La France Insoumise (LFI) is going through a crisis that once again calls into question the very foundations of its organisation, and in particular the lack of democracy within it. The previous major crisis occurred in 2019.
At that time, relatives of Jean-Luc Mélenchon were either expelled or resigned: Manon Le Breton, former candidate for the European elections, “He was called to look elsewhere.”Francois Cooke, fellow traveler and co-founder of the Left Party, blocked a tweet from the leader calling him a “National”Georges Kuzmanovitch, Mélenchon’s advisor on defense issues, suddenly disavowed or even Charlotte Girard, Mélenchon’s former spokeswoman and former coordinator of the 2017 presidential campaign, discouraged by the movement “unorganized”which is in it “Impossible to express differences”. Girard was the wife of François Delapiere, 1st Dauphine of Mélenchon and died prematurely in 2015. She noted that LFI did not. “bridging the gap” With ” People “, a dire confession from an executive that aligns with LFI’s populist line. Rebellious populism aims to bring together ” People “ against the “elites” Beyond the left-right divide.
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At the heart of the rebellious oligarchy
New heir apparent to Jean-Luc Mélenchon after the forced withdrawal of Adrien Coatennes, Manuel Bompard has just reorganized the rebellious oligarchy after a grueling misstep that has caught observers of rebellious microcosm by surprise. This prince mélenchonien fact responds to the constant need to never lose control of his organization. It is the last reorganization of the first insurgent circle devoted entirely to the work and interests of the leader.
The members of the new Space Format were chosen because they are trusted spokespeople for the current message. It is useful to dwell on the formation of this de facto executive. There are a large number of young elected officials outside the historical circles of the Melenchonism movement. They all owe their place to the leader (Manon Aubry, Manuel Bompard, Hadrian Clouet, Clemence Getty, Sarah Legrain, William Martinet, Daniel Obono, Mathilde Bannot or Paul Vanier). Deputy Gabriel Amard, who is not known to the public, is the only former ally.
Crisis in La France Insoumise: who is the boss?
The main national leaders of the LFI were excluded from this new body: Clémentine Autain, François Ruffin, Eric Coquerel, Alexis Corbière and Raquel Garrido. However, they are notable public figures. If the first two built their political careers on the fringes of the Mélenchon movement, the other three are real relatives and longtime supporters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Therefore no position of power is definitively obtained in the LFI. Historical protection can suddenly be brushed aside. All it takes is a public comment or article that doesn’t flatter the leader or make them feel insecure. Punishment falls, often in the form of a silent rejection of the framework that has fallen into disgrace. “Jean Luc” He no longer responds to calls or texts, and the loyal lieutenant is gradually becoming invisible. Within LFI, the layoffs are staggering and brutal.
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A “political council” with an advisory role was added to the “parliamentary assembly” to silence the rebellion of the expelled. But this other impromptu body is like the Théodule commissions created over time to entertain recalcitrant opposition and allow the oligarchy to rule in peace. The history of melancholy is punctuated by the creation of quickly forgotten microstructures (Trait d’union, Convention of the Sixth Republic) or resounding campaigns without a future (a manifestation of “quick sweep” 2013 or later campaign on Lawfare).
personal and authoritarian party
In recent days, political scientists have tried to unravel the threads of a new rebel plot: Is LFI a partisan movement or a personal party? Is this new crisis a crisis of coming-of-age power that must be fixed in order to evolve? a movement “invader” Can it guarantee long-term political and electoral success after the (relative) successes in the 2017 and 2022 presidential elections?
These analyzes are now as academic as they are incidental. It has long been established that the LFI is a personal party (created by Jean-Luc Mélenchon to serve his political goals in the presidential election), and that the former Socialist rejected party democracy in favor of an organization. “invader” Without membership, without elections for the leader and members of the administration, without pluralism, without the possibility of proposing alternative proposals for discussion and voting to those of the administration, without the local grassroots units having the capacity for political development. This, Melenchon publicly assumed.
