Wednesday 20th of February 2019

professor choron gives them cakes to trickle down...

macron
The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, spoke Monday, December 10 in a televised speech of thirteen minutes to respond to the mobilisation of "yellow vests". Here is the full speech :

"French people, ladies and gentlemen, here we are together at a juncture of our country and our future. The events of recent weeks in France and overseas deeply troubled the Nation. They have mixed legitimate demands and a chain of unacceptable violence and I want to tell you right away: for this violence the state will not be lenient.

We have all seen the game of opportunists who have tried to take advantage of sincere anger to mislead them. We have all seen the irresponsible politicians whose only project was to shake the Republic, seeking disorder and anarchy. No anger justifies attacking a policeman or a gendarme and degrading a business or public buildings. Our freedom exists only because everyone can express their opinions, others may not share them without anyone having to be afraid of these disagreements.

When violence is unleashed, freedom ceases. Hence, calm and order must prevail. We will use all the means available because nothing will be sustainable as long as there are fears for civil peace. I gave the government the strictest instructions to that effect.

But at the beginning of all this, I do not forget that there is anger, indignation and indignation, many of us, many French people can share it and that one, I do not want to reduce it to unacceptable behaviour that I have just denounced.

It was first anger against a tax and the Prime Minister has brought an answer by cancelling and removing all the increases planned from the beginning of next year, but this anger is deeper, I feel this in many ways. But it could be our time for chance.

It is that of employed couples who have not enough money at the end of the month, yet get up every day early and come back late, working far from home.

It is that of the single mother, widowed or divorced, who does not have the means to live anymore, who cannot afford to have the children looked after nor to improve her monthly income and has no more hope. I saw them, these courageous women, for the first time showing this distress on so many roads!

This is the modest pensioners who have contributed all their lives and often help both parents and children and then cannot make ends meet.

It is one of the most fragile, people with disabilities whose place in society is not sufficiently recognised. Their distress did not start yesterday, but we ended up cowardly by getting used to it, and in the end, everything was as if they were forgotten, erased.

It is forty years of malaise that reappears: malaise of workers who do not know where they're at; malaise of territories, villages as neighbourhoods where we see public services shrink and the living environment disappear; democratic malaise where the feeling of not being heard develops; discomfort with the changes in our society, secularism and shifting lifestyles that create barriers and isolation.

It comes from far away, but it's here now.

No doubt we have not known for a year and a half to provide a sufficiently fast and strong response. I take my share of this responsibility. It may have occurred to me to give you the feeling that it was not my concern, that I had other priorities. I also know that I happened to hurt some of you by my comments. I want tonight to be very clear with you. If I fought to shake up the political system, habits, hypocrisy, it is precisely because I believe more than anything in our country that I love it — and my legitimacy is not drawn from any title, no party, no sycophants; I only draw my legitimacy from you, not from anyone else.

Many other countries are going through this upheaval as well, but I deeply believe that we can find a way out of it all together. I want it for France because it is our vocation through history to thus find never explored paths, for ourselves and for the world.

I want it for all of us, French people, because a people that is divided and that no longer respects laws and friendship that unite it, is a people running to ruin.

I want it too, because, foreseeing this crisis, I presented myself to be elected to reconcile and lead — and I have not forgotten this commitment and this necessity.

First of all, I want to declare today a state of economic and social emergency. We want to build a France of merit, of work, a France where our children will live better than us. This can only be done by better schools, universities, apprenticeships and trainings that teach young and old what it takes to live free and work.

The investment in the Nation, in school and training has not been promoted, now I confirm this investment.

We want a France where one can live worthily from one's work. On this point, we went too slowly. I want to intervene, quickly and concretely on this subject. I ask the government and Parliament to do what is necessary so that we can live better from the beginning of next year. The salary of a worker at the SMIC will increase by 100 euros per month as of 2019 without this costing one more euro to employers.

I want to review a good idea: extra work brings extra income; overtime will be paid without taxes or charges from 2019. And I want an improvement that is immediately noticeable; that is why I ask all employers who can, to pay an end-of-year bonus to their employees and this premium will not be taxed nor attract charges.

Retirees are a precious part of our Nation. For those who receive less than 2,000 euros per month, in 2019 we will cancel the increase of CSG (compulsory social contribution) we imposed this year; what was asked of them was too big and not right. Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will present all of these decisions to parliamentarians.

But we must not stop there. I need our big companies, our most fortunate citizens, to help the Nation succeed; I will bring them together and make decisions in this direction as of this week. I know some would like in this context that I come back to the wealth tax reform but for almost 40 years it has existed; did we live better during this period? The richest left and our country weakened. In accordance with the commitments made to you, this tax has been eliminated for those who invest in our economy and therefore help to create jobs; and it has been maintained for those who have a real estate fortune.

