The results of the European elections in France9
27/05/2019 by socialistfight
By Viriato Lusitania
The “duel” between Marine le Pen and Macron that the press had put forward won the elections. Marine Le Pen won the “duel” which by one and a half points over the LREM list (Macron) whose vote did not collapse as expected.
In real terms, each of these lists accounts for about 10% of the voters registered on the electoral lists. It should be noted that a growing number of the most excluded and poor proletarians do not join these lists and that immigrants (more than 6 million workers) do not vote.
Environmentalists make 12% (6%) taking votes at the Insubordinate France (IF, Jean-Luc Mélenchon), following a transition from an FI executive to the National Rally and the recent marches for the planet. The traditional Right (LS) collapsed, 8,6% (half then) his voices were passed on to LREM.
Insubordinate France had a bad result at 6,32% (3,1) and did not pick up the votes of the Yellow Vests. The Socialist Party (PS) got a little less than the IF, the Communist party (PCF) did not reach 3% (1,5), Lutte Ouvrière got less than 0.8% (0,4). This table shows that the cushion of the middle classes that decide at the last minute (25% of green voters, decided one day before the election and 50% one week before) moves from one political sector to another.
Marine le Pen won over a million more votes than in the previous European election and claims to be “the leading party in France” and has called for new parliamentary elections. Macron replied that, “he would not change course and he would continue the reforms”.
The Yellow Vest (GJs) vote is undetectable. The GJs lists coming from opportunists trying to capitalize movement lists and rejected by the Yellow Vests movement. It achieved a very low score, not reaching 1% (0,5). Abstention is strong but less than expected, around 48%, which shows that the working class did not vote, is politically absent from the national political struggle. A small part of them chose MLP to reject Macron but the mass did not find a political alternative to vote. This indicates a certain mistrust in the bourgeois political game but without a proper perspective.
TV commentators took the line of support for Macron, which is their political line, and sought to liquidate Mélenchon and not the F.I. targeting the only political figure who had turned left during the election campaign. They aimed to marginalise the only political figure who can be some kind of threat to the system, because of his charisma and ability.
His last meetings were in front of an almost completely petty bourgeois audience. This public who can equally vote either ecologist or LREM, he insisted on the “Marxist” character of his thinking, on “the impossibility of treating the ecological problem within the framework of capitalism” and on “the necessity to finish with capitalism”. Unfortunately, his discourse, which seeks to conciliate cabbage and goats, anti-capitalism with the defence of the bourgeois nation, has finally pushed his base of workers away, a worker’s FI constituency that some years ago was very real.
After the results, he call for a convergence with the other left formations while painting a dark picture of the future “of France”. In fact it will be a dark picture for the workers but a quite brilliant for big business.
The other obvious trend of TV commentators, who convey the political line of the bourgeois, was the liquidation of the Yellow Vests. Some of them, the most cynical, “asked themselves” if Marine Le Pen would “continue to occupy the street with the Yellow Vests”… an extravagant slander that gave the line of comments at the time when the Yellow Vests were paying tribute in Père Lachaise cemetery to the Communards and when the work of convergence with the struggles of the workers, now with the striking hospital workers, is the only perspective of the movement that is also disappearing. The Communards’ Wall (Mur des Fédérés) at the Père Lachaise cemetery is where, on May 28, 1871, one-hundred and forty-seven fédérés, combatants of the Paris Commune, were shot and thrown in an open trench at the foot of the wall.
So, despite optimistic analyses, the elections have once again reached out to the bourgeoisie and are preparing in France for the continuation of the rise of the Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) which, in its speech after the results seeks to, “unite all the French”, taking a line that goes, “from the disappointed from left to right”, for all future elections.
This is only a quick description that awaits a more in-depth analysis that can only be done once the impact of these elections on the rising struggles can be measured, but at their beginning, in France and on a Yellow Vest movement that is reduced to a number of activists who, as in the case of other movements, delay or wait for the support of other workers, activists in all possible causes.
Unfortunately, the lack of political expression of this whole sector of impoverished workers, hampered both by bourgeois ideological influence and by the aberrant activity of semi-anarchists and by the abandonment of the traditional parties of the class, does not allow immediate illusions to be formed.
The general trend points to an aggravation of measures against workers and the continuation of the race for competition with other capitalist countries as well as towards armament and the danger of
This above paper gave the vote estimation out of the polls. In fact the distance between MLPen and Macron lists is only 0,9% and the gain in votes of MLP is half or lesser, in fact the RN (ex-FN) has a lower percentage than in the 2014 election.
