Yes, we can reduce popular support for identities!

Yes, we can reduce popular support for identities!

The good results of the NUPES reflect the effect of the electoral alliance and undoubtedly reflect a plateau in the erosion of the electoral weight of the currents eco-socialistsI use this unsatisfactory term for “radical ecological left” or for “supporters of the commons”. But a simple electoral agreement will not be able to reverse the trend.

The electoral situation can be summed up in a lasting division into three fundamental blocks

We therefore have three blocks: the liberal block, the “eco-socialist” or “supporters of the commons” block, and an identity block. The current of the conservative right is in the process of breaking up, torn between the attraction of the identity bloc and the liberal current, the political and ideological relay of capital, while the social democrats continue their centrifugal fragmentation between the liberal pole and that of the eco-socialists, (LFI, PCF and Greens) more consistent in their criticism of the abuses of the law of the market.

Ideologically, the ideas of solidarity, of collective struggle, of a minimum of internationalism, of concern for the future of the planet have lost ground and are only shared by a third of the population, even if the desire to retire fairly early to take advantage of it, to earn enough to live decently and to work while benefiting from a minimum of consideration and respect are very largely taken up.

The class vote exists but ignores this tripartition

On the other hand, we have seen a vote, or rather class votes, appear.

As for many polls the majority of the workers who voted did so for the FN/RN, (practically half), more than the total of all the components of the left. We saw during the presidential elections that the workers or employees who voted for the identity current perceived between the themes agitated by Eric Zemmour and by Marine Le Pen a sufficiently clear difference to return to Le Pen and send Zemmour back to marginality.[1]. As a result, the working classes first abstained (like all other social categories), then voted for Le Pen or Mélenchon, and very little for the other candidates. There is a class vote, it is divided between the radical right and the radical left.

This makes this question of the popular identity vote a decisive element in preventing the radical right from coming to power.

A special, exclusive responsibility weighs on eco-socialists and trade unionists

The eco-socialists (at the level of ideas and political activity), the trade union organizations which address themselves specifically to employees therefore have a key responsibility, to convince that the support for identity is, from the point of view of the interests of employees , radically counter-productive.

Three elements are therefore imperative and indispensable:

To address the popular strata, workers and employees, the unemployed who support the RN, we must hold a class, anti-liberal, anti-capitalist discourse. There is no longer any possibility or effectiveness of a discourse common to the entire republican arc. It is not a question of abandoning the fight for civil liberties and human rights, but of noting that on these grounds the “liberals” have been very authoritarian. But especially that we can not say anything with currents which oppose the RN by claiming as the spokespersons of the employers, that Marine Le Pen would be a quasi leftist.

In parliament, in all assemblies, elected RNs must be caught in the trap of their populist discourse on purchasing power. So when the NUPES or LFI fight for a text increasing the SMIC, it will be necessary to ask the question of the attitude of these elected officials, and to see whether the elected RNs have supported it or not.

Either they vote against and abstain from proposals to increase wages that contradict their rhetoric. Either they vote for them and, at the end of the legislature, they will only be able to claim in these areas the support given to initiatives coming from the left. It is essential to put these elected officials in such a dilemma whenever possible because the Zemmour episode showed that the class determinant is essential for their electorate.

The same tactic can be deployed on all issues of retirement, defense of public services, taxation … areas in which the RN has made an electoral health with speeches that do not coincide with its practice.

Finally, the trade union and association movement can demonstrate that the discrimination advocated by the RN divides, weakens the necessary balance of power. To allow racial and gender discrimination to play out is to weaken the French working class, just as introducing discrimination into parents’ associations always weakens parents’ demands vis-à-vis the school institution, their school. The conviction that we are stronger together will not be built in parliament, but in concrete activities, in the unionization of new layers of employees, of the staff of the small companies. It is also valid in neighborhoods where any mobilization on local objectives breaks down (or reduces) prejudices, because they make it possible to understand that fighting together is not a matter of charity, sympathy, kindness or internationalism but of simple necessity, efficiency.

The eco-socialist currents, of the radical left, trade unionists must act to bring into play the very strong contradictions that conceal the springs of popular support for the radical rights.

There is a dissonance between the basic ideological themes of liberalism which have become widespread in society, in particular among supporters of the RN, and the social demands of their popular base.

Understanding this must encourage us to fight for equality, a dignified life for all, even those who are not the first, and not only “equal opportunities” for the finalists of a 100m before the pistol shot giving the start.

It is to revalue solidarity, which benefits everyone and not to let the struggle of all against all choose who will be excluded.

It will be necessary to avoid attitudes of rejection inspired by fear: certainly, the trade union movement must refuse that anyone who takes advantage of union membership to advocate a policy of division, to plead the refusal to defend all workers. But we will have to unionize without fear employees influenced by the RN.

Directing this high proportion of employees who today support identity currents towards an understanding of class relations and a more effective practice for the defense of the working classes will constitute a formidable and essential task for those to whom the electoral results have given even a little hope.

Rene Monzat

[1] On this point, see the interview published in life of ideas The life of ideasand the emphasis of a class analysis in the review of the new right elements No. 196: Presidential: the class vote took place by Jérôme Sainte-Marie. Interview by François Bousquet and Pascal Eysseric, pp 30-33.

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Yes, we can reduce popular support for identities!

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