Going backward would weaken us, even should we be creating jobs in all sectors. However, the government and Parliament will have to go further to put an end to undue benefits and tax evasion. The leader of a French company must pay his taxes in France and the big companies that make profits here must pay the tax, it is simple justice.

As you can see, we will respond to the economic and social emergency with strong measures, faster tax cuts, better control of spending rather than setbacks.

I hear that the government is pursuing the transformations of our country that the people chose 18 months ago; we had to conduct a profound reform of the state, unemployment compensation and pensions. They are indispensable. We want rules that are fairer, simpler, clearer and reward those who work.

But today, it is also with our collective project that we must reconnect. For France and for Europe. This is why the announced national debate must be much broader. For that, we must first and foremost, altogether prepare our homework. The duty to produce in order to redistribute, the duty to learn to be a free citizen, the duty to change and take into account the urgency of our climate and budget debt.

To succeed, we must come together and address together all the issues essential to the Nation. I want questions about representation to be asked; the possibility of seeing the currents of opinion better understood in their diversity, a more just electoral law, taking into account the non-vote and even being allowed to participate in the debate of citizens not belonging to parties. I want to ask the question of the balance of our tax system so that it allows both the justice and the efficiency of the country. I want to ask the question of our daily lives to cope with climate change: to stay, to move, to heat. And the right solutions will emerge from the field.

I want to ask the question of the organization of the state, the way it is governed and administered from Paris, probably too centralised for decades. And the question of public service in all our territories.

I also want us to agree with the nation on what its identity is, that we address the issue of immigration. We have to face it.

These fundamental changes that require deep and shared reflection require an unprecedented debate. It will have to take place at the national level in our institutions, everyone will have its share: government, assemblies, social partners and associations; you will have your share. I want to assure myself the coordination, to receive the opinions, to take the pulse of our country.

But such a debate is not only about institutional representatives; it must also take place everywhere on the ground and it is the people, citizens who receive requests and relay those: they are the mayors; they maintain the Republic on the ground. That is why I will meet the mayors of France, region by region, to build the foundation of our new contract for the Nation.

We will not resume the normal course of our lives, as too often in the past in similar crises, without anything being understood and when nothing changes. We are at a historic moment for our country: through dialogue, respect, commitment, we will succeed.

We are working at it and I will come back to you to account of our progress.

My only concern is you; my only fight is for you.

Our only battle is for France.

Long live the Republic, long live La France. "

-----------------

Translation by Jules Letambour.
Source of speech:https://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2018/12/10/le-verbatim-de-l-allocution-televisee-du-president-de-la-republique_5395523_823448.html

The "yellow vests" and about 80 per cent of the French population want Macron's head on a plate... Is it too late? Has he condescended enough?

when shakespeare would be better than molière...

 

A drama has been playing out in the streets of France in recent weeks, an intentionally theatrical rebellion against Emmanuel Macron, the man who has governed France for the past 19 months. Some of the very people who voted for Macron have now taken to the streets to demonstrate against him. 

The gilets jaunes, or yellow vests, want to storm the Élysée Palace, and chase him out, like a 2018 version of the Paris Commune, spurred by their dissatisfaction with a fuel tax that was meant to be imposed in January. The tax increase has been called off, but that so far hasn't been sufficient to appease them.

For Macron, for his credibility and authority, which he has orchestrated publicly like few others before him, it is too much. If he ends up having to backtrack on his policies, it will represent a U-turn and a watershed moment for his presidency -- a point from which he will struggle to recover. Rather than playing the role of a Jupiter, he would be an Icarus; a man who wished to fly high, but fell. He would have to govern with clipped wings. 

Almost everything he wanted to accomplish for his country is at stake. Up to this point, he and his government had abided by the principle that no matter what happens, they would stay the course. His aim was nothing less than the "transformation" of France. Everything was to become new, different.

But now it appears things could turn out very differently. Will this president, with his penchant for the theatrical and tendency to quote Molière ad lib, manage to calm his opponents, his own people?

 

Read more:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/french-protests-macron-s-ghos...

 

It is the wrong privilege of leaders to think of the populace as "their" people... His own people? Macron is only a representative. He is actually owned by the people. If the people want him out, he should oblige. 

macronications...

The response of the Head of State [Macron] to the social crisis in which is plunged France for more than three weeks does not convince the political class. On the left as on the right, the critics immediately rained down.


During his televised speech on December 10, Emmanuel Macron announced a series of measures to try to end the Yellow Vests crisis. An intervention that is far from convincing, apart from the presidential majority, the political class.


