The left has tended to miss the sad part of this fascinating wave of strikes: the damage done by Macron to the climate activism movement by pitting ecological action against working class perspectives. The reaction was the complete rejection of the climate change aspect toward traditional working class protest.
The left needs to scramble to counterbalance their thinking and to include explicit analysis of the elite exploitation of climate change for austerity economics, and offer their own proposals (they in fact have already) to meet wage demnands in context of demanding equal measure against elites. To put working class activism in collision with climate activism would be a colossal tragedy…
Source: France 2019: Macron, Yellow Vests and class struggle – Counterfire
We have endorsed the yellow vests here with enthusiasm even as we point to the attempt in the context of the neoliberal elite to turn ecological climate action into class warfare: the core of the dispute was a sort of ecological tax on the working class even as the elites got tax breaks, an initiative so gross that it prompted an appropriate working class revolt, with the ‘socialist’ bureaucracy unable to produce any leadership and Zizek sounding off in his now normal obscurity. This situation can be easily reconfigured if ecological and economic initiatives are blended in a coherent unity, a task probably impossible in the context of the neoliberal elite attempting to make climate action a class issue.
Source: The Spontaneous Politics of the Masses: Slavoj Žižek and the Yellow Vests
If it can, it should do so, but the evidence is not there that the working class is revolutionary, which is not the same as ‘changing the world’ unless that is what is meant. We have courted the great marxist heresy with a ‘dialectical’ self-debate on the issue and constructed our ‘Red Forty-eight Group’ as either for working class revolutionaries and/or the activism of the ‘universal class’.
What about Trump’s base? Golly Continue reading ” what about the lumpenproletariat?…Trump’s base and Marx’s class bias//Can the (non)Working Class Change the World?”
The yellow vest movement entered its “fourth act” this weekend, with another round of radical protests by over 130,000 people throughout the country. This time, the state response was even more brutal, with 89,000 gendarmes mobilised across France in an attempt to prevent the yellow vests from demonstrating – peacefully or otherwise – resulting in over 2,000 arrests.
We have critiqued the term ‘marxism’ many times, starting with our previous post, so our view of a site called ‘marxist.com’ is clear.
But this site often has cogent pieces, mixed with bad marxist theory. As here.
In any case, the suggestion to move to revolution is ‘on target’ save only that the left, marxist mostly, is not ready for that, as can be seen in the confusion over working class issues and ecological ones, the hated carbon tax, etc…
Continue reading “France: the yellow vests, Act IV – turn the movement into a revolution!”
The sphere of social reproduction will be central not simply to defining schisms within the movement, but to defining the horizons of the struggle and the multiplication, both possible and preferable, of its sites. The battlefield of social reproduction is one on which we can move beyond the triptych: prices of petrol, buying power, and tax revolt.
Source: On a Ridgeline: Notes on the “Yellow Vests” Movement – Viewpoint Magazine