The Spark

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

France:
A Growing Right-Wing Threat

Jun 10, 2013

The following are excerpts from an editorial that appeared in the newspaper of Lutte Ouvrière the week before the murder of a young activist by right-wing thugs.

The right took advantage of the end of the ban on gay marriage to organize nearly 40 demonstrations, including a massive one in Paris.

The lifting of the ban simply allows gay couples to have a family life the same as anybody else’s. But the right-wing chose to transform the debate over this issue into warfare.

The right-wing is cashing in on the fact that society has conservative people with reactionary prejudices. The majority of those who came out to demonstrate may have quietly shown their reactionary values, but that gave room for others to act far less peacefully. Some of those little reactionary groups may have attacked the police, but also they have attacked some gay people and some journalists.

All this may seem far from the problems of workers, but it concerns us because those on the marches against gay equal rights are the political and social enemies of the workers.

In fact, these little groups of right wingers might decide, after they attack gay people and left-wing journalists, to go after the Roma (gypsy) people or immigrant workers or union militants, and everyone else who doesn’t think like the extreme right. They can represent a danger for workers.

These demonstrations against gay marriage are over, but anti-worker, reactionary, nationalist and xenophobic ideas are not gone – they are daily thrown around by the right and extreme-right, who pretend to be opponents of the government.

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Perhaps the pressure from the right will lead workers to take up the political issues, at the same time they must try to defend their jobs and their wages.

It’s a fight on the ground of class – workers must be conscious that their material and political interests are intimately connected. They must learn to distinguish who are their false friends and real enemies.

To fight for their interests, to fight against layoffs, to fight to keep their wages and to control working conditions in the plants and the banks, workers must attract and lead forward all those who today suffer from unemployment, tiny pensions, all kinds of misery. Only in this way can one say the people have spoken.