In this segment of my discussion with political theorists Alley Valkyrie and Rhyd Wildermuth — Alley and Rhyd contextualize the cultural, historical, and political reasons as to what the Yellow Vest movement is ultimately responding to, including what this fuel tax symbolizes within the broader discontent with neoliberal capitalism in Europe, and with the European Union more generally. What has been most misunderstood and misrepresented in the American press about Les Gilets Jaunes is the political and ideological elements present within it and the direction this movement may likely head towards. Within the contextual framework provided by Alley and Rhyd, we can more fully appreciate and discern what these revolts may spell for the rise of either a left or right-wing co-option of the movement, based on the underlying factors that lead to this revolt to begin with — including the widespread unpopularity of President Emmanuel Macron and his neoliberal economic reforms, the rising popularity of far right political ideologies (central to the popularity of far right political party Front National), the role automobiles and public transit has played in the lives of the average citizen, and that the fuel tax hike is an attempt to obscure the reality that cheap oil production is coming to an inevitable end. This revolt is but a prelude to what’s coming in light of the material conditions present in so much of the Western world right now. Alley and Rhyd provide needed insight into what these events spell for the future, and in particular what the Left more broadly needs to incorporate into their analysis when addressing how to build revolutionary movements in this time of widespread economic, ecological, and social collapse. As Rhyd states in this episode, this is what happens when empires crumble.
Alley Valkyrie and Rhyd Wildermuth are political theorists, the co-founders of Gods & Radicals Press — “a site of beautiful resistance,” and the hosts of the Empires Crumble podcast. After spending much of their lives within the borders of the United States, they now resides in Rennes, France.
Subscribe and listen to Alley and Rhyd’s podcast Empires Crumble: http://bit.ly/EmpiresCrumble
This is a segment of episode #162 of Last Born In The Wilderness “This Is Not Your Revolution: Beyond Les Gillet Jaunes w/ Alley Valkyrie & Rhyd Wildermuth.” Listen to the full episode: http://bit.ly/LBWalleyrhyd