By Dimitris Kazakis
Global Research, April 27, 2017
Macron won 23.75% of the votes, while his opponent Le Pen won 21.53%, according to official results. Republican Francois Fillon and independent left-candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon won 19.91% and 19.64% respectively. While the former Socialist party candidate, Benouit Hamon has accrued just 6.35% of the vote. The remaining 8.82% of the votes were shared by the remaining 6 candidates for the French Presidency.
The collapse of traditional bipartisanism
What do the results show? First of all, an impressive collapse of traditional bipartism, of the two alternating parties which dominated the presidential power for decades. On the one hand, the center-right party, which originated from the formerly de Gaulle right, and in 2002 formed under the then president Jean Chirac the UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire). After Sarkozy’s defeat to Hollande in 2012 presidential race and the spree that suffered the center-right thanks to this petit Napoléon – as Sarkozy liked to be characterized by the media and his friends, without perhaps knowing that it was Louis Bonaparte who used to be called with the same nickname by those who mocked him when he was self-proclaimed Emperor Napoleon the 3rd in 1852 – this party changed its name to Les Républicains (Republicans), in order to be rescued. But in vain. For the first time, since the time of De Gaulle, the center-right party could not even get into the second round of the presidential election.
On the other hand, the Socialist Party, which – let us not forget – had brought this grotesque figure, François Hollande, to the French Presidency in 2012, with 28.63% of the votes in the first round. In these presidential elections its candidate, Hamon, managed to collect only 6.35% of the votes. Less than Mélenchon, who in 2012 had again come fourth with 11.10% of the votes.
If this collapse of traditional bipartisanism will be verified by the parliamentary elections, which are also expected in two rounds on 11 and 18 June, then it is clear that France has entered a completely new and highly transitional political situation. And like in every transition, we see new successive correlations of power in both politics and society. The dividing lines are repositioned and redefined.
The EU has directly nominated its own candidate.
In these presidential elections, Macron won the first round. Who is Macron? An independent candidate out of nowhere. Without a structured party, or parties to support him. And this is something that happened for the first time in the political life of France after the war.
In fact, Macron, is the less independent candidate from all the contesters in these elections. He wasn’t supported by any party, because he was nominated directly and supported by the entire mechanism of the European Union, the banks and the financial markets, which control the lion’s share of the communication and media system in France. It’s the first time in an advanced European country that a candidate for the highest office was nominated by the cartel that governs the European Union. It’s a glimpse to the future of politics under EU yoke.
Tens of billions of euros were spent by the banking and Euro-Union cartel in order for their independent candidate to enter every French home. And Macron did not conceal that he is the European Union’s eminent. Nor did he conceal that he has the backing of Berlin. Besides, he made it clear when he chose to visit Mrs. Merkel in the Chancellery in the midst of pre-election campaign.
The mechanism of the EU and Berlin have reached the point of directly attacking the candidates who may have threatened their own. That was the case with the Fillon scandal, and the Le Pen scandal at the heart of the pre-election period.
The EU cartel literally ordered the French judicial and police authorities to intervene against the two candidates. This was done publicly against Fillon by the investigating authorities for something that could certainly be investigated without being publicized until the need for criminal prosecution arises. Which, noteworthy, we are still waiting. Especially in the case of a minor offense, such as the sinecure of his appointed spouse to public office.
The same was done with Le Pen, where, in addition to the charges launched by the EU authorities, we saw police raids at her offices. Why? Because, as Brussels said, she used EU money for her party’s internal political needs. Something that, literally, all the parties that are represented in the European Parliament do. Without exception. It is European Commission’s own practice, to finance any party event of those parties with a presence in the European Parliament, without considering whether it is for European issues or not. An official statement from the party is sufficient for EC and the fiddler falls without a second thought.
If there had been no EU intervention and no scandal atmosphere against Fillon and Le Pen by the controlled Media, it would have been highly improbable for Macron to reach the second round. This proves the extent of the EU-Berlin penetration within the state of affairs in France.
On the other hand, Le Pén chose to meet with Putin in the Kremlin – as a reaction to Macron’s move to meet with Merkel in order to get her official anointment. The EU media created a huge locomotion, saying that Putin was getting involved in the internal affairs of France and EU’s by meeting with Le Pen.
