France’s Battle With Herself

December 8, 2018

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The ruined Marianne in the Arc de Triomphe.

The ruined Marianne in the Arc de Triomphe.

As some of you may know, I’ve spent a lot of time in rural France this year. Since my mother died, I’ve been over every month to deal with my father’s affairs. In this role, I’ve had a lot of conversations with workers and professionals in one little corner of the country.

Here are some reasons why a lot of French people in the regions feel embattled.

Essentially, the tax system penalises you for being self-employed or running a small business. This latter forces people to keep their businesses as one-person enterprises, even when that means working an 80 or 90 hour week, or to flip-flop in and out of unemployment in order to maintain benefits, or to go on to the vast black market, and hope no one shops them. These are some of the reasons behind the high unemployment rate outside the big cities. Nor have wages for ordinary people kept up with inflation. Just as in Britain, France has a huge number of “working poor”.

On top of that, towns outside Paris are dying. In a familiar story across the West, globalisation has dealt a body blow to many industries — especially important French staples such as textiles and fashion.

Then there’s more, in our local town, Carcassonne — a major tourist magnet — about a third of the shops have closed in the past five years. So the town centre, which used to be a busy shopping destination for the local region is semi-boarded up. Americans will be familiar with this “donut” effect, when out-of-town shopping malls hollow out a city. It’s terribly depressing.

Certain regions may be thriving, but this has not reached into the whole country at all. These problems have been rumbling on for years, and in fact were one of the reasons Macron got elected in the first place.

To top this off, in rural France, if you don’t have a car, you’re stuck. There’s no bus service at all in the countryside in Aude, for example. If the price of fuel goes up, you are directly taxed whether you’re rich or poor. When President Macron created this fuel tax, he was attacking something essential for people living in the country.

Just to put a number on that. The price of diesel — used by a lot of people — had already gone up by 23% this year. If you’re only just getting by already, this could tip you over the financial cliff.

No, he is not popular where I go and has not been since about six months into his presidency. Here’s what they say down in Languedoc: “He’s not for the rich; he’s for the very rich.”

These are some of the exact same problems that led to the vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Those left behind by globalisation are frightened and angry — and they have been ignored by the politicians in power for decades. In France this has been exacerbated by people literally being massacred on the street.

The Islamist threat is a daily reality — not all the incidents reach the world media. For example, this year there have been at least two violent Islamist attacks in Carcassonne, including a siege — and it’s not a big place. Bloody murders in Paris, Nice, Toulouse and elsewhere have scared people.

The French responded to all this anxiety and uncertainty, initially, by electing Macron last year — a man who was not a member of any of the big political parties, but created a party of his own. Like Trump, he seemed to be a “third way”.

Unfortunately, he suffers from that Sagittarian shadow quality, arrogance, and as far as the ordinary punter can tell, he’s a paid-up member of the “global elite”. For the French, it’s like having to watch Richie Rich tell them how to run their lives. It’s obvious he has absolutely no idea, they mutter. Last summer he told a striking factory worker that he could wear a suit too if he just stopped skiving. Macron, it turned out, was wearing a suit that cost €1700, about a three-weeks salary for the working poor.

During the long, hot summer, there was a feeling of unease, of being in a strange dream, of waiting for something to happen.

So the Gilets Jaunes protest came as zero surprise to me — except insofar as it turns out that the experience of one small corner of France is reflected across the whole hexagon. The French have a great tradition, dating back the 1789, of taking to the barricades when they are pissed off.

BUT, on the other hand, the ferocity of the protests is shocking. And the attacks on what the French would consider “patrimoine“, cultural icons that belong collectively to all citizens of the Republic, are actually bizarre. These are acts of self-harm in a country where citizens have a real, felt, stake in what they collectively own — the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Mont Blanc, Alain Delon, the woods and water and pilgrim paths of the beautiful land. It’s very troubling — because it suggests that for some, that collective sense of ownership is broken.

What on earth is going on? We should ask ourselves who exactly is whipping up a situation that was ripe for whipping up… And where does this self-hatred come from?

There are many charts for France, but the one I find plugs right into the psyche of the country is for the First Republic — and you will see how active this chart is today.

• Transiting Jupiter, the planet of expansion approaches the ASC in hot, rebellious Sagittarius.

• Today’s New Moon is actually on the French national Moon. The Sagittarian Moon is a perfect expression of the French people: philosophical, intellectual, outward looking, diverse, lovers of the outdoors & sports. Who’s more Sagittarian than Asterix the Gaul — a traveller, a boar hunter, a boozer, a compadre, a fighter, a word-wrangler?

• But, hey ho, quest-ce-que c’est? That New Moon is being squared by a crazed conjunction of Mars, the planet of action and aggression, and Neptune, the planet of illusion, in the third house of gossip, slander, news and information. One can’t help but wonder what’s happening on French Facebook. The French spy agency found interference from Russia during the elections… and as we know these days, there are many forces ready to stir the pot of intrigue, paranoia and lies.

• Revolutionary Uranus is back in Aries for his final fling. Remember when he went into Aries and the Arab Spring burst forth? Yet again we have a mass movement with seemingly no leader. (Although Marine Le Pen waits in the wings.) Headlessness seems to be a Uranus in Aries thing. Those of you who are close readers of the Oxford Astrologer will know that I compared the Arab Spring to the European revolutions of 1848 at the time. These also went nowhere, but actually sowed the seeds of change that came much later.

I’ve just popped in the chart for right now, just before publishing this post.

Transiting Uranus opposes the French Neptune in Libra, those dreams of equality and fairness. It’s also in a configuration with the Nodes, exactly half way between the Dragon’s Head and the Dragon’s Tail. This is a turning point in the journey of Uranus as he wends his way through the Zodiac. These demonstrations — and how they are handled — could have an effect well outside the borders of France.

Uranus was agitating that natal Saturn in the summer, disrupting the country’s sense of stability, and triggering that opposition with Jupiter in Scorpio. In fact, the opposition between Jupiter and Saturn across those fixed signs keeps the country on an even keel.

During the event of May 1968, revolutionary Uranus was on France’s North Node in Virgo.

So why the attack on the patrimony — on the beauty? One of the most shocking images of the past few days is the smashed face of Marianne, inside the Arc de Triomphe. It recalled in an instant, the destruction of Palmyra by Isis, the Buddhas of Bamiyan destroyed by the Taliban.

Marianne in her red cap has been a symbol of France herself since the revolution — a symbol of liberty, equality and fraternity. The smashed statue showed Marianne shouting in revolutionary fervour, maybe storming the Bastille. Her broken face recalled the faces of the rioters themselves.

Again, there’s the image of self-hatred. This is us, and we break our own face.

This mirroring is Neptunian — and it’s no coincidence that Mars and Neptune are conjunct in Pisces. Violence has fallen into the mirror, shards scatter, breaking the hearts and minds of bystanders. Neptune is also a symbol of art, beauty, magic — the higher octave of that aspect of Venus. And look how France’s Neptune is on the bendings of the transiting Nodes and opposed by that disruptive Uranus.

The religion of France is rationalism — Neptune in Libra (a sign of beauty, symmetry, balance, civilisation) — and that rationalism is directly under attack from the Awakener. The Big Joker is laughing in the face of France’s great beauty, the country’s myth of itself as the most civilised country in the world.

Data for this chart was from astrotheme

But there’s more. President Macron has reached a personal turning point. The South Node is exactly on his Ascendant. The Dragon’s Tail — karma — has come, and, as we know, it is square the planet of revolution, Uranus.

Interestingly, during these riots, Mercury has been retrograding across the top of his chart, and yesterday it turned direct. His status has been readjusted, not just at home but abroad.

Some might say that Macron made an early mistake when he compared himself to Jupiter. Clearly, he did not read his Greek myths with enough attention, because that’s the kind of statement that really irritates the king of Olympus.  There’s a word for it: hubris.

He also believes himself to be a master of symbols, but his astrological advisor should have pointed out that Jupiter is, in fact, in opposition to him in his natal chart, and retrograde. Although he is wildly Sagittarian, Jupiter is not the master of his chart. In fact, perhaps, if there were a planet that he needed to conjure symbolically, it would be Saturn, chart ruler, well placed in the seventh house, supporting his Sun (perhaps partly represented by his much older partner). Indeed, Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius was extremely helpful to Macron, propelling him to the presidency.

But that’s hard to do when your thing is your youthful zest. Macron’s always played the boy wonder. He has too much Jupiter energy already. He needs to cool it down.

Note how Macron’s Neptune is on France’s Moon — and both are one degree from today’s New Moon. The relationship between President and people needs to be reset, right now. Macron needs to stop lecturing people and start listening. He needs to stop spending so much time on France’s place in the world, and start making decisions that help his fellow citizens live with dignity.

Jupiter’s transit through Sagittarius is certainly going to be interesting for both Macron and the people of France, and it could be an opportunity. By the end of January, Jupiter will be in mid-Sagittarius, blowing up that Neptune-Moon conjunction.

More posts on France.

Liberté, Egalité, Identité

Charlie Hebdo

France Saves Her Soul

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astrology, current affairs, France, news, riots

29 comments

roman said:

Excellent post thanks, enjoyed reading it.There is also something interesting in the 1958 chart with Aries rising ,in that a state of emergency came into force as Uranus was over France’s ascendent Also Mariannes image of the broken face occurred almost exactly as Uranus touched natural apogee lilith {i} in Aries in the first house.The symbolism speaks for itself

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mike said:

The recent, weeks’ long, transiting Venus Rx greatly affected the 1792 natal chart: conjunct natal Jupiter-Neptune in the 10th house of government and authority, opposed natal Saturn in the 4th house of family and security. Transiting Venus still in Rx shadow, just now conj natal Jupiter for the 3rd time. Venus pre-Rx hit natal Jupiter-Saturn back in September. The riots occurred as transiting Venus hit morning star, warrior mode.

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Christina said:

Yes — and these riots are about money and debt.

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Doug said:

Mercury retro’ can’ have a sort of genius to it.I watched a you tube video recently about Rube Waddel a hall of fame baseball pitcher here in the U.S. ( very quirky guy. ) He used to leave the field and chase fire engines when he heard one go by ! I said to myself : ” this guy must have a merc. retro. I looked up his b- date .Sure enough He had it x – act conjunct his Sun.So if u want to see how merc.retro. manifests itself in the flesh , I recommend this video ; its very entertaing even if u don’t understand baseball.Have a good day !

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Christina said:

Oh yes. I find people with Merc Rx in the natal chart are often unusually intelligent, partly because they don’t accept received ideas.

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Doug said:

And Venus retros. have a different view about love They seem to not understand the ‘romantic ‘ part of it.That’s not to say that they can’t be warm in some other way.They just don’t get ‘flirtation’ stuff very well.

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Doug said:

A notable merc. ret.Was Ted Williams .He was one of the greatest baseball hitters of all time and was the last one in professional baseball in a full season to hit over 400 in 1946.For those of u that don’t know what that means that’s an average of roughly 4 hits / 10 at bats.They said his eyesight was comparable in a human to the eyesight of a hawk in a bird ! Not only did he have a retro.merc.it was also exalted in Virgo.His b- day is the day before mine ( makes me feel kind of special and were both virgos.) He had an irrasible personality however and had problems with social skills in public.But to his credit he started a ‘ Jimmie )fund for kids that were disadvantaged. .

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Vesta said:

Wow, this is powerful. I can hear how upset you are. I haven’t been following events in France too closely, I know it’s happening. Today, in YouTube, there were videos saying the news isn’t reporting what’s actually happening and the protests are much worse. So no wonder you’re upset. 🙁 I didn’t watch them though.
I could have sworn Macron was Capricorn. Not sure why I remember it that way. So he’s Sag. I remember what happened at the time of his election. The left vote was divided, as they often are, whilst the right wing vote seemed to concentrate on Marine le Pen. Melenchon, France’s equivalent of Corybn, socialist, left, was on the rise, but he didn’t have enough support. People were suspicious of Macron. He was an unknown, plus the nice suit and banking background, he was clearly neoliberal (what I think you’re calling globalisation). Neoliberalism is extreme capitalism, it was a model adopted almost worldwide. The main purpose of it is to syphon money upwards. So yes, he’s there for the very rich. He is in line with Blair, Brown, the Clintons, and going back, to Thatcher/Reagan, John Major, the Bushes.
France voted for Macron to keep Marine le Pen and the threat of alt-right fascism out. You wrote a piece about her, I’m sure I commented. So the votes that should have gone to Melenchon united with other left votes behind Macron. They gritted their teeth knowing he wasn’t what they wanted, but he was the better of the two evils. He’s not like Trump, that was Marine, and still is.
I read an interview with him during his campaign. He came across as inexperienced, which he didn’t try to hide, and philosophical, which to me was hogwash, but that was my impression. I wasn’t that keen on him, plus he’s neoliberal, so urrghgh.
Awww France’s moon is conjunct my mars! and venus, and hits my t-square.
I am so sad to hear what’s happening there. I’ve visited a few times. Was it you who tweeted the people of France have revolution in their hearts? Someone did recently. I agree with your reading of the French.
I agree with uranus in aries and linking it back to the Arab Spring, but I disagree that nothing happened with that. I saw it as part of a wave of change. If you looked at similar events across the world, you could see it was, not chain reaction, but like a wave moving over the globe. The energy was disrupted worldwide. It was part of the uranus/pluto squares. AMA I was hit hard. :/
Yes, it’s true Russia interfered in a number of elections. We’ll get clarity on that at some point.
I didn’t understand what you meant by Islamist? Do you mean terrorist attacks by muslims? I was just thinking we don’t hear about that in the news anymore. The only thing we have heard recently is that these sorts of terrorist attacks are in the decline, and terror attacks by white alt right fascist nazis are on the rise. The far right is growing. That’s Marine, Trump, Bolsonaro and the like. Here it’s UKIP or the Tories, either or, same difference now.
I haven’t taken to Macron. I kind of dislike him. Just looking at his chart to see why. I just keep thinking ‘grow up’, but maybe that’s me, neptune has really got to me this week, I’m extremely sensitive, more than usual!! His venus is conjunct mine. Weird. I should like him, but I don’t. Gah I don’t know what aspect to look for that means ‘annoying’. He’s half baked. That’s the best I can say. I totally understand France had no choice when they voted him in, I’m really sad about what’s happening, I think it emboldens Marine and her far right fascists. 🙁 From what I’m hearing, support for Melenchon is growing, so that’s a good sign. But as long as we let the Russians interfere in our elections and pretend it’s not happening, we’re not going to see positive change.

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Vesta said:

I typed Corbyn wrong. Tired. :/
I was just looking for inconjuncts but I’m not very good at finding those. But I think I found what’s annoying, his uranus is close to my neptune/sun-moon midpoint. Probably hard to find anything more annoying than that! grrrr
He has a such a great Sag stellium, where’s his Sag side? I’ve never known such a miserable Sag. I have a Sag stellium, even when I’m depressed, I’m not like him. Or at least I hope I’m not! Is that why he’s annoying? He’s my shadow?! 😮 nooooo

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Vesta said:

‘skiving’ rhetoric started in the 1970s, pretty sure it was Thatcher. ‘Striver / skiver’, ‘worker / shirker’. It was divisive. Divide and rule. The idea behind it was to dismantle the welfare state, kill the idea of big government and looking after the people, and to introduce small government, individualism, where we ‘stand on our own two feet’. This is where ‘hardworking people’ or ‘hardworking taxpayers’ comes from too, that the Daily Mail love so much. It demonised those not in work, and completed denied the existence of anyone in need, namely the sick/disabled, children, and the elderly. If their existence is denied, there’s little need to provide for them. When austerity ideology became all the rage, these groups were hit first. Very insidious language. Macron was disgusting for saying that.

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Vesta said:

He u-turned, and some.

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Doug said:

Always comes down to the pocket book ; so much for saving the planet from global warming I guess

Christina said:

Maybe he read up on the astrology!

