France is experiencing a cycle of social struggles that is not about to fall back. This Saturday, writes Luis Casado, the country will experience Act V of the Yellow Vests’ fight. The government uses its entire arsenal of repressive resources....
Six dead, more than a thousand wounded, thousands of arrested. It is the balance, to this day, of the French crisis. The dead are yellow vests. Like almost all the wounded. Thousands of detainees, many of them preventively, before demonstrating: it is not the patch before the wound, it is Minority Report. It is hard to be the homeland of human rights.
Tons of garbage thrown on the miserable by spinmeisters, economists, sociologists and crooked journalists. There is some point in controlling the media: the truth comes from priced logorrhoea. “The yellow vests fight against other French people, their demands are contradictory, they have no leaders, they don't settle for anything…”
The truth is that les manants (the villeins, the vagrants...) fight against the privileges of riches, not against other French people. Their demands are not contradictory: they want to interfere in the decisions which concern them. It is true that they have no leaders: they abhor representative democracy and want to represent themselves. They cannot settle for leftovers, because they are human beings with rights. That is what the Republic proclaims.
Macron announced an increase of €100 for the minimum wage. He lied. He increased the "employment bonus", financed by social contributions, not by companies. Only a minority of smicards (minimum wage earners) qualify for the “employment bonus”. How to ensure that all smicards receive the €100? Eager to calm things down, the government decided to lower the social contributions paid by companies, so that they integrate the €100 in the salary. First to benefit: the companies, who see the cost of labour go down.
The contributions constitute a 'deferred salary' and belong to the workers. The €100 will then be paid by the taxpayers, i.e. the employees. The general secretary of the CGT - the main French trade union - thinks that this is a rip-off.
Seven out of ten French people want the restoration of wealth tax, by Nagy
As long the demands were limited to lowering taxes, the right wing sympathised with the movement: it evoked a certain Donald Trump. More than one intellectual, philosopher or great thinker before the Eternal, praised the "modernity" of the movement, covering at the same time with mud the "intermediary bodies", unions, associations and political parties. Once the yellow vests specified that the basic issue is purchasing power, the redistribution of wealth created with the effort of all... the same intellectuals, philosophers and great thinkers before the Eternal declared that the claims are absurd, inadmissible, foolish (sic).
The will to represent themselves, without admitting intermediaries, is rejected as a form of anarchism. The spinmeisters, who spend liters of saliva accusing the unions and the left of "ideologism", now reproach the yellow vests for their lack of intellectual structure, and demand that they equip themselves with some ideology.
The language used by the demonstrators is annoying. They don't speak 'nice', they don't quote anyone, they don't practice the verbal tics of the political-academic-philosophical-snobbish language. They simply say what they live. This is intolerable to those who have professed for years that the working class no longer exists, that poverty and misery are not of this world or are simply "une vue de l'esprit" (creation of the mind).
Each demonstrator has been on the streets for a month: their actions are not limited to Saturdays. Those who work have used their holidays to take part in the struggle. All this week, with all sorts of fallacious arguments, the government and the media have tried to dissuade the yellow vests from continuing the movement. A real campaign of terror seeks to frighten them. The meticulous description of the police device passes in boucle on radios and TVs. It is a cliché: in every war the first victim is the truth. The press lies: it is a weapon of mass intoxication.
In the meantime, life goes on: a terrorist kills four people in Strasbourg and seriously injures 12 others. The government takes the opportunity to demand that the yellow vests stop all demonstrations. Ford decides to close a factory near Bordeaux. He refuses to sell it and leaves more than 900 people without work. The Minister of Finance thunders in the National Assembly: "It's intolerable, it's a betrayal! I'm indignant, disgusted!" The minister had looked for a company to take up business again and had found it, but Ford prefers to liquidate the company: it is cheaper. Business is business...
An economist reminds the minister that wherever the capitalist risks his money, the capitalist rules. He forgot to say that Ford had received tens of millions of euros in public, state and regional aid. In short, an economist...
Today, Saturday, France will experience Act V of the confrontation between the miserable and the caste in power. There is a diffuse awareness that this battle is heralding coming combats. The financial community loses nothing by waiting. The French Revolution took place in two periods: 1789 and 1792. The counter-revolution also: the 9 Thermidor, and the 18 Brumaire. The Russian Revolution also experienced two episodes: February and October 1917.
Steps forward and backward. The fundamental question has not been resolved. The yellow vests actually pose the fundamental question: who, in the name and for the benefit of whom, do exercise power? Abraham Lincoln's words appear as a somewhat washed out, almost illegible backdrop,: "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Abraham Lincoln... Was he an anarchist?