Interesting Comments from the Financial Times

-Last updated 5/4/2018

Macron Foreign Approval

Illustrated most aptly by the only passing and perfunctory mention of Mélenchon in the fawning profile this comment is under.  Mélenchon is still rated by the highest percentage of people as the premier opposition to Macron, and I doubt his popularity will recede.  He added 3,075,129 votes over his performance in the 2012 election, jumping from 11% in the first round that year to 19% last year.  And he won nearly a third of the youth vote, more than any other candidate.  But this is the strategy of the international press, and to a large degree the Macron aligned press domestically (le parti médiatique).  If Marine Le Pen can be painted as the only alternative to Macron, despite the abundant evidence to the contrary and the fact that Mélenchon would have been president had Benoît Hamon done his duty, then that alternative of course is too much for anyone to countenance, so we have to vote for Brussels’ Golden Boy.  The French are smarter than this though, and the media culture much healthier.  Hopefully the disintegration of the National Front will continue, and the opposition to Macron persist; I see no reason why it wouldn’t.   2022 is the grandest chance for Mélenchon.  There might be some hope in the 2019 EU elections, but I wouldn’t count on it.  Some have suggested the possibility of Mélenchon replacing Juncker, but this seems like bluster to me, and is too dependent on politics outside of France.  The goal, of course, is power, but the best place Mélenchon is situated to seize that power is in France.  So at the end of the day let the Financial Times run their sycophantic profiles: foreign approval doesn’t matter in France.  Let’s hope that this persists.

Lowgrade Hillary Defeated Hillary

This is from a review of Amy Chozick’s new book about covering Clinton for the past ten years.  That book was also reviewed in the New York Times the other day, and the general impression you get from the reviews is an effort to avoid the conclusion of the commenter above, even with that interpretation so clearly staring the reviewers in the face.

South Africa BEE

From a lunch profile of Julius Malema.  One of the nice things about the Financial Times comment section is that you often see class discussed frankly.  Of course many people who comment there don’t think these class divisions are a bad thing, but that’s another question.  Unlike a New York Times commenter there’s no effort made to pretend that class isn’t a valid unit of analysis.

Keynes Facebook

A comment that accords with the reality that I, and many others, don’t care about Facebook privacy “scandals.”  Surveillance is baked into the internet, if you want to avoid it, either don’t use the internet, or take collective action.  Individual consumer based action, like using one of the alternative services described in the article this is from, doesn’t cut it.

Off the Housing Ladder Zuckerberg Badinage

An uncharitable but amusing comment on Mr. Zuckerberg from a review of a Alex Beard’s Natural Born Learners.

Mickey Hickey Yanis Varoufakis.png

From this profile of Yanis Varoufakis, the short-lived Finance Minister of Syriza Greece.