French fascists gain

LE PEN’S extreme right Front National gained majorities in Toulon and Nice in the final round of the French municipal elections. The FN’s gains were made despite alliances between the mainstream bourgeois parties in other parts of the country, which included the withdrawal of the French Socialist Party (PSF) in some areas in order to give the parties of the ‘liberal’ right a better chance.

The reasons for the advance of the FN are not hard to see. The lack of any effective independent working class party, combined with mass unemployment and increasing poverty, is the most obvious. But an acceptance of French national chauvinism by the left, including the Communist Party (PCF), also fuels rightwing hate-mongering.

Neither the bourgeoisie in France nor its state is prepared to look to Le Pen as a way forward at the moment and in fact launched a huge propaganda campaign against him. There were, however, some overtures by the Gaullists for an understanding with the FN on a local basis.

The Socialist Party is using the FN as an excuse to get rid of the proportional representation system in order to weaken the PCF.

The fascist groups cannot be defeated by electoral manoeuvering. What is needed is a programme that destroys their basis, which is capitalism itself with all the horrors that it spawns.

The FN cannot be allowed to get away with pretending that it is the alternative to capitalism. Voting for the lesser of two evils to keep it out, whether that be the Gaullists or the Socialists, will do nothing to destroy the FN’s capitalist roots.

Workers in France need to build the left alternative that breaks completely from the chauvinism of all the mainstream parties. They can only do this by providing working class solutions.

John Bayliss