by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog
“The Radicals (Western Liberal Democratic reformists) are the democratic party of French imperialism – any other definition is a lie.” – Trotsky
It is too facile to refute the Western Mainstream media’s “manufactured consent”, to use Noam Chomsky’s famous phrase, which gave overwhelming support to the police brutality and legal repression of the Yellow Vests. They did this by a tactic which has become common in the post-Lisbon Treaty West: calling them a “basket of deplorables”, racists, xenophobes, fascists, homophobes, etc., despite all the abundant evidence to the contrary.
(This is the fourteenth chapter in a new book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values. Please click here for the article which announces this book and explains its goals.)
On October 16, 2022, the Yellow Vests were finally allowed to start what they termed “Season 2”: normal political activity – which had been banned by the coronavirus lockdowns starting in March 2020 – was allowed to be resumed. The pause was welcomed by no global leader more heartily than the embattled Emmanuel Macron. The banner given pride of place to lead the Paris demonstration was of a Muslim woman wearing a hijab and a medical mask.
There had been no conversion during the lockdowns – the Yellow Vests have always been anti-racist.
In July 2020 they had marched to remember the 3rd anniversary of Adama Traore, a young Muslim Black man infamously killed while in police custody.
Yellow Vest: “If you look around here you see people of all colours and religions. For me it goes beyond questions of origin – it’s really a question of social justice, regardless of someone’s ethnicity or religion.”
(Note: this book intersperses over 100 quotations taken from actual, marching Yellow Vests which were originally published in news reports on PressTV.)
In February 2020 they had marched against anti-Semitism. At a previous Yellow Vest march far-right thinker Alain Finkielkraut was called a “dirty Zionist” and was told he was not welcome at Yellow Vest demonstrations. This allowed for an immediate media slander campaign which, shamefully, culminated in Emmanuel Macron’s criminalisation of anti-Zionism (opposition to the colonialist political project to create Israel) by falsely conflating it with anti-Semitism (opposition to Jews and Judaism). The irony was that just three months earlier Macron had caused international shock by publicly praising the anti-Semitic leader of Nazi-collaborating Vichy France, Philippe Pétain. In 2014 France had became the first country ever to ban pro-Palestinian marches. France has the world’s third-largest Jewish population, and even though French Muslims outnumber them around 10 to 1 there is no comparison between the two political and cultural influence of the two groups.
Yellow Vest: “The French media wants to make people believe that Yellow Vests are anti-Semitic because they insulted Alain Finkielkraut, but the vast majority of Yellow Vests are in favor of solidarity and against any form of racism. Yellow Vests are here tonight to say we are against anti-Semitism.”
Not that the French mainstream media cares about French Muslims, but many French commentators accused the Yellow Vests of being Islamophobic because they didn’t have enough Muslims marching with them, they insisted. It was a false claim. The problem is that these commentators were looking for Muslim caricatures, not French Muslims. They wanted to see burqas, beards, African clothing and signs in Arabic – but these types of Muslims are not representative of the average Muslim in France. The same accusation against Muslims during the “Je suis Charlie” march was also made, but many Muslims protested then as well. Anyway, Muslims are a small minority in France, relatively equal to the number of those with red hair.
The most important reason why Muslims may have hesitated from marching with the Yellow Vests is because they would have certainly been the first victims of police brutality. A group of dark-skinned people with Yellow Vests standing together would be like waving a red flag at the idiotic bulls and bullies who are French CRS riot cops (Compagnies républicaines de sécurité – Republican Security Companies). Thus, an absolutely vital concept which the Yellow Vests proved to France is that police brutality is not just against the Adama Traores of France, but that police brutality is rooted in class oppression above all. The Yellow Vests proved – emphatically – what non-Whites (and the United Nations, and countless NGOs, and countless protesters) had said for years: French police brutality is among the worst in the world.
Yellow Vest: “I didn’t suffer from police or state repression because I am White and because I don’t live in a poor area, but because I joined the Yellow Vests demonstrations I have now suffered from police violence. This issue (of police violence) concerns everyone.”
When Emmanuel Macron put the idea of immigration at the centre of his Great National Debate – even though it figured nowhere among the demands of the Yellow Vests – the goal was twofold: the classic Liberalist/fascist obsession with identity politics, and also to maintain the false link between xenophobia and the Yellow Vests, i.e. guilt by association. Liberalist elite now insist that they are supreme not because of royal blood, but because of their incredibly decent blood – thus, the poor must portrayed as embittered people with closed minds who want to close off their communities.
