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European elections and dissolution: the fire of crisis consumes French bourgeois democracy

Much has been made in the Australian capitalist media of the “swing to the right” in the French elections to the European Parliament.  They concentrate on the votes won by RN, the right wing National Rally, but not on the staggering rejection of the parliamentary charade as witnessed by the number of abstentions from voting. We reprint this translation from the website of La Cause Du Peuple in the interest of a better understanding of French and European sentiment -eds.

European elections and dissolution: the fire of crisis consumes French bourgeois democracy
June 10

The ‘European elections’ circus has played out its final act in France. The results are clear: like all the elections since Macron took over the presidency, the rejection of the electoral system (abstention, blank votes, invalid votes) is the big winner with 25 million votes. This is the historical tendency of the broadest and deepest masses in France: to reject the bourgeois state, its government, its system. That is the main lesson.

Bourgeois commentators dwell on the ‘historic turnout over the last 30 years’. They consciously forget that the European elections in France in 2019, 2014 and the 2000s had a ‘European’ character, i.e. the bourgeoisie incited the masses to go and vote in relation to the ‘European parliament’, this powerless instrument where 705 actors (MEPs) play tasteless parts for the benefit of the struggle and collusion between the imperialist powers of Europe and all the monopolies and their lobbies.

2024 was different: after the election of 2022 and the great year of revolt of 2023, in a situation of economic, social and political crisis, the European elections were used by the bourgeois parties, led by the RN and the presidential party, as a rehearsal for the confrontations to come at national level. That's why Prime Minister Attal debated with the RN. That's why Jordan Bardella, who received 7.7 million votes (15% of the electorate), i.e. 1 million less than Le Pen in 2022, immediately called for the dissolution of the National Assembly.

The results speak for themselves: the RN's victory means that its electoral base voted. It's not a meteoric rise. Bardella's popularity is only high because all the parties around him have collapsed. Macron's party has lost 1.5 million voters compared to 2019.

In 2017, Macron opened a period of political crisis in the French bourgeoisie by consolidating a new bourgeois party on the smoking ruins of the PS (Socialist Party - eds.). In his first five years, through his prime minister Édouard Philippe, he managed to bring LR (Les Republicaines-eds) to its knees. He took the king's share of the spoils and became the ideal standard-bearer for the French imperialist bourgeoisie. In 2022, alone against Le Pen, he was re-elected. Today, he is declaring the dissolution of the National Assembly.

The bourgeoisie as a class fights in parliamentary fractions: the interests of French imperialism are defended in common by the presidential party and the RN. These are two parties of the bourgeoisie. There isn't a fireman on one side and an arsonist on the other: they are both arsonists in the service of a reactionary state.

The bourgeois media and politicians are hungover today: how could Macron dissolve the government? What for? According to them, there is nothing logical about it. For the most Machiavellian, it would be a ‘political stunt’, a ‘risky gamble’. For the naive, Macron has simply ‘put the ball back in the people's court’ after the ‘shock’ of the European elections... which shocked nobody because the polls had said it all before the ballot box!

They ignore the reality of the class struggle in France and the process of reactionarisation of the bourgeois state. The bourgeoisie wants to stave off the crisis at all costs, and is prepared to accept any recomposition, any party in power, any regime, in order to maintain itself as the dominant class in the face of its inevitable decline and overthrow by the proletariat.

So to claim that Macron dissolved the National Assembly, one of the exceptional powers of the French president, ‘lightly’, is an outright lie. The only people who sincerely believe it are the outgoing MPs, from both left and right, who are slapping their legs and blinded by the loss of their privileges.

Le Monde revealed on 10 June that a cell had been working at the Élysée for several months on the dissolution. So it was a prepared plan. In France, the President, even with a minority in the Assembly, retains immense power. That's what the French bourgeoisie decided when it chose De Gaulle in the last century. Macron has thrown out the projects of the end of the five years (such as the thawing of the electorate in Kanaky (New Caledonia), which led to the great revolt of recent weeks, but also the end of life or the plans to reform unemployment) to get to the bottom of the crisis.

The early parliamentary elections he has called are not a campaign: with 20 days to prepare them, he is taking everyone by surprise, even the RN, which was calling for them in its speeches. It's a real electoral farce, pure and simple. After 2 years of circus in the Assembly, where the masses were able to understand what ‘parliamentary cretinism’ actually meant, dissolving it is no loss for Macron. If he wins the election with a coalition, he closes a period of recomposition and opposition and can prepare for 2027, which is the real next deadline. If he loses and the RN gets into government, it will move forward with the same reactionary plans, only more assertive, and it too will fail to avert the crisis: just as Meloni is failing at the moment in Italy. Reactionarisation will progress and the French imperialist bourgeoisie will contemplate, as it already does, its possibilities of stripping bourgeois democracy of its trappings during a crisis of regime.

As for the trumpets and bugles of the Left, they are miserable. They think that an opportunistic, unprincipled electoral alliance will bring the broad masses, the 25 million who have turned their backs on the bourgeois chambers and the polling booths, to vote for them. They want to make these ‘disappointed’ and ‘disinterested’ people feel guilty en masse. It's all a waste. In the decomposition of imperialism in which we live, the proletariat has only one policy: boycott the elections, prepare seriously for revolution.