On the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon considered that the head of state had not brought concrete answers to all French: "In the announcements of the president, there is nothing that concerns the unemployed, he there is nothing about part-time employees, there is nothing about retirees. Civil servants are not taken into account. Students either. "

The same tone on the part of Benoît Hamon who has, among other things, lamented the lack of a message for the youth: "Nothing in this intervention for the youth who fights for the quality of studies, equality at the entrance of the university and against police violence. Youth is not always right, but the power that ignores it and strikes it is always wrong."

 

Translation by Jules Letambour...

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/france/56585-opposition-tire-feu-nourri-sur-mesu...

 

rothschild's baby...

 

Who does Emmanuel Macron owe?


by Thierry Meyssan


President Macron is often presented as a Rothschild Boy. This is true, but secondary. Thierry Meyssan demonstrates that he owes his electoral campaign mostly to Henry Kravis, the boss of one of the world’s largest financial companies, and to NATO – a considerable debt which weighs heavily today on the solution to the Yellow Vests crisis.

Emmanuel Macron did not feel destined for a career in politics. As a young man, he hoped to become a philosopher, then a senior civil servant, then a business banker. To help him on his way, he frequented Uncle Sam’s fairy godmothers - the French-American Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York [1]. The Kravis couple, unfailing supporters of the US Republican Party, are among the great world fortunes who play politics out of sight of the Press. Their company, KKR, like Blackstone and the Carlyle Group, is one of the world’s major investment funds.

« Emmanuel’s curiosity for the ’can-do attitude’ was fascinating - the capacity to tell yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. He had a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand how things work, but without imitating or copying anyone. In this, he remained entirely French », declares Marie-Josée Drouin (Mrs. Kravis) today [2].

Bearing the double recommendation of the Kravis couple and Jean-Pierre Jouyet [3], he integrated the closed circle of François Hollande’s campaign team. In an e-mail addressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Director of political planning Jake Sullivan named the four principal members of the Socialist candidate’s campaign team, including the unknown Emmanuel Macron. He specified that Macron would probably become the Director General of the Treasury (« the top civil servant at the Finance Ministry ») [4].

However, when François Hollande was elected, Emmanuel Macron became the assistant General Secretary of the Elysée, a more political function. It seems that he had ambitions to succeed Jean-Pierre Jouyet as Director of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (the Deposits and Consignments Fund), a post which was entrusted in May 2014 to the General Secretary of the Elysée. A few days later, proposed by the Kravis couple, he was invited to the Bilderberg Club, where he delivered a violent intervention in perfect English against his boss, François Hollande. When he returned to Paris, he resigned from Hollande’s cabinet.

The Kravis couple are among the main pillars of the Bilderberg Club, which is administered by Marie-Josée Drouin-Kravis. Contrary to a commonly-held belief, the Bilderberg is not a place where decisions are made. Its archives attest to the fact that it was created by the CIA and MI6, then became an organ of influence for NATO, which directly looks after its security [5]. Since Macron’s intervention had been well received, he became one of NATO’s men in France.

Having left politics, he had no desire to return. He explained to his entourage on a number of occasions that he wanted to become a university professor. With the help of essayist Alain Minc (admitted to the Bilderberg Club in 2008), he obtained a post at the university of Berlin and another at the London School of Economics, but was unable to find a place at Harvard.

However, in August 2014, three months after having « left politics », and on a proposition by Jean-Pierre Jouyet (admitted in 2009 to the Bilderberg Club), he was named by François Hollande as Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Technology.

In a book published in 2018, François Hollande assured that this choice had been his idea [6]. That may be, but would suppose that he had not been informed about Macron’s intervention at the Bilderberg meeting – although one of his Ministers and close friend Fleur Pélerin had also been present.

In December 2014, Henry Kravis created his own Intelligence agency, the KKR Global Institute. He nominated at its head the ex-Director of the CIA, General David Petraeus. With the Kravis couple’s private funds (the KKR investment funds), and without referring to Congress, Petraeus pursued operation « Timber Sycamore » which had been initiated by President Barack Obama. This was the largest weapons traffic in History, implicating at least 17 states and representing many thousands of tons of weapons worth several billion dollars [7]. As such, Kravis and Petraeus became the main suppliers for Daesh [8].

The French President of Bilderberg, Henri de Castries, invited the Deputy Mayor of Le Havre, Edouard Philippe, to the annual meeting, which on this occasion was held in June 2015 in Austria. Philippe was to be re-invited in May 2016, this time in Germany. During the presidential campaign in France, both Henri de Castries and Edouard Philippe supported François Fillon, but dropped him as soon as Jean-Pierre Jouyet [9] handed the Canard Enchaîné the financial documents collected by the Inspectorate of Finances concerning the suspicious employment of Madame Fillon [10]. They then joined Emmanuel Macron’s camp.

