Huh?/Le Pen

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Apr 24 07:56:57 MDT 2002


> Johannes Schneider wrote:
>
> >I just saw him on French TV, giving a very combative statement. Saying Le
> Pen means the return of Vichy and stands for mass murder.
> Compared to him Arlette was very sober, basically blaming Jospin for his own
> defeat.<


Alex:
> After Le Pen, Us, eh comrade?  Trotsky must've looked like a raving, combative
> loon next to the "comparatively sober" German CP.


Johannes:
> >She mentioned realistically that LO and LCR >appeal to different voters.


Alex:
> Here in the U.S., this is one of the primary characteristics of a sectarian.



I would say LO's response is correctly sober.

Alex speaks as if France today is somehow comparable to the
crisis-ridden Weimar Republic of the 1930s and fascism is about to take
power.  This kind of apocalyptism simply makes the left look silly.

I think the fact that the LCR's response is more excitable and LO's more
sober reflects the fact that LO has real roots in the working class and
a result of this is a better understanding of social reality and the
real balance of forces.  The LCR's position probably reflects more the
hysteria of the liberal middle class at the Le Pen result.

At the same time, the Le Pen result does show the need for the
revolutionary left to really take up the issue of immigration and
campaign for workers' solidarity and open borders.  While LO has a
formally correct position on this, I would certainly like to see them
take a much more proactive approach in terms of campaigning on the issue.

Plus the energy that groups like the LCR and others on the far left have
put into campaigning for a tiny tax on financial and speculative
transactions - the ATTAC campaign - would perhaps be far more usefully
spent on taking up the much more vital issue of immigrants' rights.
After all, even the neo-nazis are against big banks and speculators, so
this minor-tax issue doesn't allow any class lines to be drawn and
doesn't help in any way clarify the key political issues - eg race and
immigration - which are politically decisive to building a revolutionary
workers movement in a First World/imperialist heartland like France.

Philip Ferguson



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