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We believe that the only valid form of left-wing politics, that which achieves increases in salaries, social gains and the creation of jobs, must support the independence and the raising of the standards of living of 'Third World' countries, so that the defence of the oppressed classes of Europe is seen as necessarily involving the defence of the oppressed classes of 'Third World' countries.


It is impossible to fight against job losses by trying to reconcile the interests of the bosses (the maintenance of a strong economy and the defence of the currency) with those of the oppressed classes, employees, workers... (the fight against redundancies, the raising of salaries and the defence of social gains).

The politics of power is present in capitalist management. Politics based on the managing of the correlation of forces can only contemplate the defence of oppressed classes in France, since it works in a purely national framework, and turns its back on the defence of the oppressed classes in the 'Third World' (a term which refers to the 'Non-Aligned countries').

Today, "left-wing" politics attempt to fight job losses by attempting to create employment through a reduction of the working week, by fighting for higher salaries and for social gains, a trade union consciousness which restricts itself to putting pressure on companies, The response by these companies to this pressure is, as we all know, to uproot and move on to another country. Thus all that is achieved is an ever greater loss of jobs, the converse of what one hoped to achieve. Neither can the "left" take over the politics of the right - as it has done in the past - ie lower salaries, cut back on social provisions, etc, with the aim of keeping industries in France.

Left-wing politics does not mean trying to combine the interests of the ruling classes with those of the oppressed classes, within France's national borders, it means having the courage to fight on a world scale, where capitalists fight and unite amongst themselves.

We are no longer in that epoch when even financial advantages did not make it easy for companies to relocate, since they were still relatively nationalistic. Nowadays it matters nothing to them whether they earn their money in France, England, Italy, Bangkok or Hong Kong. From the moment they realise there are more profits to be made in Hong Kong, they do not waver one instant.

But the problem of these relocations is that they do not benefit the countries they end up in. Businesses only go there to take advantage of low salaries and the lack of social provisions. They do not create wealth for the country, nor do their actions serve to stimulate local development.

We can illustrate this by referring to the example of the companies that exploit Indian children, working 12 hours a day in the production of footballs and golf balls to be sold in England, and the only link between India and England is precisely that, a worsening of living standards, the exploitation of children and the absence of any profits for the country itself. It is a catastrophe for the countries of the 'Third World'.

We therefore believe it is necessary to foster not only social pressure for a rise in salaries, but also political pressure aimed at improving social conditions in France and at the same time promoting the real independence and development of these 'Third world' countries. This means favouring the creation of firms (with men who are from the countries in question) whose production is only for local production and would therefore create openings, salaries and a system of local consumption that would raise living standards in "Third World" countries. Thus companies would not relocate in order to exploit lower salaries in these countries.

There are many ways of increasing living standards in the "Third world" countries, such as co-operation, but one of the most important solutions is a policy which seeks to substitute imports.

Solutions involving co-operation will need to be stood on their end, and a new form of co-operation introduced whereby people will be employed in their own countries and paid salaries which are comparable with those in France. This will also have a knock-on effect because these people will not import Western goods but will consume local products. This will permit the re-launching of craft industries, and lead to a set of activities which creates a process of enrichment and of job creation.

One of the most important solutions is to create businesses by putting trading networks (for example Magreb/ Western Africa) in contact with networks within these countries, which possess their own body of technical knowledge. A policy of substituting importation by 'Third World' countries with a form of production that would not be a mere copy of existing production but would adapt to local needs. This production could be achieved using inexpensive equipment in order to put a brake on the growth of the debt burden. It is possible to buy useful old machinery in France which is being sold for scrap, repair it, and adapt it to meet international standards and to make it safe to work with. The cost of this investment is very low. Once one has installed multi-purpose tools and machinery one obviates the need to import expensive spare parts whenever there is a breakdown. One can arrive at a non-capitalist industrial structure that is internally complementary, with exchange taking place between companies. Financial and technical independence is sought by enabling the local maintenance of machinery, and this permits the independence of the oppressed classes of the "Third World", insofar as they now control the means of satisfying their primary needs and also the means of transforming nature (science and technology).

This work is carried out by the Technological Institute (IUT) in Tremblay (France), which runs a training programme in industrial maintenance in conjunction with the department of Political Anthropology at the University of Paris VIII, run by Professor Pierre-Philippe Rey. These policies are viable. They permit the independence and the raising of standards of living in 'Third world' countries, by counteracting the neoliberal policies that impose the limitless exploitation of men not only in the 'Third World' but also in the rich countries. In other words, defending the right to existence, to work for everyone, maintaining social provisions and fighting job losses.

We have tried to show how fighting to defend the interests of the oppressed classes in France necessarily involves fighting to defend the interests of the oppressed classes in the 'Third World'.

This implies changing the mentality of the average European, whose attitude is reminiscent of a person flying first class who refuses to worry about a bomb in the back of the plane, in the belief that it will only affect those flying second class!

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