[Marxism] French not fans of the capitalist system

Greg Dunkel gdunkel at mindspring.com
Tue Apr 4 21:12:46 MDT 2006


Having been to France a number of times, speaking some French and understanding enough to watch the French evening news, even without subtitles, I would like to make a few points.

The students, both high school and university, kicked off a struggle after de Villepin pushed a bill through parliament limiting young people's right to a job.  85% of all French workers (March Le Monde Diplomatique) have a legally enforceable right to their job.  They also have a constitutionally protected right to strike.

French workers were class-conscious enough to see that defending youth's right to a job was defending their own.

Now 14 left-wing parties attended a meeting at the PCF headquarters this past Sunday to plan their participation in today's demonstration.  The unions, both labor and student, had their own meeting.

According to the French television broadcast I saw tonight, the protest organizers are claiming 3.3 million people were out in the streets today -- a little over 5% of the French people and a bit more than last Tuesday, when organizers claimed 2.7 million.  

The government is adopting a policy of wait-them-out, what the French call usure.  The protesters are aware of this and seem to be pushing for upping the ante.

Another change between last week and this is that there was far more participation of the West African and North African communities from the suburbs in the main demonstration in Paris.

Now some list participants might be clucking and moaning about the leadership that the French Stalinists of the PCF, who appear to have a working alliance with the totskyist LCR, are exercising.  I think such cmrds who complain about the PCF's role should analyze the speeches coming out of their recent conference at the end of March and the statements of the French unions and the other left political parfties in France on the current struggle

I would much rather analyze what they do and how to explain the gains that French workers made under capitalism to the US working class.  

Coould say more but time for bed.

/greg





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