Skip to main content

Yellow vests rise against neoliberal ‘king’ Macron

For centuries, the “left” hoped popular movements would lead to changes for the better. Today, many leftists seem terrified of popular movements for change, convinced “populism” must lead to “fascism.” But it needn’t be so, says Diana Johnstone.

by Diana Johnstone

Part 5 - The Weakness of Macron

The Yellow Vests have made clear to the whole world that Emmanuel Macron was an artificial product sold to the electorate by an extraordinary media campaign.

Macron was the rabbit magically pulled out of a top hat, sponsored by what must be called the French oligarchy. After catching the eye of established king-maker Jacques Attali, the young Macron was given a stint at the Rothschild bank where he could quickly gain a small fortune, ensuring his class loyalty to his sponsors. Media saturation and the scare campaign against “fascist” Marine LePen (who moreover flubbed her major debate) put Macron in office. He had met his wife when she was teaching his theater class, and now he gets to play President.

The mission assigned to him by his sponsors was clear. He must carry through more vigorously the “reforms” (austerity measures) already undertaken by previous governments, which had often dawdled at hastening the decline of the social State.

And beyond that, Macron was supposed to “save Europe”. Saving Europe means saving the European Union from the quagmire in which it finds itself.

This is why cutting expenses and balancing the budget is his obsession. Because that’s what he was chosen to do by the oligarchy that sponsored his candidacy. He was chosen by the financial oligarchy above all to save the European Union from threatening disintegration caused by the euro. The treaties establishing the EU and above all the common currency, the euro, have created an imbalance between member states that is unsustainable. The irony is that previous French governments, starting with Mitterrand, are largely responsible for this state of affairs. In a desperate and technically ill-examined effort to keep newly unified Germany from becoming the dominant power in Europe, the French insisted on binding Germany to France by a common currency. Reluctantly, the Germans agreed to the euro – but only on German terms. The result is that Germany has become the unwilling creditor of equally unwilling EU member states, Italy, Spain, Portugal and of course, ruined Greece. The financial gap between Germany and its southern neighbors keeps expanding, which causes ill will on all sides.

Germany doesn’t want to share economic power with states it considers irresponsible spendthrifts. So Macron’s mission is to show Germany that France, despite its flagging economy, is “responsible”, by squeezing the population in order to pay interest on the debt. Macron’s idea is that the politicians in Berlin and the bankers in Frankfurt will be so impressed that they will turn around and say, well done Emmanuel, we are ready to throw our wealth into a common pot for the benefit of all 27 Member States. And that is why Macron will stop at nothing to balance the budget, to make the Germans love him.

So far, the Macron magic is not working on the Germans, and it’s driving his own people into the streets.

Or are they his own people? Does Macron really care about his run of the mill compatriots who just work for a living? The consensus is that he does not.

Macron is losing the support both of the people in the streets and the oligarchs who sponsored him. He is not getting the job done.

Macron’s rabbit-out-of-the hat political ascension leaves him with little legitimacy, once the glow of glossy magazine covers wears off. With help from his friends, Macron invented his own party, La République en Marche, which doesn’t mean much of anything but suggested action. He peopled his party with individuals from “civil society”, often medium entrepreneurs with no political experience, plus a few defectors from either the Socialist or the Republican Parties, to occupy the most important government posts.

The only well-known recruit from “civil society” was the popular environmental activist, Nicolas Hulot, who was given the post of Minister of Environment, but who abruptly resigned in a radio announcement last August, citing frustration.

Macron’s strongest supporter from the political class was Gérard Collomb, Socialist Mayor of Lyons, who was given the top cabinet post of Minister of Interior, in charge of national police. But shortly after Hulot left, Collomb said he was leaving too, to go back to Lyons. Macron entreated him to stay on, but on October 3, Collomb went ahead and resigned, with a stunning statement referring to “immense problems” facing his successor. In the “difficult neighborhoods” in the suburbs of major cities, he said, the situation is “very much degraded : it’s the law of the jungle that rules, drug dealers and radical Islamists have taken the place of the Republic.” Such suburbs need to be “reconquered”.

After such a job description, Macron was at a loss to recruit a new Interior Minister. He groped around and came up with a crony he had chosen to head his party, ex-Socialist Christophe Castaner. With a degree in criminology, Castaner’s main experience qualifying him to head the national police is his close connection, back in his youth in the 1970s, with a Marseilles Mafioso, apparently due to his penchant for playing poker and drinking whiskey in illegal dens.

Saturday, November 17, demonstrators were peaceful, but resented the heavy teargas attacks. Saturday November 25, things got a big rougher, and on Saturday December 1st, all hell broke loose. With no leaders and no service d’ordre (militants assigned to protect the demonstrators from attacks, provocations and infiltration), it was inevitable that casseurs (smashers) got into the act and started smashing things, looting shops and setting fires to trash cans, cars and even buildings. Not only in Paris, but all over France: from Marseilles to Brest, from Toulouse to Strasbourg. In the remote town of Puy en Velay, known for its chapel perched on a rock and its traditional lace-making, the Prefecture (national government authority) was set on fire. Tourist arrivals are cancelled and fancy restaurants are empty and department stores fear for their Christmas windows. The economic damages are enormous.

And yet, support for the Yellow Vests remains high, probably because people are able to distinguish between those grieved citizens and the vandals who love to wreak destruction for its own sake.

On Monday, there were suddenly fresh riots in the troubled suburbs that Collomb warned about as he retreated to Lyons. This was a new front for the national police, whose representatives let it be known that all this was getting to be much too much for them to cope with. Announcing a state of emergency is not likely to solve anything.

Macron is a bubble that has burst. The legitimacy of his authority is very much in question. Yet he was elected in 2017 for a five year term, and his party holds a large majority in parliament that makes his destitution almost impossible.

So what next? Despite having been sidelined by Macron’s electoral victory in 2017, politicians of all hews are trying to recuperate the movement – but discreetly, because the Gilets Jaunes have made clear their distrust of all politicians. This is not a movement that seeks to take power. It simply seeks redress of its grievances. The government should have listened in the first place, accepted discussions and compromise. This gets more difficult as time goes on, but nothing is impossible.

For some two or three hundred years, people one could call “left” hoped that popular movements would lead to changes for the better. Today, many leftists seem terrified of popular movements for change, convinced “populism” must lead to “fascism”. This attitude is one of many factors indicating that the changes ahead will not be led by the left as it exists today. Those who fear change will not be there to help make it happen. But change is inevitable and it need not be for the worse.

***

Source:


[1] [2] [3] [4]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New York Times accidentally destroys the Western propaganda on Venezuela

globinfo freexchange
In another rare 'real journalism' short crisis, the New York Times decided to reveal the truth about the trucks with 'humanitarian aid' on the Colombia-Venezuela border, that were set on fire.
As The Interceptreported:
On February 24, CNN told the world what we all now know is an absolute lie: that “a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks,” though it generously added that “the network’s journalists are unsure if the trucks were burned on purpose.
Other media outlets endorsed the lie while at least avoiding what CNN did by personally vouching for it. “Humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela was set on fire, seemingly by troops loyal to Mr Maduro,The Telegraph claimed. The BBC uncritically printed: “There have also been reports of several aid trucks being burned – something Mr Guaidó said was a violation of the Geneva Convention.
That lie – supported by…

The underground war between Venezuela and the US big oil cartel confirmed through WikiLeaks

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A document under the title VENEZUELA: AMERICAN OIL AND SERVICE COMPANIES ENGAGE AMBASSADOR, from July, 2009, depicts the agony of the US oil corporations to stay in Venezuela, as they had already lost control over country's rich reserves.
The summary…

Neoliberal fascists attempt to regain control over the European continent to prevent a Leftist revival

