Category Archives: crisis

‘Temps critiques’: “A yellow costume that creates community”

“If we agree that yellow vests have developed an autonomous movement, we will not go so far as to say that they self-organise themselves in the ideological sense of self-organisation, as conceived by historical councilists or libertarians. It is an immediate self-organisation that leads to nothing but his own immediate practice.”

Two statements that have appeared amidst the gilets jaunes “movement”

“All contemporary anti-capitalist movements must abandon the self-illusion of being intrinsically opposed to capitalism; whatever such movements may emerge, they will constitute themselves in the very struggle to destroy/escape capital.  The heterogeneity of contemporary social movements also condemns all possibility of representation.  The gilets jaunes possess the virtue of self-consciously embracing this condemnation or refusal.  The question then is what is to follow.”

Jerome Roos: “The Gilets Jaunes have blown up the old political categories”

“While the yellow vest movement — if it can even be properly defined as such — remains inchoate and contradictory in terms of its social composition and ideological orientation, there is little doubt that it has opened up a major fissure in French politics. The neoliberal center finds itself under siege, and the political establishment appears to be at a loss on how to respond.”

Lundimatin: “Contribution to the Rupture in Progress”

“After the collapse of the Social Democrats signified in France by Macron’s election, we see the collapse of the communists, the (in)soumis, the leftists, anarchists, members of the “ultra-left,” and other class struggle professionals or spokespeople of radical chic: and a majority of them, after sneering or holding their noses, are running at full speed after the movement with their factions, unions, parties, media coverage, and blog posts. Welcome to the rearguard!”

Chantal Mouffe interviewed on “The ‘gilets jaunes’: ‘A reaction to the explosion of inequalities between the super-rich and the middle classes’”

“The fuzzy and horizontal nature of the movement, with Macron as its only enemy, recalls the origins of the Five Stars Movement. Like the Italian example, it is neither right nor left, and is currently taking a heterogeneous and anti-political form. It is a rejection of everything to do with political parties and representing the establishment. If the gilets jaunes movement does not find an institutional political form, it may quite possibly take a dangerous turn. That’s what happened with Five Stars. Since joining the government, the movement has adopted a right-wing stance. This is an issue that will confront the gilets jaunes movement if it continues.”

Aurélie Dianara: “We’re with the Rebels”

“This is, indeed, a composite, embryonic movement with many faces: men and women, employees, precarious workers, those on unemployment benefits, the economically inactive, retirees, teachers, businessmen, and workers. Some party members and trade unionists are there, too, mixed in among the mass. They come from both right and left. But they do have one point in common: this is the France that struggles to make it to the end of the month. Simply put, a movement of the people.”

Carbure: “Insurrection in the end times: The gilets jaunes”

“But no one can say in which direction this is going, this thing running faster than the whole world: there is no better mark of revolutionary content than this. This movement, because it is a class struggle, bears all that can be today a communist revolution, including its limits, its dangers and its unpredictability: but to reach that point, it will probably be necessary to burn a great deal of these things that stand between us, whether its cars or social relations.”

Crimethink: “The uncertain tides of insurrection: The yellow vest protests of France”

‘This movement combines many contradictory elements: horizontally organized direct action, a narrative of being “apolitical,” the participation of far-right organizers, and the genuine anger of the exploited. Clearly, neoliberal capitalism offers no solutions to climate change except to place even more pressure on the poor; but when the anger of the poor is translated into reactionary consumer outrage, that opens ominous opportunities for the far right. … Above all, we need an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, and ecological front within the space of social movements. The question is whether that should take place inside the “yellow vest” movement, or against it.’

Madeline Lane-McKinley: “#MeToo from Below”

“The revival of feminism as mass movement is a key feature of the Trump era. Will it be a feminism for elites or a revolutionary feminism from below?”

Jackson Lears: “Aquarius Rising”

“Certain years acquire an almost numinous quality in collective memory—1789, 1861, 1914. One of the more recent additions to the list is 1968. Its fiftieth anniversary has brought a flood of attempts to recapture it—local, national, and transnational histories, anthologies, memoirs, even performance art and musical theater.”  Review essay on several books.