In France, March on Brussels on 31 August 2011 at 21:13

Mansle, August 31

Day 37 of the March on Brussels. From Angoulême, 27 km.

Breakfast at Angoulême


Descent from the old city

Dear people,

Notwithstanding the decadence that has been eroding the life out of these French villages, they still maintain a fascinating kind of beauty.

You can feel it in the early evening when the sun cuts sharply through the streets to crown the houses with yellow light. All the doors and most of the old wooden hatches are closed. There is no traffic, there are no people, all you hear is the doves and the tinkeling of cutlery, the sole proof that the village is still inhabited.

When the clock tower strikes eight, the only bar on the church square closes, and the handful of aging customers shuffle home. A young cat is playing on the streets, the shops look like they haven’t changed their presentation or their merchandise in thirty years.

These places awaken a sense of melancholy, and that is exactly what makes them so beautiful. Melancholy as a longing for something that is both familiar and authentic. Here you can still feel it, under the rubble of postmodern times. In the city it is hard to find.

Voracious capitalism in the country side has resulted into the spawning of rich country villas and the decadence of these villages. In the city it has led to the gentrification of the old centres, and the relocation of the common people to concrete suburbia. In both cases, life on a human scale has been eradicated.

I’m sitting on the side walk, listening. I love this sense of melancholy, and I dream about what these kind of places could be like if they weren’t dependent on cities, government assistance, big distribution or tourism. I dream about a village that only depends on the creativity and practical genious of its inhabitants.

But beware, I’m not just a romantic dreamer, and neither is the revolution an anti-modernist movement. Life in a self sufficient village wouldn’t be a return to the past, and it wouldn’t exclude the inhabitants from the benefits of the city. Human wit knows little boundaries, and there is no reason why man wouldn’t be able to build a web of fast, free and sustainable infrastructure for all, connecting villages, cities, continents and people without any borders in between.

The revolution is creative energy. It aims to bring together the human potential for intelligence, technology, organisation and cooperation, and to make it work for the benefit of all.

Street with cat




On the bank of the Charrente


  1. Yeah, we can live without supermarket and without business bank.
    We can live on love alone, but revolution is in the air because we want the law with us !!

  2. Déjà un article sur Mansle!!! Donc je vais avoir encore plus de travail demain!!! Maintenant je dois me coucher si je veux vous accompagner demain entre Aunac et Verteuil…

  3. Cher marcheur,
    I long every night to read you. Since i walked with u to Le Barp, you all are in my mind. You indignados really changed my life. I am the guy who spoke in front of Mégajoule and the assemblée of Le Barp. You are a very good observer and write very well. Your observation about french desertification is so true. I personnaly worked to maintain little farmers in the southern Alpes mountains. Yet in the 80′, it seemed as a ancient time already lost battle. Desertification of our campains means that France is loosing it’s soul : all the knowledges, locals ideas and productions, tradtions and languages are quite definitively lost. I agree too about cities : the bourgeois rediscovered the interest to live in ancient cities centers : living in restaured nice old buidings, they are close to culture, shops, offices, administrations, TGV. Some I know think they are ecologist because they use tramway. And the poor clean up the cities by living far from the center, using cars and wasting time on transports.
    I am very happy that the community is doing better : reading you I think it found it’s rythm and harmony. Every step you make is constructive.
    I plan to join you before Paris and walk some days whith you.
    My heart is on your side

  4. I think the villages in France were better than here but now i know that maybe they have the same problems than Castilla y Leon. The bigger region of europe and the less people per area.

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