While the neoliberal regime is pushing Jeremy Corbyn for a second Brexit referendum, Brussels bureaufascists visit Greece to make sure that the country will remain on the path of neoliberal destruction.
globinfo freexchange
UK's neoliberal regime is now pushing Jeremy Corbyn to promise a second Brexit referendum, hoping to reverse current Brexit vote. As the Independentreported:
Jeremy Corbyn is under new pressure to fully back giving the public a Final Say on Brexit after his own version of EU withdrawal was emphatically rejected in the Commons. His vision of the UK leaving Europe was defeated by a margin of 240 votes to 323, meaning the leader will now be expected to fulfil a promise to bring forward or support a vote to approve a new referendum. The 83-vote defeat comes after Mr Corbyn told Labour MPs on Monday that he was ready to support moves to demand a public vote, having lost a string of MPs who resigned in part over his Brexit strategy.
It appears that the blackmail worked …

Fraudulent neoliberalism was born when it was assumed that the banking parasites produce real value

Democracy At Work
Adam Smith looked on bankers as if they were unproductive. Essentially said they're parasites who kind of live off the value created by others. Bankers - if you have a labor theory of value - it's hard to see how bankers can be producing value.
Before the 1970s, financial services were not included in the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP). In other words, they were considered as adding nothing to the total value of gross domestic product. Only after 1970 did they get included, and now, of course, they're considered to be great value producers. So, do financiers produce value? This starts to become a very important kind of question.

UK's panicked neoliberal regime desperate to build a third loyal party to halt Corbyn's progressive counterattack

globinfo freexchange
Right after the seven neoliberal Blairites left the Labour party towards the formation of a new "independent" party, three Tories decided to join them.
As the Guardianreported: “Three Conservatives have quit their party to join the new Independent Group of MPs, declaring that hard Brexiters have taken over and that the modernising wing of the party has been 'destroyed'. Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen explained their decision to join the new group, founded this week by seven Labour MPs, who also left their party.
It all happened too fast and someone would be rather naive to believe that these moves were not pre-agreed and fully coordinated.
All the picks appear to be carefully selected. The establishment takes back those who has raised carefully with the 'principles' of the neoliberal ideology in order to save them from the collapsing conservative party and the Corbynism-'contaminated' Labour. Next step, a third 'ind…

To save Labour from the wreckers, Corbyn needs big balls (and a willie)

In 2015, anti-war socialist Jeremy Corbyn caused a stunning shock when, as a 500-1 shot, he became elected as Labour Party leader. Corbyn’s campaign engendered great enthusiasm among those desperate for Labour to make a clean break with elite-friendly pro-war neoliberal Blairism.
by Neil Clark
In the 2017 general election Corbyn defied the odds, and the smug inside the tent pundits again, with Labour achieving its biggest increase in its share of the vote since 1945.
Corbyn seemed to be on an unstoppable path to Number 10. But since then momentum has been lost. Literally.
Let’s call out the elephant in the room. The pro-Israel lobby in Labour and outside of it has never been reconciled to having a pro-Palestinian peace activist as party leader and potential Prime Minister.
They have done everything possible to destroy Corbyn personally and professionally, with charges of ’anti-Semitism’ the weapon of choice. But Corbyn hasn’t done himself any favours by failing to fight back forcefully ag…

As mainstream journalists acknowledge Douma attacks were “staged,” the “humanitarian” Syria regime-change network tries to save a sinking ship

There is increasing desperation on the part of the “humanitarian” regime-change network to protect its influence and the power of its narratives, not just in Syria but in future conflicts.
by Whitney Webb and Vanessa Beeley
Part 3 - Global Public Policy Institute’s place in regime-change network
Beyond Schneider’s conflicts of interests by virtue of his work history and current associations, the organization that employs him — the Global Public Policy Institute — is directly connected to an oligarch-directed and oligarch-funded regime-change network that specializes in manufacturing “humanitarian” justifications for Western military adventurism abroad. The main oligarchs who drive this network, as detailed in a recent articles series at MintPress, include Jeffrey Skoll, George Soros, Pierre Omidyar, and Ted Turner — philanthrocapitalists aligned with the neoliberal, globalist agendas of the U.S/U.K alliance.
In addition to its stated mission of “improving global governance,” in line with…

