By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog
For readers who missed the announcement of this new book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values, please click here in order to see the short recap of what this book is about and why it’s not only the best French election primer you can find, but necessary reading for anyone who wants to understand the Yellow Vests and modern France.
To recap that article – so that we can get started! – allow me just one reminding quote:
“Soon after starting this project I quickly realised: France doesn’t need an accurate rendering of the massive repression of progressive politics which began on November 17, 2018 – they need an accurate rendering of the massive repression of progressive politics which began in 1789. If they lied and misrepresented the Yellow Vests in 2018, wouldn’t they have also done the same in 1936, 1871, 1848, 1789 and in between?
Russia’s Vladimir Putin has just called the West an “empire of lies” – this book is an effort to dismantle those lies as regards to France from 1789 through the Yellow Vests. My previous books have dispelled the lies about modern China and modern Iran – after 13 years in France, I think I can do the same for the good people of France. ”
Now let’s truly begin!
Yellow Vest: “Yes, I am proud of the Yellow Vest movement. We are trying to fix France’s many fundamental problems, and we never stopped despite all the repression. What’s shameful is that we didn’t start sooner, and that our leaders totally ignore us.”
(Note: this book intersperses over 100 quotations taken from actual, marching Yellow Vests which were originally published in news reports on PressTV.)
The reasons for the Yellow Vests are historical in scope and complexity, but we can never agree on what the movement actually means without having a basic agreement and understanding of French and European history.
The second part of this book analyses the Yellow Vests in detail, but it necessarily rests upon the first part of this book, which is an analysis of the historical, economic and political context which existed up until the next nationwide Yellow Vest march (at the time of publication on Saturday March 19, 2022: today!). Therefore, this introduction chapter is needed to give the broad strokes of what has happened – with the eyes of a Yellow Vest – over the past several centuries.
Consider the brief following as a “quick glossary of revolution years”, to clarify where this particular writer is coming from, given that historical outlooks are both not universal and easy to incorrectly presume.
1492: Economic revolution: Victory over the Western hemisphere makes war/imperialism and trade newly hyper-profitable for Europe.
1688: England’s Glorious Revolution: The trading Whigs use these new types of profits to force in a foreign king, pass the English Bill of Rights, soon establish the prominence of parliament for the first time in English history – absolute monarchy is thus slightly widened into the creation of an aristocratic oligarchy. For modern Western conservatives this is the start and end of human and political rights.
1776: Victory of the new aboriginals (those born in the Western hemisphere) over all classes of Europe. Not a major revolution because no overturning of the social order was attempted. European imperialist/trade designs must begin to turn back to the Eastern hemisphere.
1789: Victory of the burghers, city workers and rural peasants over the clergy and noble classes. Noble class restored by 1815. The basis of human rights elaborated in the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen – first revolutionary attempt at overturning the social order.
1917: Victory of the city workers and rural peasants over the burghers, nobles and clergy.
1949: Victory of the rural peasants (confirmed during Cultural Revolution) over the city workers, burghers, nobles and clergy.
1979: Victory of workers and peasants in all areas and the clergy over the nobles and burghers.
1999: Economic debut (eurozone) of 1993 political revolution (European Union debut): Victory of burghers, nobles and new atheist/secular clergy over all workers.
In these eight dates are Europe’s most significant political-economic revolutions of the modern era.
The USSR, China and Iran must be included because they built upon the European ideas of 1789 – France was no longer able to. Via a class analysis we can see which class triumphed and what changed – which class fell, rose again or was completely altered. We also see that the European Union is as revolutionary a change – in a reactionary sense – as 1789 was, and why.
These eight dates are the simplest definition of what political-economic modernity is and what it became. A leftist-inspired view explains why, and I think this chronology extends deeper in time the Marxist view. Now a bit more detail, which I hope will be refreshing and informative:
In 1491 landed money dominated, as land was the primary source of wealth. Gold and silver was earned by trade and business. But the opening up of the New World was a staggering and revolutionary expansion of both commerce and war (imperialism). Europe is the part of Earth which profited the most, and we can fairly point to 1492 as the rise of the “bourgeoisie” in Europe because it represented an economic revolution as staggering as the industrial revolution: Just as Marx’s histories of 19th century France showed how landed, monarchical wealth “became bourgeois” (i.e. similar to and joined with the new forms of industrial-financial wealth), so we can show how imperialist-capitalist wealth “became bourgeois” much earlier. After all, this post-1492 trading class had just as much revolutionary power as 19th century industrial wealth: this is reflected by the 1688 Glorious Revolution, which forced in a foreign (Dutch) king to respect the very first (but still elitist) Bill of Rights.
