Sunday, 16 December 2018

Fake News and Yellow Vests.


Fake News and Yellow Vests.A protester wearing a yellow vest holds a French flag as he walks among tear gas on the Champs-Elysees Avenue near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Perhaps There is nothing wrong with finishing off civilization. Live it up, have a great party and go away peacefully. Some people are fine with it, and who am I to say they are wrong. I chose to try and prolong life, even if it’s not as fancy as it could be. We can live it up and not worry about the future.  Why should I worry about what will happen with this world a hundred or even fifty years from now?

The Canadian News Networks showed riots in France where people wearing yellow vests were demonstrating against new Carbon Tax. The French people were leading the fight against pollution for years, and here we see them fighting against the one thing that may slow down the emissions that we produce. Either the news was fake, or the political Right won. Vive les corporations. The political right is against measures which slow down consumption especially of energy.

It was time to communicate with somebody from France, and I did. Here is the story from a person in France. Since Emanuel Macron won power promising that he is a friend of the people and will work to help the average folks, the opposite has happened. Surprise? Not really. It is the same here in North America and other places but to various degrees.

In France, the fuel taxes increased in the last year before carbon tax, by about 25% combined with other taxes which increased the cost of living for the working people. At the same time taxes on high earning corporations were cut, increasing the country’s already high deficit. Lately, a 10% Carbon Tax was added, supposedly to curb pollution. It is not like the Canadian carbon tax that is rolled back to those who need it; it is simply used to shore up the government.

At the same time, there is talk about privatizing parts of the health care, closing schools and other austerity measures which will set back the standard of living of the lowest earners. The increase in fuel prices hurts the rural folks most since they have no choice but to use their vehicles, just as we do here.

Rural populations everywhere are marginalized since they don’t have the democratic power of city people who depend on rural folks work to survive. In France, they came to a breaking point, donned their yellow vests and headed out to the streets. Folks who are normally not very involved in politics went out demanding the resignation of the president.

As in every case of peaceful demonstrations, they were joined by the more militant people of both the far left and the far right and violence ensued. The French people can’t forget the Revolution even if they try, which they are not. To them, it is clear that the people have the power. Sadly, the guillotine is the tool that brings baguettes to starving peasants.

The problem in France and other developed countries is simple to understand. When the Soviet Union was strong governments were weary about the spread of Communism which mistakenly is often confused with Social Democracy. The Communists were not very kind to their working class but portrayed themselves as such. If Communism would have been true Socialism the world would have functioned much like a Hutterite colony without the religious aspect. It was not, but they did manage to lead the world in some ways for a while. When someone says that Capitalism brought the invention of the Cell phone, you can remind them that Communists invented the satellites which make cell phones work.

In France, the working people have been losing ground for more than thirty years now. Their factories were outsourced to poorer countries, wages remained low, banks and big companies got bailouts and here is the big crunch. Under the guise of reducing taxes, the big companies gained huge tax breaks while the many millions of workers were made to foot the bills. There was no trickle down — those who got the money invested in automation reducing jobs and forever taking as much as they could.

Since the media was bought by those with money the poor and average folks were convinced that life is meant to be harsh for them since they are not smart or don’t work hard enough. A few did very well, and the rest went on trying, until a couple of months ago when the truth became obvious. The average rural family, now paying about $100 more a month for gas realized that there is no end to greed and that abuse will not stop because abusers feel sorry. Poor people will lose the earth but not have a party.

At the time of the year when people celebrate the birth of a person who said to love each other as ourselves, there are so many who are shown the opposite from love. A scant few possess most of the needed resources and the many dream of better days without much hope of seeing improvement. Their productivity and sacrifices are siphoned into accounts shielded from taxes and used by those who treat them like “human resources,” not persons with feelings, loved ones and hopes or dreams. Assailed by commercials, dazzled by artificial fakes, the working folks who sustain our human community find themselves fighting for their livelihood wearing yellow jackets.

It doesn’t have to be like that at all. We can have a world where every human being is living comfortably, without threat to their person, world or future if we just choose to share and contribute willingly for human betterment. We can have more than enough for each of us if a few will forgo corruption that sustains nothing but a useless want of power which will gain them nothing but a feeling of superiority.

Lucky for us we are seeing a new trend in the generation coming up. These young people who possibly are not acquainted with the person born in Bethlehem so long ago, are naturally following his lead. They are concerned with cleaning up our mess and are willing to give not just receive.

1 comment:

  1. My Goodness Avner. Just read your column. It was so important to clarify the French situation and you did it with clarity and at the same time made those important points you always seem to move towards about how we can all be in this world together with peace, opportunity and grace. Many tend to be dismissive of how the French react when economic measures are attempted. God Bless you for your bravery to point the way. Merry Christmas. I am proud to be a writer alongside you in this world.

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