Conservative leader Nicolas Sarkozy is back. After losing the presidential elections in 2012, his right-wing party has recovered thanks to the ( typical ) betrayals of French social democracy. President Hollande promised to change France after Sarkozy’s brutal austerity era. But the Socialist Party ( PS ) of Hollande did not changed France, it remained pro-capitalist and enforced the same austerity. By selecting Manuel Valls as prime minister, the PS lost more support as Valls is known as a right-wing social democrat. Together with Hollande’s unwillingness to fight French capitalism, the PS has now lost the departmental elections. Right-wing forces of Nicolas Sarkozy have been able to secure vital departmental governments, weakening the ruling social democrats in Paris!
Turnout was very low. Only 41% of all voters choose to vote in the departmental elections. Proofing again how little trust there is in bourgeois politicians, on both the left and the right. The Union for a Popular Movement of Nicolas Sarkozy and the far-right; National Front led by Marine Le Pen have triumphed over the social democrats and the other left parties. In many French regional government, the National Front ( FN ) is now the biggest political party. This anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic nationalist party, has profited from the betrayal of French social democracy and has won the vote of many workers, who used to vote on the PS!
The failure of the left-wing, lies in their inability to present a socialist alternative to parties like the UMP and FN. Social democrats offered nothing but the same austerity and when president Hollande put right-wing social democrat; Manuel Valls up as prime minister, many leftists were bitter disappointed. Revolutionary socialists are not surprised that the president and his PS lost this election. With only 41% of all French voting. Even the Left Party and the French Communist Party ( PCF ) offer no socialist alternatives. Jean Luc Mélenchon is offering classic social democratic rhetoric and talks about a new French Republic. Nothing is said about workers rule, a socialist republic or a democratic economy. To the left of the PS, no alternative is presented by the communist party. The PCF has turned into a party that makes compromises with the bourgeoisie. Too many times, the PCF appealed leftists to vote on these traitorous social democrats. How ironic consider the fact that this former Stalinist party used to call us revolutionary socialists, ”supporters of capitalism” back in the 1930’s!
Although the right-wing has been strengthened, its does not mean that left-wing ideals are out of the picture. The reason why so few workers choose to vote is because of a lack of left-wing principals among French social democrats. Leftist voters hate right-wing people like Manuel Valls, who is a open supporter of former British prime minister and class traitor; Tony Blair. By installing Valls as prime minister of France, president Hollande has made another concession to capitalism. Since the Great Betrayal of 1982, French social democracy has never challenged the capitalist class again. Most workers choose to vote on the PS, to punish the UMP for its pro-capitalist politics back in 2012. But Hollande and his PS proofed to be no alternative. Like Mitterrand in the 1980’s, they capitulated before the threats of capitalism. After three years in power, the PS is seen as just another party of the bourgeoisie. The low voter turnout proofs this!
Revolutionary socialists call for a united front of socialist and revolutionary parties to oppose the UMP, the PS and the far-right National Front. Revolutionary movements and groups need to link up with the trade union movement and struggle for a socialist society. Leftist sectarianism, Stalinist dogmatism and the refusal of the parliamentary left-wing to fight for socialism, means that the far-right National Front, wins working class votes. If the French left-wing is not presenting a socialist alternative, then the FN can use leftist rhetoric to attract disillusioned workers. Today the nationalists call for protectionism and a strong social justice system for French workers. A very opportunistic path, since the FN used to be huge support of economic neoliberalism. To fight the social democrats and communists, the FN called for deregulations, privatizations and capitalist rule, this was in the 1980’s. Now 30 years later they have moved to leftist rhetoric, in order to win votes from the working class. A true wolf in sheep cloths!