The American Revolution initiated the first reversal of Europe’s staggering good fortune. In order to sustain their profits and New World investment/ponzi schemes, Europe’s trading/imperialist class was forced to soon attempt unprecedented colonisations of the Old World. The French occupation of Algeria in 1830 was the harbinger of EU neo-imperialism – Europe colonising Europe. (This will be explained further, but it’s rarely discussed today how France and Algeria were brothers in a culture much older than “Europe” – that of “Mediterranean Culture”. But I digress….) The American Revolution attempted no overturning of the social pyramid – it only heralded the continuation of more imperialism, which goes on until today.
The primary economic revolution of the French Revolution was not the killing of the king and the nationalisation of his lands but was actually produced by the nationalisation of the lands of the Roman Catholic Church. This produced the assignat, truly the wrongly-maligned Bitcoin of its day: It was a new type of paper money – paper which represented the value expected from the sale of the confiscated lands of the Roman church. Edmund Burke, a Whig, the nouveau riche trader-based group which rose to power to effectuate the 1688 English Revolution, is universally considered to be the father of modern Western conservatism in 2022 not only because he railed in favor of rule by an oligarchical bourgeois-aristocratic elite, but also because he railed against this new “paper money”, which would necessarily gain power at the expense of “proper, well-mannered” landed wealth and trader wealth, much as Bitcoin threatens the monetary status quo today.
During the Soviet Revolution of 1917 the nobility fell to never return. Also gutted, finally, was the trader/burgher class. This is the first sustained people’s revolution, and it reappropriated the expropriating power of the “bourgeois”, which by 1917 was the combination of the different classes of monarchist-landed wealth, trader-imperialist wealth and industrial-financial wealth. Explaining how the different “classes” of wealth combined to thwart the masses – and thus, “… because class warfare” – is one of Marx’s greatest contributions. I think, however, he made a mistake not to go back to 1492 and include my aforementioned economic revolution in trade/imperialism. Lenin and his cohorts did not make this mistake of underestimating imperialism.
The Chinese Revolution would go further than in 1917 in that the rural masses would no longer be the bottom of the pyramid, but be pushed onto the top. No longer were factory workers and urbanites considered to be the primary repository of and motivator for redistributions of economic and political power, but the average person – period – and that meant the average peasant. To elaborate on this point of view I recommend Dongping Han, or an 8-part series I wrote in 2019 on China’s Cultural Revolution.
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 marks the return of the clergy class to power, but in a completely different context: Unlike in 1789 the clergy is not stocked by and for nobility, but here was firmly allied with all workers against the burghers and nobility, while also being totally conscious of Marxism, Leninism-Stalinism and Maoism.
1999 marks the lamentable return of both the nobles and the burghers, as well as an awful new type of clergy. It’s a “neoliberal empire”, but it’s merely a modern version of what the Whigs installed in 1688. The burghers and nobility/aristocracy/neo-aristocracy (whatever you prefer to call them) have restored their rule over all workers, urban or rural. It’s only “revolution” is to institute a secularism – latent and superficial Christianity combined with a strong atheism – which is fully allied with the burghers and elite and against all workers. It’s like the French Revolution never happened – oligarchy dominates. The Yellow Vests arrive in 2018 when Emmanuel Macron’s “neoliberal revolution” hits the birthplace of political modernity, France.
That is a class analysis which sums up the last 500 years of European history quite succinctly. This analysis correctly reduces the traditional socialist emphasis on the Industrial Revolution, which allows us to expand the importance of the imperialism which began in 1492 and continues into today. After all, reduced wages for factory workers gives the elite much riches, but not as much as imperialist domination and war! And it is not with the railroad but the increase in the power and reach of the ship which marked the true start of West European commerce’s ability to create an expanded and more politically-powerful trader class – Henry VIII of England (reign 1509-47) is known as the “father of the English navy”, and is one of many proofs I can give to buttress the above timeline and analysis which re-emphasises the power of 1492 and of imperialism’s longstanding political influence in Europe.
And for those who want only short aphorisms: The economic life of humanity can be summed up most easily as “slavery, wage-slavery, debt slavery” – Western Liberal Democracy is the desire of the elite for debt-slavery to persist, while Socialist Democracy desires to end both slavery and the elite.
