A Brief Note on the Yellow Vest Movement

  • Posted on: 3 December 2018
  • By: thecollective


The Yellow Vest Movement presents something of a conundrum for anarchists. To quote The BBC, “It is quite clear there were agitators or “casseurs” at the sharp end of the clashes with police. We saw groups of people both from the anarchist far-Left and from the nationalist far-Right. They were tooled up and ready for a fight.” Occupying the same spaces as the far-right seems like strange position for anarchists to be in. However, I personally support the anarchist presence in the movement and I’ll briefly explain why.

The proposed tax on fuel functions is regressive tax that would serve to exacerbate inequality and reduce the disposal income of people who’re dependent on fossil fuels through no fault of their own. At the same time, our dependence on fossil fuels is causing catastrophic climate change, which is likely displace millions of people and represents a global network of exploitation and extraction.

CrimethInc. recently published an in-depth analysis of the yellow vest movement, which is a grass-roots, decentralized, direct-action oriented struggle, framed as opposition to the state squeezing the pockets of average French people. It has attracted participants from across the political spectrum including the far-right, anarchists, communists, social democrats and apolitical people concerned with rising fuel costs. Attendees have chanted far-right slogans and have used racist and homophobic rhetoric. At the same time many reject the far-right rhetoric.

The anarchist approach is to address climate change at its root cause, by acknowledging the underlying structures of domination that lead to environmental destruction in the first place, namely capitalism and the state. Instead of offsetting the cost of pollution fuels onto people, anarchists propose to minimize our dependence of fossil fuels by providing alternatives and attacking the concentration of corporate and state power that forces people into being dependent on fossil fuels for the livelihoods, for example, traveling long distances on a daily basis for work. Today, production isn’t local and decentralized, rather, concentrated power has produced a core and periphery, which necessitates the long-distance movement of millions of people and goods on a daily basis.

For fascists this represents an opportunity to sow a false narrative among the working class, blaming immigration, encouraging racism against minorities and maligning environmentalism by associating with a state that is out of touch with the realities of everyday life. Their platform does very little to address the core issues and primarily serves to capitalize on hate.

Before I go any further, it’s important to acknowledge that many people don’t have the privilege to operate in the same spaces as the far-Right and that going out into the streets or extending support is a matter of personal preference.

That said, an anarchist presence on the ground is important to maintain because firstly, we should reject statist measures such as taxes that that eat into the livelihoods of the working class and present an alternate framework that address the problem at its root, capitalism itself. Secondly, as pointed out by CrimethInc., fascists have attempted to co-opt the yellow vest movement and a strong anarchist presence would serve to counter their reactionary appeal to apolitical protesters. Finally standing in solidarity with each other, fighting the police state, is a good opportunity for anarchists to demonstrate their ideals and broaden their networks.



the average french prole probably has a better understanding of class than you rat ;)

best quote I've seen on this?

"If they were American, they would be those that make up Trumps hardcore base but no French worker is stupid enough to believe a billionaire can represent their interests."

"no French worker is stupid enough to believe a billionaire can represent their interests."

Then why so many Holy Workers voted for Macron at the last elections? The PS clan and Sarkozy were also into big money as well..

"Holy workers"? Don't be an idiot. The point is, he REPRESENTS billionaires, he doesn't happen to actually be one. That would absurd. Outside the US, at least one degree of separation from our oligarchs is required.

Anyway, I was mostly going for a standard bit of americans-are-slightly-fukin-stupider-than-everyone-else fun

No big surprise. From my own experiences in neighbourhood brawls, if one is indoctrinated into a binary warfare mentality, in any battle against a larger foe, the smaller factions whatever their diverse background always unite against a common foe.

to burn as much down as you can, destroy everything, enjoy the moment

damn all this talk about "organising" and planning for the future

Don't forget looting! Knock all those big ticket items off your holiday gift list, Momma needs a new flatscreen!

Yes, Yes, Loot everything

But are they engaging with eco extremist ideas?

Have they even heard of Max Stirner!?

appear to be mostly coming from working-class suburbs and rural areas. Therefore, nearly all of them MUST be Racist, Xenophobic, Misogynist, Homophobic, Transphobic, Ableist, Imperialist Monsters. They must be DENOUNCED by all true Anti-Oppression Activists. Don't be fooled by their rants against the wealthy, they're just Beefsteak Nazis! Crush them! CRUSH THEM!

Its starting, 14 comments counting this, yeehaaa, keep them dice rolling.

That anti-idpol piece got over 200 comments.
Can't we get at least 50 on this?

I can help a hand!
C'MON all you gas guzzlin' urban proles, post a comment for me, I represent the lobby for fuel tax discounts for idpols. We can do it. Diliver some comments to a dirty smog environment from cheaper lead based gasoline!
Wat h the comments flow in now you feline jungle lurker!

Hey yanky idpol fucker, we arent your idpol, we are yokel country frog eating racist scum, we decapitate you aristocratic Muhrican billionaires, piff piff!