In April 2016, Emmanuel Macron founded his political formation En Marche!, whose marketing strategy was copied from that of Kadima (Forward!), Ariel Sharon’s pretended non-right, non-left party. As for Macron’s programme, it was built on the notes of the OCDE [11] and those of the Institut Montaigne, of which Henri de Castries was president. In fact, En Marche! was created in the offices of the Institut. But Castries fooled Fillon into believing that this was pure coincidence , and that he did not support Macron. He continued for months telling Fillon that he was ready to become his Prime Minister.

Initially, the financing of En Marche! was not supervised. It was a simple association which was allowed to receive gifts from abroad. The names of the sponsors were not revealed to the Tax Office. Arch-billionaire Henry Kravis was one of them.

During his campaign, Emmanuel Macron regularly met with the ex-President of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (« DSK »). These workshop meetings were denied until they were revealed by Le Parisien, much later, when his reputation as a sexual pervert had died down. DSK (admitted to the Bilderberg Club in 2000) brought both the support of senior government officials and that of French company management – the sociological alliance which had supported the collaborationist régime of Philippe Petain and reformed again in the 1980’s around the Fondation Saint-Simon.

In June 2018, the Minister for Youth and National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, was invited on the proposition of Henri de Castries to the annual meeting of the Bilderberg Club, which was held this time in Italy. This lawyer, a specialist in Constitutional law, has always linked political science and education. He was one of the three central directors of the Ministry for Education, then director of the prestigious Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC). He has known Castries for many years, frequenting him at the Institut Montaigne.

When the Yellow Vests crisis began in France [12], it quickly became evident that this was a profound problem which could only be resolved by addressing the question of global finance, which President Macron can not do. During his electoral campaign, he surprised sponsors at a dinner in New York by making accusations against the financialisation of the economy. It was no more than electoral rhetoric. He was taken to task by the Mr. and Mrs. Kravis – financialisation is the system that enables them to operate the « leveraged buy-outs », which have made them what they are.

Faced with the Yellow Vest movement, President Macron will have to sacrifice his Prime Minister as an expiatory victim during the next elections (the European elections of May 2019, which will certainly be lost). But apart from the fact that he has to hang on for five more months, who is there to replace him? When you owe the financing of your electoral campaign and the choice of your Prime Minister to NATO, it is unthinkable to replace him without first referring to the Alliance. The ideal candidate for the job would therefore be Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

 

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204303.html

 

Earlier, in this Macronic business, we have referred to Macron's campaign having been financed in part by Soros... This is still debatable as there are contrary informations sources on this possibility. Same doubts about Macron's campaign having been also helped by the Saudis... But the Meyssan info here is 99.999 % reliable.

a bona fide working class uprising...

 

from CJ Hopkins

So it appears the privatization of France isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or “yellow vests”), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in cities and towns throughout the country to express their displeasure with Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to transform their society into an American-style neo-feudal dystopia. Highways have been blocked, toll booths commandeered, luxury automobiles set on fire, and shopping on the Champs-Élysées disrupted. What began as a suburban tax revolt has morphed into a bona fide working class uprising.

It took a while for “the Golden Boy of Europe” to fully appreciate what was happening. In the tradition of his predecessor, Louis XVI, Macron initially responded to the gilets jaunes by inviting a delegation of Le Monde reporters to laud his renovation of the Elysée Palace, making the occasional condescending comment, and otherwise completely ignoring them. That was back in late November. Last Saturday, he locked down central Paris, mobilized a literal army of riot cops, “preventatively arrested” hundreds of citizens, including suspected “extremist students,” and sent in the armored military vehicles.

The English-language corporate media, after doing their best not to cover these protests (and, instead, to keep the American and British publics focused on imaginary Russians), have been forced to now begin the delicate process of delegitimizing the gilets jaunes without infuriating the the entire population of France and inciting the British and American proletariats to go out and start setting cars on fire. They got off to a bit of an awkward start.

For example, this piece by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian‘s Paris Bureau Chief, and her Twitter feed from the protests last Saturday. Somehow (probably a cock-up at headquarters), The Guardian honchos allowed Chrisafis to do some actual propaganda-free reporting (and some interviews with actual protesters) before they caught themselves and replaced her with Kim Willsher, who resumed The Guardian‘s usual neoliberal establishment-friendly narrative, which, in this case, entailed dividing the protesters into “real” gilets jaunes and “fake” gilet jaunes, and referring to the latter fictional group as “thuggish, extremist political agitators.”

