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Re: <nettime> The meaning of Macron (short answer: none)
sebastian on Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:26:23 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The meaning of Macron (short answer: none)

When I was reading your conversation, I couldn't help but in my mind
begin to substitute the political parties with football clubs, and
their managers for the candidates. Is Real still alive, now that
Barca has taken a beating? Did we all underestimate Juventus? Will
Chelsea trash Arsenal? Are we going to remember Guardiola as one of
the greatest managers in history? Is the false nine on the verge of
disappearing? And how will Bayern fare with Ancelotti?

The problem with politics is not just politics: it's the language
of politics as well. The people have spoken? It doesn't sound like
that. All that is being spoken is sports reporting: debating the
performances of parties and their disappointing results, their failing
strategies and their tactical errors, the missing team spirit and the
poor showing of their superstars.

But in reality, there are no trends. Macron's 8.7 million votes, over
Mélenchon's 7.1 million, don't mean anything, in a country of 66
Million. There are no winners, other than the no vote. Abstention
- not being willing, registered, or allowed to vote - is the only
significant phenomenon in democracy today: It beat both Clinton and
Trump, both Remain and Leave.

What does the no vote articulate? I have no illusions: it articulates
nothing, not even the desire not to be governed. But lets account for
all the things that, by remaining silent, the no vote refuses to say:
That Macron is a "French Obama", "best compared with Canada's Justin
Trudeau", whose "meteoric rise has few comparisons", other than with
"the looks of an actor in a Truffaut movie". That Mélenchon's and
Hamon's votes combined "would have been enough to take the left to
the second round", to take another beating or be ripped to pieces.
That "the French Left will vote Macron in May", that "May will trash
Corbyn in June", or that come July, we will think of Obama "as one of
the greatest presidents the U.S. ever had." That after the collapse
of the Bush dynasty, and after the Clinton disaster, our hopes are
with a "possible forthcoming Michelle". That 100 days into Trump, the
Left must know that "you don't win elections unless you come across as
capable of governing".

If it was true that "we need a pragmatist realist left", then the
only realism left would be to abstain from all of the above. To be
pragmatic would mean to insist that neither today nor "in hindsight",
any of it matters. We've been watching a semi-final with Mélenchon,
Macron, Fillon and Le Pen, we've been following this game for too
long, it has no future, and almost everyone knows this. Nobody is
waiting for September, for the "mother of all social democracies" to
make a stunning comeback, produce another nailbiter, or suffer another
devastating loss. You may still hope for Schulz to win, but he won't,
because nobody is in need of additional evidence that there will be
no surprises. You may still think of yourself as Marxists, but Merkel
and Schäuble have long disowned you: There is no alternative, and
elections change nothing.

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