The French elections

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20/02/2017 by socialistfight

By Viriato Lusitania

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We should take a look of the situation in France and her international policy to understand them. In one word the Hollande government has aligned with and even tried to advance the imperialist’s-Zionists plans against Syria. They have failed miserably as it is known.

Internally Hollande’s period is one of an ever-increasing attack on workers with at least two main laws aiming to further liberalise legislations that could still in some way protect workers and their working conditions: the so-called Macron law and the El Kohmri law, both of which were opposed by the most combative layers of the working class.

Both laws passed without discussion in parliament and with the votes of the “left” wing of the PS (Hamon, and others) of the Socialist Party which had appeared cowardly and hesitatingly. To emphasise the point; there were no votes against Hollande or Prime Minister Manuel Valls on this.

The elections have been orchestrated to capture some interest from the vast layers of workers who don’t go to the polls. The main parties are the right which is called Les Republicains (LS), and the Socialist Party (SP) which has only that name but not the substance. However it still has a base in the middle strata of workers and every representative in parliament and the local authorities from that party coming from the upper layers of the petit and middle bourgeoisie.

The right’s “primaire” (primary election) was won by the one who has presented the most radical-liberal capitalist program, François Fillon. He is for sacking 500,000 workers of the public services, put an end to the Sécurité Social (Social security) and every measure to reduce the taxes of the bosses and freezing or reducing worker’s wages. He was elected by the more rightist layer of the bourgeois public opinion but his program has make such an uproar coming from the workers and even some middle-class layers that he has been forced to “put some water in his wine”. With such a program, he cannot win.

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François Fillon arrives all smile at his campaign headquarters Paris on 20 November 2016, with 44% that placed him 16 points above his rival Alain Juppe.

Internationally, Fillon is rather for an alliance with Russia and Germany …and that means against the US and …GB. The bourgeois, in every country, are quite divided between the ones who want to go with the Americans and the other who prefer Germany.

Now, he is involved in a scandal about public money he put in his wife’s pockets. For a candidate who has talked a lot about “honesty”, this makes disorder as the Frenchs say.

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There is another candidate coming from the right, Marine Le Pen, who is now leading in votes intentions (25%).

With Fillon severely bothered by his “loss of credibility” and with another rightist candidate Macron, pushed forward by the mainstream press and the Finance capital (even if he says that he is not leftist nor rightist…) the opinion polls give him (20%) but he has not yet a public program (he cannot say he will be as tough as Fillon…) and no party behind him.

There is a real possibility that Marine Le Pen will win the election if Fillon abandons the fight and Macron comes second.

Her program is to pull out of the EU, go back to an isolated Franc and (although she doesn’t say this) brutally fulfil Fillon’s program, that is, it making the French economy “competitive” i.e. putting the maximum pressure on French workers’ wages and labour conditions putting a brutal touch to the rights of immigrant workers.

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“While the other candidates instil fear of the masses, Macron speaks positively, transmitting hope, feeding his audience with inspiring schemes, especially the youth” his team claim.

 

On the left, we have Hamon who has defeated Valls that was so abhorred by the working class. This shows a left turn in the P.S. opinion and shows also the progressive radicalisation of the whole society.

There are also the so-called “Trotskyist LO” which put forward a “communist” candidate. He is at 0.5% and Poutou NPA (if he can achieve the preliminary conditions) who has the same percentage. They have lost all they got some years ago, 10.5%, together. They are going to the bottom of their “policy”, to the “néant” (nothing) because of their sectarianism. They don’t deserve even this few words.

Then we have Mélenchon, old horse of the PS who, feeling the changing winds, has for some years abandoned the PS and formed a so-called “Parti de Gauche” (Left Party) which is, in substance, himself.

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He has a sort of left-social democrat-ecologist program (he can even accept whatever idea or personality if it goes in his direction). The PCF, the Communist Party, support him after an internal but rude decision taken by a little bit more than half its militants (some 60,000). It is not critical support but just support, an alignment. But many of their militants will not work for Mélenchon.

He is perhaps a sort of Sanders or Corbyn or Tsipras or Oscar Lafontaine but with French characteristics i.e. some franc-maçon ideas and inspirations, some “Trotskyism” (he was in his youth a “Lambertist Trotskyist”). Today he is fighting for a “new” 6th Republic, against the EU all this bathed with a pro-worker’s sauce, fiery in words. This makes him the candidate of the more conscious layers of the working class. He is against the EU and for another international policy more near from the “natural” allies of France (i.e. Russia) and against Germany. Internally he talks a lot about “Keynesian’s” economics, conducting France out of the Euro, devaluation, etc.

It can be a step forward for the worker’s long process of reconstruction its own political party, if and only if, there is a communist party involved in the construction who can give a critical support to Mélenchon, because the left masses are with him. I have shown this possibility to some people, to no avail. Mélenchon is seen, and not without reason as a demagogue or a new Mitterrand, the “Vade Retro Satanas!” of every little communist faction (and there are some) in France. Then, as always there is a passionate rejection of him between half the PCF and in the whole extreme left. He will get between 10 and 15 per cent of the vote.

In my view:

Macron will collapse at the end of the race, Marine Le Pen will get a good vote and have some chances to arrive first in the second round but if it is Fillon or another rightist (Fillon has said that if the judges put him in accusation he will demise) that follows second in the first polls, she will lose again.

Mélenchon can come third with a chance and this is a good political card for the workers, not because his can be an alternative, only because this option (seen by the masses as an “extreme left option”) could be a pole to regroup the left political workers. If you have a party to work inside…

Or it would be Hamon who is third in the opinion polls at 23% but fading fast. This 23% is more mainstream media support than real support. He cannot separate himself from the “bilan”, the stench, of the PS’s actions in government. He is trying to sink Mélenchon with a cunning offer of a “union of the left” but Mélenchon, the wily old politician, does not fall for that trap.

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Benoit Hamon (R) shakes hands with defeated candidate Manuel Valls (L) next to French Socialist Party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis (C) following the announcement of the results of the second round of the left primaries, 29-1-2017

Perspective?

The working class is psychologically preparing itself for the coming battles right now. The Fillon program has awakened many people to the danger of sacking 500,000 public workers (“fonctionnaires”). Putting so many workers on the dole will cause such problems, put so many others workers out of work, reduce every public facility, and privatise and make far more expensive health care and education, that the bourgeoisie is perhaps considering other options than Fillon. The French people will fight back.

The problem is that the whole bourgeoisie needs that program…We are heading for big class fights and/or a Bonapartist regime in France. ▲

 

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