One movement isn't the same as the others

26 August 2018

One movement isn't the same as the others

Movements are arising in the European Union. Macron has his ‘En Marche’, which he wants to see also established at the European level. There's a movement of 'progressive youth', Volt, aimed at a European superstate. And then there's Jean-Luc  Mélenchon's 'La France Insoumise’ (LFI), which he also wants to broaden into a European movement, 'Now, the People’. Three movements, each completely different from the other, but if it's justice for all that moves you, it's only the latter, Mélenchon's, which is of any real interest.

In reality the shine came off Macron some time ago, and he has recently had to cope with corruption scandals, with his right hand man accused of conflicts of interest. En Marche lacked, in addition, a clear goal: neither left nor right, but simply 'new'. Look at France's national politics, and he's the president for the rich, one of his first acts being the abolition of the country's billionaire tax. Beyond that it's been a matter of sacred respect for the market, and destruction of social rights. As for what Macron and his 'movement' are going to do, when it comes to justice for all, we can expect nothing.

Volt has now gained a foothold in the Netherlands, but to date all these 'progressive' young people have been able to agree on is that only the EU can meet the challenges of our times – all very superficial. They completely ignore the fact that the EU has so far been good only for the elites who run the multinationals and the European Union's own institutions, with their gilt-edged financial regulations. Not a word about the impoverishment of whole swathes of southern Europe, not a word on the dehumanisation of the economy, where only the interests of the shareholders count for anything. And not a word on the absence of hope in so many eastern European member states, where authoritarian leaders are seizing power.  From Volt, when it comes to justice for all, we can expect nothing.  

Mélenchon's movement is different. For LFI and its European offshoot, the interests of the 90% are paramount. ‘Now, the People’ demonstrates that fundamentalist market-think has ruined many people's lives, and that the euro, with all the neoliberal diktats that flow from it, plays an important role in this. LFI wants to see a sovereign France that certainly cooperates with other member states, but which has no use for the crude EU policy which gives power not to ordinary people but to the multinationals. We in the SP base our thought in the neighbourhoods, on what is close to the people, and it is from that that we develop actions aimed at justice. Only in the last instance do we look into how European cooperation can be of help to the 90%. This isn't a matter of being ‘En Marche’ to the unknown, nor a wishy-washy ‘Volt’, it's a revolt in the direction of a Europe in which the people have power: ‘Now, the People’.

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