I think that it has begun. I read that there have been many demonstrations against the labor law in Paris, Lille, Marseille, other cities throughout France. Several of these protests have represented quite strong mobilizations. More such demonstrations are apparently being planned.
Even though I agree with Art Goldhammer that these “reforms” are mostly insignificant. I am opposed to them because the burdens of these reforms, trivial though they might be, are being shouldered almost entirely by the workers and the bourgeois. I feel that the bosses should give up something equal to what is being asked of the workers and the middle class.
Nevertheless, I do not understand certain things. As a practical matter, Macron has all the power. All the députés of En Marche! came to Paris to serve him, the new god, the new Jupiter, and apparently for no other reason. There was no agenda during the election, just Jupiter. Plus, he essentially controls the MoDems 42 députés and, of course, the left has collapsed and his agenda is largely acceptable to the right. So, no one remains to oppose him and his pro-globalization “reforms”.
And yet, the so-called “Reforms” are trivial. I am surprised that labor unions are even bothering to demonstrate so forcefully against them. This package of trivialities is hardly the audacious blow of man who refused to give the traditional interviews on the occasion of the fête nationale the media is incapable of understanding the god-like, complex thoughts of Macron.
Macron will, hopefully, never have more power than he has today. As I’ve said before, there’s probably never been a time in the history of France when one man has enjoyed so much power with so little opposition. We all know that Macron wants to make sweeping changes to France and to Europe on behalf of the Davos crowd, yet even after gathering the Congress at Versailles, as though the country were in the midst of a national crisis, what he has proposed is relatively trivial by anybody’s standards despite all of the pomp and circumstance.
Which brings me to some further thoughts about the election: I think that he was in the “sweet spot of time”. All the stars were perfectly aligned for Macron; and he followed his star without the slightest hesitation.
The internal problems destroyed all the political parties. From the extreme right to the center left, nothing remained standing. In particular, the Parti socialiste was nothing but a smoldering ruin. Of course, Macron and his patron François Hollande were the ones who destroyed the PS, but, no matter how it was brought about, the collapse of the PS resulted in a massive vacuum of power which the new Jupiter saw was clearly intended for him.
The first to begin to recover will be most probably the FN, because unless the party’s internecine rivalries are deeper and wider than previously believed, it is being disrupted by little more than a family conflict that will be resolved when all of the members of the Le Pen family remember the source of the family’s wealth and why they get to live in a castle. The structure of the party as a national organization, built by Marine Le Pen, remains essentially intact. Unlike the PS, there doesn’t seem to have been much structural damage.
Following the example of the PS, its failure results mainly from an internal collapse which made impossible to work during the elections and also because of certain extremely stupid tactical choices (i.e., MLP’s pointless effort at distancing herself from the extreme right by appointing an actual Nazi as the caretaker head of the FN or abandoning her most important political and economic as disastrous and unworkable only a few days before the election). But the structure and the base of the FN remain more or less intact and it will be relatively easy to them to regroup and begin to rebuild and perhaps even expand at the local level.
And, make no mistake, if Macron cannot fulfill his extravagant promises, the FN will probably be in the best position to take advantage of his failures.
The center and the right, of course, belong to Macron and to the men of unlimited ambition who are clustered around him. But these are ruthless men who would gleefully stab Macron in the back in an instant, just as he betrayed his own patron, Hollande. So, in that sense, even with all his power, Macron must move cautiously and this perhaps explains his tepid reforms.
But my thoughts are principally focused on whether the Parti socialiste can be rebuild by those who might be attracted to a revitalized party of center left. I believe the PS can rebuild itself and once again be the party of center left which meets the needs of the workers and the middle class through the “socialism of the possible”.
We all know who will oppose this resurrection. The question is whether the base of the party wishes to continue being led by the ageing elephants of the radical center who burned everything on the ground. Surely it would be better for the Parti socialiste to respond to the emergence of Macron by embracing the extremely popular and beneficial politics of the center-left which will revitalize France.