We are witnessing a profound crisis of legitimacy and moral decomposition of the entire capitalist system. Former US President Donald Trump's latest legal drama is just one more in a ceaseless succession of establishment scandals, blunders and internecine disputes at all levels. From parliament, to the police, to the press, to religious institutions – every pillar of bourgeois rule is rotting from the inside out. Why is this happening, why now, and what does it mean for the class struggle?

Last week, a French policeman shot an unarmed French-Algerian teenager (Nahel M.) in the chest after a traffic stop. Before pulling the trigger, Nahel was told “I will lodge a bullet in your head”. A video of the brutal slaying was uploaded to social media, resulting in a massive outpouring of rage that swept the country.

At the time of writing, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, is delighted with the results of the fifth consecutive night of riots, which was “calmer thanks to the resolute action of the forces of the 'order' [the police].” This statement is very relative. In response, let's put things into perspective. The fifth night was perhaps "quieter" than the fourth and, above all, than the third. But in relation to the “100 days of appeasement” announced by Emmanuel Macron on 17 April, it was still very agitated! (Note: this article was originally published 29 June and has since been updated. ...

Around 100 members of Révolution, the French section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), gathered in Paris on 16 and 17 June, for our 2023 National Congress. Attendees came from Paris, Toulouse, Marseilles, Lyon, Montpellier, Grenoble, Brest, Morlaix, Lille and Rambouillet. We also welcomed comrades from the IMT’s sections in Switzerland and Belgium, and were joined by Fred Weston from the International Secretariat of the IMT.

Whatever its scale, the 14th “day of action” against Macron’s rotten pension reform, scheduled for 6 June, will have no more effect on the government than did the 13th. Even if Macron did not really obtain the ‘appeasement’ he was hoping for, he can conclude that, on the pension reform, he has undoubtedly won the battle, at least temporarily. However, from the point of view of the French bourgeoisie, it is a Pyrrhic victory in which the winner emerges much weaker, overall, than the loser.

Our Brazilian organisation (Esquerda Marxista) recently sat down for a discussion with Jérôme Métellus, leading member of Révolution (the IMT in France), about the powerful movement of strikes and protests that rocked French society starting in January. This struggle, triggered by Macron attempting to hike the retirement age, has entered into a phase of stagnation, but the situation in France is more polarised and enraged than ever.

In his inaugural speech as President of France in 2017, Emmanuel Macron said that he wanted to “convince our compatriots that France’s power is not declining, but that we are on the threshold of an extraordinary renaissance”. Since then, the decline of French imperialism has accelerated, both economically, geopolitically and militarily. This is particularly the case in Africa.

During his televised speech on 17 April, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to move on from the uproar surrounding the recent pension reform by promising the Earth to all those who, since 19 January, have mobilised in the streets and have been on strike against this bill.

On 17 April, British police arrested Ernest Moret, a French publisher, as he exited a train from Paris to London on a work trip. The arrest was carried out using British anti-terrorism laws, on the grounds that Moret had taken part in the recent protests against the Macron government in France. This is not only an attack on the basic democratic right to protest, but a clear sign of collusion between the French and British authorities to victimise those who dare to speak out against them.

The 53rd Congress of the CGT, which was held at the end of March, marked a turning point in the history of this union confederation. The 942 delegates were polarised between a left and a right wing, which clashed over four days. Above all, the left wing appeared stronger and more on the offensive than ever, even if the right wing managed to retain control of the leadership and place one of its own, Sophie Binet, as general secretary.

On Wednesday, the day prior to the eleventh day of action against the Macron government’s pension reform, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne will meet the leaders of the ‘intersyndicale’, a coalition of French trade unions. “Everyone will be able to discuss the subjects they want to,” she has said. That’s very kind of her. The union leaders will be able to reiterate their opposition to the reform, and the prime minister will be able to reiterate that she couldn’t care less.

Another day of action was held on Tuesday (28 March) to oppose the rotten Macron regime, which last week forced through an increase of the French retirement age. The struggle remains strong, evidenced by the millions of people who took to the streets. But in order for the workers and youth to emerge victorious in their battles with Macron, the old bankrupt methods of the union leaders will not suffice. Our French comrades of Révolution draw a balance sheet (published 29 March) of the last mobilisation and point the way forward.

Yesterday’s mass demonstration in France brought the struggle against Macron to new heights. For the past two months, the movement (triggered by a new attack on pensions) has been intensifying. Government officials were hoping that everything would be back to normal by the weekend, counting on the movement to fade away after Thursday’s demonstration. They were wrong. Yesterday, 3.5 million workers and youth flooded the streets of most cities in France, as the strikes and protests took on a decidedly more militant mood.

Yesterday, for the eleventh time in 10 months, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne invoked article 49.3 of the French Constitution, to force through Macron’s hated pension reforms without a parliamentary vote. This, however, did not go unnoticed. In the hours following the Prime Minister's announcement, thousands of people gathered at the Place de la Concorde in Paris to denounce the manoeuvre. Spontaneous rallies took place in other cities.