Yellow Vests: violence and anomy

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The Yellow Vest movement (Gilets Jaunes in French) is practically an anti-barrier to fascism. The exact opposite of what took place in the second round of the presidential elections when Macron was elected to prevent the fascist politician Marine le Pen from becoming president. The slogan « Macron Démission » – Macron Resign ! Allows this movement to unite the ones with no political horizon on one hand and those having the desire to rerun the second round of the presidential elections or to abolish the republic on the other hand. In this fashion this movement is a fascist movement, because it has the power to convince people to turn towards fascism.

The anti-barrier to fascism is also what is expressed by the part of the left in France tempted to join the Yellow Vest movement. This left abhors facing the fascism inside the Yellow Vest movement it seeks to support and therefore develops an argumentative arsenal aimed at bypassing, breaking, forgetting the anti-fascist barrier France endured throughout the elections. « They are not all like that, criticizing them is class contempt, we must walk on one ground with the extreme right to prevent the extreme right from gaining ground; I have a friend from an anti-racist movement that was there so it proves the movement is not entirely racist; The fascist acts or slogans do not embody the movement; fascists are everywhere so we can’t do anything, it is a normal thing to also have fascists inside a social movement » etc. The left carefully constructs its denial that can be reused later.

Fascist militias coming to recruit and the return of the « National Identity »

Extreme Right militias tend to show up for a reason. They identified the Yellow Vest movement as a favorable ground and they come to fulfill a specific task. It is neither a coincidence that extreme right militias dare to bear their symbols, armbands and flags, nor that in this movement fascists dare to say that they are in fact fascists. They usually do not admit it unless they know they can seduce by proclaiming it. However, this phenomenon is invisible to the eye of someone convinced that fascism can only be a consequence of liberalism and that fascism can never be a mass movement.

The creation of an anti-Macron movement as an anti-barrier to fascism is the result of Macron’s policies. Ever since he is in power, he attempted to break the anti-fascist front that got him elected in the first place, because he did not want to be in debt to those who voted against le Pen, but not in his favor. He refused to negotiate with the unions and as a result he buried all the left forces that called to vote for him against le Pen. This is exactly what Macron did for the entire first part of his mandate and the Yellow Vests decided to take his word for it. Macron thought that liberalism alone would be able to face the extreme right and he conscientiously organized the face to face that is happening now.

He is now loosing the confrontation and he organizes what liberalism can concede to the right and the extreme right. By raising not the minimum salary but the activity bonus, tax remission bonuses, tax remission of overtime; by promising to understand the « uneasiness » the people face regarding the « shaken secularity » and by pledging to fight the question of immigration in order to put the Nation in accordance with its « deep identity ».

A poujadist victory for a poujadist movement

And the left who supports the Yellow Vests to « not leave the ground to the extreme right » does not understand why the president did not speak of joblessness, education, high schools, health care…

Still, the left wants to support

The disgrace and the biggest treason is this left that supports. The Unsubmissive who, when a Yellow Vest member screams « down with the republic » runs to his side to correct « no, just the fifth » ; The social democrat bourgeois who says « the presence of racists is the proof that this is a true revolution because revolution accepts everyone ». This other one who asks you to shut up and not speak of racism because it harms the image he wants to keep of a « popular movement ». « Not all of them are fascists » has become the new « not all men » reinvented to protect those who support. They feel bothered by those who are bothered by the extreme right. We are supposed to shut up.

And there is this petit bourgeois in a 40 year old rebellion against his parents and who lives for the Riot. He is ready to leave the extreme left for a good barricade with a fascist militia. You saw him before in previous demonstrations and you knew then he was not there for the same reasons you were. You see him now with the fascists and he is at the top of his happiness. Finally he is with his tribe. He can unleash his ultra violence with people who seriously want to kill cops and who, one has to admit, are much more efficient in their use of violence.

This petit bourgeois already fantasized on Daech against the society of the spectacle. Now he has his own movement, fascist nihilist and over-violent.

To destroy the very idea of the Revolution by mixing up revolution with violence

There is also the common dream of definitely destroying may 68. This despised revolution, sexual liberation, speech liberation, the leftism act of birth, the triumph of union negotiation, the fall of an aging reactionary power, the absolute, total and radical rejection of the extreme right groups. Any comparison of the Yellow Vest with May 68 is an obliteration of what was May 68 and that it was so much more than a riot. And with these comparisons, everything that May 68 was apart from a riot is abolished. The slogans, « power to the imagination », the General Assemblies everywhere, all this is forgotten. Now May 68 is seen as a riot and Yellow Vest are equal. This comparison reductive pushed to the extreme, has become one of their policy lines. Those who always wanted to get rid off May 68 can finally do it just by saying « we are doing the same, Yellow Vests are the new May 68 ».

