Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Trouble is that the Yellow Vests are Already Toast

So now all the experts are predicting that the current regime in France is toast, because the French regime, like the France of 1789, is running out of money.

Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't. The whole point of government, as I keep saying, is to occupy territory, tax the inhabitants, and reward its supporters. The problem is that you have to keep upping the ante, because your supporters Want More Money, and eventually you run out of other peoples' money to keep rewarding your supporters.

But that is not the point. The point is whether we, the people, are going to play the government's game.

The reason that the yellow vests, the gilets jaunes, are angry is because they bought into the regime's promises, long ago: vote for them and get benefits. That's great, except that when you do that you turn yourself into a peasant, dependent on your master's favor. You sit there, on your peasant allotment, or in your union job, getting your handout, until the day that the handouts stop. Then what?

That is what happened to the peasants. They were useful to their lords until the day came that the lords didn't need them for their personal armies. Or until the lords got into agricultural "improvement" and didn't need so many agricultural laborers as in olden times.

That is what happened to the white working class. Vote for us, said the socialists, and we will protect you from the bosses.  We will provide you with pensions, health care, good jobs at good wages. Until "we" didn't. Because? Well because the unionized corporations started having to compete with up-and-coming countries like China using workers that were just off the farm and would work for a fraction of the wage of good all-American union workers. And the progressive politicians lost interest in the white working class and started bidding for the votes of women and minorities, and then legal and illegal immigrants.

That is what is happening to the gilets jaunes. France has all kinds of regulatory wonders, from the 35-hour week to mandatory benefits to near lifetime employment guarantees. But now the political class with their haute école degrees believe in helping helpless migrants, and saving the planet from Maurice Strong's notion of climate change.

So here is my analysis from my reductive, but brilliant, Three Peoples theory. Choose your poison: choose what you want to submit to. There are three options, one for each of the Three Peoples.

You can submit to your loving lord, if you are from the People of the Subordinate Self. That means you are fine until the day that your loving lord -- or your loving politician -- no longer needs your support. Then you are toast.

You can submit to the market, if you are from the People of the Responsible Self. That means you will always have a job, because if your current gig ends when the market has moved on and your skills aren't in demand any more you just shrug your shoulders and get trained for something else, or convert your skills into something else. Because you just accept that the market's verdict is final. If you don't accept the market's verdict you are nothing but an underling.

You can submit to the gods of creation, if you are from the People of the Creative Self. That means you need to accept that, most likely, you won't make it, because in the world of creativity many are called but few are chosen. If you accept this truth you are a mensch, and accept that if you can't make it as a creative then you just have to suck it in and submit to the market. If you don't you are a menace, because you will probably try to get into politics or activism, trying to be creative in politics, where the name of the game is to get people to vote for you in return for benefits.

So if the yellow vests think they can solve their problems by defacing a few glorious French monuments, or electing a populist leader, like the US, Hungary, Italy, and now Brazil, they are wrong.

Trump ain't gonna solve the problems of the white working class in the US. Only the individual folks in the white working class can do that by training for and searching for and finding good jobs at good wages. Right now that would be the fracking industry, but that means heading off to North Dakota or Texas. Otherwise they are toast.

Victor Orbán ain't gonna save the native Hungarians from the Muslim migrants. Only they can do that by adapting their skills to the market, and heading off to Germany or Britain if that is what it takes. Otherwise they are toast.

Salvini ain't gonna save the Italians from ruin. Only they can do that. Otherwise the Italians are toast.

Bolsonaro ain't gonna save the Brazilians. Only they can do that. Otherwise the Brazilians are toast.

And what doesn't work is voting for entitlement programs. Because entitlement programs are programs that take money away from some people and give money to other people. By force. And sooner or later your employer or the government runs out of other peoples' money to pay your benefits.

This is not rocket science, folks. You submit to the verdict of the market or you or your children end up as toast. No matter what some damn politician has to say.

1 comment:

  1. This started out as clear, consice analysis and then you tunnel-visioned the many possible solutions and completely ignored the possibility of killing the rich, or seizing their wealth and re distributing it, to invest in alternative industries like solar power. Your blinkered virsion is limiting intellectually, not pragmatic, and lacking compassion for those too old, disabled, or poor to take on new training. Describing people's future lives repeatedly as "toast" is unpleasant and sickening in its schadenfreude. Examine your self righteousness and your audacity to armchair psychologise and sociologise people you will not meet. I doubt you have visited Paris, let alone other regions of France. This is mostly conjecture and black and white thinking;×taxation and wealth redistribution is much more nuanced and interesting then you argue with your simplistic and stubbornly uniform generalisations. Whichever way you see it, the people, who have the power, are going to lose. If we reduce climate change in time, that isn't true.

    ReplyDelete