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Message To The French People

This writing was written by Deep Green Resistance cadre in December 2018 and is published here in English for the first time.

Message To the French People

In the past weeks we have seen an uprising of the people. Macron and his cronies in the L’Assemblee have gone too far again. The average people in France are living a precarious life. We are poor, we are sick, and we are tired of the bosses and the politicians, the little dictators.

Now they try to tell us that we are responsible for paying a tax on fuel to solve global warming. These capitalist dogs who caused the problem in the first place now want to turn around and rob us to fix it. Their fuel taxes are a form of theft from the poor, one of the many ways they rob us of life and liberty. First they exploit our labor. Then they poison us with their factories and pollution. Then they rob us as landlords. Next they commodify every part of our lives through mass advertising. These elites are vampires sucking us dry.

The French people have a true sense of our power.

Our forebearers took the rich to the Guillotines and erected the barricades in Paris. Our grandmothers and grandfathers fought the Nazi regime from the streets and rooftops and alleyways and made collaborators pay for their self-serving treachery.
Now our very own government has unleashed their trained dogs against the people, injuring hundreds and leaving the streets of France bloody. We say: no more. No more can we tolerate their capitalist lies. No more will we pay their farcical taxes. No more will we cooperate with their tyrannical vision. No more will we stand idly by as fascists step to the fore.
As the police and security forces of the state run amok through the streets of this country, we say it is time. Let us rise up. We need a radical new imagination to chart a course out of this terrible storm.

What we want:

1. We want the freedom to determine our own destiny. We can no longer rely on distant wealthy politicians.
2. We want an end to the robbery of the people. This means an end to capitalism and to the capitalist economy and a return to localized economies of sharing and cooperation. Life is incompatible with constant growth.
3. We want a true environmentalism that serves the people and the natural world, not the rich. “Green technology” and “green capitalism” are false solutions that have been sold to us through lies. but on reconnecting with the spirit of the land and changing our economic structure.
4. These goals are mutually supportive, and one cannot succeed without the other. Building a new France and a new world means dismantling mass industrial society, ending the reign of capitalism, regaining a sense of our own political power, autonomy, and responsibility, and reintegrating ourselves into the ecology of the land.
As the world falls deeper into crisis, our leaders are showing their ineptitude. They do not serve us, they serve the rich. It is up to the people of France to disarm the state through the solemn manifestation of our will. In the face of racism and bigotry, we must find solidarity. In the face of state violence and repression, we must find courage. It is our obligation to fight and win.

29 thoughts on “Message To The French People”

  1. I have opposed this movement from the beginning because of its anti-environmental attitude. Opposition to a fuel tax? Why is this on DGR?

    This is typical of the anti-environmental leftist attitude: the rich & powerful are the only ones responsible for the problems caused by humans, everyone else is innocent. This is absolute BS. The rich & powerful are MORE responsible than other people, but everyone who participates in industrial society has at least some amount of responsibility. Everything in life except for dying is a choice, some easy, some hard, some in between. If people choose to drive, then the environmental and ecological harms that they cause by doing so are on them. Even in the U.S., the most car-friendly and car dependent country, it’s possible in most large urban areas to organize your life so that you don’t have to drive regularly and you can get rid of your car, I’ve done it. No excuses!

    Gasoline should be so expensive that it funds free public transit and virtually no one drives. I have no sympathy for this garbage.

  2. The Yellow Vest movement began because Macron, a neoliberal, wanted to impose a fuel tax on people who couldn’t afford it but had been given no choice other than to drive. While ordinary people who are voters do share some responsibility, nevertheless that tax was another means to funnel wealth upwards. It was not truly any kind of green policy but a capitalist one.

    Just because you have done something doesn’t give you insight into other people’s lives, nor does it give you moral superiority. Systemic changes are needed, as I’m sure you know, and until those are achieved, none of us should be pronouncing judgements on others who are often in difficult lives. You might try asking them.

  3. @James
    Your basic premise is wrong. People DO have a choice, and I only used myself as an example. You can make excuses or you can do the right thing. If I were to talk to anyone about this it would be the ones suffering, not humans, who are causing the problem.

    DGR is not supposed to be a leftist group, and I’ll remove myself from the list if it becomes one. I agree with the left on most issues, but the environment should ALWAYS be the priority.

  4. I wrote “ordinary people who are voters do share some responsibility”. If you have no empathy for other humans and the lives they are forced to live in a capitalist society undergoing a long-term neoliberal project, then you need to start.

