Yay Yellow-Vest Frenchies! Now What?

Who would have thought it? French citizens, “mostly peacefully protesting” on the Champs Elysées over gas taxes intended to save the planet from climate change. Imagine! The Frenchies are so docile that it took gas at $7.06 per gallon to get them into the streets.

I tell you: rulers have been warring against citizen mobility ever since a potentate in the Fertile Crescent first instituted the death penalty for the crime of walking on the king’s private chariot highway. The dear old Duke of Wellington was said to be against railways because they would encourage the poor to travel around needlessly. Any excuse to tie the serfs to the land.

The next thing you know, Subaru and Prius drivers here in North Seattle will be putting up yard-signs protesting the state’s plans to reduce driving by 50 percent by 2050. Because what about the homeless?

The truth is, Kevin Williamson reminds us, that everyone is in favor of using the state to order the other guy around. Everyone, from Trump to Bernie, is in favor of some kind of national socialism, with some “a little more nationalist, [and others] a little more socialist.” These days the little-more-socialists are in favor of using force to get us out of our cars.

That Hitler guy was a genius, the first guy to put nationalism and socialism together, and the proof is that we are still playing his game while insisting that the other guys are the real fascists. Hey liberals! What’s the difference between the SS and Antifa? They are are both fascistic; they both wear artistical black. Oh yeah. The SS got paid by the government, while Antifa gets paid by liberal billionaires.

Hitler figured it out in 1923, but it wasn’t till the 1970s that Henri Tajfel developed the concept of “minimal group paradigm” while researching “intergroup discrimination.” He found that even people organized arbitrarily and temporarily into groups in a research project will favor their in-group over an out-group. In other words, it doesn’t matter who is in a group, or what the group’s purpose is for, people will behave groupishly, and favor their guys over the others. So, liberals, it’s not just about evil alt-right haters: everybody does it; we are all fascists now. All humans are groupish and are perfectly happy discriminating in favor of their own kind -- Subaru drivers whose other car is a bicycle -- and against the “other” -- deplorable drivers of full-size trucks with macho names like Ram, Titan, or Tundra.

Yet here are those French mostly peaceful protestors wearing their government-mandated yellow vests, and only now, with gas prices hitting $7 per gallon, are they hitting the streets.

This, in my view, is the irreducible problem of our time. Taxed and regulated up the ying-yang, we peasants only flood into the streets after the dirty work is done, after we have been taxed out of 35 percent of our income, after the government has regulated everything from hair-braiding to brush-clearing in forests, after it has rigidified education into uselessness, and attacked bullying by keeping bullies in school.

What is wrong with us, that we let this happen? Oh yeah. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” But what do we underlings do about it, other than assassinate Caesar so that his stripling great-nephew Octavius can become Emperor Augustus?

Obviously, the anti-groupish libertarian answer doesn’t serve, because humans are groupish. Obviously the one great group to rule them all, that succeeded only in murdering them all, is the great crime of the millennium.

Emmanuel Macron sayshonte” or “shame” to the mostly peaceful  protesters. I say shame to loser Macron and shame to the proud elite that has enacted the stupid conceit of penal taxation of diesel and gasoline, and shame on its failed wars on poverty and everything else it has screwed up.

For the truth is that almost all of today’s government programs arose as a way for the educated elite to pat itself on the back for its intelligence, its virtue, its compassion. In reality, of course, the pensions, health care, and education programs were merely bribes paid in return for votes and power.

But the climate change conceit is a bit different, because the benefits all go to the educated elite, in grants to educated elite researchers, in corporate subsidies, and in subsidies for the virtue-signalling electric cars, wind, and solar power favored by the educated elite. Really, the average bear, the gilet jaune, le déplorable ordinaire, gets nothing out of it, except higher costs on personal transportation and home heating.

Do you see the opportunity? There’s no chance to reform Social Security and Medicare, because grandpa and grandma. But climate change could be different, because the educated elite forgot Rule One of entitlement programs: you have to deal in the ordinary middle class.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Who would have thought it? French citizens, “mostly peacefully protesting” on the Champs Elysées over gas taxes intended to save the planet from climate change. Imagine! The Frenchies are so docile that it took gas at $7.06 per gallon to get them into the streets.

I tell you: rulers have been warring against citizen mobility ever since a potentate in the Fertile Crescent first instituted the death penalty for the crime of walking on the king’s private chariot highway. The dear old Duke of Wellington was said to be against railways because they would encourage the poor to travel around needlessly. Any excuse to tie the serfs to the land.

The next thing you know, Subaru and Prius drivers here in North Seattle will be putting up yard-signs protesting the state’s plans to reduce driving by 50 percent by 2050. Because what about the homeless?

The truth is, Kevin Williamson reminds us, that everyone is in favor of using the state to order the other guy around. Everyone, from Trump to Bernie, is in favor of some kind of national socialism, with some “a little more nationalist, [and others] a little more socialist.” These days the little-more-socialists are in favor of using force to get us out of our cars.

That Hitler guy was a genius, the first guy to put nationalism and socialism together, and the proof is that we are still playing his game while insisting that the other guys are the real fascists. Hey liberals! What’s the difference between the SS and Antifa? They are are both fascistic; they both wear artistical black. Oh yeah. The SS got paid by the government, while Antifa gets paid by liberal billionaires.

Hitler figured it out in 1923, but it wasn’t till the 1970s that Henri Tajfel developed the concept of “minimal group paradigm” while researching “intergroup discrimination.” He found that even people organized arbitrarily and temporarily into groups in a research project will favor their in-group over an out-group. In other words, it doesn’t matter who is in a group, or what the group’s purpose is for, people will behave groupishly, and favor their guys over the others. So, liberals, it’s not just about evil alt-right haters: everybody does it; we are all fascists now. All humans are groupish and are perfectly happy discriminating in favor of their own kind -- Subaru drivers whose other car is a bicycle -- and against the “other” -- deplorable drivers of full-size trucks with macho names like Ram, Titan, or Tundra.

Yet here are those French mostly peaceful protestors wearing their government-mandated yellow vests, and only now, with gas prices hitting $7 per gallon, are they hitting the streets.

This, in my view, is the irreducible problem of our time. Taxed and regulated up the ying-yang, we peasants only flood into the streets after the dirty work is done, after we have been taxed out of 35 percent of our income, after the government has regulated everything from hair-braiding to brush-clearing in forests, after it has rigidified education into uselessness, and attacked bullying by keeping bullies in school.

What is wrong with us, that we let this happen? Oh yeah. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” But what do we underlings do about it, other than assassinate Caesar so that his stripling great-nephew Octavius can become Emperor Augustus?

Obviously, the anti-groupish libertarian answer doesn’t serve, because humans are groupish. Obviously the one great group to rule them all, that succeeded only in murdering them all, is the great crime of the millennium.

Emmanuel Macron sayshonte” or “shame” to the mostly peaceful  protesters. I say shame to loser Macron and shame to the proud elite that has enacted the stupid conceit of penal taxation of diesel and gasoline, and shame on its failed wars on poverty and everything else it has screwed up.

For the truth is that almost all of today’s government programs arose as a way for the educated elite to pat itself on the back for its intelligence, its virtue, its compassion. In reality, of course, the pensions, health care, and education programs were merely bribes paid in return for votes and power.

But the climate change conceit is a bit different, because the benefits all go to the educated elite, in grants to educated elite researchers, in corporate subsidies, and in subsidies for the virtue-signalling electric cars, wind, and solar power favored by the educated elite. Really, the average bear, the gilet jaune, le déplorable ordinaire, gets nothing out of it, except higher costs on personal transportation and home heating.

Do you see the opportunity? There’s no chance to reform Social Security and Medicare, because grandpa and grandma. But climate change could be different, because the educated elite forgot Rule One of entitlement programs: you have to deal in the ordinary middle class.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.