Jean-Luc Mélenchon

Jean-Luc Mélenchon

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Jean-Luc Mélenchon (born August 19, 1951) is a french politician who served as delegate Minister for vocational education under the socialist governement of Lionel Jospin (2000-2002), Senator (1986-1995 and 2004-2010) and EU Parliament member (since 2009). After he left the french Socialist Party in 2008, he co-founded the political movement Front de Gauche (left-wing front) in alliance with the French Communist Party. During the last decade, Mélenchon rose to national onlie fame for his strong left-wing positions and his angry verbal rants, most notably since he announced his run for the 2017 french presidential election.


Political Career

Jean-Luc Mélenchon (sometimes abbreviated as "JLM") started his political engagement during the riots of may 1968[2], while he was in high school.[3] He later joined several liberal and pro-communist unions organizations while he studied philosophy at the University of Besançon, before joining the french Socialist Party (PS) in 1976. During his PS-membership, he often took positions labeling him as member of the "radical" or "hard" wing of the party, most notably during the mid-2000s when he took position against the majority of the party and campaigned in favor of the "No" to the 2005 Referendum about the European Constitution.[4] In 2008, Mélenchon left the PS and founded the Parti de Gauche (Left-Wing Party), which later got closer to the French Communist Party (PCF) and eventually fused into a joint alliance called the Front de Gauche (Left-wing Front).

One of the earliest times Mélenchon acquired online fame happened on October 10, 2010, after he was invited by a documentary filmmaking team to react to a video showing an interview of a protesting factory union worker by TV news anchor David Pujadas. During the said interview, Pujadas asked several questions to the workers that many observators deemed as inappropiate and disrespectful, for instance accusing the workers to promote violent protests. When shown the said video, Mr. Mélenchon violently reacted, calling Mr. Pujadas an "asshole" and a "stooge" with disgust (shown below, reuploaded.). At the time, the video became viral and widely commented in the different mainstream news outlets.[5][6][7]

2012 French Presidential Campaign

On January 21st, 2011, Mélenchon announced he would be running for the 2012 Presidential election, against the incumbent conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy. His campaign was marked by his large rallies, gathering more than 120 000 people in the cities of Paris and Marseille, which was totally unprecedented for an independant left-wing candidate. However, during the first round of the election, he only gathered 11.1% of the popular votes, far behind the mainstream socialist candidate and president-elect, François Hollande (28.63% on the 1st round, 51.64% on the 2nd round)[8]

2017 Presidential Campaign

On february 10th, 2016, Jean-Luc Mélenchon announced during an interview for the television network TF1 his bid for the April / May 2017 Presidential election, [9] as an independant candidate, and that he would not run for the Socialist Party's primary election. He later exposed his program[10] and announced the same day the refoundation of the Front de Gauche into a new party called "La France Insoumise" ("Unsbmissive France").[32] On January 12th, 2017, He claimed to be the first candidate to gather the 500 endorsements required to officially run for the Presidential Election.[11]

On April 23rd, during the first round of the election, he scored over 19% of the votes, largely surpassing his result during the previous election, but still insufficient to qualify for the second round.[1] However, he was later elected during the June 2017 Parliamentary Election as deputy of the 4th Constituency of Marseille, and therefore entered the french National Assembly along with 16 other elected deputies of La France Insoumise.[33]

Online Presence

Like most french politicians, Jean luc Mélenchon hosts a blog,, as well as an official site for his movement, He is also widely active on the social networking sites, such as Facebook (with 618 000 likes on his page on January 2017[12]) or Twitter (with 914 000 followers on January 2017[13]). During the last month of 2016, he also became very active on YouTube, frequently posting Vlogs and FAQs exposing his program as well as personal reflexions, concerning France's policies as well as international issues (examples shown below). With 184 000 subscribers as of January 2017, his Channel[14] quickly became the most followed Youtube channel among all french politicians[15], largely surpassing his main opponents, like the Republican François Fillon (with 3300 subscribers[16]) and the Nationalist Marine Le Pen (7500 subscribers[17])


Jean-Luc Mélenchon is well known for his strong democratic socialist positions, always defending the french working class and welfare state, opposing them to the deregulated capitalism imposed by the EU institutions, and most notably by the German Government (which he explained in a book he wrote on the topic[18]). He also often advocates for a reform of the french constitution to create a new "6th Republic" with more transparence and direct democracy. During his speeches and rallies, as well as interviews, he is also well known for using a rather mild and often critical language (especially towards journalists), which has been deemed as "politically incorrect" by many observers. More recently, he started focusing his program on eco-socialism, advocating for more investments on ecological transition and renewable energy, as well as for getting rid of nuclear power.


