Observations about the French protests

Observations about the French protests, by Paul Mirengoff.

News reports say that the protesters are not among France’s more “marginalized citizens.” That’s true in some senses. Generally speaking, the protesters aren’t immigrants and may not be impoverished. But immigrants and refugees receive generous benefits from the government and are backed to some degree by strong political interests. The protesters, generally speaking, receive neither handouts nor the support of influential interests. …

The high tax on gasoline imposed by Macron’s government, the reason for the protests, has comparatively little impact on most Parisians and those who live near Paris. Many of them have shops and stores within walking distance, and public transportation serves their needs well. … In effect, Macron is placing the burden of addressing climate change (however fitfully) on the backs of France’s rural population. French elites do not share the burden. …

The government tried to blame the violence on right-wing supporters of Marine Le Pen. However, reports I’ve heard suggest that the culprits were “les casseurs” — the breakers — anarchistic thugs who like to smash things and have no connection to Le Pen’s party.