This article was originally published by Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper
The recent protests in France seem to have caught everyone by surprise, particularly the French government. Macron’s government seems to have underestimated the demonstrations and the determination of the protesters.
The Western media seems confounded in their attempts to understand or explain them and the rest of the world appears surprised that, in a “rich” Western nation, people could be so discontented over something that doesn’t involve race, gender, or whatever other flashpoint of social justice is being fed to them by MSM and academia, that they would take to the streets for weeks on end.
Every indication we have at this point shows that the French people have finally and legitimately had enough of being oppressed by the government. Still, no one fully knows where the protests are going or how the government is going to react. There has been talk of more and bigger demonstrations with concerns over greater violence and the government has hinted at the possibility of imposing martial law.
As of the writing of this article, there has essentially been a war on the streets of Paris all day and it seems that war is going to continue throughout the night.
The Official Story Of The Protests
Initially, we were told that the protests were the result of a single issue – taxes. This is believable enough. People have been protesting taxes for years. But these protests seem different. First, it is not a mere financial issue such as what taxes have long been considered in the US (mainly because taxes have been relatively low compared to socialist countries in Europe . . . for now) but also because the taxes allegedly spawning the protests have come as a result of the imposition of a fuel tax under the guise of environmental concerns.
The Macron government claims that the taxes are being imposed in order to transition France off of fossil fuel and toward alternative energy for the purpose of combatting climate change.
The taxes are, of course, simply more eco-fascism and money grabbing from the French government which is acting the great tradition of Western governments using climate change, as the Club of Rome once devised, as the crisis that would “fit the bill” to force “wealthy” Westerners to accept much less in terms of their living standards and disposable income. The taxes would have raised the price of diesel, the most commonly used fuel in France, by 6.5 cents on January 1. This comes after a previous 7.6 cent hike earlier this year which raised fuel prices by 23%.
While Europeans are generally more accepting of eco-fascist policies (particularly those which do nothing to protect the environment), this rise in fuel prices seems to have been the straw which broke the camel’s back in France. Per the usual, the taxes would have hurt an already seriously overtaxed, overworked, and underpaid populace of middle class, working, and poor people.
And that is precisely who have come out to protest.
The Working Class Is Fed Up.
As a result of Free Trade, European Union Soviet-style “democracy,” socialistic high taxation, and unfettered immigration, the French economy has been going down the tubes. Wages are stagnating and getting lower, unemployment is on the rise, and taxes all around have been going up.
With protest being part of the French culture, thousands of French people took to the streets, donning the yellow vests they are required to keep in their cars by law, as a symbol of “emergency.” Those numbers swelled from thousands to tens of thousands, to a hundred thousand. Now, there really isn’t a way to tell how many protesters are on the streets as Paris itself has become a battleground.
More and more “governance” is an exercise in social engineering by technocrats who know what is best. This particular exercise goes directly opposite to an earlier government measure of social engineering which used economic incitements to get people to buy cars running on diesel. Now the government has changed its mind. Over half of personal vehicles still run on diesel, although the percentage has been dropping. Now their owners are told to go buy an electric car instead. But people living on the edge simply can’t afford the switch.
Besides, the energy policy is incoherent. In theory, the “green” economy includes shutting down France’s many nuclear power plants. Without them, where would the electricity come from to run the electric cars? And nuclear power is “clean”, no CO2. So what is going on? People wonder.
But In Reality, The Protests Are About More Than Taxes
But, as usual, the official story is not the whole story. It appears the protests are about much more than fuel taxes but that the taxes were the fuel to a fire of greater discontent with the entire system. Fuel taxes were just one more example of how an already overtaxed population are being taxed at higher rates yet again when all they want is to work and survive. But it brought to mind just how phony fuel and carbon taxes are – i.e., they do nothing for the environment but they do lower living standards and make it incredibly hard for working people to survive which, ultimately, is their purpose.
But taxes also reminded the French people of how much they are already overtaxed everywhere else, how the elderly can barely survive on their pensions, and how workers, even middle-class ones, are watching their livelihoods shrink. For the poor, they are sitting idle and helplessly unemployed.
On top of that, they watch Emmanuel Macron tell them there are no problems with the economy. If you’re out of a job, just walk across the street and get one! In fact, Macron actually said this to unemployed workers who questioned him as to what he was going to do to remedy growing unemployment in France, furthering his reputation as a lofty limousine liberal vastly disconnected from the population.
Macron himself is an interesting component of this whole situation, having been chosen by power broker Jacques Attali and given a run at a Rothschild bank before assuming the Presidency to impose austerity measures, continue France’s foreign adventures, and essentially destroy the nation with more immigration.
The Protests Are About The State of the Economy, Not Just Taxes.
