A Universal Political Crisis?

Following on from yesterday, we seem to be in in something of a universal political crisis. The UK is in a political crisis over Brexit. The USA has been in a political crisis ever since Trump got elected. France is in a political crisis over the Yellow Vest protests. Italy is in a political crisis in its confrontation with the EU. Germany is in a growing political crisis as the Merkel era comes to an end. Russia has captured some Ukrainian navy ships. And so on, pretty much everywhere else in the world.

The current focus of my interest is on France.

In a speech addressing the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron stuck to his green agenda, promising to close 50 per cent of nuclear plants and make France carbon-free by 2050.

and

President Emmanuel Macron is concerned that “war scenes” during anti-tax-hike protests will tarnish France’s “global image,” while his government has focused blame on violence on the “brown plague” of the “far right.”

Macron made the comments to his Cabinet Monday after the country faced its tenth day of grassroots activism against his green agenda.

This weekend saw 100,000 ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters across the country with reports of violence and destruction of shop fronts and restaurants at the Champs-Elysées avenue, a tourist hot-spot, to which police responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

 “One shouldn’t underestimate the shock to people, in France and abroad, of seeing in the media what looked like war scenes,” the progressive president is reported to have said, according to government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux.

The action began as a populist-driven protest against diesel taxes, with protesters wearing the yellow vests which all French drivers must carry by law, but evolved to include protest against other policies, with protesters calling Macron the “president of the rich” who has abandoned Frenchmen in rural and suburban areas.

Macron seems to be something of a historically illiterate hyper-progressive. He wants a United States of Europe. And he wants to close half of France’s nuclear power stations. And he wants France to be “carbon-free”. He may not describe himself as Green, but he may as well be.

He also wants to get the French to quit smoking:

Macron came into office promising a transformative brand of politics. Getting France to quit smoking would certainly count as revolutionary change. That said, neither the global tobacco industry nor the politically powerful buralistes (the local tobacconists and newsagents who sell France’s cigarettes) are willing to go down without a fight.

Macron, in short, is a revolutionary. And a revolutionary in multiple ways. And it’s precisely because he’s a revolutionary that France is in a political crisis, as millions of French people refuse to adopt his radical environmental agenda (and most likely refuse to stop smoking as well).

And, as a globalist, he has no time for nationalism:

The French president denounced those who evoke nationalist sentiment to disadvantage others, calling it a “betrayal of patriotism” and moral values.

The US and Russian leaders listened in silence as Mr Macron took a swipe at the rising tide of populism in the US and Europe, warning: “The old demons are rising again, ready to complete their task of chaos and of death.”

“In saying, ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others’, you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: its moral values.”

I think it’s a mistake for Macron (or anyone else) to describe the “nationalism” of Donald Trump (or any other European conservative) as being akin to the Nazism or Fascism of a century ago. Today’s “nationalists” are not Brownshirts: they simply want to run their own countries, and not have them run by remote and unaccountable globalist organisations like the EU or UN or WHO. The nationalists of a century ago didn’t just want to run their own countries (they already did), but wanted them to be pre-eminent among nations – a sentiment expressed in “Deutschland über alles” and “Britannia rules the waves.” The nationalists of a century ago were imperialists: they wanted to dominate other people. WW1 and WW2 was the clash of empires, and brought about the fall of all the empires.

Today’s imperialists are not to be found in France or Germany or Britain or Italy, as they could a century ago. Today’s imperialists are to be found in the EU and its capital city, Brussels. And the growing revolt by “nationalists” across Europe is against the new empire of the European Union. Their revolt is the same revolt as that by the American colonies against the British Empire in 1776: they want independence and autonomy.

If there are any Brownshirts around these days, they are to be found in Brussels. The Green movement’s origins are in Nazi Germany. And much of the the antismoking movement’s origins also lie in Nazi Germany, as described in Robert Proctor’s The Nazi War on Cancer. One might even say that Emmanuel Macron is perhaps at present Europe’s principal Brownshirt. But these days the Brownshirts advance by calling everyone else brownshirts.  Or else these days Fascists call themselves Antifascists.

Fascism’s origins lie in the Roman fasces: a bundle of rods and axes symbolising state power.

The fasces lictoriae (“bundles of the lictors”) symbolised power and authority (imperium) in ancient Rome, beginning with the early Roman Kingdom and continuing through the republican and imperial periods.

 …lictors carried fasces before a magistrate, in a number corresponding to his rank.

the highest magistrate, the dictator, was entitled to twenty-four lictors and fasces

During times of emergency, the Roman Republic might choose a dictator to lead for a limited time period, who was the only magistrate to be granted capital punishment authority within the Pomerium.

So “fascism” is perhaps best understood as being the emergency rule by a dictator (e.g. Hitler or Mussolini) with powers of life and death over his people. It’s top down state control. And globalism might best be understood as global top down state control.

And today’s “emergency” is not, as it usually used to be, some invasion by a foreign army (e.g. Hannibal), but instead Anthropogenic Global Warming. We have to stop burning fossil fuels if we are to prevent the planet being fried. And perhaps we have to stop smoking for the exact same reason.

In this sense, Macron’s attempt to stop France using fossil fuels could be said to be fascistic in character, if the French don’t want to do it (and it seems they don’t). And smoking bans are always entirely fascistic.

About Frank Davis

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13 Responses to A Universal Political Crisis?

  1. Rose says:

    We have to stop burning fossil fuels if we are to prevent the planet being fried. And perhaps we have to stop smoking for the exact same reason

    Apparently so, it was an Australian idea.

    Smokers cough up for Abbott climate policy
    2010

    “AN INCREASE in tobacco taxes is one option being canvassed within the Coalition to fund its greenhouse gas abatement policy to be unveiled next week.

