The human being, the image of its socially induced immitigable destiny and the “yellow vests”

by Ana Bazac

Yes, when we are tempted to chitchatting about how clumsy are some people who cry “we can no longer stand all of that”, we should think of our “humanism” cherishing the Man. But if we chatter “in a humanistic mood”, it means that we are comfortable doing this and, in our blindness framed by the nest of our speculative armchair, we imagine that “we are the world/the human beings” in the name of whose we would be entitled to speak. Magnanimously, we would even concede that “a man = a man”, but we proudly expect that the other man we “represent” to gladly accepts this representation, namely absolutely annulling its uniqueness that requires direct expression, and to being happy to being a “without face” illustration of the countless number of humans aligning behind “the man we are”.

More dryly, the fact that we cannot put ourselves in the situation of the other man but that, at the same time and with the recklessness given by conscience of our “superior” place, we expect it does “put itself in our situation” and accept that this “equivalence” is normal and entitles us to being the only “representatives” of the humans, worth to be heard, shows the emptiness and vanity of the “humanism” we profess.

***

Who are the “yellow vests”?

So, the “yellow vests” are mostly petty wage earners, including part-timeworkers and office workers from the under middle classes, including those impoverished, paid with the minima/social allocations – and very vulnerable independents/subcontractors (as shopkeepers, artisans, farmers, little employers, and free lance contract technicians and artists)[1], all of them not succeeding, having or not families, to make both ends meet, not having the safety of life that would allow the founding of a family and raising children; and they began to protest less than three months ago. This majority was called – somehow after the model of international centre-periphery relations – “the peripheral France”/country, i.e. the poor urban and rural alike, now socially united, while before they were opposed, in front of the “centre” of cities inhabited by the well-offs[2]. But now, both the rural and urban poor – the so-called “popular neighbourhoods” in the big cities – are more and more politically united in their protest[3]: though there is still much to be done in this respect.

Obviously, for the economic and political ruling “elites” the mass and repeated manifestations of au fond “integrated” ruled within the neo-liberal policies for more than three decades now were unexpected and considered to be dangerous. And because all the polls have showed that the majority of the French agreed with the “yellow vests”, the government has used the card of

  • physical repression[4] – “pre-emptively” attacking the “yellow vests” with tear gas, water guns and grenades and balls wounding, including gravely, thousands of them, in order to intimidate not only them but also all those who would have desired to join them – and
  • legal repression, infringing the limits of democratic laws[5], at the same time
  • depicting them all, with the help of conscious lies (called today “fake news”) in the most repugnant colours (as  racists, anti-Semites, sexists, intolerants)[6].

The “yellow vests” manifest only on Saturdays, since they work hard all the week, and some of them have “occupied” traffic roundabouts in order to remember us that they do not quit (but since mid-December 2018, they were evacuated from there).  Since many of these petty wage earners are on the minimum and on part-time it’s plausible that some ones of them may be violent, throwing stones or even Molotov cocktails at the police, and even wanting to break the signs of opulence, but though in principle they never harmed people/policemen without being attacked[7] (on 9 February, the police officers being attacked first  time since the beginning of the movement[8], in fact small groups between them have produced harms[9] and useless vandalism (as the overturning the bins, and the destruction of cars) which it’s doubtful they will produce much empathy and from now on. Because though the burning of some cars is nothing in front of the ravages made by the 30 years of neo-liberalism[10], in fact the destruction of personal goods and also of public ones (as the bins) is irrational and harmful even for the “yellow vests”.  As it is well-known, the establishment covers with the violent facts – which obviously do not characterise the movement – its logic and reasons.  And it is important that, though there are no proofs of the provocations – including of vandalism – made by police personnel, at the same time the involvement of this personnel in popular demonstrations in order to divert them is well-known[11]. Anyway, and as a manner to show the gradual organization of the “yellow vests”, see the constitution of their own ordination service during manifestations[12], but also the fact that the casseurs were never halted by demonstrators. And the own ordination service is not permanent, thus efficient: there was the overturning of bins and other street violence even on February 9th and 16th. And even though it’s plausible that the government as such would have had an interest in showing the ugly face of the “yellow vests” movement in its already 13th act, in fact all the serious injures suffered by the demonstrators[13], as well as the attacks to police officers, and the vandalism, do not serve the interests of the yellow vests – on the very contrary – and show only their fatigue, somehow exasperation (they were much lesser demonstrators on 9 February 9th) to manifest without any positive concrete end. Does this fact urge them to pass to a new level of their attitude?

As active labour force – but also as unemployed/never forgetting the spectre of unemployment – and pensioners of these humble social layers, the “yellow vests” are what were called the “popular classes”, various groups marked by the service jobs they occupy in very fragmented work places, with corresponding levels of education and technical means. At first glance, we could call the popular classes as proletarians, i.e. those who have no/no enough means of production in order to survive and thus are obliged to sell their capacity to work (so, the proletarians are not only the classical workers in factories, but also – and the more so nowadays – those from the service sectors, “the McDonalds workers becoming the steel workers of the twenty-first century”[14]). But because their appearance is not homogenous since they have different work and living places etc., and thus because their social fragmentation has led until now to political separation an vulnerability – they being not able to understand their proletarian nature – neither they have assumed this identity and nor the sociologists have described them as proletarians[15]. However, the “subaltern” position in economy and work place is not enough to explain their dominated position: au fond, the violinists too, in an orchestra, do obey to the bandmaster, do they? Taking over this comparison from a famous one (in Marx), and thus making a difference between the “technical” submission and the social (as economic and political) one, we ought to assert that our first sight, that the popular classes are proletarians, is fully rightful. The problem is not the technical subaltern position, but the class relations.

It was said that the “yellow vests” would represent rather the French white wage-earners and petty-bourgeois who denounce the infringement of their social contract as citizens with and in the state – and this national aspect might be used by the extreme-right forces to confiscate the movement –[16]: and since they were not yet massively joined by the mass of immigrant origin French[17], and that in fact the proportion of “yellow vests” who voted the extreme-right is significant[18], as well as of the supporters[19], would it not be absurd to deny the sundry character of the yellow vests and not only the danger to being confiscated by the extreme-right, but also the imperative to ask for forgiveness from all the immigrant origin co-nationals towards whose fight they did not show solidarity? As well as the imperative to ask for forgiveness from all the peoples from the “South”/ countries imperialistically dominated though explicit colonial relations and different new neo-colonial ones?

The “yellow vests”’ open discussion of all of these aspects is absolutely necessary: only through this discussion they may strengthen their unity, and not by ignoring them. In this discussion, they may emphasise that the different particularistic cultural standpoints – glorifying the national origin, the uncritically seen traditions, the original or different religions, or even other types of identities as the sexual ones – assumed by the immigrant origin French, but not only by them, have as root the weak consideration of the universal social criteria by the capitalist state and system. And just the capitalist state and system have induced the particularistic standpoints: in order to make the bulk of common people – of French or immigrant origin alike – to forget the necessity and their propensity toward universal values. There is not about a simple substitution of universal values with those of particular ones, and in no way are the cultures of differences the response to the “revolutionary despotism” of the French Revolution and its follow-ups – as Alain Finkielkraut stated[20] – but about the transformation of the dominant ideologies (yes, ideology[21], and not only “culture”) according to the conditions and interests of the dominant layers, whose spokespersons were the intellectuals, and certainly about the from up to down transmission of the convenient dominant ideologies. The fact that nowadays both some French and immigrant origin French – but certainly, here France is only a model corresponding to all the countries – have different xenophobic attitudes is caused just by the above explained phenomena. And since no xenophobic attitude is better than other one – see Alain Finkielkraut’s attitude[22] and his disclosing by Alain Badiou who has showed not only the opposition between humanistic universal values and the Alain Finkielkraut’s particularistic national and ethnical identity, but also the evilness of the opposition of Finkielkraut’s particularistic national and ethnical identity to the “abstract and abject universality of the capitalist world market”[23] – the “yellow vests” must openly declare that, though there are between them some ones who express their social angry though xenophobic phrases, the “yellow vests”’ ideology is directed toward the causes of these outcomes which they resolutely reject – as they already said –, and thus those outcomes as such will disappear in the struggle against their causes. Only if the movement will be defeated, the ire at its basis – as at the basis of the general, even though vague, rejection of the system – might manifest through the form of particularistic hate: in no way is the movement as such a nursery of this hate, as the right-wing dominant media assert[24].

Yes, the “yellow vests” have considered with reserve the precise and inherently left-wing slogans which obviously exceed the first demands related to taxes (only to a more equitable distribution – but we know already from Marx that the separation of distribution from production/from the property relations is absurd[25] –): but while the first demands were similar to all the fiscal revolts as Jacqueries, the present conditions are different, so it was possible to change/enlarge the demands. But the reserve of “yellow vests” towards precise left-wing slogans was the result that they knew their amalgamate structure and feared to alienate a part without which their power would have been lesser[26]. But since the social-economic condition of all lays under the same spectre of impoverishment, is it not the sign that they must surpass and abhor their old prejudices received from above? Indeed, the simple suspension of identities/peculiarity of discourses does not give per se a “yellow vest” identity, but it is only its limit[27].

And, just in order to attain their concrete economic demands of decent wages and pensions, does it not seem clear to them that they must outstrip them by addressing just the general features of the dominant policies, as social inequality, and the structural causes of these features? If some demands may be transformed and reduced by the government in order to integrate them within the capitalist logic[28], at least for a while, is it not imperative to address the structural causes of their situation and of the never ending play with the late adjustment of wages to inflation?

Is it not imperative to know that no deferment of the other neo-liberal reforms necessary to the present capitalism is sufficient neither to alleviate the situation of the many – and even letting aside the lack of future for them and their children – and nor to solve the huge global problems?

The extremely difficult road of coagulation

Until February 5th, the “yellow vests” have manifested alone: because no “left-wing” party and union has expressed the solidarity with them.

This situation has double causes: one is that nowadays the prevalent, very skilled, type of labour in the enterprises and the enterprises as such based on the competition of employees for less and less jobs do no longer favour the unity of employees; rather this unity is forged along the information channels (social media networks) and in the larger and common habitat (towns, villages…), beyond the specific professional identities they have; and the other is, obviously, the bureaucratic character of all the “left-wing”/social-democratic type parties and unions, or rather of their leadership – the official “left-wing” unmistakably representing the interests of the employers/dominant layers of society and seeking only to adapt the working classes to these interests, thus to forge a “manageable consensus”, if not even to reject class antagonism; while the unofficial left-wing not being able to offer solutions, including because of the permanent quarrel and splitting of its branches –.

Only late, (January 25th) the CGT (Confédération Générale des Travailleurs), but only pushed by the rank and file, has called for common manifestations, including for the general strike initiated by the “yellow vests” for February 5th, certainly with precise goals. In this call, the CGT would have succeeded to unite also the other unions[29]. However, as the February 5th demonstrations show, though there were delegates from different “left-wing parties” which wanted a “convergence” with the “yellow vests”, the simple – and late, do not forget – desire to manifest near the vests, i.e. to signal that these parties would already have a mass support, just something which they lacked for decades, does offer nothing concrete to the “yellow vests”.  The duplicitous position of the unions – and parties – eventually pushed only by the simple members – is illustrated by both their positions towards internal and external situations[30]. Even after the February 5th event, the leadership of CGT has distorted the real facts, showing not only its will to maintain the exclusive focus on material demands, but also its “leadership of the “yellow vests”[31]. It’s thus no wonder that, at least until now, the “yellow vests” have directly expressed a deep rejection of (all) the parties, including the “left-wing” ones, and unions, which all of them have these last decades only supported, even by mimicking opposition, the neo-liberal policies of the explicit right-wing.

 Instead of being confident in the “left-wing” party and unions bureaucracies, some of the “yellow vests” have gradually organized themselves by themselves: in local and departmental assemblies – which have met in an “assembly of assemblies” at the end of January and decided to organize new such assemblies of assemblies – and around Houses of the People[32], calling also to a new national constituent assembly[33]. This coagulation is similar to the tableau sketched by Sartre in his Critique de la raison dialectique where, working on Marx’s model of class in itself and class for itself, he shows the transition of the humans from their existence in series (isolated, not recognising each other, not communicating each other) to that in groups (already communicating but only temporarily recognising each other) and in organisations (demonstrating their class conscience, but jeopardised by the – Sartre thought then that it’s inherent – bureaucratisation of all type of organisations, namely the distancing of their leadership from the slogans of consistent social transformation, and their explicit assumption of class consensus).

However, we must to worry: only few “yellow vests” have showed the above coagulation. Most of them seem to floating in the track dug by the wheels of the dominant ideology: “we are neither left nor right, we are the people”, as if “the people” would surpass class oppositions.  But just this position – in fact, one of both extreme-right and self-destructive – of “avoiding the left-wing goals and not competing the good reforms prepared by the government, because the movement of the vests is only a citizen one”[34] is giving them the final shot.

At the same time, the “yellow vests” diverge concerning their future behaviour:

  • to continue to manifest – and we saw the 13th act too full of vandalism, seeming just to inciting the right-wing rejection of the entire “yellow vests” movement –, or
  • to make a party (Jacqueline Mouraud and its Les Emergents – opposed to “the radicals” of the movement[35]), or
  • to present nominees at the European elections[36], or
  • to participate to the president Macron’s debate[37],
  • to refuse any political structuring remaining only at the level of citizens, as in the French Revolution of 1789[38];

this divergence being not only a normal moment of their internal debate, but also the sign of divergence related to the choice of a revolutionary way and thus, the sign of the immense difficulty of surpassing the habitual fear of independent way in order to dislocating the existing rules.

