Neither the plague (Macron) nor the cholera (Le Pen)!  is the mot d’ordre (watchword) of the masses

4

18/04/2022 by socialistfight

Viriato commented on Discussion Article: Mélenchon and the division of “the left”

Malik Yahiatène and Aurélien Riche are two La France Insoumise activists who say they will not vote for Ms Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election on April 24. Pic: Malik Yahiatène and Aurélien Riche / supplied by interviewees

In fact, the second round is marked by where Mélenchon’s votes will go. Some facts has come to the fore that are important.

The first one is the half awakening of the working-class and the youth. Half because the abstentionists are still mainly working class voters. 24% of those registered to vote.

But there has been also a massive mobilization of the immigrant working-class, mostly Muslims who have been abstentionist for years, but complete families have now voted Mélenchon because he has defended them in the context of French secularism against the open racists Zemmour and Le Pen.

The main political phenomena are the “mounting” of the Mélenchon vote and the acute consciousness that with the votes of the two sectarian extreme-left groups (NPA and LO) and with the PCF vote the second round will have been a direct confrontation between the Left and the Right, everyone taking position in a real open fight between the classes.

This sentiment, this frustration has traversed the youth and all those who do not want either Le Pen or Macron and who are looking for a way out.

I have the feeling, after having been an activist during the whole campaign and having been in contact with people at the popular markets and demonstrations, that the voters for Mélenchon are more to the left than the candidate himself.

One day after the election, when one might have expected at least a momentary demoralisation, more than 500 students occupied the Sorbonne to demonstrate against this “non-choice election” and on the Saturday afterwards demonstrations against the far right (read Marine Le Pen) took place all over France. They had the disadvantage of being confused with support for Macron, but the slogans, especially from the youth, were quite combative and explicitly against Macron too.

We won’t let them do it to us. The future looks full of fighting in the streets.

Both Le Pen and Macron are trying to get closer to the Mélenchon’s electorate, by “socialising” their discourse or by becoming “ecologists” of the last hour, but this doesn’t fool anyone.

Nevertheless, a part of Mélenchon’s electorate, consulted by Internet, will vote for Macron to ‘avoid fascism’. More than two thirds of those consulted (220,000) will vote ‘blank’ or ‘Null’ or abstain. These facts, remember me the last defeat of Allende in Chile. The movement to the left could not be interrupted by the triumph of the right, on the contrary a dynamic has stablished that could only be backed by outright white terror. Things goes fast in this kind of periods, furthermore when it is also a part of a broader class movement in many places in the world. It won’t be easy either for Macron or Le Pen to pass on the agenda of the bosses and of NATO.

There will be resistance and not a mild one. Hopefully again the magnificent French working class and his youth would show the way. Neither the plague (Macron) nor the cholera (Le Pen)!  is the mot d’ordre (watchword) of the masses.

4 thoughts on “Neither the plague (Macron) nor the cholera (Le Pen)!  is the mot d’ordre (watchword) of the masses

  1. Viriato says:

    The presidential election in France is not over.

    The arrival of Marine Le Pen as president is very badly received by the youth.

    Already last week there was the occupation of 4 universities and demonstrations all over France against Le POen but also against Macron.

    Today, there were two important facts.

    The candidate Mélenchon, who according to the “experts” and “communicators” (professional liars) holds the result of the second round by his 22% of the votes, gave an interview to one of the most followed (and at the same time most decried) TV channels in France, BFMTV.

    In this interview, he launched a slogan that will mobilise the troops of the Popular Union.
    To win the parliamentary elections, to obtain a majority that would allow him to be the Prime Minister of one or the other presidential candidate.

    The parliamentary elections follow the presidential election (they are for the month of May) and the deputies determine, elect the Prime Minister who “determines the policy of France” according to the constitution.

    In short, Mélenchon proposes to win the parliamentary elections and become Prime Minister of either Macron or Marine Le Pen.

    This situation, the cohabitation that was already practiced during the Mitterrand government, allows the Prime Minister a wide latitude in internal affairs. External affairs, notably the outbreak of war, are the responsibility of the President of the Republic.

    Thus, the election will be followed by the “third round” of the Legislative elections.

    But again, the youth is already showing its rejection of Marine Le Pen without supporting Macron and this morning 5 high schools went on strike in front of the proposed political “choice” and despite the fact that they do not have the right to vote because they are still minors.

