People were shocked recently when French President Francois Hollande, head of the Socialist Party, forced legislation through that would make it easier for bosses to lay people off, make them work longer hours, cut their pay and cut into some of their special leaves — such as maternity leave. Click here for BBC version. Protests were very large. I read that 70% of the people were against the new labor rules. But they passed!
How could that be?
The simple answer is that Hollande is a SINO — Socialist in Name Only. But simple name calling doesn’t really provide any answers. Undoubtedly, France is a capitalist nation with a president who calls himself a socialist and leads a party that calls itself socialist. They got elected, but they didn’t overcome the bosses and, probably, never intended to.
As long as the bosses are in power, workers will never win any permanent gains. Everything we can win, even the 35-hour week that they enjoy(ed) in France, can still be taken away.
France is a capitalist nation and subject to the same economic laws that govern all the capitalist nations. All of them function in competition with one another. When the competition gets rough, as it is worldwide right now, the employers turn like vicious cannibals against their own people in order to drive down costs. Most costs are labor costs, so capitalist governments, including ours, are in the process of competing with one another by chopping away our standards of living.
Even nations that actually have overcome the employers have to compete with other nations within a world capitalist system. Did the Soviet workers ever win a 35-hour week? I don’t think so.
It doesn’t matter much what the government calls itself as long as it is still capitalist and still operating under the capitalist rules.