Is France Showing Us What America’s Next Civil War Will Look Like?

“Everything I’ve seen so far out of France is singing loudly that, yes, it’s a small world, after all – and that what’s happening on the barricades is both a reflection of what’s going on in much of the developed world and a screaming alarm for what could come next.”

It’s October 2021. America is in a state of turmoil – so much so that the ongoing felony trial of disgraced former president Donald Trump seems only a footnote. The chaos of the 2020 election has meant no honeymoon for Beto O’Rourke, the 47th president, whose narrow win over the GOP’s Nikki Haley (the Republican convention in Charlotte having rejected President Pence) had only enraged both the right and an increasingly angry left, which was still insisting that Democrats had cheated Bernie Sanders out of the nomination at their divided, brokered convention.

Still, President O’Rourke had small Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and – after a summer of record heat waves had left more than 250 dead in the Los Angeles wildfires and seen Hurricane Gigi swamp many of the same New Orleans neighborhoods that had been inundated by Katrina – the charismatic, Kennedyesque chief executive had convinced Congress to pass, by exactly one vote in each chamber, a 40-cent-a-gallon gas tax to promote solar and wind power and subsidize electric cars.

Within hours, angry truckers had parked their rigs across the entrance to every tunnel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In small towns across America, protesters – encouraged by Sean Hannity on Fox News and by fake stories on Facebook that the O’Rourke administration planned to reopen Trump’s Texas detention camps for immigrants and use them to imprison tax resisters – gathered at gas stations. Many of their rallies were infiltrated by the political fringes – neo-Nazis of the right and Black Bloc anarchists of the left – and there were scattered reports of violence. In Charleston, S.C., a CNN reporter was reporting from a full-blown riot when gunfire was heard in the distance, just a cannonball shot away from historic Fort Sumter.

Paris is burning.

You’d think the rapid decline of Western civilization would get more news coverage in America – normally, flaming barricades in the shadow of the iconic Arc de Triomphe and hundreds fleeing tear gas in the heart of the French capital might be considered must-see TV, especially when the other option is a panel of aging Watergate prosecutors – but the latest chess moves in the Trump-Russia scandal and the embattled White House continue to trump most other headlines [ . . . ]

Continue at COMMON DREAMS: Is France Showing Us What America’s Next Civil War Will Look Like?

Trump presidency ‘good news’ for the world, says controversial French author Houellebecq

Controversial French author Michel Houellebecq has again raised eyebrows with a quasi defense of the US president. Under Donald Trump, “America is no longer the world’s leading power,” he said, adding: This is “good news for the rest of the world”.

Despite commending Trump for his first two years in office, Houellebecq admitted he also empathized “with the shame many Americans (and not only ‘New York intellectuals’) feel.”

“On the personal level, he is, of course, pretty repulsive.” [ . . . ]

Full story at FRANCE24: Trump presidency ‘good news’ for the world, says controversial French author Houellebecq

French police dislodge ‘yellow vest’ fuel tax protesters 

French police moved to dislodge protesters blocking roads and fuel depots on Tuesday as the government took a harder line on the so-called “yellow vest” movement against environmental taxes on fuel.

Continue at France24: French police dislodge ‘yellow vest’ fuel tax protesters – France 24

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A fledgling party emerges from the ashes of the French left

Between Macron and Mélanchon a wasteland at the left of the political spectrum has been up for grabs. The latest pretender, a party launched by an essayist, an environmentalist and a leftist economist, has just held its first meeting.

The French left was devastated in the 2017 presidential and legislative elections. The dominant party on the left, the Socialist Party (PS) – the party of presidents François Hollande, François Mitterand and countless other powerful politicians in recent decades – lost 90 percent of its deputies and was forced to sell its historic headquarters in the centre of Paris.

“It’s hopeless,” said Noémie, a 20-year-old philosophy student. “But for the first time in a long time, we want to hope again. I read Raphaël Glucksmann’s book, “The Children of the Void”, and I found it very interesting. This movement is made up of people who are already engaged and who want to go into politics to get things moving. I like their approach.”

Changing Places

Just a week after its founding, Place Publique – a party founded by, among others, essayist Raphaël Glucksmann, economist Thomas Porcher and ecological activist Claire Nouvian – has attracted 10,000 members. On Thursday night, about 1000 of them flocked to Montreuil, a town east of Paris, for the first meeting of the movement that seeks to address “ecological, social and democratic emergencies in Europe” [ . . . ]

Continue at France24: A fledgling party emerges from the ashes of the French left – France 24