Photo: Gauche Revolutionnaire
Photo: Gauche Revolutionnaire

Editorial of Égalite (newspaper of Gauche Révolutionnaire – CWI France)

Despite the mass strike and June’s explosive revolt, French president Emmanuel Macron is continuing to roll out his programme. The substance has not changed: attacking the living conditions of the majority of the population to allow the top bosses and big shareholders to reap maximum profits in this context of global crisis.

After ramming through the pension reform with all the brutality and repression possible, from forcing through of legislation with the 49.3 articles in parliament, to CRS police attacks on demonstrators – he is continuing.

The break-up of public services that leads to so much social inequality goes on. Insecurity for all workers is reinforced by the ‘France Travail’ legislation (a huge attack on the unemployed, and by extension all workers). Public budgets are to be cut by a further €10 billion, particularly affecting housing and employment, while insecurity in those two areas has soared since Covid. Education is once again under attack, especially at the expense of the children of workers, who Macron wants to “bring into contact” with companies “from year eight”, so if you’re the child of a worker? Go to be exploited at the age of 12!

And that’s not all: companies that aren’t making enough profit for their liking are planning thousands of job cuts, such as in retail. While we’re struggling, the stock market has risen by more than 11% since the beginning of 2023. It’s those people, the big shareholders, the top bosses, who are plundering the wealth produced by workers, but from which we never benefit, while asking us to make “sacrifices”!

Anger at an entire political programme

These policies are strongly rejected by a majority of the population. Macron and his government may appear to be in control, but it has been extremely weakened by the powerful movement on pensions: almost five months of mass struggle with five million people involved. The revolt that exploded in neighbourhoods following the murder of young Nahel at just 17 years of age, also expresses the rejection of this society that promises young people nothing but hardship and police harassment, especially if they come from the suburbs and are of immigrant origin (real or assumed).

It’s no coincidence either. For years, Macron, Valls, Sarkozy and others before them, have been treating young people, trade unionists and demonstrators, with the most ferocious violence. To attempt to divide us, they encourage racism with propaganda and anti-immigrant laws.

Tackle the root of the problem

This anger will have to be unified and organised to target the real root of the problems. As long as capitalism is in place, there will be exploitation and misery, and governments will use racism to divide young people and workers, and repression to prevent us from fighting back. That’s why we need to organise against capitalism.

The capitalists dominate the institutions, they have their parties and their media. We too need to get together and organise. We need a fighting party to organise ourselves in the neighbourhoods and in the companies, to lead joint struggles against the government, for pay rises, for jobs. But also to fight in the trade unions, and prepare a mass strike against all the government’s policies.

A new party bringing together young people and workers would make it possible to fight for socialism, the only real alternative to capitalism. Because to satisfy social need, it’s necessary to have an economy that is rid of the law of profit, democratically organised by workers to satisfy the needs of all. By nationalising industry and the banks, transport and distribution, under the democratic control and management of workers, it would be possible to begin to eradicate the misery, unemployment, racism and sexism that capitalism brings.