By Sunday, the corporate media were insinuating that diabolical Russian Facebook bots had brainwashed the French into running amok, because who else could possibly be responsible? Certainly not the French people themselves! The French, as every American knows, are by nature a cowardly, cheese-eating people, who have never overthrown their rightful rulers, or publicly beheaded the aristocracy. No, the French were just sitting there, smoking like chimneys, and otherwise enjoying their debt-enslavement and the privatization of their social democracy, until they unsuspectingly logged onto Facebook and … BLAMMO, the Russian hackers got them!

Bloomberg is reporting that French authorities have opened a probe into Russian interference (in the middle of which report, for no apparent reason, a gigantic photo of Le Pen is featured, presumably just to give it that “Nazi” flavor). According to “analysis seen by The Times,” Russia-linked social media accounts have been“amplifying” the “chaos” and “violence” by tweeting photos of gilets jaunes who the French police have savagely beaten or gratuitiously shot with “less-than-lethal projectiles.”

“Are nationalists infiltrating the yellow vests?” the BBC Newsnight producers are wondering. According to Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick, “a beast born almost entirely from Facebook” is slouching toward…well, I’m not quite sure, the UK or even, God help us, America! And then there’s Max Boot, who is convinced he is being personally persecuted by Russian agents like Katie Hopkins, James Woods, Glenn Greenwald, and other high-ranking members of a worldwide conspiracy Boot refers to as the “Illiberal International” (but which regular readers of my column will recognize as the “Putin-Nazis“).

And, see, this is the problem the corporate media (and other staunch defenders of global neoliberalism) are facing with these gilets jaunes protests. They can’t get away with simply claiming that what is happening is not a working class uprising, so they have been forced to resort to these blatant absurdities. They know they need to delegitimize the gilets jaunes as soon as possible — the movement is already starting to spread — but the “Putin-Nazi” narrative they’ve been using on Trump, Corbyn, and other “populists” is just not working.

No one believes the Russians are behind this, not even the hacks who are paid to pretend they do. And the “fascism” hysteria is also bombing. Attempts to portray the gilets jaunes as Le Pen-sponsored fascists blew up in their faces. Obviously, the far-Right are part of these protests, as they would be in any broad working class uprising, but there are far too many socialists and anarchists (and just regular pissed-off working class people) involved for the media to paint them all as “Nazis.”

Which is not to say that the corporate media and prominent public intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Lévy will not continue to hammer away at the “fascism” hysteria, and demand that the “good” and “real” gilets jaunes suspend their protests against Macron until they have completely purged their movement of “fascists,” and “extremists,” and other dangerous elements, and have splintered it into a number of smaller, antagonistic ideological factions that can be more easily neutralized by the French authorities … because that’s what establishment intellectuals do.

We can expect to hear this line of reasoning, not just from establishment intellectuals like Lévy, but also from members of the Identity Politics Left, who are determined to prevent the working classes from rising up against global neoliberalism until they have cleansed their ranks of every last vestige of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, and so on. These leftist gatekeepers have been struggling a bit to come up with a response to the gilets jaunes … a response that doesn’t make them sound like hypocrites. See, as leftists, they kind of need to express their support for a bona fide working class uprising. At the same time, they need to delegitimize it, because their primary adversaries are fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and assorted other isms and phobias, not the neoliberal ruling classes.

Nothing scares the Identity Politics Left quite like an actual working class uprising. Witnessing the furious unwashed masses operating out there on their own, with no decent human restraint whatsoever, Identity Politics Leftists feel a sudden overwhelming urge to analyze, categorize, organize, sanitize, and otherwise correct and control them. They can’t accept the fact that the actual, living, breathing working classes are messy, multiplicitous, inconsistent, and irreducible to any one ideology. Some of them are racists. Some are fascists. Others are communists, socialists, and anarchists. Many have no idea what they are, and don’t particularly care for any of these labels. This is what the actual working classes are … a big, contradictory collection of people who, in spite of all their differences, share one thing in common, that they are being screwed over by the ruling classes. I don’t know about you, but I consider myself one of them.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. According to The Guardian, as I am sitting here writing this, the whole of Europe is holding its breath in anticipation of the gilets jaunes’ response to Macron’s most recent attempt to appease them, this time with an extra hundred Euros a month, some minor tax concessions, and a Christmas bonus. Something tells me it’s not going to work, but even if it does, and the gilets jaunes uprising ends, this messy, Western “populist” insurgency against global neoliberalism has clearly entered a new phase. Count on the global capitalist ruling classes to intensify their ongoing War on Dissent and their demonization of anyone opposing them (or contradicting their official narrative) as an “extremist,” a “fascist,” a “Russian agent,” and so on. I’m certainly looking forward to that, personally.

Oh…yeah, and I almost forgot, if you were wondering what you could get me for Christmas, I did some checking, and there appears to be a wide selection of yellow safety vests online for just a couple Euros.

