While Macron is preparing to justify himself to all of France and Europe, unsuccessfully trying to end the protests and pogroms that are shaking the country, one can talk about the vests themselves and about the speculations that have arisen around them.
The truth is not about who is plotting there to overthrow Macron and when there will be a new revolution in France, but about the re-emerged theme of the confluence of right and left protest.
Alexander Gelevich has already called the vests “thus” a movement that unites popular protest against the elite, ideal populism, not left and right. You can’t argue with a nation, three hundred thousand protesters in the first weekend and one hundred thousand in the rest is a considerable movement.
What is more interesting, despite all the burned restaurants, robbed shops and anti-fascist graffiti, it is largely right-populist — anti-immigration slogans sounded from the very beginning, Le Pen with Salvini were among the first supporters of vests, and resistance to environmental regulations is basically non-progressive.
Sociologists confirm that 92% support the National Front supporters support the vests, while among the Communists, the indicator is about 85%, the mainstream has national averages 70-80%, and the macronists have only 40%. 42% of respondents voter Le Pen directly identify themselves with vests, two times more than the communist Melanshon. 12-15% of the French would support a full-fledged yellow-gold party, primarily due to Le Pen.
The same French workers, ordinary French, who constitute the pillar of the protests, vote for Le Pen in the first place. Marin did not leave yellow jackets without support, simultaneously condemning the antifa and slogans about the “sixth republic” (the Sixth Republic is the idea of communist Melanshon).
Turning to the last manifesto of the vests, again we see a hodgepodge of various requirements - to reduce taxes, raise social programs, remove migrants, leave Africa, pay reparations [Africa], prohibit plastic bags, withdraw from NATO and the EU, remove GMOs, industrialize and so on further, with direct democracy and a ban on state intervention in the areas of family, education and health care, with the state’s duty to develop all these areas.
The program is as consistent as the movement of the vests. Although in the previous version, on the contrary, repulsed left migrants were offered to be allowed in and provided with full social services, to nationalize large enterprises and to increase taxes on the rich. The new manifesto is still not so bad!
Politically, all this is reminiscent of the Italian Five Star Movement, only much more variegated. Five-star all the same centrist movement of progressive citizens and unemployed Southerners, and in no way a worker protest. But the impracticable populist protest program of angry citizens is similar. Is it possible to speak here about the connection of the left and the right? In a single rush of hatred for Macron and the elites - completely. In a single movement - hardly.
Street shots from the protests speak even more clearly. Last week the Arch of Triumphs took the vests, the police were driven away from the monument to the unknown soldier ... and anti-fascists immediately tried to defile it. They beat the last ones, and the patriot protestors had already gathered a new cordon and remained there. Left radicals were the same target as the police. I did not see reports of full-fledged clashes, maybe from the fact that the leftists were too busy looting and arson.
Attempts to issue a mass heterogeneous protest for the birth of a new ideology are unlikely to lead to anything. Vests have no common leaders, no common goals, no desire to really unite.
The movement of yellow vests only once again shows the opposite of the aspirations of various dissatisfied groups, some are dissatisfied with the progressive course of the Macron, others with the insufficiently progressive Macron. Even with such a successful coincidence, everything remains as before - anti-fascists plunder the shops of the wealthy rich and desecrate the monuments, the nationalists defend the contents of their pockets and the sovereignty of their country. The flows of political populism flow alongside, but do not merge into one.
(In addition to overthrowing Macron, time is the most inappropriate with his desire to split the pro-European forces and bite off his piece. Macron is simply the perfect rival of the European right.)
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