Reports filled all sorts of tabloids in the mainstream media concerning the direct involvement of Russia through hacking and financing, first and foremost, in favor of Le Pen. All this created a morbid atmosphere with a very dark purpose. It is the appropriate political climate for the official governing cartel to move officially against anyone that the mainstream media finger as a pawn of Putin. In this way the cartel can even annul – if deem it necessary – an election which is unfavorable to Brussels and Berlin. The official excuse already exists. The active involvement of a foreign power (Russia) into the interior affairs of France.
Obviously this is not the case for Mrs. Merkel, who so prominently supported Macron by every means necessary. The French state officially recognizes that Mrs. Merkel and Germany have every right to have a say and to get involved into the political affairs of the country. In the name of course of European integration. And that hasn’t been done to such a degree since the Vichy regime.
The nation-state has emerged as a dominant issue
Most importantly, the presidential elections in France have clearly highlighted the predominant issue of our time. Defending the nation-state, or destroying it in favor of a supranational Europe, in favor of a global government. Never again has this matter been put forward in such a direct and profound way since the New Order of the Nazis.
And this time the preservation or failure of the nation-state concerns all political systems. We saw it happen in Britain with the referendum on leaving the EU and we will definitely see it dominating the upcoming parliamentary elections. We saw it dominating even the last US presidential election. Donald Trump convinced a major section of the American public that he is a champion for the nation-state against globalization. That’s what brought him to the White House. And now, three months after taking office, he has the lowest popularity that has ever been for the President of the United States since 1945.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, President Donald Trump has seen his 100-day White House acceptance score dropping to a record low of 42%. Twelve of his predecessors had an average of 61% for the same time period in the White House. This is interpreted not because of the policies Trump advocated in the pre-election period, but, on the contrary, because he was identified with the regime that he had previously denounced. The only increase of Trump’s popularity is observed in the controlled mainstream media, which, from being his sworn enemies, became his admirers. Especially after the open attack on Syria and Russia.
The presidential elections in France are the first to bring forward so clearly the dividing line between the sworn enemies of the nation-state and those who defend the need for it to exist, in order to have democracy for the people. Especially for France the key question is this: a new Vichy regime with a view to assimilate France into the EU or not? This basic question will be, from now on, the central issue of all the social and political events in France. And this will not only devour the political system of France, but will literally crush every party or political force that refuses to answer openly and clearly this basic question.
France thus definitively closes the historic circle of the so-called Fifth Republic, which was born through a parliamentary coup d’état by Charles de Gaulle with the issuing of the French Constitution of October 4th, 1958. And in this way the whole country returns back to the fundamental issues it did not solve, nor answered after the collapse of the old Vichy regime and its liberation from Nazism.
The European Union against the French nation
The slippage of official France first into a policy of appeasement with fascism and Nazism and then into co-operation with Nazi Germany was based on the demand for a United Europe. The policy of appeasement was primarily expressed by Aristide Briand‘s plan for a European Federation, which was first presented in a speech of September 5th, 1929 during the 10th General Assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva.
The French people, and especially the French workers as well as the poor farmers, responded with massive mobilizations, strikes and occupations of factories, to claim the unity not of Europe, but of the French Nation, on the basis of a social democracy according to revolutionary demands of 1789, 1848 and 1871. They wanted to get rid, once and for all, of the Third Republic, which was raised upon the ruins of Paris Commune and the corpses of tens of thousands of Communards executed in 1871.
Joseph Barthélemy, a prominent jurist and politician, wrote in 1924 that
“the democratic Constitution of 1875 was the product of a Monarchical Assembly,” which had created a state system with all the features of absolutism, where elections were merely a means of legitimizing arbitrariness of power. While the “people did not have anything to do” with the government, with the formulation and revision of Law and Constitution.
The sovereign was not the people, but the executive and the two legislative bodies, since, even when they violated the Constitution with laws and decisions, all that a citizen could do was to utterly obey. The Law above all, even if it completely contradicts the existing Constitution. (See Joseph Barthélemy, The Government of France, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1924, pp. 17-24)
Joseph Barthélemy himself fully justified the political philosophy of the Third Republic when he felt obliged to serve as the Minister of Justice in the Vichy regime. In the name of the continuity of the de facto French State and, of course, the preservation of Law and Order!