These ideas are obviously both broad and condensed – fleshing them out with more detail is why the first part of a book on the Yellow Vests requires a historical overview which goes back further than just 2018.
Yellow Vest: “We have to understand the social misery which is the reason this movement was created. This also is the reason why there is so much social violence. But were the marches to stop now, that would be the movement has failed, and so they must keep marching.”
But there is the world to consider, and then there is just la belle France.
The need for a new leftist history of France which incorporates the EU and the Yellow Vests
It’s often said that the French are the intellectuals Europe – they are, but not in practice. What’s accurate to say is: The French are the ignored intellectuals of Europe.
The European Union is undoubtedly the combination of English parliamentarianism with Teutonic fiscal elitism. European history since 1789 is most easily defined as Anglo-Germanic monarchism fighting implacably against the political advances which arose in France.
Those last three words – “arose in France” – are so widely assumed to be true, ethnocentrically, that it requires many, many books to overcome this false arrogance of Europe’s sole ownership of political modernity. Therefore, I will spend only this one paragraph on it in this book about the Yellow Vests: The ideas of political freedom and equality obviously spread from the New World to the Old World, contrary to European claims. More accurately, all great cultural advances are the result of cultures inter-mixing. This idea of political equality passing from “west to east” across the Atlantic is proposed in the anthropological book 1491, and the author’s coda is dedicated to calling for more examination of this idea. The truth of this couldn’t be more obvious when we realise how much it must have changed colonial Europeans, who were so inured to absolute monarchy, by coming into contact with thriving Native American egalitarianism. We cannot debate this point, though Europeans will, foolishly.
Concepts of political equality are thus not native to Europeans, but why did they sprout first in the French part of Europe? Clearly, geography destined Western Europe to make the first Old World contact with the New World, but why didn’t “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” arise in England, Spain or the Netherlands?
Again, another difficult question to which I will devote just this one paragraph in a book about the Yellow Vests: In my opinion, entirely too much precedence is given to the modern idea of “Europe” when for France the multi-millennia “Mediterranean Culture” has obviously had a longer and more profound influence on the French. France’s history is dominated by 2,500 years of contact with North Africa – Scandinavia and Slavs are but recent friends. In the long-thriving “Mediterranean Culture” France was a major power, but not a primary power: Unlike Greece, Rome or Egypt, France was always a runner-up and never a leader. Therefore they know what it is to be permanently denied empowerment, self-determination, sovereignty, etc. France is seemingly a perennial #2 or #3, even in the past two centuries of imperialism. Significantly, also, they were not re-shaped by Protestantism, which – as exemplified by English and American culture – is often synonymous with an arrogant idea of “bequeathed natural merit, outstanding personal exceptionalism and God’s chosen grace”. Thus the ever-losing French, with their Catholic (the word means “universal”) outlook, would be especially open among the European colonisers to the enlightened ideas of equality of Native Americans, I believe. This is more difficult to prove, but voila – I have laid out my theory, and now turn back to far more practical, knowable matters.
Whatever the reason for France’s enlightened political intellectualism, and no matter how much it was smothered by the Hapsburgs, Hanovers, Windsors (name change in 1917: formerly called the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), Bismarcks and Metterniches of Europe, the fact of it remains, as does today’s fact that they remain Europe’s ignored intellectuals.
Yellow Vest: “There isn’t democracy any more in France. Macron is a king who hasn’t given us anything – he is no different than the king of Morocco or Saudi Arabia – and that’s why we can’t stop until he leaves.”
The European Union is not based on the ideals of 1789 but the ideals of what is most often termed today as “neoliberalism”. But for neoliberalism to ignore 1789 across all of Europe we must realise that ideals of 1789 are suppressed in France today as well, just as much as the Yellow Vests are suppressed.
In the French book Le fond de l’air est jaune (There’s a Yellow in the Air) the French historian Sophie Wahnich wrote this about domestic teaching regarding the French Revolution: “It has practically disappeared from universities.” She attributes this, unsurprisingly, to the Mecca of neoliberalism, the University of Chicago. During the cultural coverage of the bicentennial of the French Revolution – essentially the very timeframe when “neoliberalism” was starting to emerge with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher – French historian Francois Furet emerged as the most prominent (revisionist) historian of the Revolution’s bicentennial debates. Furet was a commonplace success: the former leftist who renounced leftism for reaction and was thus feted by a capitalist-imperialist mainstream media. Furet replaced the idea of popular action with great man-ism; deemed the French Revolution inherently totalitarian and anti-democratic; and rejected the classic Marxist interpretation. Essentially, the French elite silenced the average Frenchman’s pride in the French Revolution and forced them to adopt the view of the winners. Which is, as George Orwell wrote, “To the average Englishman, the French Revolution means no more than a pyramid of severed heads.” To many young French students now as well, sadly, but not to the Yellow Vests, certainly.