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/12/13/the-indiscreet-charm-of-the-gilets-j...

 

The golden boy of Europe has been jaundiced... Read from top.

… and now facing silver boobs...

The yellow colors of the raging French protests are mixing with red and silver as several half-naked women posing as Marianne – a French national symbol – have faced off with police in the heart of Paris.

Half-naked women in blood-red hoodies covered in silver paint evoked the French revolutionary icon on Champs-Elysees avenue on Saturday. Their appearance was in stark contrast to the black and blue uniforms of gendarmes and police officers, and the yellow vests of hundreds of protesters around them.

READ MORE: Police deploy tear gas at Yellow Vests in Paris (VIDEO)

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/446549-marianne-naked-paris-protests/

rightly so: he should resign…

 

...

Many French people now see Macron's election to the presidency as something of an accident. Emmanuel Macron had no party, little experience, and lots of luck. His political opponents destroyed each other. Indeed, polls show that far less than half of Macron's voters in spring 2017 voted for him out of conviction. The rest of his voters, though, indicated that the other candidates, Marine Le Pen first and foremost, were simply unelectable. 

Luck is not a factor in Max Weber's discussion of charismatic rulers. Macron, who suddenly became head of state at the age of 39, first needed to develop his authority. And he did so with a clear strategy, setting out doing so with single-minded determination, seeking to develop charisma through images and symbols, and to carry out his revolution through shrewd argumentation. He put himself at the epicenter of French politics. As a candidate, he was alone. And he remained so as president. But this over-personalization had its price. Macron's system relied on the complete centralization of power in the hands of the president and of a few intellectually gifted advisors, who sometimes send out text messages at 3 a.m., as Macron does himself. Macron's IQ-absolutism was successful in his first year. The furthest-reaching job-market reforms in recent French history, which he instituted in fall of 2017, didn't even lead to a general strike, as had been feared. Macron loosened the rules for firing employees and broke up the rigid wage-negotiation system. He simultaneously lowered the budget deficit below the 3-percent mark for the first time since 2007. He even modernized the sacrosanct French secondary-school diploma, known as the baccalauréat. Emmanuel Macron has already reformed his country more profoundly than all the presidents before him -- at least since Mitterrand, who implemented an important wave of modernization starting in 1983. 

Macron is proud of his reforms. Rightly so. He believes these reforms will bring growth back to France. Rightly so. He also believes that new growth in France will repair the social imbalances in the country. Rightly so. But Macron is forgetting about the span of time required between reform, growth and social justice. Many French don't want to wait. They want results. Immediately. The yellow vests don't have a face, but they have charisma. And they are united in anger. They want a revolution and they want more net income. They don't care what this might mean economically for their highly indebted country. They loathe the self-proclaimed revolutionary at the top, his aloof reliance on symbols, his know-it-all revolutionary rationality. Although the Élysée's arguments are technocratically coherent, the gilets jaunes confront them with brutal simplicity: If you abolish the wealth tax but raise the price of diesel by six cents per liter, you are an enemy of the people.

One-and-a-half minutes into his address to the nation last Monday, Macron took a deep breath and addressed those whom he had forgotten: the single mothers, the job-seekers, the excluded. The mea culpa was followed by the checkbook, with Macron pledging to raise the minimum wage, introduce a tax exemption for overtime pay and lower social-welfare contributions for pensioners. It was a classic Macron moment -- empathy paired with technocracy, symbolism paired with facts, charisma paired with rationality. Can this approach work? Definitely. But only if Macron can win back his authority.

 

Read more:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/commentary-macron-versus-the-...

 

Macron is damaged goods. He is no Napoleon, while aspiring to be. He did not have the weight of history on his shoulders, thus he forgot that workers' rights were hard earned through a long string of social events which helped people be better. In one swoop, he damaged this concept by valuing competition far more than cooperation. In competition, many people become sociopathic — it's unavoidable. His aloof exclusive attitude, his ugly dismissal of struggling people has shown his elitism at its worst. He might recover, but he has been wounded — and the gilet jaunes have now created a revolution in par with the 1968 uprising. He has to go. Changing tack woud only appear as hypocritical for him to stay in the job. He has muffed it. He's cooked. 

 

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little napoleon warns of EU civil war...

yellow cakes...

A cakeshop in the Paris suburb of Poissy has been deliciously supportive of the Yellow Vest movement by creating Yellow Vest cakes...

 

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https://francais.rt.com/videos/56368-quils-mangent-brioche-gateaux-gilet...

not hitler, but may be louis XVI? and brigitte-antoinette...

