The Fall of France: Emmanuel Macron to Face Marine Le Pen In a Repeated Runoff Duel

Emmanuel Macron vs Marine Le Pen in the Presidential Runoff

The result of the first round of the French Presidential Elections last Sunday shocked many including me. It was like waking up from a nightmare but only to realise that it is not a dream, waking up into disbelief that the same duel in the 2017 French Presidential will be repeated 5 years later. 

People are questioning who are these French people who voted for Macron who won the first round with a 27,8% votes. We are asking whether these same very people realise the suffering that France has gone through at least for the last 4 years of Macron’s presidency? Whether they live in reality to notice the Yellow Vest Movement that was started on 17 November 2018 and hasn’t really ended to this day. From that November to 2018, almost every week there were protests all over France except during the pandemic lockdown. There were even protests last Saturday, a day before the first round of Election.

Result of The First Round of The 2022 French Presidential Election

As I ponder on this ominous occurrence, here are some key points open for discussion or debate:

1. Is The Result of The Election Valid?

The election in France is done manually, where every registered French person has a voter card (Carte de Vote) and needs to show up at the assigned election booth to vote. You need to show an ID card or driving license if you don’t have a voter card in hand. Foreigners living in France do not have the right to vote, even though they still pay all the French taxes to live and/or work in the country and they experience direct consequences of the French government’s policies. 

If there is a possibility of fraud, what are the feasible ways to do it? There are people already commenting that the result of the first round is possibly rigged and that there were deceased French people voting for Macron. I also saw someone on Twitter who said that he is registered to vote but then his name was deleted from the list. For those French people who think that there might be fraud, is it possible to somehow organise to collect all these irregularities and to open an investigation?

The election in France is done manually, where every registered French person has a voter card (Carte de Vote) and needs to show up at the assigned election booth to vote. You need to show an ID card or driving license if you don’t have a voter card in hand. Foreigners living in France do not have the right to vote, even though they still pay all the French taxes to live and/or work in the country and they experience direct consequences of the French government’s policies. 

If there is a possibility of fraud, what are the feasible ways to do it? There are people already commenting that the result of the first round is possibly rigged and that there were deceased French people voting for Macron. I also saw someone on Twitter who said that he is registered to vote but then his name was deleted from the list. For those French people who think that there might be fraud, is it possible to somehow organise to collect all these irregularities and to open an investigation?

2. The Legacy of Macron’s Presidency 2017-2022: Legacy Plagued by Numerous Scandals, Corruption, Violence, Injustice, Broken Democracy, and Humiliation

Emmanuel Macron, The Naked King.

Do French people really want another 5 years of chaos and pain by letting Macron win the first round?

I understand that human has a short memory and tends to forget, especially when it relates to painful moments. But these painful moments are still recent, this is not about being forgetful, this indicates a grimmer side of decadent France. The five years of Macron’s term in office symbolise chaos, violence, injustice, humiliation, a rupture in the social fabric, and broken democracy. 

Aude Lancelin, journalist and founder of Quartier Général Media, wrote a touching piece titled “The True Face of Macron’s Presidency” (Le vrai visage du quinquennat Macron) a day before the Election to remind French people when going to vote the brutality of police and Macron’s government towards French citizens. She reminds the police violence against the Gilet Jaune protesters, how these protesters were mutilated by rubber bullets, and how Macron, the police, Macron’s party LaREM, and the justice system are not on the side of justice, freedom, democracy, and human rights but instead protecting tyrants and give impunity to the power in charge which is themselves. Lawlessness rules from the very top to the bottom French governing apparatus where criminals run free and the principled dissidents rot in jails. The system is fully broken. 

Street Art in Amiens (the city in the North of France where Macron was born and grew up) on 18 February 2022. It’s an oil painting by Jaeraymie, picturing Macron clad in Yellow Vest and his eyes swollen by a rubber bullet shot.

With compassion towards the Yellow Vests, Madam Lancelin makes a compelling plea to her fellow Frenchmen and Frenchwomen through her writing to never forget Macron’s government crimes and to act to these crimes that have marked them profoundly by not letting Macron pass the first round of elections. She ended her article with this profoundly touching and poignant paragraph. 