The definition of LFI is actually relatively simple: it is authoritarian rule, that is, man’s power. The nature of the LFI was established in February 2016 when Mélenchon, a self-proclaimed presidential candidate, spoke about the TF1 group. Since leaving PS in 2008, mélenchonisme has been a group effort in favor of one’s ambition.
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Movement is not “invader”that is, based on a flexible, light and reputable organization, but blurry, i.e. deliberately opaque to cover tracks and allow the chef to do whatever he wants when it suits him.
What should political scientists debate today: Can we consider any political structure progressive and libertarian in which an unelected leader refuses to share decision-making power, and co-opts and eliminates his entourage according to the prince’s disposition? How can intellectuals put themselves in the service of a leader who carries a public discourse praising popular sovereignty and who, within the LFI, concentrates all power? How do we explain that experienced and well-intentioned activists submissively accept the idea of rejecting partisan democracy, because it would be synonymous with political impotence?
Cookie cutter data
Let’s talk about the political effectiveness of this partisan tyranny. What electoral successes can the LFI boast of since 2017? The high scores in the 2017 and 2022 presidential elections were obtained as a result of a favorable left vote unrelated to overwhelming support for Mélenchon’s person or political programme. The LFI’s electoral low is well below the 20% obtained during these two elections. The breakthrough in the 2022 legislative elections was ensured by Nupes, an electoral convention that favored the more rebellious candidates on the left. Other elections (municipal, regional, European), on the contrary, were bitter failures. On the one hand, the LFI does not have a local base, and on the other hand, its Eurosceptic politics put off a significant part of the electorate on the left.
The rise of Jean-Luc Mélenchon over his movement and on the left is indexed in the presidential elections. His good grades give him a great deal of sympathy on the left which he squanders very quickly. Sweeping statements during searches of LFI headquarters in 2018 or his support for domestic violence author Adrien Quatennens upset those around him. His pro-Russian positions before the war in Ukraine, his pro-Chinese in the context of the Uyghur repression, the fiery statements in favor of the Bolivarian revolution of Chávez and Maduro, his geopolitical bent from another era, embarrass members of his movement. .
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“I have a fundamental disagreement with the new management of LFI,” he said. Very legitimate declared Alexis Corbier. It’s understandable, but why did he wait to be removed from the administration to stand up as a defender of an internal democracy that has always been derided? This is where the shoe pinches. LFI executives and activists only rebel when they are punished in the game of strings and shared choices created by Mélenchon. When they, in turn, are victims of it, they protest but it is too late. Therefore, sarcasm and cowardice are at the heart of the party’s economy based on loyalty, division and personal calculations.
Fire on democracy!
During the Dijon Socialist Congress in 2002, Jean-Luc Mélenchon published a text that took the title of a short column Mao Zedong wrote during the mass persecution of the Cultural Revolution in 1966: “Shoot the headquarters! Without over-caricaturizing the situation, it would be tempting to sum up the tyranny of the LFI Under the title: “Democracy Fire! It is really amazing that the leaders of the dominant left party can discredit democracy, suffrage and pluralism, without arousing this opposition within the LFI. It’s funny that Melenchon can question the legitimacy of a government without an absolute majority in the National Assembly and demand new elections, while the LFI militants cannot elect their own leaders. However, the whole history of the left has been built on the assertion of true democracy: political (the right to vote, for example) and social (economic rights and the protection of people’s well-being).
Refuting the Jacobin dictatorship of Robespierre, Jean Jaurès writes: This is because The French Revolution contains all of socialism. that socialism “Republic to the end” And the “maximum democracy”. An admirer of Robespierre and fascinated by managed socialist systems, Jean-Luc Mélenchon effectively despises democracy. The voters know that and that is why they did not elect him as president. The left knows that, too. But did she know that this Democratic denial indirectly discredits her?