France is more than just the French Revolution, but it is certainly the inescapable foundation of all modern politics. It is only historical nihilism which would insist that there is no differentiating between eras of human history – between caveman and pharaonic, feudal and modern, etc.
Therefore, just as I divided European political-economic history into just two handfuls of key events, we can reject the neoliberal, reactionary view of people like Furet and instead rely on a popular, Marxist-inspired view to help us succinctly update the history of France since 1788:
1788: Absolute autocracy exists across the European Continent, with the very mild exception of the United Kingdom’s oligarchy.
1789: The move away from autocracy begins – the beginnings for both Western Liberal Democracy and Socialist Democracy. In 1792 the 23-year “European War Against the French Revolution” begins. This era is usually divided into the “French Revolutionary Wars” and the “Napoleonic Wars” in order to distort history.
1794: The apex of Robespierre, wealth redistribution, democratisation and rights for the 99% with the Constitution of 1793 – it is never implemented.
1799: The overwhelming election of Napoleon Bonaparte, the “centrist revolutionary” as First Consul. He takes a middle path between Jacobinism and absolute monarchy.
1815: Restoration of Bourbon absolute monarchy – political failure of the French Revolution following 23 years of monarchical-led wars to topple it.
1830: Replacement of the land-based House of Bourbon monarchy with the House of Orleans monarchy, which had an industrial-financial base. Conquest of Algeria – a former part of the “Mediterranean Culture” which France has been a key part of since 600 BC – begins.
1848: European-wide revolution as the result of the ideals of 1789 finally being embraced in Germanic lands. Ends in total failure everywhere but France: Western Liberal Democracy begins here, implemented as the 2nd French Republic.
1851: Failure of Western Liberal Democracy provokes the self-coup of President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, which would be sanctioned by what was then the largest popular vote in history. He, too, is a “centrist revolutionary” – against both the despised and ineffectual first attempt at Western Liberal Democracy and the absolute monarchs which reign across Europe, still.
1871: Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is deposed during the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. Paris Commune occurs in response to the popular rejection of monarchy, Bonapartism and Western Liberal Democracy: Socialist Democracy begins here. Collusion of French Western Liberal Democrats with Germanic & French monarchists in the four-month siege of Paris results in the forced restoration of Western Liberal Democracy, implemented as the Third French Republic: “Neoliberalism” begins here. To quote Marx on The Paris Commune: “The republic has not subverted the throne, only taken its place; become vacant.”
1914: “World War to Forestall Socialism” begins.
1936: Last legislative election of the Third Republic sees French leftists win nearly 60% majority following Western Liberal Democracy’s bloodletting, popularly called World War I, and subsequent economic mismanagement, popularly known as the Great Depression.
1940: “Second World War to Forestall Socialism” begins, aka World War II. Majority of France occupied by Germanic National Socialists, who reject both Socialist Democracy and Western Liberal Democracy.
1945-75: Era of Social Democracy begins, greatly influenced by Socialist Democracy’s victory across Eastern Europe. Following the second great bloodletting and economic collapse, both of which were caused by the perpetual failure of Western Liberal Democracy, some economic and political concessions are wrested from the 1%. Known in France as the “30 Glorious Years” due to the economic stability the average French person enjoyed.
1976-99: In the Anglophone world Liberalism gets fully restored – Social Democracy’s gains were always few there. Liberalism re-wins over the French elite but the French masses fight to maintain the gains of Social Democracy. French popular rejection of neoliberalism and the European Union evidenced in successful mass protests, referendums, etc.
2009: Socialism’s “20 Years In the Wilderness” ends – a similar era is called the “Special Period in the Time of Peace” in Cuba. Socialism With Chinese Characteristics explodes past Western Liberal Democracy, which has been crippled by the “Great Recession”, the anti-democratic methods and aims of European Union & Eurozone, and the wasteful warmongering of the United States.
2010: For the first time in the postwar era France’s elite refuses to heed massive French protests after Brussels orders retirement age to be raised. (Ramin Mazaheri reports from major French socioeconomic protests!) Era of Social Democracy ends, replaced with “Neoliberal Empire” of European Union.
