Well Macron alluded to this; he noted that in answering the question on what he thought of Brexit, he said that his interpretation is that a lot of the losers of globalisation suddenly decided that the Eurozone was no good for them. They had had it; and they wanted to restore some democratic integrity to their nation so as to take more control over their own lives and affairs. And then when pushed as to whether France, if it were to have the same referendum, would see the same result, Macron admitted: “Yes, probably, probably, yes.”Now he did say that France represents a different cultural context than Britain, but I think in many respects the damage was done; and this admission of course sent shockwaves throughout the Eurozone. Twitter reportedly lit up after the interview was aired, with many tweets questioning if Macron had just admitted that he is more or less suppressing the will of the majority of citizens in France since he is of course refusing to hold a referendum on the EU.
Instead, Macron is basically insisting that the member nations need to focus on reform rather than exit; they collectively can come together and force the European Union to implement necessary political, economic, and bureaucratic reforms and thus continue to benefit from an EU-based economy and transnational political protocol. This is what he was arguing during his presidential campaign as over against the Euroskeptic vision of the National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, who was promising a Frexit vote if elected. Now, of course, the problem for Macron, as pundits are pointing out, is that the EU is not going to reform; it is certainly not going to reform in a way that makes the majority of member nations happy. They have already committed themselves to immigration and refugee quotas; they have already approved bailouts; they have already imposed austerity measures; and that is just where the problem begin!!! There’s really very little that the EU can do to quell the rising dissatisfaction festering among member nations.
And so, it is not surprising that Research from Edinburgh University shows that 53 percent of French would like to hold their own vote on EU membership; and we are seeing similar numbers in Spain, Germany and Sweden where more people are in favor of holding a referendum than those who are opposed to such an idea. Now in the process, this research did find that a referendum to leave the EU would in fact pass in France, even though other polls indicate that those in favor of staying would prevail. So, the polling in all of this seems to reflect the uncertainty and instability that characterized the polling leading up to the Brexit, that had those in favor of staying polling better than those who wanted to leave.
Regardless of the pollsters, there is a general sentiment that more and more nations are ready to exit the Eurozone. Even the prince of secular globalism, George Soros, has admitted of late that Brexit has basically opened the floodgates for other anti-European forces to ascend to the foreground of national politics. And he actually predicted that France and the Netherlands would be the next nations to leave the disintegrating Union.
One of the reasons a Frexit would be so significant in the collapse of the EU is that France and Germany are in many respects the foundational nations for the EU; they were two of the handful of nations that began the cooperative experiment in the 1950s that eventually became the European Union. And so in many respects, if one of the foundational planks or cornerstones was removed from the Union, like France or Germany, that would not only be a mass economic blow to the stability of the Eurozone, but also a tremendous blow to the morale of the Union as well.
Now, what is important to bear in mind here is that I think Macron has admitted that the world is moving away from geopolitical structures such as the EU, the European Court of Justice, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and all of these other transnational institutions that are in many respects a de facto one-world government. And the reason for this is that these structures were built on the sands of modernity. Scholars generally see modernity as the rational and scientific control over demographic, economic, political, and social processes; modernity basically sees itself as a one-size-fits-all political and economic system that governs social processes completely irrespective of individual or specific societies, cultures, traditions, and religions that are, in the modern scheme of things, alone responsible for wars and political instabilities. Modernity was the foundation for such things as the belief in liberal democracy as the one true political system by which all nations are judged, same with free markets, human rights, LGBT rights, women’s reproductive rights, and environmental regulations and protocols and the like.
What Macron is admitting is something that a number of scholars have observed for some time now; that modernity as a philosophical commitment has basically died among Western populations. Instead, the modern world has become increasingly dominated by a plurality of cultural commitments and lifestyles, with no consensus as to the veracity of any one culture over the other. And as such, the fundamental tenet of modernity – right? which is the universality of scientific rationality as the sole objective way of knowing the world – that fundamental tenet has in effect collapsed in the hearts and minds of most Westerners. And, instead, it’s increasingly asserted that the scientific metanarrative, the secular claim to absolute and universal truth, is itself nothing more than a mere cultural construct; it’s just one of innumerable equally valid life-worlds and cultural commitments..
What this rejection of the root of modernity does is that it is making the fruits of modernity such as globalization harder and harder to sustain. This is why the EU appears to be cracking up all over the place; indeed, the whole world is experiencing a global balkanization, a mass break-up, where populations are being more and more reconstituted around nationalist, populist, and religious identities. And of course, this is all going on as the West continues to export more and more globalism, which in turn is only exacerbating modernity’s rejection with nationalist, populist, and traditionalist blowbacks throughout the world.
So I do think this was a very revealing admission on the part of Macron, and may end up being looked back on not as a mere opinion, but rather a very accurate prophecy.