10 Reasons The Gilets-Jeunes Are The Real Deal

5. The manner in which the globalisers have no response but violence. What is occurring in France currently is a conflict between two world views that have nothing to say to each other. Something illustrated by the side-lining of both Maria La Pen and the official parliamentary opposition. Unlike colour revolutions, there is no clear officially endorsed alternative. No one in Washington nominated a Gilets for the presidency and if they had, no one would take any notice. Thus the ritualised nature of contemporary parliamentary politics has been starkly revealed; all the French deputies whatever their allegiance, are fully paid up globalising neo-liberals.

It is clear that Macron has no way of speaking to the Gilets. His recent declaration that he too wanted a raise in salary (note the word salary) and that made him a Gilets too, is verging, in its relation to reality, on the clinically insane. Neo-liberalism is the world view of the elite and the powerful; as some have noted it’s a class war against the poor. All they can offer the Gilets Jaunes is the same old, same old. The elite’s incomprehension and isolation from the French people are clear in every word they utter. The Power is trapped in its own symbolic universe rendering them incapable of grasping the demands of lived experience expressed by the Gilets Jaunes. In this, the Macron Government resemble the Syrian Jihadists whose demands were incomprehensible to the vast majority of the Syrian people and as such could only be implemented by violence.

6. The confusion among intellectuals. The western intellectual tradition, particularly the social disciplines, has no idea how to address the economic, political and cultural stagnation currently affecting western countries. The continued prestige of the academy is more down to habit, careerism and State support than any lived engagement. Intellectuals such as Henri-Levy have been co-opted repeatedly to provide a veil of respectability for murderous foreign adventures in Syria, Venezuela and Libya.

Simultaneously, academic opponents of these activities are being quietly silenced by purges and smears in universities in France, Australia and Britain. Moreover the concentration of French ‘intellectuals’, particularly social commentators, in the Paris, mirrors exactly the centralisation of political power, indeed they are so entwined one struggles to tell them apart. This is why, like the politicians, French intellectuals are resorting to scatter-gun accusations, chosen as if from some play-book; racism, populism, fascism, anti-Semitism, Russian interference and so on. Anything in truth they can muster at short notice for a two-minute sound bite. Needless to say, the Gilets Jaunes aren’t listening.


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