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The Legacy of Lyndon LaRouche (1922 – 2019???).

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LaRouche really did not like us lot either.

The ultimate American politician and conspiracist is dead—at least according to Twitter. It’s hard to know where to begin, really. This video summarizes LaRouche’s thoughts on Walter Mondale and is as good a place as any to start. The waters run deep and wide; I cannot but suspect Prince Philip is pleased to outlive him.

Here.

This, well-established rumour, was widely tweeted.

Many of the views for which LaRouche is famous are, these days, mainstream conspi stiff, “September 11th was an “inside job”, that Global Warming is a myth, “The “Greenhouse effect” hoax: a world federalist plot” and, inevitably, George Soros, whom he identified as a puppet master back in 2008

Your Enemy George Soros.

This Report documents the takeover of the democratic party by George Soros. A Nazi sympathizer who continues in the destruction of peoples and nations around the world.

LaRouche’s loathing for ‘Zionists’ nearly equalled some of the European ‘anti-Zionists’ of today, ” the Zionist Lobby is “the most visible of the internal enemies of the United States–and of the human race–at this specific moment. Every policy it is currently pushing is pure evil.” In his take on this (back in the 1970s) he said, “calls for a national “Task Force” to “root out the cancer in the American body politic that is the so-called Zionist Lobby….Literally thousands of operatives for the Zionist Lobby have penetrated the halls of Congress, the State and Defense Departments, the CIA, and American business and labor organizations….Their loyalties lie not with the United States but with the Zionist-British organism….[A]nyone professing Zionist loyalties is by definition incapable of being loyal to the interests of the United States. He is, by definition, a national security risk. The Zionist octopus must be eliminated.” LAROUCHE & CO.: A CHORUS OF HATE

The writer of this Blog first learnt of the existence of LaRouche at the end of the 60s when I was about 15 years old.

The National Caucus of Labor Committees put its material in the old Collete’s ‘Bomb Shop’ in Tottenham Court Road.

It was hallucinatory.

Yet we learn that the group had its origins in the US New Left.

The NCLC had it origins in the 1968 convention of the Students for a Democratic Society. It comprised people who had been expelled from the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, an SDS faction, and students from Columbia University in New York City. It called itself the “SDS Labor Committee” or the “National Caucus of SDS Labor Committees”.[5][6] Led by LaRouche, it included “New Left lieutenants” Ed Spannaus, Nancy Spannaus, and Tony Papert, as well as Paul Milkman, Paul Gallagher, Leif Johnson, Tony Chaitkin, and Steve Fraser.[7][8] According to Dennis King, Papert and Fraser had been targets of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operatives.[9] The Labor Committee was known for promoting a “socialist re-industrialization” of the economy, combined with confiscatory taxes on what it saw as wasteful and parasitic investment. It was expelled from SDS for taking the side of the teachers’ union in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike.[5] It was originally a New Left organization influenced by Trotskyist ideas[10] as well as those of other Marxists such as Rosa Luxemburg, but opposed other New Left organizations which LaRouche said were dominated by the Ford FoundationInstitute for Policy Studies and Herbert Marcuse.

Wikipedia.

LaRouche’s background is no less intelligible, at least to this Blog,

In 1964 he began an association with an SWP faction called the Revolutionary Tendency, a faction which was later expelled from the SWP, and came under the influence of British Trotskyist leader Gerry Healy.[23]

For six months, LaRouche worked with American Healyite leader Tim Wohlforth, who later wrote that LaRouche had a “gargantuan ego”, and “a marvelous ability to place any world happening in a larger context, which seemed to give the event additional meaning, but his thinking was schematic, lacking factual detail and depth.” Leaving Wohlforth’s group, LaRouche briefly joined the rival Spartacist League before announcing his intention to build a new “Fifth International”.[21]

In 1967 LaRouche began teaching classes on Marx’s dialectical materialism at New York City’s Free School,[24] and attracted a group of students from Columbia University and the City College of New York, recommending that they read Das Kapital, as well as Hegel, Kant, and Leibniz. During the 1968 Columbia University protests, he organized his supporters under the name National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC).[24] The aim of the NCLC was to win control of the Students for a Democratic Society branch—the university’s main activist group—and build a political alliance between students, local residents, organized labor, and the Columbia faculty.[25][26][27][28] By 1973 the NCLC had over 600 members in 25 cities—including West Berlin and Stockholm—and produced what Dennis King called the most literate of the far-left papers, New Solidarity.[29][30] The NCLC’s internal activities became highly regimented over the next few years. Members gave up their jobs and devoted themselves to the group and its leader, believing it would soon take control of America’s trade unions and overthrow the government.

Wikipedia.

This is the point where it all goes a lot more haywire.

It is hard to get a hold on it all.

Perhaps this may help.

There are many people in the US referred to as ‘left-wing’. Honourable people who do a lot of good. But in Europe their politics are centre-left, liberal, ‘progressive’.

The Marxist, or even radical, American left, has little practical influence on politics. Bernie Sanders, who would be on the centre mainstream of the UK Labour Party, never had the slightest chance of becoming President. The world was solemnly enjoined to take note when a couple of socialist councillors and  then a couple of mildly radical socialist inclined individuals (in all cases with something like the politics of the respectable centre of the UK Labour Party) got elected to Congress.

