Henry Hermand, one of the people that played a leading role in establishing the Saint-Simon Foundation and godfather to Emmanuelle Macron. When Emmanuelle Macron got married in 2007, Henry was his witness. Henry opened the doors of the Elysee for Emmanuelle in 2012 and created his political party in the Institute Montaigne, in 2016.

You simply cannot understand the sudden appearance on the French political scene of today’s presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron without first understanding previous attempts to do the same thing: by Jacques Delors and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. But to understand who is working behind the scenes, it is necessary to take a step back in time.

1982: Saint-Simon Foundation

In 1982, several academics and directors of French blue chip companies decided to set up an association in order to encourage “researchers in social sciences meeting players in the economic and social life, [and] putting into the public domain the knowledge produced by human and social sciences”. This association was the Saint-Simon Foundation [1].

For almost twenty years, the Saint-Simon Foundation imposed Washington’s thinking in France, creating what its critics called “la pensée unique” (a single perspective akin to universalism). Following the 1995 strikes and the failed attempt at pension reform in 1999, the Foundation decided on its own accord to wind up its operations.

The Foundation organized 70 annual seminars. Each one would attract around 40 participants. It published 110 monthly Notes and some forty books. Finally, more discretely, it organized a monthly dinner which was a meeting point for academics, heads of companies listed on the CAC40, and the leading heads of the country’s press.

These dinners provided an opportunity for perspectives to be aligned, and furthermore, enabled the heads of the press to decide which subjects they would address and how they would treat them. Gradually, the lines defining pluralism of the press receded, giving way to the “duty to inform” then the “power to shape” minds.

The Foundation had been created on the one hand by historian François Furet and sociologist Pierre Rosanvallon, and on the other hand by lobbyist Alain Minc, industrialist, Roger Fauroux, banker Jean Peyrelevade, and finally by the editor Yves Sabouret and the intellectual Jean-Claude Casanova. Its funding had been structured by Henry Hermand, an “éminence grise” (secret adviser) of the non-Communist Left.

Each of these personalities was known for their links with a small, powerful group in the U.S.A.: the Neo-Cons. These Trotskyite intellectuals had just joined the Republican President Ronald Reagan. Transcending concepts of “Left” and “Right”, they declared fighting Stalinism and wanting to harness every possible means to “democratize” the world. They were open in their admiration for the philosopher Leo Strauss, a theoretician of an enlightened global dictatorship. Some of them established the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Institute of Peace. Despite appearances, these two foundations had been conceived as instruments to serve the “Five Eyes” (an agreement between the Secret Services of Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom).

At the beginning, the Saint Simon Foundation benefitted from subsidies from the John M. Olin Foundation, which had invited François Furet to teach in Chicago. This US body, positioned on the Far Right, had already financed the Neo Con Trotskyites. Rapidly, the Saint Simon Foundation became a member of the Hague Club, a super-structure of the Rockfeller Foundation, which has the mandate of funding thirty European Atlantic associations with CIA funds then from the NED.

So, it is with money from the US Secret Services that the monthly dinners were organized, gathering renowned academics and the CEOs of CAC40 companies around the media directors of journals and newspapers such as Études, Esprit, Europe 1, L’Expansion, L’Express, Figaro, Libération, Le Matin de Paris, Le Monde, M6, Le Nouvel Observateur, RTL and star journalists from Antenne2 and TF1.

During the nineties, when the British sociologist Anthony Giddens launched the “Third Way” to adapt socialist rhetoric to the free market, the Saint-Simon Foundation enthusiastically celebrated this sleight of hand brought to pass by the US President Bill Clinton and the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Anne Sinclair, TF1’s a star journalist and member of the Saint-Simon Foundation, with her partner at the time, Jacques Delors, the Foundation’s official Presidential candidate.

1993: Operation Jacques Delors & Martine Aubry

In 1993, members of the Saint-Simon Foundation decided to put forward their own candidate in the race to the Presidency of the Republic: Jacques Delors, the President of the European Commission. At the same time, they prepared for their candidate’s daughter to rise to power. She was the Labour Minister, Martine Aubry, who was nursing the ambition of becoming the Prime Minister.

While Jacques Delors was a socialist, he had begun his political career on the Right, in the offices of Jacques Chaban-Delmas. His daughter, Martine Aubry, then socialist, had begun as the Head of Public Relations at the Pechiney Group, whose director, Jean Gandois, will become “the boss of bosses”.

