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The Gilets Jaunes are unstoppable

One of the mysteries to me since Trump’s election has been the steadfast refusal of many intelligent people to contemplate the reasons why he won, why the gilets jaunes are rebelling in France, why the Brexit vote, why anything in the post world War 2 consensus might no longer be applicable, or might have to change. I see a failure of imagination comparable to that of the 1930s, when all well-educated Establishment opinion held that alarms about this Hitler fellow were just Winston Churchill’s bad judgment and war mongering.

The people pointing to the oncoming disaster are mistaken for the disaster itself. The perceptual failure is like the dog who thinks the finger you are using to point with is the thing referred to. You would think people with two university degrees would be smarter, but they are not. In fact the more educated they are, the more resistant to the idea that they might need to adapt their ideas.

I noticed on Facebook pages the first break in the ice-wall. This morning I saw the first reference in my circle of Facebook friends and correspondents to the work of Christophe Guilluy (pronounced Geewee with a hard ‘g’). The article occurred in Spiked, and is called “the gilets jaunes are unstoppable”.

Guilluy produced a study in 2014 called “La France Péripherique” (Peripheral France) that argued that the native French working class no longer lived in the large metropolitan centres of Paris, Toulouse and Lyon, as they had been driven out by real estate prices. They had been replaced by immigrant populations who would build and serve the metropolitan elites, who remain unaware of what is going on in the parts of France (or England) where they no one of their circles lives.

“Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places.

They tend to be people in work, but who don’t earn very much, between 1000€ and 2000€ per month. Some of them are very poor if they are unemployed. Others were once middle-class. What they all have in common is that they live in areas where there is hardly any work left. They know that even if they have a job today, they could lose it tomorrow and they won’t find anything else.

spiked: What is the role of culture in the yellow-vest movement?

Guilluy: Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later.

The Brexit vote had a lot to do with culture, too, I think. It was more than just the question of leaving the EU. Many voters wanted to remind the political class that they exist. That’s what French people are using the gilets jaunes for – to say we exist. We are seeing the same phenomenon in populist revolts across the world.

spiked: How have the working-classes come to be excluded?

Guilluy: All the growth and dynamism is in the major cities, but people cannot just move there. The cities are inaccessible, particularly thanks to mounting housing costs. The big cities today are like medieval citadels. It is like we are going back to the city-states of the Middle Ages. Funnily enough, Paris is going to start charging people for entry, just like the excise duties you used to have to pay to enter a town in the Middle Ages.

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.

spiked: What role has the liberal metropolitan elite played in this?

Guilluy: We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.

But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people. Think of the ‘deplorables’ evoked by Hillary Clinton. There is a similar view of the working class in France and Britain. They are looked upon as if they are some kind of Amazonian tribe. The problem for the elites is that it is a very big tribe.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism.

A lot has been made of the fact that the yellow vests’ demands vary a great deal. But above all, it’s a demand for democracy. Fundamentally, they are democrats – they want to be taken seriously and they want to be integrated into the economic order.

spiked: How can we begin to address these demands?

Guilluy: First of all, the bourgeoisie needs a cultural revolution, particularly in universities and in the media. They need to stop insulting the working class, to stop thinking of all the gilets jaunes as imbeciles.

Cultural respect is fundamental: there will be no economic or political integration until there is cultural integration. Then, of course, we need to think differently about the economy. That means dispensing with neoliberal dogma. We need to think beyond Paris, London and New York.

Christophe Guilluy was talking to Fraser Myers.

I shall watch with interest to see whether the kind of analysis offered by Guilluy will make greater headway among my acquaintances and friends because it comes detached from the kinds of associations that people like Steve Bannon bring with them.

And now for something completely inevitable

 

Theresa May, formerly the Prime Minister of England, has just lost by a huge margin, a vote in Parliament regarding the terms she negotiated with the EU over Brexit. These terms encompassed all the worst aspects of belonging to the EU without any of the benefits of a significant vote in the organization. May is now a zombie. She still occupies the office of Prime Minister but her career is effectively finished. Zombie-like, she will stagger on until someone puts the metaphorical bullet through her head, possibly by internal party revolt. She is enormously self over-rated, and in this she resembles a lot of women in power these days.

