The material interest (see above) comes across strong and clear in the slogan of the French Yellow Vests: Les élites parlent de fin du monde, quand nous, on parle de fin du mois ("The elites talk about the end of the world, when we are talking about the end of the month").

The Yellow Vests are right and Macron is wrong; the material interest must not be neglected. Actually, it cannot be neglected for long by anybody who wants to avoid political chaos.

So the elites have been wrong in neglecting the material interest of the people. In the view of the Yellow Vests, but in my view as well, the elites are also unjust, and the rage against the elites is justified.

Yet the elites are also right. (Yes, it is actually possible to be right even if one is wrong.) The elites are right insofar as they understand and are afraid of the end of our world because of our ecological and climate crisis. Of course, there is a big problem with their understanding and their fear, namely, that that they are only willing to give a away a very little part of their their riches in order to to satisfy the material interest of the people, and this only when they are hard pressed.

But there is another big problem, and this problem seems to be with the understanding of the people as well. The people, too, certainly understands that our world is traversing a period of severe and possible "final" ecological crisis. It is now common sense to demand a Green Deal. What neither the people nor the elite has hitherto not understood is that the Green Deal must include the conversion of the military machine to green production.

Demonstrators highlighted the enormous and negative impact of the U.S. military during the 2014 People's Climate March in New York City. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc) Demonstrators highlighted the enormous and negative impact of the U.S. military during the 2014 People's Climate March in New York City. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

And what Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater say about America (where they live) goes for us here in Europe, too:

If climate change is not addressed rapidly by a Green New Deal, global militarism will ramp up in response to increases in climate refugees and civil destabilization, which will feed climate change and seal a vicious cycle fed by the twin evils militarism and climate disruption. That’s why a New Peace Deal and a Green New Deal should go hand in hand. We cannot afford to waste our time, resources and intellectual capital on weapons and war when climate change is barreling down on all of humankind. If the nuclear weapons don’t destroy us then the pressing urgency of catastrophic climate will.