The Third Republic literally suffocated the masses of the people. They were considered as subjects and not as proper citizens. The Nation was represented by the institutions of power, the State and its Laws. So, when the official order sent the people to the World War I slaughterhouse to fight, and after the war condemned workers, peasants and middle businessmen to incredible poverty and debt, the masses said that’s enough. No more with such a Republic.
The winds of the great French Revolution began to blow again. The Nation is not the President and the government. Neither the legislature nor the institutions of power. The nation is us, the people. And consequently, the state and its bodies ought to serve the people and not the other way around. The Third Republic was facing a total collapse. The Briand Plan for a European Federation was a response to this terrifying perspective for the upper classes of the Third Republic. To the return to the revolutionary period of the French nation.
The 200 families that plundered France
In 1936, a slogan was shaking the workplaces and the poor rural provinces: “Long live the union of the French nation – against the 200 families that plundered France” (Daily Worker, 27 April 1936). This slogan became the battle cry of the Popular Front (Fronte Populaire, a political co-operation of communists, socialists and radicals) that brought it to the government.
Since its founding in 1806, the Bank of France (Banque de France) was under the control of a board elected by its 200 largest private shareholders. These shareholders, dominated by the renown Rothschild frères family and others of the same kind, were rightly targeted by the poor people, as responsible for their own disaster. Thus was created the “200 families controlling France” popular slogan. Since the poor people of the time knew by experience, what many party leaders, especially leftwing, deny to comprehend today. Whoever practically owns the central bank and issues the currency, he virtually controls the entire economy. And so the “200 families” personified for the simple people all the troubles that had been plagued upon them by the overwhelming debts and the long-term recession.
The Popular Front prevalence in the May 3rd, 1936 elections, with 64% of the vote, deprived the “200 families,” the institutions that supported them, and the nationalist extreme right from the right to speak on behalf of the French Nation. The raison d’etat was not anymore with the “200 families,” but with the workers, the poor peasants and the small businessmen, who suffered under the yoke of the financial oligarchy and the arbitrary state of the Third Republic. The Nation demanded democracy, debt cancellation, bread, peace and work.
But since the Popular Front was a partnership among leaderships, without an independent organization within the people itself, it depended almost entirely on top-level compromises. The big strikes, the occupations of factories, the mobilization of the village, triggered by the rise of the Popular Front, have not only terrified the ruling class, but also the leadership of the Front parties. They had no confidence in the initiative and the dynamics of the masses, so they confined themselves to a policy of appeasement of both the masses – who, instinctively, knew very well that if they do not get rid of the “200 families” nothing would change essentially – and the ruling class. Thus the Front’s government allowed the oligarchy to keep the key positions it held in the system of power.
The “200 families” did not lose control of the Bank of France, so they drowned the Bloom government, the People’s Front government, into debts and inflationary money. The oligarchy knew that, while holding in its hands the creation of debt and money, even if all the means of production could have been nationalized or socialized – as the radical socialists preferred – this would have no practical meaning. True power would still be in its hands. Thus increases in wages, labor rights and other interventions of the Bloom government in favor of workers were swept away very quickly.
United Europe against people
Despite the ultimate failure and the collapse of the Popular Front, the terrifying feeling of the ruling class remained. In 1936, under the threat of the Popular Front, at a meeting of a French think-tank with great influence in the bourgeois circles in France, the Ligue of the Human Rights (Ligue des droits de l’ Homme), one of the participants described the following scenario:
Let us imagine the worst in the simplistic, even improbable, form of a single nation conquering all others. Let us imagine Europe conquered by Germany. Well, I suggest that a Germany extended thus over the whole of Europe would no longer be the Germany that we know…. This would be Europe under a different name: a unified Europe. Or rather, it would be neither the Europe of today, nor the Germany of today, but something else; the European confederation of the future (Quoted by M.L. Smith, Introduction: European Unity and the Second World War, M.L. Smith and Peter MR Stirk, eds., Making the New Europe: European Unity and the Second World War, (London and New York: Pinter Publishers, 1990), p. 16).
