Let’s not remain spectators of the political and social crisis, let's defend our interests ourselves!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
June 20, 2022

With three ministers, several loyal lieutenants and dozens of representatives defeated, with a massive entry of Unsubmissive France (LFI) and the National Rally (RN) in the National Assembly, the legislative elections have ended in a nightmare for Macron.

With only 245 representatives committed to his cause, Macron is caught in between the RN and the NUPES1. If the 64 right-wing representatives belonging to The Republicans (LR) refuse to become his spare wheel, then Macron won’t have an absolute majority to govern. Complete paralysis in parliament would become a real risk, forcing Macron to dissolve this infernal Assembly!

That bitter setback will delight all the workers who loathe Macron, a president so devoted to the big bourgeoisie and so contemptuous of the working classes. But this is only a meager and vain satisfaction because our problems remain unresolved. And they will remain so as long as the workers limit themselves to counting points in the competition between bourgeois parties.

The vote of the working classes was divided between LFI on the one hand and RN on the other, two parties offering policies which, however different, do not represent our fundamental interests. Both votes reflect the illusion that solutions can come from above.

In the National Assembly, the LFI and RN oppositions will fight for the title of Number One Opponent and will surely put on a show. But such parliamentary guerrilla warfare has nothing to do with the day-to-day struggle of workers against big business.

All the RN representatives will do is divide the working class by pandering to racist prejudice and attacking immigrant workers. As for the coalition between LFI, the Greens (EELV), the Socialists (PS) and the Communists (PCF), it will continue to make people believe that everything depends on the institutions, and that the next election will be the one!

As long as trouble is confined to the National Assembly, as long as political maneuvers and institutional combinations occupy center stage, the interests of the big bourgeoisie will remain well-guarded and, in this period where after one crisis comes another, the sacrifices will be for the workers.

For the time being, Macron and his clan are having trouble governing smoothly. But they are well ahead of the workers, because they know where they want to go. As worthy servants of the big bourgeoisie, they know what they have to do in this period of crisis. They know that they have to find a way to make the working classes pay for the crisis.

On the side of the working class, there is nothing like that. What workers have expressed politically is first and foremost the rejection of Macron. This rejection has led many of our people to mix their votes with bourgeois reactionaries, that is to say to reinforce our worst enemies. Clearly, rejection alone is not a political program for the exploited!

The workers will figure out where they want to go when, far from polemicists and demagogues, they come together to make two or three essential demands to face the problems of job insecurity and the high cost of living.

Against the rise in prices which is ruining the working classes, one demand is widely approved by workers: a massive increase in wages and their indexation to prices. It should be at the top of our program.

Against unemployment for some and overwork for others, it is necessary to create jobs and to share the work between all workers, without loss of salary. We shouldn’t work more: we should work less so that everybody can work!

Against speculation, parasitism, the record profits of the capitalist multinationals, we must demand workers' control over the big industrial, financial and energy-producing companies.

These objectives, common to all wage-earners, male or female, can set a course and a program of action for our class. When workers become determined to defend them, they will regroup behind their true class interests and find a reliable political compass.

The government has made its program of action very clear, so as to bring together all the politicians who feel responsible towards the bourgeoisie. It’s up to us workers to formulate our own program and bring together those who are ready to defend it themselves through their collective mobilization.

Nathalie Arthaud

1NUPES stands for Nouvelle Union Populaire, Écologique et Sociale – New Popular Ecological and Social Union. It is a purely electoral alliance formed on the eve of the legislative elections between LFI, the Greens, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, and a couple of smaller left-wing organizations.