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Y'know, the more I hear about this movement, the less sympathetic I find them. And I'm not even a huge fan of Macron.
Ditto. Mostly owing to the fact that it's not a coherent movement. It's just a bunch of disparate angry people only united in displeasure at the status quo rather than clear-cut goals or solutions. I'm sympathetic to their plight, but not to their methods.
The lack of a clear goal or ideology has made the yellow vest movement a de facto asset of France's far-right. Not because the protesters are necessarily all far-rightists, but because their inability to formulate any coherent ideology means that they're just a destabilising element that benefits the most prominent opposition group, i.e. the National rally.
It's an old story that France should be very familier with. When a revolt starts with disparate elements united only in anger, its leadership and end goal is basically up for grabs. The people who took to the streets in the July revolution did not want another Bourbon as their king, and yet that's what ended up happening because the liberal Orléanists were the ones who actually bothered to formulate and organize a clear alternative to the status quo. If the Yellow vest movement somehow succeeds in ousting Macron before the end of his term, what comes next is only going to be appealing to a small fraction of the movement.
At this point the movement mostly exists for a lot of people to vent, really.
Which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't also involve things like shooting fireworks at cops and anti-semitism and other shitty and dangerous things. While also not actually changing anything aside from maybe helping even worse people potentially gain power in France.
Edited by M84 on Feb 11th 2019 at 8:13:05 PM
The franch populace should really be careful, then, 'cause something similar happened in Brazil back in 2012 and the end result was the country being run by what is essentially a nuttier version of Trump, and somehow even less competent.
The right is very good at taking advantage of anger to get to power, is what I'm saying.
That's the rightwing's bread and butter. Appeals to anger.
Again, I'm a bit confused by this idea that the Gilets Jaunes have no actual goals. From where I'm standing, the global ideology of the movement is clear. It's two core facets: more purchasing power (so, better salaries, pensions, reinstate the ISF, etc.) and a more direct democracy (introduction of some proportional in the legislative elections, Référendum d'Initiative Citoyenne, taking into account blank ballots, etc.). The initial reason for the protest – the eco tax – has been suspended, but the movement rapidly took a larger dimension and is no longer about it.
Macron's Débat National is a decent start but I don't blame people for wanting to wait for concrete change before calmly going home.
Violence against journalists, the police and protesters, as well as racism, anti-Semitism and the like are only a fringe of the manifestations. And I feel it's disingenuous to focus on the contradictory and sometimes stupid demands of some fringe or the other while sidestepping the main concerns raised by the whole movement.
Let say it's true (I am depressed by the low turnout of the legislative election...), that doesn't mean that it's due to a disinterest as opposed to the feeling of the vote not mattering (fuelled by, for example, the government adopting pretty much the same European constitution the people voted against a few years before). And even if it were due to some inherent disinterest of the French population, that still doesn't render giving the opportunity to vote more to the few who would use it pointless.
It's Brexit all over again. Everyone wants their unicorn. When they have a plan how to get there, we can talk again. Until then, there is a special place in hell for those who support unrest against a democratically elected government and spoil for violence so that they can portray themselves as the poor victims.
Not quite. Saying left wing economic policies are a unicorn is propaganda, not truth. And so many people saying that is the reason why the far-right has become the most prominent opposition group.
I am not saying that left wing concept per se are unicorns, I am saying that if you say "I want to do X", you also need to put forward a working plan how to get there without blowing the budget up to the sky. France is in violation of the stability pact as it is. You can't on the one hand complain about that while also wanting to pump more money into the social systems without a plan how to balance that out.
I am betting with you, some of the people who scream for one thing they want, actually are against the thing the guy next to them want because they feel that too much money is already paid for the "lazy". That's human nature.
I don't trust leftist movement which promise everyone the sky. A good social politic needs to be able to be honest about the cost and where the money is supposed to come from.
Yeah, I don't think there is anything utopian about a more direct democracy or a better redistribution of wealth in France. Not everything can be solved, of course, and I don't deny that some people have unrealistic goals, but there is definitely room for improvement.
Like, for starter, reintroducing the ISF, clearing un the State and administration, going down on fiscal evasion/fraud/gifts, etc.
Edited by Lentilles on Feb 11th 2019 at 2:03:01 PM
I have to echo the other posters who say their opinions of the Gilets Jaunes has rapidly lowered, I don't like neoliberals like Macron but I don't like angry mobs filled with bigotry such as racism just as much if not more.
And there are way to fight for this goals which don't involve trying to unseat a democratic elected government through violence, teaming up with radicals and providing cover for racial hatred.
French history is full of revolutions like this. Do you know what they have in common? The result is usually that things get worse first until some resemblance of democracy is restored.
Edited by Swanpride on Feb 11th 2019 at 7:09:33 AM
Except frequently, its monarchy and not Democracy that is restored. French Revolution brought two different strains, July Revolution resulted in another monarch, 1848 revolution brought another bunch of Bonapartism. Overall, its stability that's restored, and I don't necessarily believe some of the more 'stable' regimes were better for the people than the ones they replaced.
Now, the Yellow Jackets have run their course and should demobilize now, especially since they've already cowed Macron into remembering he isn't the only person that matters.
And ESPECIALLY especially since they are becoming a cover for hate groups. I dislike Macron, but I cannot in good faith support a group that is allowing anti-semetism to fester without so much as fighting it.
Now, I believe they were trying to become a political party? We may be seeing the French Five Star Movement beginning.
Edited by AzurePaladin on Feb 11th 2019 at 10:22:17 AM
Most of the Gilets jaunes are not violent. Same, I should hope, for the police. Like you, I am against of the idea of deposing Macron, for the reason you cite (and I do not believe for one second that he will (be forced to) step down), but manifestation is not only a right of the people, it's also an important way to make itself heard in a country where elections do not amount to as much as they should.
And I don't see what is wrong with radicals and moderates teaming up to achieve a common goal. As much as I don't share the crux of their beliefs, they are still citizens and human beings, and I much rather have they put their energy asking for more democracy and wealth redistribution than the crazy stuff.
And, I'm sorry if I'm missing something big, but do any of you have example of all this racism you are talking about? I did heard some things against immigration (which I consider a slightly related but different issue) but my main source of information, which I usually trust to be fairly balanced, did not comment on racism at all, so I'm at lost on what actually is at stake here.
The protests have been used as cover for antisemitic and racist attacks.
And nobody is saying that they don't have the right to peacefully protest for a specific goal. It is this hodgepodge of different groups marching under one banner when in reality they have different goals I am opposed to. Because the only thing they have in common is that they dislike Macron. That is not a solid policy. That is like voting for Trump because he is "anti-establishment" or voting for Brexit because you have been convinced that the EU is responsible for supressing your wages. Look where Italy ended up with its stupid five star movement, it served as a stepping stone for Salvini in the end. well done, really.
How many racist and anti-Semitic attacks? What kind of racist and anti-Semitic attacks? Sorry if it seems that I'm disbelieving you, I just want to have a clear idea of what's going on.
Anyway, I don't think disliking Macron is the only thing the Gilets jaunes have in common, but I don't think we're going to see eye to eye on that...
Mainstream media is frustratingly vague about it, but considering that right-wing outlets like the Daily stormer support them:
Dieudonné M'bala M'bala is one of the supporters, and there are pictures of people holding up Anti-Rothschild messages, which can't really considered all that coded anymore, everyone knows what they mean.
I actually wish that the mainstream media would pay a little bit more attention to it. Especially in light of this:
Well I can find several instances of racism that LICRA (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism) called worrying.
For example we have this black woman being called a monkey and told to go back to her country, several MPsnote This one's in English receiving death threats because "We're not going to let a fat black swine from Africa meddle in the lives of the French", a woman being forced to take off her hijab, this guy wanting to make a barbecue with migrants...
As for antisemitism, take your pick: you have this sign equating the medias and the banks to Zion, several "quenelles" and nazi salutes, these guys screaming at an old Jewish lady that the gas chambers weren't real, antisemitic cries during a protest in Strasbourg... Oh, and there's this (just check the pictures if you don't speak french).
Finally, two men being threatened for being "pédés", which is short for "pederaste" and I think you can guess to whom this is a slur against.
Oh, and you won't convince me that the main reason for the opposition to the Global Compact for Migration isn't the belief in white genocide / the great replacement.
Edited by Nithael on Feb 11th 2019 at 6:03:37 PM
; Thanks to the both of you for all the links. I speak French, alright. I don't have too much time tonight, but I will check them all tomorrow.
Personally, I have no doubt that there are good actors in the Yellow Vests. It's just that the decentralized and mass-based nature of the movement means that there is no unity of demands or standards and as such the good actors cannot effectively keep out the bad actors or stop mob based behavior.
I'm no friend of Macron but the mob isn't much better, and that's what I see in Yellow Vests.
And as those decredibilize the Gilets Jaunes movement, Macron rejoices.
The good actors could easily discard the yellow vests and march under a banner with a specific goal.
Exactly. All those flaws beyond being awful in their own right directly help Macron, which makes the whole affair rather counterproductive.
Agreed. I'm not saying they're making the right decision, I just wanted to emphasize that I wasn't demonizing every member of the Yellow Vests.
Edited by Fourthspartan56 on Feb 11th 2019 at 12:55:35 PM
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