Excuse me monsieur AnarchoCasino, but our little French cars have engines and fuel consumption rates 1/3 of your big macho American cars, a d our population is much less and only 27% of French own cars compared to your countries 86%.
But OUR casinos are world renowned and more prestigious and less gimicky. Your fake Eiffel tower is an affront to French engineering!

Yousd fuyckin gfay fgench cars art fguckoing poiss sdhit wagions!!

into long, grinding commutes due to lack of affordable housing near job centers and poor to severely poor public transit. NONE of us want this. "Climate change mitigation" that is both ineffective and hits working people the hardest is exactly what you would EXPECT from the liberal elite. Let's empty the Titanic with teacups!

Quote from recent climate summit in Poland: "The collapse of civilization is on the horizon!"
Lets hope so.

*raises glass* Hear hear!

As usual, them proles are making a choice. In my town you had this recent suburban sprawl consisting of cheap housing for migrants, with bus stops at very corners. Everything that progressives would support... and I inclusively.

So where's the catch? This sprawl has been gradually annihilating the last major untouched, wild green space in the area. I can't blame the newcomers to this country for not being familiar with the ongoing devastation of ecosystems by life-supporting systems that rely heavy energetic input (including oil); they are not after all the ultra-corrupt urban planners getting golden contracts straight from city councilors, neither the building contractors or even (for the most part, the construction industry being a racist milieu around here)

So what does it tell us of the proles anti-green practices? Well first of all the proles do have a choice even if they are constrained by socio-economic pressure. Haitians don't mind taking cheap apartments downtown just as I do, even with their huge families. But some Arabic, Pakistanese or East Euro people will prefer the suburbs. To what extent the same old American Dream or just the promise for a better life plays a role in them buying it, in the hope of having their share of the pie? Remember that it's a lifestyle -or like tiqqunians called it a "life form"- that people uncritically, unconsciously accept to buy, not merely condos. This lifestyle, based on a geographically horizontal, mass-consumer model of development, is inherently destructive and parasitic. What is needed are vertical cities that rely on a minimum of energy and transportation systems.. Obviously anarchist urban planners (like me?) won't be bringing this to us in five years from now, yet there are cheap and somewhat easy ways to build pressure and momentum for things to *slow down* towards an eventual shift. have we forgot the paradigm left over from Occupy? That what's the most urgently needed are social arrests?

...or you may also just join me in my forest squat, somewhere, and hope we won't be seeing a team of money-hungry Workers cutting the trees and blasting rocks nearby the next day. Trust me... I been through this, and it's aaaall due to the economic demands of Holy Workers and their sacred families.

"neither the building contractors or even..." construction workers.

Pretty much all of civilization is an "anti-green practice", why isolate the "proles" and act like they're any more culpable than anyone else?

to be had in fuck the "proles". See below.
Its especially "edgy" with an "anarchist" gloss.

as far as all this terrible consumption goes, aggregate spending by the wealthiest 5% is greater than the entire bottom 80% combined.

My point exactly kitty, thankya!

Anon replied to here. I just came back from my fart-bong edgefest as I was wondering how could I be making "$$$" out of writing "fuck he proles". I'm quite poor, way less privileged than working-class people out there. Any leads for a job?

Plus, have you got anything else to say beyond that, on the stuff I wrote? I thought I made a argument about the proles being at least *in part* responsible for the shit they're producing. Or maybe you could explain how they're really just all deterministic slaves/drones without no other choice than to work along whatever presents itself to each of them, as in classic Marxism where there's no such thing as free will or individual consciousness?

Thank you

That's not how marxism works … and telling working people to join you in abject poverty as passive opposition to capitalism is … astonishingly unhelpful to you or them. But yes, most of us are complicit to some degree, true. More interesting question is, who benefits while the fairly poor and really poor are fighting each other?

Unless you've never read Marx, he's treating economic relations as completely deterministic and predictable through scientific models just as biology or physics. Materialist dialectics is a classic hegelian dialectics aimed at explaining history through outdated evolutionist (deterministic) approach. For Marx, communism was the final product to many more centuries of capitalist and socialistic waves of evolution and conflicts.

As to your nitpicky claim that I was asserting poverty as a solution to the world's problems, you're either bad at reading comprehension or just trying to troll hard.

"More interesting question is, who benefits while the fairly poor and really poor are fighting each other?"

The people with higher social standing? Your city's football/hockey team? Some Chinese bilionaires? Or whoever runs Anews!?

And gambling opportunistic idpol lovers like me benefit mr know-it-all anarchist, thankyou very much :)

The politicians benefit that's who. That's why Marx insisted on a dictatorship of the proles until another alternative system of social management was arrived at. Not everything is rotten about Marx, its rather the interpretation and industrial circumstances of that era, and the domination of megalomaniacs who first used Marx as their supposed inspiration, who twisted and mutatated a true expression of Marxist ideas, though some were defective.
Wayne would add to this if he read it.