And if the “yellow vests” continue only to manifest (by showing all the above mentioned shortcomings, including because of the naïve hope but also counterproductive blindness of some “left-wing” intellectuals who do not mention them), the present “organic crisis” of the hegemony of the dominant class – with the disarticulation of the ways and institutions assuring the relative social cohesion of society, and with the loss of authority of all the institutions (showing their arbitrary behaviour, including their reinforcement, towards the legal one, and the increasing role of repression, including the imposition of the state of exception[39]) – does not transform into a “revolutionary crisis” that supposes just the efficient level of organisation of the ruled[40].

Once more, from a descriptive sociological standpoint, the “yellow vests” represent the lower strata of the middle class, those which bear the casualization and impoverishment generated by the reduction of the post-war welfare state, the difference between these lower middle strata and the classical working class submitted to the same rules and policies being already ungraspable.

From an activist sociological viewpoint, the “yellow vests” emphasize that, when the different class organizations – in parties and unions – do no longer work, i.e. when the bureaucracies from the leadership of these organizations have deceived their members, the need of independent (from these bureaucracies) organisation is essential and hence the need of radical change of society.

Indeed and inherently – and letting here aside the political common hate towards Macron, a political symbol of both the upper strata and the “neutral” technocracy that implements their goals[41] – the “yellow vests” began their revolt in the name of some demands related to internal tax economic policies[42]. But some of them quickly enlarged their pattern – from demands to clear objectives: though these ones refer to internal policies, they are intertwined with the international politics (as in the document manifesto for a constituent assembly)[43]. In this manifesto, an interesting theorization explains that since the global capitalism has unified the entire world, the class struggles too are related and continue each other. Consequently, the “yellow vests” movement is not “anti-globalization” – as some right-wing analyses said – and is conscious about and open to the complex character and multi-valence of globalization. At the same time, the manifesto declared that “it is not the institutional reforms like the popular initiative referendum which will change the economic order that gives shape to this policy in the service of the predators and exploiters” and, as in the very important document announcing radical goals[44], the exit from NATO, European Union and euro was underlined, as necessary condition for a new type of politics. In other words, even though these aspects concern only partially the international relations, they already question not only the national but also the international militarist policy, the arm race, the wars[45], thus how is a restructuring of production toward use values possible, stating that it is possible only outside and opposed to this capitalist politics. And finally, that only the above strategic transformation will annul the distinctions of origin and colour which make absurd and harmful divisions between people[46].

The internationalist tendency is not “one between many” in the popular movements, only showing the “normal diversity of points of view”, but the only that emphasises the core[47] of capitalist logic and thus the direction of the popular attacks against it, in this way substantiating the large solidarity every local anti-capitalist movement needs. Indeed, and as long ago the Marxian writings have demonstrated, capitalism is a world system[48] and its component structural relations – exploitation of the labour force and competition between both capital owners and members of the working classes – take place including on world scale, so another structural relation is the one of (as later on they were called) centre capitalist countries/dominant layers and peripheral or dependent countries and their labour forces. Accordingly, capitalism is inherently imperialist, namely capitalism seeks for larger and larger “Lebensraum”, different colony types countries, as a basis of as cheaper as possible raw materials, but also markets, for its profit. Certainly, only the stronger dominant layers/countries exert imperialism in a visible way, but are all the capitalist “comparative advantage” (Ricardo) exchanges not the manifestation of theses world imperialist relations? Hence the necessity of trans-national/ internationalist solidarity of all the oppressed classes: starting just from the trans-national interests of the oppressed classes/from the trans-national position of these classes in front of the world capital.

Thereupon, the internationalist solidarity requires the explicit recognition by the popular layers from the imperialist countries that they have difficultly arrived to the understanding of imperialist relations because they have benefited from them and were willing to appropriate the imperialist ideologies legitimating the imperialist relations. This recognition means to not accept at all the imperialist warfare, i.e. to not put the attitude towards the imperialist relations only at a secondary place (”the first being the welfare of the citizens” of the imperialist country): on the contrary, an internationalist standpoint excludes any hierarchy of the values of internal and international policies[49].

Therefore, we must clarify that within the “yellow vests” movement there is also a tendency that is not/no longer an anti-tax movement, neither an anti-globalization, neither an anti-UE movement, and nor only an “anti-neo-liberal” one (as if only neo-liberalism would be harmful, and would be an “accident” that may be eradicated).  It is a raising internationalist tendency[50] that, if prevails, is the only that builds the success of all the sentiments of revolt and aspirations to a dignified life.  The above-mentioned document about the radical goals declares:

  • the necessity to nationalize and socialize the activity of banks, pharmaceutical structures, the public services, the information,
  • to organize permanent local assemblies everywhere,
  • to organize the economy according to the production of use values and not of exchange values;

in other words, an explicit anti-capitalist character, and just around this possible anti-capitalist turn there are nowadays the harshest battle of the establishment, that to temper this revolutionary posture. At the same time, as the entire movement is in progress, its more explicit internationalist tendency must be advanced and provided: just in order to perform the anti-capitalist character, i.e. the efficiency, actually the reason to be of the entire raising.

Consequently, the only move of the “yellow vests” that would prevent them not deterring and dissolving is their organization around class and international goals. The organization is more than a movement, being much more democratic[51] and efficient than a permanent protest, and more than a Forum of discussions[52]. As well as, the class organisation of the “yellow vests” – while logically showing that the suppression of the big owners of capital as class is certainly a violent principle but the concrete violence of this suppression depends only on the opposition of the dominant layersexcludes any useless violence that only harms this class organisation[53]. From this standpoint, the observations of Susan George in 2004 are very pertinent: “‘They’ will try to incite us to practice violence (..against small shops and ordinary people’s cars..) because it is dangerous…for ourselves and the goals we profess to defend…(it) directs the media and therefore the public away from the message of ninety-nine percent of the movement and attract attention only to the actions of a tiny minority…violent groups are usually dressed alike and masked and are thus easily infiltrate by police and fascist elements…it is not terribly intelligent, tactically speaking, to confront the state where it is strongest, on the terrain of its ‘monopoly of legitimate violence’…violence discourages many people from participating in mass demonstrations…contrary to what violent elements claim, violence against people and property strengthens rather than weakens capitalism…”[54]. And just because of this higher level of understanding, have the “yellow vests” expressed their firm condemnation of all types of racism expressed within their movement, although this movement was characterised from its beginning as racist etc. by the officials who should have defended the right to manifest – and for good reasons[55].

This means the understanding by the “yellow vests” of the necessity of class and internationalist goals: only these goals and their understanding generate the concrete forms of organisation and organisms.  Only these goals and their understanding arrive to suppressing the power of domination/as we call it, the power of dominant classes and of their institutions: and to substituting this power of domination – generating arbitrariness of decisions through/because of just this power of domination – with the power of authority of logical arguments in the service of the abrogation of the socially induced suffering of the many. Therefore,  it is not here about a simple substitution of the power of domination from some bearers to other ones – nothing such as the ancient Saturnalia when the Roman slaves were served by their masters three days – but about the suppression of the power of domination as such, about the transformation of the criteria of the necessary technical authority, organisation thus hierarchy: these transformed criteria are efficient at the same time from the standpoint of the whole system and from the viewpoint of each human individual.

The time factor, obstacles and generators

 

But again, and though the movement is young, the big problem is to not waste time: for if the time is /will not be densely full of promising contents for the millions of “yellow vests”, contents which will show that the destiny of their life may be changed and they will be the authors, many of them will discourage. And their lives will unwind under the sign of sorrow.

Just to not waste time – and although there is an inherent continuity of the struggle within the system and the struggle against the system – just on the basis of this continuity the explicit goals must be revolutionary. But it’s very difficult. And it’s possible to lose the present, indeed, pre-revolutionary moment.

We must state: to blame for the losing of the present moment cardinal for the survival of the human species and the Earth too – for the drifts and breakdown of the “yellow vests”, if their movement proves to be inefficient, are the left-wing parties’ and unions’ bureaucratic leaderships which betrayed the mass of their organizations, which never understood that there is no “the third way” between capitalism and socialism; and the so-called “progressive”/even “leftist” intellectuals. All of these intellectuals sought to avoid, through the medium of their speculations, the possibility – and certainly the necessity – of the abolition of capitalism. These intellectuals – whose main subliminal message was and is “look what a clever man I am” – showed/show how theoretically deficient are their finds stopping at the level of criticism of capitalism/of capitalist culture (and as if this culture would have nothing to do with the capitalist structural relations), of criticism of the old theories about proletarians and of the present “inadequacy” of the popular classes to the goal of structural change; and speaking about the abstract man desired by “reforms” and “democracy”; and diverting the attention from the agenda of the popular classes to the agenda of those able to give the good hierarchy of information, as Macron said[56], and the permanent discussion about persons and not about policies[57].

Actually, all of these intellectuals have contributed to the both subliminal and explicit watchword of the powerful: “there is no alternative”.  (See, for example, the taking over by these intellectuals of the dominant agenda where the “politically correctness” is “specialised” and where there is no place for rational arguments against irrationality and barbarism, but only for a simple rejection (with or without marches etc.) that, obviously, does not attain the “right to opinion” and “pluralism”[58]).  But the deep tendency of the “yellow vests”, just through the tenacity of not stopping, has signalled that “yes, there is an alternative”.

Imagine that such an intellectual said that both Macron and the “yellow vests” “ignore” how to fit the “ecological transition” and the “social justice”; what kind of “ecological transition” that leaves untouched the destruction of environment by wars and all the connected activities?  And what is the value of focus on the “social justice” “in a country”[59], so lying within the world capitalist ocean? May a policy of social justice taking place in a country operating according to the capitalist principles of searching and aiming at the exchange value, last for long? And with which results: for both the environment and other peoples?

Most of these intellectuals criticize the system through is manifestations and results, i.e. the phenomena, but do not arrive to their structural causes.  There are few who point these structural causes, but they remain within the pattern of emphasizing the difficulty of the revolutionary transformation of capitalism, and the necessary compromise to both accept the standpoint of Western “universal” human rights[60] and the ex machina leaders who will “show” to the popular classes that they cannot realize their demands in the present system[61].  All of these intellectuals are far from the real compassion Schopenhauer has emphasized long ago, and postpones the development of solutions.

But the model of “yellow vests” movement/ their attitudes is very important to understanding the general political conscience. And the model of “yellow vests” shows that, though it is difficult to grasp the causes and articulations of contradictory aspects within the capitalist system – on the one hand, the system itself exhibits its horribly irrational and destructive faces, and on the other hand it comprises benevolent people, benevolent discourses and beneficial practices – and thus the reaction to simply protest and claim would seem to being the only one possible, just the present moment, after experiencing many years of the prevalence of the irrational and destructive faces over the beneficial ones, is that of the general awakening. And although the official intellectuals still emit the idea of differences and separation between requests, and thus the idea of and separation between policies – and “reforms” alleviating the problems being the objects of requests – as if the ecological problems would nothing to do with the capitalist logic, or the problems of distribution of wealth would nothing to do with the capitalist property – actually, they not only do but people are/have to understanding the imperative of acting together against capitalism as such.

At the same time with the yellow vests protests, the raising of a youth strike climate movement[62], and irrespective of the manoeuvres used at its beginning – capitalism trying to using as its own instrument every criticism and opposition –[63], has already spread in many countries and is aiming at the “change of the rules” and not only at begging the leaders[64]. The youth are the sons and daughters of the “”yellow vests” and thus both have to unite around radical goals understood by both[65].

Decisive questions in a decisive moment

The present moment is historical, indeed, a bifurcating one. The determination of the establishment manifests through repression without mercy. The leaders are arrested and jailed. What next?

To all the variants avoiding the revolutionary way we have to put the pragmatic questions:

What do they expect for/what do they expect from all these variants, from simple manifestations, or from strikes – even general –, or from petitions signed by as many as it’s possible[66], or from the election in the European Parliament[67], as well as in the national one, or from the discourses of Macron in his “grand national debate” where he wants to better integrate the common people by allocating more money to suburbs[68] and regions, but without changing the processes which led to the exasperation of people?

– The official behaviour, including a formidable discursive manipulation and the promise of reforms accepting the “yellow vests” demands, directs the general state of mind toward the halting of the movement/at least, the manifestations. Well, what do people expect from this halting? And how would they explain both the starting and the halting of the movement? What for/ what is the reason to be of all this huge expenditure of human energy?

And would it not be to betray the wounded in the previous demonstrations if one only continues to taking the street without other finality than to wait for/to obtain a reduction of taxes at the common people, a more progressive tax law and a little reallocation of money, or other miracle?

How can we protest against plants’ closures (as now in the USA, Mexico and Canada)  when the logical capitalist answer is that, simply, the cars and other merchandises produced there can no longer be sold, thus their production is not efficient? And in fact, does this capitalist answer not show that capitalism itself prepares its own disappearance? May we limit ourselves at the call of solidarity against the closures of plants, without understanding that no general solidarity of workers is enough to solve the problem of irrational capitalist production for profit, without being solidarity to overthrow capitalism as such?

