Advertisements

Tag Archives: France

Decentralize the French State, by José Niño

The real solution to the Yellow Vests’ woes can only come when the French government is dramatically downsized and decentralized. From José Niño at mises.org:

With the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests raging for more than three months, the European Union’s viability as a political entity has come into question.

Indeed, the EU has gone through a whirlwind of economic and political upheavals since the eurozone crisis of 2009. In 2016, the EU experienced a political earthquake when the Brexit referendum occurred, and British voters decided that it was time for the UK to leave the EU.

To a certain extent, the Brexit vote was a manifestation of British populism. Now, the French populists have made themselves known in the form of the yellow vest movement.

But what are the implications of this?

France’s Out-of-Control Leviathan

France is not exactly in the best economic shape. The unemployment rate has hovered around nine to ten percent during the past decade. The cost of living has risen considerably thanks to government regulations. So, Macron’s failed gas tax proposal, which would have hurt the working class pretty hard, only exacerbates France’s sub-optimal economic situation.

And this is only the tip iceberg as far as France’s over-burdened economy goes.

Research from the Institut Économique Molinari found that the tax burden “typical workers” in France face is higher than any of its European counterparts. Fiscal restraint has not been France’s strong suit with government spending accounting for 56 percent of GDP. On the regulatory front, France is a mess. Its Code du Travail, a 1,600 page, 10,000-article legislative monstrosity, has greatly hamstrung its labor market. According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom, France’s Labor Freedom score places it very close to the “repressed” category.

In a cruel twist of irony, France has reverted back to its monarchical political economy, dominated by an interventionist state that heavily regulates, subsidizes, and controls certain sectors of the economy.

Sadly, many of the yellow vest protestors have not comprehended the 800-pound elephant in the room that is French statism.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Algeria: The Iceberg That Could Sink Emmanuel Macron, by Scott McConnell

Algeria may be sending a new wave of migrants to France. From Scott McConnell at theamericanconservative.com:

After surviving several assassination attempts by French partisans of Algérie Française, Charles de Gaulle in March 1962 signed a peace agreement ending French sovereignty over Algeria. The war for Algerian independence had been long and vicious, marked by terrorism and torture. Everyone who mattered in French politics believed in 1954 that Algeria was an integral part of France, to be defended at all cost. But by 1962, their view had changed. With cold realism, de Gaulle remarked of the conflict, now in its seventh year, “As for France, it will be necessary for her now to interest herself in something else.”

France did fine after granting independence to Algeria. Algeria less so. The Algerians who had taken the side of France, fought in its army, or served as administrators of the Algerian government fared terribly—many suffered appalling deaths at the hands of the vengeful victors. According to Alistair Horne’s Savage War of Peace, 15,000 were killed in the summer after the March armistice.

An important reason de Gaulle broke with his conservative army supporters and became determined to negotiate Algerian independence was that he thought the French and Algerians were fundamentally different peoples. For him, Algérie Française, the “France of a hundred million” supplemented by Algeria’s population and vast reserves of oil and gas, was total fantasy. His colleague Alain Peyrefitte quoted him as saying privately in 1959 that you could mix Arabs and French together, but like oil and vinegar in a bottle, after a while they would inevitably separate. He worried that an Algérie Française would lead inevitably to his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises being transformed into Colombey-Les-Deux-Mosquées.

Continue reading

A Project to Transform France, by Guy Millière

Emmanuel Macron warns against anti-Semitism among the Yellow Vests, but ignores the obvious anti-Semitism of much of France’s Muslim population. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • “It is up to us to give a political meaning to the [“yellow vest”] revolt. The goal is not simply to challenge an increase in taxes, but the political system that induces it…” — Elias d’Imzalene, French Islamist preacher, November 23, 2018.
  • “Macron hates the yellow vests and wants them to vanish. He wants to win European elections and needs the Muslim vote. He knows perfectly well who the anti-Semites are today, but will not attack them. He needs them. He attacks [only] those who are dangerous to him. “— Éric Zemmour, French author, February 19, 2019.
  • Other people noted that holding a demonstration that excluded the right-wing National Rally party was a move aimed at diverting attention from the real anti-Semitic danger. They also suggested that political parties which support the murderers of Jews were precisely those which deny that radical Islam is a danger.
After sixteen Saturday demonstrations by the “yellow vests,” who began in November by protesting French President Emmanuel Macron’s increase in fuel prices, the controversy seems to have taken a darker turn. Pictured: “Yellow vest” protestors near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, on March 2, 2019.