This means, some who know the US scene better than this Blog (not difficult)  say, that it is  made up of often frustrated and isolated individuals. It is claimed that they either live ‘dual lives’ (revolutionaries in their own minds, making daily compromises to the rest of the world), or keep the flame in enclaves (academic or cultural) shut off from the rest of the world, in academia or imaginary “Marxism lists”. However personally successful people may be in these conditions, however amiable and open-minded they are,  their politics are likely to be pretty adrift. This would naturally attract its share of odd-bods, as all unorthodox politics do.

But LaRouche was special.

Very special. 

Extract from the history of the group and actions which first brought him to wider attention

Operation Mop Up

LaRouche’s writings in the late 1960s displayed an intense curiosity about the history and methods of European fascism. His research, so his followers thought, was aimed at learning how to prevent fascism. But his analysis differed in subtle ways from that of other leftists. One of the first observers to spot something amiss was his old rival Tim Wohlforth. In a 1968 article, Wohlforth noted LaRouche’s “preposterous theory” that the Nazi’s murder of six million Jews had been motivated solely by economics. “It seems,” wrote Wohlforth, “that when [the Nazis] worked the Jews to a point where there was no labor power left in them, they simply sent them to the gas chambers to save the cost of upkeep for unproductive slaves.” Wohlforth saw LaRouche’s theory as just a one-sided analysis of Nazi motives. He didn’t suspect that LaRouche one day would develop his own brand of fascism.

In 1971, LaRouche published a major article on the prospects for fascist base building in America, Only with a mass base, he observed, could a “storm trooper” organization have “saleable qualities” that might attract support from “leading governmental and financial interests.” He predicted that such a movement would emerge soon on the basis of a “populist” ideology and diverse appeals to rival ethnic groups. This movement would begin to furnish the capitalists with gangs to “break strikes and break up socialist and union meetings.” Although at first it might include fascist-minded Jews, it would sooner or later turn on the Jewish community. The Jews, LaRouche observed, were “a most visible and thus ‘ripe’ ” candidate for the role of scapegoat.

LaRouche also predicted that a new type of left-wing group, defined as “left-protofascist,” would take part in the street violence on the side of overtly right-wing ethnic fascists. In subsequent articles he examined how the alleged controllers of fascism, the American capitalist class, might use advanced brainwashing techniques to transform leftist college students into precisely this type of left-fascist “zombie.” He meanwhile began to teach his own leftist followers to regard themselves as “Prometheans,” an elite far above the rest of humanity,

LaRouche’s implication was clear: The NCLC must learn from fascism and adopt some of fascism’s tactics. But his followers still regarded themselves as good Marxists (in spite of their elitist pretensions) and retained a visceral hatred of fascism. If LaRouche wanted to steer them to the right, he would have to turn the NCLC into a controlled environment for ideological reeducation—a political cult.

The NCLC’s transformation occurred in three overlapping stages during 1973-74. First, LaRouche ordered his followers into the streets for a campaign of savage attacks on rival leftist groups called Operation Mop Up. This forced them to either deepen their commitment or get out. It also isolated them irrevocably from the rest of the left.

Second, LaRouche staged “ego-stripping” sessions at NCLC meetings, instilling in his followers a sense of shame over any ideological wavering or lack of courage they might have displayed during Mop Up.

Finally, he whipped up an atmosphere of hysteria inside the NCLC based on allegations of an assassination plot aimed against himself. The acceptance of these bizarre allegations severed most of the remaining links between NCLC members and everyday reality.

Operation Mop Up was preceded by months of squabbling between the NCLC and the Communist Party USA. NCLC members had frequently disrupted CP meetings with long harangues from the floor. The CP began tossing them out and published articles alleging that they were government agents. Matters escalated in early 1973 when the NCLC announced a conference in Philadelphia to build a national organization for welfare recipients and the unemployed. CP members and other local activists started a campaign to discredit the conference, calling its NCLC organizers racists as well as agents. The NCLC leadership was furious. A New Solidarity front-page editorial, entitled “Deadly Crisis for CPUSA,” warned the CP that if it didn’t back off it would face an all-out counterattack. The CP failed to take the threat seriously.

On the conference’s opening day the anti-NCLC coalition sent a sound truck through the black community and staged a picket line with signs comparing the NCLC to the Ku Klux Klan. This failed to stop the event, which was attended by several hundred white middle-class activists and a handful of welfare mothers. The harassment did, however, give LaRouche the pretext he needed. He called an emergency meeting of the East Coast NCLC. “From here on in,” he declared, “the CP cannot hold a meeting on the East Coast . . . We’ll mop them up in two months.” The NCLC, he promised, would seize “hegemony” on the left—i.e., replace the CP as the dominant organization.

Many NCLC members were shocked and frightened by LaRouche’s announcement, but he anticipated their reluctance: “I know you better than you know yourselves, and for the most part you’re full of crap,” he said. “This isn’t a debating society anymore.”

For further information see  LYNDON LAROUCHE AND THE NEW AMERICAN FASCISM

There’s plenty more to say about his career, but this is a gem:

Britain, The Empire of Evil, Pushes Genocide and World War

2015.

As Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrived Wednesday in Germany for a three-day visit, the truly Satanic nature of the British Empire was on full display. Prince Philip’s top aide, Martin Palmer, is the principal organizer of a French government-sponsored Paris conference in July, peddling the same genocidal program of “Earth stewardship” that would-be mass murderer John Schellnhuber inserted into the recent Papal Encyclical on climate change. The Paris conference is part of the propaganda assault, leading to the next ‘Copenhagen’ conference at the end of the year, also in Paris. The Worldwatch Institute, founded by Lester Brown, has just issued a report, demanding an end to all subsidies for fossil-fuel and nuclear power, as part of the drive for a total conversion to renewables like solar and wind power.

Any such reversal of the core principle of increased energy- flux density means mass genocide, on the scale that Prince Philip and Schellnhuber have been advocating for decades. Leading Italian economist Nino Galloni has penned an excellent attack on the recent Papal Encyclical, precisely from the standpoint of the concept of “energy-flux density” developed by Lyndon LaRouche.

The question that must be posed to all sane citizens is: Are you for the British Empire’s genocide, or are you for the human race? Are you with Zeus or Prometheus?

This is no abstract question. With the entire European financial system just days away from potential complete meltdown, around the showdown with Greece, and with a British-led NATO explicitly provoking thermonuclear confrontation with both Russia and China, the very survival of mankind is on the line.

There is no question where President Obama stands. He is a British agent, fully committed to the genocidal agenda of Prince Philip, Martin Palmer, John Schellnhuber, and the rest. Yesterday, the internationally renowned Doctors Without Borders issued a highly unusual, scathing attack on Obama, for his Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade swindle, which, the release details, will shut off affordable medicine to at least a half billion people, under the secret clauses of the treaty, written in league with the major pharmaceutical companies. This is mass murder, plain and simple, and this is Obama.

The greatest danger to human survival is the British Empire’s plan for mass genocide, as expressed by the Queen’s agent Schellnhuber. This is a full-blown commitment by the British Royal Family to reduce the world population to under one billion people. Any other matters are distractions and intentionally engineered distractions to prevent any effective counter to the genocide plans.

The British Empire is a Satanic force, and is the continuation of the European Empire system that has been at war with mankind, ever since the launching of the 15th-Century Renaissance by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa. The Empire’s response to Cusa and the Renaissance was the launching of 150 years of uninterrupted religious war on the European continent.

The latest expression of the British Monarchy’s commitment to that same mass extinction is the Schellnhuber operation run against the Pope. It is around this issue that the future of mankind will be decided in the immediate period ahead.

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 13, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Rise in anti-Semitic Acts in France.

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2018, 69 % increase of  anti-semitic acts in France.(Plantu)

(To underline this the Plantu FB page where this cartoon comes from, is already full of racist, and anti-semite, comments.

eg, “Pourquoi la France serait-elle à l’abri d’actes antisémites provoqués par l’attitude des Juifs”).)

Number of antisemitic attacks in France rise by 74% in one year

Independent.

‘These acts are revolting,’ prime minister says

Portraits of a Holocaust survivor stained with swastikas. A memorial in honour of a Jewish man vandalised. A bagel shop with the German word “Juden” sprayed on its front window.

These are just a few of the hundreds of antisemitic acts that have been committed in recent months in France, home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside Israel and the United States.

According to French authorities, registered incidents of antisemitism rose to 541 last year from 311 in 2017, an increase of 74 per cent.

“These acts are revolting,” prime minister Edouard Philippe said at the French parliament on Tuesday. “Day after day I’m noticing scandalous degradation and inscriptions. Day after day, I’m noticing that symbols and venues our country cherishes are attacked.”

The French left daily, l’Humanité talks of a foul stench from the 1930s.

The FSU says:

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Libération leads on a wave of anti-Semitic acts sweeping across Europe;

L’Europe menacée par une «déferlante» d’antisémitisme.

Opinion polls and statistics show a worsening of anti-Semitic incidents and the growing concern of the Jewish community. A third of European Jews have considered emigrating.

….

 the upward trend observed in France is confirmed elsewhere. And especially in Britain, where the second largest Jewish community in Europe after France lives.

According to the Jewish Community Security Trust (CST), which has been tracking antisemitic incidents in the United Kingdom since 1984 and has just published its 2018 report , these acts increased by 16% last year, from 1420 to 1652. the third consecutive year, the level of  incidents rose again, which confirms,  the CSE highlighted , the existence of a strong trend.  In detail, the organisation has recorded 122 violent attacks, 78 cases of vanadalism or desecration, 109 physical or verbal threats and about 1,300 cases of “abusive behaviour”, a category encompassing both verbal attacks, hate e-mails, graffiti and antisemitic messages on social networks.

In another article in Libération Antisémitisme : un fléau sans finBernadette Sauvaget) this point is made,

..it is too early to put forward any definitive explanations for this recent increase anti-Jewish acts.  “We are witnessing a resurgence of traditional anti-Semitism,” said Marc Knobel. The historian noted the return of themes such as the supposed link between Jews and money, typical of 1930s anti-Semitism. “If Macron had been the director of Crédit Agricole, nobody would have said anything about it, explains Marc Knobel. The fact that he worked at the Rothschild bank fueled a lot of rumours. ” There appears to be a convergence  between the propagation of conspiracy theories (which take up the theme of the supposed hidden power of the Jews), their widespread dissemination on social networks, the influence of the ultra-right and the generalization of a climate of violence in society .

The Times leads on this:

Yellow vests fuel surge in antisemitism across France

But the following comment has been made, by Business Day,

the rise in anti-Semitic acts in France predates the “yellow vest” movement and there was no evidence on Tuesday tying the latest incidents to the movement.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said anti-Jewish offences reported to the police surged 74% in 2018 to 541 from 311 in 2017. Castaner said 183 involved assaults and at least one murder, while 358 were anti-Semitic threats or insults.

“Anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,” Castaner said while visiting a memorial site outside Paris for a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006.

A tree planted at the site where 23-year-old Ilan Halimi’s body was found had been chopped down, and a second tree was partly sawed through.

The following has been announced: (Europe 1)

Une manifestation contre l’antisémitisme ? Ce serait “une très belle initiative”, selon ces “gilets jaunes

A demonstration against anti-Semitism? It would be “a very good initiative”, according to these “yellow vests”

Pourquoi en appeler ainsi aux “gilets jaunes” ? Pour l’heure, aucune des enquêtes sur des actes récents d’antisémitisme n’impute la responsabilité aux “gilets jaunes”. Pourtant, plusieurs voix établissent un lien entre ces actes et les agissements d’une minorité radicalisée se réclamant du mouvement qui agite la France depuis le 17 novembre. La présence de certains groupuscules violents d’extrême droite au sein des cortèges, elle aussi, inquiète.

Why call so on “yellow vests”? For the moment, none of the investigations into recent acts of anti-Semitism impute liability to the “gilets Jaunes.” However, several voices link these acts to the actions of a radicalized minority claiming the movement that has agitated France since 17 November. The presence of certain violent groups of extreme right within the Gilets Jaunes marches, is equally worrying.

As in:

And this:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 13, 2019 at 1:43 pm

National Populism. Roger Eatwell, Matthew Goodwin. Review: A Feast of Gammon.

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Image result for National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.

A Feast of Gammon.

National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.

Gammon: This word probably derives from the same original as ‘game’ and gamble, but in Victorian and later slang it meant to impose upon, delude, cheat, or play the game on.”

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Millennium Edition.

Gammon:  term used to describe a particular type of Brexit-voting, europhobic, middle-aged white male, whose meat-faced complexion suggests they are perilously close to a stroke.

The term ‘gammon’ is linked to the unhealthy pink skin tone of such stout yeomen, probably because of high blood pressure caused by decades of ‘PC gone mad’, being defeated in arguments about the non-existent merits of Brexit and women getting the vote.

Gammon often make their appearance on BBC’s Question Time jabbing their porcine fingers at the camera while demanding immediate nuclear strikes against Remain-voting areas, people who eat vegetables and/or cyclists.

When gammon appears en masse it is often referred to as a “wall of gammon”.

The first known usage of the term ‘gammon’ to describe the complexion of men of an overly-jingoistic fashion dates from as far back as 1838 in a description of Mr Gregsbury, a Member of Parliament, in Charles Dickens’ novel, Nicholas Nickleby.

Urban Dictionary.

In George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman novels the word gammon crops up. As Tom Brown’s bully bluffs and wriggles through life, his career is gammon itself. A red-faced liar, and cowardly racialist, the ardent Imperialist is the forebear of today’s British cured ham populists and patriots.

National Populism refers to, in Eatwell and Goodwin’s view, movements that “prioritise the culture and interests of the nation, and promise to give voice to a people who feel that they have been neglected, even held in contempt, by distant and often corrupt elites.” (Page ix) The authors consider what national supporters “feel” about “corrupt elites”, and movements that promote these themes,  have to be taken at face value. They are not going to be called out as gammon, dismissed as irrational, uneducated, racists. They “see their own arguments as moral.” (Page 171)

From UKIP (which has never held direct political power, The French Front National (now Rassemblement National) – also never in government – to President Trump, Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, Matteo Salvini’s La Lega, in power in Italy with the ‘populist’ , Movimento 5 Stelle, the Freedom parties in the Netherlands and Austria, and others, there are common traits. They are populists in the sense that they wish to “make the popular will heard and acted on”, defend the interests of “plain, ordinary people” and wish to replace “corrupt and distant elites”. To these vague, not to say vacuous, words – thin enough – national populism adds one strong term, nationalism. National populists stand out with a “strong emphasis on immigration and ethnic change” (Page 80). Behind this diversity there is a “fairly broad alliance of people without degrees who share traditional values and a cluster of core concerns about their lack of voice, the position of their group relative to others, and in particularly immigration and ethnic change.”(Page 39)

Distrust of politicians, “rapid ethnic change” a fear of relative deprivation, under the effects of “neoliberal globalisation” (whose economics are left hanging in the air) feed national populism. But the perception of a threat of “ethnic destruction” is the pillar of the demand for “national independence and identity”. Concerned to demolish “misleading myths” Eatwell and Goodwin give legitimacy to fears about “hyper-ethnic change”, or in the words of famous polemicist they do not refer to, Renaud Camus, “le Grand Remplacement” (Révoltez-vous! 2015). This is not the biological racism of the 1930s far right or modern race-war fascism. It is more cultural. To use a word already taken into English, it is “identitarian”; “We do not think the term “racism” should be applied solely because people seek to retain the broad parameters of the ethnic base of country and its national identity, even though this can involve discriminating against outside groups. “(Page 75)

Angry White Men.

There is a history to be written about the writers and academics with a taste for the pink meat, the Gammon left and right. Eatwell and Goodwin began by refusing to scorn national populists as “crude bigots and old white men”,  far -from-well-off, uneducated, and marginalised from society. They point out that many of these parties have a degree of backing from the respectable middle-class, women indeed vote for them, as well as workers. France indeed has a whole array of intellectuals on the national populist side, some of whom, like Michel Onfray, Emmanuel Todd, and Jean-Claude Michéa, still claiming a wavering leftist thread, even a belief in ‘common decency’ for their sovereigntist dreams, others, Éric Zemmour at their head, clearly on the nationalist right.

Reviewing National Populism for – inevitably – Spiked, Jon Holbrook misses that point and rejoices at a counterblast against “the elite’s dismissive response” to “angry white men”. (Populism is a struggle for democracyJanuary 2019). Gammonry’s French cousin, the Beauf, the American Jacobin might add, is equally the much-maligned target of loaded put downs. Populism is a fight for democracy against “supra-nationalism”, the “transfer of power to transnational organisations”. Gérard Bras talks of the contempt expressed by liberal opponents of populism. For them it expresses the irrationality of the people, their ignorance and their characteristic whims. (“ exprime l’irrationalité du peuple, son ignorance et son caractère velléitaire”) Citing Jacques Rancière he asserts that the charge of “populism” expresses the contempt that, the ruling “politically correct hold for the ruled, (“le politiquement correct dominant tient les dominés”). As Holbrook puts it, “political correctness empowered liberalism to double down on its traditional fear of majority opinion….” (1)

Image result for beauf cabu

 

There is widespread awareness of what National Populism calls the “dealignment” of politics, the drift away from life-long political loyalties, and the decline of social democratic and left support in Europe. No doubt with this in mind the rival ‘left populist’ Chantal Mouffe has protested against the “demonising of the enemies of the “bipartisan consensus. They express opposition to this globalised neoliberal “oligarchy”, to what she dubs, “post-democracy”, and a push for popular sovereignty – whose limits and shapes remain to be defined. Inheriting strategic thinking about populism begun by her late partner Ernesto Laclau the interlocutor of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and some of the leaders of the (presently splintered) Podemos, proposes a political response. The red-faced masses’ “Xenophobic language”, writes Chantal Mouffe, “could be formulated in a different vocabulary and directed towards another adversary”. (2)

“Critics of the neo-liberal order” welcomed the UK leave vote, the “rising of the North” from the anti-EU “rust belt regions”. This was an authentic working class that turned it back on the Trade Union majority and the Labour Party’s official position. That is the ‘Lexit’, pro-Brexit, lament against internationalists, the “cosmopolitans’ from nowhere. But this book should give food for thought for those crying over the fate of the left-behind.

The message of National Populism,  is that, taking this into account, “we need to talk about immigration”.  How can, Éric Fassin has commented, the same “affects”, the emotions that fuel this conversation amongst supporters of national populism be retranslated into a left-wing populism? The chances are slim. I would say close to zero. What is their demand? Ending migration would come, if not at the top, at least close to it. National ‘preference’? Putting our ‘ain folk’ first, and, above all the Nation’s Sovereignty,. above class and ‘elites’. But then I have met national populists. They were, are, and will be, gammon. And who is leading them? Flashman Farrage, Flashman Rees Mogg and Ultra-Flashman, Boris Johnson. (3)

***

  1. Populisme: une enquête philosophique sur un concept insaisissable Review and synopsis of Les Voies du peuple (2018)

  2. Page 23. For a Left Populism. Chantal Mouffe. Verso. 2018.

  3. Page 73 Populisme. Le grand ressentiment. Éric Fassin Textuel. 2017 The term ‘affects’, emotions,  an abomination in both English and French, comes from a reading of Spinoza (a small part of his writings) on the emotions in Frédéric Lordon, La société des affects. 2013. In this context, “By affect I understand affections of the body by which the body’s power of acting is increased or diminished, aided or restrained, and at the same time, the ideas of these affections.” Affect (philosophy).

Labour Against the Witch-hunt Conference Venue Cancelled.

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And all was going swimmingly for Greenestein.

Tony Greenstein’s 40% vote for Secretary of Palestine Solidarity Campaign is a shot across the Executive’s bows

PSC activists express their dissatisfaction with an Executive that puts a Zionist Emily Thornberry on a Palestinian platform

Greenstein even has praise for his old mucker Gerry Downing.

“I carry below a report from Gerry Downing of Socialist Voice on the conference. The Report is a fair one…”

Greenstein then spoils the growing comradely atmosphere which some speculate is leading to an alliance between Law and Socialist Fight,

,”but I have to say that their continued characterisation of the Israel or Zionist lobby as a Jewish ethnic lobby is unhelpful.”

Dear, oh dear….

And Gerry said such supportive things,

Tony Greenstein stood for the Secretary’s position against Ben Soffa but lost by 67 votes to 103, a creditable performance. Socialist Fight put out a leaflet critically defending him (he did motivate our expulsion from Labour Against the Witchhunt).

The event sounds a hoot:

we were entertained by a dance troupe trio from the Palestine Hawiya Dance Company just after the break, who put on a really excellent show for us all.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign AGM 26-1-2019

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

 

Let’s hope they find a new venue.

Agenda

10.30 Registration

11am Opening remarks by chair Jackie Walker

11.10 am ‘The slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn’
Motion introduced by Asa Winstanley (Electronic Intifada) and LAW honorary president Moshé Machover
followed by discussion and amendments

– 1pm lunch break –

1.30pm ‘Why we oppose the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism’
Motion introduced by Glyn Secker (JVL) Tony Greenstein
followed by discussion and amendments

3.15pm
Other motions
LAW constitution
Election of steering committee

Written by Andrew Coates

February 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

Macron, Faced with Gilets Jaunes, “état d’urgence social”; Mélenchon calls for “Citizens’ Insurrection.”

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Point 24. Immigration: stem migratory fluxes.

Macron raises minimum wage to appease Yellow Vest protesters

He said people on the minimum wage would see their salaries increase by €100 a month from 2019 without extra costs to employers. Pensioners earning less than €2,000 would see the recent increase in social security taxes scrapped. Other measures promised include the abolition of taxes on overtime pay in 2019 and asking profit-making companies to give workers tax-free year-end bonuses

However, he also said he would stick to his reform agenda and refused to reinstate a wealth tax.

“We will respond to the economic and social urgency with strong measures, by cutting taxes more rapidly, by keeping our spending under control, but not with U-turns,” Macron said.

Let us go into the details:

PAULINE BOCK New Statesman.

He promised an additional €100 for workers on minimum wage “without it costing a cent to employers” – because it’s not a new raise, just the re-evaluation of a specific allowance that was already planned. (Le Parisien has calculated that the levelled system will negatively impact around 30,000 of the most precarious households). He said that a tax on pensioners “earning less than €2,000” would be cancelled – without making clear that “€2,000” included all earnings, not solely their pension, and would therefore impact less people than his rhetoric implied. He announced an annual tax-free bonus for workers – “whose employers can afford it”, so at a boss’s discretion. Mere hours before Macron’s speech, the Senate also adopted a freeze of welfare payments for 2019. Macron is a bit like a sneaky character in a Disney film: if you don’t negotiate precise terms in the contract, chances are you’re losing out in the agreement as a whole.

Bock’s excellent article misses nevertheless, one thing from this, the overtime tax break.

Le Monde: 

Les heures supplémentaires seront « versées sans impôts ni charges dès 2019 » alors qu’elles devaient initialement être « désocialisées »(pas de cotisations) en septembre 2019. Cette mesure avait déjà été mise en place sous le quinquennat de Nicolas Sarkozy, avant d’être abrogée par François Hollande.

Les heures supplémentaires correspondent au temps travaillé au-delà de la durée légale des 35 heures, et sont rémunérées davantage. Cette majoration de salaire est généralement de 25 %, mais peut être réduite à 10 % par un accord d’entreprise.

Overtime will be “paid without taxes or charges from 2019” when they were initially to be “unsocialised” (no contributions) in September 2019. This measure had already been implemented under the five-year term of Nicolas Sarkozy,  and was  repealed by François Hollande.

Overtime is the time worked beyond the statutory 35-hour period, and is paid more. This salary increase is usually 25%, but can be reduced to 10% by a company agreement.

So, in effect, Macron has not just tried to appeal to the lowest paid, but to the ‘hard-working’ middle earners who can do overtime.

Bock comments that, “These “crumbs” are unlikely to convince the gilets jaunes to cancel their “Act V”, planned for 15 December.”

I would not underestimate the effect of the latter measure on their constituency, as those interviewed on RTL this morning illustrated.

Nevertheless the refusal to reinstate the wealth tax, the  l’impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF) irks many (Piketty : « S’il veut sauver son quinquennat, Macron doit immédiatement rétablir l’ISF » )

There is also the lycéen movement which the left can support unreservedly, not only because of the scenes of police brutality and efforts to humiliate school pupils, but because their protests against education “reform” are right.

Mouvement des lycéens et Gilets jaunes : “On espère faire converger nos luttes”

Update:

Whether they will find an echo in the Gilets Jaunes remains to be seen.

In the meantime the self-appointed leader of the Citizens’ Revolution announced that the Gilets Jaunes protests must continue.

Français encore un effort si vous voulez être révolutionnaires!

The obvious thing to say about Macron’s actions is that he is trying to “reculer pour mieux sauter”.

This can mean either, make a tactical retreat in order to leap back when the time is ripe, or to put off the inevitable.

Unfortunately having had that thought I noticed that  somebody has already made that comment (Pour Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron “recule pour mieux sauter” ). The leader of the far-right notes that the President is putting off the need to face up to globalisation, free trade, AND …..”‘immigration de masse et ses conséquences sociales et culturelles.”

As in:

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Some enthusiasts for the Gilets Jaunes have got so carried away that they ignore the issues this raises.

Verso, apparently a left-wing publisher, has this translated interview (“Paris is not an actor, but a battlefield”) Eric Hazan interviewed about the Gilets Jaunes protests.

Hazan is already notorious for saying, of Jews (he does not bother with the word ‘Zionist’) on the ultra-left  insurrectionist’ site, Lundi Matin, recalling a Paris and a time when ” les juifs n’étaient pas du côté du manche. ” figuratively meaning “près du pouvoir “, that is, to translate. “when the Jews were not on the side of those wielding power.” (EN DESCENDANT LA RUE RAMPONEAU)

This is his latest, on why many intellectuals are reluctant to give unreserved support for the Gilets Jaunes.

A whole range of intellectuals see violence is evil. For those who do not stick to this position and may sometimes consider it legitimate, the fact that the far right is present in this violence puts them off quite a bit. But it doesn’t bother me.

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Amongst many reactions is this one:

Convalescence difficile pour Éric Hazan

Interrogé par Mediapart à propos des «Gilets jaunes», Éric Hazan a fait – notamment – la déclaration confuse et confusionniste ci-après.

On voudra bien considérer le fait que l’éditeur du Comité invisible a connu de graves soucis de santé l’été dernier, qu’il est encore très fatigué, et par suite ne tenir aucun compte de ce qu’il dit.

The following (thanks Paul) from a World to Win News Service  puts some thoughts together not far from those of this Blog, and shared by others, notably French leftists, both from the far left, and more mainstream.

However mad the political origins of the WWNS these points are far from off-beam.

France: “The house is on fire”

…the Yellow Vest movement cannot be evaluated as an isolated phenomenon. Le Pen’s fascist party has been a major force on France’s political scene for over a generation; not only did she make it to the run-offs for President 18 months ago, but her party is leading in the polls for the upcoming European Parliament elections. Le Pen has played a major role in shifting the whole political process to the right. As the mainstream of traditional French politics collapses, as it has in growing numbers of other Western countries, there is an increasing basis for major sections of the ruling class to support her bid for power. Macron is hoping that cancelling the fuel price hike will divide the Yellow Vests and cut off the most determined among them from those among the middle classes whose greatest concern is order, and undoubtedly to use an iron fist on hard-core elements who persist. But stepping up repression against a popular protest risks losing the support among those who look to him as a rampart against the fascists, even as this paves the way for the even more clearly authoritarian Le Pen.

The most important thing is not whether Le Pen is “behind” this movement organizationally. Consider the example of Italy’s Five Star movement. For years it declared itself apolitical and opposed to all parties in the name of “horizontal democracy” by means of social media and Internet referendums, but it ended up in a fascist coalition government alongside openly terroristic thugs who dominate despite the fact that Five Star won far more votes. Again and again mass movements that focus on fighting to turn back the clock and bring back the promises of the past social welfare state have been eaten alive by forces with very clearly defined reactionary political projects – in this case installing a fascist regime as part of defending and advancing France’s position among the bloodthirsty rival thieves of the imperialist world.

How to go beyond the inevitably temporary intersection of different interest groups and unite the people against their enemy, the capitalist-imperialist ruling class and its state? Not like Mélenchon, trying to unite different parts of the masses on the basis of nationalism and futile dreams of reviving the social-democratic welfare state. And not like the anarchists trying to prove that the character of the Yellow Vest movement can be changed and the movement led by proving to be the best street fighters against the police. The people can’t be united spontaneously. Revolutionaries can’t tail after anyone..

For those, by contrast. who wish to dream of the Gilets Jaunes as “une nouvelle construction démocratique” “une respiration démocratique ”  with their ” parlements locaux” and “l’expérience d’une communauté” the following E-pamphlet is recommended:

GILETS JAUNES. Des clés pour comprendre.

Cloud Cuckoo Land Publications is said to be preparing a translation.

 

Gilets jaunes L'actualité

Gilets Jaunes: the Ultra-Right Accused of Creating Saturday’s Violence.

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Image result for ultra-droite aux champs elysees on est chez nous!

Ultra-Right Accused of Leading Violent Protest on the  Champs-Élysées.

According to initial reports, (the violence) was in the majority created by members of the ultra-right, who infiltrated the movement with the sole intention of smashing everything up. These rioters were largely said to be young men, who came from the regions.

“D’après les premiers éléments, il s’agirait en grande majorité de membres de l’ultra-droite, qui se seraient infiltrés au mouvement avec l’unique ambition de tout ravager. Ces casseurs seraient des hommes plutôt jeunes, venus de province.” BFM

The historian of social movements Sylvain Boulouque  evoked the “political colouring” behind the flags carried on the Champs-Elysées, some of which held sympbols of the Sacred Heart and the  fleur de lys. “Calls were spread on the all the web sites of the radical right calling for people to pour into the Champs-Elysees and to storm the Elysée, or at least to get close to it.”

“une coloration politique” des drapeaux représentés sur les Champs-Elysées, parfois frappés du Sacré-Cœur ou de la fleur de lys. “Des appels fleurissent également sur tous les sites de le droite radicale pour descendre les Champs-Elysées et prendre d’assaut l’Elysée, ou du moins s’en rapprocher”,

France Info

In this interview Boulouque notes that the ultra-right were at the head of the march.

 

Here is a broader report:

Anti-government protesters clashed with French police on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Saturday, leaving the area cloaked in tear gas and smoke from fires on a fresh day of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron.

France 24.

Demonstrators wearing the yellow, high-visibility vests that symbolise their movement threw projectiles at police preventing them from moving along the famed shopping avenue, which was decked out in twinkling Christmas lights.

They also built barricades in some spots, and tore down traffic lights and street signs, creating riotous scenes reminiscent of France’s 1968 civil unrest, or street insurrections in the mid-19th century immortalised in paintings and movies.

Police arrested 130 people, 69 of those in Paris, and 24 people were injured, five of them police officers including one who suffered burns to his groin, the city police department and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

The interior ministry counted 106,000 protesters across France on Saturday, with 8,000 in Paris, of whom around 5,000 were on the Champs-Elysees.

That was far less than the national tally of 282,000 in the November 17 protests.

Castaner said after the tumult died down that damage on the Champs-Elysees was “small”.

The French government cast blame for the unruly protests on far-right politician Marine Le Pen,claiming she egged them on.

But Le Pen rejected that accusation saying she had “never called for any violence whatsoever” and in turn accused the government of “organising the tension” and seeking to make her a scapegoat.

Meanwhile, opposition parties on both the right and left accused the government of trying to reduce the protests to just the sporadic scenes of violence, and turning a deaf ear to the demonstrators’ grievances.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the radical left France Unbowed party who attended a separate march Saturday protesting violence against women, tweeted that the action on the streets was “a mass protest of the people” which signalled “the end for [interior minister] Castaner”.

There is no doubt that there were ultra-right protesters on the Champs-Élysées.

That, is, apart from the Front National, who in French political language are just far-right…

Amongst those present on Saturday was prolific anti-semitic far-right writer, Hervé Ryssen, originally an anarchist, then a holocaust denier, and obsessed with Jewish ‘plots’ Ryssen recently rendered homage to   Robert Faurisson after his death.

Violences aux Champs-Élysées: une centaine de membres de l’ultra-droite parmi les gilets jaunes

Here is a video of them chanting “On est chez Nous” – that is, “It’s our Homeland”

 

This is another picture of them.

 

There is an issue as to why the Police let these demonstrators erect barricades, something, to say the least, unusual  in the posh 8th arrondissement.

Mélenchon of the rally La France insoumise (LI) claims that the protests were part of the great French revolutionary tradition of refusing to pay taxes for the rich.

The far-right Sovereigntist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, leader of Debout la France, who has very publicly backed the protest.,accused the government of seizing on a few idiots to discredit the movement, the honest folk behind the Gilets Jaunes movement.

The Gilets Jaunes protests could be called “populism in the streets”, an upsurge against the government by a very mixed group of people.

It is hard to not to sympathise with those, trapped into using their cars in many parts of France without proper public transport (as is the case in many areas of Britain) are the first to suffer from tax rises on the diesel they were  encouraged to use.

But it is hard to claim that this this protest is ‘floating signifier’ which the left  can ‘hegemonise”  (“Le gilet jaune comme signifiant flottant.  ) There is a case for addressing the issues of the “peripheral” parts of France, which, as in the rest of Europe, suffer from poor transport and a shrinking number of public services. But how exactly can any left, the “composantes progressistes du champ social” convince those who, to put it simply, correspond to the “petrol heads” of Top Gear. Clearly the far-right have not been able to work within the Gilets Jaunes so easily without a reason. Any Green measure is likely to be fought by these people.

It does not take a Doctorate in the behaviour of the far-left to see something of an opportunist running after any form of popular unrest here.

Macron and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner have not just been able to accuse Marine Le Pen and the   Rassemblement National of fomenting disorder.

They have (with transparent logic) posed a real problem for those parts of the French left which have shown sympathy with the Gilets Jaunes.

It is fortunate, helped by support for the march against sexual violence at the same time,  that none have said, “No, it was not the ultra-right – we were there too!”

and Ligne rouge et gilets jaunes  by  & 

and: Classes d’encadrement et prolétaires dans le « mouvement des gilets jaunes »

 

Notably, 

Cet agrégat informe d’individualismes, qui ne veut pas payer pour les autres, s’insère dans un fond idéologique d’extrême-droite. Au delà de la présence plus que problématique de l’extrême droite parlementaire et extraparlementaire, un discours, qui revient comme une rengaine : contre les « parasites » dits du haut (Macron, les bobos, le gouvernement, mais pas la classe capitaliste) et du bas (les précaires, les immigrés, les chômeurs, etc) qui profiteraient de la redistribution. Cela s’est traduit concrètement par des attaques physiques sur une femme voilée, un reporter asiatique, un couple homosexuel, des migrants cachés dans un camion et livrés à la gendarmerie, un camarade noir, etc.

Coptic Christians Murdered in Attack on Coach in Egypt.

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Violence against Egyptian Christians is on the rise again (Photo: le Matin)

Gunmen killed at least seven people and wounded 14 others when they opened fire on a bus driving towards a Coptic Christian monastery in Egypt on Friday, the Archbishop in Minya said.

France 24.

A security official confirmed the attack in Minya province, adding that there were “dead and wounded”.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on people travelling to St. Samuel the Confessor monastery in Minya, 260 km (160 miles) south of Cairo.

Egypt: Deadly attack on bus headed to Coptic Christian monastery

Al Jazeera

Several reported dead and wounded following assault on vehicle headed towards monastery in Minya, south of Cairo.

Al-Azhar, evangelical community condemn ‘despicable’ Minya attack

 

CAIRO – 2 November 2018: Egypt’s top Sunni authority Al-Azhar and the Evangelical community issued statements Friday strongly condemning the ‘despicable’ attack that killed seven Copts who were taking a bus in Minya.

The attack took place near a monastery in Upper Egypt’s Minya. Al-Azhar called the crime “heinous” and affirmed strong will and determination of Egyptians to combat terrorism.

In a statement Friday, Al-Azhar said: “the perpetrators of this cowardly act of terrorism are criminals stripped of humanity. They are far from the teachings of religions that call for coexistence; peace; renunciation of violence, hatred and terrorism, and criminalization of killing innocents.”

The statement added, “Targeting Egyptians will only increase their determination to move forward and united in their war against terrorism.”

Al-Azhar also expressed sincere condolences to all Egyptians and to the families of the innocent victims of Friday’s attack.

At least seven people were announced killed and seven others wounded after the bus was attacked near the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, according to the security source.

Background:  Christians in Egypt face unprecedented persecution, report says.  Harriet Sherwood

Guardian. January 2018.

Christians in Egypt are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, with attacks on churches and the kidnap of girls by Islamist extremists intent on forcing them to marry Muslims, a report says.

In the past year, Egypt has moved up an annual league table of persecution of Christians compiled by the charity Open Doors. According to its World Watch List, North Korea is still the most dangerous country in the world in which to be a Christian, and Nepal has had the biggest increase in persecution.

But Egypt, home to the largest Christian community in the Middle East, is of particular worry. Officially about 10% of the 95 million population are Christian, although many believe the figure is significantly higher.

The overwhelming majority are Orthodox, with up to 1 million evangelical Christians and 250,000 Catholics. Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on Sunday amid tight security, days after at least 11 were killed in attacks. The president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, attended midnight mass at a new cathedral 30 miles (45km) east of the capital as tens of thousands of armed soldiers patrolled streets around churches all over Egypt.

According to Open Doors, 128 Christians were killed in Egypt for their faith and more than 200 were driven out of their homes in 2017. It attributed the rise in persecution to “the overspill of Islamic terrorists driven out of Iraq and Syria”.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 2, 2018 at 6:09 pm