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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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