When it comes to the relationship of U.S. citizens to the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington D.C., there’s no indication that anything remotely resembling self-government is happening. Rather, the relationship is far more like that of a servant to a master.

From the October post: Americans are Stuck in Abusive Relationships with Power

The gilets jaunes, or “yellow vests” protests, emerged seemingly out of nowhere about a month ago and have in a few short weeks shaken the French political power structure to its core. Just yesterday, the exceedingly unpopular President Macron cried uncle and offered a series of concessions to the protesters. Many commentators have come to the simplistic and erroneous conclusion that violence works, but it wasn’t the burning cars or streets filled with tear gas that really scared Macron and the people around him. It was something much deeper than that.

First, powerful elites tend to be control freaks. Abuse of the law, institutionalized corruption and invasive surveillance typically make the powerful feel comfortable their position is secure. What really makes them shake is when something totally unexpected happens — and the virality and force of the gilets jaunes movement caught them off guard.

Second, the diverse, nebulous and leaderless nature of the participants and their grievances made it a difficult narrative to counter through the media or government spokespeople. It wasn’t masterminded by dissident political parties or even France’s activist unions. Though it was catalyzed by rising taxes on diesel fuel, it quickly became a rallying point for a hodgepodge of individuals with a variety of serious gripes against Macron and his neoliberal policies.

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