Macron says he’s giving us the chance to be heard. Let’s take it !

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
June 10, 2024

Following the success of the Rassemblement national (RN)1, Macron has chosen to dissolve the Assemblée nationale (the French parliament). What’s behind this unexpected decision and the announcement of a legislative election in three weeks’ time? Is it a pathetic political manœuver or an attempt to resolve the political instability that might become embarrassing for the big bourgeoisie? Who can tell.

Whatever the reason, Macron is letting us have our say so let’s use the opportunity to highlight our concerns as workers! The Lutte ouvrière candidates are going to do just that and will have a strong presence in the election.

The first of our demands concerns our purchasing power. It’s plummeting due to soaring prices. It plummets when we fall ill or have a disability, when we are laid off or forced to take a job that pays less and it plummets when we retire.

These setbacks are sickening when compared with the 200-billion-euro fortune of someone like Bernard Arnault, or the 18 million euros that the Stellantis shareholders cash in every day, or the 100,000 euros a day that their CEO, Tavares, receives. There’s no reason why the people who work and keep society functioning should see their life deteriorate while parasites and speculators fill their pockets.

Demanding a salary, a disability or retirement pension that increases at the same rate as all prices, i.e. indexation, is a minimum. Demanding the reversal of the setbacks imposed on retirement pensions and unemployment benefit is a minimum.

Living without fear also means refusing to be pushed towards a third world war. What use is retirement at 62 if you die in a war at 30? What use is a wage indexed to inflation when bombs are falling on you? We must refuse to march into wars that are decided by politicians, chiefs of staff and officers who have proved again and again that they don’t care about workers.

And while we’re making these demands, let’s express our opposition to all the politicians who know how to make wonderful promises but who are all lackeys of the big bourgeoisie. We’ve already experienced some of them and they betrayed us. Others, like Le Pen and Bardella, pride themselves on never having disappointed.

But that’s only because they’ve not yet been in a position to do so. Because, like Macron, Le Pen and Bardella uphold the bourgeois order, employers’ power and capitalist private property. The fact that Macron is now opening the door of Matignon to Bardella, who is saying that he’s ready to cohabit with him, goes to prove that the two are perfectly compatible.

Both of them are the workers’ enemies. Although not yet in power, the RN is already setting workers and poor against each other by attacking immigrant workers. It divides and weakens the working class who are up against the big bosses who are amassing fortunes through exploitation and pillaging across the globe.

Le Pen and Bardella act as if they are opposed to Macron’s warmongering policy but they stir up nationalism, patriotism and militarism. As their far-right ancestors did before them, they’ll have the population falling into line, even for deadly wars. The workers who support the RN are seriously mistaken.

But, if for many workers the RN embodies the ability to change their lives, it’s because of what the parties on the left have abandoned. Some time ago, they represented the desire for change. They betrayed that when they abandoned revolutionary prospects and they ended up imposing the same anti-worker policy as the right when they came to power. That same left, whether divided or united, continues to deceive the workers with electoral promises that are as inadequate as they are false.

No matter what twists and turns there are in political life, this umpteenth election will change nothing of the unjust, chaotic and destructive evolution of society. It will change nothing of its nationalistic and bellicose evolution. This is a fundamental part of capitalism with its race for profit and its economic war.

The only hope has to come from the reaction of workers. There must be women and men who regain the awareness of their strength and return to the path of collective struggle. There must be women and men who are aware that their struggle for better conditions will only be successful if the capitalist class is overthrown.


Nathalie Arthaud

1 Rassemblement national (RN) is a nationalist, far-right party in France. Jordan Bardella became the acting president after Marine Le Pen in November 2022.