French Elections during a Ukrainian Frenzy before a possible Presidential Candidate
Mr. Hollande’s Holiday
The hammer came down on the Socialist Party (“SP”) of Francois Hollande on Sunday, depriving his party of many municipal governments, and the loss of thousands of jobs for Party supporters. It was a massive repudiation of a government that did little about unemployment, but raised regressive VAT taxes. A 38% abstention rate told the tale of a French electorate so disappointed that they stayed home. Most were working class and former Socialist voters. The bourgeois presses howled about the small gains made by the extreme rightist National Front (“NF”) as if this was the only story. The real message here is the complete bankruptcy of this Euro tendency of social-democracy, which volunteers to manage French capitalism for the majority, and actually manages it for the tiny minority. Just as the New Labour Party does in the UK, and the Socialist Party does in Spain and Greece.
The ‘far left,’ as they are dubbed in the press, still hold more municipal seats than Marie LePen’s NF, which controls 11 small towns now. The divided forces of the Communist Party (“PCF”), the Anti-Capitalist Party, the Green Party, the “Left Party” Lutte Ouvriere and others were the only electoral forces campaigning against capitalist austerity. While the NF makes that part of their appeal, they blame immigrants and welfare state policies for austerity instead of the capitalist class. The PCF actually divided the left by running on joint tickets at this particular juncture with the discredited SP in certain cities, and lost shares because of it.
Since 1914, when they voted to participate in the bloody nightmare of World War I, the SP social-democracy has failed the working class again. Their failures only embolden neo-fascism, as has become obvious across Europe, and now in France. It is clear a new socialist movement has to be reborn. Developments in the approaching Euro-elections promise the ‘far left’ more of a role, as candidates from Greece, Italy and France are poised to make large increases in the European parliament elections, reflecting widespread opposition to European capitalist austerity.
Hollande’s reaction to this defeat? Instead of understanding that it resulted from his coziness with capital, he nominated a more right-wing technocrat to be his new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. He’s a Blairite/Clintonite. Which goes to show the SP has no clue – its real lodestar is the needs of the system, not the working class.
The U.S. imperialists were quite upset that the tactic of ‘self-determination’ blew up in their faces, as Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation. The capitalists are always for national rights when it comes to bloodily decimating a country they oppose – can you say Yugoslavia? – but when it comes to them - Ireland, Quebec, Scotland, anywhere else – all of a sudden national self-determination is a bad idea. So the hypocritical and helpless rage over the ‘invasion’ of the Crimea is predictable. It was bloodless, it was an overwhelming majority and it drove them mad.
The hostility and war-mongering has reached from Republicans to Democrats to even most ‘progressives’ – who wouldn’t know a coup if it happened next door. It took them only a few days to line up like tin soldiers and vote whatever sanctions and monies were needed to support the EU/IMF/US coup. You think they work this fast in the interests of the U.S. working class? Here again we see the ostensible ‘enemies’ – the Democrats and Republicans – singing Kumbaya. Events like this expose the vicious chorus of ‘democratic’ imperialism that saturates the American polity. Really, these people would be laughable if they didn’t have so much money and so many guns. They are sort of the Lanisters of the world. The Game of Thrones continues and it’s not just a fiction story on HBO. You are playing your part, boys.
In the wake of the decimation of the Iraqi, Afghan, Libyan, Somalia, Sudanese, Malian and Syrian states by US 'anti-terror' policies, might there be a pattern here where U.S./ EU intervention leads to bloodshed and a failed, partitioned or crippled state? Might that even be the intention?
The neo-fascist-led Ukrainian coup is already blowing up in the Ukrainian working class’s face. The immediate vote of the new government to make the Russian language unofficial sent an ethnic message the neo-fascists and eastern Ukrainian oligarchs love. Ukrainian neo-fascist activity in western Ukraine has already resulted in the killings of Russian speakers there. The Ukrainian government will now have to institute austerity over Ukrainian workers, farmers and students in order to keep the EU bribe. Ukrainian workers are being forced to take sides on language and ethnic issues, and to replace class consciousness with nationalism. Nationalism is the last refuge of scoundrels and the drapery of fools, but it is capitalist policy world-wide. That is, as long as you allow the international imperialists into your little nation.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Bernie Sanders, that’s who. A member of the Socialist Party, and a Senator from Vermont, he is thinking of running for President against the Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton. While Sanders is of the same ostensibly socialist tendency as Francois Hollande, a good showing in the U.S. would mean something quite different than the poor showing of the French SP. That is because of the absolute ass-backwardness of American politics. His musings have set off a debate about the obvious role of the Democratic Party in squelching the left in the U.S. Adolph Reed, a supporter of the defunct Labor Party, took the Democrats to task in Harpers over this, while the left-liberals at Truthdig mulled it over too. Run, Bernie, run. Or at least - walk. He’s 72.
April 2, 2014