After sixteen Saturday demonstrations by the “yellow vests,” who began in November by protesting French President Emmanuel Macron’s increase in fuel prices, the controversy seems to have taken a darker turn.

Continue reading

They Can’t Drive . . . 50, by Eric Peters

In France you can no longer drive faster than 50 mph. Eric Peters explores this absurdity. From Peters at theburningplatform.com:

It’s not just obnoxiously high fuel taxes the French are rioting over. It’s also obnoxiously low speed limits.

Last year, the government of Emmanuel Macron decreed the equivalent of America’s ’70s-era Drive 55 regime – which afflicted American drivers until the mid 1990s –  only it’s worse because it’s Drive 50 (80 kilometers per hour, maximum).

On every two-lane highway in the country.

Sammy Hagar, rev up your Ferrari.

This time, it’s to Save the Planet – rather than (as here, back in the ‘70s) to Save Gas.

Both being mere excuses to stick it to the people.

There was an “energy crisis” In the U.S. back in the early-mid ’70s, but it was entirely artificial. Scarcity imposed by governments and their associated cartels. There was plenty of oil – it was just being withheld for political purposes.

Note that Uncle always had (and has) plenty of gas – regardless of the “crisis” – and used it as profligately then as he still does today.

Continue reading

As Germany and France Come Apart, So Too Will the EU, by Charles Hugh Smith

The rulers are talking consolidaton and ever-larger governments, but the people are headed the opposite direction. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

When is a nation-state no longer a functional state? It’s an interesting question to ask of the European nation-states trapped in the devolving European Union. Longtime correspondent Mark G. recently posed seven indicators of dissolving national sovereignty; here’s his commentary:

“RE: The Ghosts of 1968 (February 14, 2018):

In France the “Ghosts of 1968” have become the Poltergeists of 2018. This looks like another real watershed in European and world history. Once again Parisian mobs have appeared and have collectively realized they now hold the real power. And their issues are all anti-EU (European Union) and anti-NWO. (New World Order)

I’m honing my German Collapse Scenario as more data flows in, as it is in ever-faster and larger quantities. ‘Germany’ will implode in parallel with the EU.

So-called ‘states’ with:

1. no effective military forces
2. no control of their own borders
3. no control of their currency and banks
4. a government with a ‘diverse’ population in which the majority either has no loyalty to Berlin (recent ‘refugee’ immigrants) or has dropped its loyalty (large parts of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg), and which is also losing the allegiance of the many eastern European immigrants in Germany. These people are among the most energized opponents of the ‘refugee’ influx.
5. Fast rising anarchy and lawlessness by the recent ‘refugee’ immigrants, and which is well known to the population, as are the official orders to the police to minimize crime statistics reporting by not opening official cases.

and

6. A mass media believed by no one due to the bald lies it broadcasts 24/7 daily about numbers 1-5.

…will soon cease to exist. This is confirmed by:

7. The continuing spiral of the ruling post WWII political parties into their own political black holes. CDU/CSU on the right and SDP on the left have all lost their hold on the modern German population.

The biggest joke of all is that Theresa May is negotiating the terms of “Brexit” from the EU with a political corpse and not a viable polity.

Another round or lap is coming soon. Personally I think the only thing staving off another eurozone banking crisis is the absolute certainty that no imaginable German government can currently agree to the slightest external concession without risking an internal political collapse.

