ALLONS ENFANTS DE LA PATRIE…
(…nos jours de grand boulot sont arrives…)

Gallic common sense seems to have prevailed in the recent French presidential elections. Whether the same thing will happen with the National Assembly elections coming up in June…remains to be seen.

A loose translation of the above headline meaning…Come on, kiddies, our days of hard labor have arrived…seems to have been the message that Mr. Macron successfully managed to put across to French voters. Combined with his youthful energetic forcefulness, that’s what got him the job as their new President. In that role, however, he faces a daunting array of obstructions to his success in it. Much like one of his predecessors in that role, Mr. Sarkosy, enthusiasm of purpose combined with technical skills with economics may not be enough to succeed. 

He faces the inertia of the highly entrenched statist mindset of a centralized bureaucratic system, not to mention the still deeply conservative streak which permeates France’s social, economic, and class matrix, the threads of which perhaps reach as far back in its history as Charlemagne…so all of these factors will be difficult to overcome, while he attempts to make the necessary structural and systemic changes needed for him to claim success.

Much of such rigidity of authority and centralized control over the country’s economic machinery derive not just from those long threads of French history, but mainly from Napoleon’s highly centralized system of control…over everything…which laid the foundations for the modern governance of the French state. Such things are difficult to modify, and wean away from, at least enough to let inherent creative French energy and inventive panache to really take hold and make much needed leaps forward from where it is today. To that, of course, are all those current stresses and strains related to the massive inflows of immigrants and refugees, with all the security concerns that derive from these.

Well we can only wish Mr. Macron well in his endeavors. Meanwhile, for the moment, we’ll just have to remain cautiously optimistic that he will…succeed…where others haven’t.

CENTURION