Place: France

From Passionate Uprising to Sustained Rebellion

The passionate uprising that began in Minneapolis after police murdered George Floyd quickly spread across the country and around the world, is now the biggest upheaval since 1968.

Self-Extinction of Neoliberalism? Don’t Bet on It.

Neoliberalism will not disappear by itself; we need class struggle.

Where to Begin? Growing Seeds of Liberation in a World Torn Asunder

What faces us in the post-COVID-19 world as we struggle to uproot capitalism and its malignant racism, sexism, heterosexism, and environmental destruction, both in theory and in practice?

France at a Crossroads

The nationwide general strike in France, now in its record seventh week, seems to be approaching its crisis point. Despite savage police repression, about a million people are in the streets protesting President Macron’s proposed neoliberal “reform” of France’s retirement . . .

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Neo-Colonial Economics in Central Africa: A Very Short History

Word War Two as the death-knell for colonial empires is a well-trodden and essentially erroneous narrative. Empires’ relationships with their colonies were uprooted, modified and given the gloss of ‘independence’ but retained injustice and exploitation at their core. In Central . . .

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Millions in France Strike Against Austerity

On December 10, the mass mobilization against pension cuts that has brought the French economy to a halt entered its sixth day, with over 500,000 taking to the streets in demonstrations across the country. Strikers shut down bus, subway, and . . .

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French Unions, Yellow Vests Converge, Launch General Strike Today

(Montpellier, France) On the eve of an “unlimited” (open-ended) General Strike called for Dec. 5, more and more unions and protest groups are pledging join in.
Two things are unusual about this strike. The first is that it is open-ended, rather . . .

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French Yellow Vests Celebrate First Birthday, Converge With Planned Labor Strikes

Montpellier, France, Nov. 18, 2019
 
This weekend the Yellow Vests celebrated their first birthday, with convivial barbeques on traffic circles (roundabouts) all over France followed by direct actions like liberating tollbooths. Although number of protestors has declined to about 10% of . . .

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The Class Struggle and the Yellow Vests: Where Are We Headed?

We have never seen so many upheavals in so few years in France.
Society has been turned completely upside down in a way that is totally unprecedented. The social programs won after the Second World War have been savaged and democratic . . .

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Review: The Permanent Guillotine

Mitchell Abidor, ed. and trans. The Permanent Guillotine: Writings of the Sans-Culottes. Oakland: PM Press, 2018.

Director Stéphane Brizé Depicts Class Struggle With Dark Realism in “At War”

Although New Politics has already run Steve Early’s review of this movie, we think this film fills a gap in radical cinematography so well that we’re also running a second, somewhat different review.

A Plant Closing War, Viewed From Inside

Last winter, protesters wearing yellow vests commanded center stage in France. Their grassroots challenge to the neoliberal regime of President Emmanuel Macron drew on a long tradition of labor militancy, including factory closing fights. When these protesters still had blue . . .

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The Yellow Vests: A Social Insurrection

On May 7, 2017, the property-owning classes of France had smiles on their lips. Emmanuel Macron had been elected president with 63.90 percent of the vote against the extreme-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who had won 36.10 percent. Given his . . .

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Yellow Vest Movement Struggles to Reinvent Democracy as Macron Cranks Up Propaganda and Repression

(Montpellier, April 10)  After five months of constant presence at traffic circles, toll-booths and hazardous Saturday marches,  the massive, self-organized social movement known as the Yellow Vests has just held its second nationwide “Assembly of Assemblies.” Hundreds of autonomous Yellow . . .

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Latest News From France: Online Discussion on Sunday

The situation here may be reaching a showdown between the Macron government, which is now considering using the Army against the Yellow Vests, and the social movement, to whose demands the regime continues to turn a deaf ear.
In the last . . .

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As Macron Prepares New Repressive Measures, Yellow Vests and Red Unions Strike Together

On Tues, Feb. 5, as the Macron government pushed harsh repressive laws against demonstrators through the National Assembly, the Yellow Vests joined with France’s unions for the first time in a day-long, nation-wide “General Strike.” . . .

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Seasons Greetings from France’s Yellow Vests: “We Are Not Tired”

ImageIs the Yellow Vest (Gilets Jaunes) rebellion, now in its seventh week, “petering out?” Such was the near-unanimous pronouncement of the mainstream media, when I returned home to Montpellier, France, eager to participate and to observe first-hand this popular insurrection which I had been afraid of missing.

The French Yellow Vests: A Self-Mobilized Mass Movement with Insurrectionist Overtones

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The White-Hot Anger of French Working People as a Real Fact

After rumbling on social media for weeks, the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement emerged suddenly on November 17, when no less than 300,000 protestors occupied roads, traffic circles in exurbs and rural areas. They wore the yellow safety vests the government requires all motorists to purchase, and which immediately became the emblem of the movement.  That week and the next, Yellow Vests also ventured into the heart of Paris, blocking the gilded Boulevard Champs-Elysées and almost reaching the nearby presidential palace.  From the beginning, women were unusually prominent in the local occupations and the street marches.  At the same time, the Yellow Vests chased away many politicians who visited their protest sites, including some from the left.

Yellow vests: Macron’s fuel tax was no solution to climate chaos

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The French government has decided to suspend a planned eco-tax on fuel in response to mass protests. While the movement of the ‘yellow vests’ (gilets jaunes) has turned into a broader revolt against inequality and Macron’s neoliberal reforms, economist and climate activist Maxime Combes (Attac France) argues that as a way to tackle climate change, the tax is neither fair nor effective.

Analysis originally published on the daily internet journal of ideas AOC and translated by Taisie Tsikas.

French Labor’s Historical Defeat; U.S. Teachers’ Surprising Victories

ImageAs the French get ready for the “rentrée” – the annual back-to-school/back-to-work day following the August vacation – social peace appears to reign in the land. The long-expected militant strikes and struggles against the neo-liberal counter-reforms introduced by President Macron early last Spring have failed to materialize. Surprisingly, the Macron government successfully force-marched its anti-labor, anti-welfare, pro-business agenda through parliament with little effective resistance by the unions and Left parties. Meanwhile, in the U.S., a wave of spontaneous teachers’ strikes spread from West Viriginia to other conservative ‘Red’ states, winning significant victories and surprising the media and the labor leadership. The contrast is surprising.

War, Imperialism, and Class Polarization on a Global Scale

From East Asia to the Middle East and from South Africa to Europe

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Adapted from a presentation to the Chicago Convention of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization, July 13, 2018.

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