People have reached a breaking point. They are tired of paying ever-increasing taxes and getting very little in return. From Peter C. Earle at aier.org:
The gilets jaunes (Yellow Jacket) anti-tax riots in France escalated over the past weekend, again citing the impact of higher taxes on fossil fuels –and high levels of taxation in general – on everyday life. French citizens, already subject to the highest taxes in the OECD, are being crushed by both new and systematically increasing taxes, and have taken to the streets by the hundreds of thousands in a “citizen’s revolution”. Recommendations to declare a state of emergency have for the time being been tabled.
With no sense of irony whatsoever, in a press conference on Saturday French President Emmanuel Macron stated: “I will never accept violence.”
Yet violence is the core component of his chosen vocation as a statesman.
Taxation poses as an equitable transaction – goods and services provided by a government in return for a fee (more galling and Orwellian, a “contribution”) from the taxpayer – but the nature of the interaction is obvious to all but the indifferent or determinedly thoughtless. It is not voluntary and does not follow from reason; neither will even the most indefatigable defenders of state appropriation, given the choice (and confidentiality), miss an opportunity to skirt the taxman and retain their property.
France is the shape of things to come across the West’s welfare states. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- “The French say, ‘Mr. President, we cannot make ends meet,’ and the President replies, ‘we shall create a High Council [for the climate]’. Can you imagine the disconnect?” — Laurence Saillet, spokesman for the center-right party, The Republicans, November 27, 2018
- The “yellow jackets” [protestors] now have the support of 77% of the French population. They are demanding Macron’s resignation and an immediate change of government.
- The movement is now a revolt of millions of people who feel asphyxiated by “confiscatory” taxation, and who do not want to “pay indefinitely” for a government that seems “unable to limit spending”. — Jean-Yves Camus, political scientist.
- European elections are to be held this Spring, 2019. Polls show that the National Gathering will be in the lead, far ahead of La République En Marche! [The Republic on the Move!], the party created by Macron.
On November 11th, French President Emmanuel Macron commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I by inviting seventy heads of state to organize a costly, useless, grandiloquent “Forum of Peace” that did not lead to anything. He also invited US President Donald Trump, and then chose to insult him. In a pompous speech, Macron — knowing that a few days earlier, Donald Trump had defined himself as a nationalist committed to defending America — invoked “patriotism”; then defined it, strangely, as “the exact opposite of nationalism”; then called it “treason”.
In addition, shortly before the meeting, Macron had not only spoken of the “urgency” of building a European army; he also placed the United States among the “enemies” of Europe. This was not the first time Macron placed Europe above the interests of his own country. It was, however, the first time he had placed the United States on the list of enemies of Europe.
Posted in Business, Collapse, Economy, Government, Immigration, Insurrection, Labor, Politics, Taxes
Tagged Emmanuel Macron, France, Fuel Tax, Riots
The European Union is become European’s answer to the Hotel California: you can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave. from Thierry Meyssan at Voltairenet.org via lewrockwell.com:
For Thierry Meyssan, the way in which Germany and France are refusing the right of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union demonstrates the fact that the EU is not simply a straight-jacket – it also goes to show that the Europeans still care as little about their neighbors as they did during the two World Wars. Manifestly, they have forgotten that governing a country means more than simply defending its interests in the short term, but also thinking in the long term and avoiding conflicts with its neighbours.
The member states of the European Union seem unaware of the clouds that are gathering above their heads. They have identified the most serious problems of the EU, but are treating them with nonchalance, and fail to understand what the British secession (Brexit) implies. They are slowly sinking into a crisis which may only be resolved by violence.
The origin of the problem
During the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the members of the European Community accepted to bow to the decisions of the United States and to integrate the states of Central Europe, even though these states did not correspond in any way to the logical criteria of adhesion. With this momentum, they adopted the Maastricht Treaty, which transformed the European project of economic coordination between European States into that of a supra-national State. The idea was to create a vast political bloc which, under the military protection of the United States, was intended to engage with the USA on the road to prosperity.
If it ever was, NATO is no longer about the US protecting Europe, it’s about making Europe the US’s vassal. An editorial from strategic-culture.org:
“Insulting” – that’s how US President Donald Trump sharply reacted to the idea of a “real European army” proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.