Then, the Macron LREM has win the votes of the LR (conservatives) because they are “le parti de l’ordre” (law and order party) against GJs and MLP despite a loud campaign on the medias, has not received the votes of the Gilets Jaunes. Even if some ones, stupidely, has voted MLP to counter Macron.
In the meantime, both the LR (Les Républicains, traditional right) and the France Insoumise has been the field of internal attacks against their leaders.
Waquiez, young and clumsy conservative leader has been asked to reseign and Mélenchon of F.I. has been attacked by an F.I.’s MP Clementine Autain and one former leading figure, Raquel Garrido married to one of F.I.’s MP A. Corbière.
In fact, as it has been said in the Lyon General Meeting which discussed the election, that these results is a worker’s defeat, not a definitive one, but feel strongly by the vast majority of the Yellow Vests as a defeat. All the apolitical non-sens and the absurds anarchists couldn’t now justifie their “abstentionism”.
It is a defeat because the worker’s has desapeared from the national political arena. There is not one party that can revendicate more than 3,4% of the whole registered voters and the addition, amounts to 30% if we, abusively, take in account the Greens (EELV) which has have 6.5%. If not, because the Greens has made every possible effort not to say that they are “left” (and are lurching some kind of accomodation with LREM as LREM is looking for the same) that will give the whole “left” less than 24%.
Then, all the traditional “left” voters, stay at home.
Taking in account that in the beginning of the Gilets Jaunes movement they gathered an 80% support, we cans say that the middle class layers went to vote traditionally as they have done always and the worker’s “went fishing”.
In France, this kind of trick: the masses in the streets fully mobilized who do not find the way to power, gives elections where the reaction wins, has been seen also in June 1968…
Yesterday, leafleting with Health Service Unions (FO), the mood of worker’s was exactly as every other day. But the feeling between the GJs was one of “we shall continue for the ones who have lost an eye, a hand, for our six months of fight that could not finish this way”.
We will see what will come from this, all depend on worker’s that are beginning to fight. Will it be a “straw fire” again? Al least, as information coming from the Unions and works indicate, the Yellow Vest spirit has permeated into the union’s rank and file and all over the country, but if we collapse, could that remain? We are trying as hard as we can not to finish just after the elections, it shall be awful.
I don’t know what will follow but this movement has revive so many times (we are on our six month fight). Hope is the las thing to loose but the conjonction of, primary the treason of the left, repression and the absurdities of semi-anarchists is to much for any social movement..
I cannot see further.
The workers movement is a “straw fire” because it is missing the timber to build a real forest fire, Leninist revolutionary theory.
A widespread, strong, convinced workers movement for socialism HAS to be built on Leninist revolutionary theory, and, until that happens, every movement forward is liable to collapse, fall apart and be straw in the wind. There can be temporary fires, like the Yellow Vests, but even their own activists recognise they could fall apart at any moment because they do not really know what they are trying to do, what their perspective is. Because the politics of the CGT, the Trots, Melenchon etc are anti-communist, anti-revolutionary rubbish, the French workers movement is unstable, opportunist and feeble.
Juvenile “anti-leadership” anarchism carries on being prevalent. Populism swings around and, as you say, Melenchon plays almost as much of a dirty game with nasty French nationalism as Le Pen. Sick!
The workers movement can only get strong when advanced workers are able to see a group get world politics RIGHT and can start to follow a paper/website and its cadres that get politics RIGHT.
But what does getting it right mean? It means that the group knows Leninist science well enough to start from global capitalist economic crisis and inter-imperialist trade war and military warmongering, led by the decaying US Empire, and has a perspective of fighting for world socialist REVOLUTION and the party-led proletarian dictatorship, and is ready to argue against all the Cold War anti-Soviet, anti-communist lies but also does NOT support revisionist museum-Stalinism that wants to pretend that Stalin got it all right, when, in fact, Stalinist revisionism destroyed the world workers movement with its anti-theory gibberish about the “world peace struggle” and the “peaceful road to socialism” (and which idealist nonsense eventually destroyed the USSR itself when the idiot Gorbachev liquidated socialism in 1989-91).
Of course, everyone from striking health workers to rampaging Yellow Vests to student protesters will be making experiences, and can, for short times, be very revolutionary BUT that cannot be sustained without a communist party of Leninist revolutionary theory being built.
Meanwhile, the blockheaded CGT complacency, Melenchon “left” populism and shallow anarchism and Green politics will continue to expose themselves as useless, counter-revolutionary and middle class in nature. And doesn’t that highlight that getting politics correct is primary for anyone trying to be a leader?