Il montre que ces gens se sont cru assez fort, et surtout assez légitimes, pour en revenir aux châtiments corporels à l’encontre du peuple, pour supplicier la chair des pauvres venus faire entendre leur dénuement à Paris. Plus que jamais, il est important de tenir la ligne de front contre l’oubli de ces crimes, qui seule leur permettra de ne pas les renouveler très bientôt. Et d’acter que quelque chose s’est réellement passé, que nous ne laisserons pas passer. – Aude Lancelin

Translated version:

It shows that these people believe that they are strong and legitimate enough, to bring back corporal punishment against the people, to torment the poor who came to Paris to listen about their destitution. More than ever, it is important to fight against forgetting these crimes, the only way to make sure they won’t be repeated. And to act that something really did happen, that we won’t let him pass. – Aude Lancelin

Sadly, only very few French people embody this spirit of solidarity and the relentless fight for humanity and justice to be restored in a broken and falling France. Will more Marianne rise up this time not to fight the monarchy but the billionaire oligarchs whose in-satiated greed devour France and humanity? Marianne, a woman personification of freedom, equality, solidarity, and reason, ironically in a very patriarchal sexist France where women and men are still not equal, besieged by rising number of violence against women and children. 

For comparative study, Indonesia doesn’t have a personification that represents its values as Indonesia has many real heroines (“pahlawan wanita” in Indonesian) who fought against colonialism and those who are now actively fighting Western Imperialism. For example, we have Queen (or Ratu in Indonesian) Kalimanyat, who was feared but at the same time admired by the Portuguese. Her bravery and highly-advanced naval ships in the 16th century sent trembles and shivers to the Portuguese colonisers. Portuguese historical record “Da Asia” written by De Couto praised Queen Kalinyamat as “Senhora Rainha de Jepara ponderosa e rica”; which means ‘the Queen of Jepara’, a rich  and mighty woman.

A painting by Eugene Delacroix in 1830 “Freedom/Liberty leading the people” portraying Marianne leading the French Revolution.
Queen Kalimanyat and her naval army fighting the Portuguese invaders in the 16th century.
Illustrated Painting of Queen Kalimanyat and her chariot.

Macron’s first presidency was also filled with the Anti Health Pass and Obligatory Vaccination protests. His 5 years term in office was riddled with massive scandals and rumours from McKinsey Gate, Alstom Affair, Kohler Affair, Brigitte Gate, Macron as a double agent, Benalla Affair, etc. 

In addition, as a former Rothschild banker who was involved in many M&A (Merger & Acquisition) deals of high magnitude such as Pfizer and Nestle, Emmanuel Macron only declared a microscopic amount of personal wealth

During his presidency term, Macron’s brutal neoliberal capitalism has hugely diminished people’s social welfare and reduced public services such as in the health, education, and transportation sector. During the pandemic, instead of increasing hospital beds, Macron closed around 17,600 hospital beds over 4 years since 2017. Poverty and unemployment rate increase. There is massive transfer of wealth from people’s hard-earned tax money to the super-rich. There were bailouts, aids to corporations listed in the French stock exchange the CAC 40, tax evasions, tax reduction for big enterprises and the super-rich, and questionable big-budget contracts given to consulting companies such as McKinsey, BCG, Cap Gemini, etc. McKinsey France hasn’t paid its tax in the last 10 years and many other American corporations do not pay tax in France. As a result, Macron is known as the President of The Super Rich. 

3. The Remarkable Role of The French Media & School in Doing Brainwashing and Indoctrination

The ignominious result of the preliminary round of elections can’t be separated from the outstanding work of the French media and the French schools in doing its propaganda, brainwashing, and indoctrination. From a very young age, French children are indoctrinated and they grow up not knowing their country’s real history. Extreme patriotism or extreme nationalism is inculcated which leads to blind devotion to “La Grande France” (The Great France) that their country could do no wrong. This extreme nationalism/patriotism makes any criticism of France be either France’s Imperialism, French foreign wars, or French foreign policy considered as an attack and threat to France as a country. 

On the other hand, the French mainstream media incessantly purveying fake news and propaganda as part of mind control of the French masses. Added to that, the majority of French are not interested in politics or knowing world events. Some who try to  make themselves informed after a long tiring day at work, found themselves sitting on the couch watching the news from French TV channels which are some of the worst means of getting real information.

