[Marxism] France’s protesters are part of a global backlash against climate-change taxes - The Washington Post

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 5 08:29:17 MST 2018

Comment on FB about the Yellow Vests from a Venezuelan leftist hostile 
to Maduro currently teaching in Doha.

Jairo Lugo-Ocando:

Over the years, there are have been two key discursive resources used by 
neoliberalism to advance its political agenda. One is the notion of 
‘common sense’ (highlighted by Gramsci), which dictates that the evident 
and immediate issue is treated in isolation. That is pretending that the 
issue of high costs of fuel in France has happened in a vacuum, when in 
reality the fuel prices would not be a problem if there had not been a 
disinvestment in French public transports (many times is more expensive 
to travel by car or mobilize merchandise by trucks than by train), if 
the taxation system was fair or if wages and employment had not been 
stagnated for so long. The second is the notion (false notion) of choice 
-i.e. giving parent vouchers so kids go to a ‘better’ private school 
when in reality a single mother working 12 hours in the Bronx and who 
does not have a car, family support or time has cero chance of making 
use of these vouchers that end up not only helping those who do not need 
that help but also widening the gap between rich and poor as middle 
class kids end up taking advantage of those vouchers and leaving the 
poor kids behind. Regarding this last point, Macron has fallow the same 
narrative of his predecessors; that is, he claims that he is imposing 
these taxes as a way of addressing the environmental issue, which is 
false. The French state has total discretion at how it uses those taxes 
and most of what collects from fuel go to other areas such as the 
military. More important, at no point there is evidence that high fuel 
prices have made people go to public transport because they also 
increase in equal proportion their own tickets. The whole thing is a lie 
that seems almost thought to create a backlash against environmental 
policies. The taxes upon the gasoline prices is NOT an environmental 
policy. It is only a decoy to make people think that their ‘consumer’ 
actions can transform the system (which is BS). Having said that, yes 
Macron is a prick, no doubt about that. But let us not forget that he 
was elected in a particular context where you had to vote for him while 
puking because of the real possibility of the National Front getting 
into power.

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