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The Contradictions of Populism

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Share the post "The Contradictions of Populism" Since November 17 of last year, we have been regaled every Saturday with the lament of the Gilets Jaunes, those salt-of-the-earth French men and women who join together to protest the bloated state of pampered civil servants who batten themselves at taxpayer expense while good people in the provinces struggle to make ends meet. But at least one of those pampered civil servants turns out to be one of the more telegenic Gilets Jaunes, Un fonctionnaire territorial, Jean-François Barnaba. Barnaba has been collection 2600 euros a month for the past ten years for doing nothing. And now he has joined the ex-Front National no. 2 Florian Philippot, now leader of Les Patriotes and advocated of “Frexit,” on the ticket for the

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Since November 17 of last year, we have been regaled every Saturday with the lament of the Gilets Jaunes, those salt-of-the-earth French men and women who join together to protest the bloated state of pampered civil servants who batten themselves at taxpayer expense while good people in the provinces struggle to make ends meet. But at least one of those pampered civil servants turns out to be one of the more telegenic Gilets Jaunes, Un fonctionnaire territorial, Jean-François Barnaba. Barnaba has been collection 2600 euros a month for the past ten years for doing nothing. And now he has joined the ex-Front National no. 2 Florian Philippot, now leader of Les Patriotes and advocated of “Frexit,” on the ticket for the European parliamentary elections. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, said Ralph Waldo Emerson, so perhaps a little inconsistency is to be expected of such great patriots as these.

Art Goldhammer
Writer, translator, scholar, blogger on French Politics, affiliate of Harvard's Center for European Studies, writes for The American Prospect, The Nation, etc.

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