PAULINE BOCK—A few days before the gilets jaunes’s first anniversary march (or “act 53” of their weekly protests), French newspaper Libération reported that the interior ministry was set to approve a “new national plan for law enforcement” that supports the police’s harsh, aggressive tactics for crowd control — despite the hundreds of injuries this approach has caused.
ANTI-IMPERIALISM FIGHTERSANTI-NEOLIBERALISMEUROPEAN UNIONFRANCENEOCONS & NEOLIBERALS
On top of all this, the current Italian government, a.k.a. La Junta, indeed reminding us of a south American military junta that has hijacked power with a coup. Call this coup as you wish, Pandemic, Covid-19, the Virus, whatever. Civil liberties have been suspended even way beyond sheer medical necessities and reasonability, far worse than any other country in Europe. Today’s Italian governments seems a replica of a puppet government set up by foreign powers, just like it was in 1943, after Italy was split in two governments, one in the south in the Allied occupied zone, and one in the north in the German occupied zone.
The dithering response by the EU and its belated nation-based reactions could turn out to be a fatal political incompetence with consequences of huge death toll and ruinous economic impact. The citizens of Europe will not forgive such fecklessness.
Laughably, an EU monitoring group this week claimed that Russia was interfering by spreading disinformation about impacts of the novel coronavirus in such a way as to undermine European governments and to “sow division” among European civilians. This scapegoating for its own incompetence is risible.
CAPITALISM & SOCIALISMCAPITALIST SICKNESSCAPITALIST TENTACLES & FRONTSEUROPEAN UNIONFRANCE
DIANA JOHNSTONE—For historic reasons, most French people do not share the ardent faith of British and Americans in the benevolence of the invisible hand of the market. There is a national leaning toward a mixed economy, where the State plays a strong determining role. The French do not easily believe that privatization is better, least of all when they can see it doing worse.
Macron is an ardent devotee of the invisible hand. He seems to expect that by draining French savings into an international investment giant such as Black Rock, Black Rock will reciprocate by pumping investment into French technological and industrial progress.
ABOMINATIONSCLASS COLLABORATIONCLASS STRUGGLECULTURE & HISTORYEUROPEAN UNIONFRANCE
RAMIN MAZAHERI—French unions have done a woeful job leading the strike despite having everything going for them at the beginning. The alleged superiority of the so-called “independent” union model – favored by the West but opposed by any country with a revolution after 1917 – is once again failing the nation, if maybe not their dues-paying members. The general strike is wobbling, and by January 24th the pension bill will be formally presented to the government. It is amazing rapacity, because presenting a bill amid such strikes is obviously rushing it into the safe arms of a system dominated by President Emmanuel Macron.