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On Liberal Blackmail: Refusing the False Choice between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron

On Liberal Blackmail: Refusing the False Choice between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron

The title of a recent opinion piece which appeared in The Guardian – the mouthpiece of the anti-Assange,-pro-Hillary liberal left – says it all: “Le Pen is a far-right Holocaust revisionist. Macron isn’t. Hard choice?”

Predictably, the text proper begins with: “Is being an investment banker analogous with being a Holocaust revisionist? Is neoliberalism on a par with neofascism?” It then mockingly dismisses even the conditional Leftist support for the second-round Macron vote, the stance of “I’d now vote Macron – very reluctantly.”

This is liberal blackmail at its worst: one should support Macron unconditionally; it doesn’t matter that he is a neoliberal centrist, just that he is against Le Pen.

It’s the same old story of Hillary versus Trump: in the face of the fascist threat, we should all gather beneath her banner – never mind how her side brutally outmanoeuvred Sanders and thus contributed to losing the election.

Are we not allowed at least to raise the question: yes, Macron is pro-European – but what kind of Europe does he personify? The very Europe whose failure feeds Le Pen’s populism, the anonymous Europe in the service of neoliberalism. This is the crux of the affair: yes, Le Pen is a threat, but if we throw all our support behind Macron, do we not get caught in the vicious circle of fighting the effect by supporting its cause?

[Extract. Appeared in ABC Religion on May 5th 2017.]

Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst, and a senior researcher at the Institute for Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London. He has also been a visiting professor at more than 10 universities around the world. Žižek is the author of many books; his latest are Against the Double Blackmail and Disparities. This account is not monitored and is only maintained to give appropriate credit.

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