At The Federalist, Auguste Meyrat makes the case that France’s “Yellow Vest,” riots aren’t solely about gas prices, but instead are about the decline of the West. He notes that “French cities feature ghettos of unassimilated immigrants who pose an ever-increasing drag on the economy and culture. They do not speak French; they do not work; some of them follow Muslim Sharia law; and they make up much of the country’s poverty, crime, and terrorism (‘no-go zones’).”
Despite Emmanuel Macron’s retreat from increased fuel taxation, the Yellow Vests continue, giving weight to the theory that the protests are about more than such business killing ideas. Meyrat writes (abridged):
People have long complained of France losing its soul by becoming a secularized, progressive, socialist welfare state shortly after two miserable losses in the two world wars. After being known for its fine arts, beautiful landscapes, rich Catholic tradition, genius philosophers and scientists, and famous monuments, people now see France as a stagnant irrelevant pool of decadence.
As a result of losing its soul, France has also been losing its body—its people, communities, business, and infrastructure. Like the rest of the developed world, the French are having fewer children and compensate for the population loss by taking in more immigrants. Consequently, the Parisian slums keep expanding while French villages gradually disappear.
To make matters worse, French cities feature ghettos of unassimilated immigrants who pose an ever-increasing drag on the economy and culture. They do not speak French; they do not work; some of them follow Muslim Sharia law; and they make up much of the country’s poverty, crime, and terrorism (“no-go zones”).
Those in charge of France, a very obvious class of elites, have responded by covering their eyes and ears, holding their noses, and spewing out platitudes about diversity and the global community. Naturally, the media and academy support them and allow them to rule over the French very much like the aristocracy before the French Revolution. Shilling for the European Union, climate change, and birth control while railing against nationalism and Trump, childless yet youthful Emmanuel Macron is the perfect symbol of this group.
As history can attest—most notably the French Revolution—mob rule doesn’t end well. If it succeeds in toppling a government, it almost always results in an autocracy, like that of Napoleon. If it doesn’t succeed, it leads to a corrupt oligarchy or elite that doubles down on anti-democratic practices, like what’s happening in EU countries today.
For real reform, the people need leadership—intellectual leaders, political leaders, and economic leaders. In other words—and populists will undoubtedly cringe at this—they need their own elite. Unlike their American cousins across the pond, French conservatives do not have an elite. They have angry masses of people who have rejected the status quo, but have not seriously embraced a clear path forward.
Read more here.