The protests now seem to be about the general situation of the country, not about the fuel tax specifically. This is relatively obvious since, soon after the protests, the French government put the tax on hold yet the protests continue.
Many of the signs seen at some of these rallies have provided an interesting dimension. For instance, one picture circulating on the internet (assuming the photo is real) shows a sign that reads “Schiappa por pedophile” (Schiappa is a pedophile) while another reads “Vaccins cons poison” (Vaccines are poison). It should be noted that Schiappa is Marlene Schiappa, the French Gender Equality minister.
It should also be noted that France is experiencing a growing anti-vaccination movement even as the French government makes greater moves to mandate and require vaccines. Yet another instance of the growing divide between the French government and the people.
Diana Johnstone describes the protests in her article, “FRANCE: Les ‘Gilets Jaunes’ – A Distress Flare from the People That Macron Should Not Ignore” where she writes,
The Yellow Vests held their first demonstrations on Saturday, November 17 on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. It was totally unlike the usual trade union demonstrations, well organized to march down the boulevard between the Place de la République and the Place de la Bastille, or the other way around, carrying banners and listening to speeches from leaders at the end. The Gilets Jaunes just came, with no organization, no leaders to tell them where to go or to harangue the crowd. They were just there, in the yellow vests, angry and ready to explain their anger to any sympathetic listener.
Briefly, the message was this: we can’t make ends meet. The cost of living keeps going up, and our incomes keep going down. We just can’t take it anymore. The government must stop, think and change course.
Things Are Worse Than We Realize In France
But so far, the reaction of the government was to send police to spray torrents of tear gas on the crowd, apparently to keep the people at a distance from the nearby Presidential residence, the Elysee Palace. President Macron was somewhere else, apparently considering himself above and beyond it all.
But those who were listening could learn a lot about the state of France today. Especially in the small towns and rural areas, where many protesters came from. Things are much worse than officials and media in Paris have let on.
There were young women who were working seven days a week and despaired of having enough money to feed and clothe their children.
People were angry but ready to explain very clearly the economic issues.
Colette, age 83, doesn’t own a car but explained to whoever would listen that the steep rise of gasoline prices would also hurt people who don’t drive, by affecting prices of food and other necessities. She had done the calculations and figured it would cost a retired person 80 euros per month.
“Macron didn’t run on the promise to freeze pensions,” recalled a Yellow Vest, but that is what he has done, along with increasing solidarity taxes on pensioners.
Health Care Is Being Undermined.
A significant and recurring complaint concerned the matter of health care. France has long had the best public health program in the world, but this is being steadily undermined to meet the primary need of capital: profit.
In the past few years, there has been a growing government campaign to encourage, and finally to oblige people to subscribe to a “mutuelle”, that is, a private health insurance plan, ostensibly to fill “the gaps” not covered by France’s universal health coverage. The “gaps” can be the 15% that is not covered for ordinary illnesses (grave illnesses are covered 100%), or for medicines taken off the “covered” list, or for dental work, among other things. The “gaps” to fill keep expanding, along with the cost of subscribing to the mutuelle. In reality, this program, sold to the public as modernizing improvement, is a gradual move toward privatization of health care. It is a sneaky method of opening the whole field of public health to international financial capital investment. This gambit has not fooled ordinary people and is high on the list of complaints by the Gilets Jaunes.
The degradation of care in the public hospitals is another complaint. There are fewer and fewer hospitals in rural areas, and one must “wait long enough to die” emergency rooms. Those who can afford it are turning to private hospitals. But most can’t. Nurses are overworked and underpaid. When one hears what nurses have to endure, one is reminded that this is indeed a noble profession.
In all this, I was reminded of a young woman we met at a public picnic in southwestern France last summer. She cares for elderly people who live at home alone in rural areas, driving from one to another, to feed them, bathe them, offer a moment of cheerful company and understanding. She loves her vocation, loves helping old people, although it barely allows her to make a living. She will be among those who will have to pay more to get from one patient to the next.
The Things They Pay Taxes For Are Being Taken Away.
People pay taxes willingly when they are getting something for it. But not when the things they are used to are being taken away.
The tax evaders are the super-rich and the big corporations with their batteries of lawyers and safe havens, or intruders like Amazon and Google. Meanwhile, ordinary French people have been relatively disciplined in paying taxes in return for excellent public services: optimum health care, first-class public transport, rapid and efficient postal service, free university education.
But all that is under assault from the reign of financial capital called “neo-liberalism” here.
In rural areas, more and more post offices, schools and hospitals are shut down, unprofitable train service is discontinued as “free competition” is introduced following European Union directives – measures which oblige people to drive their cars more than ever. Especially when huge shopping centers drain small towns of their traditional shops.
Are The Protests Real Or Are They Something Else?
