The "Gilets Jaunes" in France: a revolution unfolding in front of our eyes ?

Iraq Bruin

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
5,155
DC
#11

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,261
Colonia Valensiana
#12
Macron should resign. He does not enjoy the support of the population, nor does the French establishment as a whole. Though I suspect they are so divorced from reality and entrenched in their dogmatic globalist policies they will cling to their positions no matter what. There is always an alternative. Let no one tell me France can't do better than Macron.
 
Apr 2012
1,038
The Netherlands
#14
Macron should resign. He does not enjoy the support of the population, nor does the French establishment as a whole. Though I suspect they are so divorced from reality and entrenched in their dogmatic globalist policies they will cling to their positions no matter what. There is always an alternative. Let no one tell me France can't do better than Macron.
Problem with that is that Macron was elected under a mandate for five years. If we kicked out every leader for getting unpopular during their reigns we wouldn't have any leaders at all.

And for now there doesn't seem to be an alternative. The two traditional parties seem to have largely collapsed which leaves Le Pen who would lead to a Frexit and thus the collapse of both France and the continent at large.
 

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,261
Colonia Valensiana
#15
Problem with that is that Macron was elected under a mandate for five years. If we kicked out every leader for getting unpopular during their reigns we wouldn't have any leaders at all.

And for now there doesn't seem to be an alternative. The two traditional parties seem to have largely collapsed which leaves Le Pen who would lead to a Frexit and thus the collapse of both France and the continent at large.
That's just doomsaying. Macron, as Hollande before him, is clearly widely unpopular. What kind of 'leaders' are they anyway? If they are unable to govern properly and lack popular support they should go. That's how democracy works. If you've been elected for a term it doesn't mean you're entitled to finish it, no matter what.
If these protests had erupted in Moscow, everybody in the West would be up in arms saying how authoritarian Putin is and how he clings to power despite popular discontent.

I don't buy this 'there is no alternative' narrative. It's a usual tactic to prevent any meaningful change of policy and keep the status quo. Sooner or later, however, prolonging the status quo at all cost always causes radicalization.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,438
Europix
#17
IMHO, I don't think that the initial protest can be qualified politically in any way, be it left, right, extreme-... (fill the blanks). It's a social protest (even if one doesn't like the "class" concept, it's appropriate in this case).

The French Government had raised the prices of fuels (it was to be followed by raising prices of energy - electricity and gas) to finance the "ecological transition").

The problem is that it remains an "undercover" tax, and it's hitting extremely badly what's called in French "le petit peuple" (small people = low revenues). Fuel, energy are a good part of the expenses of a low revenue person, bet they are also indispensable. If I haven't enough money, I can reduce my ratio of wine, I can give my children less chocolate, renounce to go to the dentist that often, etc, but I cannot renounce to my car or my truck or I loose my revenue/my job, I cannot stop cooking, heating my house, etc.

It's also rather hypocritical as tax (better said, as motivation), as the tax isn't going to separate fund/account/post but into the general budget. Not to say that, for example, there is no tax on airplane kerosene.

One has also to add the social media: tomar was right mentioning Ukraine, Tunisia and the other likes (they have the social media in common with what is happening nowadays in France). A movement can take quickly huge proportions without necessarily having a program, leaders, organisation, unlike before. It's the reason why the protest gained so quickly "momentum".

As for the violent part, I wouldn't say it's that specific to France, I'd say it's rather specific to any troubled period of unrest, uprise. Ultra-radicals, ultra-violents find the best environment to manifest themselves in this type of situations. It happened all over history.
 
Apr 2012
1,038
The Netherlands
#18
That's just doomsaying. Macron, as Hollande before him, is clearly widely unpopular. What kind of 'leaders' are they anyway? If they are unable to govern properly and lack popular support they should go. That's how democracy works. If you've been elected for a term it doesn't mean you're entitled to finish it, no matter what.
If these protests had erupted in Moscow, everybody in the West would be up in arms saying how authoritarian Putin is and how he clings to power despite popular discontent.

I don't buy this 'there is no alternative' narrative. It's a usual tactic to prevent any meaningful change of policy and keep the status quo. Sooner or later, however, prolonging the status quo at all cost always causes radicalization.
But what is being unable to ''govern properly'' ? Bush and Blair both bumbled their countries into a bloody war those countries are still trapped in but they weren't seriously asked to stand down. Compared to that just some protests, however large seem very small so it would be silly for Macros to lose their head over it. The popularity argument doesn't convince me either. Truman was famously unpopular when in office but considering he was one of the best modern Presidents it was a very good thing he wasn't forced to surrender his office. Even the widely adored Lincoln had periods of deep unpopularity in his lifetime. If we kick out our leaders over becoming unpopular we risk transforming leadership into continues popularity contests that will paralyse the government when hard choices need to be made. Even in America were Trump has been historically unpopular at times it has never been depicted as the reason for impeachment by the democrates who crave that, it has always been something else like crimes or corruption.
 

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,261
Colonia Valensiana
#19
But what is being unable to ''govern properly'' ? Bush and Blair both bumbled their countries into a bloody war those countries are still trapped in but they weren't seriously asked to stand down. Compared to that just some protests, however large seem very small so it would be silly for Macros to lose their head over it. The popularity argument doesn't convince me either. Truman was famously unpopular when in office but considering he was one of the best modern Presidents it was a very good thing he wasn't forced to surrender his office. Even the widely adored Lincoln had periods of deep unpopularity in his lifetime. If we kick out our leaders over becoming unpopular we risk transforming leadership into continues popularity contests that will paralyse the government when hard choices need to be made. Even in America were Trump has been historically unpopular at times it has never been depicted as the reason for impeachment by the democrates who crave that, it has always been something else like crimes or corruption.
Let's not go into generalizations. France had Hollande, who was hugely unpopular for most of his term. I am talking about consistently unpopular leaders. Macron was elected largely out of fear of Le Pen coming to power, not because the French people believed in his vision or liked his policies. He was a less bitter pill to swallow (for the majority who voted for him, at least). Needless to say, coming to power that way has certain consequences. We often speak about the threat of 'populism' but the other extreme which is mentioned far less often is that people often end up with leaders who don't care about their opinion and take the democratic process for granted. Macron is a part of an elite, insulated and divorced from day-to-day reality, and he's not the only one. To make it worse, Macron has displayed a great deal of arrogance and heavy-handedness during his presidency.

We can put it this way as well: if you're not doing your job well, you're likely get sacked by your employer. Politicians shouldn't be an exception.
 

Iraq Bruin

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
5,155
DC
#20
I don't buy this 'there is no alternative' narrative. It's a usual tactic to prevent any meaningful change of policy and keep the status quo. Sooner or later, however, prolonging the status quo at all cost always causes radicalization.
How large a crowd do we need to oust a president ? How Often does it need to happen? how many streets do they need to destroy? how many buildings do they need to burn or deface? What is the time frame after being elected do we need that to happen? and what do a crowd of opposite viewpoint need to do to mitigate the ouster?