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Reflections on Macromania

His smile was beginning to annoy me. Here are some of the reasons why – and why we shouldn’t be seduced:

The Colossus


Admiring Jupiter — the king of gods — is perhaps a little like admiring the Paris of Baron Haussmann. One can marvel at the length and openness of Haussmann’s boulevards as readily as at the sumptuous façades that loom aloof above them. But one’s enjoyment of the overarching harmony of urban Paris cannot run riot in good conscience when one knows, as Benjamin did, that there was a sinister repressive dimension to the city planning of a man they called l’artiste-démolisseur. Indeed, for one reason or another, it was within the framework of the puissant prefect’s boulevards that all ‘[t]he institutions of the bourgeoisie’s worldly and spiritual dominance were to find their apotheosis.’1

His deepest desires notwithstanding, no such apotheosis seems likely to occur on the watch of Emmanuel Macron, who has ascended to the Élysée — or descended from Olympus — at precisely the time when ‘[c]apitalism…

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