  5. No James, my sympathy and empathy is for the Earth and everything that lives here, not humans. Humans are the problem, and your attitude and the of the Yellow Vests is a perfect example of that. You’re a typical anthropocentric leftist, making excuses for people instead of holding them responsible for what they do. Do you think it was easy for me to give up my car in the most car-dependent country on the planet? You can organize your life so you don’t have to drive regularly, but yes it will take some personal sacrifice. Humans are not the only ones who live here, and they need to start acting like it. I agree that we need big and radical systemic changes, but regular people have to change their attitudes and behaviors too. If they don’t, how do you think that the systemic changes would happen?

  6. You seem to not have any knowledge or understanding of the lives of other people. So what if you made a sacrifice? Other people make sacrifices every day for their families and for other people. If a low-paid carer has no option but to use a car to do her job, are you suggesting that she gives up her job?

    “Humans are the problem” is a problematic statement. Is everyone equally to blame? You must know the answer by heart: the wealthier the person, the more they negatively affect the planet. That principle applies as much within wealthier societies as it does across the world.

  7. @James
    We have no basis for discussion about this because you are anthropocentric and I’m biocentric, making our priorities totally different. Humans are the problem, period. Yes, the rich and powerful are more of the problem than other humans, as I’ve already stated, but that doesn’t mean that regular humans aren’t the problem too.

    As to the lives of others: My friends and I are basically working class. I fully understand the struggles that regular people face, but I also know that with some effort people can organize their lives so that they don’t have to drive regularly, starting with living near their work and choosing work that allows them to do so. I’ll say this one last time: everything in life is a CHOICE except for dying, regardless of how difficult that choice may be.

    Finally, you totally fail to consider the lives of non-humans, who are the real victims of all this, whose lives are far more important to the health of the planet than humans, and who greatly outnumber humans when measured by numbers of species. Every species has as much right to live as humans, and industrial living like driving is immorally killing them. So anyone who opposes a gasoline tax is on the wrong side, I don’t care about the details. The most important thing by far on this issue is that people stop driving, starting with driving a lot less and certainly not daily.

  8. You are close to misanthropy. So “everything in life is a CHOICE”? Really? Do people choose to be raped? Do people in abusive relationships choose to be beaten up? Do workers in sweatshops choose to earn far less than they need to feed their families?

    “with some effort people can organize their lives so that they don’t have to drive regularly, starting with living near their work and choosing work that allows them to do so”. This is like telling an overweight person that it’s only their lack of effort which stops them becoming thin. How can a low-paid worker live near their place of work if high house prices and the elimination of council housing in our capitalist society prevent them from doing so? Many people have little choice in the work they do, whether here in the UK or in the Global South.

    Stop blaming the wrong people. This is a world of power relations. Individualising the problem of climate change is to buy the neoliberal lies.

  9. @James
    I advocate for the Earth and everything natural here, not for humans. Human issues are minor compared to what humans are doing to the planet. Do you think that the trees, wolves, birds, or fish give a damn about human social or economic issues? (Not that I don’t care about these issues, but they’re not a priority.)

    Your attitude is that of a typical leftist: only the rich & powerful are to blame, everyone else is innocent. Ridiculous! As I said, the rich & powerful are MORE to blame, but that doesn’t absolve everyone one else. Modern humans all want their “stuff” and too many of them have too many kids (more than two, more than one to fix the extreme human overpopulation problem). These people are not innocent, they’re part of the problem. And yes, it generally is a lack of effort and/or will that prevents overweight people from losing weight (a very small minority have metabolism problems, but that’s not generally the problem).

    San Francisco and New York City are the most expensive places of any size to live in the U.S., but there are poor and working class people living there. How do they do it while your vaunted low-paid workers cannot do so? These are excuses, not legitimate reasons. If you want to have certain things and are willing to participate in destruction of the Earth in order to have them, then of course you’ll move away from a more expensive area to a lame suburb where you have to drive every day. But that is a CHOICE, like everything else in life.

    Finally, I clearly didn’t mean that what happens to people is a choice, so your ridiculous analogies are irrelevant here. SOMETIMES the choices a person makes cause things to happen to them, but generally no, being raped or having other bad things happen to you is not a choice. The choice is in what you DO, not in what happens to you. People CHOOSE to drive, whether it’s strictly as a luxury or by how they organize their lives and what they prioritize in life. I choose to prioritize the planet and everything that lives here, and if you don’t you’re not an environmentalist by my definition.

  10. Great reply, better than mine. I’m not bothering any more with Jeff’s unapologetic misanthropy. “I choose to prioritize the planet” – well, I’ll show my Christian upbringing with a verse from Proverbs 27:2: “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.”

