French President-Elect Emmanuel Macron Has Libertarian Leanings


Sunday, Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen for the position of President of France. The election had many similarities to the United States presidential race with the top three candidates being Le Pen (whose views mimic Donald Trump), the right-wing candidate vowing to halt immigration, leave the European Union, and return France to using the Franc as its currency, Jean-Luc Melenchon (comparable to Bernie Sanders), the left-wing candidate who wanted to place a 100 percent tax on anyone making over 400,000 euros a year and Macron as the more centrist candidate.

Unlike the US election, Macron was the candidate who was a political outsider and his presidential run was his first campaign for public office. Libertarians should view the President-elect’s victory as a great win for free markets and liberty in a global sense.

Firstly, En Marche!, the party founded by Macron, was started to fight the divide between the progressives and conservatives. The President-elect describes himself as economically and socially liberal (In France, liberal more closely relates to what Americans would call classically liberal), reminding Libertarians of Gary Johnson’s description of being socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

According to Business Insider, Macron is very pro-business and part of his task as former President Hollande’s Minister of Economy was to get France’s economy growing again. He passed legislation, called Loi Macron, to deregulate certain industries and loosening others to boost competition in an attempt to get the economy moving once again.

The bill was extremely unpopular among French conservatives and socialists and the Economist reportedA few Socialist deputies, who have abstained recently over the budget, have even threatened to vote against the Macron law, an act of outright rebellion.”

During his campaign, Macron promised to lower the corporate tax rate from 33 percent to 25 percent, exempt low-wage workers from welfare levies (effectively putting an extra month of pay on their paychecks), and while the 35 hour work week would remain (he has criticized this as hampering the abilities of businesses), the amount of real work hours would be negotiable between employees and employers.

Creating savings in public spending through making industries more efficient and cutting funding to local authorities were also a part of Macron’s platform. He also wants to shrink the government by reducing the number of lawmakers by a third in both houses, reduce provincial local authorities by a quarter and ban hiring family-members as assistants to lawmakers.

The man is not without his faults, as he is for a more interventionist policy in regards to Syria and wants increase government spending in other areas of the government.

Regardless, Libertarians should be on the lookout for a demonstration of the power of the free market and economic freedom from France in the future. Hopefully, Macron can become an ally in the fight for liberty.




Author: Luke Henderson

Since joining the Libertarian Party in 2016 (after discovering Gary Johnson as a disaffected Bernie Sanders supporter), Luke Henderson has been active in the liberty movement through journalism, and political activism. At the beginning of 2017, Luke had his first piece of writing published by Being Libertarian and quickly became a contributor to the libertarian news site, The Libertarian Vindicator. Through the Vindicator, Luke discovered his passion for addressing critics of the philosophy and bringing together different factions of liberty lovers which compelled him to become an editor for The Libertarian Coalition, a forum dedicated to an open-minded discussion of libertarian ideas from all walks. After many guest contributions to Being Libertarian, Luke was asked to join the website as a contributor, where he writes his column Scoring For Liberty, which discusses sports, politics, and economics from a libertarian lens, and his Educator series that seeks to strengthen libertarian’s understanding of educational techniques and policy to better arguments against public education. Luke is one of the District 1 Executive Committeemen for the Missouri Libertarian party, and the founder of the Missouri Chapter of the Libertarian Positivity Caucus. Outside of politics, Luke is a paraprofessional for the Special School District of St. Louis, a musician, composer, and a loving husband and father.

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