2018: One year after “neoliberal revolutionary” Emmanuel Macron takes office, completing the historic re-conquest of Liberalism, the Yellow Vests appear. Massive repression guts the credibility of Western Liberal Democracy. Final victory of Liberalism in France if Yellow Vests fully repressed?
Yellow Vest: “We are in a dictatorship, and Macron is the dictator. This tyranny existed in France before, but Macron has been arrogant enough to make it obvious to the whole world. Our president is now the enemy of the French people.”
Thus we see the reason why the second part of this book is needed: If the Yellow Vests fail it is possible that “neoliberalism” – i.e. the elite-loving Western Liberal Democracy which was voted down (in 1852) after just three years in power — has prevailed in France as fully as in England or the United States. How important it is to understand and appreciate the Yellow Vests!
The Yellow Vests: Are the torchbearers of 1789, the West’s last hope against liberalism’s complete restoration?
There are those (like me) who constantly decry “fake leftism”, which is centrism/rightism posing as leftism. It would be a huge, unforgivable error not to shout eureka when real leftism shows itself – and it does with the Yellow Vests.
What the above quick-histories should indicate is that France’s model for the past 70 years – a type of Social Democracy which is as strong as any on the Continent, including the often-cited “Scandinavian model” – has been wilfully dismantled despite spectacular popular disapproval, and thanks to foreign elite domination aided by domestic collusion from French elites. The goal of this unwanted breakdown of Social Democracy is to implement a return to the first post-feudal order (the feudal order died in 1789) – that of Western Liberal Democracy (born in 1848) – which has been ideologically defeated by Socialist Democracy (which began in 1871).
To re-paraphrase Marx for 2022: A throne of autocracy still exists, even in Western constitutional republics like France – the people do not sit on it, but an oligarchy. The UK – the only country to fight against the French Revolution in all seven Coalition Wars against it, from 1792-1815 – is thrilled about that. The Yellow Vests may or may not be revolutionaries for Socialist Democracy, but they are – undoubtedly – fighting to maintain the hard-won postwar concessions which Western Liberal Democrats were forced to temporarily give.
Call this restoration of Western Liberal Democracy “neoliberalism” if you insist, but a soiled rose always smells unsweet: Western Liberal Democracy joins together landed monarchical money, commercial money, imperialist money, and bourgeois financial-industrial money to put the state at the service of this economic elite and not at the service of the people. To maintain their supremacy this economic elite engages in constant, global class war, with the goal of making no concessions at all to the political and economic redistributions championed by Socialist Democracy.
The above analysis is needed because it precisely explains why the oppression of the Yellow Vests is on a scope which has not been seen in France in nearly a century:
The imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Syria and elsewhere – all of which were raging in 2018 – were not nearly as important to the Western ruling class as the crushing of the Yellow Vest rebellion, which threatened “neoliberalism’s” victory over both Social Democratic and Socialist Democratic ideas. Such a victory would entail a redistribution of wealth and power which far exceeds the loss of cheap African uranium, weapons sales to the Middle East or client regimes in paltry Third World economies. Ask yourself if Marx would disagree – that the oppression of the Yellow Vests, which threaten the entire “bourgeois order” of the 5th Republic, wouldn’t be more important to French and Western elite than Tuareg rebellions to wrest control of the sandy northern part of Mali, Assad’s ageing Baathists or the Taliban’s control of one the world’s poorest countries?
Yellow Vest: “There has been enormous repression never seen before in France. Even in 1968 it was not as bad as this. But this has been the policy chosen by the president in order to break the movement. We will keep improvising new solutions to win our demands.”
There’s a reason their success was so stunning and threatening: The Yellow Vests achieved a 75% approval rating despite a massive police, media and state propaganda war against them and, crucially, despite the reigning context of total rejection of all political actors (unions, media, political parties, political personalities, religious leaders, etc.). They miraculously united a French populace which was seemingly impossible to unite – their only opponent was a 20% “Bourgeois Bloc”, headed by Emmanuel Macron, which is the direct legacy of absolute monarchy, industrial-financial-imperialist wealth and aristocratic/oligarchical elitism.