Le Monde has issued an apology over its cover after facing a barrage of accusations of ‘comparing’ President Emmanuel Macron to Adolf Hitler. The magazine insisted that it “obviously” had no such parallel in mind.

The controversial image featured on the cover of the M le magazine du Monde, issued on Saturday. It contains a photo collage of Macron and the Yellow Vest protesters on the Champs Elysees.

READ MORE: Yellow Vest protesters attempt to storm Macron’s Mediterranean castle

The image and its art style have definitely caught the eye of readers, with the President of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand suggesting that they might have invoked certain parallels.

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https://www.rt.com/news/447779-macron-hitler-cover-le-monde/

 

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adolph macronadolph macron

the cost of protest...

 

By Andre Vitchek

 

What if protesters in Paris win, and the French government gives in to all their demands?

What if taxes are reduced, wages increased, President Macron steps down?

I am not talking only about the fuel tax; attempts to impose it have been already abandoned. I am not talking about increase of the minimum wage – the government already agreed to rise it by 100 euro per month.

What I am talking about are real, fundamental changes which many protesters seem to be desiring: substantial tax reduction for the majority of French citizens, generous increase in wages and enhancement of social benefits for all.

So, if the Yellow Vests manage to win all this, then what will happen? Who would benefit? But also, who would lose?

*

One of my readers recently wrote to me that France should reduce its military budget and from those billions of euro saved, could easily finance demands of the protesters.

Another reader wrote that the richest citizens of France (or call them ‘elites’) should be taxed heavily, and the money saved in this way could be then distributed among the poor and the lower middle class.

Sounds ‘reasonable’? Yes, definitely; reasonable and logical. The only tiny defect is: we all know that it will never happen this way.

President Macron was elevated to the throne by precisely those so-called elites. In return, those rich folks expect their privileges to be guaranteed, even swollen.

And to imagine that a NATO member country (in this case France) would suddenly slash its military budget and from what is saved, start to finance various new social programs for the poor and the middle class, is unrealistic, even childish.

So where will the funds come from, if the French government decides to do something truly ‘radical’; radical at least by the standards of our era of turbo-capitalism: to listen to its own people?

Let me stop beating about the bush and ask my question brutally and concretely:

“What if all demands of the Yellow Vests get satisfied; who will pay the bill?”

*

To put all this into a context: I write this essay in Hanoi, capital of socialist Vietnam.

Some time ago, I used to live in this city. I spent almost three years here, when it was still poor, and people remembered war, some even the French colonialism.

Right after I arrived, what shocked me the most was that while the Vietnamese people seemed to ‘forgive’ the USA, they had never forgiven the French colonialists.

“Why?” I asked my friends. “How is it possible? Wasn’t the US bombing and killing campaign during the ‘American War’ (which is known in the West as ‘Vietnam War’) terribly brutal, with millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians losing their lives?”

“Of course, it was”, I was readily explained. “But we fought and, despite the terrible losses and hardship, we defeated Americans in relatively short time. And anyway, it was not only them; members of the coalition also consisted of countries like South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Thailand, and of course, France.”

And the story continued:

“The French were occupying and tormenting us for much longer. They also had been humiliating our people, continuously. They enslaved up, tortured us, took our women, they raped them, and they had stolen all that we had.”

Near where I used to live, was a notorious “Central Jail”, equipped with guillotines, torture chambers, solitary confinement cells. Now, on exhibit there, are monstrous instruments used by the French colonizers, to torture and rape captured Vietnamese patriot women: beer bottles, electric wires, walking canes.

Whatever the colonized Indochina had, was stolen: taken to France, in order to finance construction of grandiose theatres, railroads, metro, parks, and universities. And yes, to subsidize formation of that famous French social system which, as the Yellow Vests are now correctly saying, is being dismantled by the French ‘elites’ and by the political system which they are fully controlling.

Vietnamese people fought bravely against the French, finally defeating them during an iconic battle at Dien Bien Phu. But the victorious Vietnamese Communist forces inherited ransacked, divided land, stripped of its resources and even of its art work (several French intellectuals, including famous writer and later Minister of Culture in de Gaulle’s government, Andre Malraux, confessed to stealing art objects from ‘Indochina’, when he lived there as a young man).

Needless to say, that until now, French companies are brutally pillaging many parts of Southeast Asia, through mining and other neo-colonialist projects, as they do in various areas of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Now ask in Hanoi, ask in Phnom Penh or Vientiane, whether people of ‘Indochina’ (what an insulting and bizarre name was given to this part of the world by the French, during the colonial era!) are supporting Yellow Vests in Paris? Ask whether they think that if they win concessions in Paris, it would improve life in Asia.

Are you guessing what the answer would be?

*

I don’t say that demands of the people who are fighting in the streets of Paris are wrong. They are not. They are absolutely legitimate.

