The French left need to stop trying to resist the progress of society and nation

After the primaries of the left drew less than 2 million people in the first round, Jacques Sapir draws a parallel between the current decline of the Socialist party and the collapse of the French section of the Working international (SFIO) in the 1960-ies.


The first round of the primaries of the Socialist party only confirmed the prevailing over the past weeks thought: the only winners will be only those who did not participate in them, whether it’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Jean-Luc Mélenchon), who criticized the strategy now got confirmation or Emmanuel macron (Emmanuel Macron). In addition, the last vote was a confirmation of the decline of the socialist party, which is reminiscent of the position of the SFIO in the late 1950s and 1960s. SFIO, the predecessor of the current Socialist party, largely discredited and dishonored himself approach to the war in Algeria. She agreed not to participate in the presidential elections of 1965, and in 1965 its candidate Differ Gaston (Gaston Defferre), which was to provide “a government of the left”, has gained only 5% of the vote. Therefore, it is worth emphasizing the main conclusions that can be drawn from the past January 22 vote.

The turnout apparently was very low. Here care should be taken because the Supreme control of the primaries no longer provides information about this with 22:43 on Sunday when it reported 1,337 million voters in 80% of the plots. By 10:00 on 23 January from the organization’s website disappeared a count of the turnout, and any new information she gives. It is not without reason allows us to say that the socialist party tried to screw us a statement about the figure of “almost 2 million” at 20:40 on Sunday. In any case, the result of 1.5-1.7 million would be a slap in the face for the organizers. Recall that in 2011, the primaries of the left participated 2.7 million voters, whereas in the last primaries of the right-wing came to 4.3 million people.

These primaries Manuel Valls (Manuel Valls), who for many years served as Prime Minister and was the only one who defended the work of the government and President Hollande received a symbolic slap in the face, 5% behind Benoit Amon (Benoît Hamon). A total of 31% of the votes showed the Waltz as much to undermine the credibility. His promise to repeal article 49-3, which he himself was actively used, and without the slightest hesitation, definitely played against him. Waltz tried on the image of guy Mollet (Guy Mollet), and bears a considerable share of responsibility for the current decline of the socialist party. It is not known whether he will be able to reverse the trend for the second round, where much will depend on turnout. But the shattered trust is an obvious fact that now nothing can be done.

Surprise, for lack of a better, was the success of Benoit Amon and the failure of the Arno Montemuro (Arnaud Montebourg): he pays (with interest) for the fog and error in the campaign. To unite the left socialist party on the ruins of the Foundation Terra Nova, which is largely responsible for its decline, was an impossible task. Mistakes on issues of sovereignty alienated him from many voters that would support it in 2011. At the same time, the success of Benoit Amon may be due to a dynamic campaign and, probably more importantly, covert support of course Martine Aubry (Martine Aubry), who wants to get even with Valls and Hollande for all the insults that she had to endure. Anyway, the program Amon still is a dull rehash of the old socialist rhetoric, without a much-needed change of course, as the EU and the Euro. His proposal for “universal income” also deserves harsh criticism.

The coverage of these primaries in the major media once again demonstrated the scale of the ideological prejudices and short-sightedness of political observers. The opposition left-wing “realists” headed by Manuel Valls and the left “utopians” Benoit Amon — ugly caricature. She may have only one goal — to provide support to Emmanuel Macron. This position can be understood, but should be presented as such, and not smuggle in normative judgments about others. In fact, the program of the Waltz, not a drop of realism: it offers the same path that led to a sharp increase in unemployment from 2013 to 2016 and increased the budget deficit. The manipulation of transfer costs on the budgets of 2017 and 2018 too obvious. As for Benoit Amon, the problem is not so much “unrealistic” universal income as in the contradiction between the offer of the other policy and silence about the departure from the rigid framework of the EU, which implies a rejection of the Euro and signed in recent years agreements. Arguments about the desire to change the EU from within is actually empty, which promises only a future surrender.

As we have noted, the primaries left two winners. Emmanuel macron has received argument in favor of the strategic decision not to participate in them. He sees confirmation that his project (let’s not talk about the program because it had not yet) seems attractive part of the electorate of the socialist party. But in fact, he’s a candidate for large companies, banks and globalized elite. Jean-Luc Mélenchon also sees a plus in its strategy. His opinion is that the primaries become ideological and political trap, to be correct among the left to the reconciliation went even his arch-enemy Pierre Laurent (Pierre Laurent) from the Communist party. He can count on voices of those voters who followed the Arno Montemuro, but for obvious reasons won’t support Benoit Amon or Manuel Valls.

In General, these primaries confirm the decline of the Socialist party. Whatever it was, from the 1950s years the current situation is distinguished by the rise of populism in response to the crisis of liberal democracies. Populism — a response to the increasing part of the population, especially the “young” (18-35 years old) in France for the disaster of neoliberalism and globalization. This is what has undermined social democratic idea in different countries, including France. Now this trend is shown a embodiment of the polling stations and could result in the first round of presidential elections to the almost complete disappearance of the socialist party. The left can stand up only if we accept this populist wave and will cease to build the illusory barriers between the progress of society and nation.