Fuel supplies are drying up as workers are staging massive protests across the country as the government just made it easier for companies to exploit workers. Lower wages, less benefits, fewer vacation days and longer work weeks are just some of the changes that were recently passed into law. Consequently, unions that represent workers in the energy sector have called for massive strikes, which have started to take their toll.
Everyone is Being Impacted
Gas stations are running out of fuel. Tanker trucks are being prevented from transporting fuel from refineries to terminals. Strikers are destroying roads and starting fires to block the trucks from entering or leaving facilities. Small-scale riots are exploding across the country at gas stations as people demand fuel that isn’t there. People can’t get to work. People can’t get to school. People can’t drive to the store.
Public transportation services are also feeling the pinch as their reserves are drying up as well. Aside from trains, buses and vans are starting to sit idle as gas tanks are not getting topped of. There is also the threat that strikes will expand to include aviation and diesel fuel as well. This has the potential to cause the entire country to grind to a halt.
The Government Started the Problem
Imagine what will happen when food doesn’t get delivered to stores. Think about airlines that can not fly. Imagine what would happen if trains stop moving. All of these things are just a few weeks off unless the government and unions can reach an agreement. Keep in mind that fuel reserves are in short supply, and it will take the mobilization of defense forces to begin to transport fuel if the strike continues.
The militarization of fuel distribution networks can lead to more civil unrest and the possible imposition of martial law. The entire country can plunge into chaos, and the government stands a good chance of being toppled. Things went from normal to chaotic in just a few weeks, and the jury is still out with respect to how far things will continue to devolve if strikes continue and both sides refuse to budge.
It Can Happen Here
This fuel crisis is happening in France right now. France is one of the most stable and peaceful countries in the world, with a freely-elected and democratic government. They have some of the happiest citizens on the planet who enjoy national healthcare, education that is second-to-none and a wide-range of rights that puts other democracies to shame. However, peace and stability in the country is under threat as the influence of big-business upon the government is causing citizens to revolt.
We’re really not that far off from seeing similar things occurring in our own back yard as well. We have laws in place that allow the government to step in and take over fuel distribution during an emergency. It can be deemed illegal to protest or strike if it goes against the “national interest”. Workers can be thrown in jail or abused by police as soon as martial law is imposed. Violence could erupt and snowball into a nightmarish scenario, and all of it could happen in the blink of an eye.
What is happening in France should remind all of us how fragile our freedoms as well as modern conveniences that we take for granted really are. We also need to remember that we are only a signature and a phone call away from being controlled by the government.
How would you fare if you suddenly couldn’t get gas or food? How prepared are you to keep a low profile and ride out any storms associated with civil unrest or our economy grinding to a halt? Now is the time to seriously consider these possibilities, because they may become a reality a lot sooner than most people think.