At The Financial Times: the political apotheosis of Macron! A comment by Old Socialist

Any political cliche not articulated in this essay is just an oversight, to the apotheosis of Macron! Made apparent in the glut of ‘news stories’ vying for the attention of readers of this newspaper. This inane headline a glaring example, which could be used to describe almost any front runner, in hindsight :

The irresistible rise of Emmanuel Macron

That collection of cliches: the revenge of victims of Globalization i.e. ‘The Rebellion Against The Elites’, the defense of the Neo-Liberal Order, rather than that propaganda staple of the post war ‘Liberal Order’, and the political fiction of Macron as ‘Centrist’. While he is defined by the Neo-Liberalism Lite of The Clintons,Blair and Obama:  Macron’s recent, highly publicized conversation, with the former president establish his credential as an ersatz Centrist/Neo-Liberal!  That ‘Center’ has been corrupted by the Free Market fiction, that began with the political rise of Thatcher and Reagan, that reaches into the political present. Political myths produce more finely honed myths, in the interest of the temptations of the end point of attaining political power.

In the mood of celebration, here at The Financial Times, the question that is avoided at all costs is how is Macron to govern, without a party structure, if he is elected ? How can a reader be sure that Le Pen won’t win, given that the American polls announced that Clinton would be the winner and were proved to be wrong, even though she won the popular vote: do the French have an institutional impediment to too much democracy like the Electoral College? This election makes evident the fractious nature of French politics: Fillon and Mélenchon both getting 19% of the vote as just an example. Macron’s projected  Neo-Liberal ‘reforms’ will lead to trouble. That is a given!

Old Socialist


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Chris Bickerton’s essential essay on Macron and French politics! A comment by StephenKMackSD

I, like a great many, will read the comments on the French election results at The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Times, the American political gossip sheet Politico, and for a change of pace, the journalistic sink hole of The Daily Beast. But take the opportunity to read the informative, not to speak of revelatory essay by Chris Bickerton, on Macron and the decline of the Socialist Party, as a political force in French life. He makes his arguments concisely, cogently, there is no rambling melodramatic chatter, as the framing device adopted by the the Neo-Liberal apologetic press.

Macron will now become the political darling of that press, as Obama once was, until his his ‘Hope and Change’ devolved into more of Neo-Liberalism Lite.


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On Theresa May’s ‘more malleable faith’, Political Observer comments

May,Thatcher and Erasmus : all three the children of Protestant clergy. Should the reader make a connection between the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, as in Max Weber’s book? And the professed Neo-Liberalism of the writer, Mrs. Thatcher, Ms. May?

Can a person be a Christian and also regard The Market as the ruling singularity in the life of humanity, as Hayek did? Of course, its called compartmentalization, that beggars the question of religious/political consistency. Mrs. Thatcher made a habit of passing out copies of Road to Serfdom like this manifesto were Gospel. Have I gone too far? probably.

Is Ms. May’s faith more ‘malleable’ than the Iron Lady, not made for turning? No her politics are about her pragmatism, or shall we call it opportunism? Aided by her Rovian advisor Lynton Crosby, who like his mentor, Karl Rove, recognizes the wisdom of winning. American philosopher Henry Russell “Red” Sanders captures the essence of Rovian Political Practice with his ‘winning isn’t everything, its the only thing’.

In her political practice Ms. May demonstrates, with a stunning clarity, where her allegiance is pledged. The Anglican political virtue is mere window dressing. On the question of Theos and it politics, this wiki entry supplies part of an answer.

‘Theos was launched in November 2006 with the support of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the then Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, and maintains an ecumenical position. Since that time, Theos has established itself as a respected voice on faith and society issues. The Theos office is based in Central London.’