Yellow Vest: “From the beginning of the movement they have tried to slander us as racists, xenophobes and crazy people, and now they are trying to accuse of being anti-Semitic. All around the country there were marches this week against anti-Semitism, but the media only covered Paris and ignored the anti-racism marches in small towns.”
I could go on and on with actual proofs and quotes of the anti-xenophobia efforts of the Yellow Vests, because I was there so often, but this discussion is entirely false to begin with.
At the beginning the Yellow Vests were as heterogenous as France itself, so of course it went across the entire spectrum, from the far-left to the far-right. The only class which refused to join were the bourgeois bloc – Macronistas and blinkered Europhiles. The two previous chapters fully described the characteristics and composition of the Yellow Vests, revealing no allegiance, ideological ties or even Facebook chatter which inclines to the far-right. Academics found that the Yellow Vest demands resembled the political party France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France Party). This is a political party which is invariably labelled as “far-left” and “extreme left” in the mainstream media (although I rank them as simply “left”), and which is led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, who to the mainstream media is invariably a “far-left firebrand”. How can this be true and yet the Yellow Vests are also right-wing xenophobes? They are leftist in economic and political ideology yet far-right racists in cultural matters? What an absurdity and falsehood!
It is an outright lie, but the dearth of reporting on the Yellow Vests means that most people are operating on total ignorance regarding the Yellow Vests, and on the realities of Western Liberal Democracy in general.
What’s more necessary to ask is: why are the slander campaigns necessary?
Firstly, it must noted that the slander of the Yellow Vests as racist xenophobes was more often seen in the Anglosphere than in France, due to the latter’s decreased obsession with race/tribalism. Within France the most common slander was actually that they were just stupid hooligans or wreckers (casseurs). Identity politics – and the ability to lay a (mostly race-based) guilt-trip on the White working poor – simply doesn’t work as well in France as in the Anglosphere, thankfully, but that’s not to say it makes no inroads at all. This greater resilience is due to France’s history of 1789- and socialist-inspired egalitarianism, which necessarily produces an undoubtedly more intelligent political culture overall than in the English-speaking world.
Both types of calumny were used for the same reasons: to distract from the failures of Liberalism, and of the pan-European project, to manufacture support for Western Liberal Democracy’s 1%-centred political agenda, and for its false electoral tactics that serve as a safety valve for actual political progress.
The Yellow Vests sought to put the issues of the working poor and of the working class back at the front of the media and political agenda. Thus, their only “xenophobic” crime was this: fact-based bias against the elite minority.
To use nonsensical Western terms: it is ‘xenophobia’ to question the rule of the 1%
Thus a primary conclusion we must draw from the Yellow Vest experience is that Western Liberal Democracy will portray anyone who tries to put economic issues on the agenda as being fascistic.
Just as crucially, they will emphasise only the xenophobia of 1930s fascism while totally omitting the anti-Liberalist, anti-Bankocracy aspects of 1930s fascism.
The point of chapters 7 and 8, discussing the 1930s, was to make it clear that Western politics has never reconciled (has never wanted to reconcile) with the arrival, meaning and legacy of fascism. Those groups came to power because they publicly and correctly condemned the oligarchic and autocratic nature of Western Liberal Democracy, which was gleaned from their acceptance of Marxist-inspired analyses of 19th century politics and economics. However, they irrevocably broke with Marxism by replacing the international brotherhood of the class struggle with a self-worshipping and competitive xenophobia. Precisely because fascists (like so many socialists) assumed that Western Liberal Democracy had been irrevocably discredited by the modern industrial horrors of imperialism (such as those of the French Third Republic), by World War I, by the Great Depression etc., they concentrated their efforts on crushing socialism in the USSR – Western Liberal Democracy was already smashed, they assumed. When they failed the fascists were eagerly subsumed by Western Liberal Democracies because they always, of course, sought to smash socialism, anti-imperialism and the working class worldwide in order to maintain the “bourgeois” power of only-recently ousted royals, high finance, industrialists and their “talented tenth” of sycophants. A major reason why Westerners cannot comprehend their own contemporary and 20th century politics is because they fail to remember that Western Liberal Democracy was broadly considered the most “evil” prior to World War II, and they are now kept in the historical and ideological dark regarding Western Liberal Democracy’s subsuming of fascism via the most false propaganda regarding it’s 1%-focused ideology. This brief but accurate retelling of 20th century Western historical development helps us understand why Western politics in the 2020s is so very similar to the 1930s – we are constantly being warned of a “fascist” threat which is not “fascist”.