At this point, the protests seem entirely genuine. The issues being addressed are very real and the people attending the protests are not the usual suspects. The protesters are the poor, the working class, and the middle class. In general, they are not major trade unions, political parties, or typical political activists. The latter groups tend to be the most easily controlled and manipulated due in part to their own consistent interest in political events coupled with their ignorance of true solutions and how mass movements can be controlled by the forces they believe they are protesting.
By contrast, middle and working class, as well as poor people, tend to be less involved or interested in politics until a tipping point has been reached, a point that is almost never reached by the protests of radicals, activists, or unions.
It also seems that the protests do not have a political bias at all. The protesters do not seem left or right, though some “extreme” left and right-wing political parties have called on their own supporters to support the yellow vest movement. Johnstone states,
Are The Protesters As Radical As They Are Being Labelled?
Maybe I have missed something, but of the many interviews I have listened to, I have not heard one word that would fall into the categories of “far right”, much less “fascism” – or even that indicated any particular preference in regard to political parties. These people are wholly concerned with concrete practical issues. Not a whiff of ideology – remarkable in Paris!
Indeed, labeling the protesters as “fascists” is not only inaccurate, it is the predictable response of Communists and those on the far left for whom any resistance to their agenda is considered “fascism” and “Nazism.”
Perhaps it is because the protesters are carrying the French flag at their protests that cause so much consternation on the part of globalists. In 2018, any national pride is considered “nationalism” and “nationalism” is considered another appearance of Hitler’s Nazi ideology. Neither is true, obviously. But it is still no surprise that an elite ruling class wishing to eliminate borders and impose neo-liberal globalist policies would find the French flag so stomach-churning.
Nationalism is only dangerous if it becomes aggressive toward other nations and legitimately xenophobic, not when it inspires pride and participation.
The Violence Is Racheting Up
In another development, anarchists have turned up for the protests and, predictably, so has the violence.To be clear, identifying as an anarchist does not equate to violence and the majority of anarchists are indeed non-violent. Still, the present of anarchists in a protest movement with legitimate grievances and legitimate demands is a recipe for disaster since the only contribution anarchists can make is the presence of a body at best. Otherwise, violence, destruction of property, and demands to “smash the state” do nothing but provide a reason for the state to paint the protest movement as unreasonable and thus justify its hold on power or its refusal to give in to those demands.
Anarchists also tend to fall prey to manipulative agendas during the course of mass movement and, as a result, tend to sideline such movements, consume them, and burn up whatever revolutionary fuel they might have had in a blaze of futility. For that reason, the anarchist is one of the more effective grassroots tool in the state’s playbook. Instead of smashing the state, they tend to smash the resistance to the state’s tyranny. See the article “The Duping of Anarchist Revolutionaries – The Modern Anarchist Movement and The Russian Revolution.”
Thus, it is important to separate the “yellow vests” from the anarchists.
So far, the movement seems to be leaderless. On one hand, this makes the movement more likely to be organic and genuine. But the state apparatus is not going to sit back and let its power be challenged. Where a leader is lacking, a leader will be provided – either by the protesters or by the intelligence services or non-governmental organizations that are so skilled at subverting and misdirecting mass movements.
For now, the protests remain genuine as many of this writers’ French contacts have reported. But the yellow vests need to stay focused and on message and they must be wary of any “leaders” with connections to big Foundations, NGOs, or “activist” groups.
Only a set of guiding principles, rigidly adhered to, can keep this movement on track.
Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.
Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.
This is what we truly need in the U.S. otherwise, there will NEVER be any change at all…the US has become a complete joke for so, so many reasons. all of us on the Right, including myself do nothing but talk…talk, talk and talk more and ZERO action. It is pathetic and disgusting. the Gov’t here listens to one thing and we all know that answer.
Voting was our last hope for a peaceful removal of the deep state. At this point, I truly believe that Trump really will be the last President of the USA. The Left has lost its fear of the people, and Civil War 2 should shortly follow.
Bonefortoona, Civil War 2 is what’s needed to put the fear of the people back into the libturds. Same goes for govt. That war is still coming. Keep prepping.
Let me say this, that’s why we gotta be equally radical.
Barry Goldwater said, “Extremism in defense of Liberty is no vice..”
I’m a Christian Patriot, slash Dominionist, slash secessionist, slash Prepper, slash anti-communist, slash truther, slash 13th generation American. And get this, PROUD OF IT!
If we radicalize, WE will get OUR way. The more the Leftists in the incoming congress and CNN try and take out freedoms away, the more we fight back, hold the fire to their heels.
“We didn’t start the fire. It was always burnin’ while the world’s been turnin’
Viva CivW2. The Libs are about to give us both barrells when they assume power in January. Buy as much AR parts as you can, also 556/223 ammo. High cap mags will skyrocket in price. Grab all you can. But that just takes care of the gear. Resist, resist, resist.
