Above photo: Demonstrators in Paris. TGP screenshot.
Despite the absence of genuine revolutionary forces capable of providing honest and reliable leadership, France is apparently stumbling toward a pre-revolutionary juncture, as the videos on this page seem to suggest. It’s undeniable that not just France, but all of Western Europe is being increasingly shaken, rendered profoundly unstable, by the same disease afflicting the rest of the continent, along with much of what its numerous apologists insist on calling “the West”, a devious way of referring to Western imperialism, a decadent, out-of-touch, war-addicted, and ultimately unfixable, form of financialised neoliberalism.
Our readers are well aware that, in keeping with the West’s well-known habit of ruling through many layers of deception, “neoliberalism” is just another label concocted by the mind managers to hide the true name of the system, capitalism, which over the years, due to its incurable rapacity, irrationality, and hefty record of criminality, has accumulated something of an embarrassingly long rap sheet. Capitalism, which its defenders insist on presenting as a natural order akin to human nature, carries the stench of stunning inequality, ergo inherently not democratic, so it has been cosmeticized before: “People’s Capitalism,” “the market system”, “the free enterprise system”, “the free market,” “the private enterprise system”, “the American Way”, and so on, have been tried, some are still being used, but the search for the perfect imposture continues. (Calling capitalism “the American Way of Life” is perhaps one of the most insidious and formidable accomplishments of the manipulators, worthy of its own separate article). (1)
The manipulators know that capitalism is an inherently sick system, riddled with a multitude of contradictions and social and political vices inexorably emanating (including its rotten and chaotic leadership) from its DNA. The biggest problem of course is capitalism’s central contradiction, overproduction. This in turn compels the capitalist ruling elites to constantly push for expansion and the acquisition of new markets, which, in turn, creates new problems at home and abroad. In France, with no less than a quarter of the population now classifiable as of African/Arabic origin, said fact amplified by the newest injection of refugees from the Middle East, whose gruesome destabilisation—notably in Syria and Libya— France actively aided as a proud but utterly corrupt member of the US-dominated NATO sub-imperial club, demonstrates that the wealth and power accumulated by the comprador elites bears a very high price for the populations in their indifferent care.
Given the above straitjacket, it’s evident that neither the US nor its abject European satrapies, nor the outlying colonies in the Far East or the South Pacific, like Australia, Japan, South Korea, etc., can ultimately resolve and escape the current structural crisis. Certainly not while still using the capitalist playbook. And they certainly won’t escape it and probably make it infinitely worse, by kneecapping the Hegemon’s self-designated “enemies”, chiefly China, Russia and Iran, at this point, while refusing the only sensible path open to the US, abandoning its imperialist dream of global supremacy to rejoin the rest of humanity in a multipolar sisterhood of fully sovereign nations.
As far as the Western elites are concerned, such adjustments have to be made soon, or else cataclysm may ensue. Time is short on every front—political, economic, ecological— and the proper and fair solutions are rather obvious. The people have had enough. Especially in the Global South, but now also across the “Golden Billion”. As events in France, Czechoslovakia, and even Germany and Britain show, the signs are multiplying that the Empire is losing its grip over much of its captive populations. The people are done with the “neoliberal” model of governance and its repugnant hypocrisy and sociopathy. What’s more, “Woke imperialism” and its attempt to bury the class struggle through devious culture wars and identity politics, all symbol and no substance, is meeting with increasing rejection in many quarters, a fact that guarantees more instability in the years to come. People within and without “the West” are beginning to consciously reject the “rules-based international order” because it’s a cynical and nakedly predatory self-serving racket. The imperial status quo is showing its cracks, and everywhere we look —except in the insulated salons of the rich—we can see that the people are exhausted but also quietly desperate and furious. Such fury is still not properly focused thanks to the system’s powerful obfuscation tools, but sooner than we think it will be, and then surprising things will start to happen.
Over the last 500 years, amid awesome scientific discoveries and technological achievements that show what humanity can accomplish despite self-imposed chains, the West has given the world an inexcusable number of ghastly wars, brutal systematic exploitation, predation on a staggering global scale, and even cold-blooded genocides. It has done so because the old feudal elites with their outrageous class divisions managed to survive and absorb the bourgeois order, their worship of private property uniting them, to deliver today a planet in which in far too many places, behind a mask of democracy, the international oligarchy rules through a regime of de facto neofeudalism. Indeed, as noted earlier, in country after country of the Western alliance, we observe pathetic ruling cliques that care little for the well-being of their own populations, an attitude that guarantees political and economic anguish for the vast majority, with no prospect of relief in sight.
Many people in France understand this, so the question now is whether Macron and his oligarch-controlled lieutenants will outmaneuver and intimidate the masses currently in motion, or whether the masses will finally see that piecemeal trade union reformism and spontaneous revolts—with their immense human cost— are impotent to cure what ails France at its core, and that only a determined push toward authentic socialism can put a stop to these recurring nightmares.
For the EU—owned by the US—the images of stubborn French protesters carry a dangerous symbolism. The French revolt may prove infectious. Rest assured that the US, along with the UK and NATO itself, not to mention French collabos, are watching this process closely, and probably preparing various scenarios to cope with the possible challenges. Insurrection in Europe is the last thing that the Neocons want. Gladio, anyone?
(1) For a discussion of this topic, see, by the author, American Brainwash: Guess what, Ma, capitalism is not Americanness! Also Understanding American Capitalism (Revised)