 How can we protest for jobs when we perfectly know that both the present level of technology and the present tendency in consume limit the number of jobs in the capitalist regime of economy? How can we protest for a “real politics of growth” (as in Italy on February 10th), we perfectly knowing that this politics has malign results on the environment and simply it is no longer possible, because of the huge development of technology and productivity everywhere and thus because of the huge international competition?

Is it not clear that our unification for our demands in the frame of capitalist economy has no efficiency, and thus that we need to propose anti-system models?

Do we not risk to looking as children who only pretend, without understanding the causes and situations? Who/which institutions are interested to make us so unintelligent? So, is it not more logical and efficient to act on the causes, and thus to transform the goals and logic of economy so as the end to be the production of use values, and not of exchange values? And in order to make this transformation is it not necessary to everywhere nationalize the big means of production and economy?

What do we expect from the partial, local and insufficient ecological measures even at this level that leaves untouchable the waste of matter, energy and information from the war production and also from the advertisement industry[69] that, in capitalism, exceeds the costs and importance of production and social services?

How to call for “a peaceful solution of the political crisis of Venezuela”, i.e. “US and EU Must Refrain from Interfering in the Domestic Affairs of Venezuela[70]”, when we all of us have seen that the interference, irrespective of its forms, is a structural, because efficient, means of capitalism to impose the zero sum pattern of relations in favour of, obviously, the strongest, thus lasting, capitalism?

How can we think that the capitalist “business as usual”, proven to be irrational and harmful both internally and worldwide would bring something “more”/good?

How can we hope that the irrationality of hyper-consume[71], of rules infringement by the companies[72], of ecological rules and the deep ecological crisis, of waste and ignorance of the secondary/undesirable output of economic activities (as the nuclear waste) would disappear while at the same time we expect the continuation of capitalist growth? Do we not understand that in order to solve the aberrant economic and social phenomena, we have to re-orientate the ends and mechanic of economy? Do we not understand that in order to no longer externalize in society the economic losses we need to consider the social gains as economic gains?

How may one pass to the production of use values without the demolition of capitalism, and how may one solve the “inadequacy of capital accumulation” because of the “tapping off” the “stocks of natural deposits, of various forms of free energy and above all of that peculiar energy which is accumulated in the body of living organisms”[73] otherwise than by the transition to use values?

And how may one solve the thermodynamic equilibrium of the globe and outer space / the use and exhaustion of stocks and energies, including by wasting them, without a “minimal bioeconomic program” – i.e. “the production of all instruments of war, not only of war itself, should be prohibited completely”, “well-planned and sincerely intended measures”, transition to “organic agriculture” worldwide, “all waste of energy — by overheating, overcooling, overspeeding, overlighting, etc. — should be carefully avoided, and if necessary, strictly regulated”, “durable goods be made still more durable by being designed so as to be repairable”, to have “a substantial amount of leisure spent in an intelligent manner[74]thus, otherwise than by the transition from capitalism to socialism? Or may we expect a permanent material progress through the progress of technology – the “faster and easier” deplored by Georgescu-Roegen, and integrated in what Stengers said to be the present science subordinated to the (present stage of) capitalist system[75] – and by extorting more and more matter and energy from our environment in order to expand the wasteful individual consume as being the reason to be of the human animals? Do we not know that the technological progress does not allow the reduction of material waste and disequilibria[76]? Do we not need of ideals related to this reason to be of the humans and every human individual?

 

Perils of blind alleys

 

If the “yellow vests” and all the forces which protest do not offer a clear alternative programme, but only some demands concerning the purchasing power of the many and a referendum initiated by citizens, they will really lose and disappear. Even though their focus on the purchasing power is not only the result of their precarious condition – that objectively leads to demands related to the support of life itself –, but also the signal that only through “institutional measures” – as the government and president intend (see the “grand debate” around taxes, ecological transition, democracy and citizenship) – it’s not possible to smoothing the present deep social conflict: this is accepted even by the ruling strata of employers[77].

            Unfortunately, there are some benevolent intellectuals who – by correctly criticising those “arrogant” public intellectuals who oppose to the grassroots attempts of the “yellow vests” to being, nor alone, of course, a valuable opposition force to the present capitalist governance only ideas, and no involvement into the movement, and ideas concerning only the critique of the “yellow vests”’ demands and inconsistencies – at the same time induce to the vests some very incorrect/inefficient hopes.

The article of Boris Kagarlitsky is illustrative and very useful for all of us. Indeed, the author rightfully criticises Žižek – who denounces “populism” without defining it but suggesting that the popular demands would be “populist”/ so worth to be rejected; thus Žižek behaves as a non-philosopher, since he does consider neither the historical and social origin of the concept of populism and nor its different and opposed meanings – but unfortunately adopts an inconsistent standpoint. For yes, Žižek is right when saying that the decent and meaningful life of the many is not possible in the present system and he does not doubt about the complexity of step by step attempts to practically understand and impose efficient measures of social control, he only deems that the type of “yellow vests”’ demands are, on the one hand, no longer possible to be meet in the present phase of capitalism and on the other hand, denote the contradictory character and reductionism the ruled have been formed by capitalism. And he is right, with all his aphoristic speech.

Or, Kagarlitsky thinks that “yellow vests”’ demands may be meet because there were times when these demands were fulfilled, and only the ugly neo-liberalism from the last 30 years has overthrown the previous social reforms; thus, it would be possible to have them “within capitalism”.

Well, if the author would joke he would be welcomed. More is the pity he does not. He considers – in the same line with right-wing liberals criticising globalisation and thinking that the return of a Keynesian economics would bee possible by the taxing of land and polluters (Stiglitz[78]), but also with all the “left-wing” parties and unions’ bureaucracies protesting in the name of the former welfare state – that it would/will be a hard work in order to create “new forms and new possibilities for its (i.e. welfare state’s) development”, but nevertheless it is possible, and even easy. For the author, the problem is thus not the financial revenues from which the mass welfare may be fulfilled “within the existing capitalist economy”: “One can create effective state enterprises, and use the profits for social needs. One can increase taxes on large corporations, or at least take away some of the tax benefits the transnationals enjoyed in almost all countries in the last decade. One can reduce the benefits for the upper layers of bureaucracy, and stop wasting resources on the meaningless ‘prestigious’ projects, one can cut spending on the repressive apparatus, or one can fight corruption more effectively”; the problem is simply that the ruling elites want not because those measures would “contradict their interests”. But why do the ruling elite not want those measures? The author does not descend to this trivial aspect; but just this aspect emphasises that in the present phase of capitalism, with so many suppliers on the world market, thus a so huge competition, as well as a so high technical level and thus productivity, the profit rate generally decreases and the only means of capitalists to compensate it is to economize all the money which are not private profit, on a priority basis necessary to reinvest in speculation and the buying of common goods. (And obviously, no reduction of benefits of the upper layers of bureaucracy and no cuts in the costs of the repressive apparatus may be done, since the upper layers of bureaucracy are part and parcel of the ruling elites, while the repressive apparatus is necessary to them as the air is).

The fact that most of the demands were realised during the welfare state was the result of the national character of capital-labour force: namely, the capital had at its disposal only the national labour force that ought to be controlled through welfare in order to be aligned to the dominant policies; as well as the capital had at its disposal only the national labour force as source of demand/market, and as this source had a higher demand as the continuity of the economic process of profit generation was more stable. But the gallop of the search of capital to being autonomous towards the national labour force, i.e. the gallop of trans-nationalisation (delocalisation, deregulation, financialisation) of economic processes[79], led that the trans-national capital to having at is disposal the labour force and the markets from all over the world.

But, with all trans-nationalisation – this meaning the entering of capitalism in a new, trans-national phase – capitalism is at the same time in system crisis. This crisis manifests not only in all the domains but it shows contradictions which are not all manageable[80] and is the result of the fact that the capitalist structural relations already have malign consequences in all the domains, including in the development of productive forces, which exceed by far the stimuli they had before on these forces[81].  Thus, the solution of “yellow vests” – and generally, the necessary solution for the popular demands – is not to demand some economic alleviation[82] objectively impossible today within the system, but to force the abolition of those malign consequences which just the popular masses support and are more harmed by them.

The idea that the welfare reforms are still possible has thus a quite reactionary feature: it confuses people and prevents them to understand what kind of demands they must promote. And letting aside the irony of Macron’s responses, when answering that the demands of “yellow vests” are impossible, the system itself helps to understanding that just its demolition is necessary. Therefore, indeed only the class struggle may obtain the popular demands, but only outside the system, against it, not in the system. From this standpoint, the obstinate demands of economic alleviation are not at all a “transitional programme”, but only one which is doomed to failure.

Finally, we have to remember that – if the national liberation movements from Asia, Africa, Latin America were not only heroic[83] but also waged at least by most of their fighters in the name of social liberation too – the countries/political regimes generated by these movements have followed a way of double mistake: they do not consistently aim at the social values and, especially when they did but not only, they have assumed an extractivist policy of intensive exploitation of their raw materials (including oil)[84], not only by being confronted to the extractivist imperialism[85] but also by considering the extractivist policy as the rapid means to attain their development goals[86]. But they did not succeed at all. On the contrary. The history of the former colonial and present neo-colonial countries/caught in an exhausted and “insufficient” extractivism should have been a warning for those who advice the (impossible) accomplishment of the alleviation of the situation of the many in the present system: because, as the above extractivist model, the alleviation – if it would take place at all – would mean the continuation of capitalism. Or, this continuation as such is malign, including for the standard of living.

 

Three points showed by philosophy

  1. a) The epistemology of all the modern history of political attitudes of the ruled shows as their main methodological causes and features the fragmentation, separation and isolation of the opposition of the popular classes. This is, obviously, a threefold problem: of technological means to surpass these causes and features, of power of manipulation by the dominant ideologies and their bearers, and of clear theories educating the new contents of the worldviews of the people. And b) the epistemology of all the modern history of political attitudes of the ruled shows the cardinal importance of rational arguments “all the way” for the changing of the condition of being dominated. Since the ruling class opposes this changing, it certainly opposes the rational arguments “all the way”. A conscious epistemological fallacy it professes is the lack of differentiation between – let’s use Kant’s differentiations – the judgements of taste and the empirical judgements (which are so complicated that they are synthetic). The dominant class treats the social – economic, political – problems as if they would be the result of choices according to judgements of taste, subjective, without concept but claiming universal/general validity. Or, the rational argumentation “all the way” does undertake at the same time the questioning of the claims of universal/general validity, the genealogy of the subjective choices and the construction of criteria for action according to their consequences.

  1. Social philosophy implies to know political economy. Or, according to the critical analyses in a dissident manner, the capitalist system has to be overcome because – and certainly because of the development of technology so as it makes the most part of use values, as well as because of the huge world competition – the capital (the economic power, concentrated in the means of production and existence, as well as in the money flows, owned by private (individual and collective) owners aiming at their maximizing their private profit and power, irrespective of the means and results of their private goals, so the economic power resulted from the economic relations between the private owners and the labour force) fructifies itself as more exchange value/ value for itself at an ever-lower level. Therefore, due to the development of technology, the capital can no longer extract value and surplus value from the ever-lower number of living labour. This happens in the production seen in the classic way (without the upstream of scientific research and without the downstream of advertisement and marketing). And this is the reason of the expanding of fictitious capital (Marx)/the present financialisation as constitutive to the present capitalism.

So, the extraction of surplus value from the use of the capital is more and more problematic. As constant capital, technology does not create exchange value, and thus the economic reason of the capital as such vanishes. To counter this, it considers the existence of the (exchange) value everywhere in society, including in the upstream and downstream of production (for the entire society is framed by the capitalist logic) and even the expanding of this value through virtual relations and production. And because the constant capital has substituted the role of living labour in the production of values, the wages as such and the economic support of the useless labour force – for the capital – are unreasonable in capitalism. Even though – and letting here aside the humanistic values and the political precaution – the capital no longer needs the labour force qua work force, it needs it qua consumers, the only source of the legitimating of  the nominal (increasing) value it owns.  And just for this reason, on the one hand, the abolition of capitalism means the substitution of the economic logic of exchange values with the economic logic of use values; while on the other hand, to still consider the work as quantifiable – divided in work for the capital and work for the support of the labour force – is more and more absurd in an economy where the service part is increasingly bigger than the direct production and where the service is more and more necessary (so “lucrative”) for society; but only with the assuming of the economic logic of use values the surpassing of the quantification of the work and the labour time will disappear; and on another hand, it’s no longer possible to repeat the old illusions related to the use of capitalist logic of lucrativeness “within the future socialist unit” (in order to make a “competitive socialism”), because the future socialism cannot repeat the former one occurred during the dominance of capitalist economy.

Accordingly, the deletion of capitalism is the interest of every one not in the name of the expansion of consume, but in the name of common problems of humanity, impossible to solve within capitalism (to consume in a different way, to consider the environment, the common goods and the development of the human uniqueness of every one and all). The important mean – since technology is that which creates the most of the use values – is the transformation of the work: from subordinated to the production of exchange values, to work aiming at the production of use values[87], this meaning including the activities leading to the development of the human uniqueness of every one and all. In this respect has Marx said no only that only communism will be the “empire of freedom” (from the necessity to work for subsistence/exchange value)[88], but also that the future work “in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic”[89].

Since the present capitalism shows the structural crisis of capitalism, meaning that it already has created not only the objective conditions for its abrogation but also the intolerable results of the entire historical process of creation of the objective conditions for its abrogation  (as the ecological disruption), we can no longer wait for anything good from it. See, related to the ecological crisis, the present more than lax “gradualism” of the ecological measures worldwide, in fact a postponement of a change of economy according to the ecological urgency, in order to give more time to the capitalist “business as usual”. For this reason, the manifestations related to climate urgency too in Belgium had their slogan: “Let change the system, not climate”[90].

