By Mason Mohon | FRANCE
Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France was seen as a moment of great hope to many people who feared the rise of far right policies and leaders. June of 2016 saw the British people vote to leave the European Union, and America elected Donald Trump, a far-right authoritarian, to be the 45th United States President. Macron’s closest opponent was Marine Le Pen, a far-right member of France’s National Front party. With the rise of rightist politics worldwide, the defeat of Le Pen and rise of Macron was the moment people realized, right-wing populism is not an unstoppable force.
Yet, Macron is shaping up to be further right than many people thought he would be. At the G20 summit on Saturday, when asked about why there was no Marshall Plan for Africa, Macron responded with an extremely controversial comment on Africa’s civilizational problems.
“The challenge of Africa is totally different and a lot more profound, it’s civilizational today,” said the French President.
The statement was followed up with a comment on how women in Africa shouldn’t have 7 or 8 kids. The comment was followed by much backlash and accusations of perpetuating racial stereotypes about the African continent. A video of the reporter’s question followed by the comment can be found here.
This follows his campaign promises of cutting taxes across the board and eliminating public sector jobs. The cut partially consists of an 8.3 percent decrease in the corporate tax rate, and a cut of 60 billion euros from public spending. These contra-Keynesian policies give Macron a further right appeal, giving more trust to the market forces to decrease the country’s unemployment rate.
Furthermore, Macron is taking a non-interventionist perspective to the Syrian conflict, saying that he does not approve of foreign powers using military force to solve the issues. He even said that “Bashar is not our enemy, he is the enemy of the Syrian people.” This attitude shows one of apprehension to pursuing a United States-like foreign policy of bomb now, ask questions later.
In the end, Macron was originally painted as the centrist savior of France, standing in opposition to the right. While he did do that, his borderline racist comments distance him from the politically correct community, and his fiscal conservatism, paired with a foreign policy the anti-imperialists would be proud of, he is shaping up to be a further right paleolibertarian than people thought he would be.