There is no real independent and alternative media in France, at least not that I can fully confirm. Not even Mediapart, not even Blast. Any media is dependent on its operation financing, unless it is a media intended for activism, self-financing, and not for profit. Unfortunately like in other parts of the world, the media are owned by billionaire oligarchs. Below is a graph of who owns the media in France, last updated on December 2021. 

The Billionaire Oligarchs Who Own The French Media. Source: Le Monde Diplomatique. Dated December 2021.

Bernard Arnault, the owner of group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) and listed as the richest man in France, owns Le Parisien, Aujourd’hui, Les Echos, Investir, Radio Classique, L’Opinion, L’AGEFI, Challenges, Historia, L’Histoire, and Sciences Avenir. Bernard Arnault’s son in law, Xavier Niel who ranked 13th richest in France who made fortune through his telecommunication business Free Internet and Free Mobile owns group Le Monde, L’Obs, HuffPost (The French Huffington Post), Telerama, Courrier International, Manier de Voir, La Vie, Prier, Monaco-Matin, Var-Matin, Nice-Matin, France-Antilles, France-Guyane, Paris-Turf, La Provence, and Corse-Matin. 

Based on the graph, the majority of the media in France is owned by French billionaires/oligarchs. Because these oligarchs own the media, they can control the flow of information and hide any scandalous information about their multinational corporations.   This is the eminent revelation of the notable work of Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman in their 1988 book “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media”. 

In the leading to the Presidential Elections, these oligarchs use their media to promote their preferred presidential candidates. When their presidential candidate wins, then this newly appointed French President will make laws and policies that benefit these oligarchs during his/her term in office. 

CNews, the Fox-like French TV, owned by Vincent Bollore promoted Eric Zemmour by giving much air time to Zemmour and his party’s members besides inundating viewers with its far-right ideologies which include racist theory “The Great Replacement.” 

The other media such as BFMTV, LCI, France Info, CNews, etc kept displaying surveys of French people’s intention to vote for the candidates, showing Macron, Le Pen, Zemmour, and Pecresse as the top 4. Later on several weeks before the first round, the media included Jean Luc Melenchon in the top 3, after Zemmour and Pecresse lose popularity with their infamous debate turned into childish quibble

Marine Le Pen of National Rally (RN)’s Presidential Campaign Posters. Left: “Give Back Africans Their Money.” Right: “Give Back Africans Their Country.” 😉

The media gave the public an illusion that only a few selected candidates have the chance to win with Macron always at the top of the surveys. The media promoted Macron as the winner of this Presidential Election despite his horrible performance in office. It’s like if you keep repeating a lie then people will believe it in the end. Only 3 weeks before the first round, the media display the surveys that the top 3 is Macron, Le Pen, and Melenchon.

On the other hand, with the ongoing Ukraine war and the demonisation of Putin, people voted for Macron because there was news that Marine Le Pen is pro-Putin. At the same time, someone like Melenchon has always been demonised as an extreme far-left, when there is nothing extreme about Jean Luc Melenchon. His program is to increase the social welfare of the working class, by increasing minimum wage. This is not an extreme program except for the greedy oligarchs who just want to rob the society, and don’t want to do their part of the responsibility which is to pay their taxes and pay a decent salary to their workers. 

As a result of this propaganda and manipulation, and as France becomes more right-wing, the ruling elites managed to get what they want which is a repeated duel between Macron and Le Pen. 

The next part will be to ramp up propaganda to demonise Le Pen or give her bags of money for her to agree to look bad in a debate with Macron, and then the oligarchs will get their puppet candidate Macron to win again. 

Mediapart Made a Special News Compilation File for Marine Le Pen and The Front National. Title: “The National Front’s Russian Money.” In the headline: “Marine Le Pen met Putin officially on 24 March 2017. The unofficial meetings took place between 2014 and 2015, when FN and Jean-Marie Le Pen obtained 2 Russian loans for a total sum of 11 million euros. Here are all our investigations.”

Actually, the  smear campaign against Marine Le Pen has started with news relating Le Pen and National Front (FN) party with Russia. Mediapart compiled a file titled “Dossier: l’argent russe du Front national” (Document File: Russian money of the National Front) which reveals that Russian oligarchs’ money has been financing Marine Le Pen’s campaign. If Mediapart is truly an independent impartial media, why it doesn’t make the same news compilation file that reveals Macron’s scandals, as Macron has a lot of scandals as well, from Benalla to the McKinsey Affair. It is unequivocal that journalistic values and ethics are not the highest priority in Mediapart as it doesn’t give fair treatment to its news reporting by taking sides and not being fully transparent. 