    It is understood the revenue source will be discussed at today’s meeting of the shadow cabinet which will have its first look at the policy the Opposition climate change spokesman, Greg Hunt, developed over the summer.

    Under the leadership of Tony Abbott, the Coalition abandoned support for a market-based mechanism such as a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme to reduce emissions.
    These schemes are self-funding, using the revenue made by taxing polluters, whereas the ”direct action” measures the Coalition will unveil – including tree planting and soil management – will require extraneous funds.

    The tobacco tax increase will be put on the table today as one way of raising the money needed without damaging the budget bottom line or imposing an unpopular tax.”
    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/smokers-cough-up-for-abbott-climate-policy-20100128-n1rz.html

    It’s been somewhat finessed since then.

    Cost of cigarettes must rise to reflect environmental damage from tobacco industry, WHO says
    2 October 2018

    “Sector’s carbon footprint is comparable to entire countries, study finds”
    “The UK was among the countries singled out for criticism along with several other western nations which were condemned for “literally burning poorer countries’ resources”.

    Cigarette production and consumption have seen dramatic growth in recent decades with around six trillion cigarettes manufactured annually for an estimated one billion smokers.

    Tobacco production is often more environmentally damaging than that of essential commodities such as food crops, the study by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control found.”
    https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/cost-cigarettes-rise-tobacco-industry-smoking-environment-who-climate-change-pollution-a8564796.html

  2. Dmitry Kosyrev says:

    Have a look at my column, inspired by you know whom. Hope you still tolerate my not always attributing these ideas directly to you, Frank, and to wonderful Rose. Well, now they are my ideas, too, anyway.
    https://themalaysianreserve.com/2018/11/28/a-meat-levy-tobacco-style/
    And I’m almost sure to use Rose’s link about the green planet threatened by evil brown tobacco. If you don’t mind it, of course.

    • Rose says:

      You are very welcome.

      I did enjoy the article ,perhaps you’d post a link when you publish another, if Frank doesn’t mind. I’m still wondering what you did with that Proctor link about impotence.

      • Dmitry Kosyrev says:

        The Proctor link? Why, I read the 2 basic reports that were supposed to claim that “smoking causes impotence”. Discovered that they claim nothing of the kind. Studied a couple of other documents. Wrote a column to cheer up men (and their ladies). That’s it. Russia says “thank you, Rose”.
        While the columns which I do for the Malays, they are not about smoking. In fact, I take care to mention that topic as seldom as possible, so as not to look too fixed on the subject. My contract there is to write about Russia, picking up things that Asia may want to know. It definitely is not only about tobacco.

      • Frank Davis says:

        I have a link to Dmitry’s Russian blog in the margin. And I read it in translation (by Google) quite regularly.

  3. smokingscot says:

    Here’s a real test of Macron’s globalist credentials. Germany has made a proposal that France give up its permanent seat in the UN security council and give it to the EU.

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/28/581399/Germany-UNSC-France-EU

  4. waltc says:

    Give up fossil fuels AND nuclear and power France by …windmills? Then, too, France, like much of Europe, is plagued by tent cities of middle eastern migrants and the growing antisemitism they bring out from the woodwork. Yet the few French Liberals I know, mostly only from facebook (one in real life) are in deep denial about all that; hate Trump and Brexit, and are aglow about one-worldism. Otoh, considering Macron’s approval rating is somewhere in the 20s, they may be in a minority

  5. jaxthefirst says:

    Doesn’t it ever occur to these politicians, like Macron (although all the others seem to be the same), that, rather than reacting to what are evidently quite large numbers of people who object to one or other (or several) of “their” pet policies, a better approach would be to acknowledge those objections and recognise the deep feelings which prompt them, and to point out the advantages (as they see them) of “their” pet policies and explain why those policies are in fact not as much of a threat to the objectors as they think they are, rather than just resorting to playground-style insults or name-calling, or simply standing higher on their “better than you” pedestals and spouting all the same old rubbish that the objectors disliked in the first place? Can they really not see that it’s precisely that same-old-same-old that people are objecting to, and that more of the same will simply lead to the objectors becoming more, not less, entrenched in their objections?

    Is there absolutely no-one in the field of politics who has worked out that one of the most common reasons, at its very roots, for open rebellion – whether in the streets like France, voting for a wild-card candidate like Trump in the States, or voting to leave the EU in the UK – is that what probably starts out as just fairly mild feelings of misgiving, if left unattended or un-listened to or unacknowledged will, like a running sore, eventually erupt into something very damaging, even to their (the politicians’) own careers and aspirations for the future?

    I despair.

    • waltc says:

      Interesting that in the last week both Hillary and John Kerry (in speeches abroad) have acknowledged that mass immigration against the citizens’ will might be a bad idea– but only because the riled citizens are then likely to vote the likes of Hillary and Kerry out of power.IOW, only when they see it affecting THEM do they give a flying F.

      • Joe L. says:

        I completely agree. It certainly is a very interesting about-face on the behalf of Clinton and Kerry (not to mention Merkel suddenly deciding to call it quits). They see the masses continuing to revolt against Globalism worldwide and they are finally starting to realize they’ve been extremely overzealous; voters are turning against them in droves. I think (and hope) it’s too little, too late. Globalism (of which Tobacco Control is part and parcel) must be destroyed.

  6. Lepercolonist says:

    “And smoking bans are always entirely fascistic.”

    Nailed it, Frank.

  7. waltc says:

    On topic. Interesting article: “What is populism?”

    https://www.claremont.org/crb/article/what-is-populism/

  8. slugbop007 says:

    Funny that the French President, Macron, claims that objecting to his social control policies are an attack on ‘moral values’.

    slugbop007

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