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Proximité Périlleuse Pauvreté


My title roughly translates into “Poverty’s Perilous Proximity”, minus a “de” and “la” or two. I had to de-grammarize as we must always avoid alliteration! 

While I would dearly love to keep discussing the in-progress collapse of the Clown World economy, as it technically relates to Americans, my head hurts and the zero button on my calculator broke. However, I do fancy people who still want to exist. Ergo, as sometimes happens, we have a slightly different take on affairs. Une prise Française, with brief layovers in Ireland and China.

For several reasons, I lately drifted from my usual somber reading and picked up a copy of Mary Morrissy’s excellent collection of short stories, Prosperity Drive. While all her words stand out in a striking, yet poetic fashion, I found specific inspiration in these, in her fourth story, Gracefully, Not Too Fast:

Poverty was something to be feared: not for what the poor in their rage might do to you but for its perilous proximity. As if it might be infectious.

– Mary Morrissy, Prosperity Drive, Random House, (Kindle Ed.) P. 38 (2017).

The story walks the line, excitedly and sadly, self-ware and aloof, through a maze of music, illiteracy, and, as one might expect, social standing and destitution. The book is certainly worth one’s effort, so consider purchasing a copy. The above quote reminded me of a question posed by the wonderful Jessamine Lee the other day: “So I’m not rich.  So what?” It also reminded me of something a little older: of the wisdom in a passage of the Analects of Confucius:

When a country is well-governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill-governed, riches and honour are things to be ashamed of.

So what, indeed, Ms. Lee? What does it all mean? On and around Prosperity Drive, poor little Bridget could not help her pecuniary circumstances. Her life and times were set in the post-WWII era, a transitory time for Ireland and the West. Much like her, so many of us cannot exactly control our circumstances. The Master constantly differentiated between the virtues of the superior man and the shortcomings of the mean man. He juxtaposed these two archetypes across various political cultures both desirous and baneful. The superior man should always stand upright, stoically, regardless of prevailing conditions. The mean man does not and cannot do so. Yet Confucius’s words used herein pertain to the general conditions of the populace.

In a noble country, graced with a fitting government, history shows a tendency toward merit, equity, and prosperity. In such a happy society, most people attain a relative position of self-sufficiency if not what might be regarded as economic wealth. And while there are exceptions – childhood travails, personal calamity, or obliging vows of poverty – under such tranquil circumstances, a lowly and crude status is generally thought to be indicative of poor character – of inelegance and sloth. Such is somewhat the spirit of the cautious admonishment from Saint Paul in II Thessalonians 3:10 (also attributed, later, to John Smith at Jamestown): “we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat.” In the original verse, “you” refers, twice before and once after, to [our] Christian Brethren. Hence, the assumption is an addressed society well-governed, spiritually if not politically or economically.

However, in a fallen state, cursed with a foul government, the opposite is generally true, as to honor and lament. While there must be some exceptions, in a lower(ed) society, those who have great abundance, or who are lauded popularly, are generally among the worst kinds of men – the “ticket-takers” of popular parlance. They are only thought wealthy and exemplary because they conform to the wickedness of the ruling status quo. In reality, their riches and their honor are false. One recalls a certain poor Carpenter turned Street Preacher and His angry rejection of the silver coin of the wealthy, well-connected, and presumably “honorable” elites of His day.

What remains of much of the faltering West is the dictionary definition of “ill-governed”. Not quite everything political, cultural, and economic is fake. Note that under such conditions, poverty and crudeness do not necessarily become proper; rather, it is that outwardly benefiting from the false, rigged system becomes the more shameful condition. You’re not “rich”? Good, it’s better that way.

France was recently a relatively stable country. It remains so, though something is obviously afoot. While French “socialism” was somewhat misunderstood by many Americans, it worked well enough for enough of the French people. The secularization of Catholic France is another matter. But, economically, in return for higher marginal tax rates (marginal, because other factors greatly equalized the overall burden felt by, say, Americans), the French did, in fact, receive various benefits such as general peace, excellent transportation, good schools, quality healthcare, functioning courts, long vacations, and early retirement. In short, the people paying for the services received the benefit of the services. Critically, the French ruled France. 

Then, something(s) changed.

One might not know it by watching what passes for news in the US, but for about five years, the French have been daily rioting in the streets. The gilets jaunes, mostly middle-aged, middle-class, ordinary French, not-so-quietly rebelled over several observable changes to their great nation. From the outside, France appears to be in a phase of transition, further along than the general West of the mid-20th century. In some ways, many ways, it is about where the US was around 1980, and, like the US in 1980, the picture is changing quickly. The recent pension reforms, carried out in the usual Clown World “democratic” fashion, without a proper vote, sparked a new, higher level of rebellion, something perilously bordering on civil war. The evil globalist elites who control the French government have postponed the age of retirement to free up more money for a growing cadre of schemes. The French are now being forced to pay for their altered destiny. And they know it. Transitioning into nefarious governance, the infectious specter of poverty knocks at the door. The people see that their limited future holds less in the way of riches and honor. 

They are responding accordingly and properly. They’re burning it down! Taking a page from the Sri Lankan and Lebanese playbooks, they’ve started torching the homes of the wicked politicians who dared to disrupt the accepted order of things. Millions of men and women are blocking streets and fighting for their collective way of life. Farmers are dumping manure and garbage at government offices. The people are setting fire to police stations. Some speak of making the guillotine great again. Some mention Macron by name. State visits are postponed. The heat, as they say, is on.

If this was happening in places like Russia, Iran, or Minneapolis, then the gekaufte journalisten would be singing the praises of these mostly peaceful protesters attempting to overcome oppression. As-is, the militarized police are in the streets beating and gassing their countrymen. But cracks are forming. Here and there, unionized civil employees, firefighters, and police officers are joining the protests. We are also reminded of the Generals’ Letter and the Soldiers’ Letter, penned barely two years ago. Previously, the military warned the idiot politicians that domestic unrest was imminent if something wasn’t given. Nothing was given, and now the letters look prophetic. And if a war of some kind is inevitable, it might make sense to get it over with sooner than later. 

This should have been foreseen as it is literally in the lyrics of “La Marseillaise”:

Allons enfants de la patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrivé!

Contre nous de la tyrannie

L’étendard sanglant est levé! (bis)

Entendez-vous dans les campagnes,

Mugir ces féroces soldats?

Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras

Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes!

Aux armes, citoyens!

Formez vos bataillons!

Marchons ! Marchons!

Qu’un sang impur

Abreuve nos sillons!

In English:

Let’s go children of the fatherland,

The day of glory has arrived!

Against us tyranny’s

Bloody flag is raised! (2x)

In the countryside, do you hear

The roaring of these fierce soldiers?

They come right to our arms

To slit the throats of our sons, our friends!

To arms, citizens!

Form your battalions!

Let us march! Let us march!

May impure blood

Water our fields!

Last year, they endured a bit of a drought, so the fields are thirsty. Here’s the anthem, as sung magnificently in 1989 by the irrepressible Mireille Mathieu:

Mathieu, a staunch Catholic, might personally prefer the tone of the alternative Royalist version (Allons armée Catholique!). I would like to say that I do; however, that edition was essentially a parody of the Freemasonic original. It needs work, honestly. And, given the times and the elitist luciferian enemy occupying Paris, the lyrics of the standard anthem work well, regardless of parentage. Indeed, it is most fitting to hurl the words back at the Enlightenment mongers who have created the current existential crisis! Let the usurpers fear what the legitimate people do in their rage.

Given the continued fiery resistance of the proud French, and the futility of Clown World analytics, I have a grand idea! My Tom Ironsides’s action novella, AURELIUS, is set amidst barely-fictitious contemporary French social and political turmoil to match literal current events. As such, I may drop select parts of a few chapters here soon. Publication, hopefully, shall happen this autumn. Until then, of course, THE SUBSTITUTE awaits your perusal. 

Une note à mes amis Français: Continuez à vous battre! Pourquoi? Parce Deus vult, et Deo vindice!

Avant de partir: Je t’aime trop et je ne peux vivre sans toi! Voici “Pardonne Moi” de Mathieu (1970):