Political Observer

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Sudhir Hazareesingh on the decline of the French ‘Republican Monarchy’, Committed Observer replies

I found Sudhir Hazareesingh’s essay insightful, informative and learned, while not as valuable as his Spiked interview:

Mr. Hazareesingh’s repeating of the notion that Macron is, somehow, ‘Progressive’ puts my estimate of his expertise on the French political/historical/philosophical panorama  into a kind of limbo. Macron, by any estimation, is the idiosyncratic French expression of Neo-Liberalism Lite: that in America are/were The New Democrats, via the Democratic Leadership Council, and the New Labour of Tony Blair. Not to speak of political poser Arianna Huffington’s Friedmanism, as somehow being ‘Progressive’! Hers was one of the many front organizations, that pitched successfully the notion of the ‘Hope and Change’ sloganeering, that devolved into an unstinting advocacy by Obama, for the Corporatist TTP and TTIP. Such is the wayward definition of the ‘Progressive’ in the ‘West’.

Macron believes in the myth of French Exceptionalism i.e. the leader of The Enlightenment, and also partakes of the political nostalgia for national greatness, that is  the Le Pen trademark, as her political platform widens as the election draws near.

Committed Observer

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My reply to @L


The particulars on StephenKMackSD: 71 year old queer white male, born and came of age in Southern California, attended Public Schools, Compton College and Long Beach State College in the 70’s. I have, since I dropped out of High School, been an avid reader, with an interest in politics and Intellectual History/Philosophy. I am intellectually ambitious and opinionated! I am on Twitter,Facebook and have a blog. I also sign my name to every one of my comments, and use pseudonyms on my blog posts to give my polemics an ironic edge, at least that is my aspiration.

I see you’ve been busy riding herd on the ‘nonconformists’ here at the FT comments section, congratulations as one commenter to another. You are a stern taskmaster! The Neo-Liberal Dispensation is in an advanced state of decay, except to those obsessed with a nostalgia for a Feudalism re-imagined by the Hayek/Mises/Friedman Coterie, or better yet The Mont Pelerin Society.  Filtered through the political prism of both the Tories and New Labour.

The remainder of your comment taken up with your fictional description of the lesser political beings, who represent the marginal and the undeserving: the losers in the failed Neo-Liberal/Corporatist Project who are that 99% that both Occupy Wall Street and Picketty chronicled.

One of the most unattractive British traits, I’ll just assume your British, as you speak with a kind of authority for places and people, is a  class bias that is all pervasive. Not to speak of shocking to an American, who is used to a self-serving hypocrisy about social/economic class . In 1958 Eugene Burdick and William Lederer book ‘The Ugly American’ was published:

In one vignette, a Burmese journalist says “For some reason, the [American] people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They are loud and ostentatious.”[6]

Not a perfect analogy, yet the American colonial mind set shares certain commonalities with class/caste bias. But serviceable given the dismissive, even contemptuous, character of your reply to my comment.


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At The Financial Times: ‘Jeremy Corbyn channels Donald Trump…’, a comment by Almost Marx

It has been almost two years since the rise of Corbyn, I recall that at The Economist, the once sister publication of The Financial Times, featured as illustration to an essay about Corbyn, using an old Social Realist painting of the Soviet revolutionary period, that had Corbyn’s face superimposed over the face of Lenin. That a Left-wing Social Democrat could seriously be compared to Lenin was preposterous. Yet he represents the political watershed of the failure of the Neo-Liberal Dispensation. Now in its desperation to smear Mr. Corbyn, the Financial Times now compares him to the irrationalist politics and person of Trump! The menace of Corbyn morphs, at will, in the propaganda churned out in Corporatist newspapers, magazines and television.

Corbyn is not Trump, nor his politics, but a call to the Labour Party to return to its reason for being: meaning that the Thatcherism Lite of Tony Blair, and his supporters across the political spectrum, have been discarded, in favor of a Party that represents the interests of the working class, rather than the interests of Crony Capitalism, in its various iterations.

Never fear the Blair wing of the Party will fight on, proven by Mr. Ganesh’s premature, pre-election victory lap in the pages of this newspaper. Yet this is a political time in which the polling, at least in both the Brexit vote and the America election, have proven to be wrong.

