Those violent 'yellow jacket' protests in France? Facebook's behind that, too


#61

Yes. The Corbyn position. But he cannot admit/explain that to the masses because more than half the Labour party membership and those sympathetic to Labour disagree with that view. Hence his relative silence during the referendum. He knew that his enemy’s enemy (the Brexiteers being the enemy of the remainers) were NOT his friends!
He has not (to my knowledge) ever articulated in public in detail how his approach to a non-globalist/capitalist EU would actually work with respect to all the other benefits we HAVE reaped from the EU (e.g. starting with the list of bodies and deliverables I cited earlier)
In any event the masses would never ‘get’ his ideological approach to the EU being a bad thing for ‘the workers’ - we’ve long since decided we like cheap Asian goods and fresh food flown in from around the planet and so on, and AFAICS his anti-globalist philosophy only leads him to being proto-Trump, with tariffs and trade barriers/restrictions.
Cos it’s only in his International Socialist wet dreams that the rest of the world will adopt his anti-capitalist approaches (pay workers a decent wage, regulate capitalists purely for societal aims and to hell with profit and pension scheme investments, and so on)
NOBODY has ever told the truth. You want jobs and welfare - that takes taxes. Without proper taxes we end up beholden to international capital which is how we got to where we are today. Choose, people.
He should have come out and said: The customs union and free movement are good things. The UK can control immigration under free movement if we decided to spend the money we ought to in order to properly control borders. The Tories have bleated about cutting immigration for years all while hypocritically cutting the Border Force and making it harder. But EU rules that restrict the UK govt doing what is best for the UK re industrial policy, nationalisation, industrial strategy (state subsidies) and so on are bad. And we need some local (UK) economy-specific tariffs/protections, as do other EU countries. Current EU rules prevent all this. This could all be negotiated within the EU if we stayed and if it reformed. The CAP is bad and needs starting from scratch with a strategy to produce food and protect the rural economy and the environment, not subsidise huge agro-businesses. The Common Fisheries policy needs the same fresh start, again to protect the environment and so the UK can get back to having control of its fisheries and fishing quotas, instead of letting the quotas be sold off to other Europeans. The EU needs to find a better way to protect and grow local jobs than it has done to date. Look where that got us - mass migration for economic reasons, lies and deceit about national economies and the euro - austerity for Greece (if you think ours is bad …). But I am an internationalist and believe we will be worse off if we follow the right-wing deregulation fuckwits who are telling you lies daily. Your lives will be worse if we leave the EU now in the way they propose. VOTE remain, VOTE labour and let’s send a strong signal to the EU that it has to change. Once there is a Labour govt I will give the EU five years to start demonstrably changing - with our help - or I promise we will then have another referendum.

Well, it might have scared the EU enough to actually listen.

And yes, I’m still very ranty and sick of this shit, so some of the above may not be entirely coherent, entirely consistent, or reality-based. But you get my thrust. You probably put it all much more succinctly when you said:

Except that I’d have preferred trying to get it while still IN the EU, first. Only if that failed…


#62

Every tech or entertainment millionaire who speaks out on climate change and then hops into a private jet to speak out somewhere else is a cartridge in the ammo belt of the deniers.


#63

I mostly don’t disagree, but any environmental policy that is perceived as solving the problem by whacking the disposable income of working and middle class people is going to fail.

I would like to see a survey ask “How much more are you willing to pay for gasoline and heating oil in order to solve the CO2 emissions problem?”


#64

As far as I know, that’s not what these particular protests are about. They’re specific to high petrol taxes for cars and trucks, and the offshoot issues seem to be focused on the government’s neoliberal-lite policies that favour large corporations and very wealthy individuals.

The problem here, not caused by but definitely exacerbated by the use of Facebook as an organising tool, is that bad actors (the alt-right, fossil fuel companies, Libertarians, the Russians if they’re smart, etc.) are now inserting themselves into and trying to shape a broad-based movement with no ideology into one that serves their ends.

For example, some people want to fit this protest into the bogus right-wing populist narrative about the decadent urban “elites” with their green hypocrisy vs. the “real people” who just want to earn a living using internal combustion vehicles. Facebook is almost tailor-made not only to propagate such simplistic memes but to encourage escalation to extreme and violent acts.


#65

One way or another they’re going to get whacked if (unlike the current American regime) we want to prevent a very plausible 7-degree rise by 2100 – not just working -and middle-class people but all consumers. And since individuals and corporations won’t be volunteering to take those hits (the survey you propose would be useless given the number of Know-Nothings, denialists, just plain selfish, or ignorant people out there) nation-states will have to impose them based on the recommendation of experts (scientists, economists, technologists, etc.). As in many areas, “the Invisible Hand of the market” won’t sort it out.

Taking that as a given, the question then becomes: is the state imposing the burden in a fair way? In this case, the answer is no. In raw Euros, large corporations are being allowed to take less of a hit than indivduals and small businesses, and there is a regressive aspect to the fuel tax for the latter. These problems are eminently solvable, but that’s not going to happen with bad actors muddying the waters on behalf of other populist agendas (especially right-wing ones).


#66

I don’t disagree with any of that. What I take issue with is the suggestion that the urban rich are doing their bit to limit their carbon footprint by taking transit to get around. I maintain that whatever benefit comes from taking transit is, in most cases, going to be more than wiped out by carbon emissions from other lifestyle choices.

Even here, I don’t disagree. But like most bogus populist narratives, there’s a kernel of truth to it. In this case, green hypocrisy does exist, and rich people who take the subway to the office but also fly regularly (especially if they’re not flying economy) are prime examples. [ETA: assuming they are all the while paying lip service to reducing carbon emissions and holding up their transit riding as a virtuous act.] Along with those who own boats, or second (or third or fourth) homes, etc.


#67

That’s not what I was suggesting. I was pointing out the fallacy that the so-called urban “elites”, including wealthy ones, don’t use public transportation. That their primary purpose in riding the Metro is rarely to be more “green” (which is more of a happy side effect) makes it even less relevant to this discussion.

Of course, that’s what makes them compelling to people who aren’t critical thinkers.

What’s truly problematic is the conflation of ultra-wealthy people with urban or coastal “elites”. When I hear that I know someone is selling a line of BS that supports the alt-right; all too often these days that someone is a Republican politician or a Libertarian pundit.


#68

I thought the whole point of these “civil society” programs is to indirectly effect regime change? Sounds like the elites are just butthurt it’s domestic rich assholes getting their cars turned over.


#69

If what I read (here and other places) about the cost of renewables now lower than oil+coal, and getting lower still can be believed, then no one need get whacked. Can I believe it?

If on the other hand it’s going to be a future of energy austerity, then maybe all the people who are talking about a “green new deal” where it’s all great new jobs and extra dessert for everyone ought to tone it down a bit.


#70

OK, seems I misread you in my first reply. Carry on.


#71

Not really. The cost of renewable energy may be lower in certain instances and settings, but the technology (and current distribution grid) isn’t yet close to offsetting oil and coal. There are also powerful corporate interests ensuring that fossil fuels will never be pushed out of the market, and in the U.S. they’ve made an alliance with the Know-Nothing coal-rolling base.

The WaPo article I posted above gives a good summary of the challenges we face even without large corporations and greedpig “free” market fundies making things needlessly worse by spreading FUD.

I’m not sure why they should tone it down. We still need nation-states to support more green energy infrastructure, whether or not it’s a future of energy austerity. Anything to mitigate the worst effects of climate change is a good thing, especially if it’s creating new jobs in the process.


#72

I remember how much carpooling and public transportation were being pushed in the 70s, but by the 90s dot-com boom, everyone seemed to be back to driving one person to a car again. Big ones.
This by far has the most effect, but can we convince people it’s cool to carpool again (if it ever was)?


#73

yep, all human projects tend to be deeply flawed, including protest movements. However, transparent projects with clear lines of accountability and clear, explicitly stated visions, e.g. EU, are far less deeply flawed than populist movements who seem to be only unite in bashing a common enemy.

Not recognising this difference got us Brexit, a raging liability in Hungary and various other places and ultimately Trump in the US.

Being violently against something is not the same as making change happen. Especially, students of the French Revolution know how real the pitfalls of such populist simplicity are.

As Georg Büchner wrote in Dantons Tod (1835) “Die Revolution frisst ihre eigene Kinder.” i.e The Revolution devours its children.


#74

I can’t say it was ever truly “cool”. It was a cost-saving measure that got traction with the oil embargo. When carpool lanes were first introduced, it was for a brief period a time-saving convenience.

What’s “cool” is being able to say that you’re not wasting your life stuck in traffic for your daily commute or that you’re not shovelling money into owning a wasting asset that sits idle 90% of the time. Younger people get that, but in 2018 there’s not much chance of their achieving that “coolness” unless their home and workplace are both in a large city with a decent public transit system.


#75

What has BB become? I’m french speaking and some of the best analysis are from LeMedia webzine eg: https://youtu.be/HWjtK1VENdw . Facebook is behind that? Et pourquoi pas le télégraphe tant qu’à y être?


#76

You cannot trust BB to evaluate situations happening in non-Anglo countries beyond what’s available in English language media. If it’s not in English, it may as well not exist.


#77

Of course, the problem could be that Facebook simply doesn’t understand how people communicate and its relationship to local identity and issues.


#78

But how can that be, with this paragon of human empathy as a founder?


#79

Beats me.
I guess if you think that human communication is nothing more than the flow of information, and carries no sub-text, social context, or other similar things, you get Facebook.


#80

Not quite my point. If we all have to make do with less in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, then (1) let’s those at the top do with quite a bit less and (2) let’s lay it out as is, no sugar coating.

Seeing fewer convoys of SUVs driving our “leaders” around would be a great start. Seeing them living in townhouses instead of mansions would be even better.