Mediapart’s long list of articles on Marine Le Pen and her father Jean Marie Le Pen’s party National Front (FN).

The problem with the elites’ plans is that you can’t use the same tricks twice, that would be an insult to French people’s intelligence. That same strategy of scare-mongering to not let an extreme-right wing Marine Le Pen wins by urging people to vote for Macron might not work this time. In fact, it might backfire, many people are very angry and dissatisfied with Macron, and they might vote for Le Pen instead.

Like what happened in the USA during the presidential runoff of Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump. People are so angry with Clinton and the Democrats, that Donald Trump won. People like Macron enable the rise of fascism. Macron enables the rise of Eric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen, just like Barack Obama enabled Trump to become U.S. President. 

This is a very dangerous game that the world’s ruling elites are playing. 

4. The Motto of French Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité Turned Into Myth 

The result of this first round has shown that the French motto of freedom, equality, and solidarity has turned into a myth. These values that the French people have been so proud of have turned into a past glory of their civilisation. Despite the 5 years of suffering, chaos, riots, and the breaking of every inch of the social fabric by Macron, the French people choose not to care, to be so desensitised to the suffering of their fellow Yellow Vest citizens by voting for Macron.

This is probably the most heartbreaking aspect of this very bleak political stage. To realise that empathy, solidarity and humanity have slipped away. The very things that make us human have disappeared and to find ourselves in great despair.

5. The Left’s Loss Could Be Prevented If The Left Unite

The loss of The France Unbow(LFI)’s leader Jean-Luc Melenchon can be avoided if the left instead united and urge their party supporters to vote for Melenchon. He just needs a little more than 1.1 % or more than 420,882 votes to beat Marine Le Pen (MLP). If Nathalie Arthaud and Philippe Poutou join forces and tell their members to vote for Melenchon it will be enough to defeat MLP. Or if Fabien Roussel from French Communist Party give his supporters’ votes for Melenchon, it will bring Melenchon to victory. 

I don’t think that the pseudo-left like Yannick Jadot or Anne Hidalgo would do such thing. Jadot and Hidalgo would like France to arm Ukraine. These two can’t be left-wing when they are pro-war. Jadot is a pseudo-green to support the military industry that is responsible for climate change. 

2022 First Round French Presidential Election Result for All Candidates

6. The Precipitated Fall of France 

Whoever becomes President, it will be another five years of instability and further destruction of France. France is in a very critical time with a very bleak future ahead. There’s also a high chance of civil war or revolution as the Yellow Vest movement and other civil unrest haven’t dissipated at all. 

This terrible result of the first round of elections is the ruling elites pointing their middle finger at the people and saying that they manage to screw us again, that they will take more, and that they are happy to see us suffer more. Both candidates are in their hands. 

French Communist Party (PCF) Fabien Roussel’s Campaign Poster. “La France des jours heureux” (France of the happy days), sadly now becomes France of horrible days.
France Unbow (LFI) Jean-Luc Melenchon’s Campaign Poster. Unfortunately, “Another World is not possible” now.

With the unending conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the ramifications of the EU’s heavy sanctions on Russia that also hurt Europeans and French with soaring food and energy prices, France is in a fragile state that might affect its geopolitical power in the world. As the whole West pivot to Asia and France’s Indo-Pacific strategy to counter China’s rising power, the imploding civil unrest might deter France from its imperialism expansion to Indo-Pacific (for more on France’s Indo-Pacific Strategy relating to Indonesia, you can read the section “G20: The French Strategic Moves Towards Indo-Pacific in Particular Indonesia and The Arms Deal” in the article titled “G20 & COP26: The Hypocrites’ Show”). That’s how usually an empire fall, the inside imploded as the empire overreach to expand its empire. The same story as the fall of The Roman Empire.

This is the country of Victor Hugo who wrote Les Miserables, this is the country known for its 1789 revolution that overthrew the monarchy, but the real story of France and the story of its destruction are still unbeknownst to many in the world. 

Maybe there is karma. And maybe there is a chance for the rest of the world, especially the Global South to be free from Western Oppression and its Brutal Domination over the last 500 years. Maybe there is hope for justice and humanity to be restored after all in this world for once.  

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