• Number2018
    228
    France is a country where a few extraordinary western revolutions occurred.
    Nowadays, Yellow vests movement has shaken it. There are different accounts on
    the character of the movement. It was described as the angry mob's riots, the result of the virtual collapse of all traditional political parties and the breakdown of the stable social and economic networking. Another diagnosis was that a mass of people is bored so that boredom and the search for excitement are the main factors. Further, some authors represent the movement as the revival of direct democracy, direct involvement of people concerned by what matters: https://www.thenation.com/article/france-yellow-vest-movement-macron/

    Or, is there a new kind of the unknown movement of our century, so that political science needs to invent a new name and develop a definition to apprehend it?
  • Avro
    6
    It is a new movement, one that does not demand actual change but settles for "zero sum gains" at best. I agree with Zizek here... Yellow Vests have demands that cannot be met.

    Let's call then No name No Aim .... Sin nombre sin objectivo.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.2k
    The French -- or at least some French -- seem to have a history of collective action which American workers don't seem to manifest. One thinks of the much more frequent strikes in France, of student demonstrations, ands so on. I don't think the French state differs all that much from other states -- they are in business to arrange the affairs of the bourgeoisie, as Marx said -- and if they have been generous with working class benefits, well, that is probably in the past.

    Americans in the home of the brave, the land of the free are under more thorough control--not "self-control" but the external control of threatened force and deprivation of employment without a safety net. One doesn't see active resistance very often in the US. Occupy Wall Street was a good experience for participants but it wasn't active resistance. No one went out on strike, traffic was not blocked on major thoroughfares, no effort was made jam the gears of commerce, etc.

    And it isn't as if most American workers have it so good that there is no motivation to resist the Corporation and the State. Most workers are being subjected to a gradual multi-decade impoverization whose source is difficult to identify. Taxes, very weak growth in wages (or none), diminished benefits, inflation, shrinking well-paid workforce, growing low-paid service workforce, new costs (things like cable, internet, cellphone service) have been added to old costs, reduced social services, and more contribute to the significantly reduced wellbeing of American workers.

    One can hope that Americans will take a hint and follow the suit with the gilets jaunes, but I wouldn't count on it. The memory of active resistance to the power of corporation and state has, I think, become too distant for most Americans.
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