We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw.
-T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”
Marine Le Pen’s campaign to become President of France ended on Sunday with Emmanuel Macron’s thirty-point victory. And to listen to the ‘Hollow Men’ of the EU and U.S. oligarchy who had the most to lost by a Le Pen victory, her campaign ended, ‘not with a bang, but a whimper.’
But, I disagree with that. They have to make that pronouncement to shore up to everyone their primacy in the face of a populist uprising against their increasingly unresponsive technocracy or face their own mortality.
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Mrs. Le Pen’s campaign captivated the world with her fire and her unflinching resolve to speak inconvenient truths to power. But this is power wielded by men and women dead inside, intent on tearing humanity down to its basest level; to destroy culture and the aspiration to individual feats of brilliance.
Fabian socialism takes us on this journey slowly; the long slog through the institutions of culture until there is nothing left but control and the love of Big Brother.
The thousands of French people who cheered her on and the millions who voted for her did not lose on Sunday. Rather, they won a huge victory. The Hollow Men will sit back, comfortable, that they have beaten back the barbarians from the gates out of their dead land.
Those that voted for Mr. Macron, voted for the safety of their own destruction on known terms; to continue on that road to serfdom. A leap into the unknown, out of ‘death’s other kingdom’ and back into a dream made real was not on their agenda.
They weren’t ready to jack out of The Matrix just yet; seeing the choice of red vs. blue pill they rejected it.
And so, because of their opportunity to wake from ‘death’s dream kingdom’ has failed, France will become the super-highway of an invasion welcomed by the Hollow Men to ensure their ability to prey on these same walking corpses of their experiments in social engineering.
Meanwhile, those that followed Mrs. Le Pen will never be put back in that pine box. And for that she needs to hold her head high and continue to build on her success rather than dwell on falling short.
She, and they, have time on their side. The dead land of the European Union exists in a waking half-life built on a crumbling foundation of bureaucracy, treaties and rules. It is a paper mache empire living on borrowed time and stuffed with promissory notes of an unfulfilled promise of a better future.
When I was a member of the Libertarian Party in Florida we had a phrase that we used on the Executive Committee. Our goal with each campaign, each project, was to fail ‘falling forward.’ We knew the odds of winning were slim. We also knew that each person we reached out to was one that had a very low probability of going back to where they came from, intellectually and morally.
That’s what Mrs. Le Pen did with this run. The Hollow Men will see this victory as vindication of their rule over their lessers.
But as time goes on, and the anger grows, the economy doesn’t improve and the hope of a better life fades they will no longer be able to ignore the supplication of the people they feel they deserve to rule.
And it may happen far sooner than anyone thinks. Mr. Macron is a flawed candidate. He and the rest of the Hollow Men that rule the EU are only now just getting a taste of what the opposition to them looks like.
The hack and data dump of his e-mails, the uncovering of his offshore accounts, etc. will only get worse for him and the rest of the Hollow Men. He will rule in France as if he has a popular mandate but voter turnout was a nearly historic low and one in ten people who showed up to vote refused to vote for him or Mrs. Le Pen.
That makes sense in her case. The idea that hard-left French voters would vote for Le Pen was only plausible if the desire for Frexit was more important than any other issue. And, while many of us, including me, hoped it would be, in the end it wasn’t.
Fine. Fair enough.
But, they didn’t vote for their destruction either. They stood by their principles.
We’ll see if they are willing to meet the eyes of those casting ‘sunlight on a broken column’ and walk out of a dead land into fertile one.
Eliot wrote ‘The Hollow Men’ during the last crisis of European culture. He couldn’t see a way out. Mrs. Le Pen’s campaign, like that of Brexit and Donald Trump speaks to a different outcome.