    Their questions are not limited to a rejection of Le Pen, but also put forward the questions of “social and ecological urgency” which was at the centre of the programme of the Popular Union of Mélenchon.

    For them, it is clear that Macron will do nothing to tackle these issues and that MLPen is an equally important danger for youth and, without saying it, all workers.

    The dynamic created by the Popular Union will therefore remain alive with the perspective of the legislative elections and this will be accompanied by a political mobilisation of the student youth, for the moment.

    When you run an active and bold electoral campaign, even if it is reformist, it inevitably triggers a dynamic favourable to all sectors of the left.

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  2. Viriato says:

    agnThe presidential election in France is not over.

    The arrival of Marine Le Pen as president is very badly received by the youth.

    Already last week there was the occupation of 4 universities and demonstrations all over France against Le POen but also against Macron.

    Today, there were two important facts.

    The candidate Mélenchon, who according to the “experts” and “communicators” (professional liars) holds the result of the second round by his 22% of the votes, gave an interview to one of the most followed (and at the same time most decried) TV channels in France, BFMTV.

    In this interview, he launched a slogan that will mobilise the troops of the Popular Union.
    To win the parliamentary elections, to obtain a majority that would allow him to be the Prime Minister of one or the other presidential candidate.

    The parliamentary elections follow the presidential election (they are for the month of May) and the deputies determine, elect the Prime Minister who “determines the policy of France” according to the constitution.

    In short, Mélenchon proposes to win the parliamentary elections and become Prime Minister of either Macron or Marine Le Pen.

    This situation, the cohabitation that was already practiced during the Mitterrand government, allows the Prime Minister a wide latitude in internal affairs. External affairs, notably the outbreak of war, are the responsibility of the President of the Republic.

    Thus, the election will be followed by the “third round” of the Legislative elections.

    But again, the youth is already showing its rejection of Marine Le Pen without supporting Macron and this morning 5 high schools went on strike in front of the proposed political “choice” and despite the fact that they do not have the right to vote because they are still minors.

    Their questions are not limited to a rejection of Le Pen, but also put forward the questions of “social and ecological urgency” which was at the centre of the programme of the Popular Union of Mélenchon.

    For them, it is clear that Macron will do nothing to tackle these issues and that MLPen is an equally important danger for youth and, without saying it, all workers.

    The dynamic created by the Popular Union will therefore remain alive with the perspective of the legislative elections and this will be accompanied by a political mobilisation of the student youth, for the moment.

    When you run an active and bold electoral campaign, even if it is reformist, it inevitably triggers a dynamic favourable to all sectors of the left.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Viriato says:

    After Macron’s election (I have taken some ideas from the french “Révolution” paper on the matter)

    Macron was elected, as he and his bosses had planned, with the “help” of Marine Le Pen.

    We missed around 1% for the Mélenchon candidacy to be in the second round. The communist (2.3%) and far left (NPA and LO together made 1.1%) votes, permits for a Macron-Le Pen “duel” to take place again.

    Marine Le Pen provokes such a rejection among the population, the workers and the immigrants that Macron, despite an abstention of almost 30%, was re-elected by a vote not of support but of least worse.

    Mélenchon, a fine tactician, without waiting a day, immediately posed as the future Prime Minister (the Constitution leaves the internal affairs of the country to the Prime Minister and he is elected by the majority of the Parliament) and as the unifier of the left.

    The Popular Union, which he leads, sent a letter to the French Communist Party, the Greens (EELV), the Socialist Party and the NPA to form a parliamentary group that could allow him to be elected Prime Minister by the French Parliament.

    This is both a necessary tactical step to get elected Prime Minister and a lifeline for parties that were sinking into the abyss of a terrible electoral defeat. If the Popular Union probably could not win the Legislative elections, the possibilities that it could do so are more important without being decisive, but also mean a turn to the right.

    This turn, this manoeuvre, can be well perceived by a part of the left electorate which would be for a “Union of all the Left” or badly perceived by the rejection of a part of this same electorate which does not want any more a new version of the “Plural Left”, of Mitterrandism or of governments such as that of François Hollande. The latter is particularly rejected by the entire left-wing electorate.

    For comrades, in the context of the struggle against the right and the ruling class, the “New Popular Ecological and Social Union” (NUPES) is a mistake.