While the press agencies (whose directors were members of the Foundation) began to extol the virtues of Jacques Delors and his daughter, the Foundation’s Treasurer, Alain Minc, created two separate organizations on the Foundation’s premises:
- the National Association of Enterprises for Integration (ANEI) - the aim here was to get the blue chip companies on board Delors’ electoral campaign; and
 the Association of Friends of the Agir Foundation against Exclusion (FACE) – this was to fund Aubry’s rise.

After François Bayrou’s failure in the Congress of the Social Democrats (CDS), Jacques Delors became aware that it would be impossible to create a new majority by pulling the socialists and the centrists together. He therefore withdrew from standing in the presidential elections. ANEI was wound up and its assets were transferred to FACE.

The Saint-Simon Foundation and the Delors (both father and daughter) shared the same political programme: to ensure that France became the pillar of the European Union. The vision was to make France the European hub by developing there transport by road, running from East to West and founding the economy on the growth of the work force. So it was agreed to let women continue to work and to increase immigration. In the transitory period, it would be necessary to reduce the working week so as to contain unemployment.

This programme was partially implemented, later, under the Jospin government, although the international economic situation had, by this time, changed. In 1998 and 2000, France adopted the 35 hour week. This time against the opinion of management that had supported them from 1993 to 1995 and increased immigration for work.

The result was quite the opposite of what was hoped for in 1993: unemployment grew exponentially. Keeping women in work posed new problems in terms of crèches, the hours that children attended school, and finally lowering the level of pupils. In this context, the massive presence of immigrants destabilized the entire social system.

1995: Operation Juppé-Notat on pension reform

The draft law on pension reform, presented by Prime Minister Alain Juppé’s (Right) was supported by the journal Esprit and the trade union CFDT (Left); all coordinated by the Foundation.

It is during this campaign that the sociologist Alain Touraine emerged as the spokesperson for the members of the Saint-Simon Foundation.

However, faced with gigantic strikes in December 1995, the draft law was withdrawn. A victim of its own failure, the Saint-Simon Foundation did not delay in winding up its operations.

2000: The Montaigne Institute

In 2000, AXA, the insurance group, created a new think tank: the Montaigne Institute. Shortly afterwards, the Institute published a collection of works of academics and CEOs. The name of the publication was Le Courage de reformer [The Courage to Reform]. The Institute then appointed the journalist, Phillipe Manière, as director. The latter had been trained by the Rockfeller Foundation in the Bellagio Centre which hosts The Hague Club.

The Montaigne Institute fights for economic and social reforms, which are, in every aspect, identical to those that the Saint-Simon Foundation tried to achieve. In 2004, it drafts the Charte de la diversité en entreprise [The Charter for Diversity at work], which is immediately supported by the FACE and which today is adopted by a number of groups.

In 2012, it publishes its second collection of works, Réformer par temps de crise [How to reform in times of crisis]. After Claude Bébéar retired from the management of AXA, the person that succeeded him as CEO, Henri de Castries, becomes the president of the Institute.

Anne Sinclair once again but this time with her husband, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Terra Nova’s official candidate for the presidency of the Republic.

2008 : Terra Nova

In 2008, Olivier Ferrand who had previously collaborated with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, created the association Terra Nova, in the premises lent out by Henry Hermand. This new think tank aims to inject US modernity into the blood of France’s economic, social and political life. It works on the model of the Progressive Policy Institute established by Bill Clinton and the pro-Israel senator Joseph I. Lieberman.

Just like the Saint-Simon Foundation has a close relationship with Crédit Lyonnais, Terra Nova maintains close relations with several banks, principally with Rothschild & Cie.

In 2011, Terra Nova organized the first primary of the Socialist Party. This was with the help of the National Endowment for Democracy which had sent its expert Tom McMahon to Paris, for that specific purpose. The idea was to make parties other than the Socialist Party, adopt one candidate, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, so that he might be able to pass the first round of the Presidential election and win it. “DSK”, the Head of the International Monetary Fund, had to make the French enter globalization.

Unfortunately, he was arrested in the United States just before the primary in which he was replaced by Martine Aubry. Jacques Delors’s daughter passed the first round, but was eliminated in the second round by François Hollande.

