At the Ballot Box, A Vote for Philippe Poutou Matters

Image credit: Damien Meyer | AFP

March 28, Editorial of the Workplace Newsletters of the Etincelle fraction of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA), Comrades of Speak Out Now, Translated from French

The first round of the presidential elections will take place on Sunday, April 10. Will our fate depend on the ballot box and the name that it spits out in the end? Certainly not. History is the history of class struggle, collective mobilizations, strikes, revolts, and revolutions. But what millions of workers and young people vote for, or refuse to vote for, whether it be out of disinterest or a rejection of the system, does matter — even if bourgeois democracy is a farce, and speech is monopolized by those who have the money and own newspapers and TV channels. Macron and all the right-wing and far-right candidates who copy him and follow him have gotten hundreds of hours of airtime, and today, thirteen days before the election, we are told that there will be a period of “equality” between candidates. The game is rigged! Workers’ democracy would be totally different, and we will have to impose it through our struggles. However, it is important for Philippe Poutou, the only worker candidate in this election, to gather as many votes as possible. The results could really provide an electric shock! And to the number of votes he gets we can add those that go to Nathalie Arthaud (candidate of Lutte Ouvriere/Workers’ Struggle). There are a thousand reasons to vote for Philippe Poutou.

A vote for Philippe Poutou is a vote for the expropriation of thieves.

Macron plans to push back the retirement age by three years, impose ten to fifteen hours of work on recipients of the meager RSA (a benefit paid to those who are not working), further reduce unemployment benefits, and force teachers to work more.

And we are witnessing soaring prices, including fuel prices but also those of all the basic necessities, while unemployment is not going down. And all this is happening while the CAC 40 companies (the biggest in France) reaped 160 billion euros in profits in 2021. Their managers and shareholders are among the dozens of billionaires in the country who have made their fortune by robbing our labor force. The state helps them with our tax dollars, at the expense of public services such as health, education, transportation, and housing.

These French oligarchs deserve to be expropriated so that the workers can finally decide themselves, democratically, what to produce, and for whom, where, and how — according to human need and in harmony with nature.

To vote for Philippe Poutou is to vote for workers’ solidarity and a world without borders.

For months, Éric Zemmour, Marine Le Pen, and Valérie Pécresse have been competing in a hateful and dishonest campaign against immigrants, while Macron and his government have been hunting down migrants who are not Ukrainians. This criminal policy has just led to a tragedy at the Valenciennes train station. Young people of Eritrean origin tried to get into a freight car: one of them was electrocuted by an electric arc, which triggered a fire in a train car filled with tires,… leaving one dead and several injured among the migrants. The railway workers were in a state of shock, and passengers were left to their own devices due to a lack of staffing. We must stop this racist barbarism.

To vote for Philippe Poutou is to vote for the overthrow of a war-mongering capitalist system.

While the population of Ukraine is trying to resist the bombs of the dictator Putin, the representatives of the great powers are discussing big money interests among themselves, gathering behind the American leader, Biden, and discussing their multinational corporations’ selfish calculations! To stay in Russia or to leave it? And these decisions are made on calculations of profit and loss, of gains on the sale of gas or weapons! And it is the workers and the poor of the planet – all of us – who are made to suffer, through shortages and inflation, as well as through the further militarization of society. All of a sudden, it has become palpable that imperialist rivalries could tip us into a third world war.

Voting for Philippe Poutou means that the workers and peoples of the world must urgently overthrow this system. They have the heart, the intelligence, and the strength of numbers.