    “Grudges” and betrayals

    To defend the NUPES, Mélenchon calls on his supporters not to harbour any “grudges” against the leaders of the PS, the Greens and the PCF, who all worked to eliminate the FI candidate on 10 April.
    This argument is weak, because it totally ignores the deep political causes of the discredit that strikes the leaderships of the PS, the Greens and the PCF. This discredit stems above all from an experience of several decades, made up of renunciations and betrayals of “the left”.
    Since the 1982-83 “austerity turn”, under the presidency of François Mitterrand, the PS has not stopped drifting to the right. At the point where things are today, it is no longer clear what distinguishes the leaders of the SP from the leaders of LREM, ideologically speaking. Moreover, a certain number of PS leaders have joined LREM, and others are preparing to do so.
    For its part, the PCF leadership has followed the long right-wing drift of the PS like a dog follows its master: the survival of its “network of elected representatives” – woven in alliances with the PS – depended on it.
    But God knows that the network of elected representatives weighs much more heavily in the hearts of the PCF leaders than the ideas of Marx and Lenin. Their campaign, which was made by flattering the petty-bourgeois spirit of the “happy days programme”, became pathetic.
    Finally, the leaders of the Greens adapted to this situation without difficulty. These stalwart ‘free market’ advocates cynically exploited the environmental crisis – not to save the planet, but to build, feed and water their own network of elected officials.
    Between 1997 and 2002, all these people found themselves in the government of the “plural left”, led by Lionel Jospin, and carried out a policy of massive privatisation, among other reactionary measures. The April 2002 presidential election was the final political sanction: elimination of the PS in the first round; debacle of the PCF (3.4%); qualification of Jean-Marie Le Pen for the second round; re-election of Jacques Chirac.
    Ten years later, under the presidency of François Hollande, a new ‘left-wing’ government (PS and Greens) pushed the renunciations and betrayals even further. In the context of a deep economic crisis, Hollande launched several offensives against youth and the workforce, including the first Labour Law. As for the PCF leadership, it did not participate in this government, but proved incapable of breaking with the “socialist” apparatus and suffered the electoral consequences.

    This was the general context for the emergence and success of the FI in 2017. In the eyes of millions of young people and workers radicalised by the crisis of capitalism, the FI opened up the prospect of a break with the austerity policies that the “old left” had assumed to implement. Mélenchon himself never ceased to castigate this “old left”, and in particular the PS.
    With 22% of the vote on 10 April, the FI consolidated its overwhelming dominance on the left. The PCF wanted to “count itself”: 2.3%. The “centre-left” was crushed: 4.6% for the Greens, 1.7% for the PS.

    Fishing for castaways

    While the presidential election marked a new stage of political polarisation (towards the right and towards the left), the FI leadership chose to go against this trend and to “reach out” not only to the PCF, but also to the PS and the Greens. Unsurprisingly, the three big castaways eagerly seized the extended hand: without it, and without the agreement that was reached, they were all threatened with disappearing from the National Assembly, which would have marked their total bankruptcy, in every sense of the word (including financial). The three big wrecked ones were temporarily “saved”.
    The FI rescued them and gave them an impressive number of constituencies: 220 in total, of which more than 60 are deemed “winnable”.

    This agreement has aroused the support of a part of the militants and sympathisers of the FI. They see it as a possibility to beat the right. They hope that if they don’t occupy the Elysée, Mélenchon will occupy Matignon. But we must open our eyes: given the massive discredit that has hit the PS, the Greens and the PCF, the NUPES is not going to arouse much enthusiasm among the millions of abstentionist voters in the first round of the presidential election, or among the millions of workers, the poor and the unemployed who, in reaction to the betrayals of the “traditional left”, went to make up a clear majority of the RN electorate.
    Finally, even among the 7.7 million voters of Mélenchon on 10 April, the NUPES is not going to arouse general enthusiasm, especially in the 220 constituencies that have been ceded to the three castaways of the presidential election.

    Already, the candidates of the other formations, who often have affairs and schemes, disgust the militants of the Popular Union, who are essentially the most present militant force.

    The “programmatic agreement

    Even if the NUPES wins the legislative elections, Mélenchon will not be able to rely on this majority to implement his programme, because most of the green and socialist deputies will not resist the pressure of the ruling class, which will strongly oppose the implementation of this programme.
    UP leaders say that the Greens and the PS have signed a “programmatic agreement” with the FI, not just a distribution of constituencies. This “programmatic agreement” is not based on the convictions of the leaders of the PS and the Greens; it is based solely on their fear of disappearing, politically, on their ambitions for electoral positions.
    In reality, it is not the Greens and the SP that are moving left; it is the FI leadership that is moving right. The fact is that the texts of the “agreements” reflect not only “concessions” by the Greens and the SP, but also concessions – to the right – by the FI leadership.

