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Down with the electoral circus!
For months and months, we have been pre-occupied by an implausible Electoral Circus which has even overshadowed the "social questions", that is, the essential questions of the conditions of life and work –or absence of work – of proletarians; however, and despite governmental pronouncements, unemployment continues to surge, wages to stagnate or tumble, and generally the situation of the working class continues to deteriorate.
First we had seemingly endless campaigns for the right-wing primaries, then for the Socialist Party primaries, with their twists and turns (elimination of favorites, withdrawal by Holland etc.), followed by the campaign for the presidential elections, with its the repeated financial scandals; then along comes the campaign for the legislative elections, finally we shall arrive at the "summer truce", which the new government, whatever it is, will undoubtedly use to perpetrate its malevolent schemes. The bourgeoisie will have had more than a year of respite in the wake of the mobilizations against the directly anti-proletarian El Khomri law, while the workers will find themselves in a position which makes it more difficult to resist the inevitable anti-proletarian attacks demanded by the needs of French capitalism.
A new demonstration of the reactionary role of the electoral system which presents itself as the means of expressing the "popular will", whereas it can serve only the interests of the capitalist ruling class. This is not surprising: having all the means of communication, relying on the whole network of innumerable institutions created and maintained to defend the established order, the dominant class which is the only one able to finance electoral campaigns, shapes "public opinion” at will; In particular it keeps alive the very precious lie for it, according to which it is by depositing bits of paper in an urn that it is possible to determine the policy of the bourgeois state! In reality, this policy is determined by the general interests of capitalism – of which the bourgeois state is the bulwark – and the particular interests of the most powerful capitalist groups; This is demonstrated by the fact that all the governments of the right and the left, which for thirty years have succeeded one another in power in France, have basically followed the same pro-capitalist and anti-labor policy. The parties who participate in the rigged game of elections and call on the proletarians to participate in it by claiming that a new left-wing government resulting from an electoral victory could improve their conditions and defend them against the bosses are nothing but unmitigated liars who defend the established bourgeois order.
The same holds true for the big trade-unions which claim to organize workers' struggle against capitalist attacks. Last year, after organizing a mock simulacrum of struggle by controlling the movement to throttle it from taking an anti-capitalist orientation (the only one that could have been effective), they promised to "resume the fight" after the summer holidays: it was not resumed and in 2017 the fight was simply abandoned; The trade unions have reverted to their old practice of a few isolated mobilizations, one after the other, of certain sectors on particular points. For these supporters of the collaboration between classes, there is no question of disrupting the sacrosanct electoral period, this supreme moment of social peace which is their permanent objective!
Right Left and Center – here are the pro-capitalist candidates
Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right National Front (FN) and one of the two favorites in the election, holds a discourse different from the traditional one of her party: she takes up some social demands usually defended by left reformist Parties! By thus posing as the candidate of the "people" against the "elites", the FN was able to increase its electoral audience, including among workers disgusted with the classical bourgeois politicians. But this racist and chauvinist far-right party, remains a sworn enemy of the proletariat. This is also the reason why all other candidates demagogically claim to be the best "bulwark" against Le Pen, even when they share with it many nationalist and anti-working class positions.
This is the case with Fillon, Sarkozy’s former Prime Minister who was the unexpected winner of the right primary: his program is the most openly anti-proletarian; Including the abolition of 35 hours, the increase in VAT (Value Added point of sale Tax), the transitional extension of the retirement age to 65, the destruction of 500,000 jobs in the civil service, the end of the coverage by social welfare of most of medical care (except for the most serious diseases), etc., etc.
Macron, the darling of the media, has a program that is Fillon-light, in the continuity of his action when he was Hollande’s Minister of Finance: improvement of the "competitiveness" of enterprises and reduction of the "cost of workers" (stated otherwise: Improvement of capitalist profits and increase in the exploitation of proletarians), the abolition of 120,000 civil servant jobs, savings in social expenditure, and so on. ; On the other hand, he is a supporter of "UBERization", in other words the abolition of the various regulations and statutes which hamper the "flexibility" demanded of the workforce and restrict capitalist investments in some sectors. In a word, it is a sotto voce version of Fillon's program so as to present less risk of reactions on the part of the proletarians.
