French president Macron and ex-left Cohn-Bendit advocate a militarily strong Europe at Frankfurt Book Fair
14 October 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron used this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, at which France is the official guest nation, to advocate his concept of a militarised and authoritarian Europe dominated by France and Germany.
In his speech at the fair, which he opened jointly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Macron boasted about Europe’s culture. “Without culture, no Europe!” he declared to his audience, citing Goethe, and praising Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire and Edmund Husserl, as well as the latter’s French translator, Paul Ricoeur, Macron’s favourite philosopher. He spent some time at the book fair, chatted with authors, translators and visitors, and called for every second European young person to be given the opportunity to spend six months in another European country to learn the language.
Prior to this, Macron revealed the reactionary essence of his vision for Europe in the ballroom at Frankfurt’s Goethe University. It has nothing in common with the cosmopolitan ideals of a Goethe or Beethoven, to the sound of whose “Ode to Joy” Macron made an eerie appearance at the Louvre on election night in France.
Macron is striving for a heavily armed Europe capable of pursuing its own global imperialist strategy while suppressing domestic opposition. He developed his “Europe vision” on the same day as just a few hundred miles to the west, hundreds of thousands of public sector workers at schools, hospitals and transport firms took strike action against Macron’s labour market “reforms.”
Macron’s invocation of European culture serves to win support for his reactionary project among the educated middle…