And it goes not just only with May 68. Yellow Vests supporters are quick to compare the movement with any known revolution and to empty them of their soul. 1789 the French Revolution, the Arab Springs, the Paris Commune, everything goes. The very same ones that hated 1789 for inventing the Human Rights and representative democracy, the Arab Springs for placing the Arabs at the center of history or the Paris Commune they always thought was too much organized, the very same ones are now rushing to put a hand on the revolution and compare it to the Yellow Vests. One kills two birds with one stone, one crushes the symbol of the revolutions (hated because revolutions refuse to belong to anybody) and one also enhances the revolutionary prestige of the fascists because they historically lack some.

We reach the peak of this fascination for violence in this text for instance explaining that it is the violence that founds a historical event. Of 1789 we should only remember the beheading of Louis XVI, the storming of the Bastille, the Terror but not the declaration of the Human Rights and the Citizen. At this game, fascists have already won : they are much more efficient in violence than a democratic union classic demonstration, even with black blocs at the forefront of the demo. This explains why those who came in the black bloc only for violence where the first to go get their riot lessons from Yellow fascists. This also shows how this infatuation for violence acts as an acceptance for fascism : top pointing the dungy such as antisemitism, islamophobia, racism, sexism, racism because what they do in the Yellow Vests is so beautiful.

Racism, antisemitism, islamophobia are becoming imperfections, impurities that, once aestheticized, render the whole thing even more beautiful and authentic. And the one that aestheticizes these impurities feels even more brave and proud of oneself; for being able to confront the real ugly sides of this movement – not just black and white but gray. Describing the racism of the Yellow Vests like the black stain on the cheek of the workers just coming out of the mine, it feels like Emile Zola. Fascism exalts the beauty of the body but the leftist supporting the Yellows will be brave enough to exalt the worker’s body even more by detailing also it’s « impurities ».

« #champselysee having to recharge my phone battery, I got into a great hotel. Them: rich clients barricaded in their rooms and at the bar since the morning. Me: dressed as a Yellow Vest. The air turned cold somehow. Moral of the story : Yellow Vest friends, you are terrifying them. #RealNewWorld »

Running fantasies on the « fear of the bourgeois » also builds this mythology of violence. The friend of the yellow vests bourgeois can give himself gooseflesh by thinking he could be the fearing the Yellow Vests bourgeois. One day we should count the dead and the eyes lost so some could dream themselves into Che Guevara by confusing violence and revolution. And also we should look closely who we send to the slaughterhouse next to fascist militias for 100 euros raise. Between the bourgeois fearing violence and the bourgeois excited by it, which bourgeois will win ?

This also shows how much we failed to learn from the Arab revolutions or from what a revolution should be in the XXIst century. During the Arab revolution what terrified Arab dictators was democracy and non-violent peaceful protests. Here we see people delighted that democratic power is more terrified by violence than by a social movement with strikes and demonstrations.

Violence or Anomie?

There is two kinds of revolutionaries. Those who dream about future happiness and those who dream of violence and immediate destruction. The split is also there. One can love a riot as a moment of social tipping if it carries a desire for an After. But here it seems there is only violence and destruction . There are some people who like that and only that, fire and fury. If the Yellow Vests movement was the very same but not violent, we would see numerous groups deserting it. Never in the black bloc or the movement against the labor law the confrontation with police reached such violence. The difference is that the Yellow Vests they want to kill. For real. And it is not true that all revolutions are like that. They are all violent but they do not all like it.

Because this movement is the contrary of a social movement. It is an asocial movement (and of course it defines itself as « apolitical »). A movement that gathers individuals with just one slogan « Macron Resign » but that carries two meanings, just one song, the national Anthem that can also be used for football or fascist demonstrations and just one symbol, the yellow vest that has also more meanings. Yes we heard jokes about the janitor with a yellow vest who cleans after the Yellow Vests demonstrations.

This barricade was initially raised by small group of fascists who then rushed to another point. It was dismantled by the cops who then went to pursue the fascists. What we see here is the Yellow Vests rebuilding the barricade.

What strikes here is the silence. It is anomie. Without violence, the Yellow Vests do not know why they are here. They go up and down the Champs Elysées, they watch the demonstration of the unemployed pass without joining, they look far away in the direction where the cops should come from.

Yellow Vests are waiting for violence. It is why there are here. They think it is with violence they can move things. So they wait. In anomie and silence. It is surely different on roundabouts throughout the country where people meet. In any case in violence because blocking people in their cars can only lead to extreme violence or road rage. In Paris it is worse. Yellow Vests are here like zombies, staring into space in the direction of cops who are not here. Nothing happening. Then, a small group of fascist Yellow Vests arrives. They erect a barricade. An ultra violent barricade, not just with construction site barriers or mobile elements but with true destructions. Then and only then the Yellow Vests animate themselves and they go defend the barricade while the small group of fascists goes somewhere else to do the same.

Let’s wait for Act V, it will surely be even better.

Activist, master in History, master in War Studies, spare time freedom researcher, reggae DJ and revolution writer. bloqué par Nadine Morano