Getting politics CORRECT in a Leninist way is the only way to start so that the mistakes and bad misunderstandings of the past are battled through; eventually this Great Debate will be taking place all over France.
Socialist Fight has hit out at the EPSR politics that I argue for on the basis of the tiny size of our movement; but since the SF website simply fails to have a lead article setting out what the latest perspective is on world events, it is not even in the fight.
I can agree with most you have written but, which “Leninist movement” exists here in France?
Or, this ” Because the politics of the CGT, the Trots, Melenchon etc are anti-communist, anti-revolutionary rubbish, the French workers movement is unstable, opportunist and feeble.” is really correct?
C.G.T. dirigents, yes; it’s rank and file militants are variegate , mainly reformists and some real revolutionaries. The “trots”? Is there such a thing here? I think not, at least not in the line of SF trotskism. Perhaps the POI is near, but, they do not know how to work in a mass movement or at least what I have seen is not enough, here, in Lyon.
Mélénchon? He was the most left possibility out of outright sectarianism and leftism. At the end of the IF campaign he turned full left facing a petite bourgeoise audience flabergasted by his outburst.
Worker’s just doesn’t vote, albeit some extremely confused ones (very few) who voted RN (Le Pen) “pour enmerder Macron” (to bother Macron) and some are still considering the possibility of voting again RN in the same scope. They are not “fascists” nor “reactionnaries”. They do not see other way to express their hate of Macron, that’s all.
Mélenchon was demolished by a press campaign and by the treason of one of their “comrades”, by the changing vote of the middle class layers their movement choose to adress with their “save the planet” stuff.
And his discours, turned to the “ecological problem”, the “ruin of the planet” has profitate to the greens which has made a good score with the middle layers that have could vote Mélenchon (half the Greens electorate decide themselves last week). These is people who live well and gives a dam if it is Green or Socialists or Mélenchon or the LR’s or even ML Pen win. All depend on their actual mood guided by the press. For them, the ones or the others, planet or animals are their main interests, one or the other of that “choise’ is the same. This time Greens, tomorrow, Mélenchon because “he is with the wind” and tomorrow “why not Le Pen? Just take that chance” etc. They see workers as or non exitent (“the working class has desapear”) or as a danger, sometimes sympathetic, mostly, threatening.
You can talk them of Leninism but without the working class, a working class that have lost it’s conscious class consciousness (sorry I cannot say it better) and who are fed up, and up to the skies, with words that get, the other day, the other way round. They dont believe a living soul. That for the most instables, the others just dont go to the polls and wait nothing and prepared themselves for individual “solutions” and feel that things will get worse.
What rests? To continue to push the boat but trying to find the ways, not to repeat what every one knows (generalities) but no one is able to put in practice (the particular way to the goal). Today the medias are burying the Gilet Jaunes movement and/or slandering it saying we have voted Le Pen, an outright lie. Semi-anarchists are congratulating themselves with the “victory” of a 49% abstention which they have not the slightest grip or influence and what is, in fact, the prouf of the working class lack of political guidance.
Will see, perhaps it’s only a bad moment to pass. But you can see that an election lost is a real defeat, (always call a defeat a defeat don’t do asstupid semi-anarchists do) not something you can just shrug and pass as if was nothing. Elections counts in every bourgeois democracy and you cannot ignore them.
Supposing the election was won by the “left”? Suppose that Melenchon’s “left” populism won. Marxists would still have the task of explaining that this would be like Allende in Chile in 1970-73 – a lethal deception of the masses that could easily see them led straight into a murderous military coup.
Surely Leninism has to explain that, in this epoch of wars and revolutions and fascist coups, it is socialist revolution and the workers state (Marx’s proletarian dictatorship) that has to be fought for, and that the working class should not fall for popular frontism (which always keeps the door open for military counter-revolution because of its illusions in bourgeois democracy and the “lawful behaviour” of the capitalist state).
This truth is one of the reasons why workers do not vote for “socialist parties”, and it also highlights that the ONLY honest election campaigning by a Marxist party is one where the campaign stresses that ALL bourgeois elections are a FRAUD on the masses and that workers are right to HATE the bourgeois parliamentary system and that this system needs to be OVERTHROWN by full-scale workers revolution.
So, in fact, the HOSTILITY shown by the vast majority of French workers towards the election process and the opportunist parties is a GOOD SIGN.