From November 2018 until June 2019 France was undoubtedly in a pre-revolutionary situation, in which the mass of the pyramid completely rejected the governance style and governors of the elite. It was only via a nationwide brawl every Saturday, then legalised by a raft of repressive anti-Yellow Vest laws, which frightened an already-apathetic populace back into apathy. No Western imperialist country has ever seen the police brutality, lockdowns, assaults, preemptive arrests, laws designed to revoke the most dearly held rights of Western Liberalists, propaganda campaigns and everything else heaped on top of the Yellow Vests in order to to scare French citizens from expressing publicly their dissatisfaction with public policy.
The “spectre” of Yellow Vest rebellion thus became synonymous with the “spectre” of the French Revolution and the “spectre” of socialism – i.e. an Anglophone and Teutonic bias against any change in Europe from what is the barest improvement from absolute monarchy: parliamentary monarchism/presidentialism.
This book places the Yellow Vests in this historical context: Yes we can understand these political, economic and social trends. Yes we can understand our own – the people’s own – history. Yes we will remember yesterday. Yes we do know the Yellow Vests will be out there next Saturday March 26, 2022.
At the heart of the gradual reformism which underpins Western Liberal Democracy is the insistence that we must wait for equality. Why? Why must we wait for the enjoyment of political rights, and for social and economic policies which promote equality? Why should we listen to orders which are issued by those who have the most of the pie to lose and their sycophants?
The Yellow Vests are not the first to ask these questions, but you must agree that they have asked it the most insistently and courageously seemingly anywhere in the West – and certainly in France – in nearly a century. That alone makes this book necessary reading.
In 2022 two things are certain:
- Europe’s theocratic absolute monarchs – who were truly the first “globalist 1%” – and their ideology of autocracy and elitism have been subsumed by, not opposed by, Western Liberal Democracy.
- Despite all the repression, maiming, prison sentences, court cases, smearing, return of apathy and general climate of fear, at countless traffic roundabouts and demonstrations every Saturday the Yellow Vests are essentially doing what Lenin has said the dictatorship of the working classes should do: “Teach every cook to govern the state.” They are talking about politics, and they are getting more and more ready to govern.
The Yellow Vests victories are real and must be understood, as they are a potentially international answer to the historic problem of how to progress towards Socialist Democracy, equality and peace. Certainly, as my chapter list shows, they have already abolished Western Liberal Democratic totems both old and recent.
We now have a necessary historic overview to begin discussing modern France. Let’s begin to break with the Western Liberal Democracy’s arch-conservative stranglehold with the next chapter: Burke’s endless reaction: 1789 & feudalism’s end creates modern conservatism
Upcoming chapter list of the brand-new content in France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values. The book will also include previous writings from 2018 through the 2022 election in order to provide the most complete historical record of the Yellow Vests anywhere. What value! Publication date: June 1, 2022.
Pre-orders of the paperback version will be available immediately.
Pre-orders of the Kindle version may be made here.
Pre-orders of the French paperback version will be available immediately.
Pre-orders of the French Kindle version may be made here.
Chapter List of the new content
- New book announcement – ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s best values’ – March 15, 2022
- Introduction: A Yellow Vests’ history must rewrite both recent & past French history
- Burke’s endless reaction: 1789 & feudalism’s end creates modern conservatism
- Glorious Revolution of 1688: England declares ‘death to all other revolutions’
- Modern political history makes no sense if Napoleon is not a leftist revolutionary
- The Revolutions of 1848: Because Liberalism can’t say the ‘Counter-Revolutions of 1848’
- Louis-Napoleon: The revolutionary differences between Bonapartism & Western Liberal Democracy
- The Paris Commune: The true birth of neoliberalism and EU neo-imperialism
- Where the West is stuck: The fascism of the 1930s and the ‘fascism’ of the 2020s
- On ‘Leon Trotsky on France’ in order to reclaim Trotsky from Trotskyists
- The Yellow Vests’ childhood: Seeing French elites, only, swayed by neoliberalism
- No one here is actually in charge: How the EU empire forced the Yellow Vests
- The radicalisation by Europe’s ongoing Lost Decade: the Great Recession changes France
- To Yellow Vests he’s the radical: Macron and ‘Neither Right nor Left but the Bourgeois Bloc’
- Yellow Vests: At worst, the most important French movement for a century
- Who are they, really? Ask a reporter whose seen a million Yellow Vest faces
- Yellow Vest Win: Ending the West’s slandering of all popular movements as far-right xenophobes
- Yellow Vest Win: The end of Western anarcho-syndicalism & unions as leftism’s hereditary kings
- Yellow Vest Win: The end of Western parliamentarianism as the most progressive government
- Yellow Vest Win: Reminding us of the link between fascist violence & Western democracy
- What the Yellow Vests can be: a group which can protect liberalism’s rights, at least
- The 2022 vote: The approach needed for ‘Before’- what came ‘After’ polls closed
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.