"classic Marxism where there's no such thing as free will or individual consciousness?" <---- this is the nit I'm picking, for the record. Rather than insisting I've never read marx because I disagree with you, maybe you're the one with the bad faith interpretation that smells like anti-commie propaganda.

Why thats dumb: you're blaming marx for how the entirety of economic theory works? You can't talk about economics without structuralism, etc. Everyone who writes about the topic is guilty of cancelling out "free will or individual consciousness". It's like saying Thomas Aquinus is a dick for thumping on the bible … maybe he is, but so are the other 10,000 writers on the topic. Why single out marx?

The "will" of people is determined by material conditions in Marx. People thrive to fight for more power (capital) in a society made of a multitude of contradictions. This the main place where Nietzsche agrees with Marx. Contradictions are the preset for the desire for economic empowerment. So therefore GIlets Jaunes is fulfilling the continuous predictions of Marx, but at the same time, is it every French person under 100k a year who's protesting and rioting in Paris? No.

This whole comment cascade did not come from me focusing on "the proles" but on Red Panther victimizing the "working class". I just answered by saying that even when working class -and especially when working class!- people are responsible of some of their practices and choices, not just "dem rich capitalists". That includes going to get a job that requires a car, or building another goddamn family. This doesn't just *happen* to somebody... there are alternatives.

Yet they refuse it because? Conformity. They choose the mainstream, to do like others, and follow the symbols of success and models of wealth... You're a complete ideological mindfuck if you can't see this.

The working class is a state of consciousness which thinks with its stomach and its loins. It is said that Paul Getty could just slip into a working-class consciousness and become really mean with his money by just thinking of food and sex, so you get my drift, Marx was the capital obsessed percentage man.
Engels was the romantic idealist noble savage savior who wan't to create a worker's Utopia based on anthropological writings and other observations of indigenous societies, transposing that primitive communist social system over the framework of a modern industrial culture. This is like amateur laboratory experiments mixing unmarked test-tubes of chemicals together KABOOM!!
Playing with billions of peoples lives as if its just one big weekend fun stunt action event organized by a group of wealthy playboys and their gang of immoral corrupt thugs, sure, war is gonna breakout over turf and the spoils of conquest, the spectacle is in full bloom, the workers are completely enthralled with the entertainment, let the show begin!

So marx didn't account for conformity, in your view … ok then. Not a very interesting point because I already hate people and think little of their hive mind tendencies but ok, sure. Don't really think group psychology is the point of marx either imo but we're off in the weeds so… whatever.

Can you turn this into a 700-800 word essay and send it to me? Thanks. I'll pay if it's good


Your little Bikini Atoll was nothing compared to our Muriroa Atoll. WE BLEW IT RIGHT OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH, THERE'S GALLIC MACHO POSTURING ON A GLOBAL SCALE!
The Statue of Liberty IS OURS!

in an extreme variety of habitats, and even now has the widest range of almost any mammal species. Here in California, there are guestimated to be 8000 cougar-kitties. One managed to wander into Berkeley's Gourment Ghetto, where the poor kitty was shot by police, provoking a great uproar. Cougar-kitty's paw is the size of a man's hand, but much thicker with 1" claws. My favorite lurking habitat is the montaine forest of the northern Sierra, especially when the Bambi dears eat my Politically Correct vegan permaculture. Cougars have been known to follow human hikers out of curiosity. The exceedingly few cougar attacks on humans are ALWAYS front-page news; maybe some cougar-kitties have joined ITS.

All I know is they'd make damn good nihilists who wouldn't care one bit about the price of gas!

NO they wouldn't make damn good nihilists, they are workerists too attached to their cars and employment, you may as well have a football or ice-hockey riot. These proles have NO comprehension of the Abyss!

Oh wait, sorry, you meant COUGARS would make good nihilists, well still NO, they don't even think in terms of fuel, price, or even care, they think in cougar consciousness, something totally alien. Too much Dr Doolittle and Disney has really messed with your comprehension dood.

Having a ton of comments by idiots and meme accounts and internet crazies with little connection to reality just makes the whole thing hard to read and devalues the whole thread. Be careful what you wish for.

with 87 different kinds of cheese!

i don’t even like yellow

I hate those yellow workerist jackets workers use these days, no style at all. What happened to good old denim and cotton blue and khaki work wear? I can understand it for workers around moving machinery, but OFFICE WORKERS on computers. Very clone or prisoner wear isn't it? I can just see the counter-revolutionary orders to shoot everything yellow that moves. Poor canaries. :(


Class warfare is a thing of the past these idpol days!

Ohhh nooo English pig, zee ghost of Robespierre lives on from zee backstreets on Montpassant to zee walls of zee Bastion, aww, we passionate French rebels sip our cognac and smoke our Galloises in zee revolutionary cafes scheming our victorious march to zee houses of parliament and raising zee black and red circled A from zee palace tower. Awww my little sweet honey drops, come with me to zee barricades and fight for zee liberty, VIVA ZEE FREEDOM!!

One can understand why there exists such a strong communist tradition in France just by knowing that they have suffered so badly from fascists and nazis over the centuries.

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