And it was how Macron rationalized the need for an independent military force for Europe that perhaps most irked the American leader.
Speaking on a tour of World War I battlefields in northern France last week, Macron said that Europe needed to defend itself from “China, Russia and even the United States of America”.
It was a pretty extraordinary choice of words by the French leader. To frame the US among an array of perceived foreign enemy powers was a devastating blow to the concept of a much-vaunted transatlantic alliance.
Since the Second World War, ending 1945, the concept of an American-European alliance has been the bedrock of a supposed inviolable, mutual defense pact. That nearly seven-decade alliance is now being questioned more than ever.
Macron’s call for a European army was further backed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who also pointedly said this week that Europe can no longer rely on the US for its defense.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the proposal for Europe to form its own military organization, independent from Washington. No doubt, Moscow views such a development as augmenting a move towards a multipolar international order, which Russia and China, among others, have been advocating in opposition to American ambitions of unipolar dominance.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, War
Tagged Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Europe, France, Germany, NATO, President Trump
Why the world would have been better of if the US hadn’t entered WWI. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:
Read part 1 and part 2
The Great European War posed no national security threat whatsoever to the US. And that presumes, of course, the danger was not the Entente powers – but Germany and its allies.
From the very beginning, however, there was no chance at all that Germany and its bedraggled allies could threaten America – and that had become overwhelmingly true by April 1917 when Wilson launched America into war.
In fact, within a few weeks, after Berlin’s Schlieffen Plan offensive failed on September 11, 1914, the German Army became incarcerated in a bloody, bankrupting, two-front land war. That ensured its inexorable demise and utter incapacity in terms of finances and manpower to even glance cross-eyed at America on the distant side of the Atlantic moat.
Likewise, after the battle of Jutland in May 1916, the great German surface fleet was bottled up in its homeports – an inert flotilla of steel that posed no threat to the American coast 4,000 miles away.
As for the rest of the central powers, the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires already had an appointment with the dustbin of history. Need we even bother with any putative threat from the fourth member of the Central Powers – that is, Bulgaria?
Posted in Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged British blockade, France, Germany, Great Britain, Neutrality, Russia, submarine warfare, US, World War I
One it’s 100th anniversary, Eric Margolis remembers WWI for what it actually was. From Margolis at lewrockwell.com:
We are now before the 100th anniversary of World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars. While honoring the 16 million who died in this conflict, we should also condemn the memory of the politicians, officials and incompetent generals who created this horrendous blood bath.
I’ve walked most of the Western Front of the Great War, visited its battlefields and haunted forts, and seen the seas of crosses marking its innumerable cemeteries.
As a former soldier and war correspondent, I’ve always considered WWI as he stupidest, most tragic and catastrophic of all modern wars.
The continuation of this conflict, World War II, killed more people and brought more destruction on civilians in firebombed cities but, at least for me, World War I holds a special horror and poignancy. This war was not only an endless nightmare for the soldiers in their pestilential trenches, it also violently ended the previous 100 years of glorious European civilization, one of mankind’s most noble achievements.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Money, Morality, Politics, War
Tagged Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, World War I
Russia, Turkey, Germany and France are shaping the peace in Syria without the US and Britain. From a Strategic Culture Foundation editorial at strategic-culture.org:
There were several takeaways from the recent Quadrilateral Summit in Istanbul on finding a peaceful settlement to the war in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin convened with his counterparts from Turkey, Germany and France for a two-day summit last weekend in a convivial and constructive atmosphere.
The four powers signed a communique emphasizing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. It was Putin who underscored the inviolability of the Syrian government of President Assad as the internationally recognized authority in the Arab country. The communique also endorsed the right of the Syrian nation to self-determination over the future political settlement, free from external interference.
These principles have been stated before in a previous UN Security Council Resolution 2254. But it seems more than ever that the sovereignty of Syria has been widely accepted. Recall that not too long ago, Turkey and France were calling for President Assad to stand down. That demand is no longer tenable, at least as far as the four powers attending the Istanbul summit are concerned.