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For the foundation of a new anti-capitalist party

Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire
Motion adopted by a large majority of the National Leadership of the LCR

In order to launch the debate on the perspective of a new anti-capitalist party, first of all among the militants of the LCR, then among all those who might be interested in this project, the National Leadership has adopted the following motion. It obviously does not prejudge the outcome of a discussion which is only beginning and which will now continue over the coming months...

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7 Com:

Dave Riley | July 04, 2007

While I respect the LCR a lot and I appreciate the debate that has been occurring both within its ranks and on the French far left ...I find this statement rhetorical and very confusing.

What in fact are they arguing for besides promoting the headline?
where's the substance?

If you check out our France label -- I can't relate that debate to this statement much at all.

Obviously I am missing something.

But then if you read an earlier comment in IP by Duval here this latest statement is way way out of sync:

"Yes, we have to build a credible political alternative! But is the lack of this political alternative the main reason for our difficulties in building a broad movement of resistance? One can also think exactly... the other way round! The difficulties in organising resistance are significant obstacles to building a political alternative. These difficulties - and the defeat of some of the widest movements of resistance (such as the demonstrations and strikes in 2003) - can explain the difficulties in building a political alternative, as well! Most probably, the conclusion will be that the tasks of building resistances AND building a political alternative are interrelated and have to be carried out simultaneously.

"These points – relationship of forces, political situation, and so on - are very important and have to be clarified. A correct analysis of the social and political situation, including a realistic analysis of the relation of forces between classes, between left and right wing parties, between radical left and neo-liberal left is useful. But, anyhow, an accurate analysis will not automatically guarantee a clever political orientation. Of course, if it was so, life would be easier for us! Unfortunately, a correct analysis cannot by itself provide an orientation. But it can specify what is possible. And what is NOT possible."

Peter Boyle | July 04, 2007

I think this is an interesting and very welcome initiative from the LCR, which since the French presidential elections, is in a qualitatively stronger position in the French left, especially vis a vis the PCF which it eclipsed in this vote (PCF 1.93%, LCR 4.08%). I understand that this shift was even more dramatic in the industrial working class heartlands in the north (formerly PCF stronghold) where the LCR won as much as 10% of the vote compared to just 5% for the PCF.

Also interesting is that the LCR leadership majority has not been deterred by the difficulties (and outright sectarianism) they faced in the abortive discussions with other left parties and organisations around the search for a United Left presidential candidate. It is good that the LCR had its candidate, Bensancenot, ready to contest those elections because now the discussion about a new left unity restarts on the basis of the momentum of the success of the Bensancenot campaign.

This is the point you miss, Dave, the left has to restart the discussion about a new party after the failure of the campaign for a common presidential candidate of the left. That discussion was an abortion from the beginning because the PCF insisted that its candidate had to be the one. Bove insisted on the same. And most importantly, there was no agreement on a core principle: political independence from the capitalist "Socialist Party". I agree with the LCR this needs to be a core principle of any viable new left party, just as it is in Australia with independence and clear opposition to the ALP.

It also reflects something we have had to learn in the Socialist Alliance in Australia: that we cannot allow the sectarianism of many left groups to veto the wishes of the bigger and broader constituency mobilised by such a new left project.

The politics and constituency proposed for the French new party project are clearly what is needed (and it is a similar constituency and politics to that of the Socialist Alliance in Australia): "all those, individuals, groups of militants, political currents:

"* who want to defend an anti-capitalist programme in struggles and in elections;

"* who situate themselves in the strictest independence from the SP and who refuse to co-manage state institutions with it, preferring to centre their activity on the class struggle, on social and political mobilization;

"* who want to come together in a political framework that is organized, militant, national and democratic, a party establishing international links with the forces which defend such a perspective."

This initiative deserves 100% support and solidarity from socialist around the world.

AN | July 04, 2007

I am not so sure peter.

From a European perspective - where a still relativley sizeable communist party exists - then the a priori exclussion of any red red coalitions at a municipal level is a real obstacle to getting things off the ground.

In Germany the new Linkspartie could not have been formed on that basis. I believe it is much better to have a battle over setting very strict conditions for left participation.

Peter Boyle | July 04, 2007

Hi Andy, what do you mean by "the a priori exclussion of any red red coalitions at a municipal level"?

AN | July 04, 2007

hi peter

From how i read the LCR statement it is written to exclude the PCF.

In Germany, the unification of the WASG and PDS has gone ahead, supported by the overwhelming majority of both parties, but there are sticky issues rellated to the PDS being in coalition with the SPD at a local level.

Had a precondition against coalition been in place, then the whole process would have been stalled (which is pretty much what the CWI tried to achieve).

As it is there is now a real debate in the new party about what it means being in coalition, and under what circumstances they should break with the SPD.

The aletrnative would have been that the PDS would still have been in coalition with the SPD, but there would have been no united left to put pressure on them about it.

Peter Boyle | July 05, 2007

Thanks. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens but from our own experience in Australia I cannot see how a new left party project can even get going if it does not start on a framework of independence from the old social democratic (or maybe once were social democratic) bourgeois parties. Who needs "left unity" around the old politics? The element of an effective break from the old labour opportunism would seem to be the essence of it. Of course, this could be implicit rather than explicit, and the key thing is the dynamic of the project. But here we enter into the sphere of tactical judgement which must be left to the forces on the ground, whether in France, Germany or any other country.

AN | July 05, 2007

Exactly peter, it differs from country to country, and in those European cunties that still have semi-mass communist parties the situation requires some flexibility on the coalition question.

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