The Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste enters the presidential campaign
Statement adopted by the NPA Presidential National Conference held 26-27 June 2021.
After 18 months of pandemic, it is obvious that the capitalist system is incapable of resolving the great problems of humanity; on the contrary, it is creating new ones. By using a strategy of shock therapy during this health crisis, the dominant classes are amplifying their offensive against the popular classes: job cuts and redundancies, restructuring, development of precarity and questioning of democratic freedoms. The race for the profits of a minority threatens the jobs and health of the majority of the world’s population, as well as the state of the planet and the future of humanity. It is high time to put an end to this unjust capitalist order and move towards a society that organises production and social relations according to social and ecological needs, whether it is called eco-socialist, communist or self-managed.
The health crisis is revealing on many levels, whether in the origin of the pandemic or the inability of the authorities to react, to halt the profit machine to the detriment of the health of the “front lines”" and the entire world of work. Private property has appeared on a large scale to be in contradiction with the defence of our lives, as illustrated by the maintenance of patents on vaccines. All levels of crisis — health, ecological, economic, social, democratic — combine to produce a grim balance sheet for capitalism. This cannot go on any longer! It is not only the NPA that says this, but millions of exploited and oppressed people who defend their most basic rights in different parts of the world.
Faced with a government on the offensive, there is social anger
Since the beginning of Macron’s term of office, social anger has not disappeared, quite the contrary! Neither the lockdowns nor the piling up of repressive laws have made the radicalism of the Gilets jaunes experience or that of the strike against pension reform in the winter of 2019-2020, the mobilizations of youth for the climate, against racism and sexism, disappear. Unemployment insurance, police violence, Islamophobic and racist offensives, authoritarian and liberticidal laws, policies that set the planet on fire: there has been no shortage of grounds for mobilization for a year for the revolt against the policy of the regime coming out of lockdown. Struggles are also developing in the field of the defence of rights: women in the #Metoo movement, LGBTI, especially around the bioethics bill, migrants and against police and racist violence.
The need to build an overall movement, a confrontation that can go all the way to the end in order to seize victories, is there. Because, in the absence of these social victories and the political prospects for emerging from this system, the worst winds are blowing. From the government to the Rassemblement national (RN), via the so-called “classic” right, the discourse on “Islamo-leftism” and separatism, the military op-eds, the demonstration by police officers joined by several political leaders in front of the National Assembly, all participate in the same dynamic. The rise of the right and the far right has deep social roots, which have developed in the breeding ground left by forty years of racist and anti-social policies. Extreme right-wing ideas are on the rise, both in society and within the state apparatus, particularly in the police and the army, and the authorities bear the primary responsibility for this.
Lack of alternative, threat from the far right
Surfing on the despair of the popular strata, the RN tries to divert anger towards a deadly, neoliberal, racist and identity-based project. The seizure of power by the far right is becoming conceivable, with all that this would entail in terms of dangers for democratic rights and freedoms, for everybody and for the organisations of the social movement. But fighting the far right does not mean remaking the “union of the left”, an electoral union between left-wing parties discredited by their past policies who would tomorrow be the loyal managers of capitalist interests.
Because on the left, far from facing this situation, the buttresses fall one after the other. From the PS to the PCF, via the possible EÉLV candidate, all the parties managing the system have gone astray by demonstrating alongside the rabid police officers and the far right.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon and LFI will not be our opponents in the presidential election, but they are the expression of a left-wing populism that refuses to fight for an end to this system. That is, attacking profits, private property, the power of the employers and the institutions. It has to be said that they do not represent an alternative for the camp of the exploited and the oppressed. LFI’s positions for the second round of the regional elections show in particular that it has not broken with the institutional left.
The recent regional and departmental elections are instructive. Tens of millions of workers, employees, young people and those in the popular layers did not vote. The ruling party, LREM, has a ceiling of 10% of voters. This testifies to the rejection of the anticipated confrontation between Macron and Le Pen next year, without the slightest popular and progressive alternative emerging. The RN, lower than announced, still appears as the main opponent of the “incumbents”, whether they are LR or PS.
It is in this situation that the sequence of the presidential election begins. This must be an opportunity to popularise part of our programme in order to restore confidence in an anti-capitalist and revolutionary project.
