Why We’re Ungovernable: France On Fire

Why We’re Ungovernable: France On Fire. By John Rubino.

Back in 2017, when some countries were handing power to populists promising variations of “drain the swamp,” France went for continuity with Emmanuel Macron, a young, moderate-sounding technocrat from the world of finance who promised to modernize the country without threatening the elites, the welfare state or the bureaucracy.

Fast forward a couple of years and Paris is in flames, literally. …

What happened? In general terms, pretty much the same thing that happens in every society where debt is soaring and the government/banking complex is becoming all-powerful: A small group of elites start siphoning unacceptable amounts of wealth from everyone else, and the peasants eventually grab their pitchforks and make their stand.

The resulting unrest takes different forms in different places. In France, where the state is historically dominant and entitlements are cradle-to-grave, angry mobs will happily take to the streets if the playing field appears to be tilting even a little further in favor of the elite.

The ostensible problems this time around have to do with an increase in diesel fuel taxes and some (to American eyes extremely modest) labor law reforms.

But the deeper reason for Macron’s apparent failure is that once a country (or for that matter a world) has borrowed more than it can ever hope to pay off, it no longer matters who is in charge. Whatever they do will run up against the brick wall of insolvency and the people who voted for current leaders will either hit the streets as in France or shift their allegiance to populists who promise to tear the system out by its roots (as in the US, Brazil, Poland, Italy). This will also fail, and so on, until the inevitable financial crisis brings the borrow/spend/print game to an end.

French Protesters Against Carbon Tax: “We Want Trump!”

UPDATE: These are London protesters, not French.

Presumably French protesters would chant something more like Nous Voulons Trump.