Therefore, instead of waiting that capitalism itself to accomplish its own abolition through the exhaustion of the means used in order to survive (for compensating the fall of the profit rate), the “yellow vests” of the world must obviate “the risk, especially in its alliance with technologies, of selling off every possible future of humanity, and of the planet itself, to prolong for a few more years the accumulation of value”[91].

  1. Is the permanent centre of the philosophical thinking the human individual? Broadly, yes, it is. But we know that the meaning of concepts and their treatment was and is depending on the historical worldviews and their social clash. From his standpoint, we may assume that the individual as the “specific form of the human being” was promoted by the modern, Western capitalist era. In this ideology, the individual represented the human species, which nobody talked about anymore, and the individual was the alter ego of the philosopher, that who could speak and thus was (the only one) entitled to speak. The individual was the only actor/subject, the origin of society, and the society was a simple join of individuals. The individual and the society were separated and had different origin and essence: as if the individual – and in the political theory, the well-to-do individual – did not need anybody, and as if only the society would have benefited from the existence of the individual. Nevertheless, the individual depended on the others and made of this dependence the law of the entire society. Well, continuing the former pre-modern situation, from the beginning of the modern Western era onwards the simple population was banned from gathering in assemblies and coagulate in organisations; but the well-offs were helped to unite, to thus impose to others their will and to take profit from this: as if they would have constituted mafias running protection rackets[92].

The public/mainstream intellectuals

The contemporary intellectuals – bureaucratic, so dependent layer on its selling to those who have the economic and political power – have continued to represent the world through their own persons and to equate/reduce the world to their comfortable places where they were the only punditry tasked to represent “the public voice”. It’s not difficult to understand that the aggression wars waged by imperialism in other countries does no save democracy and nor the exasperation of the peoples from these countries when seeing thee destruction of their countries and lives. Nevertheless, the contemporary public – thus dominant – intellectuals were interested not in helping these peoples as well as the peoples of their own countries – which manifested against the aggression in Iraq in 2003 – but in writing clever papers about the institutions which would ordering within the class antagonisms and thus about the autonomy and predominance of democratic politics over the vulgar economic contradictions. (Certainly, like all the systems one to the other/as all the subsystems in society, politics have its autonomy towards economy etc., but by separating the political from the economic interests and by reducing politics to the ability of communication from the top to the rest of society the result is only the strengthening of the capitalist domination in its obviously present forms).

The bureaucracy is an intermediary social layer, mediating between classes but from the standpoint of the upper strata, because it is not independent economically and thus has to sell itself. This characteristic of selling itself seems to be similar to that of proletarians: but though the intellectuals also have this proletarian nature – the more so as bureaucracy itself is stratified, thus comprising, besides its upper strata, lower and medium strata, more and more assimilated with “ordinary proletarians”[93] –, their professional skill (intellectual expertise) allows them to use it in a capitalist manner, i.e. to use it for their own interests by selling it to those who may buy them and accomplish these interests. Certainly, there is rather the upper strata of bureaucracy who behave in such a manner, but we have to grasp the roots of the complicate and contradictory attitudes of intellectual layers in general; the fact that even the non- upper strata of bureaucracy have been influenced by the dominant ideologies is – and obviously letting aside the means of these ideologies – just the result of the ambivalent condition of intellectuals (as proletarian and as servant with intellectual skills, thus having the basis of exiting from their proletarian nature and climbing into the dominant elites).

Obviously, the intellectuals cannot behave as if they would know nothing about the social problems. Bothered, they have “find” as their cause the state, or even the society as the impersonal “they”. And it’s neither about the traditional modern thinking opposing to the civil society the state, and even nor about Heidegger’s position almost 90 years ago: but about the present attacks against the state’s attempts of “concentrating its power” against the private companies. And when doubting in themselves about the entitlement of “society’s attack against the elites” they too are part of, these intellectuals do never question the structural relations of capitalism: these relations are eternal and unquestionable.

The mainstream intellectuals are impotent: they wait for “the people” to apply their teachings: or maybe not, they do not want this because their self-esteem requires their belonging to the elite the people will never take part of, thus requires the perpetuation forever of the class domination. Certainly, the mainstream intellectuals do not think to the “yellow vests” and to all the anonyms behind the “yellow vests” as to unique human beings, therefore these ones will never be for them ends, but only means. And one manner to depreciate these means is just the despising of the behaviour of the common people to wait for the policies and politicians to do something for the common good: but in fact, is this behaviour not a simple copy of their own “superiority”?

Indeed, by avoiding in different ways to see the class interests and antagonisms, by taking over just the problems posed by the dominant ideologies in order to erase the class conflicts (see the problems of the body identity, the political pluralism – but only inside the capitalist system), the public intellectuals have prevented the time to thinking to concrete means of solving the world contradictions of the world configured by capitalism. The tragedies made by imperialism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Yugoslavia and many other places in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the tragedies lived by the human individuals living in countries attacked by imperialist sanctions (as Venezuela[94]) did not stop   the public intellectuals, as well as many “left-wing” organisations to consider that nothing is more important than to impose the capitalist interests and liberal democracy.

            All of these intellectuals have contributed to and even induced the general feeling that capitalism, all the more as it is trans-national, is so strong that it would be impossible to dislocate it. Its continuation would show that the capitalist march would be irreversible. And because these intellectuals do not have a holistic/ integrated perspective – and they do not understand political economy – they have proposed (when they really did this) different political measures “in a country”, and neo-Keynesian ones. But as the recent history has demonstrated, it’s no longer possible to have efficient neo-Keynesian measures “in a country” because, on the one hand, the big problem in capitalism is not so much the support of the state for different national industries[95], but where to sell the products of these industries, and on the other hand, in order to implement social measures the danger of extractivism is real.

However, if the objective tendencies of capitalism – absolutely destructive – are irreversible because they are the results of structural relations and contradictions, at the same time all of these relations and contradictions take place through the human actions. This “subjective factor” may bifurcate/ change the course in the articulations of society: use the above irreversible tendencies in favour of humans. Opposed to the mechanical thinking of all these intellectuals who maintain that capitalism is irreversible – they choosing to be on the side of the winners and repudiating “the unnecessary”[96] – the criticism of the destiny of the humans if they absolutely fall under the power of capitalism has shown that for the human beings, really, there is no alternative to the abolition of capitalism[97].

The contents of organisation

Therefore, as during the post-war welfare state some national/public properties and sectors were efficient supporting the development of the country/ as the public control on many sectors has generated a huge development of the countries, as the programme of the “yellow vests” – and of all the popular and democratic forces from all the countries – must comprise:

  • the nationalisation of all the strategic sectors (financial-banking, advertisement and PR, media, education, scientific research, health care[98], mining, infrastructure (including cultural infrastructure), industry (including the IT), water (including lakes, rivers and wetlands, exclusive economic zones in seas/territorial seas, groundwater systems), transport, energy, different types of agricultural lands (including all types of pastures and land reserves), thus,
  • the public control over the state-owned assets, and not the secretive bureaucratic one,
  • the economic macro-planning, including the export, according to the needs of population,  and
  • the rapid ecological transition, reducing the present postponing in the international agreements, and this mean the immediate analysis of activities from the standpoint of their use value, and thus
  • abolition of all wars and dissolution of all the activities related to warfare, thus
  • relocation of jobs/labour force in long-term education planning and re-training for peaceful activities, and
  • abrogation of all privileges, special wages and pensions, public financial subsidizing of “royal families”[99], religious institutions and all kinds of elected or nominated officials. As the owners of private property will be suppressed as a class, as the upper officials will become suppressed as bureaucratic layer. And since the freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution, the allocation of funds to the religious institutions depends on the local and national communities according to their needs, and
  • the absolute public/state guarantee of decent wages and pensions according to the needs of individuals and society at the same time
  • the absolute public/free services of health care and education[100].

Some economic observations:

1) nationalisation is/has to be made as a non-capitalist measure: neither as temporary means to rebuild economy for the sake of future privatisations and private ownership, nor as subordinated to the private profit/capitalist logic[101]; but only if nationalisation takes part from a general non-capitalist politics – i.e. transforming the economy from  exchange value centred to one centred on use value – will it (nationalisation) be efficient from the standpoint of a new economy and politics; namely, in a capitalist type economy the state ownership cannot be efficient without using capitalist management: thus either the state owned plant decides “absolutely democratically who will be fired so that the company remains ‘competitive’”[102] or externalises/transfers the loss on the shoulders of the entire society;  but if neither of these two alternatives is good – and neither for the individuals nor for the entire society – the national/public ownership has to avoid them by relating the efficient management to the creation of use value, and thus showing that it does not take part from the capitalist system;

2) Nowadays the technical level of productive means and forces guarantees, as objective condition, the socialist transformation. Indeed, how can a quantum server in the cloud be private? As capitalism has developed for private profit the previous technologies, as it wants to use IT, including the quantum technologies, for private profit: i.e. for better exhausting the means of existence/life and for better controlling and subordinating the human lives to the private profit. (And since the halting of the objective condition is difficult for capitalism – on the contrary, it wants to use technology more capitalisto and subordinated to its interest – the only thing remaining to it is to halt as it can the subjective condition of class conscience.  Well, it’s more and more difficult also to it);

3) The banking and, generally, the financial system, has to be subordinated just to the new logic of economy (aiming at use values); this means the reconstruction of the idea of bank profit, thus the rejection of speculative movements required by the private interest;

4) The problem of nationalisation implies the one of compensation. Concerning this one, it is according to the new logic of economy to consider: 1) the nominal values in the present financialised economy as being absolutely fantasist, meaning unbounded by the real economy, so no compensation would be entitled to pay fantasist sums, and 2) all privatisations of big economic units were made with money not being the result of the working of those who rather snatched those units, and 3) both the internal and trans-national capital owners are entitled to receive but a symbolic compensation; let’s remember that after 1990, the law of the property restitution in Hungary stipulated a very limited compensation irrespective of the market value of the property, and never in nature; the problem of compensation is not between “poor owners and the grabbing state”, but  between classes;

            5) The institution of the new economy emphasises the struggle between the regaining of the popular sovereignty and the definitive abandonment of the popular sovereignty; actually, the abandonment of the popular sovereignty means death for the people, because the capital – that controls the means of existence – may well stop the access to them if it is jeopardised by the people;

            6) As it was demonstrated, just in order to assure a decent consume by common people the present system has to be surpassed. So, it’s about both consume and a decent one, namely even at the level of consume the tendency to surpass/radically criticise capitalism manifests: the ecologist and economical consume, refusing prodigality, are more and more understood, but this neither means asceticism nor do people separate their thrifty treatment of their own consume and the wasting made by the institutions of capital.   Therefore, it’s very important “building social movements around everyday life and basic needs”[103], as the “yellow vests” do, but it is not enough.

All of these aspects mean:

  • the necessity of organisation, continuing and developing the grass-root assemblies[104] –  at classical (industry and agricultural units) level,  services level (delivery workers, the restaurant workers, the supermarket workers, “why would we say that producing cars is more important than producing hamburgers?”[105]) and territorial level –
  • but not remaining at them: because there are needs requiring centralised decisions, even at world scale;
  • and though in present to the “more decentralized configuration of capital” a certain rejection of centralised opposition and hierarchy corresponds, actually,
  • the organisation as such configures and lasts only if it proposes and is the result of a clear anti-capitalist agenda and the conquest of the state; yes, “very narrow demands open up space for much more revolutionary outcomes”[106], but to not waste the opportunity of these outcomes, i.e. to accomplish the economic individual and social needs, the multilevel but coherent organisation must propose the political conquest too;
  • the necessity to consistently act in the, indeed, revolutionary transformation, namely to avoid the naïve “cohabitation” policy of both pro-capitalist and anti-system forces (this “cohabitation” paving Allende government’s falling), and also to avoid the betrayal of revolutionary institutions, as the assemblies and councils elected by assemblies, by pro-capitalist forces (as happened in Germany’s Social-Democrat regime elected in 1919, and that destroyed the Central Council of the Workers and the Soldiers Councils, the highest revolutionary organs the 1918 uprising). The consolidation of power depends just on the consistency of revolutionary policies.

And now

The influence of dominant ideologies and the habit of submissive psychology are huge. Many people follow the dominant model of thinking – that fragments and isolates the tackling of social phenomena, and that acts accordingly, in different organisations/committees and initiating calls for better policies in different and separated realms, and as if these calls would solve something –. This is the model of patching up, applied by both the dominant politics – suggesting that the system would be good, only some aspects requiring some corrections – and the ruled formed within the dominant thinking and considering that the system would be unavoidable and thus the different manners to adapt to it would make the difference between a simple botching and a mending with some beneficial results.

 It’s important to understand that – and in spite of all the songs about the individual – the dominant model of thinking circles around the system: as if the health of the capitalist system would involve and lead to the wellness of every individual. In the dominant model of thinking, the criterion and stake is the (capitalist) system. The moment when people snatch out of the dominant model of thinking is that when the criterion and stake of their judgements is the every individual[107] and all of them[108]. Thus: not the abstract individual of capitalism, that excludes the reference to and the existence of the individuals exterior to the capitalist way of life. Only when the criterion and stake is the every individual and all of them, the questioning of the reason to be/the telos[109] of the system and its policies takes place. (At philosophical level: only when the criterion and stake is the every individual and all of them, the reasonability and continuity of Kant’s categorical imperative and Marx’s insistence on the economic and political conditions of this ethical normative criterion are clear).

