de position -
Enough of endless "Days of action", Marches and Ritual Demonstrations!
Time for Open Class Struggle!
For more than two months, ever since the Khomri El bill was announced – written “under the dictation of the Medef ”, as bluntly stated in the bosses daily Les Echos (1) – the unions who have not been rushing to support the government as the CFDT did, have resorted to the old practice of “days of action” organized from time to time, with calls for strikes, limited in duration, extent, or confined to one category or another (sometimes the SNCF and RATP, sometimes the transportation workers, sometimes the workers in oil refineries, etc...).
So, after May 28 when many protesters took to the streets against government expectations, in spite of the usual media propaganda against “hooligans”, in spite of police intimidation, assaults, and repression, and when strikes and walkouts started in different sectors, the Intersyndicale (2) called for a national demonstration ...fifteen days later, on June 14, the very day when discussion of the bill in the Senate commences. That is to say, it pins the fight it claims to carry onto the parliamentary calendar and in doing so makes it depend on the success of the parliamentary debates! It is clear that by then the workers who are or will be involved in open-ended strikes and who cannot afford to wait weeks, will have resumed work.
This delaying tactic has no other purpose than to provide safety valves for the discontent of workers, while avoiding a real open struggle against the anti-worker attacks which have been heaped down incessantly and of which this law is only the latest. Despite the media uproar over the alleged “hard-line” of the CGT, this is a true sabotage of the necessity for generalized workers’ struggle and therefore a valuable service to the capitalists and the government at their service.
Moreover, alongside the ringing declarations on the non-negotiable withdrawal of the bill, the Inter says precisely that it wants to negotiate with the government and Hollande; and in saying that it wished "to uphold democracy" it has decided to organize in the factories and the streets a “great vote (...) to secure withdrawal of the text and to win new rights for the development of stable and quality jobs” (3).
To substitute bogus voting for the strike struggle and to respect democracy instead of the uncompromising defense of proletarian interests, that's the latest smoke and mirrors tactic of organizations which have long since abandoned the terrain of struggle – for that of class collaboration, between “social partners” – which means submission to the interests of the capitalists!
It is not by votes and calls for democracy but only by open struggle that workers can defend themselves against the bosses and their state!
Democracy is the political form that disguises the relations of domination and capitalist exploitation behind an alleged equality of all “citizens” regardless of their social class: whether they are unemployed or billionaires, workers or bosses, all would be equal under the law; they would all, through the ballot, have the same opportunity to influence the policy of the state – a neutral body and above classes. And class collaboration on behalf of a supposedly common interest is the corollary of democracy.
But daily reality demonstrates the falsity of democracy, fully bourgeois; the ballots are only scraps of paper that weigh nothing in the face of capitalist interests; it is the employers who dictate the laws even to those politicians who are elected by the workers; the state with its laws, police, judges, its Education, etc., is there to defend the capitalist order above all. All the “advances” and the reforms still enjoyed by proletarians, were conquered by proletarian struggle, or conceded by bourgeois fear of it. Today when, in France as in other countries, the capitalists push for further reforms (anti-reforms in fact) to throw out the old ones they find are too expensive, to situate the response under the sign of democracy is to admit to not wanting to fight at all.
Democrats groan when the government uses a special “article” (Article 49.3, specifically provided for that purpose by the Constitution) to end the parliamentary debates or when Hollande insists on passing the law although a vast majority of the French population is be opposed: that is their role. But this is just a small demonstration of the true nature of democracy, which serves only the bourgeoisie, which it uses when it’s time to dupe the proletariat, but casts it aside the moment it affects its own interests. The bourgeoisie thus provides a valuable lesson to the proletariat, a lesson which the collaborationists try to hide: even to defend its immediate interests, it must not be subjugated to the democratic fiction because the only thing that matters is the relationship of forces between the classes.
And it is not powerless votes and sterile days of action that will establish this relationship of forces, only real struggle can. The condition is that this struggle is conducted with class means and methods, for the intransigent defense of proletarian interests, in complete opposition to capitalist interests (the company or the national economy, etc.), and in total independence of the paralyzing influences carried out by the trade unions the reformist parties and the collaborationists of the left or far left; struggle which goes beyond the barriers of the enterprise or corporation, being generalized to other sectors, regardless of legal restrictions and anti-strike devices, basing itself on the strike pickets etc., struggle controlled, organized and led by the workers themselves on the basis of class objectives which unify the class.
The current conflict is only a skirmish in the struggle between the classes. Whatever its outcome, expect new attacks on the proletarians: they are planned and openly announced by bourgeois politicians, in government or the opposition; not because they are wicked but because this is what they are required to do by capitalism in crisis. The workers must respond by taking the road of class struggle to resist the bosses and their state, but also to be able to then go to the counter-attack against capitalism, that is to say, the struggle for Communist revolution.
If this ultimate perspective is obviously not immediate, it is the one which must guide the proletariat and the vanguard militants in the current struggles to avoid the traps set by the class enemy and its lackeys always quick to advance supposedly “easy” paths and so-called "new" solutions to divert the struggle into interclassism. It is the possibility that at least a minority of the proletariat begins to move in that direction and begins to break with collaborationism on which the success of the next struggles depend.
For the resumption of the class struggle!
For independent proletarian organization!
For reconstitution of the internationalist and international class party!
For communist revolution!
The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains, they have a world to win (The Manifesto)!
(1) See Les Echos, 23/05/2016. Grouping of the largest companies, the MEDEF is the largest employers' organization.
(2) The umbrella group of the majority of France’s various union federations, with somewhat elastic rules of membership.
(3) «Let’s increase mobilization and enforce democracy !», Communiqué CGT, FO, FSU Solidaires UNEF UNL FIDL, 05/20/2016
International Communist Party
May, 29th 2016
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