This article appears in the May 13, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
[Print version of this article]
Cheminade Rallies a New
Electoral Movement in France
April 29—Following the April 24th French presidential results that provoked massive discontent, all political forces in France launched their campaigns for the June elections of the National Assembly. Jacques Cheminade, President of the Solidarité et Progrès political party and long-time leader of the LaRouche movement in France, announced that his party will be running 12 candidates, in a joint effort with Republic Souveraine and possibly other forces, under the banner, “Reason of the People,” with the objective of having 75 candidates all together. The policy platform adopted with Republique Souveraine, includes State sovereignty in the creation of money creation, implementing strict Glass-Steagall banking separation, the defense of public services, and withdrawing from NATO’s integrated command. Cheminade’s aim is to give a name and a vision to the “popular bloc” that emerged in the presidential elections—which he was the first to envision, and which has since been confirmed by the well-known and very popular social geographer, Christophe Guilluy, in a Le Figaro article April 26. Here is Cheminade’s declaration released on April 27. It can be read in French here.
What is not said, is often much more important than what is being debated. This past presidential campaign was lacking two key things: the political sovereignty of the people and the fundamental interests of the nation. If we fail to take them into account, we will not be able to escape a time of uncertainty and institutional decomposition.
This appeared to be a grand victory for Emmanuel Macron, who won 58.54% of the votes cast. However, the raw numbers are misleading. The sum of abstentions, blank and null votes exceeds 34%. This means that the president was elected with only 38.5% of registered voters. Of his voters, nearly half voted for him out of rejection of the other candidate. He is in a way an Orléanist [referring to a 19th Century center-right faction] and a Versailles person, elected by the 65-and-older retirees, politically-correct college graduates in the big cities, and the fearful. His ideological positioning was much more “right wing” than in 2017, appealing to social climbers and people’s purses. There has to be a better social base which can be rallied to face the challenges of the 21st century. There has to be a better connection between the place where policy is made today, the big cities, and the rest of the country.
Listen To and Serve the People
Let’s imagine the alternative: the conjunction of popular electorates, of Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, one who addressed the working class of France and the other the middle classes, the suburban neighborhoods and the progressive intellectuals. This forms a bloc of discontented people, with converging interests. By ideology and personal ambition however, their leaders cannot agree. We will be told that their electorates can’t either, because of the weight of historical and ideological factors. Look instead at the vote, which was symptomatic, free from these boundaries and expressing more the situation of exploitation, exclusion, and dependence, in what we call today the DROM-COM, Greater France.
In the first round, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Mayotte and Réunion [all French overseas departments] voted more than 50% for Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The reversal of the second round is remarkable: everywhere Marine Le Pen came in first, with an abstention rate exceeding 60 or 70% of registered voters. Thus in Pointe-à-Pitre, 68.1% for Marine Le Pen and 65.3% abstention, and in Fort-de-France, 57.8% and 70.8%. People voted with the cry of “let’s refuse to choose” or “we have already had the plague, why not try the cholera.” There, the “Republican” front, a leftish political bloc, got less votes than the abstentions and nulls. In metropolitan France itself, approximately 41% of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s voters abstained or voted blank or null, and 17% for Marine Le Pen.
This is of course, a beginning. It is a rejection, and it is in part irrational. However, any human being who wants to fight for a better world must, despite his or her possible prejudices, listen to what the people want to say. Even honest Emmanuel Macron activists recognize this: “The campaign was hard; nothing was catching on.... we’re going to have to revisit it.” Clearly, that means dealing at home with what people say is urgent: health (71%), purchasing power (68%), security (60%), education (59%), terrorism (57%), and unemployment (49%). And to do this we have to establish, nationally and internationally, a new paradigm of mutual development against the financial oligarchy of the City and Wall Street, which put their power as primary before these subjects that the people want to prioritize.
We are living under the double threat of a generalized financial dislocation and a progression towards war through the chain of interests and alliances, much like the world experienced before 1914. We must stop this madly escalating locomotive of destruction by creating corridors of mutual development, leading to a new order of peace and stability, nationally and globally. France can and must be a catalyst and an inspiration, not a sleepwalker.