 

  1. Britain will leave the European Union, inevitably.
  2. Britain will make free trade agreements with all who want them with her, which includes the US, Canada and the English-speaking countries of the Commonwealth. Probably more will sign up with the UK.
  3.  The EU will last another ten to twenty years, though it will fracture into northern and southern economies, if not into more subgroups.

May is not the only political zombie. So is the EU, though the EU still thinks it is calling the shots.

Some changes take time to unfold. This is one of them.

Angela Merkel is not yet gone, and the damage continues

 

 

This from our social betters at the CBC, by Don Murray:

“I stood on the border between Hungary and Austria as the gates opened in September 2015 and the refugees flowed through, most to be taken by train to Munich. People cheered. Europe, and much of the world, applauded.

But beside me a German cameraman from Bavaria muttered, “The Germans aren’t going to like this.”

I was surprised and dismissive, but I shouldn’t have been. The Germans swallowed and took in an estimated one million refugees, but almost from that moment Merkel’s popularity began to drop. And just as significantly, the AfD, which was born as an anti-euro and European Union party, shifted dramatically. Its target now became immigrants and refugees, and it rose dramatically in the opinion polls.”

“I was surprised and dismissive.”

In older times the CBC  had a few old European refugees from Nazis and Communists, people who knew which end was up, like Joe Schlesinger, of blessed memory, a Czech Jew. CBC had a few people who had seen combat, or reported on it close up, like the elder Mathew Halton. Nowadays the better sort of commenter is a downtown Toronto Volvo-driver who would know what lies north of the 416.

Here we see a man watching a vast column of Islamic refugees, mostly male, mostly of military age, and he is incapable of seeing the implications of what is before his eyes. This is an invasion. And ineluctably the Cologne mass attack on German females followed. Duh! What is it about Islam these idiots do not understand? Oh! Everything!

As a German friend of mine said: “These people all lost their passports somehow but kept their cellphones”.

Finally, Angela Merkel, pounded by electoral defeats, has decided not to run for re-election as party chairman but not actually resign as Chancellor until the next elections in 2021. Imagine the long drawn-out death scene.

The Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats are each being hammered by the electorate, and no wonder. The AfD on the right and the Greens on the left are gaining.

I asked my Austrian correspondent for his views this morning. He writes:

Well, [Merkel is a] lame duck for sure, but she’s working hard to implant her clone, Annegret
Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), as her legacy, and the CDU has been completely castrated – no
leadership potential and substance left.

AKK is certified charisma- and thought-free, just as AM

Some people throwing their hat in the ring now:

Her old enemy Friedrich Merz is just another European superstate cheerleader.

The guy from NRW (North Rhein Westphalia) , Armin Laschet, is a walking joke.

Then there’s Jens Spahn, 38, gay, a bit of a hipster, a tad more conservative – that’d be the best option (and not much at that).

You’d have to be a special breed of idiot to take over the party at this point and leave Merkel as chancellor to continue driving Germany against the wall, just to be ready to take the blame for the next election disaster.

what I do not understand is – the greens are going through the roof and now routinely overtake the SPD, which is fried and in free fall.

Obviously the shit hasn’t hit the fan hard enough; Germans are – I am sorry – an electoral idiocracy and wholehearted preference falsifiers. As long as the CDU is in this sorry state I don’t see that trend abating

So – no great cheers coming from over here.

-Baron Steiermark

 

 

Ideological deviation at CERN

These are the power point slides that got Alessandro Frumia fired from CERN yesterday.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c_NyUhOZ8erdqU2AGZJZtNfFeA91Kefj/view

Naturally, he was fired from CERN that very day. CERN explains as follows:

CERN is a culturally diverse organisation bringing together people of many different nationalities. It is a place where everyone is welcome, and all have the same opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation. Indeed, diversity is one of the core values underpinning our Code of Conduct and the Organization is fully committed to promoting diversity and equality at all levels.

CERN always strives to carry out its scientific mission in a peaceful and inclusive environment.