    By saving the Greens and the SP from drowning, the FI has moved to the right: that is the net result of this affair.
    The NUPES can only undermine the political capital accumulated by the FI in the most radicalised layers of the youth and the working class. Moreover, it seriously complicates the possibility for the FI to win more support among the millions of workers, unemployed and poor who, faced with the successive betrayals of the PS, the Greens and the PCF, have taken refuge in abstention or in voting RN.

    In short, this error puts the FI on the same trajectory as Podemos and Syriza; if it is not corrected in time, the FI will suffer the same fate.

    Consequences

    We are told: “without NUPES, the defeat of the FI was almost certain in the parliamentary elections”. This is quite possible. Given the result of the presidential election, a victory of the FI, under its own flag, was very unlikely. And for good reason: in the presidential election, the “radical left” (FI, PCF, LO and NPA) gained a total of 1.3 million votes between 2017 and 2022, but the far right gained 2 million votes. In other words, polarisation on the right was faster than polarisation on the left. Moreover, there were 2.3 million more abstentionists than in 2017.

    Such a political dynamic can hardly be reversed in the two months between the presidential and parliamentary elections. But it is not true that the NUPES solves this problem.

    On the contrary, an offensive campaign by the FI, on a radical programme and under its own flag, would undoubtedly have enabled it to increase its parliamentary group significantly – and this without compromising itself in a national alliance with discredited parties. The FI would have reinforced its status as a left-wing opposition refusing to compromise with the right-wing orientation of the Greens, the PS and the PCF. This was – and remains – one of the conditions for the FI’s ability to play a positive role in the coming years in the fight against the right and the far right.

    Recently, Mélenchon, posing as a figure on the same level as the president of the republic, declared that he did not want to be a candidate for the legislative elections. Alas, his figure and his word are still the only link of the Popular Union, a floundering, “gaseous” organisation, with no backbone other than the parliamentary group and the people who surround it, crossed by all sorts of phenomena (careerists, confused, apprentice bureaucrats, last-minute arrivals in search of a place, but also by a significant number of young and old honest militants) and which can collapse without his active presence.

    France Insoumise and its successor, the Popular Union, are only stages in the path of reconstruction of the left, of communist (Leninist-Trotskyist) thought and organisation, which the French workers need.

    The development of the UP and Mélenchon into a kind of Podemos, or on the contrary into a kind of Allende, depends both on the rise of the class struggle in France and in the world as well as on international conflicts, in particular the imperialist war of aggression against Russia and its aftermath, the preparation of the war against China.

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  4. viriato says:

    For the sake of clarity I am publishing an article from the “Informations Ouvrières” organ of the POI (lambertist).

    My comments in brackets.

    “Continue, amplify, consolidate the refusal of Macron’s policies and the regime he embodies: we are in the campaign!

    Decidedly, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s 22% imbues and will likely imbue the entire situation of the country for a long time to come.
    We saw the belly-dance that Macron started between the two rounds, “watering down” his project on pensions while maintaining the essential, and that of Le Pen barely evoking her favourite themes, anti-immigrants, anti-Arab, etc.

    And now it’s the legislative sequence.

    Very aware of the power of the Mélenchon vote and threatened with losing everything – their posts, their public funding, and even their own parties – the leaders of the PC, the PS, the Greens, are rushing in (In fact, they have been called by the Union Populaire and Mélenchon).

    Beaten on the ground, they are now sheepish around the green carpet. And they swallow it all (because they were given everything in a right turn to win the parliamentary elections. It is not certain that this will succeed)

    The same people who campaigned to block JL Mélenchon, opening the way to the second round to Le Pen, to then get Macron elected, are now accepting everything: campaigning under the logos of the People’s Union, almost the entire programme of the People’s Union, the repeal of the El Khomri law, the repeal of the separatism law, and even the 6th Republic, retirement at 60…
    Under pressure from the 22%, everything is endorsed. (Hipocritically, should be added)

    Let no one ask us if there is an ounce of sincerity in these reversals. These Jadot (Greens), Hidalgo (PS), Roussel (PCF) and their representatives have long been used to these flip-flops. They don’t mean what they say, they don’t say what they mean and once elected they do the opposite of what they said.