Βενεζουέλα: Διαβολική επανάληψη της ιστορίας 120 χρόνια μετά

Ως «αδιόρθωτο» και «απαίσιο» περιγράφουν οι New York Times, η New York Herald και το Associated Press τον ηγέτη της Βενεζουέλας. Ο τελευταίος «απεχθάνεται τις πιο ιερές αξίες των πολιτισμένων εθνών», γράφουν τα δυτικά ΜΜΕ που υποστηρίζουν τον φιλελεύθερο «επαναστάτη», ο οποίος προσπαθεί να εξουδετερώσει τον «τύραννο». Ο τελευταίος είναι ο πλέον μισητός στον δυτικό κόσμο, το κράτος του, αν και πλούσιο σε πόρους, είναι υπερχρεωμένο, η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας διεκδικείται από έναν επαναστάτη που έχει συγκεντρώσει έναν στρατό και βαδίζει προς το Καράκας.
Βαγγέλης Γεωργίου
Μέρος 3ο - Η «κατασκευή» υποχρεώσεων
Οπωσδήποτε η Βενεζουέλα είχε νομικές και οικονομικές υποχρεώσεις απέναντι σε ξένα κράτη. Ωστόσο, αυτές δημιουργήθηκαν και χρησιμοποιήθηκαν με τέτοιο τρόπο από τις Μεγάλες Δυνάμεις που οδηγούσαν ουσιαστικά στην πλήρη υποταγή του αδύναμου λατινοαμερικανικού κράτους.
Ο ίδιος ο Βρετανός επιτετραμμένος στο Καράκας Richard Edwardes είχε ανακαλύψει από τη δεκαετία του 1860 τον μηχανισμό απάτης πο…

The war criminal Elliott Abrams and the liberals who love him

Elliott Abrams, who is steering Trump’s Venezuela policy, has a long track record of war crimes. Yet a number of liberal commentators are rushing to his defense.
by Paul Heideman
Part 1
Practically the entire American political establishment and corporate press are repeating the Trump administration’s claims to have humanitarian motives in Venezuela. As that administration inches closer to full-blown military invasion, whether direct or by proxy, it behooves us to look into the track record of the officials steering this so-called “humanitarian policy.” None other are more deserving of scrutiny than Elliott Abrams, whose crimes have spanned the globe, from El Salvador to Nicaragua to Iraq.
Before this month, Elliott Abrams was likely glad to have been largely forgotten by the U.S. public. When the Trump administration announced Abrams’ appointment as U.S. Special Representative in Venezuela in late January, the news caused some ripples on the Left, but across mainstream media outlets, the…

Βενεζουέλα: Διαβολική επανάληψη της ιστορίας 120 χρόνια μετά

Ως «αδιόρθωτο» και «απαίσιο» περιγράφουν οι New York Times, η New York Herald και το Associated Press τον ηγέτη της Βενεζουέλας. Ο τελευταίος «απεχθάνεται τις πιο ιερές αξίες των πολιτισμένων εθνών», γράφουν τα δυτικά ΜΜΕ που υποστηρίζουν τον φιλελεύθερο «επαναστάτη», ο οποίος προσπαθεί να εξουδετερώσει τον «τύραννο». Ο τελευταίος είναι ο πλέον μισητός στον δυτικό κόσμο, το κράτος του, αν και πλούσιο σε πόρους, είναι υπερχρεωμένο, η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας διεκδικείται από έναν επαναστάτη που έχει συγκεντρώσει έναν στρατό και βαδίζει προς το Καράκας.
Βαγγέλης Γεωργίου
Μέρος 1ο
Θα μπορούσαν όλα αυτά να συμβαίνουν το 2019, αλλά συνέβαιναν στη Βενεζουέλα του 1899, όταν η Δύση έπρεπε να τακτοποιήσει πάλι έναν μισητό δικτάτορα κάπου στην Καραϊβική.
Οι ομοιότητες διαβολικές. Η κατάληξη ίδια;
Πράγματι, η Βενεζουέλα την τελευταία δεκαετία του 19ου αιώνα είχε βυθιστεί σε εμφυλίους οι οποίοι ακύρωναν τις όποιες προσπάθειες είχαν γίνει από τις κυβερνήσεις των φιλελεύθερων των προηγούμενων δεκαετιών.