The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

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neverfail
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The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by neverfail » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:36 pm

Protests spread to Belgium as French police face 'war scenes' in Paris
By Henry Samuel

Paris: France's "yellow vest" movement spread to Belgium on Friday as police fired tear gas and turned water cannons on stone-throwing protesters who torched two police vehicles in central Brussels.

The Belgian protests came as France prepared for "Act 3" of nationwide protests against "green" fuel tax rises and the high cost of living. These are showing little sign of abating after talks with Edouard Philippe, the French prime minister, ended in fiasco on Friday night.

In Brussels, around 300 people demonstrated outside the prime minister's office, some hurling rocks as they faced off with police, before continuing on towards major EU buildings. At least 74 people were arrested - some accused of possessing box-cutters, smoke bombs or tear gas canisters.

Two police vans were tipped over and torched as the stand-off continued and the protesters blocked off the tunnels that ease Brussels' notorious congestion.


https://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/ ... 50jk3.html
The east and southeast of Belgium is a region known as Wallonia and it inhabited by French speaking Belgians known as Walloons. Brussels, the capital city of the country is French speaking despite the fact that back in the Middle Ages it was originally founded by Flemish (not Walloon) merchants.

A Walloon is for all intents and purposes a provincial Frenchman living on the wrong side of an international frontier. I sometimes wonder whether the shared French language has acted as a conduit to convey certain French behavioral traits - like their penchant for staging angry street protests? :lol:
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Before he flew out of Paris to attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, President Macron informed the media that he had no intention of rescinding the fuel tax which is one of the prime grievances of the protests in France itself. That and the insufferable cost of living partially resultant from the tax. I thought that whilst Macron might have even been economically correct in that I thought that it was also politically maladroit of him to make such an announcement.

You see, inequitable taxation, along with the cost of living (especially in Paris where all foodstuffs entering the city for sale were taxed by royal customs men) were among the prime grievances of French society in the lead up to the revolutionary upheaval that began in Paris back in 1789.

Keep your eye on France boys. Something big may be presently brewing up there and it may not be pretty once the lid finally blows.

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Sertorio
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Re: The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by Sertorio » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:34 am

neverfail wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:36 pm

A Walloon is for all intents and purposes a provincial Frenchman living on the wrong side of an international frontier. I sometimes wonder whether the shared French language has acted as a conduit to convey certain French behavioral traits - like their penchant for staging angry street protests?


Many people may think so, but in fact Walloons are people very similar to the Flemish but who, for historical reasons, slowly adopted the French language. But they are a lot more similar to the Flemish than to the French people. In fact a part of the original Flanders - with their people - became part of northern France, where everybody speak French. The town of Dunquerque - of WWII fame - is in fact called Duinkerk ("church of the dunes"), a very Flemish name.
neverfail wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:36 pm
Before he flew out of Paris to attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, President Macron informed the media that he had no intention of rescinding the fuel tax which is one of the prime grievances of the protests in France itself. That and the insufferable cost of living partially resultant from the tax. I thought that whilst Macron might have even been economically correct in that I thought that it was also politically maladroit of him to make such an announcement.

You see, inequitable taxation, along with the cost of living (especially in Paris where all foodstuffs entering the city for sale were taxed by royal customs men) were among the prime grievances of French society in the lead up to the revolutionary upheaval that began in Paris back in 1789.

Keep your eye on France boys. Something big may be presently brewing up there and it may not be pretty once the lid finally blows.
The present unrest in France has by now very little to do with the fuel tax. People are angry and frustrated because of a host of reasons, from the dislike of Macron to the feeling that their liberty is slowly being taken away by an increasingly dominant oligarchy. Only the interests of the rich - and the big corporations - are taken into account, and the middle and lower classes are being choked to death. In 1789 that led to a Revolution and the beheading of the aristocracy. The new aristocracy should be careful not to be taken down the same road.

neverfail
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Re: The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by neverfail » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:04 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:34 am
neverfail wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:36 pm

A Walloon is for all intents and purposes a provincial Frenchman living on the wrong side of an international frontier. I sometimes wonder whether the shared French language has acted as a conduit to convey certain French behavioral traits - like their penchant for staging angry street protests?


Many people may think so, but in fact Walloons are people very similar to the Flemish but who, for historical reasons, slowly adopted the French language. But they are a lot more similar to the Flemish than to the French people. In fact a part of the original Flanders - with their people - became part of northern France, where everybody speak French. The town of Dunquerque - of WWII fame - is in fact called Duinkerk ("church of the dunes"), a very Flemish name.
Interesting! Thank you sertorio.

Yet Walloons and Flemish never seem to get along.

I once travelled through Flanders. I had previously picked up some words of French in Brussels. They worked quite well for me there. Yet when I tried them our on a server in a Flemish town she pulled me up sharply and made it clear that she much preferred that we communicate in English rather than French. A lot of them apparently hate even to hear French being spoken.

