Don't mess with the mob: Lesson for French kings, presidents

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 20118 file photo, a man rides his bicycle past by a graffiti on the Paris Garnier Opera house in Paris that reads: "Macron is e

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 20118 file photo, a man rides his bicycle past by a graffiti on the Paris Garnier Opera house in Paris that reads: "Macron is e

FILE - In this Saturday, May 5, 2018 file picture a protester carries a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron depicted as King Louis XVI during

FILE - In this Saturday, May 5, 2018 file picture a protester carries a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron depicted as King Louis XVI during

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Trio

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Trio

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator throws debris at a burning barricade while protesting with others against the rising of the fu

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator throws debris at a burning barricade while protesting with others against the rising of the fu

FILE - Anti-riot police charge through the streets of Paris during violent student demonstrations on May. 6, 1968. There are parallels for unpopular F

FILE - Anti-riot police charge through the streets of Paris during violent student demonstrations on May. 6, 1968. There are parallels for unpopular F

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2010 file photo, a student encourages others during a demonstration in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French Preside

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2010 file photo, a student encourages others during a demonstration in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French Preside

FILE - In this Saturday March 18, 2006 file photo, students and workers march in Paris, France, during a demonstration against the "First Job Contract

FILE - In this Saturday March 18, 2006 file photo, students and workers march in Paris, France, during a demonstration against the "First Job Contract

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2010 file photo, a woman watches a demonstration against plans to raise the retirement age in Paris. There are parallels for u

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2010 file photo, a woman watches a demonstration against plans to raise the retirement age in Paris. There are parallels for u

FILE - In this April 10, 2018 file photo, students demonstrate past a board tagged in reference to May 1968, in Paris. Fifty years ago, students in th

FILE - In this April 10, 2018 file photo, students demonstrate past a board tagged in reference to May 1968, in Paris. Fifty years ago, students in th

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2018 file photo, demonstrators throw items near a burning barricade near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration. There are

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2018 file photo, demonstrators throw items near a burning barricade near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration. There are

PARIS (AP) — French workers riot in the streets over tax hikes, economic inequality and perceptions that the country's rulers are out of touch.

That was, of course, 1789 — when King Louis XVI helped the rich get tax exemptions and paid for it with his head.

Today, some might see parallels for unpopular President Emmanuel Macron. Democracy has replaced monarchy in France, but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed.

On Wednesday, Macron abandoned the fuel tax hike with his image as an unshakeable leader severely dented.

"If people compare Macron to Louis XVI it's a warning that he has hasn't learned the lesson of history. They don't literally want his head, but it's a strong message that they don't feel listened to," says sociologist Michel Wieviorka.