For What It’s Worth: The Yellow Vests and the Left
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A most excellent essay:
by Jim Kavanagh
Something’s happening here…
The “yellow vest” (gilets jaunes) movement has upended French politics, at least.
It has delivered a sharp and refreshing smack in the face to the smuggest of smug, entitled neoliberal brats, Emmanuel Macron, forcing him to retreat on substantive tax and minimum wage issues. It has also raised a raft of issues from wealth inequality (including demands for higher taxes on the rich) to a rejection of austerity and the dreaded Frexit.
Most importantly, it has acted outside the gatekeeping of traditional opposition parties and institutions–including those of the left, which have all been thoroughly decaffeinated and beguiled by the fantasia of Third-Way EU becoming “Social Europe.” The Yellow Vest movement is millions of people out in the street, engaged in militant, confrontational protest, talking to and acting with each other unsupervised, telling the governing elite: “Va te faire foutre!”
A self-mobilization of the working class: This is the specter of Europe past, which Third-Way politicians and intelligentsia thought they had once and for all banished to the netherworld a few decades ago. The Yellow Vest movement, now spreading to other counties, is striking a new body blow to the teetering edifice of neoliberalism that has been built on the bones of the working-class lives in Europe and America over those decades.
This explains why the American mainstream media has avoided focusing on the Yellow Vest movement. The left, on the other hand, must be overjoyed, right?
"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK #SurviveAndRevolt
December 22, 2018 at 3:14 PM #3821Ohio BarbarianModerator
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calling Hillary Clinton and other Vichy Democrats “the left.” Makes me go
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman
December 22, 2018 at 3:39 PM #3833Babel 17Participant
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The Sanders movement 2.0, though with some regrettable destruction of property.
And hopefully we’ll get the 3.0 version, where we too are seen as being inarguably representative of the 99%, and not restricted to a limited demographic. And we’ll be impossible to be ignored or dismissed
We won’t need, or want, violence, just like we never have in the past.
We just have to watch out for the fakes who’ll try to rush to the front to shepherd us. Who was that fellow who bragged in his messages that he’d built the credibility to lead us to Clinton, because he’d said some nice things about Sanders in the past?
People like him, and people much worse than him, who’ll promise what they have no intention or means of delivering, so that they can put themself into positions where they can work the grift that they have so much practice at.
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