But if the common people take over the dominant model of thinking, they will fall under the exclusivist and egoist banners of defence inside the walls of their imagined isolate community: the banners of “defence against immigration”[110] and alleviating reforms “in a country”.

We know that, traditionally, the reforms – which, once more, are no longer possible at all – correspond to the minimalist social-democratic policy of “left” parties and of unions, seeking to obtain something within the system, preserving it. The “yellow vests” movement shows that the road is that of maximal demands: those against the system, changing it.

But since the parties and unions, as well as many intellectuals did not contribute to the innovation of new social practices and their concrete steps – on the contrary, the latter have separated their centres of interest from those of the population, while all of these factors have even stopped the process of social innovation – the “yellow vests” do this innovation. Of course, it is very difficult: sometimes seeming they are stepping back.  And in front of this difficulty, those with weak hearts may discourage.

In these three months, the “yellow vests” have united in common spaces highlighting their simple human status (against the status of individual buyers within the frame of capitalist selling-buying relationships). They became conscious in accelerated way that they have been fooled, by remaining too much time – and it’s about their time, the unique and unrepeatable time of every individual in the trap of begging reforms within the system, of alternatively voting in a punitive way against those voted in the previous elections, of hoping within the system. But now, and with all the huge manipulations made by the dominant ideology – as the one of the organising of manifestations against anti-Semitism on 19 February, after Alain Finkielkraut was verbally aggressed on 16 February by some “yellow vests” (and an immediate desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Alsace), as if their movement would be anti-Semitic, and thus adding an extra way of intimidating them – they woke up; they are getting ready to face the conclusions of their entire experience of life: that the alternative is outside the capitalist system[111]. They know they must not stop, must coagulate in a decisive manner – in order to be really the people – and the happiness to have an ideal/a social ideal of emancipation (and not only individual aspirations), as well as the burden of their historical responsibility overwhelm them[112].

On the one hand, the establishment waits for the “natural” extinction of the movement. On the other, it is ready for some concessions related to the purchasing power[113] – which it will withdraw when it will control again the “wild popular opposition”, as usually. And though most of population understands and supports the “yellow vests”, they did not go out to manifest to deepen the ranks of those who sacrifice their individual time for the sake of all. But this only declarative support makes more vulnerable all the categories of wage earners, pensioners, independents, petty shop earners: with all the concessions of the rulers. And on the other hand, the establishment helps itself with the traditional so-called “left” organisations: which continue to promote the fake, declarative standpoint of establishment supporting “democracy”[114] and which continue to fragment and fool the dominated masses. But just against this behaviour is necessary to dissolve the distinction/separation between unions, begging only material demands, and political parties of the oppressed. Already nowadays, the confidence in all these institutions is at the lowest possible level: but the conscious initiative to construct new organisations, uniting the economic and political programmes and their self-critique, is necessary.

***

 

Therefore, what is our position in front of decent people saying “we do not endure anymore”? Do we not understand that the philosophers must finally approach the world also through the eyes of these people?

Do we not understand that we have to pay our debts issued from our traditional amalgamating of the sufferings – though these one were not a favourite philosophical theme – as if the socially induced suffering would be absolutely of same nature as the suffering from love?

Do we not understand that between our debts there are also those related to the cardinal philosophical concepts we never focused on? One of these concepts is that of irreversibility. When natheless the philosophers approached it, they sought to neutralise it, by relating it to the infinite, because repetitive, time of cosmological and quantum processes: but never to the finite time of the human beings. Or, as Heidegger, they have discussed the inevitable finite time of the human beings only in terms of the inevitable death that would level/equalise the position of all the human beings towards death and time, as if neither the actual content of life nor the different ways of death were of any importance. Just for this reason, they were not sensitive to the problems of the irremediable and the concepts describing them. Rather they have amalgamated the inevitability of the human irremediable and the possibility of punctual remedies “never attaining the human irremediable”.   Nevertheless, the problems of the remediable and the irremediable are, before anything else, problems of the man, emphasising the subject-object relations perhaps in the most percussive way.

Do we not understand that, overthrowing both the theories of relativism and of fix/infallible values resulted from different wills of different heavens, the concept of the intolerable, the inevitable, and the famous couple of the possible and the impossible[115], are between our present urgencies?

The present situation of the world makes it to being on the brink of multiple collapses. The philosophy is, as it is well-known, the representative of the social conscience of an epoch. And now, with all the development of “professional” philosophers – closed within their different “domains of expertise” – the humans still contribute to the continuity of crises leading inexorably to extinction. By considering that they deserve – and they really do – the conditions guaranteeing them the decent life according to their merit (they never thinking that they would have privileges), people seem incapable to think to others who have no their conditions. Neither the philosophers/ “essayists” have considered the common appurtenance to the human species, but only to general or particular abstractions. And nor the philosophers/ “essayists” do think to themselves as representing the human species, while they do no longer protect neither the larger space without which they cannot live. No, they continue to think that, as the animals towards which they proudly consider themselves to being superior, defending their private space would be enough. But we all know that it is not.  Is their human responsibility bigger than that of the humans to whom they think to show the way? Unfortunately, both seem to accept the inexorable defeat of the human species. Do we agree with them?

[1] Jean-Yves Dormagen et Geoffrey Pion, « Le mouvement des “gilets jaunes” n’est pas un rassemblement aux revendications hétéroclites », Le Monde, 28 décembre 2018, europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article47354.

[2] Cristophe Guilluy et Cristophe Noyé, Atlas des nouvelles fractures sociales, Autrement, 2004.

[3] Meeting “Alliance Gilets Jaunes et Quartiers Populaires”, 13/02/2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/meeting-alliance-gilets-jaunes-et-quartiers-populaires/, showing the Facebook address
https://www.facebook.com/events/743772192673729/?ti=ia.

   But see also https://www.rt.com/on-air/451400-yellow-vest-support-victim/, in the manifestation from Argenteuil in 13 February, under the sign of continuity between the 2005 revolts of popular neighbourhoods inhabited with many immigrant origin French, and the “yellow vests” movement.

[4] See Recensement provisoire des blessé-es des manifestations du mois de novembre-décembre 2018, 4 janvier 2019, https://desarmons.net/index.php/2019/01/04/recensement-provisoire-des-blesses-graves-des-manifestations-du-mois-de-decembre-2018/, Gilets jaunes : éclats de grenades, brûlures, membres arrachés… retour sur 82 blessures graves, 11 janvier 2019, https://www.liberation.fr/france/2019/01/11/gilets-jaunes-eclats-de-grenades-brulures-membres-arraches-retour-sur-82-blessures-graves_1702433; the idea of use of “non-lethal” ammunition was deconstructed in “Gilets jaunes” : les réponses aux dix questions que vous vous posez sur le flash-ball et son utilisation par les forces de l’ordre, https://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/transports/gilets-jaunes/gilets-jaunes-on-repond-a-dixquestions-que-vous-vous-posez-sur-le-flash-ball-et-son-utilisation-par-les-forces-de-l-ordre_3138997.html, and the severely injured have launched a call for the interdiction of these “non-lethal” weapons, Sophie Chapelle, Gravement blessés, des manifestants appellent à un « acte XII » pour l’interdiction des grenades et flashballs, 17 janvier 2019, https://www.bastamag.net/Gravements-blesses-des-manifestants-appellent-a-un-acte-XII-pour-l-interdiction; 21/01/2019, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/gravement-blesses-des-manifestants-appellent-a-un-acte-xii-pour-linterdiction-des-grenades-et-flashballs/.

[5] Régis de Castelnau, Gilets jaunes: quand la justice se prend pour la police; La justice est là pour rendre justice, pas pour rétablir l’ordre, 13 janvier 2019, http://www.vududroit.com/2019/01/gilets-jaunes-justice-rendre-justice-retablir-lordre/, Sévère répression des gilets jaunes : la justice française est-elle en train de préfèrer l’ordre à la justice ?, https://www.atlantico.fr/decryptage/3563628/severe-repression-des-gilets-jaunes–la-justice-francaise-est-elle-en-train-de-preferer-l-ordre-a-la-justice-; and see the centre-wing deputy Charles de Courson’s observation about the curing of the law governing the “right” to manifest: Loi anticasseurs : «On se croit revenu sous le régime de Vichy» dénonce de Courson, 31 Jan. 2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/loi-anticasseurs-on-se-croit-revenu-sous-le-regime-de-vichy-denonce-de-courson/.

   Régis de Castelnau, Répression judiciaire des Gilets Jaunes : Edouard Philippe fait du chiffre, 12 fevr. 2019, https://www.atlantico.fr/decryptage/3565887/condamnations-de-gilets-jaunes–la-curieuse-approche-quantitative-de-la-justice-mise-en-avant-par-edouard-philippe-.

   But see also the measures of intimidation and obstruction, as the announce that the hut erected by the “yellow vests” in Commercy (where they called a meeting of Assembly of Assemblies in 26 and 27 January) will be demolished, see Défendons la cabane des gilets jaunes de Commercy !, 19 janvier, 21/01/2019, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/defendons-la-cabane-des-gilets-jaunes-de-commercy/.

[6] Laurent Dauré, 12 fake news macronistes sur les Gilets jaunes,  28 janvier.2019, https://www.les-crises.fr/12-fake-news-macronistes-sur-les-gilets-jaunes-1re-partie-par-laurent-daure/.

[7] See «Acte 14» des «gilets jaunes»: 41.500 manifestants ont défilé en France, 16/02/2019, http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2019/02/16/01016-20190216ARTFIG00084-acte-14-des-gilets-jaunes-des-milliers-de-manifestants-defilent-a-nouveau.php:Tensions erupted at the head of the procession stopped by the police… On the spot, our journalists noticed shots fired (especially stones) on the part of the demonstrators followed by a response of the forces of the order”.

[8] See We became guardians of law’: French govt ‘exploits’ police, union head says after protest violence (17 Feb. 2019), 19 Feb. 2019, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/27278-2/.

[9] Félix Boggio Éwanjé-Épée, Le gilet jaune comme signifiant flottant, 24/11/2018,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/le-gilet-jaune-comme-signifiant-flottant/: “It is not uncommon to see amateur videos where a group of yellow vests yells to the police ‘with us! with us ! we understand you do your job!’. And then launching projectiles and firing teargas. To end by saying, we made them go back! Travelers with us!’. In practice, the goal of each and everyone is to move forward, to go somewhere, as at the Élysée, on a roundabout, and confrontation with the state becomes an essential issue: hence the scenes of jubilation when a group forces a police roadblock or when another one erects barricades Place de l’Étoile”.

   But see also the kicking of a police officer in the face, on 9 February, http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2019/02/09/97001-20190209FILWWW00072-video-gilets-jaunes-un-policier-recoit-un-coup-a-la-tete.php.

[10] François Cusset, in Violences : « Comparer des voitures brûlées avec les ravages du néolibéralisme depuis 40 ans est absurde », 11 février 2019,  https://www.bastamag.net/Violences-Comparer-des-voitures-brulees-avec-les-ravages-du-neoliberalisme.

[11] William Audureau et Adrien Sénécat, Dans le Facebook des « gilets jaunes » : le vrai du faux des affirmations, le 31 janvier 2019, https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2019/01/31/dans-le-facebook-des-gilets-jaunes-le-vrai-du-faux-des-affirmations_5417270_4355770.html.

   Also Régis de Castelnau, Gilets Jaunes et manipulations étatiques de la violence : une vieille histoire, Mondialisation.ca, 11 février 2019, https://www.mondialisation.ca/gilets-jaunes-et-manipulations-etatiques-de-la-violence-une-vieille-histoire/5630985.

[12] Comment les “gilets jaunes” ont mis en place des services d’ordre pour encadrer leurs manifestations, 20/01/2019, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/comment-les-gilets-jaunes-ont-mis-en-place-des-services-dordre-pour-encadrer-leurs-manifestations/.

[13] http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2019/02/09/01016-20190209ARTFIG00071-gilets-jaunes-un-manifestant-grievement-blesse-a-paris.php.

http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2019/02/09/01016-20190209ARTFIG00049-des-gilets-jaunes-defilent-a-nouveau-a-paris-et-en-regions-pour-l-acte-xiii.php.

[14] David Harvey: Consolidating Power, “The left has to rethink its theoretical and tactical apparatus”, Roar Magazine, December 9, 2015, https://roarmag.org/magazine/david-harvey-consolidating-power/.

[15] See Nicolas Duvoux, Cédric Lomba, Où va la France populaire ?,  Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 2019.

[16] Félix Boggio Éwanjé-Épée, Le gilet jaune comme signifiant flottant, 24/11/2018,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/le-gilet-jaune-comme-signifiant-flottant/.

[17] Dimitris, Konstantakopoulos, France: A new stage for the Yellow Vests Revolution, 02/04/2019, https://uwidata.com/1829-france-a-new-stage-for-the-yellow-vests-revolution/: “The only important lower social stratum that we haven’t seen represented in Commercy, is that of the workers and unemployed French citizens of African origin, the sons of the immigration, “the world of Banlieus – of the suburban communities, who are now more isolated than ever, even from the left which was once present in their neighbourhoods”.