It is a wonder that this small country; arguably the retarded orphan of two adjacent civilisations, is not in a permanent state of civil war.
neverfail wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:36 pm
Before he flew out of Paris to attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, President Macron informed the media that he had no intention of rescinding the fuel tax which is one of the prime grievances of the protests in France itself. That and the insufferable cost of living partially resultant from the tax. I thought that whilst Macron might have even been economically correct in that I thought that it was also politically maladroit of him to make such an announcement.

You see, inequitable taxation, along with the cost of living (especially in Paris where all foodstuffs entering the city for sale were taxed by royal customs men) were among the prime grievances of French society in the lead up to the revolutionary upheaval that began in Paris back in 1789.

Keep your eye on France boys. Something big may be presently brewing up there and it may not be pretty once the lid finally blows.
Sertorio wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:34 am
The present unrest in France has by now very little to do with the fuel tax. People are angry and frustrated because of a host of reasons, from the dislike of Macron to the feeling that their liberty is slowly being taken away by an increasingly dominant oligarchy. Only the interests of the rich - and the big corporations - are taken into account, and the middle and lower classes are being choked to death. In 1789 that led to a Revolution and the beheading of the aristocracy. The new aristocracy should be careful not to be taken down the same road.
Hear hear!

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Doc
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Re: The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by Doc » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:20 pm



“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
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Re: The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by neverfail » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:43 pm

Doc wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:20 pm


Point well made and accepted doc. :D

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Doc
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Re: The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by Doc » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:26 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:43 pm

Point well made and accepted doc. :D
I could well believe it is over the price of diesel. Imagine how much Diesel it took to burn all these cars. ;)



The price could understandably make a lot of people angry

“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
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Re: The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by neverfail » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:57 pm

Doc wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:26 pm

I could well believe it is over the price of diesel. Imagine how much Diesel it took to burn all these cars. ;)


Not if you milk someones petrol tank before going on the rampage.

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Alexis
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"France is deeply fractured. Gilets jaunes are just a symptom"

Post by Alexis » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:41 pm

This analysis translated to English for Britain's Guardian is from Christophe Guilluy, geograph and author of "Peripheral France" in 2014, who is widely regarded as a prophetic work on the grounds of Gilets jaunes protests.
From the 1980s onwards, it was clear there was a price to be paid for western societies adapting to a new economic model and that price was sacrificing the European and American working class. No one thought the fallout would hit the bedrock of the lower-middle class, too. It’s obvious now, however, that the new model not only weakened the fringes of the proletariat but society as a whole.

The paradox is this is not a result of the failure of the globalised economic model but of its success. In recent decades, the French economy, like the European and US economies, has continued to create wealth. We are thus, on average, richer. The problem is at the same time unemployment, insecurity and poverty have also increased. The central question, therefore, is not whether a globalised economy is efficient, but what to do with this model when it fails to create and nurture a coherent society?

In France, as in all western countries, we have gone in a few decades from a system that economically, politically and culturally integrates the majority into an unequal society that, by creating ever more wealth, benefits only the already wealthy.

The change is not down to a conspiracy, a wish to cast aside the poor, but to a model where employment is increasingly polarised. This comes with a new social geography: employment and wealth have become more and more concentrated in the big cities. The deindustrialised regions, rural areas, small and medium-size towns are less and less dynamic. But it is in these places – in “peripheral France” (one could also talk of peripheral America or peripheral Britain) – that many working-class people live. Thus, for the first time, “workers” no longer live in areas where employment is created, giving rise to a social and cultural shock.

It is in this France périphérique that the gilets jaunes movement was born. It is also in these peripheral regions that the western populist wave has its source. Peripheral America brought Trump to the White House. Peripheral Italy – mezzogiorno, rural areas and small northern industrial towns – is the source of its populist wave. This protest is carried out by the classes who, in days gone by, were once the key reference point for a political and intellectual world that has forgotten them.

So if the hike in the price of fuel triggered the yellow vest movement, it was not the root cause. The anger runs deeper, the result of an economic and cultural relegation that began in the 80s. At the same time, economic and land logics have locked up the elite world. This confinement is not only geographical but also intellectual. The globalised metropolises are the new citadels of the 21st century – rich and unequal, where even the former lower-middle class no longer has a place. Instead, large global cities work on a dual dynamic: gentrification and immigration. This is the paradox: the open society results in a world increasingly closed to the majority of working people.

The economic divide between peripheral France and the metropolises illustrates the separation of an elite and its popular hinterland. Western elites have gradually forgotten a people they no longer see. The impact of the gilets jaunes, and their support in public opinion (eight out of 10 French people approve of their actions), has amazed politicians, trade unions and academics, as if they have discovered a new tribe in the Amazon.

The point, remember, of the gilet jaune is to ensure its wearer is visible on the road. And whatever the outcome of this conflict, the gilets jaunes have won in terms of what really counts: the war of cultural representation. Working-class and lower middle-class people are visible again and, alongside them, the places where they live.