After he lost the 2012 elections and took position aginst the economic policies of François Hollande's administration, Mr. Mélenchon often became the target of criticism, from the conservative right-wing as well as the moderate left-wing, who accused him of populism and juged his program as irrealistic. His controverisal positions regarding his never hidden admiration for left-wing south american dicators like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro were also widely discussed.[19][20] More recently, his ambiguous opinions about the Syrian civil war and the election of Donald Trump led his opponents to accuse him of tacit endorsement of Vladimir Putin's authoritarian agenda.[21]

"Les Insoumis" fandom

"Les Insoumis" ("the unsubmissive ones") is the name given to the supporters of Mélenchon and La France Insoumise online. despite being quite silent online during the first weeks of the campaign in late 2016, they rapidly grew up in popularity in early 2017 and led several internet-based militant actions, independantly from the party itself, in a way that has never been seen before in France. Their most famous creations included :

  • A Discord server called "le Discord Insoumis", gathering over 8000 members, and serving as a coordination platform for all the online projects of the Insoumis. [34]
  • Mé, an image hosting site dedicated to the movement, frequently posting humorous pictures and memes about the campaign.[35]
  • Fiscal Kombat, a video game starring Jean-Luc Mélenchon as the player character.

Jean-Luc No Revolution / Jean-Luc's Revolution

Jean-Luc no Revolution is an action / comedy manga book created by Reunion-Island-born french Youtube comedian David "Ganesh2" Chabant[22], and published by LuLu editions.[23]
The plot revolves around Jean-Luc Mélenchon practicing a martial art known as "Communist Kung-Fu" and punching the members of the french parliament after they decided to raise their wage by 500%.

Due to its absurd plot and over-the-top parodic action, visibly inspired by popular Shonen series like Fist of the North Star , the book gained an online fame among french anime fans as well as Melenchon's supporters.

It all started with the following joke-challenge-tweet posted by Chabant on November 30th, 2015:

"If I reach 1000 Retweets on this one, I'm drawing a Manga about Mélenchon doing Kung-fu."

On June 13, 2016, the book was released, and became a subject of curiosity among mainstream internet news sites[24] as well as geek-culture themed sites [25][26][27]

Later that year, Mr Mélenchon indicated that he actually found out about the book and found it very funny. On december 2nd, 2016, he published on his youtube a a Video in which he invited Ganesh2 to discuss about the book (shown below)

Can't Stenchon the Mélenchon

"Can't stenchon the mélenchon" is a catchphrase derived from Can't stump the trump used by Mélenchon supporters online. It originated from different forum posts on the gaming news site, famous for being the birthplace of the noelisme subculture. It rose to popularity during late november 2016, as several polls on those forums showed a clear preference of most users for Mélenchon as opposed to his nationalist opponent Marine Le Pen.[28] Those polls lead to several other posts mocking the outcome of the polls, pointing out that the forums were often seen as largely dominated by conservatives views and alt-right opinions.[29] Nevertheless, the Melenchon supporters created several other forum threads using the slogan, sharing images praising Mélenchon's program, as well as video montage parodies showing him roasting his opponents during televised debates. The Slogan was subsequently officially aknowledged and embraced by Mélenchon himself.[30]

various examples

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Hologram meeting

On january 12th, 2017, Mr Mélenchon announced his intention to hold, on february 5th a meeting simultaneously live on stage in the city of Lyon and broadcast via hologram projection in Paris,[31] invoking the "spirit of science and sharing" behind this technology. The surprising announcement, that many percieved as over the top, spawned hilarity on social media, especially among his supporters, who generated several Star Wars themed photoshop edits under the hashtag #Hologramme.

various examples

Mélenchon Reaction

Mélenchon reaction is a reaction image taken from an interview on radio channel Europe 1 displaying Mr. Mélenchon in an expression of complete shock and disbelief. Following the interview's broadcast on March 15th, 2017, the animated GIF version of the reaction became viral on Twitter, and led users to associate it with various humorous captions under the hashtag #melenchonreaction.