[18] See Alain Finkielkraut injurié : le parquet de Paris ouvre une enquête, 17 fevr 2019, http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2019/02/17/97001-20190217FILWWW00045-alain-finkielkraut-injurie-le-parquet-de-paris-ouvre-une-enquete.php: “The academician was attacked by several individuals shouting ‘dirty Zionist’, ‘go home’, ‘dirty shit’.

[19] Stathis Kouvélakis, Gilets Jaunes, l’urgence de l’acte, 21 janvier 2019, http://www.contretemps.eu/gilets-jaunes-urgence-acte-kouvelakis/, citing sociological researches and polls.

[20] La Défaite de la pensée, Paris, Gallimard, 1987.

[21] The concept of ideology describes that people – and “also” the intellectuals – reflect upon all the aspects of society and man according to their experience, i.e. to their social/class position. There is no neutral worldview and culture.

[22] See https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/demesarchives?source=feed_text&epa=HASHTAG&__tn__=*NK-R, where there is a reminder of Alain Finkielkraut’s racism related to the 2005 revolts in the Paris neighbourhoods, citing L’Observateur de 24 November 2005 with the translation in French of the interview given by Alain Finkielkraut to the journal Haaretz. On the wiki page of Alain Finkielkraut – https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Finkielkraut#Publications, accessed 19 February 2019 – there are both the  article in Haaretz (Interview par Dror Mishani et Aurélia Samothraiz, 18 novembre 2005 texte en hébreu [archive]) and

Finkielkraut s’abîme dans une diatribe raciste [archive] sur l’humanite.fr, 25 Novembre 2005, https://www.humanite.fr/node/339309, with direct traslations from Haaretz; however, according to Alain Finkielkraut’s wiki page, there was a translation in Le Monde too.

[23] Lettre ouverte à Alain Finkielkraut, par Alain Badiou, 18 avril 2016, https://bibliobs.nouvelobs.com/idees/20151112.OBS9357/lettre-ouverte-a-alain-finkielkraut-par-alain-badiou.amp?fbclid=IwAR2C-QVkpohYAI5rFYyYdh31GGRfdmo4z0rPE3OUl17AkDipJrPrd3a-2Vw.

[24] « Gilets jaunes » : de la colère à la haine, 18 fevr 2019, https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2019/02/18/gilets-jaunes-de-la-colere-a-la-haine_5424853_3224.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1550488558.

[25] See Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1875), part I, marxists.org 1999, pp. 10-11: “Any distribution whatever of the means of consumption is only a consequence of the distribution of the conditions of production themselves. The latter distribution, however, is a feature of the mode of production itself… Vulgar socialism (and from it in turn a section of the democrats) has taken over from the bourgeois economists the consideration and treatment of distribution as independent of the mode of production and hence the presentation of socialism as turning principally on distribution”.

[26] Antisémitisme : les « gilets jaunes » face à leurs responsabilités, 18 fevr. 2019, https://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2019/02/18/antisemitisme-les-gilets-jaunes-face-a-leurs-responsabilites_5424824_823448.html: the same is with some anti-Semitic attitudes which the “yellow vests” did not want to condemn in order to not divide the movement.

[27] François Cusset, in Violences : « Comparer des voitures brûlées avec les ravages du néolibéralisme depuis 40 ans est absurde », 11 février 2019,  https://www.bastamag.net/Violences-Comparer-des-voitures-brulees-avec-les-ravages-du-neoliberalisme.

[28] See even the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) without any work, much discussed nowadays just by the dominant strata. If during the anterior industrial revolutions the employers feared the laziness induced by any measure guaranteeing to the labour force the everyday subsistence, or a little wellbeing and independence (and even now the experiment of guaranteed minimum income given to unemployed has encountered resistance, claiming that the GMI will stop the unemployed to search for work, see En Finlande, le revenu de base est une source de bien-être pour ses bénéficiaires, 9 fevr 2019, https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2019/02/09/en-finlande-le-revenu-de-base-est-une-source-de-bien-etre-pour-ses-beneficiaires_5421393_3234.html), in present it could be a means of tempering the low classes; at the same time, this GMI shows that the problem  does not concern, as in the history so far, (only)  the means of subsistence or wellbeing, but first and foremost the capacity to develop the unique creative capacity of every one, and not through a labour in capitalist regime, paying the necessary wage, but through a creative activity.

[29] « Tous dans la rue ! » – Appel à  la grève générale, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/tous-a-la-rue-appel-a-la-greve-generale/, where there are also the calls for strike from different working strata and organizations.

[30] Jean-Pierre Page, Au sujet du Venezuela et d’une déclaration de la CGT, 5 février 2019, https://www.legrandsoir.info/au-sujet-du-venezuela-et-d-une-declaration-de-la-cgt.html.

[31] Raphaëlle Besse Desmoulières,  « Convergence de luttes réussie » : la CGT se félicite de la présence de « gilets jaunes » à ses côtés, 5 feb 2019,  https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2019/02/05/convergence-de-luttes-reussie-la-cgt-se-felicite-de-la-presence-de-gilets-jaunes-a-ses-cotes_5419673_3224.html.

[32] Appel de Gilets Jaunes à créer des Maisons du Peuple partout (27 janvier 2019), 04/02/2019, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/appel-de-gilets-jaunes-a-creer-des-maisons-du-peuple-partout/.

[33] Le Manifeste, essai constituant, January 15, 2019, https://www.facebook.com/notes/manifeste-des-gilets-jaunes/le-manifeste-essai-constituant/462909427574942/.

[34] See « Gilets jaunes »: la lute finale?,  8 février 2019, http://www.adoxa.info/gilets-jaunes-la-lutte-finale#.

[35] Gilets jaunes. Face à « la bande à Drouet », Jacline Mouraud envisage de créer son parti politique, 23/12/2018, https://www.ouest-france.fr/societe/gilets-jaunes/gilets-jaunes-face-la-bande-drouet-jacline-mouraud-envisage-de-creer-son-parti-politique-6147412.

[36] Because, as she says, “France needs the EU”, 8 February 2019, http://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/2019/02/08/01002-20190208ARTFIG00265-ingrid-levavasseur-la-france-a-besoin-de-l-union-europeenne.php.

[37] See an analysis focusing on the IT used by the debate, Bastien Gouly, Grand débat national : la grande mascarade ?, 19/02/2019, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/grand-debat-national-la-grande-mascarade/.

[38] Danielle Riva, Lettre de Paris. Sur les Gilets Jaunes, 03/02/2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/lettre-de-paris-sur-les-gilets-jaunes-par-danielle-riva/.

[39] See Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception (2003), Translated by Kevin Attell, University of Chicago Press, 2005.

[40] See the reference to Gramsci’s distinction between the organic crisis and the revolutionary crisis in Stathis Kouvélakis, Gilets Jaunes, l’urgence de l’acte, 21 janvier 2019, http://www.contretemps.eu/gilets-jaunes-urgence-acte-kouvelakis/.

   The last concept is a copy of Lenin’s revolutionary situation, and many have referred to it in relation to the “yellow vests”. However, in fact the revolutionary situation is only an organic crisis that, in the absence of the subjective conditions of organisation and revolutionary conscience, may not have the desired outcome. “It would be a mistake to think that the revolutionary classes are invariably strong enough to effect a revolution whenever such a revolution has fully matured by virtue of the conditions of social and economic development. No, human society is not constituted so rationally or so “conveniently” for progressive elements. A revolution may be ripe, and yet the forces of its creators may prove insufficient to carry it out, in which case society decays, and this process of decay sometimes drags on for very many years. There is no doubt that Russia is ripe for a democratic revolution, but it still remains to be seen whether the revolutionary classes have sufficient strength at present to carry it out”, V.I. Lenin, „The Latest in Iskra Tactics, or Mock Elections as a New Incentive to an Uprising”, Proletary, No. 21, October 17 (4), 19O5, in Lenin Collected Works, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1972, Volume 9, pp. 356-373, http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/oct/17b.htm.

[41] It is very interesting, in fact important that in the present general crisis the dominant layers have adopted a mixture of technocratic appearance of the government as promoting not the political, but the “rational” character of the “reforms” – we remember Hegel’s “What is rational is actual, what is actual is rational” – and let’ say  the necessary, if not “providential” leaders. See the “legitimating” of Macron’s political climbing by his book Révolution, Paris, XO éditions, 2016, and the present political communication exercise in the “grand national debate”.

[42] Those first demands, related to the “purchasing power”, were declaratively and temporarily accepted by the establishment that is horrified  by “the will to destruct the institutions”, Les stupéfiantes confidences de Macron aux journalistes, 04/02/2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/les-stupefiantes-confidences-de-macron-aux-journalistes/.

[43] Le Manifeste, essai constituant, January 15, 2019, https://www.facebook.com/notes/manifeste-des-gilets-jaunes/le-manifeste-essai-constituant/462909427574942/.

[44] From espacemaymana@free.fr, in Le système n’a que la solidité conférée par la croyance que nous sommes impuissants face à lui car il serait naturel, 30/12/2018, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/le-systeme-na-que-la-solidite-conferee-par-la-croyance-que-nous-sommes-impuissants-face-a-lui-car-il-serait-naturel/?utm_source=Delphi+Initiative+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d3b8c8dee0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_12_30_02_06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cca18be42a-d3b8c8dee0-173789881.

[45] See in present: Dan Conway, US military conducting urban warfare training exercises in Los Angeles, 7 February 2019, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/07/lain-f07.html; Alex Lantier, France recalls its ambassador to Italy, 8 February 2019,  https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/08/pers-f08.html; Will Morrow, France conducts dry-run simulation of nuclear weapon strike, 8 February 2019,  https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/08/rafa-f08.html.

[46] See also Appel des gilets jaunes de Montreuil, 18/01/2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/appel-des-gilets-jaunes-de-montreuil/: “the difference must not be a frontier: neither the color of the skin, nor the place of birth, nor gender, nor sexual orientation, nor religion, will serve as a pretext for dividing us. We must be united in our differences if we want to build a more just and beautiful world”.

[47] Speaking in philosophical terms, we may remind that the internationalist tendency corresponds to the propensity toward communitas/ in the name of the “third person”/the impersonal (Roberto Esposito, Third person. Politics of Life and Philosophy of the Impersonal (2007), Translated by Zakiya Hanafi, London, Polity Press, 2012), just opposite to the face-to-face proximity of a long philosophical tradition. If we take over Heidegger’s reference to the “humanism” that patronised the tragedies of the history, including the ones of the 20th century (Heidegger, Ueber den Humanismus, 1946), we may ascertain that just the (practical) solidarity with those far away from us shows our humanism, i.e. appurtenance to the human species and assumption of this appurtenance (see Ana Bazac, “La souffrance de nos lointains. La réverbération philosophique des scandales récents de torture et d’abus liés à la guerre en Irak », Anachronia, Hamburg, 8, 2007, p. 180-214).

[48] Just because capitalism is a world system – so even letting aside the complex and expanding social peculiarity of the human being – the nationalist self-enclosing inside of imaginary  boundaries, protected by huge and absurdly expensive material and institutional means of repression, is impossible; and far from being protective, it is harmful. (See the attitude towards immunity and its relation with community in Roberto Esposito, Immunitas. The Protection and Negation of Life, Translated by Zakiya Hanafi, Cambridge, UK, Polity Press, 2011).

[49] Relating to this aspect, we have to not forget that if in 1914 the social-democrat parties have voted the war credits and the entry into the WWI – by assuming the standpoint of “national” capitalist/imperialist classes and betraying both the own and foreign oppressed classes  –, nowadays we have to show that we learned the bitter lesson of history. The present problem is not only to refuse inter-imperialist wars waged by the imperialist powers in the name of “national interests”, but also to refuse any imperialist war and involvement in other countries in the name of “humanitarianism” and “export of democracy”.

   At the same time, and by making careful dialectic analyses, we must to not mechanically support any “liberation movement”: since we know that just imperialism has destroyed countries, states and populations, we also  knowing that all these problems were and are transformed into imperialist instruments, we have to have criteria in supporting secessionist and “liberation” movements: if one criterion is the freedom of a population to use and develop its language and culture, and certainly letting aside the history of their real oppression (of deportation of Chechen and Ingush in February 1944, “because some of the Moslem leaders had fraternized with the Nazis, Stalin ordered whole populations to be collectively punished”, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/11/twih-f11.html#100, and of the war waged by the pro-capitalist and nationalist Yeltsin against the separatist movement in Chechnya in 1994 – that obviously was organized by the Western imperialism – but that led to the suffering of civilians), why would we consider that the Chechen would now be oppressed  in Russia,  and the Albanian Kosovars in Yugoslavia/Serbia?  Do we not think that statelets as Kosovo are protectorates/Trojan horses of the Western imperialism? Why would be the Western imperialism better than the – let suppose it would be a Russian and Chinese imperialism – Russian and Chinese imperialism? If indeed the Uyghurs and Tibetans in China and the Catalans in Spain cannot use their language and develop their culture, their liberation movement would be entitled; but if they can, why would be that liberation movement progressive? The Catalans fight for a Catalan republic, thus superior to the Spanish monarchy, but if this is the only superior aspect, why would the Catalans not struggle together with all the Spaniards for republic in Spain? Are all these “liberation movements” not the mean to divert the attention of the oppressed classes of all the minority or majority nationalities from the class struggle and goals, all the more as the occasion given by the separation movements for the dominant classes is their strengthening under the banner of “unity” of the state/under excessive right-wing slogans (see Alejandro López,  Spanish government falls amid Catalan crisis, 16 February 2019, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/16/span-f16.html)? Is the voice of these “liberation movements” not that of the local bourgeoisies in connivance with the imperialist powers? May we consider that that voice as the one of the oppressed classes? How can some ones support local ethnic self-government for minorities like Roma or Native Americans, since the self-government must be not ethnic but popular democratic, for all in a popular democratic state? May we make again the fatal mistake to take over the capitalist reasoning in which “first we have to conquer the ethnic autonomy within capitalist countries/rules and then to struggle for…”?

