Elections in France: Sarkozy or Hollande?

Faced with the two faces of austerity, let the voice of the anti-capitalists be heard in the Presidential elections!

April 24, 2012

By the Revolutionary Communist Tendency – Platform 4 of the NPA

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let’s vote for Philippe Poutou!

The two official candidates of the bourgeoisie follow one another onto the stage and compete in acrobatics, to try to conceal from the voters the punches below the belt they are preparing if they are elected.

Sarkozy has chosen his tactic, with a turn well to the right. In this, he is following Le Pen, giving the impression that he is the one keeping time. He is, in fact, the outgoing President, who is trailing behind the candidate of the Front in reactionary, racist and Islamophobic demagogy.

For his part, Hollande is refraining from "promises" in the final stretch of the campaign, before the first round.... The socialist candidate is rejecting a campaign strategy like Papandreou’s. The former Greek Prime Minister had promised heaven and earth, in order to oust Karamanlis and his right-wing government in October, 2009 ... before doing quite the opposite some weeks later and imposing an austerity shock therapy, which did not prevent the country from sinking into crisis. Hollande, then, is refraining from any promise and from any commitment. His biggest trump card is that the workers and young people are fed up with Sarkozy, whom they can no longer stand. The key is that Hollande is preparing to apply, in his own way, the second movement of Papandreou’s guidance, namely, "the drastic austerity therapy," in the manner of the Spanish and Portuguese "socialists." The three secondary candidates do not seem very "different" from the two main ones. Except when they ultimately propose a variation from the main candidates, whether it is much more to the right, or slightly pulled towards the left (at least, in words). Bayrou, under his candied cover as a good-natured person, is the champion of real austerity. Le Pen (from the Front National) is following in the steps of her father. She has shelved her "popular" tools for the moment and resorted to the old racist and xenophobic recipes. Furthermore, it is Mélenchon, who has been recently concentrating his shots mainly at the candidate of the Front National. There is always a big political space occupied, to say nothing of Hollande. In fact, we have no confidence in the candidate of the Left Front, and not only because we do not see ourselves at all with the "Marseillaise" sung as loudly as possible, at the end of the demonstrations, nor among the tricolor flags that flutter on all sides in the meetings. The working class has no fatherland, and its worst enemy, in France, is the national bourgeoisie and imperialism. But the problem is also that, although Mélenchon says that he does not want to enter a government of Hollande, he, the Party of the Left, the Communist Party, and the forces that follow them, are destined to support a Socialist majority, in the end. It’s what they do, moreover, to scale and variable geometry in the cities, departments and regions, where they govern with the SP. Mélenchon’s horizon, for which he wants to recruit the women and men who will vote for him, is the management of the system, modified at the edges, or reformed in its superficial details: a system corrected, seemingly, and rid of its financial rubbish (a perfect illusion), but always within the framework of a Republic, the Sixth or not, where the bourgeoisie is always perfectly well-off.

Greece shows us the mirror in which the European bankers and the dominant countries of the European Union, France and Germany in the lead, would like us to see ourselves: "Take a look at what’s waiting for you," they tell us. But it is towards the struggles and the resistances, both in Athens and in Madrid or Barcelona, that our gaze is directed, while being aware that it will be necessary, both here and in Greece, and beyond Europe, to build a revolutionary alternative, if we wish to pass from the defensive to the offensive, and from the offensive to the first victories.

To all those women and men who have the right to vote in this country, which clearly excludes millions of our immigrant class brothers and sisters; to all those women and men who are convinced that it will be necessary to fight as soon as the next government takes office; to all those women and men who think that, to reverse the existing relation of forces, we will need an anti-capitalist, internationalist and revolutionary, class political instrument, we call on them massively to contribute their votes to the candidacy of Philippe Poutou, an autoworker, a militant CGT unionist, who, beside his fellow workers at Ford–Blanquefort, led a vigorous struggle, which has borne fruit in the defense of jobs and against layoffs.

Whatever the outcome of the elections and the support for the candidacy of Philipe Poutou and the far left in general, we know that what awaits us is more effort, in order to make them pay the bill. That is why in these elections, the idea should be expressed as widely as possible that, it is only by ourselves, and by the force of our mobilizations, that we will be able to respond, this time, on our own behalf, to the crisis of the capitalist system. We also know that from the other side of Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, and, in an historic manner, in the Arab world, the workers and the youth have gotten back on their feet. It is also this that frightens the bourgeoisie and imperialism, which supplies its weapons to try to retake control over a region where two of its servants have been expelled. It is this anxiety that the Syrian revolt, tragically gripped between blows from the regime of Bashar al-Assad and pressure from the West, reflects. It is also for that reason that the number 1 enemy of the workers and youth still is and will always continue to be, the national bourgeoisie and its tricolor flag, that has, for two centuries now, shed the blood of the workers and of the peoples that French imperialism colonized and continues to dominate. This is also the message that we must pass on, in voting for an anti-capitalist candidate in the next elections, while being aware that all this is only a stage in the construction of the revolutionary "all women and all men together" that will allow us to destroy this unjust and rotten system.

April 4, 2012

Editorial from the most recent issue of Révolution Permanente, magazine of the Revolutionary Communist Tendency of the NPA (www.ccr4.org).