Sorry all the pre-order links aren’t ready yet. By Part 3 you’ll have pre-order links for:
– Amazon Kindle (already there)
– Non-Kindle e-book format
– in English and French
Hope you enjoyed this chapter!
I figured if we want a “new history” of France which incorporates 21st-century phenomena like the euro and the Yellow Vests – we need to sweep the slate clean.
2 chapters to be posted here per week.
Keep reading and by the time the president is inaugurated in mid-May, hopefully readers have very new ideas on France!
Those of you who would like to know about Britain’s role in fomenting the french revolution may use the archive search at Larouchepub.com
One short example https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1997/eirv24n03-19970110/eirv24n03-19970110_044-16_londons_jacobin_terror.pdf
Strongly recommend for the correct emphasis on finance and Synarchism covering the timeline of the Author :
Candidate Cheminade has this fully documented, spoken at conferences and there is a candidate for the upcoming election.
Many Yellow Vests are aware of this.
I don’t think Cheminade got the 500 signatures – not even sure if he ran this year?
Too bad François Asselineau – out of EU and NATO – didn’t reach the 500 elected-official signatures to run again. Macron made the signatures no longer anonymous in 2018 – Asselineau 2022 is proof it will be hard for such candidates to run for president from now on.
Présidentielles : Nous ferons campagne aux côtés de Georges Kuzmanovic
The Yellow Vests were activated by a diesel tax by Paris, part of the EU Green Deal. Now just this week German trucks in Hamburg, and Brescia Italy are also on the motorways protesting.
The energy price hikes started before the Russian Special Operation, and have gotten even worse since. This is Inflation, and attempts to blame Putin will collapse, as President Putin clearly said in his Kremlin address.
The transatlantic financial system is imploding!
There are well known and understood tools to deal with this – Glass-Steagall bank separation being very well known and feared in the City of London financial center.
Separate commercial banking and credit from high-risk speculation. Make perfectly clear no bailouts for the latter whatsoever, eat the losses. Since Clinton repealed this in 1999 just look at the chaos!
The yellow vests need to make a guillotine and have it paraded on a truck daily thru the streets of Paris to remind those elites there what happens to those who transgress.
France has been more of problem than any place else because its stupidly let in too many people and failed follow the views of french nationalism which run deeper there than anywhere else.
France hasn’t done that since 1789… they’ve had many attempted revolutions since then, and they’ve all failed. No revolutions for 150 years – the spirit of socialism has moved east of France.
Yes, and there is nothing wrong with socialism as long it allows for the correct kind of it and alternative activity. This is what Putin knows (a mixed economy works best – business & govt enterprises) and what I think – having studied Russian history a bit – that Malenkov wanted to move to eventually, but Stalin would not allow it.
Deng in China realized this too and those to Xi have followed it, creating a amazing results.
Extreme capitalism always fails in the end and ends up hijacked by the bankers (who are the current environment the problem worldwide particularly for Russia and Iran).
Your bias makes you completely miss a huge part of french history, culture, heritage, of which monarchy which you are so hell bent on badmouthing.
Did you know France traditionally elected their monarchs, from Hugues Capet up until Philippe II ?
I’m not a monarchist by any means, but a big part of this country remained monarchist, even after 1789 because hey guess what, you can’t beat 2000 years of history out of people in 200 short years, which jacobinisme has done successfully before exporting its methods to the then colonies.
What happened in Algeria was a pure jacobinist move : kill, destroy all the coherence of a given territory by attacking the customs, traditions, language, and poison the populations against each other.
Does that remind you of Ukraine ? It should. This sick french-born ideology has since been exported everywhere and serves as the basis for creating completely artificial states that will fall in line with their centrist EU masters.
To an extent, jacobinisme is also the reason why the EU zealots have painted french nationalists as nazis for the last 40 years, they aim to dissolve the french identity, just like the jacobins successfully dissolved Bourgogne, Normandie, Dauphiné, and all historical regions and regional french languages.
Why do you think the only election with huge participation rates is the presidential one ? We don’t even bother voting at the municipales, départementales, européennes, législatives.
The way you see this country is caricatural, grotesque, cliché and you frankly understand nothing about this people. And understand nothing about the climax we are witnessing in France.
Indeed, pro-monarchs will be bad-mouthed all over this book!
The nostalgia for monarchy is – I assure you – not shared by people who have seen the destruction which monarchy imposes.
Hugh Capet “elected” by nobles… so not in a modern sense at all, I mean c’mon.
What you wrote here – “hey guess what, you can’t beat 2000 years of history out of people in 200 short years” – this was a major argument of Edmund Burke, the universally-acknowledged founder of modern Western conservatism.
I address it in the very next chapter – Burke’s endless reaction: 1789 & feudalism’s end creates modern conservatism – so check it out. You’ll see what Burke had to say on this subject, and other ideas of his which still linger today (and why all of them weren’t sufficient to defend monarchy or denounce 1789).
Vladimir Solovyov once called France ” the Vanguard of Humanity “, and I agree, although not always entirely in a good way.
A figure from the French Revolution you should appreciate is Bishop Henri Gregoire, the ” Jansenist” cleric who wrote letters to many men of his age about the abolition of slavery, racism, and voted for the execution of the king.
When _will_ people learn the word “plutocracy”?
Plutocracy is corruption, and corruption is plutocracy:
After all, if laws, (non)enforcement/regulation, and judicial decisions are for sale, who do you think the highest bidders will be?
And the US established a pure plutocracy in its Constitution, shearing away the aristocratic and theocratic components of the British system, but of course retaining those indispensable bulwarks of plutocracy, its pay-for-play electoral and justice systems.
One need only examine the references to Shays’ Rebellion in Madison’s Notes on the Convention to see who and what all but a very few of that Convention represented.
Furthermore, the summary above (at least) ignores the US Federal repression of Occupy Wall Street, in a single weekend, first depicted as local municipal actions only, then admitted to have been “coordinated” by the FBI, and finally the master-plan shown to’ve come from above, from the “liberal”/”progressive” Obama/Biden/Clinton Administration, all revealed sequentially, minimizing the history.
Obama was in Australia that weekend; too bad we didn’t still have a Moon-program, eh?
Looking forward to the next one.
I dont know what BTC truly is, i am certain tho that it is not a competitioner to fiat currency.
The crypto market is a big swamp of scams, ponzi and speculation + it is a western invention, a way to speculate and clean unimaginable amounts of bribes, dirty money and drug money.
Check out Bitfinexèd and his lonely cries against a storm of “diamond-hands” and wild crypto speculation.
You are a journalist Hr Mazaheri, i trust you will find the information you need if you set your mind to it and dig a little.
Best wishes and thanks from Norway, the “isolated bubble” on the edge of Europe.
BTC is a pump & dump operation being used by shadowy elements in the US move money around and create $ out of nothing – setup by IT & computer people in silicon valley with bankers collusion – with a whole bunch of hangers on including Gates, Zuckerberg, Bezos etc….
The fact nobody can find out who set it up or really runs it or who operates the system – and its accessed by amphorus “coindesk” people.
When you buy or mine a new Bitcoin – where does the money go is the question ?
And those who got coins in 2009 for almost free who are they and are they simply secretly creating more from nothing to meet demand ?
Then there’s this nonsense of “mining” a Bitcoin with PC power.
This a gymmck to bamboozle the average gringo.
People in the end will probably lose every last peso.
Its a trendy op to fool the young tech loving people.
Same as the stock swindles that were on Wall St before the SEC was set up in 1933 where stks with no merit were run up by investment pools to enormous prices and unloaded on the public.
But it does have some utility in moving funds around without bank or govt scruntiny tho that wont last forever as we have seen recently with moves by Biden and others.
Another aspect in the current situation in France is since 1970s a lot of French politicians are corrupt and can be bribed, rather than representing the people who elect them. And this is at the core of the current problem.
The Yellows Vests ought to be running their own candidates in elections or supporting those they deem to be reliable.
France might want to learn from China. Here is an excerpt from the interview with Lin Jinyue, one of the designers of the Chinese Social Credit surveillance system, where he comes to talk about the “Yellow Vests”:
“If you had the social credit system, there would never have been the yellow vests. We would have detected that before they acted. One could have forseen that … these events would not have happened. This is one of the great advantages of the social credit system.”
(Of course, there might not have been a CCP, if the social credit system were already in place under the KMT government in early Chinese Republic.)
This idea resonates with leaders in East and West alike, no wonder they push for an implementation all around the world.