On January 20th, the racist and misogynist billionaire is sworn in as the head of the world’s first greatest power. After his surprise election, the revolting real estate mogul seems to have gained the respect from other heads of States in the whole world, from finance tycoons, and… from the main presidential candidates in France.
“Anti-system” but ultra capitalist
Marine Le Pen presents herself as the French Trump. She congratulated the “protectionist” policy of her Donald after Ford promised to hire 700 workers in the US and Amazon 100,000. But workers here and in the US know too well what bosses’ promises are worth. Not only these potential investments do not guarantee job safety, but also the hires had been planned months before the elections. So this is just all smoke and mirrors. In truth, despite his image of a tough guy, Trump cannot force big business to do anything they do not want to. If a few companies are getting ready to bring some facilities back into the country, that’s because Trump will soon decrease corporate tax from 35% to 15%. He will turn the US into a tax haven for the rich.
The new American government staff represents well the social class it will serve: billionaires, big business, finance. 17 ministers own as much wealth as the 109 million poorest Americans! Trump’s chief of diplomacy was head of ExxonMobil, his Treasury secretary was head of Goldman Sachs, his Health minister was head of a pharmaceutical lobby and his Transportation minister is the daughter of a major ship-owner. No need to be a political scientist to understand that this government will only serve the rich! The supposed “anti-system” Trump is getting ready to govern for the status quo, like his predecessors, with an even more direct and aggressive style. A warning to those who think they can reverse the trend by voting for Le Pen.
After “anyone but Trump”, “all like Trump”?
All politicians, not just on the far right, have started to imitate Trump. It is trendy to appear tough. Fillon uses Thatcher as a reference and promises a “blitzkrieg” against the working class. Macron, who used to be a banker, pushes for a free-market “revolution”. Even the candidates for the boring Socialist Party primary, mostly men who all come out of the same mould and share responsibilities in Hollande’s balance sheet, propose hard-core policies such as reinstating border control, reinstating military service and hiring more police.
Melanchon also claims to be “protectionist” and recently said “I would happily negotiate with Trump” because “he would understand that I only look out for the interests of the French.” But which “French”? Rich or poor? Bosses or employees? Recall that workers, whatever their country, have no common interests with their exploiters. Borders have never protected from unemployment, but they kill everyday some of the poor people who try to cross them.
The workers’ power
Faced with a constant degradation of living standards, many workers want to bang their fist on the table. But make no mistake: the politicians who play tough to get our votes will be tough against the weak and soft with the powerful. To really change things we will have to show our strength. Any measure in our favour, about jobs, wages, public services, can only be extracted from the bosses, by threatening their profits. The only power that can do this is the collective force of the workers when they start fighting.
This is the view defended by Philippe Poutou, Ford worker and presidential candidate for the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA).