The poet’s speech to the free city of Belfort

May 28, 2019 following the announcement of 1,044 redundancies in gas turbines.

“Poets, have the courage of cowardice, study industry! “Pierre LEGENDRE, 1982. Answer from us: it’s done!

Theme of the speech :

For financiers and their shareholders, a company has a positive valuation when it achieves significant future profits. A negative financial assessment results in its closure and elimination from the market.

Human skills are not taken into account by financiers, and when a company closes, they are destroyed.

In Belfort, GE (General Electric) financiers wanted in 2019 to move the gas turbine business to the USA on the pretext that the Belfort plant and its world-class skills no longer allowed significant profits since gas pipelines from Russia would be closed and Russian gas in Europe would no longer be used.

A US project that the war in Ukraine since the spring of 2022, has since confirmed. In 2019 the employees and the city of Belfort rejected this GE project. In 2022, this activity of Belfort’s turbines was bought from GE by EDF with the help of the French government.

The medieval city status of a free city was based on a charter that forever freed a town’s inhabitants from taxes, chores, utilities, and servitudes.

The inhabitants and their property must be free from these servitudes and must be protected by the political and military power that grants this charter.

The political, economic and social consequences lead to autonomous local development. The wealth gained by everyone’s work remains. They are jointly managed at the annual meeting, which validates the results and defines the new objectives. The inhabitants use the alliance of opposites to define objectives and subsidiarity to obtain the optimal solution and adapt it to their local peculiarities. In short, the city escapes the succession squabbles between the families of the nobility but it remains linked to political power and the wars waged by its leaders.

Belfort was one of the last cities to obtain this charter before the end of the medieval era marked on Friday, October 13, 1307 by the destruction of the Order of the Temple, the facilitator and protector of this participatory direct local democracy, developed in Europe since the year 500 by the Order Benedictines, which reimplements the preserved knowledge of the civilizations of Greece and the ancient Egypt. In May 1307, Renaud de Bourgogne, Count of Montbéliard, freed Belfort. The book by Georges Bischoff and Yves Pagnot, Belfort 1307-2007, Seven Centuries of Courage and Freedom, Editions Coprur 2007, traces the history of this city.

In 2019, and since GE (General Electric) officially announced on Tuesday, May 28, that it would eliminate 1,044 gas turbine jobs, will Belfort still be a free city because of its courage and willingness to remain free?

Can it escape the global tyranny of shareholders, of investment or pension funds that, together with private central banks and their affiliated commercial banks, the Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy, masters of both economic and political life, and certainly of culture? Will it be one of the first regions to be defeated, plundered by one of the two powers vying for global primacy? The US President is urgently calling for the repatriation to the US of certain offshored products in order to strengthen what is still the world’s leading technological power, whereas China intends to surpass it in terms of technology and military power. The plan to shut down turbine production in Belfort, starting with gas turbines, has its origins much higher than the desire of shareholders to make a profit.

On Tuesday 21 May, during the protest to accompany the exit of the plant of the last 9 HA gas turbine, the interunion affirmed its will to defend an industrial history of 140 years. And in Belfort these are not empty words at the foot of the citadel of Vauban, the town hall of Kléber and the lion of Bartholdi. Far from being a simple issue in May 2019, it is a reason to live that this is and here we find the first conflict of the industrial era, that of the canuts of Lyon in the 1830s with their motto: “live free by working or die by fighting”, motto also of the maquis des Glières in March 1944: “live free or die”. At the end of May 2019, we are not there yet in Belfort, but the road is being taken with courage and determination, even if most want to believe only in further restructuring, as the industrial site has already experienced, as in 2014 when the action of employees and elected representatives managed to stop it.

140 years since 1879 and the opening of the Belfortaine factory of the SACM (Société Alsacienne de Construction Mécanique), created in 1872 from the merger of the two Koechlin companies located in Mulhouse (AKC, 1826) and near Strasbourg (Graffenstaden, 1838). The company was established in Mulhouse, another town that remained free after 1354 and entered the Confederation of Free Swiss Cantons in 1515 until March 15, 1798 when the Republic of Mulhouse voted to join the young French Republic.

The history of Belfort, Mulhouse and Basel is about freedom for many centuries, freedom and alliances with other cities, cantons and confederations that are also free.

The Mulhousians in Belfort?

The 4th Battalion of the Mobile Guard of the Haut-Rhin, the Battalion of Mulhouse and its 8 companies, started by train on Saturday 30 July 1870 for the officers and non-commissioned officers who met at the home of Mr. Nicolas Koechlin where their chief Mr. Dollfus-Galine had settled.

These names indicate that Mulhouse’s motives are led by their factory bosses.

The same engineers who led the expansion of Mulhouse’s industrial corporation, the “Manchester” on the Rhine, also trained their staff as firefighters to fight the fires and explosions in steam engines and then use less flammable electric machines. They led the construction of the workers’ cities, the most beautiful in Europe at the time. The industrial company developed its own mutual insurance and then bank insurance mutual to lend money to its members at zero interest.

In 1870, industrialists from all over Europe were members of the Mutual Society, the Mulhousienne, to share this financial instrument to manage jointly and benefit from interest-free loans. In 1870, Mulhouse’s mobiles leaving for Belfort carried this successful experience. Without state support or commercial banks, they have built industrial capacity whose wealth remains local and is shared with labor far more than elsewhere in the industrial regions. It was the Protestant spirit, the social Christianity for which the free city of Mulhouse chose to ally itself with the rather Protestant Swiss confederation and thus escape the Catholic thrall of the Bishop of Strasbourg, and then to stand aside from the peasant war and the Thirty Years’ War.

At the beginning of August 1870, the Mulhousians and their band surprised the Belfortians by the holding of their troops and they were cheered at the cries of “Long Live the Mobile of Mulhouse”. The mobile regiment of the Haut-Rhin will stand out at the Battle of Beaune la Rollande and for the companies that stayed in Belfort during the siege of the city. Wherever they fight their attitudes in battle, they will be met with high praise.

After 1918, SACM’s factories were reunited, and through their specialization and alliances, Belfort, with its production of electromechanical machines, joined forces with Thomson-Houston to form the Alsthom group in 1929.

In the 1970s, it was one of the pillars of the CGE (Compagnie Générale d’Electricité) with Alcatel. In this imposing group, however, Belfort retained a special place, not a place of choice but rather the place of a special factory difficult to manage from Paris because its “working class” if not Protestant culture does not match the French Catholic patronage culture. Employees are side by side with engineers and management to develop new technologies and when things go wrong, bolts fly in workshops until the next celebrations that celebrate new successes. At the Langenberg refuge, a manager and his wife, secretary of the club, share the evenings with the staff members who practice alpine hiking or climbing together. It is an opportunity to tell each other things that disturb the atmosphere of the workshops before everything resumes its usual course, downstairs, at the factory. Other associations share the same labor-management divide with local residents, and when necessary, they all gather in town to defend their factories and jobs

At the beginning of 1992, at the headquarters on Kléber Avenue, during an interview with a head of the Group’s Human Resources Directorate, I asked to go to Belfort. Firm and categorical refusal. Answer: no question, Belfort is for sale! All Belfort? All Belfort!

Explanation: the factory is unmanageable with its historical culture, workers believe the factory belongs to them. I am explaining that a close relative was a long-time secretary of Mulhouse’s industrial society and that I am familiar with the Protestant Mulhousian culture that also made Belfort a success. This culture has nothing to do with that of French establishments, at least and, having seen it, this “original or Alsatian” culture remains present in the workers and technicians, in the field managers but not in the managers and the General Directorate of the divisions of the Group. In Belfort, the factory must also be run according to the original culture of Mulhouse’s industrial society and not according to a management in the Parisian way, in other words a management that does not care at all about social issues, as these engineers who have graduated from high schools are only interested in technical issues. The conclusion of this discussion was frank: I was certainly right, but precisely at the level of the General Directorate, there is no way that this culture will remain in the Group, especially when it is expressed by the destruction of a TGV (gas turbine) engine cabin during the centenary of 1979. A gesture that the Parisian leadership will never forget, according to my then-boss.

This “French Disease,” as the title of Alain Peyrefitte’s book appeared in late 1976, explains the conflict between a Protestant culture in which workers say that the factory belongs to them and a Catholic culture that develops subjugation to a well-established hierarchy.

This original culture evolved from its religious roots into the ideology of communism and the various intellectual and political movements that surround it. In every meeting or discussion with non-executive staff, the affirmation of Communist doctrine and class struggle is present, albeit most often as a reminder of the factory’s glorious past and its national and global successes. On the other hand, there is little in the way of political and social solutions. Everything depends on technical solutions and Belfort is capable of producing other equipment goods, has a huge potential for diversification in view of its various skills and its recognized level of global expertise.

But can Belfort demand from its American owners and from the French and European governments the right to survive and pursue industrial development?

With France de-industrializing for at least 30 years and factories closing in most of the former industrialized countries, the negative answer comes first to most citizens. Why and how would Belfort not in turn suffer the closure of its factories?

The fight has not changed its soul but it must adapt to the terrain and to the adversary, without underestimating it but especially not without overestimating it as was unfortunately the case after the fighting of 16 and 17 January 1871 when on Wednesday 18 January Bourbaki ordered the retreat while the enemy was in a position of weakness and that for example the 4th battalion of the Haut-Rhin, that of Mulhouse, like others, had remained in vain in reserve in the woods of Tavey. Why should we overestimate the significance of this trade war between the United States and China when citizens everywhere no longer support these imperialist tyrannies of another century and seek freedom from them, to live free without them?

The world gas market has turned around and offers no further development opportunities! Let’s go! Who should believe these kinds of shameless fables? A little geopolitics, current history, to shed light on the situation.

At the Munich Security Conference in mid-February 2019, the EU’s top leaders opened their eyes to the US, Russia, and China. The issue of Russian gas has inevitably been raised. Russia wants to build gas pipelines that no longer run through Ukraine. Angela Merkel, with the support of France, had the European Union approve a compromise on importing Russian gas through the NorthStream2 gas pipeline project. Faced with this hostile American attitude, it has challenged itself for failing to fulfill its duties as an ally of America. Yet US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened that, “We cannot ensure the security of our allies in the West if they remain dependent on the East,” he implied from Russian energy sources.

The US has become the world’s largest gas producer since it added its shale-gas production to its natural-gas production. One in two US households currently uses shale gas, and the US has plans to sell it to Europe in liquid form via shipping and gas tankers. Natural gas reserves are first in Iran and then in Russia, the USA is in 5th place. At the level of oil, the low-price policy is aimed at curbing the use of other energy sources. The practice of shale gas is clear: once fractured, the rocks let the gas through and it must be recovered and sold immediately or it risks being lost… in the shale or elsewhere in the earth. Without a poet trying to guess, instead of US oil and gas companies, and without being able to eliminate Russian pipelines to Europe, I would start by eliminating in Europe the production of equipment for gas plants, in particular the production of gas turbines. That would be a great start. Rapidly shutting down Belfort’s production to the US-based GE plant, even though Siemens has just decided to shut down its gas turbine production in order to invest more heavily in renewable energy, achieves this strategic objective.

To defend Belfort in this economic gas war, we must start by defending the new Russian pipelines that do not pass through Ukraine and, therefore, finally mount a European defense outside of American protection, which should include Russia, since it supplies us with gas. As a geopolitical change of strategy to save Belfort, what would we not do?

Let’s assume that this Russian natural gas is in Europe, and leave out here the gases released by Siberian permafrost as a result of global warming, which we are not going to be sold in liquid form in the near future. There are the GE owners, the shareholders, the tyranny of the Anglo-Saxon shareholders.

The financial crisis organized in such a way as to multiply the profits of high finance concerns us here in its exploitation phase of the crisis, that is to say the raid that it is possible to carry out on countries and societies weakened by the crisis.

In order to clean up the US banking system and eliminate the toxic credits that led to the crisis, the Federal Reserve, the private central bank, issued trillions of dollars starting in 2010 at a rate of 0.001%. At least that is what is known. Commercial banks lent this money to Greece at 17%, or at a multiplier of 17,000, a prodigy that is possible only during a financial crisis to put heavily the person who is obliged to accept such credits to avoid bankruptcy. GE’s executives used the money to defend the US economy and stave off recession. Like other American multinationals, they were able to conduct their raids to buy up competitors and focus even more on the markets in which they were already prospering. Today, they claim that the French subsidiary is not profitable, whereas its profits go to Switzerland, to Baden.

Destroying industrial activity in some countries and concentrating it in the US is also, and before long, condemning these countries to general poverty. Can a free city, a country that puts Freedom first in its motto, bring itself to such betrayals with its past, culture, and development projects?

GE did not buy Alstom’s power generation business from the profits made from the work of its employees. GE had a lot of money and since the French managers of Alstom initially did not want to sell, we are familiar with the state scandal that ended up with the sale of 70% of Alstom’s business to GE.

In early 2019, Alstom’s finances were in good shape. Alstom is doing well, very well, as confirmed on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, by its President and CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge on the occasion of the presentation of the group’s results. “Alstom has benefited this year from an exceptional business dynamic with a record order intake of €12.1 billion. These good results bring the order book to 40.81 billion euros with these two major contracts and especially that of the TGV of the future for 2.7 billion euros. The latter is obviously expected both in Belfort for the engines and Ornans for the engines. This government order for 100 TGVs of the future should provide employment for at least 10 years.”

The other consequence of these strong results is that Alstom can rely on a net cash flow of EUR 2.325 billion. This will give a smile to shareholders who will be offered a dividend of EUR 5.50 per share at the next general meeting on 10 July. This net cash flow includes the result of the sale of its shares in the three Energy Alliances to General Electric. And when we know what is happening to the energy branch of Alstom acquired in 2015 by General Electric… In the spring of 2019, GE’s share was also up in view of the Group’s new strategy and the closure of several plants and activities.

In short, the sale per apartment of the Alstom group continues and also pays off to those who finally sell.

But to buy back an energy branch and especially gas energy which is no longer worth anything? There remains the nagging question at this stage: why was Alstom unable to wait for these new orders that were already under negotiation when the energy branch was sold to GE? To be sure, we have seen this in geopolitics. In France, this type of error is added to a few others: at Thomson, Thierry Breton refuses to produce flat-screen television screens while the patents were bought in 1988 from RCA and were used by Thomson-CSF to manufacture in 1989, the weapons system screens of the new SNLE (Nuclear Submarines Launchers of Engins) of the class Le Triomphant.The argument of President Breton: it is not profitable to invest in a company that loses money. The same argument of Prime Minister Alain Juppé who in 1997 wants to sell the entire Thomson group to Daewoo for 1 dollar because the government no longer wants to finance the group’s losses. There is also the case of Alcatel, whose president, S. TCHURUK, wants to turn it into an engineering company without factories before being forced to join forces with Lucent, which is itself in trouble in the USA. To promote this marriage, Alstom’s cash will be used to restore Alcatel’s health. The end result is that both French groups are in distress and need state aid.

There are other examples, but the case of GE’s takeover of Alstom’s energy business stands out for the brutality used by GE’s shareholders who accuse Alstom’s managers of financial malfeasance in obtaining commercial contracts and use the services of the American judiciary to put pressure on French managers, in the name of defending the interests of GE’s shareholders. Not to mention at the outset the alliance between Bouygues and Alstom desired by the government and that Bouygues decided to leave, which weakened Alstom, showed that the government would not strongly support it and ended up presenting Alstom as a prey to seize, especially for GE and the American financiers and political leaders engaged in their geopolitical maneuvers that we have just talked about. The French government is primarily responsible for this new industrial disaster, which can be summed up in this not-at-all-anecdotal point: to build a new submarine, especially a nuclear one, you will now have to ask the Americans for permission, because they have the decision-making power over the turbine that generates electricity. Never before has a country possessed nuclear weapons and no matter how close friends it is to an alliance.

But why, at the end of the day, is gas energy and gas turbine production worthless nowadays for a financier, a rent-seeker seeking to invest his fortune? How did this come about?

We have shown what is the conflict between the two cultures that have been fighting since the development of the industrial economy, how is the perception of the human being defined to arrive at a capitalist economic system that disregards the value of labor to take into account only the value of exchange. The doctrine developed by David Ricardo, for example, serves as an intellectual instrument for imposing the idea that all hours of work are equal, and that only the exchange price on the market matters, that everything comes at a price. The skills of the workers are therefore not taken into account. When Belfort’s workers want to demonstrate their skills and a high degree of expertise, like talented others around the world, their demands are cynically and permanently snuffed out by the top leadership of the liberal system and by financiers, shareholders. Between them, there is much more than a dialog of the deaf. It is a real conflict and a civilizational choice. So far, skilled workers around the world have lost that fight.

The case of GE and Belfort shows that a step has been taken in recent years in what is called the shareholders’ dictatorship, led by the dictatorship itself of the leaders of the neo-liberal system.

During the 2007-2008 crisis, banks like Goldman Sachs and others of that caliber made money selling toxic financial assets to their customers, rich savers, or investors with fortunes to invest. Of course, these pigeons were ruined and the banks made huge profits. There have been some trials, but with low penalties of the standard for chicken thieves. Fab the Fabulous was convicted but his lawyers and fine were paid by Goldman Sachs, his former employer who immediately fired him after the police intercepted his private messenger service. Savers, annuitants, shareholders, and investment-fund managers have learned their lesson and want to consolidate their power without the involvement of investment bankers. We are here to face the maneuvers they carried out to take over Alstom’s energy business and complete the takeover on Monday 1 November 2015.

By the 1990s, shareholders had reacted to the de facto takeover by employees through participatory management and quality circles by removing this total quality management and replacing it with Risk Management. Employees must follow the procedures to achieve their objectives in full transparency so as to avoid any loss of wrongful resources and any abuse of social assets. In short, executives who steal from shareholders, as they did from Enron and other big companies, are finished. Second, it is about going further. The shareholder does not just manage his business, to make a profit, he has to sell it and buy others, and that is where other difficulties arise, of course. To know more about corporations, the high-finance system imposed IFRS on countries other than the US.

The adoption of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) corresponds to the idea that there is a need to harmonize accounting standards in response to the globalization of trade, and this conveys powerful influential logics. As a result, the implementation and operation of the IFRS takes on the air of a US Trojan horse. IFRS requires companies to report strategic information, Sarbanes-Oaxley allows the PCAOB to expand its investigations outside the US to obtain strategic information, while the Patriot Act requires US financial institutions and other agencies, such as the PCAOB, to report information to the intelligence services, without them being able to notify their customers or protest! As a result, IFRS, proposed by the Americans, who do not even apply it themselves, has upended the European financial landscape. And they are being implemented in France despite their non-compliance with the bloc’s constitutionality, since the adoption of these standards has enabled a real normative trap to be set. Companies are obliged to disclose accounting and business information on their results and strategic choices so that an investor can assess their chances of profit by buying shares in that company. Full transparency of financial reporting is therefore needed. After all, it is the only guarantee that financial markets will function smoothly.

French accounting, before IFRS, was intended to be the exact photograph of the company’s assets. It gave an accurate statement of debts, liabilities and the company’s ability to recover them. To do this, it applied different rules, three of which are in opposition to the Anglo-Saxons.

  • The precautionary principle of taking into account all likely losses.
  • The notion of historical cost, which implies the recording of assets at their Purchasing Cost.
  • Accounting depreciation, i.e. the taking into account of asset wear and tear, was set by the legislator for tax purposes.

It therefore appears that the French vision was mainly concerned with ensuring transparency for the company’s creditors to the detriment of the investor who saw the value of his property undervalued.

By contrast, the Anglo-Saxon view was, and still is, aimed at measuring the wealth created for the shareholder. The company can therefore manage the outcome strategically. In order to do so, the following rules shall be adopted:

  • The principle of fair value. The assets of the company are not recorded at their historical value but at their market value.
  • Depreciation periods are fixed by the company and not by the legislator. These two principles imply that the valuation of the undertaking is based on its market value, which results in greater price volatility. In addition, in order to justify the amounts in the accounts, the company needs to provide more information on its assets, including strategic information.

Under the old French system, however, in order to capitalize on a factory’s balance sheet, one had to present all of the invoices that followed its construction. Now, with IFRS, costs don’t matter. You value a plant based on the profits it makes in future years. So, just justify the forecast calculations with evidence of future contracts, which is strategic information. As a result, IFRS intervention no longer ensures transparency for creditors as it no longer ensures accurate photography of the company’s assets.

We now have a better understanding of why investors claim that gas turbines are worthless even if Belfort’s workers are busy proving the value of their company’s assets, especially intangible ones with its expertise, patents, and so forth.

The current Minister for the Economy also stated that the gas turbines purchased by GE in 1999 are worthless, just like the other Belfort energy activities purchased in October 2015. Since Tuesday, May 28, 2019 and the announcement of the elimination of 1,044 jobs in Belfort and the virtual closure of the production of gas turbines since the next orders will be produced in the USA, this Minister has changed his speech somewhat by repeating the usual words in these circumstances and that Lionel Jospin Prime Minister had already spoken in 1998 before the stock market redundancies at Michelin, namely that a government cannot oppose the will of private shareholders.

We are at this point, back to the point of departure that the revolt of the canuts of Lyon in 1830 had already cruelly enlightened.

And, as recently as 1830, managers wanted to preserve profits and productivity gains in order to expand their businesses and maintain employment, even if output and pay did not change with the amount of work performed. Today, managers are cutting jobs because their shareholders feel they cannot get a decent return on their investment and, more important, because their government is forcing them to repatriate their activities in order to defend their country from another tyrannical imperialist power. There is also the issue of the cost-effectiveness of capital goods produced for the medium and long term that belong to a country’s energy infrastructure. What do investors seeking large short-term profits do in such long-term activities? If they make mistakes, let them take responsibility without also destroying factories and skills in formerly allied countries.

We have a good understanding of how to impose shareholder rights in countries where they want to locate in order to maximize their profits. Capitalism has been in overproduction since the 1920s and marketing has provided answers to defer the consequences of this drift from the production system based on private property alone. The concentration of production capacities is now such that it is no longer a question of competition on a market but of the domination by a country and its multinationals over all the needs of citizens at world level. We are back to the level of political and geopolitical decisions.

Should Belfort’s workers, like other workers who face the closure of their businesses, continue to ask the state, government, and president for help in preserving their jobs and skills? Luck may be smiling, but in this world economic war and despite the world performances achieved and which are the historical heritage of Belfort, what can we reasonably expect from political decision-makers who for 30 years more or less openly admit their powerlessness against the masters of the liberal economic system and high finance? Is this how a free city decides to free itself from the enslavements that weigh on its fate?

Daring to say NO to these economic decision-makers and once again affirm its status as a free city, to have the audacity to regain this lost space of freedom, to reestablish its charter in order to set aside the evil pretensions of shareholders eager for unjustified profits, is it not indispensable and justified to pronounce its choice of civilization?

Organize a free city?

It is a question of recommencing what was done in 1307: to appoint bourgeois of the city peasants from the villages around capable of feeding a good part of the population. Then create its own currency, a full currency to remunerate the work of its inhabitants according to the wealth produced. This work concerns all human activity: production of goods and services essential for life and survival from food, housing, health, leisure, then production of common goods capable of raising the standard of living and which are passed on to future generations, and finally political action to manage the production and consumption of this wealth, the exchange of surplus with other free cities, military defense of the network of free cities…

It is past time to convene the Belfort Security Conference and not just lift the Lion’s claws out of the Arsenal and the Powder Magazine. Are our enemies still capable of paying armies of mercenaries or commandos willing to wreak havoc on us in order to bring us back under their domination?

Vauban’s fortifications, the way in which Colonel Denfert-Rochereau used them, even if it displeased the staff who did not later appoint him general, the way in which the stronghold was liberated through the Lizaine and Chagey-Chalonvillars and not through Hericourt, a tactic taught at the War School after 1871 and put into practice in November 1944 by Colonel Tritschler’s CC6 armored column of the 5th DB, all these recommendations and experiments to defend or liberate the stronghold were tested and militarily reliable.

On the industrial side, the role of gas in the energy mix remains essential in order to provide the surplus energy production needed in winter during peak consumption periods. It will take decades for renewables to deliver much electricity, but storing natural gas or renewable gas is easy and cheap. Gas is less polluting than nuclear and coal, it does not emit fine particles.

The production of gas turbines in Belfort is therefore justified for France and Europe in the context of the low-carbon energy mix.

In terms of diversification, the lithium battery research and production center must continue its production in connection with the production of energy from hydrogen. Hydrogen powered self-driving forklifts with lithium batteries are being manufactured in Héricourt for ports and container handling. An important contract with Russia is in progress. There is enough lithium in the Alsatian subsoil. The plant can also participate in the production of Alstom’s hydrogen vehicles and trains. There are hydrogen bikes whose production is to be industrialized like that of U-feel bikes, an autonomous electric bike, without battery or recharge: its supercapacitors will store and use the energy produced by pedaling. At the level of the rotors and stators, there is the development of the free energy car, the one Tesla had driven in 1931 and was subsequently banned from production. There is also the free-energy generator, which falls under Belfort’s jurisdiction, and the free city could join the BRICS alliance in this project. Why lay off more than a thousand workers when there is so much new to be produced for the sake of humanity, the climate, and natural resources?

In financial terms, the prodigious development of the Mulhouse industrial society mutual, which greatly favored the development of local businesses, which have become for the most part European if not world-class industrial groups, should be continued with the free city of Belfort mutual.

The use of a full currency and the practice of bancassurance are indispensable for the political, economic and social, cultural and military development of a social group based on participatory local direct democracy, also today known with the Internet as citizen networks.

In terms of communication, the free city is shedding the commercial giants of the web that control the Internet for their profits. Digital citizen participation democracy, tools for horizontal information sharing, debate and decision-making (CivicTechs) or, more simply, the capacity that the people of Europe would have to equip themselves with a common platform for the common exercise of their European citizenship, still exist. The original symmetric protocols, such as the IPV6 standard, are still there. And that allows distribution by each of us, instead of entrusting it to these giant silos, whose business model is based on the data we give them for free. The original sin is the asymmetrical protocols that took away our uniqueness. We must act! States will not act because doing so would be contrary to the interests of surveillance. And the platforms won’t act, either, because doing so would harm their shareholders. It will be a Copernican revolution. Citizens of a free city, after seven centuries of courage and freedom, are more willing to take steps to free themselves from the media that are owned by the wealthiest and are actively manipulating and keeping us in the dark.

Daring to say NO, resisting is creating!

Moving away from the systems of power to rebuild our networks of social life with the cities, the free cantons, the confederation of nations that uses the great law that binds, this essentially political struggle at first exceeds the rogue law Waldeck Rousseau of 1884 that allows the creation of unions but limits them to the defense of professional interests and prohibits them from political action to change society.

The free city frees salaried residents from this ban imposed on their unions.

Belfort needs more than these new freedoms to defend and pursue his exemplary industrial history, so rich in innovation and technology, but also and above all his political, economic, social, cultural, military history of a free city which is also exemplary, faithful to the symbol of courage and heroism which is the lion, his Lion directly related to the Statue of Liberty at the gates of a continent country from where, however, the threat of its impoverishment stemmed from the blows brought by the financial oligarchy which after the City of London came to settle there.

So far, when a factory closes, the city and its residents have marched to organize a dead town. And what did it do? Nothing! Did they forget to think of a free city, were they afraid of it? Or did they choose to avoid the local struggle and transpose it to the state level, where the financial oligarchy and leaders of the liberal system depend instead on it? When will we produce energy without damaging nature and accelerating global warming? All of this fighting is now crystallized in our desire to take back control of what makes us live, even though others are working to ban us and mocking our history, our skills, and our heritage, which are worthless until they sell it for profit for them alone.

Even Bismarck, Belfort’s enemy during the 1870 siege, had designated them as his opponent:

« I fear that foreign bankers will completely dominate America’s abundant wealth…they will not hesitate to plunge Christian states into wars and chaos, so that they may become heirs to the whole earth.» Otto Von Bismark, Chancellor of Prussia, followed Lincoln’s assassination.

And for us French, our last liberator is not without blame on this point too:

« What the general did not do, and what he was not responsible for doing, is to force to let go of those hands, those few hands, yes that small number of hands that hold the secret commands of the state, that secure the immense profits of a few and that make each of us heads of an exploitable herd, exploited. » François Mauriac’s Notepad, September 23, 1966, about General de Gaulle.

And for Belfortners, its former mayor, Jean-Pierre Chevènement:

« In Belfort, we’re not used to bending our heads »

The wise also say :

” We now face the greatest challenge that our humanity has ever faced in its history: to halt our own programs of self-destruction, and to transform society through an evolution of the art of living..” Mahatma Gandhi.

Continue reading


Verlaine and the seeing forgotten ariettes

28 October 2022

The location:  1873, after a stay in London with Rimbaud, Verlaine, on July 3 decided to break up and left his friend without a penny in London to try to reconnect with Mathilde. Verlaine called Rimbaud, who arrived in Brussels on 8 July. On July 10, during another violent argument, Verlaine fired two shots at […]


The poet’s speech on the plateau des Glières

24 November 2022

Speech of resistance to the World Government of the Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy, organizer of wars to enrich itself ever more! My enemy is finance, said in 2012, a year after the poet’s speech. Why? Upline on January 18, 2011, modified on February 20, March 13, 2011, May 16, 2011, 24/11/2022 for the WordPress presentation. Situation: […]