The absence of mass anti-capitalist political representation, the reactionary offensive and the retreat of social struggles, the rise of despair and the fear of a gloomy future are all factors that weigh on the situation. That is why a central axis of our campaign will be to build fronts against reactionary themes and to advance the need to fight inch by inch against the extreme right by building the broadest unitary mobilizations.
We want to promote the idea that those from below should burst onto the political scene, that the exploited and the oppressed should represent themselves, in order to put an end to capitalist exploitation, the ransacking of the planet and all oppression. This must be at the heart of our campaign.
A campaign that starts from the social, ecological and democratic emergencies
- Guaranteeing a life and a decent wage for all.
This means guaranteeing that living with dignity with an income throughout life, at least equal to a minimum wage of EUR 1,800 net, including when you are unemployed, studying, looking for a job or retired. Everyone must be able to have a job, meeting the needs of society and of the preservation of the planet. This requires a massive reduction in working hours, without an increase in working rhythms, in parallel with an increase in wages of EUR 400 per month for everyone. This division of labour between all is the only way to put an end to unemployment. It also means taking away the right of capitalists to decide on our lives, by banning redundancies. We also want to develop what makes life “beautiful”", the diversity of artistic and cultural expression.
- Controlling, socializing and extending common goods to resolve the social, health and ecological emergency.
We propose to strengthen existing public services and to create new ones. In the sectors of health, the pharmaceutical industry, education, energy or transport, the capitalists have engorged themselves, destroying the planet and our health. They must be expropriated, and the banks must be nationalised as a public monopoly. We are in favour of free transport and other services.
Productivism and the race for profits prevent production from being reorganised and threaten the planet. There is an urgent need to plan the reorganisation of the economy on an ecological and democratic basis. This is the only way to preserve all jobs while producing differently and preserving the planet.
- Putting an end to an authoritarian, racist and unequal regime
To control our anger, the government is increasingly strengthening the repressive and authoritarian means of the state and seeks to have us oppose each other: our enemies would be, according to them, immigrants, feminists, LGBTI and so on.
Our campaign will advocate the end of this imperialist republic of the rich and the bosses and of the presidentialism particularly embodied by Macron. The salary of elected representatives will be reduced to the median salary of the population and all elected representatives will be revocable during their term of office.
The police, infiltrated by the extreme right, maintain social order through violence and racism. We are opposed to police repression and demand the abolition of special repressive bodies (BAC, BRAV and so on).
Against the tide, in the face of the rise of racism and Islamophobia, we will be the only ones to defend international solidarity, with freedom of movement and settlement, with or without papers, and the right to vote for foreigners.
We will lead the battle against violence and for equal rights, for women and LGBTI. The health crisis has reminded us of the need to revalue the “front line” professions and to socialize “reproductive” tasks.
In this campaign, we have the will to rally together to change the balance of power, to build a counter-offensive, an overall mobilization of the world of work with mass strikes, demonstrations, revolts. Because there is no “supreme saviour”, we must unite ourselves to fight and defend our rights.
We defend the prospect of a break with capitalism: consciously building our struggles, our mobilizations to exercise our control over the organization of society, production, rebuild associations, unions and frameworks of self-organization. For a government of the world of work, as faithful to the interests of our camp as Macron and Le Pen are to those of the capitalists.
We will propose to those who identify our perspectives to join us without delay. The exploited and oppressed need a party for the revolutionary transformation of society, which should be much broader than the NPA, which is more implanted in the places of life, work and study. A tool to contribute to the overthrow of capitalism, towards an ecosocialist society, for the emancipation of humanity.
Philippe Poutou will defend the anti-capitalist and revolutionary colours
We present the candidacy of Philippe Poutou because he embodies the need to confront this system, to organize to do so, and to defend the prospect of a society free from exploitation and oppression. That is what we want to help contribute to the streets and to the ballot box.
He is not a professional politician. A worker who fought against Ford, one of those industrial groups who drive us to the edge of the abyss, dismissed after 10 years, he is somebody who will not back down and whose politics are opposed to the big employers, and who wants to get rid of Macron and all the politicians, right or left, in the service of the dominant classes. Through his militant, political and trade union activity, he also represents our desire to come together and take charge of our affairs.
Because we reject personalization, we want to conduct a collective campaign that shows a diversity of profiles of comrades from the struggles of recent years. Thus, alongside our candidate and the spokespersons of the NPA, we will form a collective of spokespersons for Philippe Poutou’s campaign.
Paris 27 June 2021