When Olivier Ferrand (Secretary General of the CFDT) passed away, François Chérèque, succeeded him as President of Terra Nova.

Better than Bill Clinton and Tony Blair: Emmanuel Macron, the perfect son-in-law.

2016 : Operation Emmanuel Macron

This long preamble allows us to understand what the launch of Operation Emmanuel Macron actually means.

On leaving ENA, in 2004 Emmanuel Macron began his career in the offices of Jean-Pierre Jouyet. The latter had previously worked with Roger Fauroux (Chair of the Saint-Simon Foundation) and Jacques Delors (the Foundation’s presidential candidate). Following this, Jouyet became Nicolas Sarkozy (Right)’s minister, then Secretary General of the Élysée when François Hollande (Left) was in power.

Emmanuel Macron then made a lateral move, working for a few years at the Bank Rothschild & Cie. Then he enters the Élysée as part of President Hollande tea, serving as Jean-Pierre Jouyet’s assistant. Assuming this position, he replaces another Director of Rothschild & Cie, François Pérol.

In 2006, Emmanuel Macron returns to the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, part of the funding for which is guaranteed by the Neo-Con Trotskyites of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the Socialist Party. In 2007, he meets Les Gracques, a group of former employers and high officials, of which Jean-Pierre Jouyet is the group leader. This association tries to form an alliance between the Socialist Party and the Centrists.

In 2012, Emmanuel Macron becomes one of the Young leaders of the French-American Foundation [2], of which Philippe Manière (Director of the Montaigne Institute) and Alain Minc (Treasurer of the Saint-Simon Foundation) are the managers. It is on the recommendation of Alanc Minc himself, that Emmanuel Macron is admitted to the London School of Economics as a Research Fellow, when he leaves the Élysée in 2014.

In May-June 2014, Emmanuel Macron is invited to the Bilderberg Group’s Annual Meeting. There are two important items on the agenda: first inter-state sharing of intelligence; and second, the architecture of the Middle East post the “Arab Springs”. The Bilderberg Group had been created on the side lines of Nato, which directly ensures its security in whichever country the Bilderberg Group holds its meeting. Its current President is a French man, Henri de Castries, CEO of AXA and the Chair of the Montaigne Institute.

In 2016, Emmanuel Macron sets up his own party, En Marche ! on the premises of the Montaigne Institute. He was given a helping hand by Henry Hermand (one of the major sponsors of the Saint-Simon Foundation, then Terra Nova) [3]. After giving lengthy explanations on TV, Hermand died in November 2016 when he was 92 years old.

What is original about this party is that, during its first eight months, it will have neither a programme, a proposal, just a presidential candidate.

But this will not prevent it from being supported by all sorts of political personalities that did not need anyone to spell out to them what they already knew: the Macron programme = the Delors/Strauss-Khan programme.

If the candidacy of Jacque Delors was aimed at making France the pillar of the European Union, the candidacy of Emmanuelle Macron, like Dominique Strauss-Kahn before him, intends leading the voters (one no longer dares to say the “French”) into globalization. The support given by the media is now much simpler, than the two previous decades because they are interconnected and the six major heads of the press support globalization.

As Macron is the presidential candidate, this time Martine Aubry decides against running for the Socialist primary. In February 2017, François Bayrou, who had not been able to bring the Social Democrats to support Jacques Delors, backs Emmanuel Macron.

So this is how to you can sell something old as something new. Each year the French celebrate the Festival “Beaujolais nouveau” [The Festival of the New Beaujolais Wine], and then they return to work. For, in contrast to the “eternal France” of de Gaulle, this wine is pleasing to the palate, but that is only a transient, sensory pleasure.


In this photo of DSK’s campaign team, taken in November 2006, you can make out several members of Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team in May 2017.

Source : Le Journal du Dimanche of 2 July 2017.
Anoosha Boralessa

For ten years the author participated in a number of seminars run by the Saint-Simon Foundation.

[1« La face cachée de la Fondation Saint-Simon », by Denis Boneau, Voltaire Network, 10 February 2004.

[2« Un relais des États-Unis en France : la French American Foundation », par Pierre Hillard, Réseau Voltaire, 19 avril 2007.

[3« Henry Hermand : "Mon soutien à Macron ne doit pas faire plaisir à Hollande" », Mathilde Siraud, Le Figaro, 18 septembre 2016.