    These denials, these perjuries are the cause of the numerous abstentions (so how to win the abstentionists by allying with these people?), and on another level have fed the Le Pen vote. They explain the current state of their own parties.
    And they are reaping the price of their renunciation with dozens of sometimes winnable, sometimes farcical constituencies (one does not understand this tango-dancing prose).

    In this respect, we can perfectly understand the disappointment of those who are militant on the ground, who are the relentless architects of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s result, and who are opposed, with or without parachuting in, without the slightest consultation, to candidates who were violently opted out or non-existent in the battle for the score of the first round. The Villani, the Taché (former LREM)… And above all-
    And above all, this concern: what if we lose?

    Eventually elected to the National Assembly, their seats saved, their small interests temporarily preserved, what will they do? Will they stand firm against Macron and the regime he embodies? Will they respect their mandate this time? Time will tell.

    And who knows, maybe we will have some sur- prises? And we would welcome it.
    But will this largesse, this granting of constituencies, alter the power of the 22% of the 1st round? Are we in a “remake” of the “union of the left”? Even if some people dream of it, here and there, it is not the case!

    For a good and simple reason.

    The proponents of this disastrous “union of the left” were defeated and crushed in the first round of the presidential elections, and they were defeated by a fierce and conscious will to break with Macron’s policy and regime, including all the deadly combinations of all the traditional parties of the Fifth Republic.

    Called again to speak out in the legislative elections, whatever their form, the 22% and why not beyond (and who would complain?), will seek to strengthen, amplify and organize this powerful desire for total rupture. It is the will to break that will prevail. (A bet on a rather fragile base. This will depend on the strength and extent of the mobilization of the workers which will result from it as well as the fierce opposition of the bourgeoisie. If everything remains within the institutional framework, this can only constitute a new disappointment for the masses. Alas the lack of a workers’ party makes all this a non alternative)

    Whatever the palinodies of Jadot, Hidalgo or Roussel, and even the mass of constituencies granted, it is “Mélenchon 1st Minister” and “popular Union majority in the National Assembly” who will win.

    So many very beautiful formulas, but which have a content: to pursue, amplify, structure what millions said in the 2017 presidential elections, then in the streets through demonstrations, strikes, refusal…, then again in 2022 in the presidential elections, and again recently in May 1st. And with the ever-developing class struggles that these results encourage and will encourage.
    No one today is able to reduce the 22%. And the real experts are not mistaken. Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, Holland, Stéphane Le Foll for example, great artisans of the “union of the left”, sound the alert.

    For them, the Popular Union, and even the New Popular Union, has nothing to do with what they have done for a good part of their lives. It is the “end of the socialist party and the socialist ideal”. Finally, their conception of socialism!

    Concern is also reaching the tops of the state.

    And if a majority in the National Assembly resulted in Jean-Luc Mélenchon as Prime Minister, would it be a cohabitation like in the time of Chirac or Jospin? Again, no. (Who can assure us of this if we do not have an own force to stop it ?)

    Because it would also mark this massive desire for rupture. It would transform the latent crisis of the Fifth Republic into an open crisis, with the possibility of the eruption of the masses which terrorizes them all. For once, the very idea of ​​the Sixth Republic could well take on the appearance of mobilization for a sovereign Constituent Assembly sweeping away the Fifth Republic.

    What if we were in the case of a National Assembly without a majority for the Popular Union, but with a considerably reinforced representation?
    The business newspaper Les Échos answers the question: “Mélenchon continues to scare… And even if he fails, he could become the first opposition in the Assembly. First opposition and radical group, this land is unknown. ” We can not say it better.

    Definitely, the 22% permeates everything!

    This is why, beyond the convolutions of each other, the events of recent days give a very special tone to the POI press release of April 25.

    Militants of the POI, for certain Communists and Trotskyists, convinced partisans of Revolution and Democracy, of the expropriation of capital and of socialism, we are totally convinced of Marx’s phrase: “Communists have no interests which separate them from the whole of the proletariat” – which Jean-Luc Mélenchon, very opportunely, quoted in his speech of May Day. Already engaged in the Popular Union: for the 22% and its candidates, we go for it!

    The Editors of “Informations Ouvrières”

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