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Marc Lazar, sociologist: “Macronism, which wanted to be the inventor of a new world, today uses the techniques of the old world”


Ihe pension reform and its protest have reignited the debate on the Ve Republic, the state of our democracy or even on the political characterization of Emmanuel Macron and macronism.

When Macron conquered the Elysée in 2017, he embodied, at 39, novelty. A quadruple intuition had led him to embark on the presidential campaign: a large part of the French people aspired to a broad renewal, the opposition of the left and the right proved to be outdated, the two main parties – the Socialist Party and The Republicans – were on the way to decay and eventually President Hollande would not be able to run again.

Emmanuel Macron presented himself as a progressive with a project “and right and left”. France had to adapt to a globalized economy and a changing capitalism. This meant introducing fluidity into the economy and flexibility into the labor market. In return, it was necessary to provide social protection, to act on the environment, to develop initial and vocational training. It valued the company, a body of production and employment, a place of social dialogue and a source of inspiration for management. The destiny of France was inseparable from that of Europe, of which he championed and which he intended to revive. Its French-style liberalism with a State continuing to occupy an essential place required modernizing it and making it more efficient, particularly for education and reindustrialisation. He displayed, moreover, a certain cultural liberalism.

Ambivalences of Macronism

Proclaiming himself an anti-system candidate, he advocated a disruptive conception of politics, castigating the intermediary bodies, the parties, the unions which, according to him, only defended their shop interests. Emmanuel Macron claimed to restore luster to the presidential function which he considered to have been trivialized by Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande. He set himself up as a providential man, an old national temptation adapted to the times. Hence the need to mobilize citizens by knocking on their doors, which the “walkers” did, and by playing with technological tools perfectly mastered by the young people with diplomas who had joined it.

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This project has undergone the test of power. It is not a question here of taking stock of the first five-year term, but of restoring a political trajectory. The president has, among other things, faced the crisis of “yellow vests”, terrorist attacks and the Covid-19 epidemic. However, these five years have shown the ambivalences of Macronism. THE “and right and left” has leaned to the right for economic policies and part of social policies, while the “whatever it takes” at the time of the pandemic, certain provisions against global warming and societal measures, rather to the left, have not strangely hardly marked the opinion.

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