imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

A socialist strategy for workers’ power: the only answer to France’s “First Job Contract”

by WSWS Editorial board Wednesday, Apr. 05, 2006 at 12:20 PM

The month-long struggle against the Gaullist government’s “First Job Contract” has brought to the fore the fundamental class and political issues facing workers and young people not only in France, but across Europe and internationally. The needs of youth and workers—decent-paying and secure jobs, education, health care, a future without war or repression—are in irreconcilable conflict with the interests of a financial elite who represent a failed political and economic system. This oligarchy of wealth and power is determined to make the working class pay for the crisis of the capitalist system.

This is the real content of all the attempts to smear French youth and workers as modern-day Luddites who are opposing the inevitable consequences of economic “progress” and the realities of globalization. It is the subordination of social needs to the accumulation of profit and the personal wealth of the rich, not the global integration of economic life, which underlies the assault on the basic needs of the working class.

In signing the “First Job Contract” (CPE) law, which allows employers to fire young workers without cause, French President Jacques Chirac has acted in behalf of the ruling class not only of France, but internationally. Over the past week it has emerged, for example, that the Christian Democratic-Social Democratic government in Germany is preparing a virtually identical measure.

Chirac’s action, in the face of mass protests and strikes and opinion polls confirming the opposition of the vast majority of the French people, marks a turning point in class relations. The European bourgeoisie, taking its lead from its American counterpart, intends to destroy all of the social gains achieved by the working class in the course of a century of struggle. It will not be deterred by the democratic will of the people.

With consummate cynicism, Chirac sought, in his televised address, to portray his decision as an affirmation of democratic processes. A law, rushed through parliament after debate had been suppressed, championed by the employers’ association and opposed by the overwhelming majority of the population, is declared the embodiment of democracy!

The popular movement against the CPE has exposed the falsity of any perspective based on pressuring the government to reverse itself, and posed point blank the need to bring the government down and replace it with a government genuinely controlled by the working class and committed to a program that defends its interests. The underlying issue—the struggle for workers’ power and the socialist reorganization of society—is emerging ever more directly.

The return of the official “left” parties—the Socialist Party and the Communist Party—to government would not halt the attacks on the working class and youth. The record of austerity measures and social cuts of the Plural Left government of then-Socialist Party leader Lionel Jospin, which was voted into office in the aftermath of the mass strike movement of 1995, confirms that the policies of a new Socialist Party-Communist Party government would not in any significant way differ from those of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and President Chirac.

The development of the struggle has posed starkly the need to build a new, revolutionary leadership in the working class completely independent of the old bureaucratic organizations—the trade unions, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party. The latter, far from spearheading the struggle against the CPE and the Gaullist regime, are once again—as in the 1930s, 1968, 1995 and 2003—working to contain the mass movement, channel it behind one or another section of the ruling elite, and lead it to defeat.

Neither the unions, nor the official “left” parties are calling, in the aftermath of Chirac’s decision, for the bringing down of his government. They are raising no such demands on the April 4 day of action, and are ignoring the call issued Sunday by the National Students Coordinating Committee for an unlimited general strike and for youth to appeal directly to workers in their factories and offices.

Once again, as on the March 28 mobilization, the unions are deliberately limiting strike action so as to allow most public transport to continue.

Chirac is well aware that the mass opposition has exposed the weakness and isolation of his government and the entire political establishment—hence his offer of “concessions” on the terms of the CPE and his call for negotiations with the unions. The content of this maneuver is to turn even more directly to the unions, the official “left” parties, and their “far left” assistants, the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR) and Lutte Ovrière (LO), to contain, demoralize and dissipate the resistance.

These parties played a critical role in reelecting Chirac and enabling his Movement for a Popular Majority (UMP) to obtain its present majority in the National Assembly. In 2002, following the defeat of Jospin in the first round of the presidential election at the hands of the neo-fascist National Front candidate Jean Marie Le Pen, these “lefts” called for a vote for Chirac, portraying this veteran right-wing politician as the savior of the “Republic.” They share political responsibility for his reactionary policies.

Such is the logic of the cowardice and prostration of the official “left” parties and the unions that they now find themselves giving political credibility to Nicolas Sarkozy, the representative of the most right-wing section of the Gaullist UMP. Sarkozy, the chairman of the UMP and minister of the interior, is planning to oppose Villepin in next year’s presidential election. He has sought to position himself to benefit from the popular anger against Villepin by criticizing the prime minister for failing to negotiate with the unions, even as he declares his support for the CPE.

Sarkozy, who is bidding for support from racists and fascists within the Le Pen camp, has continued to denounce immigrant youth while overseeing the police violence and provocation against demonstrators, already resulting in close to 2,000 arrests. He is now employing the police to break up occupations by high school youth.

Following Chirac’s speech, Sarkozy seized the initiative to propose talks with the trade unions and student federations. On Sunday he called the secretary general of the CFDT (French Democratic Confederation of Labor), François Chérèque, and the chairman of the UNEF student organization, Bruno Julliard, both of whom are allied with the Socialist Party. The two declared their readiness to hold talks with Sarkozy.

These developments underscore the fact that militancy by itself cannot solve the political tasks that confront the movement. There is no way round the building of a new party based on a revolutionary socialist and internationalist program.

At the heart of this program is the international unity of the working class. In the epoch of capitalist globalization, none of the questions which have emerged in connection with the CPE can be resolved within the borders of the French nation state. Nor can there be a return to the social reformist policies of the 1960s and 1970s.

Today the working class in France and all over the world is confronted with transnational corporations that continually downsize and shift jobs from the advanced industrial nations to poorer regions where labor is cheaper.

The struggle against the global attack on workers’ rights and living standards requires the development of an international mass movement of the working class based on a socialist perspective. Such a movement must unite workers of all nationalities, races and religions and support the right of workers to live and work in any country they choose, with full and equal legal rights.

It must indefatigably defend democratic and social rights and oppose imperialist war, calling for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

It must champion the placing of the major financial, industrial and commercial enterprises under democratic and public ownership, so that economic life is no longer subordinated to the accumulation of corporate profit and personal wealth, but rather is organized on an international and rational basis to eliminate poverty and provide secure employment and decent living standards for all.

The working class of Europe must unite against the capitalist policies of the European Union on the basis of its own program: the Socialist United States of Europe.

The World Socialist Web Site is the central instrument for the building of an international socialist movement of the working class. The WSWS is the internet publication of the International Committee the Fourth International, which for decades has defended Marxism and the heritage of the Trotskyist movement. We invite all young people and workers to read the WSWS and join in the building of sections of the International Committee in France and throughout Europe.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy