Their campaigns have in many respects been complementary. Both candidates embrace the slogan “ni droite, ni gauche,” popularized by the interwar fascist leagues. Macron, bauble of the extreme center, seeks to substitute for the traditional right-left divide a vision that opposes globalizing, educated, cosmopolitan professionals to backwards, bigoted, and unenlightened nationalists: Le Pen’s worldview in camera obscura. For both Macron and Le Pen, openness, free movement, and European integration can be counterposed to patriotism, “national preference,” and the defense of entitlements. The prospects for either option depend on a significant recomposition of the electorate.

Landscape of Treason (n+1)

Grey Anderson on the French elections, the demise of the Socialist party, the rise of a rebranded FN, and the societal shifts of the last 5 years.

Intellectual life, like all other social spaces, is a home to nationalism and imperialism, and intellectuals, like everyone else, constantly peddle prejudices, stereotypes, received ideas, and hastily simplistic representations which are fueled by the chance happenings of everyday life, like misunderstandings, general incomprehension, and wounded pride.

Pierre Bourdieu. “The Social Conditions of the International Circulation of Ideas" Richard Shusterman. Bourdieu, a Critical Reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1999. (220)