The ‘European Spring’, if one may call it that, is a bit different from that of the ‘Arab spring’. For a start, the European insurrection has been methodical and dawdling. Nonetheless, they both utilized the operational tactic of flooding the streets. After the 2008 financial crisis, the European sheeple (human mass) was severely impacted by the austerity measures enacted by the various nation states in collaboration with the EU, IMF, EC, etc. In many of the European countries the disillusioned mass of humanity ultimately decided to form new alliances that could challenge the status quo. Popular sovereignty became the overriding objective amongst the seemingly opposed groups within the whole political spectrum. In addition, the desire to open up the sphere of political and economic governance unified the diverse collective. Most importantly and unlike the Arab Spring, the ‘European Spring’ is happening in the very womb of the beast itself, so to speak! See the articles next column, on page 44.
These new movements, parties and coalition are espousing fresh ideas, like ‘direct democracy.’ The Swiss are known for such a system (frequent referendum) and now the French also want to have the same!
It is in Greece where it all started. As the TROIKA (EC, ECB, IMF) was flexing its muscle over the Greece economy during the global financial crisis, its sheeple decided to abandon the old political parties and tried setting up new ones, away from the center. Syriza, a left leaning party came to power by traditional democratic means, i.e., elections. Nevertheless, Syriza’s grand plan to challenge the policies imposed by the TROIKA didn’t see the light of day. Soon thereafter, the youth of Greece joined their brethren from Eastern Europe in the mass exodus that characterized post USSR Europe. Unbeknownst to many a sheeple, this mass exodus still continues today! According to the conditionality imposed by the TROIKA, Greece’s national assets were sold off to transnational capital, whose primary objective is of course to make money, not the welfare of the Greece sheeple! Then came PODEMOS and INDIGNADOS in Spain. Again, PODEMOS is a left leaning political party formed to counter the austerity policies of the TROIKA. Election got PODEMOS to power or rather to power sharing, but its policies had to be diluted to accommodate its coalition partners. At the end of the day, it is still the TROIKA that has the upper hand in deciding the economic policy of Spain, Portugal, etc.!
Probably the most significant departure from the current globalization project of transnational capital was the decision by the British sheeple to withdraw from the EU, altogether! The gamble the then prime minster took resulted in what is now called Brexit. Not long after this significant referendum, the US sheeple also decided to go for the jugular and elected Mr. Trump, but Mr. Trump is no radical. Even though many consider him as an outsider. Mr. Trump had to rely on the old Republican Party machinery to win the election. Unlike Europe, setting up a new political party of significance is not really possible in the ‘land of the free’! Be that as it may, the ‘deep state’ was/is not happy about the outcome, hence the political brouhaha in D.C. The change momentum that started in Greece has now overtaken the imagination of the European sheeple. For example, the Italian sheeple came up with its unique arrangement, at least by the standard of ordinary party narrative to secure power. Five Star Movement (left) and Lega Nord (right) joined forces to oust old parties whose ideologies have always hovered close to the center. It is becoming increasingly clear that parties of the far ends are coming closer on many issues of practical relevance. It is common sense, more than anything else that is at work here. Ideologically centered parties that have been operating under the forceful thumb of transnational capital continue to lose political ground across Europe!
Enter the French ‘yellow vests’! Here there is a whole lot more than what meets the eye. The French are demanding not only a new government, but also a new way of popular political participation. They no longer consider ‘electoral democracy’ as adequate to the challenges of modern life. Who should blame them? Every time a politician wins a public office, it is not the interest of the sheeple he/she advocates, rather it is the greed infested agenda of transnational capital, under the auspices of the ‘deep state’. To rectify this structural democratic deficit the French sheeple is now demanding ‘direct democracy’. Today, Citizen Initiated Referendum (RIC) is the main demand of the French sheeple and it envisions a radical change in political governance. ‘The Citizen Initiated Referendum (RIC) would allow French citizens to propose their own laws that would then be voted on by the general public in a referendum that could effectively bypass the French parliament. According to the Yellow Vest movement, the RIC would not be limited to just proposing new laws but would have several other functions including repealing existing laws and referendums on amendments to the French constitution. The movement also backs the idea of a RIC to, dismiss any politician, the president, a minister, a deputy or any other elected official.’ It seems ‘electoral democracy’ is now on the ropes, while ‘participatory democracy’ is in the ascendance. Civil disobedience is going to be another of the weapons to be employed by the angry sheeple of the French republic. For instance, French citizens are threatening to instigate ‘bank run’ unless the government accepts and implements their demand.
Do not underestimate the French! In the French Revolution of 1789, they executed their king, Louis XVI and abolished the monarchy (1792). They also came up with new societal arrangements infused with highly liberating ideals. (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.) In 1848 they also had another revolution, the February Revolution, which abolished slavery and initiated male universal suffrage. Today, the French citizens are demanding not only the overthrow of their current government but much more! In other words, they are willing to question the very foundation of the currently polarizing globalization, which of course was anointed by entrenched interests as sacrosanct. It seems we are cursed to live in interesting times, as the Chinese blessing foretells. How will the European Spring end? This is an important question, not only to the European sheeple, but also to the global populous at large. “When the government violates the people’s rights, insurrection is, for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of the rights and the most indispensable of duties.” Marquis de Lafayette, 1790 (French & American General). Good Day!