The enormous contemporary difference is that – thanks to the socialist-led anti-segregation, anti-apartheid and anti-racism movements, as well as the much maligned lens of “political correctness” – racism and xenophobia has been decreased to the point where pogroms are no longer possible in the West (and in a West now often reconstituted thanks to unprecedented immigration). There will be no mass murder of Muslims in France, to give one example – too many non-Muslims would come to their aid. Morality has changed, just as morality changed in the 19th century to ban slavery. Xenophobia as a political ideology has lost in the heart of the average Western person – it is only the Western Liberal Democratic 1% which keeps xenophobia going.
It is kept going by the bourgeois bloc-elite because a hysterical fear-mongering against a “fascism” which is not even fascism – which carries no threat of Germanic genocides but all the corporate-government alliance which fascism promoted economically (as opposed to the worker empowerment and egalitarianism of Socialist Democracy) – has proven to be an effective electoral and capitalistic culture tactic to prevent the century-long delayed revolution against Western Liberal Democracy.
The Yellow Vests implicitly call for just such a revolution – thus they had to be deemed “fascist”: they pointed out the failures of Western Liberal Democracy, which this book has proven has existed since its very inception in 1848, and back to its 1688 roots in oligarchic English parliamentarianism.
The electoral tactic is a repeat of the failed safety valve in 1936 France – the “People’s Front”, an alliance of all parties centre and left (and now green, too) in order to keep the scourge of fascism at bay. In the 21st century this new coalition is twice as retarding of social progress than the one in the 1930s because it is not even half as leftist – Chapter 9 was based around proving how the French leftist elites have been swayed by Liberalism and have given up actual leftism.
I call this new ideology “PFAXIsm”, and it is what Western fake-leftists have incessantly called for since 2016 (which is when the travesty of the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Great Recession began to be registered in the political ideologies and votes of many Westerners, such as with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump): a “Popular Front for Anti-Xenophobic Imperialism”. It is pronounced very similar to “fascism” for an obvious reason.
This acronym describes the paradox of someone marching against xenophobia, but doing so upon the corpses perpetually caused by capitalism-imperialism. By not only rejecting Socialist Democracy but even much of mere Social Democracy modern Western politics sees their “righteous” elite marching against xenophobia while also marching their lower classes off to distant capitalist-imperialist war. The proofs of this are too legion to mention. PFAXism is the result of neutering leftism of any demand for redistributing political power and wealth while insisting that non-Whites and non-heterosexuals get an (allegedly) equal chance to climb up to the Liberalist 1% elite.
This is not progressive politics.
The fact that one can be the most rabid “neoliberal” while being also anti-xenophobic shows that anti-xenophobia cannot provide the foundation of a leftist, progressive political doctrine.
The most false claim by PFAXists is that they are “tolerant and inclusive” of minorities, but they are only tolerant of minorities who share their Liberalist views. Thus, they are not tolerant at all – they are actually fighting class warfare, and their class is that of the elite.
Above all, PFAXism is being pushed precisely because of Western Liberal Democracy’s struggle to keep from being completely fascistic: The only legacy Western Liberal Democracy wants to keep from socialism is anti-xenophobia, but they cannot because xenophobia is an inescapable component of imperialist capitalism, while elitism is an inescapable component of Western Liberal Democracy
The undemocratic installation of the pan-European project, the brutality against the Yellow Vests and the rollback of Social Democracy prove the accuracy of these contemporary conclusions.
Thus a good definition of Western “fake-leftism” during the Yellow Vest era was to being flailing wildly, ignorantly and falsely about fake fascism (and Russian interference for any anti-“neoliberal” development) in order to distract from the obvious errors, inequalities and autocracies of Western Liberal Democracy.
A “progressive politics” which must rely on wilfully ignoring the crimes of Western Liberal Democracy is by definition not progressive, and any other definition is a lie.
The Yellow Vests smashed PFAXIsm just as they re-discredited Western Liberal Democracy
Just as modern Western Liberal Democracy cannot or will not define fascism properly, they also cannot identify what true Western leftism is even while watching it getting beat up by cops every Saturday. Just as Edmund Burke and the Whigs falsely insisted that they were still the true progressives in 1789 – despite being Rights of Man-denying sycophants to pro-monarchy oligarchs – so do modern Western fake-leftists falsely insist the same, totally behind the times.
This why what Trotsky wrote about France in the 1930s remains a valid electoral analysis today, and even across the West.
“The whole meaning of the present political situation resides in the fact that the despairing petty bourgeoisie (the small businessman class) is beginning to break from the yoke of parliamentary discipline and from the tutelage of the conservative ‘Radical’ (i.e. Liberal Reformist) clique, which has always fooled the people and which has now definitely betrayed it. To join in this situation with the Radicals (Reformists) means to condemn oneself to the scorn of the masses and to push the petty bourgeoisie into the embrace of fascism as its sole saviour. The working class party must occupy itself not with a hopeless effort to save the party of the bankrupts. It must, on the contrary, with all its strength, accelerate the process of liberation of the masses from Radical (Reformist) influence.” (emphasis mine)
The entire problem of contemporary Western politics – with its schizophrenic inability to accurately define “left”, “right”, “fascism”, “Nazi”, “socialism”, etc. – has just been summarised: Not understanding that any party in favor of Western Liberal Democracy is a party of the bankrupts.
Trotsky, socialists, fascists and even the average European knew this in the 1930s but the message has been obscured and forgotten. This concept also provides the best explanation for the domestic popularity of the Yellow Vests in France: they refused to associate with any of the “party of the bankrupts” of the re-discredited French political establishment.
Western Liberal Democracy has waged propaganda wars that it was redeemed by winning World War II. Even though the socialist USSR and China paid the overwhelming costs for victory, somehow the war provided redemption for the Western Liberal Democratic horrors of industrial imperialism, World War I and the Great Depression. It’s preposterous propaganda, of course. The return of Liberalism in the mid-1970s to roll back mere Social Democracy, to impose the undemocratic pan-European project and the repression of the Yellow Vests has emphatically reminded that Western Liberal Democracy remains the party of the bankrupts.
Must we have a World War III, a 2nd Great Depression and new era of horrific neo-imperialism to remind us of this inevitable conclusion?!
The Yellow Vests are so vital because they refused to save the party of the bankrupts, which meant they rendered totally impotent the mystifying absurdities and the obscuration of the class struggle inherent in PFAXist ideas. Just as one can retort, “the Yellow Vests” to a Western Liberal Democrat who claims the moral high ground over other political ideologies, one can also retort “the Yellow Vests” to Westerners who claim all “populist” movements are far-right xenophobes. These are two major, major achievements.
The Trump movement in the US could never have achieved that: Trump is a completely fascist leader. He is akin to Adolf Hitler in that Hitler also rejected typical imperialism – his invasions were to gather all the Germanic peoples into one Germanic-only superstate. Hitler famously refused to be bought off by Paris and London with their offers of some of their non-White colonies – he wanted to annex only Germanic areas. Trump was the least belligerent American president since World War II, and his diplomatic overtures to North Korea and Russia (strangled in the cradle by Russiagate – the disproven allegations of Trump’s ties to the Kremlin) sent the Western Liberal Democratic elite into an unprecedented fury. Trump generated enormous global popularity mainly due to his rejection of the globalist wing of Western Liberal Democracy and foreign war, but his progressive political bonafides are scant because, again, fascism is only slightly better than Western Liberal Democracy. The US ultimately has zero interest in political reforms – they are the modern day Whigs in their deluded insistence that they are the world’s most truly progressive nation.
The Leave movement in Brexit was a typically British affair in its insularity and it in its latently conservative – and not ardently progressive – motivations. Looking over at a continent in economic and political chaos in 2016, and having a press honest enough to admit the undemocratic basis of the pan-European project (though not being in the euro gave them the most necessary latitude), did indeed produce a progressive and self-preserving result for the UK. It did inspire calls for other nations to leave the EU, which is also progressive. However, simply “-exiting” is not enough: it provides no example for countries not in Europe, for example. This was merely a one-issue movement, after all.
It’s vital to recall that “American fascism” and “English oligarchy” was never discredited as was fascism on the Continent – they helped win World War II, were never conquered even partially and never fully colluded. Only the intensely racist parts in the US were eventually discredited (thus the end of Jim Crow), as were the intensely autocratic/elitist/pro-monarchy parts of the UK (thus the long, long-delayed acceptance of republicanism within the British Commonwealth, which was established by the London Declaration of 1949, marking the formal beginning of the modern Commonwealth).
But this also means that for decades – quite significantly – there has never been honest discussion about fascism in the US and UK. This is evidenced by the fact that, unlike on the Continent, for decades there was no “anti-fascist” political fight in either Anglophone imperialist nation because they falsely assume that Western Liberal Democracy is inherently anti-fascist. Indeed, “fascism” only became a domestic problem in these two countries in 2016! In a world which has become more and more Anglophone and dominated by Anglophone culture their 1% neo-aristocratic/bourgeois had never been stopped until 2016.
However, the world understands politics well enough to understand that both nations are totally incapable of leading a truly progressive and internationalist movement, no matter how much these two nations falsely believe their own propaganda.
The Yellow Vests, however, were not just a one-issue social movement but a social revolt. The left-wing, transnational basis of this revolt became immediately apparent – they were emulated in over two dozen countries. The sale of Yellow Vests had to be banned in Egypt, where the West shamefully helped topple the progressive 2011 Revolution because it progressively demanded a role for Islam in politics.
Had the Yellow Vests not come along who or what would have provided such an easy, accurate retort to the Western Liberal Democratic and PFAXIst claim that all “populist” movements are far-right xenophobes?
The Yellow Vests are primarily an economic movement: taxes, lack of public services, high cost of products of premier necessity – this is the basis of the protest. Contrarily, there is no economic basis of PFAXIsm, thus they are not compatible with the Yellow Vests. PFAXIsm does not care about the incapacity of Western Liberal Democracy to care about the economic concerns of the working poor and middle classes.
The political foundation of the Yellow Vests is the anti-democratic autocracy which has been employed since 2009. Many Yellow Vests do not yet comprehend that Western Liberal Democracy has never cared about the economic and democratic concerns of the working poor and middle classes – this book aims to rectify their misperceptions of history.
(For the record: in the quote of Trotsky above I replaced the word “Radical” with “Reformist” because the Radical Party was anti-socialist, anti-communist and allied with the bourgeois to the hilt. Their name stems from the era when even mere Western Liberal Democracy and republicanism were still considered to be radical. The party was founded in 1901 – it’s the oldest active political party in France today, and now on the right-wing – back when when Germanic emperors and kings still ruled autocratically, and thus Liberalist rights for those outside of the aristocratic oligarchy were still “radical”. After only a few years, and amid the rise of socialism, they were quickly re-placed further and further on the right of the political spectrum. Their slogan was “Neither reaction nor revolution!” Thus, what could be a better term than mere, inadequate “Reformist”?)
What is the political choice for Yellow Vests and their supporters in a PFAXIst society?
Because of the dominance of PFAXIsm, which attempts to hide how Western Liberal Democracy has subsumed much of fascism, Trotsky’s concern in 1936 that the French would be pushed “into the embrace of fascism as its sole saviour” is no longer applicable.
Western Liberal Democracy has joined with fascism – from ex-Nazis in Western German to “3rd-generation Nazis” in Ukraine – and this is something which would have been difficult for Trotsky to accurately predict. It would have been difficult in large part because he conflated “Bonapartism” with “Liberalism”, even though the two are different and were opposed to each other: the former having genuine grassroots, and thus democratic, support and the latter never really having it.
No politician in France is offering even the semi-socialist analysis offered by fascism anymore: Marine Le Pen’s neo-National Socialism in 2017 was replaced in the 2022 election campaign with a reversion to “neoliberalism”, acceptance of high finance and dead-end reformism for the pan-European project.
PFAXIsm thus can reign forever in the West: Citizens can forever tune in to find scapegoating (In France: of Muslims) or they can find a scapegoating of the scapegoaters, but they will never find what the Yellow Vests are talking about: redistribution of economic and political power, which would be the only way to end the inequalities the scapegoaters of scapegoaters claim to care about. There is no way out if one foolishly accepts the greatly similar tenets of PFAXIsm, fascism or Western Liberal Democracy.
All experiences of Popular Fronts – an alliance with elements of the ruling class – have ended in shameful defeat, and 2022 will be no different in France. The Nouvelle Union Populaire écologique et sociale (NUPES – the New People’s Ecologic and Social Union) gathered together the communists, socialists, greens, Melenchon’s leftist France Insoumise and the smaller leftist parties (but not the Trotskyists). The goal is to break Macron’s absolute control over Parliament and to deny the far-right a greater share. The latter was immediately, and foolishly, deemed the more important goal: on the night of his presidential first round loss Melenchon roared “not one vote” for Le Pen in the second round, and immediately began a foolish and certain-to-fail campaign to be Macron’s prime minister. Polls show Macron’s En Marche party winning 55% of the National Assembly this month – that’s seemingly a slight absolute majority, but here’s the kicker: the conservatives (which En Marche should be truly classed with) are polling at 20%, and thus Liberalist deforms will roll over a NUPES alliance which is polling to win just 20% of parliament.
In 2022 NUPES will prove to be much like 1936. As Trotsky wrote: “a classic definition of the People’s Front: A safety valve for the mass movement.”
NUPES will end in failure, disappointment and discredit, as popular fronts – an alliance with elements of the ruling class – always do. Thus Chapter 7 – Where the West is stuck: The fascism of the 1930s and the ‘fascism’ of the 2020s – was both a prescient prediction of the formation of NUPES and an explanation of its certain failure. Hope you’re glad you read that chapter – when the final legislative results are announced on June 19 you’ll be ready!
But it is undoubtedly due to the discrediting example of the Yellow Vests that France’s left was forced to do something different, finally. This was the first leftist coalition since the Socialist Party-dominated “Plural Left”, which won control over Parliament in 1997. However, all the “party of the bankrupts” could offer and achieve was a bankrupt strategy and bankrupt results, again. The upcoming chapter on the unions will point out how the discrediting example of the Yellow Vests forced the unions to actually do something – launch a general strike – but with a similarly wilfully bankrupt strategy and results.
Trotsky promoted something different than the Popular Front: the united front, which is mobilisation of the working class independent of the ruling class and its political parties. This is essentially what the Yellow Vests are, obviously. Indeed, it’s so telling that today’s Trotskyists are so lost and discredited that they cannot or will not ally with the Yellow Vests.
Trotsky speculated what a good united front would actually aim to do:
“The united front does not renounce parliamentary struggle but it utilises parliament above all to unmask is impotence, and to explain to the people that the present government has an extra-parliamentary base, and that it can be overthrown only by a powerful mass movement.”
Only a Yellow Vest party would actually do this in French parliament, not any of the NUPES alliance. The entire history of Western Liberal Democracy is to hide or paper over its oligarchy, which is to say that “extra-parliamentary base” which undemocratically controls policy.
The failure of France’s “leftist” Popular Front in the late 1930s proved that Western Liberal Democracy would never cooperate with any kind of leftism, even fake-leftism. Thus, fascism came to power because the average European realised that Western Liberal Democracy is a perpetual dead-end. Fascism’s arrival was only by (foreign-aided) force in Spain – everywhere else it was due to popular acceptance that Liberalism was nothing but autocratic and plutocratic oligarchy.
Trotsky wrote of France: “The policy of coalition with the bourgeoisie must be paid for by the proletariat with years of new torments and sacrifices, if not by decades of fascist terror.”
What Trotsky could not have foreseen is the crucial reality I keep stressing: Western Liberal Democracy has subsumed fascism, thus decades of fascist terror by France and the West has been the global reality long after the 1930s. Thus 2027 cannot be a repeat of 1940 even if Marine Le Pen wins, as many expect, because her “fascism” is not fascism at all. Human history is not uselessly cyclical but linear: as much as PFAXIsm wants to insist otherwise, post-2016 “fascism” is simply not the same as 1930s fascism.
“On the other hand, if we continue to mark time, the pre-revolutionary situation will inevitably be changed into one of counterrevolution, and will bring on the victory of fascism, ” wrote Trotsky, correctly. However, almost a century later the analysis must incorporate the political changes since then: if the French merely tread water from the Yellow Vests’ creation of a pre-revolutionary situation then fascism will continue its long victory streak in the West.
In between the first and second rounds of the 2017 election I promoted Macron as the worse choice between him and Le Pen. I was proven totally right that Macron was not some friend of anti-racism/pro-Muslim movements. I was also proven totally right that Macron was as authoritarian as a fascist – simply look at the Yellow Vests, the normalisation of the state of emergency and his autocratic governing methods.
In between the first and second rounds of the 2022 election I also promoted a vote of Le Pen over Macron. Once again it was the only progressive gain which could have been made: Giving Le Pen power would have shown that Western Liberal Democracy is elitist, fascist and awful. Donald Trump discredited “Western Liberal Democracy with American characteristics” in a supremely effective way – by re-electing Macron France has merely postponed its similarly honest examination of what their system really is: both fascist and PFAXIst.
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: July 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 – March 20, 2022
- The UK’s endless reaction: 1789 & feudalism’s end creates modern conservatism – March 25, 2022
- Glorious Revolution of 1688: England declares ‘death to all other revolutions’ – March 29, 2022
- Modern political history makes no sense if Napoleon is not a leftist revolutionary – April 2, 2022
- The ‘Counter-Revolutions of 1848’ stillborn child: Western Liberal Democracy – April 7, 2022
- Louis-Napoleon: The revolutionary differences between Bonapartism & Western Liberal Democracy – April 11, 2022
- The Paris Commune: The true birth of neoliberalism and EU neo-imperialism – April 17, 2022
- Where the West is stuck: The fascism of the 1930s and the ‘fascism’ of the 2020s – April 23, 2022
- On ‘Leon Trotsky on France’ in order to reclaim Trotsky from Trotskyists – May 2, 2022
- Growing up Yellow Vest: Seeing French elites, not French people, conquered by neoliberalism – May 8, 2022
- The pan-European project wanted a Great Recession, winds up with Yellow Vests May 13, 2022
- To Yellow Vests he’s the radical: Macron imposes ‘radical centrism’ for Brussels – May 19, 2022
- Yellow Vests: At worst, the most important French movement for a century – May 25, 2022
- Who are they, really? Ask a reporter who’s seen a million Yellow Vest faces – May 31, 2002
- 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.
I think there is a typo near the top—October 16, 2022. Believe that should be 2021?
Greatly enjoying this series articles and will be buying the book.
Thank you kindly for both, Emma!
And another date typo – the Yellow Vests marched for Adama Traore in In July 2019, not July 2020.
I have to quarrel with one important point in the article–Donald Trump is the farthest thing from a fascist one can have. First of all, he is not racist in the slightest; not only has supported(s) black and Hispanic and even Muslim (e.g., Dr. Oz) candidates for office, but he and Melania humbly served to a mostly minority population in the shelters of Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Prior to assuming the presidency he won awards for supporting black youth job programs and pushed for the integration of private clubs in South Florida and was noted for the high number of female executives in his business organization. Nor is he anti-immigrant, given that he is a son of an immigrant and four of his five children are offspring of immigrants. As far as wielding power is concerned, he was if anything too lenient in his treatment of subordinates –many of whom betrayed him at ever turn–and the opposition, which tried “six ways to sundown” (to quote Sen. Schumer) to remove him illegally from office. He could have used his presidential powers to overturn the massively fraudulent 2020 election, but he waited for the necessary legal justification (the National Security Review), which came too late. By contrast, we see true fascism on the part of the Biden administration and rogue FBI and DOJ, which has placed hundreds of patriotic Americans in political gulags and threatened school parents and medical doctors who have resisted coercive and repressive policies.
– Nearly half of Democrat men under 50 approve of assassinating politicians
– A new poll last week found that voters who identified as Democrats were more likely than voters who identified as Republicans to support political violence, including assassinating politicians they deem to be a threat.
“assassinating enemies” = lack of democratic values
Trump is a completely fascist leader.
“Trump is a completely fascist leader. He is akin to Adolf Hitler in that Hitler also rejected typical imperialism – his invasions were to gather all the Germanic peoples into one Germanic-only superstate.”
I didn’t read the the whole thing, but I did read what he had to say about Trump. I believe it would be better written if he said ‘Trump was’, not “Trump is.” I don’t know why he thought Trump was “completely fascist.”
Also the guy is totally clueless about Hitler. He had two identifiable motives for making war. One was that he saw history as a titanic struggle between Germans and Jews. Hitler also thought that he alone had the will to do what was necessary, that being the extermination of the Jews. He couldn’t get to them to kill them unless he conquered the territories where they lived and that was one of the motives for going to war. He wanted to exterminate the Jew minority.
You dear reader can think whatever you want about Jews, but Hitler’s opinion was peculiar, extreme, and crazy. Hint: the guy had a mental illness.
The other motive Hitler had was to expand the German race. They needed “living space.” He envisioned getting that space in Eastern Europe. As an initial effort, in Poland in a couple of places, he killed off or drove off some Poles from their small rural community, and replaced them with Germans. He planned on seeding Germans around in the occupied territories, with the ultimate goal the displacement of the local race.
Hitler thought reasonably well of the British and French ‘race’, but thought of the Slavic people as inferior. In his planned superstrate, the Slavic people would be educated only in the first few grades of school, making them suitable servants for the German super race.
All of these critiques about my calling Trump a fascist all solely rely on disputing his relationship with racism – there’s nothing mentioned about his corporatism or economic & political views.
As I’ve written so many times, fascism cannot be neutered of these components and reduced to just if one is a virulent racist or not.
I respectfully disagree, Ramin. ‘Fascism” is not just a certain set of political views–it is about authoritarianism mixed with populism mixed with varying degrees of “racism” mixed with state capitalism. Was (is) Trump in favor of state capitalism (oligarchy)? No more so than any other president in postwar U.S. history, all of whom have overseen a massive consolidation of economic power and increasing wealth inequality. In fact, for the first time in decades, real manufacturing wages rose for the working class under Trump, at least before the COVID lockdowns (which he fought tooth-and-nail). Trump carried the majority of Hispanic males in most key states and won Texas border countries with almost 100% Mexican-American residents that hadn’t voted Republican in over a century. He also won, by some accounts, over 25% of the African-American male vote nationwide. Despite being a billionaire, Trump had more of a working-class mentality from his early days of operating digging machines than any other president of the 20th Century. I by no means agree with all of Trump’s policies–certainly on reproductive choice and the environment–but many of his political moves (strong support of evangelicals and Israel) were uncharacteristic of the his previous views and were presumably based on a need for political survival, given he was savaged from almost every quarter of the American ruling establishment. I think you really need to totally reassess your view of Trump, getting rid of the curtain of the MSM’s dishonest caricature.
I really don’t have the MSM’s dishonest caricature of Trump – I think he was eons better than Hillary in 2016.
Trump, Biden, Clintonistas, Reagan, etc. all being in favor of Pentagon-led state capitalism doesn’t make Trump not fascist – that’s not really much of an argument in Trump not being fascist.
Trump was on the pro-sovereignty/(semi)anti-globalist wing of fascism – there’s a political spectrum of fascism too, after all. In France Marine Le Pen is on this same side of this spectrum, along with a lot of pro-royalists. Macron is on the pro-globalist side of the fascist spectrum, obviously.
I haven’t seen any type of leftist who doesn’t classify Trump as fascist and with good reason: I can’t imagine with what other political ideology he could be described? And with Trump you have to take out the Marxist-inspired aspects of fascism, as well – despite the weekend he may have spent operating digging machines fr his father he’s totally pro-corporate, pro-high finance and anti-social safety net.
In “The Obsolescence of Man”, Gunther Anders wrote: “It is very easy to corrupt a subversive individual : just offer him money and power”.
And precisely, the yellow vests are not sensitive, neither to money, nor to Power. They therefore escape all control and that is why they frighten the State so much.
@Ulfr: “the yellow vests are sensitive neither to Money nor to Power. They therefore escape all control and that is why they frighten the State so much.”
Interesting thought; almost a religious thought (the Temptation on the Mountain). I shall remember it, along with a similar thought about another two movements which began outside the usual controls by money and power:
“No movement which was going to shake the world so powerfully entered it so quietly as science; except perhaps when a babe was cradled in a manger”.
“almost a religious thought”
Pope John Paul I (Papa Luciani alias “The Smile of God”) was also outside the usual controls by money and power.
Alas, it is probably for this reason, because of his extreme humility and his style very close to the people, that this ephemeral pope was eliminated.
In a nutshell: ” the failures of Liberalism, and of the pan-European project, to manufacture support for Western Liberal Democracy’s 1%-centred political agenda”.
It’s been a long time but here’s hoping for a French surprise in the election: the sheeple kick back against “Western Liberal Democracy’s 1%-centred political agenda”.
“Just when one begins to think French science has gone to the dogs they come up with something absolutely tremendous like Radioactivity or Wave Mechanics” — JBS Haldane, Stories of a Biologist, circa 1930.
Putting a moslem in front of your protest doesn’t make you anti-racist. Islam is a religion.
True, the ‘SQUAD’ , the new face of US Democracy have no issues supporting American scorched earth policies viz-a-viz their Muslim brothers in the Middle-East or Slavs in Eastern Europe.
That said, the author clearly stated that no stone is left unturned within the Establishment’s Playbook to polarize, divide & conquer and undermine what is in essence a Class War.
Having a Muslim female at the forefront, arguably the most disenfranchised in society in terms of freedoms, will perhaps bring about an awakening among not only this group/community but others who may feel marginalised.
«Hitler also rejected typical imperialism – his invasions were to gather all the Germanic peoples into one Germanic-only superstate. Hitler famously refused to be bought off by Paris and London with their offers of some of their non-White colonies – he wanted to annex only Germanic areas.»
My impression is that he wanted “lebensraum”, that is agricultural areas, contiguous to Germany, so the country could become self-sufficient in food and not be starved into defeat as in 1918. His method to acquire “lebensraum” in eastern Europe, by invading and enslaving or ethnically cleansing the slavs in them, seems pretty imperialistic to me. I am not surprised that he could not care about overseas colonies, as Germany had been unable to retain them in WW1.
Clearly controlled opposition.