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Macron’s presidency seen as an urban victory 

May 11th, 2017

After Trump’s victory in the United States and the Brexit vote last year, a well-known Hungarian-American analyst interprets the outcome of the French presidential election as a cause for celebration for progressive forces.

In Népszava, Charles Gati, a Hungarian-born American historian who served as a State Department advisor in the Clinton administrationdescribes Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election as a victory for a progressive, urban mindset. Macron won 90 per cent of the Paris vote in the second round, to defeat right-wing radical Marine Le Pen. Citing voting results from the Brexit referendum and from the American Presidential elections, he finds that liberal and progressive ideas and candidates usually easily win in the big cities, while conservatives tend to dominate in rural areas. The main opposition nowadays, he writes, may not be the Left versus the Right anymore. It is being progressively replaced by a rural versus urban division. He recalls the feud between urban and rural intellectuals in interwar Hungary, when urbanists were pro-western while rural intellectuals feared modernisation.The latter outlook, Gati continues, still survives and is expressed by fear of the West and rejection of international integration. He admits that the ‘mistakes and sins of the western urban world’ give ample reasons for condemnation, and cautions against underrating the potential of the ‘rural’ attitude.’ For the moment however, he invites the readers of Népszava to celebrate ‘the resilience of Europe’.


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