action Française [See THIS], was the ideological force behind the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy in the 1930s. Older generations of French people will not forget that her father and former Front National leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was on the side of the military junta that wanted to topple the French Republic in a coup during the war in Algeria.

FrenchElection4 300Comp

Photo: "Fight the Far Right"

Marine Le Pen has said that “Macron is the candidate of the oligarchy and I am the candidate of the people.” She is right about Macron, but wrong in her case, as she still represents La France aux Français, a notion with a clearly noxious Vichy aftertaste. Le Pen’s fundamental xenophobia makes her a candidate of exclusion in a country that has become a racial and, to some extent, a cultural melting pot brought in the form of the poetic justice of colonialism in reverse. One look at the French national football team, largely composed of players with African or North-African ethnic roots, is a testimony of France’s multi-racial reality. Le Pen might drape herself under the patriotic tricolor, but she still exudes the stench of the World War II pro-German Vichy government.

FrenchElection5 300Comp

Ideological con: globalism versus nationalism

The French presidential election is getting worldwide attention like no other French election ever before. This is because it superficially opposes the Rothschild-certified globalist Macron to the nationalist Le Pen. In what seems to be the universal political debate of our times, the nationalist alternative right, which supported Trump and now supports Le Pen, fails to understand that you can only be anti-globalist if you are also anti-capitalist, or at least anti-corporate imperialist. In the US the remaining Trump supporters cheer for Le Pen and attack Macron. This is a conveniently exotic distraction from the fact that Trump has fully embraced the neocon globalist ideology of his predecessors and is therefore getting high marks from the likes of John McCain and Paul Wolfowitz. It’s amazing what a few bombs dropped randomly on Syria and Afghanistan can do for a president’s popularity!

FrenchElection6 300CompThe victim of the global con game is democracy itself, an electoral chance to the real left. Far-right nationalists are on the rise worldwide because they have adopted an anti-globalist discourse partially stolen from the left, and also because the global domination of finance has become so extreme that it is now a form of dictatorship. Macron, who will be elected president of France, is a servant of this global corporate imperialism, but so is Trump despite his original nationalistic and non-interventionist rhetoric of a supposed outsider. Plus cela change, plus c’est la même chose, until la France Insoumise [See THIS] decides to forget the ballot box and take its revolt into the streets.

AUTHOR:

Gilbert Mercier is the author of The Orwellian Empire. Photographs one, two and four by Thierry Ehrmann; three, five and six by Jeanne Menjoulet; and eight by Christian Bachellier.

FURTHER READING:

Macron Wins - the 24% who voted for him rejoice, the rest sigh

 

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