   And may we confound the fight against immigration control – pay attention, by and within capitalist countries – with the absurd claim of equal use by immigrants of their language? And may we speak against  immigration control without showing its causes in the capitalist logic (as two good papers have showed, see  Jérôme Duval, Ludivine Faniel, Benoit Coumont, À qui profite la gestion des migrations ? 27 octobre 2017, 23/01/2018,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/a-qui-profite-la-gestion-des-migrations/ and Niklas Albin Svensson, Why Marxists oppose immigration controls, 20 December 2018,  http://www.marxist.com/why-marxists-oppose-immigration-controls.htm) and thus without showing that the freedom of circulation is solved only as a result of the struggle for socialism? May we militate for equal wages of migrants in capitalist countries without clearly militate for socialism?

   May we absurdly consider that “first, the oppressed classes from the oppressed peoples must be liberated from the imperialist domination, and then they will lead other classes and layers of the oppressed people towards liberation from the yoke of imperialism and capitalism”? And may we simply align to the capitalist logic that imposes or not sanctions for a state infringing the capitalist human rights, and thus support or not those sanctions, or we must to show their origin in the system and thus that the fulfilling of real human rights is possible only by transcending capitalism? May we express the mantra of the North-South priority towards the capitalist relations as such (“first”, “liberations struggles of the workers and oppressed in the South”), as if our model would be the neo-liberal mantra of “first, the sexual liberation”, and without explicitly say that all these discriminations are social, generated by capitalism?

   Do we not understand that hierarchies in the model of struggles may be constructed only according to the concrete situations and relations of social forces? Consequently, may we consider – as the Western imperialism does – that in Syria the people has risen against Assad and thus we ought to support the destruction of present Syria, as if we did not realize that this destruction serves only to the Western imperialism? May we confound Russia’s position within the logic of inter-capitalist relations – thus its support for Assad in order to lessen the Western imperialism in the region – with its supposed “imperialism” towards the people of Syria? How does it oppress this people?

   All the theses questioned here are from Theses on Revolutionary Defeatism in Imperialist States, Resolution of the International Executive Committee of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 8 September 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-on-revolutionary-defeatism-in-imperialist-states/, and Introduction, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/introduction/.

[50] «Acte 14» des «gilets jaunes»: 41.500 manifestants ont défilé en France, 16/02/2019, http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2019/02/16/01016-20190216ARTFIG00084-acte-14-des-gilets-jaunes-des-milliers-de-manifestants-defilent-a-nouveau.php: “In Strasbourg, 110 “yellow vests” participated in the rally. They then moved to the Meinau district to join Kurdish demonstrators from the PKK who are demanding the release of Abdullah Ocalan, according to Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace”.

[51] See in Stathis Kouvélakis, Gilets Jaunes, l’urgence de l’acte, 21 janvier 2019, http://www.contretemps.eu/gilets-jaunes-urgence-acte-kouvelakis/, the idea of false horizontality provided by the social networks. (Anyway, do not forget not only that these networks are only tools, but also that they are used by the foes of the “yellow vests”, too).

[52] Samir Amin, L’indispensable construction d’une 5eme Internationale des travailleurs et de peuples, 28/07/2017, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/lindispensable-reconstruction-de-linternationale-des-travailleurs-et-des-peuples-samir-amin/.

[53] This aspect has been explained by Marx and later, by Lenin, long ago.

[54] Susan George, Another world is possible if…, London, N.Y, Verso, 2004, pp. 227-246 (pp. 231, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241).

[55] Yellow vests of Commercy against racism, antisemitism and all forms of persecution (February 17, 2019), 20/02/2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/les-gilets-jaunes-de-commercy/.

[56] Les stupéfiantes confidences de Macron aux journalistes, 04/02/2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/les-stupefiantes-confidences-de-macron-aux-journalistes/.

[57] See also the same attitude at the American “left” intellectuals: Max Parry, Why France’s Yellow Vest Protests Are Ignored by ‘The Resistance’ in the U.S., January 4, 2019, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/04/why-frances-yellow-vest-protests-are-ignored-by-the-resistance-in-the-u-s/, the “lack of solidarity with the yellow vests” is caused by “the lack of class consciousness on its political left”.

[58] See Deutsche Neonazis marschierten in Ungarn auf – die rechte Szene ist europaweit vernetzt, 11.02.19, https://www.watson.de/international/rechtsextremismus/576970279-tag-der-ehre-in-budapest-hunderte-deutsche-rechtsextreme-marschierten-mit, where the neo-Nazis honour the soldiers opposed to the Soviet Army in the winter of 1944-1945, soldiers considered “heroes”. No public intellectual has ever explained the difference between hero and martyr or victim, no public intellectual has ever discussed the significances of different types of resistance and of the use of armies, as well as of the 20th century just and unjust wars: because the dominant “democratic” saga equates communism and fascism, and hates to remembering the days of anti-Nazi coalition in the WWII;

   see also ‘Absolutely abhorrent’: Far-right march in Sofia to honour pro-Nazi general, 17/02/2019, https://www.euronews.com/2019/02/17/absolutely-abhorrent-far-right-march-in-sofia-to-honour-pro-nazi-general?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=en&utm_content=absolutely-abhorrent-far-right-march-in-sofia-to-honour-pro-nazi-general&_ope=eyJndWlkIjoiYWM0YTVmYzNmNjFmYjhkYmY5NmZhNmE3OTU1Y2M3NzUifQ%3D%3D, where 1) the government considers the far-right march as a proof of democracy, 2) there is no discussion about this fact, only simple calls for banning the march, 3) Nazism is mostly related to the wiping out of the Jewish population – this supposing the priority protest of Jewish organisations: as if Nazism would not have been an attack on humanity as such (and on the humanity of the human beings), but only on “the Jews”. Do these banal standpoints of the present dominant ideologies and parties have not a far-right colour?

[59] “In a country”/”in a single country” is Trotsky’s formula for the theory of the possibility of constructing socialism without a European/world revolution, thus only in the USSR.

[60] Slavoj Žižek, How Mao would have evaluated the Yellow Vests, 21 Dec, 2018, https://www.rt.com/op-ed/447155-zizek-yellow-vests-france/: by starting from Mao’s distinction between principal and secondary contradictions, the author does not discuss immediately the problem of “yellow vests” but makes a detour, showing that:

 1) the solution of giving a name to Macedonia is better than the endlessly quarrel related to the name; but did not say a word about the concrete consequence of giving that name (the entrance of Macedonia in NATO);

  2) that the universal human rights are better than the inexistence of these rights and the Eastern subordination of the individual to the state/collective institution; but did not say that the contents of this universality is socially and politically forged by the Western capitalism, the notion of human rights being a modern idea;

  3) that the “the Western notion of universality of human rights contains the self-critical dimension which makes visible its own limitations”; but did not understand not only that  the Eastern notion of rights makes visible too its own limitations, but especially that not the notion – in fact, never a notion as such – contains a self-critical dimension; the criticism comes from outside the notion, if there is possible to express criticism; on the contrary, the Western notion of human rights transforms into a fetish the political rights within the representative democracy of the interests of the ruling strata and excludes/ignores any enlargement or re-formulation of human rights; the categorical imperative is an idea exterior to that of the human rights; the criticism of the human rights does not come from the idea of human rights, neither in its Western nor in its Eastern version;

  4) Žižek has opposed the Western notion of individual human rights and the Eastern inexistence of these rights; but in fact it’s an opposition not of West and East, but of modern/capitalist and pre-modern standpoints: only in the modern (Western) version the individual was more important than the group, because he was a capitalist consumer and a capitalist investor/ homo oeconomicus;

   5) in short, Žižek started from the opposition of two political positions – promoted by the above concepts – and concluded that it’s better to support the Western notion of human rights; but the manner he de-historicized the concept of human rights leads to relativism: in the name of the trivial idea that there are contradictions in every model; but he did not say a word about the clear-cut political function of the Western model: of domination and struggle between imperialism and peoples.

[61] Slavoj Žižek, How Mao would have evaluated the Yellow Vests, 21 Dec, 2018, https://www.rt.com/op-ed/447155-zizek-yellow-vests-france/: “They should be given the vision of a society”; thus the author continues the division – made by the dominant standpoint – between masses and leaders.

[62] #YouthStrike4Climate.

[63] Michael Welch and Cory Morningstar, “Saving the Earth or Saving Capitalism? The Inconvenient Truth Behind Today’s Youth Climate Campaigns”, Global Research, February 03, 2019, https://www.globalresearch.ca/saving-the-earth-or-saving-capitalism-the-inconvenient-truth-behind-todays-youth-climate-campaigns/5667343.

   See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_Climate_Movement.

[64] See Children are hauled away in HANDCUFFS as they bring roads to a standstill during a nationwide day of ‘strikes’ against climate change, 15 February 2019, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6707907/Youth-Strike-4-Climate-protests-place-Britain.html; Climat : des centaines d’étudiants demandent des comptes au gouvernement, 15 fevr. 2019, https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2019/02/15/il-suffit-d-agir-des-centaines-d-etudiants-demandent-des-comptes-au-gouvernement-sur-le-climat_5424172_3244.html.

[65] Helena Nicholson, Britain: student climate strikes demand radical change – we need a revolution, 15 February 2019, http://www.marxist.com/britain-student-climate-strikes-demand-radical-change-we-need-a-revolution.htm.

[66] See Appel de Nice (9 février 2019), 16/02/2019,  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/appel-de-nice-9-fevrier-2019/?utm_source=Delphi+Initiative+Newsletter&utm_campaign=57fd2dca05-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_02_17_02_11&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cca18be42a-57fd2dca05-173789881 against the new law against manifestations/the right to manifest, as if this new, harsher, and barely voted law would be abrogated after petitions.

[67] Where it would be possible that the yellow vests militating from a citizens initiative referendum unite with different parliamentary forces which have even opposed viewpoints, see La rencontre de « gilets jaunes » avec l’Italien Di Maio crée des tensions au sein de la liste RIC, 6 fev 019, https://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2019/02/06/la-rencontre-de-gilets-jaunes-avec-l-italien-luigi-di-maio-cree-des-tensions-autour-de-la-liste-ric_5420114_823448.html.

[68] Barbara Lefebvre, Macron en banlieue : ces sujets tabous qui n’ont pas été évoqués, le 05/02/2019, http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/politique/2019/02/05/31001-20190205ARTFIG00151-macron-en-banlieue-ces-sujets-tabous-qui-n-ont-pas-ete-evoques.php: the debate is a good exercise of communication, but this exercise does not solve the problems/their causes. “Already five endless debates where the presidential speech unfolds without real opponents. Between election campaign and theatrical performance, we still hesitate … The same scenography, the same marathon duration, the same presidential posture that makes the jacket fall and roll up its sleeves to get into a ring where no opponent waits, the same demonstration of the enarque who knows his technical files. Above all, the same lengthy developments as an answer, and finally the impossibility for the listener to say exactly where the president intended to arrive at. This hollow word is hidden in the post-modern Jupiterian oxymoron of “at the same time”. Say everything and say nothing. The Grand Debate thus makes it possible to stage a false horizontality where six or more hours are made to believe in the assistance of elected representatives and some committed citizens, that their word, their plural truths, weigh as much as that of the state embodied by the President of the Republic or the Prime Minister. Sleep, good people”.

[69] See this type of naïve expectations that time and the institutional pressures within the system will solve the world ecological problems, though there were not until now any real progress, in Mariama Williams, “24th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC:  The US COP?” ,  SouthViews,  No. 175, 8 February 2019: “Despite its stated intentions to leave the Paris Agreement, the United States negotiating team continued to dominate many of the negotiations of key areas of the twenty-fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) agenda of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The outcome of the meeting, branded the ‘Katowice Climate Package’, again showed developing countries sacrificing many redlines to save multilateralism. The Katowice Outcome reflects very little substantial advancement of the global climate protection agenda. However, the discussion and further refining of the rules will continue in the UNFCCC’s  upcoming negotiating sessions in 2019 as well as COP 25. Hence, developing countries have a chance to regroup and push forward to ensure sustainable development objectives are ensured and protected”.

[70]  Petition Against Interfering in Venezuela, 08 Feb 19, https://www.transform-network.net/blog/article/petition-against-interfering-in-venezuela/.

[71] Vianney Vaute, Black Friday : « Un impact sociétal et environnemental dramatique », 22 novembre 2017, https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2017/11/22/black-friday-un-impact-societal-et-environnemental-dramatique_5218482_3232.html; Cécile Prudhomme, Le « Black Friday », illustration du règne de l’hyperconsommation et des promotions perpétuelles, 22 nov 2018, https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2018/11/22/le-black-friday-illustration-du-regne-de-l-hyperconsommation-et-des-promotions-perpetuelles_5387112_3234.html;

[72] Stéphane Mandard, Un OGM interdit détecté dans des tonnes d’aliments pour animaux d’élevage en Europe, 22 nov 018, https://www.lemonde.fr/securite-sanitaire/article/2018/11/22/ogm-alerte-sur-une-bacterie-resistante-aux-antibiotiques-dans-des-aliments-pour-animaux_5387160_1655380.html.

