In the parliamentary election, vote for your side: vote Lutte Ouvrière!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
June 6, 2022

The first round of the general election will take place next Sunday. Though fewer people than ever pay attention to the comedy of electoral promises, the political microcosm is in overdrive.

By pledging to convene a “National Council for Refoundation”, Macron claims he has a new magic formula: he wants to change his method, or so he claims. But it’s just a new trick to make us swallow the same anti-worker policy, including his attack on pensions.

The left, chaperoned by Mélenchon, is competing with Le Pen’s National Rally (RN: Rassemblement national) for the title of first opponent. By joining forces, Unsubmissive France (LFI: La France insoumise), the Socialist Party (PS: Parti socialiste), the Greens (EELV: Europe Écologie Les Verts) and the Communist Party (PCF: Parti communiste français) stand a good chance of strengthening their positions in the National Assembly. There’s sure to be a lot of fine talk, but workers can’t count on that.

Because of soaring prices, workers are getting poorer by the month. The only measure that can prevent this is the indexation of wages, pensions and benefits to prices – a measure not one single politician defends!

Macron won’t impose anything on big business. But Mélenchon or Le Pen are no different. They may be very vocal in denouncing “the President of the rich”, but not in confronting big business, not even in words.

It’s a tradition on the left to take offense at the staggering fortunes accumulated in the coffers of the bourgeoisie and to promise to increase taxes on the rich! But opposing the capitalist class, challenging its power over the workers, contesting its freedom to speculate: here are things the left doesn’t want to do!

As for Le Pen, she never utters a word against the capitalists. She constantly puts the blame on immigrants, that is to say the workers who are the most exploited in construction, cleaning and security.

Whether they are from the far right, the right or the left, the main politicians compete to manage capitalism – even though this system condemns us, the workers, to exploitation, to the bosses' dictatorship, to permanent precariousness; even though it also condemns self-employed workers, peasants, small craftsmen and shopkeepers to the law of the survival of the fittest.

In reality, the capitalist system condemns the whole of society because it creates inequalities, injustice and wars, because it generates crisis after crisis and endangers the future of the planet and the survival of all humanity.

Change will not come from within the institutions nor from the professional politicians who run the system and enjoy many privileges. It will come from the workers, if they become conscious of their interests and of their collective strength.

When the workers fight to defend their living conditions and when, conscious of their strength, they challenge those who do nothing with their ten fingers and their control over society, then and only then will it be legitimate to speak of a historic turning point! Getting there depends on each and every one of us, on our will to organize ourselves with this perspective.

Is it a difficult fight? No doubt about that, because the big bourgeoisie dominates the world. Its power is founded on states and international institutions, on armies and on media that propagate its values and ideology, i.e. the cult of money and individual success. But the workers are strong, because they are so numerous and because of their place in the economy. Not a single euro of profit could be made without the existence of workers: of the nurses who look after the health of workers; of the teachers who educate them; of the bus or subway drivers who transport them. So, this is struggle that workers can win, provided they become aware, as Marx said, that they have nothing to lose but their chains.

In the past, workers have managed to exert pressure on political life. They have done so through collective struggles, strikes and factory occupations. And in the absence of struggles, they drew their strength and pride from the ideal of a society without exploitation, without the law of profit and competition. An egalitarian and collectively organized society, a communist society.

In order to influence political life again, it is necessary to build a party that is totally independent of the bourgeois parties. A party composed and led by workers and present in workplaces and neighborhoods to help in the necessary struggles. A party that propagates class consciousness: the idea that workers are capable of running society much better than the big bourgeoisie.

The presence of Lutte Ouvrière candidates in all the constituencies in France shows that there is a current fighting for that perspective. By voting for them, you can strengthen it and affirm the need to rebuild a political force that raises the flag of social emancipation.

Nathalie Arthaud