On this perspective, which came to dominate the official order of the Third Republic, the prospect of a United Europe – even under the military might of Hitlerism – created the foundation upon which was built up the collaboration with fascism and Nazism.
Thus the collaboration with the Axis in France between 1938 and 1945 focused on the conception of European unity. The ideologies of collaborators with the Axis, as well as their European visions, varied – from the radical left to the nationalist far right. All of them could be grouped into three broad categories: Europeanists, Nationalists and purebred Fascists.
Europeanist followers of collaboration with the Axis, as Marcel Deat, Jean Luchaire and Raymond De Becker, were usually former European federalists of socialism and felt that Hitler would create a transnational European New Order that would incorporate many of the pre-socialist ideals. The fact that the Axis was out to eradicate the national demarcation among nation-states in Europe – even in a barbaric way – for the benefit of a transnational Europe, constitutes for Europeanists, especially the leftwing, an objective leap forward. And, therefore, the Europeanists, even from the far left, had to work together to ensure the socialist transformation of tomorrow’s transnational New Order of Europe.
Nationalist collaborationists, as Marshal Petain, Alexander Gkalopin and Robert Poulet, considered that cooperation with Nazi Germany was in the national interest of France, in order to avoid the risk of upsetting the established order with the plebs demanding a democracy where the impersonal and class fragmented people would play the dominant role. For the nationalists, the New Order was only the European Union which jointly ensures each country the Law and Order, the State and its institutions, the only items that represent the Nation. Sometimes against people when they prove to be unruly, or source of unrest.
The fascist collaborationists, such as Jacques Doriot and Leon Degrelle, captured European unity in terms of racial solidarity among fascist and Nazi states.
These three trends, having in common the imposition of a supranational European Union, first prepared the ignominious defeat of France in the face of the lightning war of Nazi Germany, launched on May 10th, 1940. On June 22nd, the second armistice was signed in Compiègne between France and Germany, which led to the division of France. Germany occupied the North and West, Italy got control of a small occupation zone in southeastern France. While in the south, a free zone was set up, which was controlled by an officially neutral government in Vichy led by Marshal Philippe Pétain.
Henry de Montherlant, prominent figure of regime intellectuals of the Third Republic, and rather popular poet in official circles before and during the Vichy period, described the Nazi war for the imposition of a united Europe as a “heroic struggle of the new European civilization against the lower Europeans” and celebrated the conquest of France by Germany in his book Le solstice de Juin. The solstice of June, was the capitulation of France to Nazi Germans on June 1940. (See Philippe Burrin, France Under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise, (New York: New Press, 1996), pp. 344-346.)
Characteristic features of the alliance among Europeanists, nationalists of the extreme right and hardcore fascists, based upon the common goal of creating a united Europe, were manifested in caricatures.
This caricature was published on December 20th, 1941 in the flagship of the French collaborationist magazine Je suis partout. The caricature shows France ready to join the European family, guarded by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and surrounded by a number of other European countries under occupation.
France wants to join the European family, but three dark and robust hands are grabbing her by the arm. The Jews, with the characteristic star of David. The Masons, with the opposing calipers and the Free French who were fighting the Nazis and the Vichy regime with the characteristic cross of the French national resistance.
The most profound product of this alliance for a United Europe was Euronazism, a trend that helped Nazis to form the divisions of Waffen SS with conscripts for France and all over occupied Europe. Their main battle cry was fighting for a United Europe. And, loyal to this motto, the French division of the Waffen SS, Charlemagne, fought to the last man defending Reichstag and Hitler’s bunker against the Red Army. At a time that even Wehrmacht had laid down its arms.
If we were in similar conditions like those during the Third Reich, rest assured that in the battle lines of the Waffen SS division from France you could easily find guys like mr. Macron. Besides, only thanks to the professional communicators provided by the EU bosses for the Macron’s campaign we saw in the audience French flags waving along with European Union flags. Macron himself would very much like to have only EU flags, but the average French voter is not yet ready to accept it. Thus he reluctantly repeated the night of results, Vive la France! With the same exact pronunciation as the others like him and before him were shouting the same slogan to acknowledge the collaborationist regime of Vichy. They meant what Macron means today. France owned totally by the EU cartel.
