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Ending the year Anno Domini 2018, this humble blogger will focus on that which is happening in the lands of the Catholic Church’s Oldest Daughter, i.e. France. What is happening is really remarkable, yet completely predictable. If there is one underlying theme to these protests, it is that the French population has lost its faith in its current Jupitorial “monarch” and his ability to act and speak in a truthful manner.
In other words, the protestors simply don’t believe that which the French government is telling them.
So once again, one interpretation of what is happening in France, and the rest of the Old Continent, including the territory behind the Sacred Vatican Walls, demonstrates that Truth will always reign victorious in the end.
And this is so because Our Creator has made it this way.
Below is a post that appears on the Zero Hedge website titled: A European Spring?
The money quote is the following:
And though many people were alarmingly poor in these ‘hungry decades’ (leading up to 1848), it wasn’t their ‘immediate deprivation’ that drove them to organise and take action, says Tholfsen; rather, their instinct for revolt was built on ‘solid intellectual foundations’ and it expressed a ‘denial of the legitimacy of the social and political order’.
Yes, YES and once again Y E S.
As for the present Spring of Nations, the ‘solid intellectual foundation’ is being provided in the form of a secular Thomism that is spreading and being promulgated by none other than:
Above is a brilliant discussion between Dr. Peterson and Sir Roger Scruton.
Nota bene: Over 250,000 people have attended a Dr. Peterson lecture in 2018. Think about that! And then think about this picture from Chile here:
I would venture a guess that Francis didn’t attract 250,000 people in his 2018 voyages… and he’s the bishop of Rome!
Which confirms that which is written in the Holy Gospel according to St. John (7:14-18)
Now about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews wondered, saying: How doth this man know letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said: My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do the will of him; he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, he is true, and there is no injustice in him.
And from the above two pieces of evidence, it is quite apparent which of the two, i.e. Francis or Dr. Peteson the “masses” think is the one “speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory”.
A European Spring?
The emptiest, dumbest platitude of our time, uttered both by establishment stiffs like the Archbishop of Canterbury and by self-styled radical leftists, is that the 1930s have made a comeback. Treating that dark decade as if it were a sentient force, a still-extant thing, observers from both the worried bourgeoisie and the edgy left insist the Thirties have staggered back to life and have much of the West in their reanimated deathly grip. Looking at Brexit, the European turn against social democracy, the rise of populist parties, and the spread of ‘yellow vest’ revolts, the opinion-forming set sees fascism everywhere, rising zombie-like from its grave, laying to waste the progressive gains of recent decades.
This analysis is about as wrong as an analysis can be. Comparing contemporary political life to events of the past is always an imperfect way of understanding where politics is at. But if we really must search for echoes of today in the past, then it isn’t the 1930s that our era looks and feels like – it’s the 1840s. In particular 1848. That is the year when peoples across Europe revolted for radical political change, starting in France and spreading to Sweden, Denmark, the German states, the Italian states, the Habsburg Empire, and elsewhere. They were democratic revolutions, demanding the establishment or improvement of parliamentary democracy, freedom of the press, the removal of old monarchical structures and their replacement by independent nation states or republics. 1848 is often referred to as the Spring of Nations.
Sound familiar? Of course 2018 has not been as tumultuous as 1848 was. There have been ballot-box protests and street-based revolts but no attempts at actual revolutions. And yet our era also feels like a Spring of Nations. In Europe especially. There are now millions of people across Europe who want to re-establish the ideals of nationhood, of national sovereignty and popular democracy, against what we might view as the neo-monarchical structures of 21st-century technocracy. The sustained gilets jaunes revolts in France capture this well. Here we have an increasingly monarchical ruler – the aloof, self-styled Jupiterian presidency of Emmanuel Macron – being challenged week in, week out by people who want greater say and greater national independence. ‘Macron = Louis 16’, said graffiti in the gilets jaunes-ruled streets during one of their revolts. And we know what happened to him (though in 1793, of course, not 1848).
France’s February Revolution of 1848 – which brought to an end the constitutional monarchy that had been established in 1830 and led to the creation of the Second Republic – was one of the key igniters of the people’s spring that spread through Europe in 1848. Today, likewise, the gilets jaunes revolts have spread. In recent weeks yellow-vest protesters in Belgium have tried to storm the European Commission – an unprecedented event, which got strikingly little media coverage – while yellow vests in the Netherlands have called for a referendum on EU membership and in Italy they have gathered to express support for their Eurosceptic government. That election in Italy was a key event of 2018. Coming in March, it brought to power the League and the Five Star Movement, parties loathed by the EU establishment, and in the process it shattered the delusions that had gripped many European observers following the election of Macron last year – that Macron’s victory represented the fading-away of the populist moment. Italy disproved that, French revolters confirmed it, and local and national elections everywhere from Germany to Sweden added further weight to the fact that the populist revolt is not going away anytime soon.
When you’re in the thick of something, when you’re reading daily reports about the elite’s war on Brexit and seeing tweeted photos of Paris burning and watching as the EU declares political war on the elected government of Italy, it can be hard to appreciate the historic nature of what is going on. Or just the magnitude of it. We all get so bogged down in the ins and outs of the Brexit ‘negotiations’ (in truth there is no real negotiation, but rather mild disagreements between the UK and EU establishments over how Brexit might be most smoothly killed off). We pore over graphs showing the collapse in public support for the old mainstream parties, especially social-democratic ones. We express surprise at the corrosion of consensus politics even in Sweden, that traditionally most consensual of countries. But it can be hard to piece things together and create a bigger picture. We should try to, though, because then we might see that ours really is an era of revolt, of chaos even – but welcome, good, fruitful chaos.
What we have, across Europe, is people calling into question the prevailing political, moral and cultural order. These are not mere economic revolts, even in France, where economic issues have certainly been in the mix. Leftist observers, when they can bring themselves to confront the revolting moment, have tried to reduce the populist uprising to a cry for help by the ‘left behind’ or the ‘economically vulnerable’. The vote for Brexit was really caused by people’s sense of economic insecurity, they claim. Such analysis demeans the populist revolt; it empties it of its genuinely radical character, of its conscious challenge not only to the neoliberalism that is central to the EU project but far more importantly to the cultural norms and political practices of the new elites in 21st-century Europe. To say ‘These people are poor and that’s why they’re angry’ is to rob these people of their radical agency.
In a sense, 2018 is less like 1848 itself and more like the decades that preceded that tumultuous year. These were, in the words of Trygve Tholfsen in his 1977 study of working-class radicalism in the run-up to 1848, ‘hungry decades’ – decades in which disgruntlement and radicalism bristled and grew before exploding in firm demands for change. And though many people were alarmingly poor in these ‘hungry decades’, it wasn’t their ‘immediate deprivation’ that drove them to organise and take action, says Tholfsen; rather, their instinct for revolt was built on ‘solid intellectual foundations’ and it expressed a ‘denial of the legitimacy of the social and political order’. We have something similar today. Yes, Macron’s fuel tax hit people’s pockets; yes, many Brexit voters are less well-off than the Remainer elites; yes, Eurosceptic Italian youths struggle to find work. But their revolts, whether at the ballot box or on the streets, are energised by more than ‘immediate deprivation’ – they are built upon a denial of the legitimacy of the existing political and cultural order.
Brexit captured this: a mass vote in defiance of the political and expert classes who insisted that Euro-technocracy was the only realistic way to organise a continent as large and complicated as Europe. We said no to that. We called into question the legitimacy of this political orthodoxy. France captures it, too. There we have the emergence of a new countercultural movement, though the culture being countered by the gilets jaunes is the culture of the new elites, of the post-1968 generation itself, in fact. The new culture of ideological multiculturalism, technocratic governance, anti-nation-state elitism, environmental diktats – that is what is being countered now, and consciously so, by French revolters. Some even carried placards calling for the creation of a Sixth Republic: an explicit confrontation of the highly centralised, parliament-weakening style of governance of the Fifth Republic, and of the EU too, of course.
So we live, again, in ‘hungry decades’. People are hungering for change, for the alternative that we have been told for 40 years does not exist (‘There is no alternative’, in Thatcher’s infamous words). These hungry years, of which 2018 has been the hungriest yet, should be welcomed, and celebrated, and built upon. It is an open question as to who, if anyone, will shape and lead this hunger. The left cannot, for it has either thrown its lot in with the elitism of the decaying technocracy that sees our populist hunger as a new form of fascism, or it tries to reduce populism to an economic cry, which has the terrible effect of downplaying and even killing off its far more historic and revolting cultural nature. New voices are needed. This hungry revolt is really people searching for a voice; a political, moral voice. In 2019, voices will, we should hope, emerge from this neo-spring of nations.