  11. The human race fits the medical definition of being a cancerous tumor on the planet. It doesn’t have to be that way, but because of choices that humans have been making for thousands of years, it is. Therefore, I’m proud to be a misanthrope.

  12. I’m very sorry that you feel that way about your fellow human beings, your own family, those you love and those you care for. If you want to convince others of the need for radical changes, pointing out your own achievements and everyone else’s failures is unlikely to be a winning strategy.

  13. The problem is that you’re so self-centered that you think this is about individuals and only about humans. I never pointed out my achievements, I simply showed that giving up one’s car is possible. I’m talking about humans as a whole and their destruction of the planet and everything that lives here, and DGR doesn’t challenge this obvious fact. And all this started because you damn leftists think that it’s perfectly OK to destroy the Earth so long as those doing the destruction aren’t rich, so you oppose a gasoline tax.

    So just go on making excuses for bad human behavior because your beloved poor people aren’t rich, which BTW many of not most of them would love to be. You clearly don’t get what’s wrong, and I don’t get why DGR would post a crap opinion piece like this considering that DGR is opposed to industrial society, which includes driving by ANYONE, including poor people.

  14. Jeff, you wrote ““I choose to prioritize the planet” which is a self-centred comment. You wrote “The human race fits the medical definition of being a cancerous tumor on the planet” which is hateful attitude, one which shows no love for human beings in any way. It’s entirely consistent to work very hard for the systemic changes we need such as eco-socialism and an end to economic growth, while recognising the infinite worth of every human being.

  15. I was trying to explain a perspective with which you are obviously totally unfamiliar, not to talk about myself. You continue to try to make this personal, which is consistent with your anthropocentric point of view.

    It is a provable FACT, not an attitude, that humans fit the medical definition of being a cancerous tumor on the Earth. Sorry if the truth hurts, change your attitude and behavior if you don’t like it. This fact was explained to me by a medical doctor, so clearly not misanthropic, just a fact. A cancerous tumor is an out of control growth that consumes the host, and that’s exactly what humans are doing to the planet.

  16. @I.
    I wish I could I. If I had known what I know now when I was a lot younger, maybe I would have, I certainly would have considered it. But I’m an old married man now, so that’s not happening, I would just be committing suicide if I were to try that now. I do relate to non-humans a lot more than I do to humans, that’s for sure. I was closer with my first horse than I’ve ever been with anyone, and in general I relate to plants and animals a lot more than I do with the vast majority of people. But hey, I’m a city boy and would have no idea how to survive in the wild, not to mention that I’m way too old to try it and I wouldn’t even consider abandoning my wife who I also love.

  17. But Jeff, how can you love someone who is, like everyone apart from you, “a cancerous tumor on the Earth”? Your attitude seems inconsistent. If your own wife is excluded from your definition, how about other people too? After all, you know nothing about them.

  18. @I.
    I said the human race fits the medical definition of being a cancerous tumor on the Earth, not that individual humans do. Sorry if you can’t see the difference.

  19. Last time I checked, the human race was made up of, what was it now, oh yes, individual humans. Which humans did you have in mind as ‘cancerous tumors’? If you’re going to pick and choose, then you’re not really a misanthrope and you can rejoin reason-based debate. I think you need to tell some of the ‘tumors’ what you think of them, face to face – or at least mask to mask. They might hold a different view.

  20. Sorry if you don’t get the difference between individuals and a group, or that exceptions exist.

    This conversation started because I strongly support high gasoline taxes and you don’t. My point here is that individuals have to make an effort and, yes, even sacrifices for the environment, but I never said that humans as a whole could stop being a cancer on the planet anytime soon. The longest journey begins with one step as the saying goes, and humans need to start taking incremental actions to reverse the great harms we’ve been doing to the Earth ever since agriculture began. It might take thousands of years to fix things, but if humans just continue prioritizing their selfish concerns like being able to drive cheaply instead of trying to do what’s good for the Earth and all life on it, we will never go in the right direction.

    Please address the issues I raised here and refrain from your childish personal attacks if you want to continue this conversation.

  21. Your wife participates in and benefits from the same destructive civilization as almost everybody else. Why isn’t she icky and gross like all the other humans?

  22. @I.
    Because I can like or love some individuals while disliking or hating humans as a whole. It’s a contradiction, but I live with it.

  23. @DGR
    I read and responded to this many months ago. I disagree, but this essay is not nuanced enough to adequately discuss the issue. I agree that humans are not NECESSARILY inherently destructive, but humans went down the wrong path at least 10-12,000 years ago when they started using agriculture, and possibly 60-90,000 years ago when they started leaving Africa and caused extinctions wherever they went.

    Did it have to be that way? Of course not, those were all choices, whether they were conscious or unconscious. Hunter-gatherers who don’t overhunt and who remain in the tropics (where humans evolved) are not destructive. But even hunter-gatherers who live outside the tropics cause harm, because they have to do harmful things just to survive in a climate that’s colder than natural for them. (The most destructive of these are those who live in high latitudes and kill whales, which are not natural prey animals and should not be killed by humans.)

    Humans’ ONLY proper role on this planet is to expand our consciousness, which is obvious due to the facts that 1) humans are grossly physically inferior to other similar-sized animals; 2) humans are not a necessary part of any ecosystem, unlike all other animals; and 3) the more we do to the physical/natural world, the more harm we do to it. Once we get what’s needed to physically survive, the only interaction that humans should have with the physical/natural world is “look but don’t touch.”

    Your example of hunter-gatherers who throw seeds is greatly flawed and irrelevant. Flawed because by planting even these native plants, they are displacing other native plants to grow what they want. This might be so minor that it doesn’t matter, but you offer no evidence or even argument to support that. Irrelevant because hunter-gatherers currently comprise far fewer than 1% of humans, so they are rare exceptions, not at all representative of humans and what they do.

    To be clear, I don’t get any pleasure from denigrating my own species. Humans could be a shining light on this planet, as many hunter-gatherers are because they have elevated their level of consciousness so much, instead of being a cancerous tumor on the Earth as they are. I clearly advocate for the former, but it will take MAJOR changes in human attitudes and behaviors — basically a major human mental and spiritual evolution — and a very long time to change this. Many if not most hunter-gatherer societies have elevated the consciousness of their members to become shining lights — to the point where I would challenge the most brilliant scientist to understand their mythologies — so everyone else can do it too. But as long as modern humans insist on obsessing on intellect, ego, and artificially & unnaturally manipulating the physical/natural world — instead of focusing on wisdom, empathy, love of ALL life, and expanding their consciousness — they will remain a cancer on the Earth instead of the shining light that a rare and tiny fraction of them are and that they could be also.

  24. Jeff, this article doesn’t promote driving cars but criticizes rich people forcing poor people to pay “green taxes” while doing nothing to change their own lifestyles. Gasoline taxes will not end the destruction. Only returning to localized, environmentally sustainable economies where no one needs cars etc. in order to survive would.

    I could understand your “holier-than-thou” attitude a bit better if you were living in the countryside in a self-sufficient community that grew, gathered, fished and/or hunted their food in a sustainable way and didn’t depend on the industrial society at all. Maybe then you could preach that others need to make the same choices that you have done. But you say that you live in a city – and cities are the worst thing to our planet. You are a hypocrite.

  25. @Laura
    Raising gasoline taxes causes people to drive substantially less, and causes some people to even give up their cars. This has been proven when gasoline has become substantially more expensive, so it’s not a mere theory, it’s a fact. Opposing higher gasoline taxes is anti-environment, regardless of other issues.

    As to your personal attack: I’m going to stop responding to those any longer, they’re irrelevant and childish. My comments were never about me, I was just giving an example of what people could do if they wanted to. The problem is that they don’t want to do the right thing because it would mean giving up something they want (in this case driving more or at all), not that they can’t. If you have nothing to say but a personal attack, you obviously have nothing useful to add to the conversation. And if you reduce the discussion to personal issues, your world view is very self-centered.

    As to living in a city v. living in the country: modern humans cause far less harm by living in cities. They can bike, walk, and take public transit instead of driving, and they don’t destroy natural areas for roads, utility poles, and other modern harms. The type of country living you describe is very rare if it exits at all in the modern world, and modern country living is far more harmful than modern city living. Moreover, People who grow up in modern cities are not capable of living pre-industrially. My goals of getting rid of industrial society (150-200 years) and returning to living in much smaller numbers as hunter-gatherers (thousands of years) are long-term goals. I’m not saying that anyone should immediately give up industrial living or food from agriculture, those changes will need to be incremental. But if you do the wrong thing like opposing a gasoline tax instead of doing the right thing by supporting it, then you’re pushing in the wrong direction. The REASON for the gasoline tax is less important than the fact that it will cause much less driving.

    And BTW, I’ve never read anywhere that only poor people have to pay the gasoline tax. The tax applies to everyone as far a I know, the poor are simply more affected by it just like they’re more affected by having to pay anything. I hate the rich and crapitalism as much as anyone, but the Earth and all that live here ALWAYS come first, period.

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