Look at the vast general strike in Argentina too. Mass unemployment and cuts to services show how the country is being hit very hard by the global capitalist economic crisis. It is historic “over-production” crisis, just as Marx explains in Capital Vol 3. As Lenin explains in “Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, this will surely lead to horrendous inter-imperialist conflict – and you can see that in Trump’s trade war with China and his hatred directed at Europe.
So what’s the problem with making revolution in Argentina, for example? The lack of revolutionary Leninist politics and a party.
Of course there are lots of parties in Argentina. But do they talk revolution? Do they argue for proletarian dictatorship? Do they send cadres to London and Paris to seek out polemics with both revisionist groups and attempted Leninists to try to rebuild international Leninism?
Sadly, not yet. But philistinism cannot rule forever in the teeth of foul capitalist exploitation and warmongering; such moves WILL COME.
Why are such moves so long in coming? Because the Stalin Moscow leadership spent decades telling everyone to support “peaceful roads to socialism” and “left” bourgeois governments – “popular frontism”. This infection is taking a long time to be overcome. Even the Cuban revolution got it; despite being a hero of revolutionary struggle, Castro backed Allendeism in the most crass way. Che Guevara came close to figuring out there was a problem but was rather more of an action man than a theoretician.
Che did not go around arguing with the world’s misled CPs; he tried to set material examples.
Think how different the world would be if his name had been used to argue against all the crap that was being shoved down people’s throats about “peaceful roads to socialism” or the “need to support “progressive” bourgeois-nationalist governments”.
Nor did Trot anti-Sovietism help any of this because it simply capitulated to Cold War anti-communism and supported every anti-Soviet movement that the CIA set up, and created its own rotten history of supporting “left” Labourism and social-democracy anyway – so it was just as “popular frontist” itself.
So what I am saying overall is DEEPEN UNDERSTANDING and become even more LENINIST to take these arguments to the French working class and political activists.
By the way, a feeling of defeatism about the prospects for revolutionary politics is not reduced by thinking about “winning over” ALL the workers. Think instead about winning ones and twos of the ADVANCED workers – the most class conscious and thoughtful workers. This was Lenin’s viewpoint; he kept arguing in “What Is To Be Done?” that the Bolsheviks had to win over the ADVANCED workers.
Start winning a few advanced workers to Leninism, and then more and more people can see what Bolshevism is and would do IN PRACTICE.
And also, whatever the sneering petty-bourgeois anti-communist “left” cleverdicks think, the global capitalist warmongering-economic crisis isn’t going to go away, therefore the conditions for the vast majority of rural, office and factory workers are going to constantly get WORSE so the Great Debate is going to happen.
The absolute best thing about the SF website is that some Leninist-spirited polemical discussions are taking place on it; this free exchange of ideas and understanding about vexed questions of the world communist movement should be taken even more seriously.
Yes, SF is what should be a marxist website.
Back to the first moments of marxism reflcts where we are.
Often, discussing with other Gilets Jaunes I have told them that we are “even before the First International” (when we talk about the quite backward consciousness of the GJs) not quite because we never go back to the same departure point, and perhaps, it is better like this.
Many times I call for the participation of other left activists in the movement, that coming from the necessity to go faster and further, but on seconds thoughts, I always ask me if they would come (they do not) and bring their sectarian, authoritarian, bureaucratics ways ruinnig the whole process.
Of course, the problem also is, that where is a void, always comes someone, and in this case were the “autonomes” (a ultraleftists ‘ruin all’ people) and/or the socialdemocrats, good people with good intentions and a good sense of democracy “in general” for the most, but also bringing a lot of non sens à la Tony Negri or others so called postmodernists.
Marxists there are some few. And from every possible origin and tendancy. In homeopatic quantites or just isolated, to the point of asking oneself if they are not remains of something as jacobins in 1871, in the Commune of ¨Paris, were. They look each other as “chiens en fayence” (not know the english moto perhaps “stern, with mistrust almost defiantly”) and even if every one of them are good communists or people dedicated to communism, they are unable to work together because the ones are “pablists” the others “lambertos”, the others “stalinists” the others “trotskards” and…they let the field free to socialdemocrats and autonomes!
It has been a month I am trying to unite them under two ideas: working for the GJs’social demands and adressing the working class in a disciplined and hard working manner to show others what is really “democratic centralism” the “vade retro satanas” of autonomes and socialdemocrats and every living soul in the movement quite influenced by this ideological trend that goes all over society and is becoming a sort of conditions of every movement that appears.
