cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgElections in France under Conditions of a State in Emergency

Down with the racists of Front National! No vote for the reformists Hamon and Mélenchon! Critical support for the NPA and LO candidates! Fight for a new workers party!

 

By Johannes Moraga, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 30.03.2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

For the past five years Francois Hollande and his Parti socialiste (PS, Socialist Party) has ruled France. Now we are amid new elections. The PS and Hollande utilized their presidency to push for many anti-democratic and anti-social attacks on the workers and oppressed of France as well as for many assaults on various oppressed people abroad. This reactionary policy which put France under the state of emergency until July 2017 (and which might be again extended) repelled many workers who put their naïve hopes into Hollande’s leftwing rhetoric at the last elections. As a result they will not vote for the PS and their new candidate Benoit Hamon this time.

 

Given the lack of a revolutionary party which could have presented a credible alternative to these disillusioned workers, many of them unfortunately looked for another “radical” alternative and hence got caught in the net of racist rightwing populism which was woven by the Marine Le Pen´s Front National (FN). Hence, the FN could become the strongest party in the first round of elections because of the failure of the French left, the economic crisis and the international rise of rightwing populists.

 

The racist demagogy with which they try to poison the working class is the logical conclusion of French chauvinism and secularism that is promoted by the mass media as well as by the candidates of the capitalists, the conservative François Fillon and the neo-liberal Emmanuel Macron. Clearly, no worker or oppressed with any political understanding about his or her role in the society could give their vote to the candidates of the bosses, Le Pen, Fillon and Macron!

 

But we can neither support the “social democrats” of the PS who have clearly shown in the last five years that they are neither social nor democratic! However it is an interesting development that a number of top PS-bureaucrats shifted their support to Emmanuel Macron and his new political liberal movement “En Marche!” and not to the rhetorically more leftwing candidate of their own party. Macron owes his popularity also to the lack of support given to the conservatives’ madman Fillon who has shown that he is deeply corrupt by “employing” his wife and daughters for basically no work and paying them with taxpayer’s money!

 

Which road will Europe take?

 

According to the current polls, it seems likely that Le Pen and Macron will reach the second round in the presidential elections. In such a scenario revolutionaries will support neither of these candidates because they are only different bourgeois sides of the same reactionary coin! This would be a similar scenario like the second round of the French presidential elections in 2002 between Chirac and Le Pen the father or between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the recent US elections. In such situations revolutionaries can’t give any electoral support to either side but call instead for abstention.

 

However we need to acknowledge that Macron and Le Pen represent different factions in the French capitalist class. A Macron presidency would deepen the project of an imperialist EU state under the hegemony of Germany imperialism with France as a junior partner. A Le Pen presidency, on the other hand, could lead to the end of the EU as we know it! As in the case of the Brexit referendum, workers have no side to take here – instead we need to organize an alternative of working class struggle and international solidarity!

 

The French left

 

At the first look Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his La France insoumise (FI, Unsubmissive France) seems to be a reasonable alternative on the ballot paper – but not on the second one! Mélenchon moved rapidly to the right since his last electoral campaign. He did not even consult with the rank and file of his Parti de Gauche but simply founded a new movement directly under his personal control. In addition he and his friends from the “Communist Party” supported the state of emergency and the imperialist occupation in Mali and Central Africa. It is very clear that Mèlenchon is the prototype of a social-imperialist, justifying reactionary imperialist policy with socialist or “unsubmissive” phrases!

 

The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) calls upon workers and oppressed in France to give their vote to the centrists candidates of the Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste (NPA) and the Lutte Ouvrière (LO) – Philippe Poutou and Nathalie Arthaud. Although these parties have serious political weaknesses, they represent significant sectors of the workers vanguard. They will receive the votes of hundreds of thousands of revolutionary workers, youth and oppressed who have been active in the demonstrations in solidarity with Theo who was assaulted and raped by the racist police or in the militant mass protests against the El Khomri law last year.

 

The RCIT calls upon genuine revolutionaries in France to campaign for the formation of a new workers party. Such a party has to be built as part of a new Workers’ International. As a first step we call the rank and file of the NPA and LO to force their leaderships to create a joint electoral platform and to appeal to the supporters of Hamon and Mélenchon for joint struggle. Marxists would advocate a revolutionary platform for such a new workers party. (1)

 

Revolutionaries must actively fight against the fetishism of the French “left” for the reactionary bourgeois “secularism” which is directed against the rights of the millions of impoverished Muslim migrants. Especially the LO has an infamous history of ignoring the fight against racism and for the liberation of migrants under the economistic pretext that “all workers are equal”. French socialists need to prove that they defend the oppressed full-heartedly and don’t show any arrogance towards them.

 

It is also important that revolutionaries fight for an authentic socialist perspective for the movement of the workers and oppressed to combat the existing leadership of the working class and especially the trade union bureaucracy.

 

A revolutionary platform must also include a consistent anti-imperialist stance which not only says “no” to the various assaults of French imperialism on the peoples of Africa and the Middle East, but which is also openly in favor of defeating the French imperialist military machine!

 

We call upon all revolutionaries in France to work together with the RCIT and to join us in building an international revolutionary organization as a first step towards the creation of a world revolutionary party!

 

 

 

(1) See more at https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/france-theo-protests/; https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/france-el-khomri-law/; https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/articles-on-paris-attacks/

 

 

 

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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