Inviting Trump to Paris, Macron evokes the specter of fascism and the 1930s
5 November 2018
As he prepares to host US President Donald Trump on Saturday in Paris for the centenary of the armistice that ended World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a long interview last week to Ouest France. In it, he warned that Europe faces the same threats today as 100 years ago, in the years between World War I and the rise of fascism and the eruption of World War II in 1939.
Amid rising working class anger at his policies, the “president of the rich” continued his empty posturing as a “progressive” opponent of nationalism and of far-right critics of the EU like Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. With protests called against Trump’s visit on November 11, and against austerity and fuel price hikes on November 17, he tried to speak to popular concern over the danger of dictatorship and war.
He declared: “I am struck by the resemblance between the era we live in and the inter-war period. In a Europe that is today divided by fears, nationalist resentments, the consequences of the economic crisis, we are seeing the almost methodical re-emergence of everything that shaped the life of Europe between the end of World War I and the 1929 stock market crash. We must keep this in mind, be lucid, and know how to resist this.”
Macron’s statement amounted to an acknowledgment from the French head of state of what millions of workers worldwide sense: the danger of war and authoritarian rule is real and growing. Yet Macron, a so-called “progressive” investment banker, only proposes policies that intensify these dangers, rooted in the grotesque social inequality and historic bankruptcy of capitalism. The…