Agree on all points although there is a lot we can all do. First should be to boycott and destroy PRAVDA/MSM and all of their advertisers who will cave in and stop working against you 24/7/365. I already did this with Costco a few years back and it worked like magic within 72 hours. There is a specific and correct way to do this and it is very easy no matter which target you choose.
The other thing everyone should do is to actually get fit and strong and well trained out for any event. Most prepper types are NOT ready for much of anything except talking crap.
Also there are many ways to be an activist and actually accomplish important matters simply by telling the truth and getting it out there. He are some examples of what I have done and continue doing 24/7/365. These pages were up for several years and they had a tremendous impact that worked ! One is ongoing !
So as you can see while many of you were getting fatter I was actually doing exactly what I talk about in every matter and event. Try it, you will like it because it is all good !
A tremendous amount of effort, time and money spent and all of it worth every bit ! Now you see why I say what I say , hey ? I am all about results and nothing less in every matter and event. I do not talk crap and sit on the couch, quite the opposite and I will continue to do so all for valid reasons ! Wake up people and get involved and aggressive against your enemies and prepared for any event for realsies, not by reading Selco’s BS, but tour own accomplishments and actions !
MAGA4EVER, How incredibly interesting and pathetic the French are schooling us on standing up ?
Ponder that tidbit and let it sink in.
And to be a bit more clear, I was completely engaged in the Bundy event at Burns. My friend was what you would consider to be the commanding officer of the state of Oregon for Oath Keepers. We were told to stand down and we did and it was a good call in retrospect. I do not resent that at all. But I did resign not long after over other matters that were for me unreconcileable and now I am aligned with others. All of you can join OKs or 3%. The mission of OKs is still a good one. I just found out some things that were over the top for me and many others. My friend resigned as well.
Stop talking crap and do something people !
Folks, it is time NOW to man up or sit back and shut up and do nothing like we have ALL been doing.
The people of France are wide-awake, royally pissed-off, and willing to do something about it … I hope they burn Paris to the ground and take back their country !
MAGA4EVER, How incredibly interesting and pathetic the French are schooling us on standing up ?
Ponder that tidbit and let it sink in.
You know things have done got bad in the U.S.when the Frenchies are making you look like pussies.
Yup, when the froggies hopped out of the closet, we Americans went in the closet. Yer so right.
It is the rural areas against urban areas. The makers versus the takers. People are fed up of working their ass off, paying taxes, and getting little to nothing but higher prices. Good luck once you retire on that pension and think you will be able to live in comfort. The French middle class are waking up to the reality of those failed promises. Along with the humility of knowing the gimmigrants are making more money, with no effort to be grateful, to show appreciation, or to assimilate. Same thing here in the US.
Who is John Galt? Where is Galt’s Gulch? This US Taxslave$ back is broken!
Screw the globalists and their vision of everyone living like cattle in cities. They can go to bloody hell. Soon, I hope.
A pic of galt’s gulch:
We in the USA had a close call last election. If hillabeast had gotten in we would be having the same situation here! The French voted socialism in so let them stew in the results!
ronna, all true but we are not out of the woods ourselves by any stretch !
That is why I take a 3 day 50 mile hike every winter to test all my gear and myself ! I started that the winter of the Burns event and use it now as my winter main event !
Remember the Jericho tv series? It laughably featured an IRS agent sent to collect back taxes on a farm who seriously mentioned doing so despite the 23 nuclear bombs going off! Talk about an eye rolling moment.
I am afraid Trump un-cocked the gun.
Lets see how the Globalist and EU fare in the short future.
If they go bye bye – We Have won.
Jakartaman, no gun uncocked. but the DEM/DSA is still trying its best to undermine. Which is exactly why we must destroy PRAVDA/MSM, their propaganda arm and their true source of power !
Fighting doesn’t always mean aggression.
The tax was doubled when women left the children with strangers and took employment outside the household.
Children are being indoctrinated at earlier and earlier ages.
Women are discouraged from having children.
Vaccines are given at birth. The Center for Disease estimates that half of all babies born by 2030 will be retarded brain damage autistics. Sounds like a genocidal plan.
Home birth, home school, homewife.
I think, when we talk about foreigners, we are talking about ourselves, vicariously. When we talk about futurism, that’s a mild exaggeration of the present times.
If you look at business licenses, state by American state, you can find one for migrant resettlement.
190 countries (almost all) have signed the UN treaty on migration. Now, looking for a list.
Here is a bit of info on the UN treaty on migration. It seems it’s only good for governments not citizens.
Gestor,damn right I’m embarrassed about the Frenchies showing us up. However I believe the Democrats will fix that in January when they come on board. I hear they got some committee looking into raising fuel prices to combat global warming. Oh god,I hope ?