OMG its a Trap @OMG its_a_Trap Suivrev Quand elle te dit qu'elle est d'accord pour un plan à 3 avec sa meilleure amie #MelenchonReaction Europe Eur Europe1 ope1 Europe1 Europe1 Europe Eu GIF Punk's Not Dead @Kor_Back Suivrev Quand tu découvres que le père noël n'existe pas #MelenchonReaction Europe 1 Eur Europe1 Europe ope1 Europe1 Europe1 Europe Eu IF urope 1 Europe Eur Europe f obe Europe1 Europe rope 1 pe Europe1 Europe Europe 1 E1 8:40

Fiscal Kombat

Fiscal Kombat[36][37] is a navigator-based, beat-them-up sidescroller video game developped by a team of members of the Discord Insoumis. The game features Jean Luc-Mélenchon as the player character fighting famous tax evaders and notoriously corrupt politicians in order to seize their money. At the end of every game, the player adds his score to an global online counter that compares the amount of money collected with the estimated cost of Mélenchon's program. The game's humorous plot references numerous jokes and memes from the presidential campaign. This is the first time a video game was used as a tool of political propaganda in France.

Presentation and gameplay videos

After its release on April 7th, 2017, the game became widely commented online, from tech and gaming specialized publications to general press as well.[38][39] Later, during the 2017 UK election campaign, some Labour Party supporters took inspiration from Fiscal Kombat and created a similar iPhone and Android game called Corbyn Run, [40][41] starring UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as the player character.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Jean-Luc Mélenchon

[2] Wikipedia – May 1968 events in France

[3] Wikipedia (french) – Mélenchon's early steps in politics

[4] Wikipedia – French European Constitution Referendum, 2005

[5] The Huffington Post archive – Vidéo: Mélenchon qualifie Pujadas de salaud et de larbin – 10/08/2010

[6] Rue 89 – Coflit des Conti : Mélenchon traite Pujadas de Salaud – 10/09/2010

[7] Le Journal du Dimanche – Mélenchon a parfaitement résumé ma pensée

[8] Wikipedia – French presidential election 2012

[9] Youtube – Deux jours après Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon annonce sa candidature pour 2017

[10] Les Echos – Les dix mesures de Jean-Luc Mélenchon – 10/16/2016

[11] Le Parisien – Présidentielle 2017 : Mélenchon, premier à annoncer 500 promesses de parrainages – 01/12/2017

[12] Facebook – Jean-Luc Mélenchon

[13] Twitter – Jean-Luc Mélenchon

[14] YouTube – Jean Luc Mélenchon

[15] Le Monde – Le candidat Mélenchon crève l'écran sur YouTube – 12/28/2016

[16] YouTube – François Fillon

[17] YouTube – Marine 2017

[18] Europe 1 – Mélenchon debates about the German economic model

[19] Agoravox – Mélenchon et Chávez : l’étrange soutien d’un impérialiste à un révolutionaire – 10/10/2012

[20] Le Point – Michel Onfray : halte aux mensonges sur Castro – 12/04/2016

[21] Le Monde – Les ambiguïtés de Mélenchon sur la Russie et la guerre en Syrie – 12/16/2016

[22] YouTube – David de la chaîne Ganesh2

[23] – Jean-Luc no Revolution

[24] Paris Match – Jean-Luc Mélenchon, héros de Manga – 06/13/2016

[25] – Mélenchon devient un héros de Manga – 10/08/2016

[26] – Un manga sur Mélenchon?

[27] forums Jean Luc no revolution forum thread – 05/25/2016

[28] forums Melenchon vs Le Pen poll

[29] Slate – Jean-Luc Mélenchon vs Marine Le Pen: bataille trollesque sur le forum 18-25 ans de – 11/18/2016

[30] Youtube – Mélenchon about

[31] The Huffington Post – Jean-Luc Mélenchon va tenir un double meeting… à l'aide d'un hologramme – 01/12/2017

[32] Wikipedia – La France Insoumise

[33] Wikipedia – 2017 French legislative election

[34] – Le discord Insoumis, Mélenchon's digital strike force

[35] mé

[36] Wikipedia – Fiscal Kombat

[37] Fiscal Kombat – official site

[38] – Fiscal Kombat : le jeu où Mélenchon combat « vraiment » les gros fraudeurs du fisc

[39] BBC – Fiscal Kombat: French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon stars in video game

[40] Kotaku – Corbyn Run is Tory-mocking fun

[41] The Guardian – Democracy? there's an app for that

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