CERN considers the presentation delivered by an invited scientist during a workshop on High Energy Theory and Gender as highly offensive. It has therefore decided to remove the slides from the online repository, in line with a Code of Conduct that does not tolerate personal attacks and insults.

The organisers from CERN and several collaborating universities were not aware of the content of the talk prior to the workshop. CERN supports the many members of the community that have expressed their indignation for the unacceptable statements contained in the presentation.

CERN is a culturally diverse organisation bringing together people of many different nationalities. It is a place where everyone is welcome, and all have the same opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation.

How can you be welcome, regardless of beliefs, and be fired for views that amount to beliefs? Easy. They just have to attack the idea that women are held back in physics because of some male conspiracy.

Different outcomes can only be explained by sexism and racism, never by differences in aptitudes, propensities and drives.

Question diversity.

 

George Friedman talks Trump, talks Bannon, talks Zeihan

In the following video, George Friedman tells why the expert class has been disgraced since the 2008 financial meltdown. In the end there will be nations, he says. The reign of the unelected and international experts is over. The order that existed in the 70 years since the Second World War is coming to an end.

Friedman is at pains to insist that the pain of the 2007 financial crash was distributed unevenly; the expert class made out like bandits, the working classes are unemployed and in an oxycodone death crisis. This is not sustainable. Hence Trump, Orban, the Italian political crisis, nationalist movements everywhere.

“The nation is back”, says Friedman.

I listened to some smooth-talking London-based millionaire bond trader yesterday tell me that Brexit will never happen, that the vote for it will mean nothing in the end. I refrained from saying he was the same sort of intelligent insider who thought a Trump victory would never happen. My impression is that the expert class has not learned a thing, but will have to be taught through some hard blows to their pocket books and to their self-esteem.

 

“Look at how your income is distributed (within a nation). That is you future”.-George Friedman

Germany’s Islamization

 

 

 

The other night I listened to two intelligent Germans discuss the state of Germany and the Islamic threat to it. In brief, it is worse than it is reported, and that under-reporting is the essence of what they complain about. The political establishment – all three major parties – are devoted to preventing public discussion of what people perceive with their own eyes.

They observe from the news they gather from informal channels, such as friends and gossip, that there is much more Islamic crime than reported. Islamic crime has had the effect of rendering German women much less safe than they had been within recent historical memory.

Now none of this is news. It  was apparent from the tone and substance of what my guests were saying that:

  • the under -reporting and covering up of Islamic crime is deliberate state policy;
  • people are afraid to speak freely; Germans think very carefully about what they will say in the presence of friends and strangers;
  • Official state organs, such as the public broadcast system, are fully complicit in this suppression;
  • Indeed, they may be compelled to suppress news of Islamic crime (that was not clear from the context);
  • The three major parties (Christian Democrat, the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats) are united in their opposition to free expression by ordinary people of any form of anti-Islamic views, including especially views that are simply observations of what they have experienced in their own lives.

The conversation lasted over an hour and we listened, fascinated, to some sincere and considered thought about the state of their country. They were enjoying the freedom of speech that came from being three thousand miles away from home. Their anxiety for the state of their country was palpable.

In passing they mentioned the case of the writer Thilo Sarrazin, whose book, Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany is abolishing itself) has created a huge stir.

Citing the Wikipedia article, which mentions his book:

Within two months, Sarrazin’s book Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Is Doing Away With Itself or Germany Is Abolishing Itself), published end of August 2010, became the best-selling book on politics by a German-language author in a decade, with overall sales hitting 1.1 million copies[4] and the first editions sold out within a matter of hours or days. In the 13th edition Sarrazin added a foreword commenting on the nationwide debate his book has sparked.[22] As of May 2011, 1.5 million copies had been sold.[23]

Sarrazin’s views and criticism of them[edit]

Sarrazin advocates a restrictive immigration policy (with the exception of the highly skilled) and the reduction of state welfare benefits. There were severe reactions to his statements on economic and immigration policy in Berlin, which were published in September 2009 in Lettre International, a German cultural quarterly. In it he described many Arab and Turkish immigrants as unwilling to integrate. He said, among other things:

Integration requires effort from those that are to be integrated. I will not show respect for anyone who is not making that effort. I do not have to acknowledge anyone who lives by welfare, denies the legitimacy of the very state that provides that welfare, refuses to care for the education of his children and constantly produces new little headscarf-girls. This holds true for 70 percent of the Turkish and 90 percent of the Arab population in Berlin.[24][25][26]

He has also said regarding Islam, “No other religion in Europe makes so many demands. No immigrant group other than Muslims is so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime. No group emphasizes their differences so strongly in public, especially through women’s clothing. In no other religion is the transition to violence, dictatorship and terrorism so fluid.”[27]

Sarrazin’s statements were criticized by the chairman of the Interior Committee of the German BundestagSebastian Edathy (SPD), the ver.di union and the political scientist Gerd Wiegel. The Central Council of Jews in Germany has strongly criticized Sarrazin, condemning him as racist.[28][29][30] Sigmar Gabriel, the General Secretary of the SPD, condemned Sarrazin for his eugenic approach.[31]

Sarrazin’s book came under criticism for claiming that Germany’s immigrant Muslim population is reluctant to integrate and tends to rely more on social services than to be productive. Moreover, he calculates that their population growth may well overwhelm the German population within a couple of generations at the current rate, and that their intelligence is lower as well. He proposes stringent reforms for the welfare system to rectify the problems.[32][33] The first edition of his book sold out within a few days. By the end of the year, the book had become Germany’s number 1 hard-cover non-fiction bestseller for the year and was still at the top of the lists.[34]

and further from the article:

Henryk Broder, the Spiegel commentator, offered an explanation for attacks on Sarrazin’s statements. “And there’s a second trick that’s being used now: he’s being accused of anti-Semitism. If you could accuse him of anything, it’s philo-Semitism, because he wrongly thinks Jews are more intelligent than others,” Broder said. He added, “But of course, with an anti-Semitism accusation you can really go after someone, because anti-Semitism of course is no longer acceptable in Germany, and rightly so. There is no substantive debate here at all – the issue is that a nation gets up, as it were, they all agree and they take it all out on a scapegoat who they’d like to send into the desert. It’s very disturbing.”[44]

“Political correctness is silencing an important debate” said Matthias Matussek (de) of Der Spiegel magazine. “Sarrazin’s findings on the failed integration of Turkish and Arab immigrants are beyond any doubt. He has been forced out of the Bundesbank. The SPD wanted to expel him from the party, too. Invitations previously extended to Sarrazin are being withdrawn. The culture page editors at the German weekly Die Zeit are crying foul and the editors at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are damning Sarrazin for passages he didn’t even write. But what all these technicians of exclusion fail to see is that you cannot cast away the very thing that Sarrazin embodies: the anger of people who are sick and tired—after putting a long and arduous process of Enlightenment behind them—of being confronted with pre-Enlightenment elements that are returning to the center of our society. They are sick of being cursed or laughed at when they offer assistance with integration. And they are tired about reading about Islamist associations that have one degree of separation from terrorism, of honor killings, of death threats against cartoonists and filmmakers.[45]

Inflating your way to survival

In the crash of 2008, and the subsequent measures to stave off a very real global crash of liquidity, certain measures were taken. These had the effect of saving the large banks and financial institutions, and the owning classes, worldwide. In the ensuing ten years, the elites took care of themselves very well. Anyone who had assets, gained; those who offered labour have had to live on no wage increases. So says Steve Bannon. Those with capital gained, while over half the US population cannot put $US400 to cover emergencies.

Socialism – the government covers your downside risk – for the rich, capitalism for the poor.

Start watching around 14:00 minutes. Prior to that is interesting but they are making irrelevant points. This is the best, most cogent, analysis of why Trump came to power. My left wing friends (I have a couple) would probably agree. The essential argument ends by 20:55 into the interview.

Bannon explicitly excludes Obama from any blame for this situation.

In my opinion, while the populist/nationalist movement appears radical, it is actually conservative in intention, trying to save the capitalist system from its current situation where, to repeat, there is socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.

