Political lessons from the 2022 French presidential election

Emmanuel Macron’s re-election against neo-fascist candidate Marine Le Pen did not solve any of the political questions the election posed to workers and youth. This will not stop the growing danger of a far-right dictatorship. But this will not stop the working class moving to the left and entering into the struggle either.

As an indication of the development of French capitalism, the vote for neo-fascist Marine Le Pen, with 42 percent of the vote in the second round, has much more weight than the “liberal” label of re-elected President Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen has the largest far-right tally in French history, increasing its share of the vote by 9 percent since 2017. If she achieves the same performance during Macron’s second term, Le Pen will be elected in 2027.

But above all, Macron relies for the final analysis on the same far-right forces in the banks and police apparatus as Le Pen. Macron, the first president to applaud cooperative dictator Philippe Petain when he fired police against the “yellow vests”, appointed Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, a sympathizer of French Bétain labor, for the enactment of an “anti-separatist” law targeting Islam.

In his second term, which has put him under the label of brutal austerity, Macron will thus continue to nurture nationalism and the far right. The Elysee announces via the media that it will increase the retirement age by three years, force work on RSA recipients, and halt unemployment insurance without playing the usual comedy of consulting with union bureaucrats. Newspapers wrote that the police would attack the May Day processions. The police governors read the original copy of the directives issued by the Elysee.

This gives reason for the appeal to workers by the Socialist Equality Party (PES), the French section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), to boycott the second round. PES insisted that the irreconcilable rejection of both Macron and Le Pen and the mobilization of workers to reject fraudulent elections between two far-right candidates would better prepare them for struggles against the next president, be it Macron or Le Pen. Indeed, Macron is now preparing to attack the workers.

The aim of the PES call was to introduce an active policy to tens of millions of workers in France who hate both Macron and Le Pen. In this sense, we can note that 3 million voters went on April 24 to vote blank or null.

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