Their need in the first instance is to be respected, to no longer be thought of as “deplorable”. Michael Sandel is right when he points out the inability of the elites to take the aspirations of the poorest seriously. These aspirations are simple: the preservation of their social and cultural capital and work. For this to be successful we must end the elite “secession” and adapt the political offers of left and right to their demands. This cultural revolution is a democratic and societal imperative – no system can remain if it does not integrate the majority of its poorest citizens.

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Sertorio
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Re: The "French disease" spreads into Belgium.

Post by Sertorio » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:13 pm

The major failure of present society is the failure in redistributing the wealth the system has helped to create. The obvious answer is higher taxes on the very rich and on the large corporations. Money which should go to subsidise housing for the lower middle class and the working class, and to be invested in small firms to foster economic independence to more people. And, of course, in better public health care and education. To do that one needs governments which are not dependent on the rich and on the big corporations, and that's where populism comes into the picture. Only populist movements - and the radical left - can be free from the influence of the rich. At least for the moment, people still prefer populism to the radical left. But that may not remain so much longer.

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Doc
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Re: "France is deeply fractured. Gilets jaunes are just a symptom"

Post by Doc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:40 pm

Alexis wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:41 pm
This analysis translated to English for Britain's Guardian is from Christophe Guilluy, geograph and author of "Peripheral France" in 2014, who is widely regarded as a prophetic work on the grounds of Gilets jaunes protests.
From the 1980s onwards, it was clear there was a price to be paid for western societies adapting to a new economic model and that price was sacrificing the European and American working class. No one thought the fallout would hit the bedrock of the lower-middle class, too. It’s obvious now, however, that the new model not only weakened the fringes of the proletariat but society as a whole.

The paradox is this is not a result of the failure of the globalised economic model but of its success. In recent decades, the French economy, like the European and US economies, has continued to create wealth. We are thus, on average, richer. The problem is at the same time unemployment, insecurity and poverty have also increased. The central question, therefore, is not whether a globalised economy is efficient, but what to do with this model when it fails to create and nurture a coherent society?

In France, as in all western countries, we have gone in a few decades from a system that economically, politically and culturally integrates the majority into an unequal society that, by creating ever more wealth, benefits only the already wealthy.

The change is not down to a conspiracy, a wish to cast aside the poor, but to a model where employment is increasingly polarised. This comes with a new social geography: employment and wealth have become more and more concentrated in the big cities. The deindustrialised regions, rural areas, small and medium-size towns are less and less dynamic. But it is in these places – in “peripheral France” (one could also talk of peripheral America or peripheral Britain) – that many working-class people live. Thus, for the first time, “workers” no longer live in areas where employment is created, giving rise to a social and cultural shock.

It is in this France périphérique that the gilets jaunes movement was born. It is also in these peripheral regions that the western populist wave has its source. Peripheral America brought Trump to the White House. Peripheral Italy – mezzogiorno, rural areas and small northern industrial towns – is the source of its populist wave. This protest is carried out by the classes who, in days gone by, were once the key reference point for a political and intellectual world that has forgotten them.

So if the hike in the price of fuel triggered the yellow vest movement, it was not the root cause. The anger runs deeper, the result of an economic and cultural relegation that began in the 80s. At the same time, economic and land logics have locked up the elite world. This confinement is not only geographical but also intellectual. The globalised metropolises are the new citadels of the 21st century – rich and unequal, where even the former lower-middle class no longer has a place. Instead, large global cities work on a dual dynamic: gentrification and immigration. This is the paradox: the open society results in a world increasingly closed to the majority of working people.

The economic divide between peripheral France and the metropolises illustrates the separation of an elite and its popular hinterland. Western elites have gradually forgotten a people they no longer see. The impact of the gilets jaunes, and their support in public opinion (eight out of 10 French people approve of their actions), has amazed politicians, trade unions and academics, as if they have discovered a new tribe in the Amazon.

The point, remember, of the gilet jaune is to ensure its wearer is visible on the road. And whatever the outcome of this conflict, the gilets jaunes have won in terms of what really counts: the war of cultural representation. Working-class and lower middle-class people are visible again and, alongside them, the places where they live.

Their need in the first instance is to be respected, to no longer be thought of as “deplorable”. Michael Sandel is right when he points out the inability of the elites to take the aspirations of the poorest seriously. These aspirations are simple: the preservation of their social and cultural capital and work. For this to be successful we must end the elite “secession” and adapt the political offers of left and right to their demands. This cultural revolution is a democratic and societal imperative – no system can remain if it does not integrate the majority of its poorest citizens.
I started questioning the "New Economy", at least to myself, with the dot.com bubble burst in 2000. It is interesting to note that that bubble burst in Sillicon valley after NYC accounts started to take jobs in Silicon valley and once there discovered that largely there was no "there" there. Which directly lead to the bursting of the bubble(That would have burst at some point in any event). In the process it took an awful lot out of the retirement accounts of middle class Americans.

My view has evolved over the years to the point I have come to see Silicon Valley as a disruptive technology.

The globalists have not learned their lesson as of yet. Their dreams of global oligarchic empire are way ahead of reality. The lessons just get harder from here.

“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

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