French elites are brutal, selfish, even perverse. Present French government is simply serving them, as the US presidents are all serving huge corporations, including those deadly military conglomerates. ‘They should go’, they should disappear, give way to what is logical human evolutionary pattern: a socialist, egalitarian society.

But they are not ready to go. On the contrary. They are robbing, for centuries, entire planet, and now they went so far as to plundering their own people (who were used to sharing the booty).

French citizens are not used to being plundered. For centuries they lived well, and for several last decades, they were living ‘extremely well’. They were enjoying some of the most generous benefits anywhere in the world.

Who paid for it? Did it matter? Was it ever important to those in Paris, in other big cities, or in the countryside? Were the French farmers wondering how come they were getting generous subsidies when they were producing excessive amounts of food and wine, but also when they were asked by the government not to produce much of anything? Did they often travel to Senegal, or elsewhere in West Africa, to investigate how these subsidies thoroughly destroyed agriculture sector in several former French colonies? Did they care that lives of millions there were totally ruined? Or that as far as Indonesia or Brazil, French corporations have been, aggressively, taking over food and beverage production, as well as food distribution, and that as a result, food prices in many poor countries skyrocketed to double or triple of what they are in Paris, while the local incomes remain, in some cases, only 10% of those in France?

And the food is only one example. But this essay was supposed to be about something slightly different: about the Yellow Vests, and what will happen if all of their demands would be met.

*

If we agree that the regime that is governing in France, entire West, and in many of its colonies and neo-colonies, is truly monstrous, perverse and brutal, we have to come to a logical conclusion that it is not going to pay the bill for better medical care, education, as well as lower taxes and higher wages of the ordinary French citizens.

If demands of the protesters are met, there will be someone else who will be forced to cover the bill. Most likely tens of millions, or hundreds of millions will be ‘taxed’. And they will not be living in France, or in the European Union, or even anywhere near.

Are protesters of Mouvement des gilets jaunes, thinking about this? Does it matter to them at least a little bit?

It did not in the past, either. Perhaps when few people like Jean Paul Sartre were still alive, these questions were periodically asked. But not lately; not now. Not during this rebellion on Champs-Élysées.

Do people in France question how many millions would have to die in order to improve the quality of life in the French cities and in provinces?

Or perhaps, to ‘compensate’, to cover the social spending, some country would ‘have to be’ invaded? Would it be Iran? Or maybe Venezuela?

The New York Times, in one of its articles about the French provinces, mentioned that people were complaining they cannot afford to even take their wives to a restaurant for dinner, anymore. That is truly serious, but would it justify a battle for Iran or Venezuela, and their consequent plunder, or would it excuse massacre of further few hundreds of thousands of West Papuans?

*

I would suggest something that would help to convince the true internationalists, as well as people all over the pillaged world, that the Mouvement des gilets jaunes is not just selfishly fighting for the benefits that would improve lives of the French citizens, at the expense of many others all over the world:

They should indicate that they understand; that they are not indifferent to others. Say clearly that they are against capitalism and imperialism, against colonialism and plundering of the people and their resources in absolutely all parts of our Planet!

Say that they are for freedom, equality, and fraternity of all human beings, not just French!

Say that this is true revolution, true battle for improving the world, not just for more money, lower taxes, and better benefits exclusively for people who are living in France!

Say that they would never accept any benefits or extra money, if they come from robbing poor and colonized nations of all that have left.

If they do say all this, and if they demonstrate that they truly mean it, I will have to shout Vive la Révolution! and join them – the protesters – wholeheartedly.

But until they do, until I am convinced that their victory would not harm others, millions of others, I’ll continue to be much more concerned about people of Vietnam and Papua, about Iran, Africa, Syria or the entire Middle East, than about whether someone individual in rural France can afford to take his wife for dinner to a restaurant.

Originally published by New Eastern Outlook

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/12/31/what-happens-if-the-yellow-vests-win...

 

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no yellow vests under louis XVI...


King Louis XVI’s refusal to embrace reforms led to his downfall, Emmanuel Macron told corporate executives gathered at Versailles. The meeting was held in part to alleviate investors’ fears after 10 weeks of Yellow Vest protests.

An estimated 150 executives, including Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, JPMorgan Chase CEO James Dimon, and Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, met with the French president at the decadent palace outside of Paris.

“A lot of people thought that it was not a good date to gather here,” Macron told his guests, referring to the execution of French King Louis XVI, who was guillotined on January 21, exactly 226 years ago on Monday. But when you look at French history, if at the end they ended up like that, it’s because a lot of leaders decided not to reform.

 

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https://www.rt.com/news/449388-macron-king-executives-execute-reforms/

 

 

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