The Vichy regime reigns and conquers in France
French people fighting the good fight, the national resistance fight, swept away the plans of United Europe. The most immediate and lasting legacy of the Resistance for postwar France was the social and economic reform program agreed by the National Resistance Council (CNR) in March 1944. It was the explicit demand of the real French Nation, against the Nation of the collaborators.
This program, which became known as “Resistance Map” had the immediate purpose of intensifying the struggle for national independence and a long-term objective of maintaining the national independence of France after the war. To the plans for a united Europe, the CNR and the totality of resistance groups, political parties and trade unions that had rallied to it, responded with national independence and sovereignty of the French nation, which, by this time, all of them accepted it coincided with the French people.
National independence was determined not only in terms of conventional foreign policy but also in terms of domestic economic and social policies. Hence the state itself had to be freed from the economic and political monopolies, which were ruling the Third Republic. To this end, they should nationalize natural monopolies, such as energy and power, and the main sources of credit and insurance. Starting with the Bank of France.
This would facilitate the expansion of domestic production, which would be elaborated through a plan in consultation with all those involved in the production process. Similarly, the woman had to stop being slave to work, society and politics, so the voting right was attributed to them for the first time. The social reforms included the guaranteed right to work and free time, a guaranteed minimum standard of living and the restoration of trade union freedoms that have been abolished by the Vichy government. Supported of course by a comprehensive social security system.
Workers in agriculture should enjoy the same rights and conditions of employment to those working in the industry. This was to be achieved mainly through a pricing policy based on the National Wheat Agency established by the government of the Popular Front in 1936.
Finally, all these political, economic and social rights were not only to be established in metropolitan France but in all countries and territories of the former French Empire. The fact that all shades of political forces, except the Vichy ones, signed this program made the map of CNR a unique document in French history. Unsurpassed even today.
The only problem was that it never meant to be applied. It stayed to remind the unfulfilled visions of democratic unity of the French nation, which was the result of war and national resistance not only against Nazism itself, but also against the plans for a united Europe.
Charles de Gaulle with his predominance in the French political scene, not only “forgot” all about the Charter of Resistance, which he had signed too, but also made every effort to preserve the spirit and the meaning of the Vichy regime. He endorsed nationalism of Marshal Petain, as the dominant ideology of his own government. The only difference from Petain’s nationalism was the imperial ideation of Charles de Gaulle himself. He believed that since his France was among the victors of the war, it was easier for him to dominate the plans for a United Europe. A United Europe that could not only expand de Gaulle’s colonial and political spheres of influence, but could also expand the domain of imperial prestige of his regime among the Europeans. Instead of crawling behind Germany, as Vichy did during the war.
Thus, Europeanist collaborationism of Vichy regime survived in the plans of Monnet and Schuman for a United Europe. The veritable cause of the second world war for the Nazis, the creation of a European Union against the nation-states of Europe, became the alibi for the new plans for European Union. And first of all for the new Franco-German axis.
Especially after the imposition of the Constitution of October 4th, 1958, where the French President as an institution garnered so many powers in its hands, as those that have allowed the elected President of the Republic, Louis Bonaparte, to proclaim himself Emperor back in 1852, dissolving the legislature. Hence the President declared to be l’ esprit de la nation (the spirit of the nation) and therefore every manifestation of absolutism and arbitrariness from his part is due to the preservation of the national spirit itself. It stems from the very existence of the nation, which once again got divorced from the French people.
Can the new Vichy regime be overturned?
Today the lie that the Fifth Republic was based on is at an end. The masks are dropped. The Europeanism no longer attempts to keep the spirit of Vichy clandestinely into the very fabric of the presidential regime under the guise of Gaullism or – its alter ego – Mitteranism. Nowadays, Europeanism is openly trying to revive the Vichy regime itself in France. With a similar bipartisan consensus between the traditional right and left. First and foremost with planted candidates like Macron, who, if elected as president by the bipartisan Europeanist consensus, will test to the utmost the coherence of the French nation. In a way that has not been tested before in its history.