Thus all the various Eurozone elites involved are refraining from provoking such a crisis for calculated narrow reasons. This leaves it to a European mob in some capital to initiate it by confronting a national government with either internal political collapse or re-entering EU-wide monetary and fiscal conflict with the ECB/EU gang.

And yes, I’m sure you spotted the next part. Poland and Hungary acting on behalf of the Phoenix Rising Ersatz Austro-Hungarian Empire will twist the EU’s tail at that time as hard as they can for maximum regional advantage.”

The fracturing of Germany is conventionally viewed as somewhere between implausible and impossible, and the same can be said of France and Germany drifting apart and the EU dissolving: the mainstream is committed to presenting Germany, the German-French alliance, the euro and the EU as rock-solid.

Yet if we follow the logic and evidence presented in these seven points, we are forced to conclude that the fractures in France, Germany and the EU are widening by the day, and that the ceaseless propaganda spewed by the ruling elites isn’t mending the fractures or restoring the illusion of stability.

(Regarding the French yellow vest dissenters: the 80,000 mobilized security forces are intentionally seeking to incite violence to justify crushing the yellow vestdissenters with massive paramilitary force: French Democracy Dead or Alive?)

In the long run of history, the apparent solidity of 20 or 30 years can shatter very rapidly as populations under increasing financial and political stress default to much more enduring divisions and loyalties.

Europe is Burning, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Europe’s elite is finding it discomfiting that much of the peasantry can’t see the self-evident righteousness of their views and policies. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

There will be elections for the European Parliament on May 23-26 2019. They will likely change the face of Europe more than anything has done since the EU was founded. That is not some wild prediction. Many European countries have held elections since the last European elections in 2014, and just about all had outcomes that shook up domestic political ratios.

In most cases, countries went from traditional parties to newly founded ones. France erased the Socialists and center-right in 2017, and the final round of the presidential elections was between Marine Le Pen’s Front National and Emmanuel Macron’s brand-new En Marche. Macron won sort of by default, because France as a country would never have voted for Le Pen.

In Italy, M5S and Lega have taken over. In Germany, Merkel’s CDU/CSU coalition lost bigly though it remained the biggest party, but Angela lost her ‘socialist’ SPD partner which gave up so much it didn’t want to be in government anymore. In Spain, Mariano Rajoy’s center right lost enough to cede power to the Socialists who came up tops because they played a smart game, not because the Spanish wanted it to rule.

We don’t have to go through all 27/28 different countries to establish that there are almost tectonic shifts happening all over, away from traditional parties and towards whoever showed up without insanely extreme views. And if you think this move is now completed, you may want to think again.

Continue reading

French Democracy Dead or Alive? by Diana Johnstone

One impetus behind the Yellow Vest movement is to restore real democracy to a country that has become a democracy in name only. From Diana Johnstone at unz.com:

Gilets Jaunes song performed at French traffic circle: Les Gentils et les Méchants

Paris, France, 9 January 2019

French Democracy Dead or Alive? Or perhaps one should say, buried or revived? Because for the mass of ordinary people, far from the political, financial, media centers of power in Paris, democracy is already moribund, and their movement is an effort to save it. Ever since Margaret Thatcher decreed that “there is no alternative”, Western economic policy is made by technocrats for the benefit of financial markets, claiming that such benefits will trickle down to the populace. The trickle has largely dried up, and people are tired of having their needs and wishes totally ignored by an elite who “know best”.

President Emmanuel Macron’s New Year’s Eve address to the nation made it perfectly clear that after one unconvincing stab at throwing a few crumbs to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protest movement, he has determined to get tough

France is entering a period of turmoil. The situation is very complex, but here are a few points to help grasp what this is all about.

  • The METHODS

The Yellow Vests gather in conspicuous places where they can be seen: the Champs-Elysées in Paris, main squares in other cities towns, and the numerous traffic circles on the edge of small towns. Unlike traditional demonstrations, the Paris marches were very loose and spontaneous, people just walking around and talking to each other, with no leaders and no speeches.

Continue reading→

%d bloggers like this: