Writing within the marxist critique of value tradition (e.g., the Krisis group), Benoit Bohy-Bunel offers a theoretically rich reading of the yellow vests movement. Without completely sharing the views of the author, the essay remains important.
How the Yellow Vest Movement Survived into 2019: A Chronicle from December 8, 2018 to January 5, 2019
Since November 2018, the yellow vest movement has created a political crisis in France and posed thorny questions to radicals worldwide. In the following report, we detail the yellow vest actions from December 8, 2018 to January 5, 2019, recounting how the yellow vest movement defied the calendar—that age-old device for limiting revolutionary movements. Tomorrow, in our next article, we will step back to analyze the different currents within the movement and implications they hold for anarchists, environmentalists, and everyone else who seeks a world without oppression.
We are approaching a critical moment. We are approaching a historic moment. We are approaching a tipping point of history. We are nearing the end. For several months, we have been fighting on the ground, together, to block the suicidal attempts of those from above. Our lives, those of our children, and our grandchildren, hang by a thread.
We no longer have the opportunity to define, in our own way, our forms of life. Whether it be how to work, how to educate our children, how to eat, how to produce, how to dress, how to feast, how to look at each other, how to fight, how to share, how to kiss, meet, how to love each other? All life is sucked up and devoured by the machinery from above that does not care about our complaints, our legality, and our good feelings. Those from above are already machines, and a machine, my friends, does not feel, does not think, it calculates.
This year, our destiny is still in our hands. Let us seize our chance, raise the issues that torment us, and produce radical and real answers outside of any institutional artifice. Our world is dying, our world is collapsing, human life is dying out. We rekindled a spark of hope! So, let’s ignite our villages, ignite our cities, ignite France, ignite Europe, ignite the world! May our sparks of yellow revolt turn into a creative fire! That the destruction of everyday life is transformed into the vitality of tomorrow!
Saturday, January 5, and the yellow vests perform Act VIII of their theatre of rebellion. The authorities are reduced to accountancy: how much will president’s promises of December cost the national budget, how many are still protesting, how many police need to be mobilised, how many in the country support the rebellion according to the polls, and so on. And when the numbers fail to show the hoped for and said predicted reality, nothing remains but the violence of the State.
… from a distance, every judgment, praise and critique are easy. However, because many of us have found ourselves in a similar position, the question faced by the politicized minorities that still raise red and black flags remains: can we participate in something that exceeds us, in struggles that pose the problem of organization and justice on the level of a historical stake, to find ourselves next to people that we do not agree nor identify with, to risk, to err, to be disappointed? If the answer is negative, we can verbalize about revolution, but we will not be one of its productive vectors.
From the Void Network collective of greece, a further significant reflection on the yellow vests of france …
The movement of yellow vests seems to confirm a break of the historical thread of class struggles.
If we stubbornly insist on sharing articles on the “gilets jaunes” of france, it is because they embody a number of characteristics that may mark out the future of possible anti-capitalist movements. The following reflection, published with lundimatin 172 (31/12/2018) points in that direction.
We publish here an analysis from Temps Critiques (27/12/2018) about the yellow vests movement and all that it puts into question regarding the historical categories of a certain left.
Among the polyphony of the gilets jaunes, we shared a first communique from the Commercy. Today, we share a second statement, in translation, from the Commercy assembly that retains all of its political importance, pointing as it does potentially to a path beyond perpetuating the status quo with minor reforms. It is an invitation to discuss and debate, between all of the local assemblies of the movement, what kind of world they (we) wish to live in.
Everything is possible, even self-managing assemblies in the middle of street intersections, villages and neighborhoods.
We share two reflections on the gilets jaunes by Raoul Vaneigem. The first is an interview with Vaneigem, translated into english and published by NOT BORED (the interview was conducted by Le Nouveau Magazinelittéraire and published on Dec. 21st, 2018.) The second is a short essay, in translation, published with la voie du jaguar (08/12/2018).