The two left-wing candidates are not in competition to win the elections, but rather to re-establish a credible reformist force capable of deflecting the workers' struggles that may arise against the anti-social measures of the next government. In fact, after the long 5 years of Hollande presidency, the Socialist Party is too strongly discredited among the workers to effectively play the role of a social dyke which the capitalist order needs; it therefore has an imperative need to restore a left face: this is the whole purpose of the candidacy of Hamon (official candidate of the SP, belonging to its “left” tendency and supported by the Ecologists). But in this game, the demagogy of Mélenchon (candidate of the Left Party, supported by the French Communist Party) outweighs that of the former minister who, although a "frondeur" (as the Socialist MPs hostile to the “El Khomri law were called”) cannot completely dissociate himself from the actions of Hollande: for instance Hamon had to abandon his lip-service opposition to this law in order to be supported by the apparatus of the SP.
Mélenchon did not hesitate to condemn the five-year term of the Hollande administration; But his "left" orientation is nothing but a reformist demagogy that poorly hides from pro-imperialist and anti-proletarian positions. Thus, in the name of the "national interest" he supported French military interventions in Libya and Africa, whereas this national interest is nothing but the interest of the great imperialist firms, such as Total and others. Like Le Pen, he opposes the European Union in the name of "national sovereignty", he denounces the "posted workers" (foreign workers coming from European low wage countries) who "take the bread from the French", and asserts that undocumented workers who do not have an employment contract must leave the country. The division between French and foreign workers, between workers with and without papers, is a classic weapon used forever by the employers to paralyze workers' struggles; and "national sovereignty" is an exclusively bourgeois objective: the proletarians have no country!
As for the two "far left" Trotskyist candidates, if they are merely figurative in this circus, they still contribute to the dirty work of giving credence to this farce in the eyes of the proletarians.
No to the soporific of electoral mystification, yes to the class struggle!
The proletarians can in no way defend themselves, they can in no way defend their immediate or more general demands, let alone end the capitalist system by means of ballot papers, which for the capitalists are merely tatters of paper. Their strength can in no way be expressed on the gerrymandered, rigged terrain of the elections, through the democratic system where all citizens enjoy the same political weight, regardless of their membership in a particular social class. It is only through struggle that they can resist the capitalists and their state, for this is how they are able to stop the functioning of the economy; But this struggle must be a real struggle, carried out with classist means and methods; A struggle that is at mortal odds with collaborative, democratic and pacifist orientations; a struggle breaking free from the reformist organizations that swear by "dialogue between the social partners" and sabotage all struggles. It is not dialogue with their class enemy they need, but the resolute struggle against it, its system and its State!
Whatever the outcome of the presidential elections, new anti-worker attacks are to be expected. The workers will be better able to cope with them if they have been able to reject all electoral illusions, if they refuse to fooled by the propaganda of the “spin doctors” on all sides, they will be able to spurn the calls for participation in the Electoral Circus to support either one candidate or to "block" another: one can "block" – not only a right-wing or extreme-right candidate – but above all the worsening of exploitation and Capitalist oppression only by struggle!
The refusal of the electoral circus, the revolutionary abstentionism, is not the refusal of all politics: it is the refusal of bourgeois politics, a prerequisite for following proletarian revolutionary politics that does not take place in the ballot urns and in parliament, but in the streets, at the workplaces and in the neighborhoods; revolutionary politics whose principles are the solidarity and class organization of the proletariat and whose objective is the destruction of capitalism.
Down with the electoral circus!
For the return to struggle and class organization!
For the international union of proletarians against capitalism!
For the re-establishment of the international class party!
For the world communist revolution!
International Communist Party
April, 2nd 2017
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