Headlines and commentaries were gushing this week on the election of Macron as the eighth president of France's Fifth Republic. It was supposed to be a victory for European "enlightenment values" and the defeat of nasty populism.
The Euronews outlet ran the headline: "Macron victory heralds new political era in France." The spin of newness was contradicted by the accompanying photograph of Macron being patronizingly flanked by outgoing president Francois Hollande.
Hollande is the epitome of the French establishment, who ends his career as the most despised president in the modern history of France. Hollande and his political cronies destroyed the Socialist Party (PS) with their servile embrace of neoliberal capitalist policies. Macron was one of those cronies who was appointed economy minister by Hollande in 2014 without ever having served in elected office before. It was Macron who designed the much-hated employment "reforms," gutting employee rights and giving bosses greater powers to hire and fire.
And as the new president, Macron is promising to drive through even more draconian measures undermining workers and trade unions.
Members of Hollande's discredited government, like former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, are clambering to get onboard with Macron.
The 39-year-old Macron, who worked in high finance as an investment banker at Rothschild, is lining up France for a full-frontal class war in which the working majority will be assailed by the ruling elite. He is promising to slash public spending by €60 billion over the next five years and to axe 120,000 state-sector jobs. Corporation tax is also slated for a massive cut under Macron.
All the policies that the Hollande government tried to ram through in the service of global capital will now be ramped up with even more zeal by former banker Macron. He is aiming to turn France into a low-wage poverty "gig economy" as has been created in Britain and the US – and the oligarchy couldn't be happier than to see this "golden boy" get his hands on the levers of power.
In what should be seen as outrageous interference in French democracy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former US president Barack Obama glowingly backed Macron.
Inside France, Le Pen certainly had a problem with her party's historic baggage being seen as fascist and racist. That helped "sell" Macron's image as the voice of reason and youthful progressiveness. He also got lucky from the corruption scandals that marred the center-right candidate Francois Fillion. And with Hollande's "Socialist" sell-out of political identity that hampered the cause of the independent leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon. The latter nevertheless performed remarkably well in the election first round and can rightly claim to have set the foundation going forward for a new genuinely socialist party – under the name France Defiant.
His En Marche movement was only formed last year. Macron has no members in the French parliament, although he may pick up some after next month's legislative elections. That means that his new administration will likely be staffed by political appointees and technocrats whom he had networked with over the years while in the world of banking.
On the eve of the French election second round last weekend there was a suspicious mass leak of Macron emails. It's not clear who did it. But Macron and the media establishment in France and the US are recklessly amplifying the war of words against Russia. He has already banned Russian news outlets Sputnik and RT from his campaign allegedly for "spreading fake news."
Macron is heralding a new era alright. One where the French president is a zealous servant of high finance, global profit-making and a declared enemy of workers. With no political party worth talking of or genuine popular base, Macron is an economic hitman in the service of a faceless global oligarchy.
When his unscrupulous, anti-Russia expedience is also factored in, the "new era" under Macron presages even more NATO-led belligerence.
Ironically, Macron's election win over Le Pen is marketed in the Western corporate media as a "defeat of neo-fascism." Welcome to the new Orwellian era of illusions sold as democracy and liberation.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.