What is lost in this essay is the opportunity that this ‘snap election’ represents for Corbyn to further consolidate his leadership of Labour, and to appeal for more citizen participation during the next crucial seven weeks. To rebuild the Party, into a Party of and for the people, instead of what the New Labour stalwarts offer: more of Neo-Libralism Lite. This election represents another opportunity to rebuild the Party, that is lost on the writers at The Financial Times, in their project of not just censuring of the burgeoning  dissident elements within the Party, but of a campaign of purging those elements, that has not yet met with success. The question arises, how is it that Corbyn continues to flourish, even within a Labour colonized by Neo-Liberals?

The realization that Corbyn practices the ‘long game’ of building the party, he knows how to accomplish this through patient work over time: this defines his career. He also understands that this is not about ‘The Cult of Personality’ the most dangerous  manifestation of politics gone wrong. The building of a strong Party with opportunities for younger leadership to rise within the party structure. This seems, on its face, elementary!

‘Class Warfare’ is the rallying cry, the shibboleth, used to defend the failed Neo-Liberal model by its myriad defenders: Thatcher vs. The Miner’s Dictatorship Melodrama its political urtext!  It has been nine years since the Crash of 2008, yet the ‘Self-correcting Market’ of the ‘Free Market Mythology’ has yet to manifest itself. How long must the electorate wait for its Manifestation/Resurrection?

Almost Marx

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Janan Ganesh’s political adoration of Theresa May, American Writer comments

Headline: Theresa May can now secure her mandate on Europe

Sub-headline: Hopes of a reversal or dilution of last year’s referendum are definitively dashed

‘Seven Weeks to Victory’ should be the headline of this essay, when has Tory Hubris been proven wrong?

Mr. Genesh’s usual bile and gall has been reduced to jejune political aphorism, allied to feline purring, in adoration of the political wisdom/virtue of Teresa May. Her coronation as a legitimized leader of the Tories will be the ‘snap election’ : this strategy the brain child of May and her Rovian adviser Lynton Crosby.

The rhetorical frame of  ‘comparable nuisances’ is the trivializing notion of the political opposition, within her own party, yet the starkest of object lesson of David Cameron is elided from the self-satisfied purring of Mr. Ganesh. The certainty of the victory of May is Ganesh’s central dogma, yet even if May wins this ‘snap election’, by whatever margin, the inexorable political rise of Corbyn, or someone like him, will be ignored by Ganesh: in his celebration of a political ascendancy, that has stalled for want of viable alternative to an utterly sclerotic Thatcherism, whether Tory or New Labour. What does the rise of Corbyn signal to the political establishment, if not that? I forgot! the Party Line here at The Financial Times, The Rebellion Against The Elites.

Even ‘bothersome colleagues’ cannot interfere with the ‘vision’ of May: take this as clue to the authoritarian character of the Ganesh Political Vision. ‘The Strong Man’ needn’t be a man, as the towering political thuggery of Mrs. Thatcher proved beyond doubt.

Ganesh even engages in Hegelian pastiche, that adds a kind comic relief ,to his kowtowing adoration of May.  Note also the underlying tone of the decisionism of Carl Schmitt. Not to speak of the primacy of markets, the Neo-Liberal fiction in a state of collapse.

‘To assume that Mrs May is nearer to the second remains as durable a myth as her supposed indecision. Power might reveal a more thoroughgoing conservative than the markets realise.’




@pcatbar @StephenKMackSD @Jenkins

Thank you for your comment.

polemic (n.) 1630s, “controversial argument or discussion,” from French polémique (16c./17c.), noun use of adjective meaning “disputatious, controversial” (see polemic (adj.)).

polemic (adj.) 
1640s, from French polémique (from Middle French polemique) “disputatious, controversial,” or directly from Greek polemikos “of war, warlike, belligerent; skilled in war, fit for service; like an enemy, stirring up hostility,” from polemos “war,” of unknown origin. Related: Polemical (1630s)


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