The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

France:
After the First Round of the Legislative Election

Jun 18, 2012

The following editorial is from the June 15th issue of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary communist group of that name active in France. Lutte Ouvrière received 125,000 votes in the recent election.

Lutte Ouvrière, which had candidates in 552 legislative districts, thanks the women and men who voted for it.

Although our result was modest, it testifies to the existence of a current present everywhere in the country, convinced that workers need to adopt a program of struggle to impose their right to a job and a decent wage on the bosses and their government. The vote also testifies to the existence of a current that has kept the ideal of a social revolution aiming to take political power from the capitalist bourgeoisie and eliminate its hold over the economy – in order to build a society without private property in the means of production, without the race for profit, without exploitation, without competition and crises. Even though it is weak, this current preserves hope in the emancipation of the exploited....

The elections have changed the political team in charge of ruling for the benefit of the capitalist class, but not the power of that class.

The electoral period didn’t even end when layoffs picked up and multiplied. Throwing workers out into the street and depriving them of resources in this time of crisis is a social crime. However, it’s evident that the new government doesn’t want to stop this crime, by taking forceful measures to prohibit mass layoffs....

The offensive of the big bosses is a direct result of the economic crisis and its aggravation. They want to recover on the backs of the workers what they can’t get from the markets. This offensive will be pursued and intensified until the bourgeoisie clashes with a determined opposition coming from the exploited.

Despite the crisis and the ravages of unemployment, the workers maintain intact their ability to intervene. Although industrial activity is down, although a growing number of factories are closed or moved elsewhere, economic life continues. Exploitation of those who continue to produce has not stopped – exploitation which gives rise to business profit and enriches the owners and stock holders.

The elections over, Lutte Ouvrière will still be on the side of the exploited. Its reason for existing is to act in the workplaces and in workers’ neighborhoods, so that the exploited build a party representing their material and political interests, a true party which doesn’t seek to conquer a role in the political institutions of the bourgeoisie, nor to gain posts as government ministers for its leaders!

Already in opposition to the right-wing government of Sarkozy-Fillon, Lutte Ouvrière will remain in opposition to the “left-wing” government of Hollande-Ayrault. It is important for the workers that the opposition not be monopolized by the right and far right, for the pressure that they will exercise on the government will run counter to the interests of the working class. It’s necessary that there be an opposition coming from the working class aiming to impose its interests.

We continue to affirm that workers have the force to defend themselves against exploitation, for they are the ones who make society run. Organized and conscious, they have the capacity to do much more: to take control over production and society. Every day, the crisis demonstrates that workers would do infinitely better than the rich parasites who are concerned only with their own private profit and who are leading society to a disaster.