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Geopolitics

Macron's Unpopularity And The Timeless Wisdom Of Machiavelli

After 17 months in power, Emmanuel Macron is touching the depths of unpopularity. He still has ways to bounce back, but should start by re-reading the author of 'The Prince.'

Protest in Strasbourg on Oct. 9
Protest in Strasbourg on Oct. 9
Elsa Freyssenet

PARIS — Even if you haven't read Machiavelli, you probably know the timeless saying proposed by the author of The Prince, that it is "much safer to be feared than loved." But it's worth remembering a less quoted and more nuanced passage in the book, a few pages later: "The best possible fortress is to not be hated by the people, because even if you hold the strongest fortresses, when the people hate you, they will not save you."

Amid last week's theatrical resignation of his Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, French President Emmanuel Macron may have remembered these two kernels of wisdom from the illustrious Florentine (whom he has read and written about extensively). If feared, the so-called "Jupiterian" president will be held in lower esteem by those political actors close to him. If simply beloved, he risks no longer garnering full respect. Right now, he is neither.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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