Can Le Pen be an antidote to the new Vichy regime? Not even close. Not only because she is trying to turn the clock back to the era of de Gaulle. The Fifth Republic that produced the contemporary France is already dead and buried. Nobody can resurrect it. Except as a farce or tragedy for the French nation. Today the institutional and political remnants of it only help to obscure the real issues and provide the forces that want to see the French nation disappear into a European melting pot with a shroud reactionary mechanism. Like the one planned by the Nazis.
The official France has already capitulated to the banking cartel and the financial oligarchy of the country totally depends its business, profits and existence on the European Union. Characteristic of this is the following diagram on the net international investment position of France. Compared to Germany and Britain.
France is irrevocably transformed into a host for foreign capital. Especially after entering the eurozone. And this net inflow depends mainly upon Germany, which became a top export capital economy. Thanks mainly to the creation of the eurozone.
France has not even Britain’s qualifications in order to reverse this trend. Britain has one of the top global financial markets. Besides Britain’s own weight in the global economy because of the Commonwealth and its close relations with the US. That is why from 2014 we see a radical reversal of the trend in Britain. And from a net capital inflow economy, Britain in 2016 converted to a net capital outflow country. Something that is not irrelevant to the strengthening of the position among the Britain’s elite to leave EU.
This cannot be done in France, without a radical reconstruction of the state and the economy. The conversion of France to a net capital inflow country, first and foremost from Germany, has favored a terrible hyperinflation of debt, mostly private. Private debt to GDP ratio in France increased to 228.9% in 2015 from 225.5% in 2014. The private debt to GDP ratio in France averaged 193.1% during the period from 1995 to 2015, reaching a record high in 2015 from a record low 162.8% in 1995.
This means that French private economy cannot function without accumulating huge debts. And this in turn tremendously exaggerates the size of the financial sector in France. According to the most recent data from the European Banking Federation (EBF), the banking sector in France is the largest in the EU, without counting the UK. In 2016 the total bank assets in France amounted to more than 8.1 trillion euros. The GDP of France of the same year amounted in current prices a little more than 2.1 trillion euros.
In other words, the banking sector in France is four times greater than the aggregate annual product of the entire French economy. This means that the main “industry” of the French economy is the banking usury. To maintain this bank hyperinflation it is not enough to increase public and private debts. France should also be kept as a host country for funds from Germany and EU, as the euro area economy. EMU is absolutely necessary for such a parasitic economy based mainly on usury. Because no France can afford to rescue by itself such an expanded banking monstrosity.
That is why France cannot leave eurozone without letting the banking giants to fail, to go bankrupt without any compensation for investors and bankers. France cannot leave eurozone without deleting public and private debts. And what is the Le Pen’s proposition? Nothing. Zip. Not a word. Instead she says that the transition of France to the franc, will allow to strengthen the banks and pay off debts with the new national currency. Something which cannot be done without exposing France to morbid extortion by investors and bankers.
Le Pen’s proposal, that is to pay off debts and banks with the new franc, suggests to those who know the political economy of the whole problem, that FN isn’t serious about France living euro and EU. She is using the leaving the euro slogan as a bogeyman for Brussels and Berlin. Just like de Gaulle did, remembering the sovereignty of the French Nation every time he had a difficult time in the course of European integration. Len Pen believes that by waving the bogeyman slogan, she can bring the euro cartel to the table, in order to renegotiate a special relationship with the eurozone and the EU in favor of imperial France. Something that apparently the remnants of the old Gaullist regime and state are seeking. The problem is that this cannot happen today.
What does all this mean? Something extremely simple. The very survival of France, especially of the French nation and the people themselves, depends upon the return to the Charter of the Resistance. Within the maze of troubles resulting from the process of assimilation of a sovereign state like France into the European Union, only new political forces that will have as a starting point the Charter of the Resistance would have a future. They will be able, once they are united, to work primarily among the working people and the intelligentsia, in order to impose upon the financial oligarchy the terms of national independence and democracy in accordance with the revolutionary traditions of the French nation. This is the only way out for the simple working folk.
Dimitris Kazakis is general secretary of Greece’s Popular Unity Front EPAM.
The original source of this article is Global Research