As the crowds gathered along the Champs-Elysée this morning to celebrate France’s fête national, commemorating the 1789 seizure of the Bastille Prison by the masses of Paris, a new revolution is brewing on the horizon, a movement (en marche!) of sleek, iPad-toting and start-up hungry technocrats and urban creatives.
A graduate of France’s illustrious École Normale D’Administration, normally a breeding ground for the status-quo-minded haute-fonctionnaires of the French state, Emmanuel Macron promises to put France “on the move,” to find a politics neither of the left nor the right. “The hour,” Macron’s new political movement, en marche! reports, “has passed for compromises and half measures because as we all know the entire system must change.”
Currently serving as a non-party-aligned Minister of the Economy in François Hollande’s increasingly faux-left government, Macron hopes to take the latter’s third-way drift another step further. Though he has yet to formally announce his candidacy for France’s 2017 presidential election, it is increasingly likely that Macron will throw in his name as the French political scene fragments and as his current boss flirts with record-low levels of popularity.
The only thing that Macron’s movement will hasten is the already rapid loss of low-income and working class French votes to the neo-fascist politics of Marine Le Pen’s National Front. Indeed, Macron’s call for a technocratic revolt eerily parallels, and threatens to hasten, Le Pen’s call in The New York Times for a “People’s Spring.”