On this 26 May, a majority of registered voters (over 52%) either abstained or handed in blank or void votes. This rejection by the majority — though it was indeed a lesser proportion than had been announced in the polls — was higher in the popular and working-class neighbourhoods. It was 60% in the French department of Seine-Saint-Denis, over 70% in the working class cities and towns of the Rhone department, nearly 80% in Val-Fourré in the Yvelines department and 85% in some of the polling places in the Mirail neighbourhood of Toulouse! And this is not counting those who are excluded from voting: the millions of unregistered voters and “non-European” workers who are perfectly acceptable for being exploited, but not enough so for voting.
This is a clear and massive “no” to the European Union and to Macron, whose list was rejected by nearly 9 registered voters out of 10 (89.3%). From the point of view of democracy, Macron and his policies — more illegitimate than ever — should be ousted.
But who should oust Macron, and how?
The results obtained by the extreme rightwing Rassemblement National (RN) are disturbing, and rightly so. Although they lost 2.5 million of the 7.7 million votes that Marine Le Pen had won in the first round of the presidential elections two years ago, they still remain ahead, having lost less than the other parties.
A question is therefore posed: Those who, particularly in the “left-wing” parties, have been repeating endlessly for months now that there is no more such thing as a left-wing or a right-wing, and that we have to give up any and all analysis in terms of social class … those who advocate that we should no longer pit workers against bosses but rather join together under one and the same blue, white and red flag and sing La Marseillaise … those who repeat from dawn to dusk that worker trade unionism has become useless, a thing of the past… those for whom problems of purchasing power and of the environment have nothing to do with the class struggle — aren’t these the very same people and organisations who fueled the RN turnout, whose message has always been just that (Le Pen repeated it in her speech Sunday evening)? Haven’t they also, on another level, fueled the Green vote, for a Green Party that wants climate and environmental issues to be dealt with above and independently of social classes? We must not seek elsewhere for the source of the confusion dominating the whole of the situation.
As for the calls for uniting the left …
… that were launched Sunday evening [26 May] by the leaders of the various parties, what is that all about? Reconstituting the political alliances that saw the Jospin and then the Hollande governments implementing policies identical to those implemented by governments of the right, thus preparing to replace tomorrow “privatisations of the left” for “privatisations of the right”, from the El Khomri laws to Macron’s rulings. The workers don’t want any of that any more. They’ve been through it; that, in fact, is what opened the way to the collapse of those parties, and to Macron’s election and his disastrous policies.
➔ The only unity that makes any sense is unity for the defence of the workers’ interests, in their class struggle and through their class struggle. The daily Le Figaro is fretting over the government’s capacity to follow through on its counter-reform of retirement pensions, and Le Figaro is right. Macron’s policies, rejected in all sectors, have for months now fueled the strikes that have multiplied in the postal services, hospitals and schools, etc. — strikes that have put the centralisation and generalisation of the struggle, in a united general strike, back on the agenda, in order to sweep away Macron and his policies.
Though this may not sit well for some, this is indeed about the class struggle. On the one hand, you have the interests of the capitalist class, which dictates its laws to the European Union and the government; and on the other, you have the interests of the working class, which carries on its shoulders the defence of all the social and democratic conquests, of civilisation itself.
➔ The greatest of class struggles are on the agenda, to defeat the attack against retirement pensions, but also to defeat the Blanquer « reforms » in education, as well as the attacks on the statutes in public administration and the axing of public services in all sectors.
The workers cannot give up organising by and for themselves on their ground, with their methods of class struggle: strikes, strike committees, sovereign general assemblies and delegates. They cannot give up on ensuring that their trade unions are preserved and reinforced as instruments in the independent combat for their demands.
That is why, for our part, we are engaged in the building of a workers party, a party that does not fear to stand by the colour red of its flag, because it is fighting for the Constituent Assembly and for a workers’ government, breaking with the institutions of the 5th Republic and the European Union.
What does the POID, the Independent and Democratic Workers Party, propose to help unite workers and organisations against the government and the capitalist class?
We will explain all of this on the 15th of June, at a rally to which workers, young people and activists are invited to take part in.