 

Fareed Zakaria interviews Steve Bannon

Start at 38:17.

Bannon locates the inception of the populist revolt which led to Donald Trump in the financial crisis of 2008.

“If people think the Washington elite is arrogant towards the rest of the country, it is as nothing compared to Brussels and the City of London financial elites towards their own countries”.

 

I like people who are able to explain at a high level of abstraction what is happening: fact driven, insightful, and as much as possible, above the fray.

Jordan Peterson does this in academic subjects, Peter Zeihan in energy, demographics and large scale political outcomes,  and Steve Bannon in why Trump made it to President, and why he must prevail.

“With China and NAFTA and everything else, we are at the beginning stages of a major  renegotiation of the economics of the United States and how we are treated in the world and what our place is in the world. It’s at the heart of the Republican Party and the re-formation of the Republican Party. His biggest enemies in this are the Republican Party….”

Zakaria has some good points in rebuttal, too.

And Bannon comes right back.

A superior interchange among very intelligent people.

“The United States is more than an expeditionary humanitarian military force that is there to be the world’s police force and they [the deplorables]  are paying for it. They are asking for a re-calibration.”

 

 

 

 

How the media work

The press is dissected in this entertaining interview by John Cleese of  Graham Johnson and John Ford, tabloid journalists. There is only one line and one story allowed. All the questions are directed to reinforce the chosen line.

“Fake news” was made identifiable by Donald Trump, says Graham Johnson. Stories are made up, and the penalty for failing to do so is to be fired. It is that simple.

 

For evident reasons, trust in British journalism is especially low. See

https://www.statista.com/statistics/683336/media-trust-worldwide/

for a comparison of the level of trust in media across countries. It proved impossible to block and copy.

 

 

Good news: The Cold War may be over

As the media go hysterical over Trump and Putin meeting, it is important to ask yourself this question: who gains by making Russia the bogeyman? Instead of, say, Islamic terrorism, Islamic invasion of Europe, mass emigration from Africa or Mexico, or the advent of thinking machines, autonomous cars, and microbiological weapons? Eh?

As Spengler observes, Russia has always been governed by thugs, and on the scale of Stalin or Lenin, Putin’s long list of assassinations is less than the first 3 days following the  Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

 

President Trump offended the entire political spectrum with a tweet this morning blaming the U.S. for poor relations with Russia. “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity,” the president said, and he is entirely correct. By this I do not mean to say that Russia is a beneficent actor in world affairs or that President Putin is an admirable world leader. Nonetheless, the president displayed both perspicacity and political courage when he pointed the finger at the United States for mismanaging the relationship with Russia.

The hysterical shouts of “treason! Munich! disgrace!” are a sure sign that the Party of Davos  is offended, and they are getting really scared that the changes they deplore keep on happening despite their shrill control of the mainstream media.

Something new is aborning, and like all births, it is messy, bloody, shitty and horrible to look at. But wipe off the baby and cut the umbilical cord, tie it up and tuck it in and you have a new baby. The birth of the new will look ghastly for a while but the process of replacing the Post World War 2 American Imperium with something else is underway. As Steve Bannon says, “we don’t want a European protectorate, we want a European alliance.”

Mostly we want to go on living as nations, and not as helots in service of the Davos crowd.

John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, has not exactly adapted to the news.

John Brennan, who led U.S. intelligence under Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter: ‘Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors’. It was nothing short of treasonous.’

You may expect more of the same. Unless you realize that the world is changing before your eyes, and that the US Deep State in particular does not want to change its anti-Russian focus, nothing will make sense. As Orwell once noticed, it is hard enough to see what is in front of our eyes. It is not treason, it is the downgrading of the threat from a declining Russia to its actual proportions. In the meantime, beware of Russians bearing soccer balls, but not more than one should be wary of open borders, Davos thinking,  intersectionality and the decline of educational standards.

The last time I can remember an event so large was the fall of the Soviet Union, but the important fact is that this time the change is happening here.

Vladimir Putin gives Donald Trump a football from the 2018 World Cup in Russia during their press conference in Helsinki