Mike Schwartz tiggertrot at
Wed Apr 24 07:15:55 MDT 2002

[ converted from html. Les]


My personal feeling about the Larouche group is that they're more of a cult
than a group with the potential to get a mass following. As far as La PEn is
concerned we have more than enough evidence to see that this is far from a
shift in the electorate towards facism. For example, his returns were barely up
from the last election and he barely even collected enough signatures to
qualify for the ballot. That in and of itself really tells us something. In
France it is difficult to qualify for the ballot UNLESS (forgive the caps :)
you have the type of mass support necessary to get the signatures of 500
mayors. The militants in LO and the LCR started driving around France many
months ago to get those signatures (I believe the LCR also had trouble
qualifying and only recently got the 500). La Pen had to resort to going and
national tv and basically plead his case "I'm being shut out of the electoral
process" as well as toning down his far-right rhetoric and just made the 500
wit! h about 2 weeks to go before the election. From what I read his getting on
the ballot was the opposite case of the extreme left whose militants had to
actually spend the time and do the leg work to get the signatures and was more
of a result of his appealing to the mayors for his democratic rights. Many
people in France (more from the middle class) were bored with this election, as
we see by the record low turnout (which would be record high in the U.S. :)
These people are Jospin's main base of support. Are we to believe that the
French political situation is so shaky that they can go from Paris electing
their first "socialist" mayor in 120 years to a move towards facism in one
year? If that's the case than it would seem that France is the middle of a
revolutionary situation. Personally I don't think that's the case. I you can
look at one organization, LO, which has been doing the hard work of building a
revolutionary party for over 50 years and see that it's starting to pay o!
ff. How's that? It seems that the militants in the CP are starting to be won
over to the trotskyist program of LO. As for La Pen, he's one of the few people
who was addressing the concerns of the layoffs and probably appealed to those
who were layed off with his rhetoric about leaving the EU. As for a facist
movement (mass movement of the middle class and unemployed) I don't see this in
France. I don't think we're facing a crises in France. I saw tens of thousands
demonstrate against La Pen today but where are his supporters? I have yet to
see one mass demonstration in favor of La Pen (which would be more concerning
than the people he convinces to pull a lever). I think that those of us who
realize that the working class has shed to much blood in its alliances with the
capitalists (for whatever reason) should oppose any attempt at convincing the
workers' to vote for Chirac. The list is long of those who took the support of
the workers against a threat from the right only to be! tray them later. The
power of the working class remains where it has always been, at the center of
the means of production, the point is to not roll over in the face of a facist
threat, the point is not to turn your support over to the right in the hope
that they will protect you. I hope everyone is doing well and apologize for any
confusion in the letter...I always rush these things out :)



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