The following article was first published as the editorial of workplace bulletins distributed by members of Convergences Révolutionnaires, the monthly journal of the L’Etincelle (The Spark) faction active in France.

May 26, 2014

So the National Front (FN, the far right party) won the European elections, with 25% of the votes (barely 43% of the voters participated). Prime Minister Valls said the results were “shocking, devastating”. But he is responsible for promoting far right ideas, with his patriotic demagogy, his focus on safety and his anti-Roma policy. In this area Marine le Pen won and now she can claim that with the FN “the French people will be the first to be helped”.

But which French people will be first to be helped? The French bosses, who, in the name of “economic patriotism” – we’ve heard that slogan for weeks – should make more profits than other bosses, by exploiting even more their employees, French or not, in France or abroad!

The government left is responsible for the FN’s success

And Valls continues to follow the same line: he now wants to “strengthen French companies’ competitiveness” so “they can hire”. That means a few more billions to corporation, which will actually cut more jobs.

Valls boasts that he exempted three million people from tax income: not really, he just reversed one of the measures passed under Hollande’s previous government. He also boasts that he’s fighting tax fraud, as he got 800 million euros back from tax evaders. But that’s peanuts, as tax evasion in France is estimated at 800 billions yearly.

During the week preceding the election the government kept targeting the poor. There was another campaign against “social fraud”, allegedly fraud on welfare and family allowances. In fact this was about “overpayments”, such as payments made to single mothers that the administration then checked to see if they had been living with a partner…

But they forgot to say that more than half of the people with poor living conditions who should get welfare actually do not, because of the complexity of administrative formalities. This way the State has saved 5.3 billions euros on the back of the poor last year.

Marine le Pen’s only ambition: to reach the top

On Sunday night after the election, we saw the leaders of all parties on TV, crying about their own future. They said nothing about their anti-worker policies, past or present, which are the actual reasons they lost so badly.

What about Marine le Pen? Nothing either. Not one word about working class problems. She just asserted that the FN was “the first party in France” and demanded the dissolution of the national assembly, which would bring legislative elections. She clearly is aiming at the next presidential election. It’s all about her and her party, nothing for those who gave her their votes. Not even a hint of a program against the “parasites” and those who get “continual assistance”, that is, the French bosses who get billions from the State and keep cutting jobs. Marine le Pen never points her finger at them. But obviously, the people who got fooled by “national preference” and voted for the FN in fact voted for the French bosses and therefore against their own self-interests.

Only one brotherhood: mankind

The large number of people who abstained from voting clearly did not want to choose between the left, the right and the far right, all being anti-working class.

But this is not the time to give up. Workers have other weapons than the elections. We, workers, have to show that the power of the bosses, for whom Marine le Pen is currently at the forefront, does not have to be overwhelming. We have to find and give the desire to start fighting again, alongside our comrades all across Europe. Whether the fights start in Greece, Spain, Italy… or here, whether they start in one factory or another, by joining together these fights we will bring a stop to layoffs and low wages in Europe and in France. And if we have to dispose of capitalism in order to gain decent living and working conditions, that’s fine too!