Then an attitude as the one SF has in regard to an open debate, today the most important thing to developpe an absolute necessary sound and profound discusion is a need. Is it only trotskists (and this variety, because ‘trotskists’ I don’t know what means in regard to so many variants of the thing) that can arrive to a real democratic position?
This is not a little question, I maight say even that is the question that can only assure the future of marxism as a guide for liberation and not a new dogma for a new explotative classe or class layer.
For the rest I agree with you, even if the french sort of “trotskism” prefer to adress themselves to the “lower part of the class”.
To the devil with all the sectarian non sens! Work us together, prove now what you can do and then, we can discuss historic matters. The principals, in my opinion are so much near today, méthodology, analisis of the actual situation, the basis of what is needed that to continue to be divided by historical questions is tantamount to sabotage. The real situation won’t wait and time is precious in a given situation. Follow the motto “Proletarier alle Länder, verreignit euch!”
Macron has tried to counter the Yellow Vests with both massive lying about “democratic discussion to improve things” and by the draconian use of riot police force, maiming lots of people as you have reported. Surely it’s very important now to get in lots of Marxist interventions (including written articles) about the fraud of bourgeois democracy and to explain the Leninist view of the state?
This would battle with everyone ideologically from the reformists to the anarchists to the revisionists!
Capitalism in global warmongering crisis cannot give French workers what they want and need; only the socialist revolution can do that.
Well, that’s what we are trying to do with some old comrades coming mainly from the ML movement but quite disapointed with it, some of them now near France Insoumise others “in the nature” others sympathisers of SF, all actives in the GJs movement.
We have written a brochure that tries to give a marxist’s point of view of the Gilets Jaunes (SF has made an english translation and it will be available soon, I supose). We shall sell it in the LO Fête (the biggest meeting of the whole far left in Europe, some 30 000 people atending) and whereever we can which is not much to say the thruth.
We have considered that without an ideological fight against the liberal, postmodernists courants inside the movement, the other ones that would try an spontaneous movement, for us this the third of it, will travel the same way of obstacles as this one.
Of course we are not fools enough to think that everyone will recognize our little and sumarized work as the guide for futures movements and surely they are mistakes on it (we are none theoriciens or something of that kind, workers only) but, perhaps, we can help some people to understand with a marxist leninist scope (and trotskist because the SF brochure will be published under the “In defense of Trotskism” banner) what has happened in France.
Workers will never be able to make a socialist revolution if they follow the line of the bourgeoisie/CIA/middle-class politicos which goes: “Of course, socialism is a good idea; but it can never work…look at the Soviet Union!”.
You do NOT have to support everything that the Soviet leadership did at all; their revisionism after Lenin died caused enormous problems and they made some dreadful mistakes – from popular frontist delusions through to heavy-handed collectivisation through to paranoia in the army purges that cleared away dangerous elements but also brutally treated completely great communist and Red Army people.
But you do have to support the need for a Red Army, a KGB, forceful industrialisation, support to anti-colonial struggles, the Soviet healthcare system, the Soviet leadership’s Leninist scorn for elections and bourgeois democracy in Russia. You do have to support proletarian dictatorship, in other words.
Once the subjective Trotskyist notion of “it was all rotten after I, Leon Trotsky, was kicked out of the party, and, in fact, there was a new ruling class/caste, and it was worse than fascism” (as Trotsky says in “Revolution Betrayed”) then you put yourself on the WRONG SIDE and descend into pure sectarian anti-communism.
Can’t you see that there is NO NEED to support REVISIONISM (anti-Marxist anti-Leninist misunderstanding); but there is EVERY NEED to support proletarian dictatorship.
The West is right now “celebrating D-Day” as if the West wanted to end Nazism. But bourgeois democracy has always done everything it can to SUPPORT fascism. Look at Macron; look at Trump’s threats to Iran; look at Thailand’s military dictatorship; look at Egypt; look at the US Empire’s foul savagery from the Korean war to the Vietnam war to the Iraq war to butchering Latin America with death squads to constantly trying to undermine any country that either fights imperialism or tries to build socialism.
All of that translates into a constant MIDDLE-CLASS ideological barrage against the history of the USSR, the socialist states, Red China (which OVER-uses Lenin’s NEP capitalist-concession methods), Cuba (facing new Trump blockade tightening), etc.
Don’t fall for all the lying bourgeois nonsense about “workers democracy”; see Lenin’s scorn for the calls for “workers democracy” instead. Marxists must be for proletarian dictatorship – the only thing that can stop counter-revolution and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.