[73] Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, “Mathematical Proofs of the Breakdown of Capitalism”, in Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen,  Analytical Economics Issues and Problems, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1966, pp. 398-415 (404).

[74] Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen, “Energy and Economic Myths”, Southern Economic Journal, 41, no. 3, January 1975, pp. 347-381.

[75] Isabelle Stengers, Une autre science est possible ! Manifeste pour un ralentissement des sciences, Paris, Les Empêcheurs de penser en rond, 2013.

[76] See John M. Polimeni, Kozo Mayumi, Mario Gianpietro and Blake Alcott, The Jevons Paradox and the Myth of Resource Efficiency Improvements, London, Earthcan, 2008.

[77] Pouvoir d’achat : Macron sommé de lâcher du lest à l’issue du grand débat, le 7 fevr 019, https://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2019/02/07/pouvoir-d-achat-macron-somme-de-lacher-du-lest-a-l-issue-du-grand-debat_5420441_823448.html.

[78] In his Making Globalization Work, London, N.Y, Penguin Books, 2006, Joseph Stiglitz considered that by helping the market by states and with more regulations concerning privatization, trade, ecology and finance/a new global reserve system based on an intermediate or neutral currency resulted from a fund of the states, a better world will be possible. Habitually to the mainstream economists, he excluded from discussion the problems of profits, competition, situation of the labour force, letting aside the problem of waste and destruction highlighted before by Georgescu-Roegen.

[79] Which, all of them, show the reduction of profit in the enlarged reproduction model and the tendency of the dominant elite “to pass from the hegemony of accumulation through an enlarged reproduction to domination through accumulation by looting” (Raúl Zibechi, Crise économique : La nouvelle grande transformation, Mondialisation.ca, 04 août 2015, http://www.mondialisation.ca/crise-economique-la-nouvelle-grande-transformation/5467145) and “by dispossession” (David Hervey, “The New Imperialism: Accumulation by Dispossession”, Socialist Register, 2004, pp. 63-87), even if this type of accumulation means also exploitation (Raju J. Das, “David Harvey’s Theory of Accumulation by Dispossession: A Marxist Critique”, World Review of Political Economy, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Winter 2017), pp. 590-616).

[80] David Harvey, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, Oxford University Press (US), 2014.

[81] Indeed, the function of the classical bourgeois class – to constraint the labour force to a hard and painful work in order to fulfil the industrial revolutions/to develop the means of production, and at world scale – was historically necessary. In this respect has Marx said that capitalism – thus its dominant class and relations – had a progressive role. But with the growth of systemic/cybernetic devices and IT – requiring a highly skilled labour force, thus the gradual dissolution of the difference and old necessity of difference between “engineers” and simple workers – the above technical necessity of the constraint of the labour force evanesces. The present private owners of the economic and political productive means, means of existence and means of control still dominate the world labour force but only for their own interest to last as dominant layers . This inertial power of domination – antagonistic to the old structural necessity of domination – shows not only that the historical role of class domination is over, but also that the persistence of domination has malign consequences at all the individual, national, regional and world levels.

[82] Since the historical status and the present circumstances of countries are different, it would be sad to aim a “better living standard” (as if the Greeks who face the risk of poverty at a rate of one in three would aim their rate improve at the average level of EU – only one in five – according to data from 2017 made public by the European Commission’s statistics service Eurostat,    Eurostat: One in three Greeks faces poverty, social exclusion, 16.10.2018, http://www.ekathimerini.com/233696/article/ekathimerini/news/eurostat-one-in-three-greeks-faces-poverty-social-exclusion).

[83] See the very useful historical analysis of some liberation wars in Africa and Latin America, in Jean Ziegler, Les rebelles: Mouvements armés de liberation nationale du tiers monde, Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1983 and 1985.

[84] Raúl Zibechi, « Crise économique : La nouvelle grande transformation », Mondialisation.ca, 04 août 2015, http://www.mondialisation.ca/crise-economique-la-nouvelle-grande-transformation/5467145.

[85] James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer, Imperialism and Capitalism: Rethinking an Intimate Relationship, December 16, 2015, http://www.globalresearch.ca/imperialism-and-capitalism-rethinking-an-intimate-relationship/5496284.

[86] François Houtart, Vers l’épuisement du « modèle » équatorien ?,  2 octobre 2015,

http://www.medelu.org/Vers-l-epuisement-du-modele.

[87] Even though this work will be tantamount to the play and the artistic creation, it will imply the discipline one needs of in creation. And though there is not here the place to elaborate these aspects, we cannot ignore that here are criteria of the work (human energy expenditure, the aiming at a concrete object from the beginning, thus the planning concerning different aspects of the object and its complex insertion in the world).

[88] K. Marx, Capital, Volume III, Part VII. Revenues and their Sources, Chapter 48. The Trinity Formula, III, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch48.htm.

[89] K. Marx, F. Engels, The German Ideology (1845), Part I: Feuerbach.
Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook, A. Idealism and Materialism, 4. The Essence of the Materialist Conception of History.

[90] Le fond de l’air est rouge, jaune, vert, Interview de Thierry Bodson, secrétaire général de la FGTB wallonne, Emission Regards, 12 February 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn0JuAmcjuQ.

[91] Anselm Jappe, Révolution contre le travail ?, La critique de la valeur et le dépassement du capitalisme, (2014), http://www.palim-psao.fr/2017/10/revolution-contre-le-travail-la-critique-de-la-valeur-et-le-depassement-du-capitalisme-par-anselm-jappe.html.

[92] Meagan Day, Capitalism’s Mob Mentality, https://jacobinmag.com/2019/02/capitalism-mob-purdue-pharma-opioids-narcan.

[93] This equality of proletarian status manifests nowadays through the well-known reality, already much theorised, of impoverishment/diminution/evanescence of the middle class.

[94] See Saker Interview with Michael Hudson on Venezuela,  February 7, 2019, http://www.unz.com/tsaker/saker-interview-with-michael-hudson-on-venezuela/.

[95] Generally, both the explicit right-wing writers and the “leftist” democrats consider “the state” as the main factor worth to be rejected or minimised. But the entire history of capitalism shows that only with the help of the state have the private entrepreneurs succeeded to rob what they needed and to develop in a capitalist manner.

[96] https://youtu.be/-WRMZaGpCZ4.

[97] Reminding at least Marx, Nietzsche, the Frankfurt school, Marcuse, Deleuze, we have to mention the interesting standpoint of Kojève according to whom the absolute capitalist domination  will imply the development of entertainment and play, and will destroy the conscious, thus critical intervention of the humans in the control of their own destiny.  Alexandre Kojève, Introduction à la lecture de Hegel, Leçons sur la Phénoménologie de l’esprit, professées de 1933 à 1939 à l’École des Hautes-Études réunies et publiées par Raymond Queneau, Paris, Gallimard, 1947, note 1, p. 434 : the man will become animal “which is in accord with Nature and the given Being. What disappears is the man proper, that is, the Denying Action of the Given and the Error, or in general the Subject opposite to the Object… the definitive annihilation of Man proper or of the Free and Historical Person simply means the cessation of Action in the strong sense of the term”. In Note 2, p. 435: “men would build their buildings and their works of art as birds build their nests and spiders weave their canvases … But we can not say then that all this “makes Man happy”.

[98] The nationalisation of services, inherently public, is all the more necessary as they were destroyed by the capitalist layers by externalising/outsourcing some of their parts, thus dismantling their coherence. See Dan Langley, Britain: cancer and Capita – NHS outsourcing disaster deepens, 12 February 2019,  http://www.marxist.com/cancer-and-capita-nhs-outsourcing-disaster-deepens.htm?auid=958, where the author insists: “call not only for the re-nationalisation of our health service, but also for the nationalisation of these parasitic outsourcing companies, the banks, and all those that profit from misery. They deserve no compensation. They have robbed us for long enough”.

[99] This aspect of the financial support of the “royal families” was written in relation with the present Romania.

[100] Yes, the “yellow vests” have put not only the problem of the purchasing power inside the system – viewpoint helping capitalism, its economy and not only its political power – but also the problem of free public services (which already exist in some capitalist countries and contribute in a decisive manner to the social peace).  Is it not the free services that oppose the irreversibility of the human being? If the medical services are not free – and this means the newest medical solutions, because only these ones attack the irreversibility in the frame of finite life – would it be sufficient only to have some (always not enough, because capitalism does never give, as salaries, primes and pensions, the quantum necessary for these newest medical services) money to pay for them? And the free medical services do not suppose also their exit from the capitalist logic of selling to “clients” as many medical (thus including pharmaceutical) services as possible?

[101] See European Commission, State-Owned Enterprises in the EU: Lessons Learnt and Ways Forward in a Post-Crisis Context, Institutional Paper 031 | July 2016.

[102] Anselm Jappe, Révolution contre le travail ?: La critique de la valeur et le dépassement du capitalisme, http://www.palim-psao.fr/2017/10/revolution-contre-le-travail-la-critique-de-la-valeur-et-le-depassement-du-capitalisme-par-anselm-jappe.html.

[103] David Harvey: Consolidating Power, “The left has to rethink its theoretical and tactical apparatus”, Roar Magazine, December 9, 2015, https://roarmag.org/magazine/david-harvey-consolidating-power/.

[104] Including at the level of neighbourhoods – Harvey insists (ibidem), because in this manner the street cleaners, the house workers, the delivery drivers, who in the classical Fordist working class opposition in plants did not enter –; Harvey quote a fugitive idea of Gramsci about the necessity of neighbourhood organisation, but we know that, before this idea, the soviets were not only at workplace level, but also at territory and habitat levels.

[105] Ibidem.

[106] Ibidem.

[107] Ana Bazac, “The Limit and the Burden: Around the Significances of the Finitude of Life”, Agathos, Vol. 9, Issue 2 (17), 2018, pp. 59-82, http://www.agathos-international-review.com/current.html.

[108] Ana Bazac, What is natural and what is un-natural in cancer?, Biocosmology – neo-Aristotelism, Volume 8, Numbers 3&4, Summer/Autumn  2018, pp. 391-420, http://en.biocosmology.ru/electronic-journal-biocosmology—neo-aristotelism.

[109] Ana Bazac, “Three concepts in the history of the knowledge of the world (cause, consequence, telos) and a conclusion”, Biocosmology – Neo-Aristotelism, Vol. 7, No. 2, Spring 2017, pp. 155-177.

[110] Including through worsening and falsifying the administration of the relations between the state and the immigrant individuals, see Campements, loterie, service payant: le système d’asile ne répond plus, 11 févr. 2019, https://blogs.mediapart.fr/association-gisti/blog/110219/campements-loterie-service-payant-le-systeme-d-asile-ne-repond-plus.

[111] This result of the revolt, quest for alternatives and solutions, arising from the everyday life was long ago suggested by Henri Levebre, Critique de la vie quotidienne, I, Paris, Grasset, 1947; Critique de la vie quotidienne. II. Fondements d’une sociologie de la quotidienneté, Paris, L’Arche Éditeur, 1961 ; and stated by Raoul Vaneigem, Traité de savoir-vivre à l’usage des jeunes générations, 1967, Translated as The Revolution of Everyday Life. But see also Vaneigem’s Contribution à l’émergence de territoires libérés de l’emprise étatique et marchande Réflexions sur l’autogestion de la vie quotidienne
Rivages, « Bibliothèque », 2018.

[112] See Trois mois des Gilets jaunes : nouvelle manifestation à Paris au lendemain de l’acte 14 (EN CONTINU), 17 févr. 2019, https://francais.rt.com/france/59202-trois-mois-gilets-jaunes-nouvelle-manifestation-paris-lendemain-acte-14-en-continu; Lucie Delaporte et Mathilde Goanec, «Gilets jaunes» d’Ile-de-France: «Les quartiers populaires sont là» (6 février 2019), https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/160219/gilets-jaunes-d-ile-de-france-les-quartiers-populaires-sont-la.

[113] Pouvoir d’achat: carton plein pour la «prime exceptionnelle Macron», 18/02/2019, http://www.lefigaro.fr/conjoncture/2019/02/18/20002-20190218ARTFIG00090-pouvoir-d-achat-carton-plein-pour-la-prime-exceptionnelle-macron.php.

[114] See the joining of the unions leaderships to the call for manifestations against anti-Semitism – Les syndicates condamnent l’antisémitisme, 18 fevr. 2019, http://syndicollectif.fr/les-syndicats-condamnent-lantisemitsme/

  – as if they would have never condemned anti-Semitism, thus the position of the union would be unclear, and without saying a word about the causes of a periodical exhibition of anti-Semitic positions, as the profanation of the Jewish cemetery; and certainly, joining to the subliminal dominant suggestion that the profanation of the Jewish cemetery and some ugly and unacceptable declarations of some “yellow vests” would be related. And: joining to the establishment’s formal resoluteness to condemn anti-Semitism but without attacking its structural causes and without attacking all the other forms of xenophobia.

[115] See Ana Bazac, ”L’échelle mineure et l’échelle majeure de l’impossible”, Analele Universității din Craiova. Seria Filosofie, Nrd . 35 (1/2015), pp. 167-188, http://cis01.central.ucv.ro/analele_universitatii/filosofie/2015/Anale35_1.pdf.

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