Doug said:

I think the humus wears better on Donald Trump , because he has the regalus on his asc.,he can pull it off better ; however most of his 1st house is filled with Virgo. ( the critic squaring his Sun. , merc. / conjunct uranus ; also his regalus asc.. falls on the Pluto in Leo generation.( the deplorables. ) We don’t like being called that. If u weren’t a part of that , you definatly missed out on a lot of good times.( Leo rules the 5th.) ; so I don’t necessarily blame them for wanting to ” get back to where they once belonged.” Have a good day !⭐

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Doug said:

Lots of problems in France right now and other places in Europe.1st the pluto in Sag. brought the genesis of the clashes between all the great religions of the world and their ideological export (.I was sort of hoping it’s transit through Capricorn would help to contain it ) A by product of these clashes has been the exodus of citizens from many of these countries from chaos and war , that have lost their beloved homelands ,along with this ; others have camoflaged themselves as part of this wave to engage in nefarious acts against the countries they have migrated to.I have met many who have sought assylem from these circumstances.At least the ones I’ve met (although they miss their homelands ) are so grateful to live in America.There is alot of origin to the violence in France and other European countries due to the social programs that no doubt came into being to accommodate and acclimate so many people of diverse cultures.I understand the angst. and frustration of the incumbent citizens of France and especially Paris in this most recent situation.Unfortunatly when things digress to such a point of chaos ; saturn has to put its boot down and apply the law. ( yes ; I know nobody likes saturn , but it’s just as important as any of the other planets.Idealism is a theory that never is successful in the real world.We can strive towards it , our intentions may be the noblest.Everyone is a liberal until it camps out in their back yard.Then reality sets in and by the time that happens nothing will ever be the same as it was before.I respect all people and their belief systems , when I dialogue with these refugees I make a point to tell them that ‘ God created the world,the universe ,human kind and also all religions .So ; God. ( I prefer to call it the creative force myself ) ‘ trumps’ everything !!! I met a self proclaimed atheist onetime.I told him your not an atheist ; you just think you are ! He looked at me stunned.I told him:” even atheists believe in something ” ( A pause ) ” they believe there’s nothing to believe in !! Have a nice day ! 🙂 Poor Django ; he must be rolling over in his grave with what is happening in Paris.It’s up in the ‘Nuages’now. ( thank God he left us his wonderful music ; Now that’s what I call idealism on earth !

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Doug said:

Just as an interesting aside Djanjo Reinhart was a merc. Retro.conjunct his Sun in Aquarius.He had a rough life With a grand square , but what a legacy of beautiful music he left behind.This is ‘ music ( spirituality ) made man .This is an example of the highest octave that may be attained even when greatly disadvantaged.Your universal friend Doug ( Venus conjunct Neptune , natal 25 /24 Libra, ceres 27/Scorpio moon 2.

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Denise said:

Thanks Christina – I have been wondering what this was really about – American media has not explained it very well so far.

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mm said:

An absorbing and disquieting read, Christina, with much current information that I was unaware of. Thank you for it. I love France, the language and culture, having lived and worked in Paris for 10 years during the 1980s. However I haven’t been able to visit again since the early 2000s, so I have been out of touch with the current political situation.

I was actually studying at the Aliance Francaise in Paris for a year in May 1968. The AF was one of the few organisations that was still functional. An 18 year old from a sheltered upbringing in the Home Counties I was completely overwhelmed by what was happening on the streets, and I have to admit rather thrilled as well(!). I walked past the barricades and the rioting students unable to believe what I was seeing and experienced wafts of tear gas for the one and only time in my life. It was outside any experience I’d had since then. There were no buses or any public transport at all but the French Army ran a “navette” of army lorries to and from various points in the suburbs to the Place des Invalides and I took them to and from classes. I remember De Gaulle’s return from Colombey les Deux Eglises and his pivotal television address, which was the turning point after which things gradually started returning to normal. Extraordinary times.

Re Macron, transiting Pluto of course is inching his was towards his Ascendant in the coming years. Looking a bit further down the line you have to wonder how it will affect him. Yes, that Sagittarian hubris hasn’t done him any favours at all. But Sagittarius is a mutable sign, so there is hope perhaps. But as you say the issue of globalisation is bigger than any one country I feel and I don’t know what the solutions is.

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Christina said:

Yes & I do think Macron has a better grasp of what globalisation actually means on some levels than most of our so-called leaders. But he has not understood how it works on ordinary lives.

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Doug said:

This is why pragmatism beats out idealism every time.It may be only a short term solution. , but it seems the people have spoken , this is where Donald Trump may have had more foresight than Macron , he’s more of a pragmatist.In this sense I agree let’s take care of the immediate needs of the citizens. ( jobs , tax revenue , things that help the national build the economy), try to do that in a thoughtfil ,futuristic way of course that’s more planet friendly, but have that ‘ strong foundation when the “winds of changes shift.”( even dreams can’t come true unless backed up by cold hard cash ! )That being said I’m also a sentimentalist , I love France ! we have an intrinsic connection with her with the beginnings of the American dream , we share many of the same tenets in a shared soul.Its doubtful I will ever make it there , So at least I have my vision of it with its pastoral landscapes , the Lascoux caves , the hip ‘Parisian’ culture , Riviera … and your beautiful romantic language , and wine. ! , and my courvoisier ! Hope all goes well 🙂

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Ghislaine Winning said:

Excellent post .Merci.
The riots of 1968 are a very personal experience as I experienced them at first hand .they started as a student revolt (very much a Uranus Pluto in Virgo phenomenon).the rest is history and the result eventually didn’t amount to much.Chiron was also in Pisces at that time as it is now ,in the sign ruled by Jupiter and Neptune .A few more lessons may have to be learned before the “wounded healer”moves into firy Aries.

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Christina said:

Yes. Interesting point about Chiron. I note that it’s making a trine right now to France’s Chiron in the 8th.

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Doug said:

Lots of children lost their fathers during the saturn / chiron aspect doting the Vietnam war.They just disappeared up in smoke ( Pisces ), unexpectedly. ( Uranus / Pluto conjunction opposition . Sudden loss of life.’Met many of them. ( my generation , that’s one interpretation. )

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Christina said:

good point and I wonder if you could also say that there was a wound to Daddyishness in the mid-60s

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Doug said:

Of course , nothing exists in a vacuum ; without a wound there would be nothing to heal ; hence; we wouldnt need chiron it’s counterpart opposite. , positive healing quality.There is a duality with every planetary energy opposition that mirrors itself. A metaphor I like to use : ” a doctor resets a broken bone so it can heal properly. ” That’s one way u can look at chiron in a positive way.Imagine if the hole in the ozone became too big.it wouldn’t. just take the atmosphere near the hole , all the earths ‘ atmosphere would leave with it. ; suffice it to say we can’t cherry pick one planetary energy over another all r necessary.for the balance ; however I think we can at least try to aspire towards the more benign symbolism of a planets personality.I don’t see that happening anytime soon though , we defiantly have a lot more consciousness awakining to go. I think it tried to take root in the 1960 ‘s but got muddied along the way , by the material carnal temptations of the times ( Hey that’s the challenge of being a human being ; you gotta ‘ love it ! “( have a good day , and may chiron heal all wounds 🙂

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Roderick said:

Let me preface my comment with the fact that I am a gay African American so I have a bit of a unique perspective.

Now that that is out of the way I have a couple of questions?

What do the French really want? The guy before Macron was the socialist Hollandale who wanted to tax the ‘rich’ by 75% and was solidly rebuked.

So they elect Macron who you say is for the ‘rich’ because he wants to implement some type of labor reforms and raise the diesel tax?

Did the people who voted for Macron actually review his positions and goals if he were elected president?

Now onto the so-called Islamists. The French people invited these people into France because they were not reproducing at replacement rate so they welcomed immigrants.

I know that the revolt against immigrants is the result of Pluto moving from Sagittarius to the final ten degrees of Capricorn and the fact that these immigrants were never integrated into the mainstream of French society but segregated to the ghettos, and given inferior educational opportunities.

I am not justifying the violence but that is usually the last resort for some.

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Christina said:

In fact, Macron stood on a platform of tax reform. He promised to deal with problems for small businesses and self-employed people that have gone on for decades, and then his first reform was to cut corporation tax. The system is still structured as if everyone has a job for life in a big company or is a government employee. It’s incredibly hard to start a business or even hire people because of red tape. That’s one set of problems, and the other is the minimum wage which was too low — notice that was the first thing he offered. His failure to follow through on those promises are one reason people are so cross.

His particular persona is seen as “Parisian” by the rest of France — citified, elitist and smug. And he is the latest in a long line of leaders who are not seen as being “of the people”. People feel that the country is run by a tiny elite, educated in the same universities and even schools, living in the same part of Paris, disconnected from the rest of the country. Hollande was from exactly the same background. It’s a matter of not being given the choice. It’s France equivalent of “the swamp”. Macron also came in as a change from that… but big disappointment. His trip to Washington, photo ops and all, was a real doozy.

Don’t forget the choice was also between Macron, and Marine Le Pen who is not much better than a fascist. So people voted to keep her out of office.

The Islamists are, for the most part, French, maybe second generation but still born and bred. The narrative in the British and American press about migration is somewhat misleading — especially when these people are connected to the refugees from the war in Syria. The problem is not seen as “immigrants” in general but a particular sector of society.

The problem in France is radicalisation of this second and third generation. Reasons they have been so easy to radicalise can be boiled down to one word: racism. Although there’s plenty of integration, the segregation is still remarkable in French cities, and you are right about a lack of opportunities. Immigrants from North Africa — the community from which almost all of the Islamists spring — have a very convoluted and difficult relationship with France for another reason also, the history of colonialism. And there’s a difference between the Algerian experience, the Moroccan and the Tunisian. I still think the best text on this is by Frantz Fanon — who died in 1961.

And the countries from which these immigrants come are actually just across the Mediterranean pond. Many Moroccan French travel back and forth regularly, spending the holidays in the home country several times a year. At the same time their Moroccan cousins have been struggling under a very repressive monarchy. Algerian French on the other hand have had to watch their country of origin torn apart by civil war for decades. So you can see how splitting or internally divisive the situation can be for an individual. Islamism promises a simple answer to the difficulties of this complex layering of identities. French/North African, Coloniser/Colonised, Privileged/Abused.

Islamist ideology is by coincidence or not almost opposite in many ways to the Enlightenment ideas which are central to French identity. The central importance of equality is why people like Baldwin found France a more comfortable place to live than America.

I could go on but I hope that answers your question.

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Doug said:

I would say this : I don’t know how politics operate in France , but in America we have the ‘ electoral’ college.I know there are some here that don’t think its fair , but it does have a useful.purpose.Without it rural areas would not get fair representation , because the municipal areas have the greatest populations , and number of citizens that tend to vote with more liberal political views.If we took away the electoral college and went only to ‘ popular vote ‘ we would shortly become a one-sided , one party system , and true democracy would disappear.Ironically. ; the left in America when this benefits their elections they have selective memory and stay mum when it works to their advantage.People in rural communities obviously have different objectives than ‘ big city’ or in your case ‘Parisian ‘ folk.
I don’t like ‘religious’ identity in politics and my assumption is that France has always been a rather ‘ secular’ country.
I don’t pretend to know what the whole ‘ immigrant ‘ narrative in France is.I only commented on the ‘ implied’ argument that they all are recent immigrants and packed in ghettos.Thank u Christina , I stand corrected.
I spoke to an Islamist refugee recently that told me he loves America because u can have your own opinions , believe in what u want ,The country he left you had no choice.I’m sure there are many refugees that have this view and love this brand of freedom in France also !
Have a good day ! 🙂

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Doug said:

So the French invited them in because
the replacement rate of the population was not enough , so they invited refugees in to fill that gap and put them in ghettos and didn’t want to educate them .That serves no useful purpose.U put them directly into a ‘ welfare state ‘ situation where they have no positive contribution in the country.That’s at a cross purpose.the idea that your bringing people in because you don’t have enough homeless refugees that have few job skills and a myriad of cultural clashes to boot ? Don’t make any sense to me.

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