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Comments on the international significance of the presidential election in France.

The result of the first round of the French presidential race comes at the very moment we end up this bulletin. These elections don't interest only the French bourgeoisie. Their results have an international significance, or at least European, at the time many countries of this continent will live new elections at the regular term of the previous mandates - Germany in particular - and at the very moment other national bourgeoisies provoke anticipated elections - such as in Netherlands. It is this international significance we want to highlight.

Actually, new configurations of the political apparatus are dawning with these elections which will tend to reproduce in the months and years to come. It is actually almost sure that the Socialist Party's candidate, François Hollande, will be the next French President1. The other outstanding fact of this election is the rising of a "Left of the Left" - the Front de gauche [Left Front] with Melenchon at its head - whose vertebral column is being the old stalinist apparatus of the PCF [French Communist Party]. This two political parties (PS and Front de gauche) of the Left of capital, far for being opposed one another as they attempt to make appear, are actually the two sharp edges of the single and same arm that the bourgeoisie intends to utilize today against the proletariat.

So we have a Left of "government" which will lead a policy in which the State intervention, State capitalism, will grow and strengthen, a neo-Keynesian policy - it is the meaning of Hollande's willingness to re-negotiate the "Stability Pact" with Merkel and the German bourgeoisie "to introduce some growth". It matters to underline that this willingness for "introducing a constituent of growth" in the European policy in front of the crisis is making progress within the different ruling classes : at the very moment the Dutch bourgeoisie is provoking anticipated elections, it is interesting to note that its fractions, up to now aligned on the "drastic reduction of the deficits and the sovereign debts" policy put forwards by Germany, wish to introduce "more growth". No illusion within the bourgeoisie : it knows that a possible growth "due to credit" won't solve the crisis. It knows that capitalism's contradictions express in a crisis of generalized over-production. And no illusion for the proletarians : this possible "growth" won't bring them any relief in their sufferings, nor pauses of the attacks they suffer. The willingness to impose, at least in Europe, an economical policy with a "constituent of growth" corresponds amongst the clever fractions of the bourgeoisie to their consciousness of the need to develop a European war industry even more efficient and a European defence which really deserves this name.

And we have with the Front de gauche a Left "called to remain in the opposition", with a "social" language, indeed "revolutionary" and "classist" one, which doesn't want to be "governing" and whose aim is to control, to flank, and to derail, then to defeat, the inescapable workers struggles in front the crisis and the attacks that the "Socialist governments" will hurl at. As doesn't stop claiming Melenchon, "we are here to go on for long !" The existence of the same kind of party is not new in Europe and the Party of the Left in Germany, Die Linke, exists now since many years, actually since the drastic measures of the German bourgeoisie has taken against the working class during the government of the... Socialist Schröeder.

Actually, the national bourgeoisies must adapt their State apparatus, and in particular the political apparatus, to the new conditions that the economical crisis imposes. In their great majority, in particular in Europe, the bourgeois teams in power are government teams which were formed before 2008, before the "sub-primes" crisis. They are marked by the "neo-liberal free-market" ideology and theories in fashion in the 1980's. And yet the bankruptcy of "economical liberalism" handicaps seriously and deeply today these teams at the economical as well as political level. Actually, politicians, economists and other high-ranking officials or specialists who were brought up with the liberal free-market ideology, can certainly not apply from one day to another with the maximum effectiveness, it means from the point of view of the bourgeoisie of course, the new State measures and the more direct and massive intervention of the State, to conduct neo-keynesian policies...

These "economical" politics present a fundamental political goal : the indispensable preparation of the main imperialist powers for the generalized war. At that level, the European bourgeoisie must tackle to this task with decisiveness and determination. And then to adjust as efficient as possible the attacks against the working class since this one will have to pay not only for the present crisis but also for the war economy. This "economical" policy against the working class which won't prevent from massive proletarian reactions, must be accompanied, completed, by a device of Left forces speaking "in the name of the working class", leaning on the unions apparatus and whose objective is to control as much as possible these struggles, to make them derail from their aim and their class demands, to sabotage and to defeat them.

From this point of view, Hollande's election in France will certainly end up with the procrastinations and the hesitations of Sarkozy's "foreign" policy who, pro-American by "personal liking" if so we can say, had finally to submit to the requirements of the profound tendencies of the imperialist interests of the French bourgeoisie which inexorably drive it to remain linked and aligned with Germany. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that his figure is not enough reliable at that level and that the coming to power of a convinced pro-European will mark a supplementary step in the development and the affirmation of a more determined imperialist policy, in a more asserted European diplomacy and policy of defence, in international initiatives towards the "emerging powers", China, Latin-America, which raise against the United-States, in the questioning of the dollar as "the international reserve currency", etc...

In this preparation to war, the bourgeoisie needs the greater order and stability. The ability of the new government teams to control and defeat the workers struggles with the action of radical Left opposition forces is a central necessity which comes to strengthen even more the necessary coming of new political teams and new political men that are not hampered by the politics of the past. Because, besides the sabotage of the workers struggles, the ultra-chauvinist language of Melenchon and the PCF in the name of the "revolutionary ideal of the 1789 French revolution and of the 1871 Commune de Paris" will complete at the ideological level the dirty work done in the very struggles. There too, Hollande needs Melenchon, both reunited around the French tricolour flag ! Both aim at chaining the French proletariat to it. No doubt that the other bourgeoisie will find their equivalents within their own ranks. Is not already the case with Die Linke in Germany ?

Far from representing a decline of the attacks against the proletariat and even less a relief for this one, the adaptation of the political apparatus of the bourgeois States, included and above all with Left governments, means that the ruling class is preparing to bring even stronger attacks. Far from representing a lull of the classes struggle, the coming of these new apparatus marks at the contrary the increase and the escalation of the class contradictions. Far from meaning a slack period, the coming of new government teams accompanied with radical Left forces in the opposition, means the worsening of the bourgeoisie's offensive against the proletariat.

The FICL, April 22nd 2012

1.We don't take too much risks betting on his election in 15 days according to the polls. But in case it won't happen and Sarkozy would finally be re-elected, we don't think this would question the basic question of our stance. The last "arguments" of the latter's electoral campaign, in particular his willingness to reconsider the European Stability Pact in favour to a policy of more sustained economical growth, the withdrawal of the French troops from Afghanistan - just for mentioning only these two significant elements amongst others -, take up the orientations put forwards by Hollande. The difference will be that Hollande's new team would be less marked by the orientations and the politics of the past and thus more capable to lead it than Sarkozy whose neoliberal past and its continual zigzags and hesitations at the level of the international politics have sowed doubt about his ability as State leader within the French bourgeoisie.

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