National Sections of the L5I:

France

French workers rock Juppé

For three weeks in December French workers took to the streets in mass protests, strikes and occupations. Paul Morris explains the events and their aftermath. Mathieu Roux of Pouvoir Ouvrier (French section of the LRCI) examines the response of the French left. We also print translations taken from the bulletins and newspapers issued by Pouvoir Ouvrier during the strikes. Read more...

France: Centrists march behind events

Mathieu Roux examines the role of France’s two main “Trotskyist” organisations: Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Fight) and the LCR (Revolutionary Communist League). Read more...

France: The FN: twists and turns of a fascist front

The French Front National (FN) was founded in 1972 as a coalition of fascist tendencies. It grouped together Vichy collaborators, young thugs and a handful of non-party fascists, like Jean-Marie Le Pen, who had played minor roles in the post-war history of the French far-right. By 1980 the FN had only 270 members, of whom scarcely 100 were fully paid-up.1 Three years later the FN won 2.2 million votes in the European elections and Le Pen’s face was on the front page of every newspaper. Over the next 10 years, the FN was able to put down deep roots and is now a fundamental feature of the political landscape. Its impact on every other political party has been enormous. Read more...

“Everything was possible”—May ’68

A quarter of a century after France was rocked by the biggest general strike in European history, Emile Gallet recalls the events and examines the actions of the left Read more...

The resistable rise of Le Pen

Fascism is on the rise in Europe, and the workers’ movement and the left is responding with useless pacifism and complacency. The LRCI’s section in France has taken up the fight. In an article edited from this month’s edition of Pouvoir Ouvrier, Emile Gallet explains the background to the rise of Le Pen’s Front National. We also reprint (right) the Pouvoir Ouvrier leaflet to the abortive anti-Le Pen demo on 1 May. Read more...

How the French Communist Party betrayed the 1948 miners’ strike

We reprint here a 1949 article from Quatrième Internationale, the French language journal of the Fourth International (FI) on the 1948 French miners’ strike. During the strike the miners were subjected to murderous repression organised by Jules Moch, the Socialist Party Minister of the Interior. But responsibility for the strike’s defeat lay with the French Communist Party (PCF) led trade union, the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), which consistently refused to spread the action throughout the French working class. Read more...

Defending the French Revolution, 1789-93

There is no shortage of academics and journalists trying to make the two hundredth anniversary of the Great French Revolution an orgy of so-called refutations of the Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution. The London Economist launched its new year issue with a hymn of praise to “revisionist” historians who had, at last, laid the ghost of Marx to rest. The European edition of Newsweek treated its readers to an eight page survey of the revisionist school’s critique of Marxism under the title “The Decline of the Left—rethinking the Revolution”. Read more...

The French LCR and Pierre Juquin

“In the heart of the French Communist Party, voices are being raised in the name of pluralism and living Marxism, in the name of a radical break with capitalism and with reformism . . . faced with such a situation, all that is necessary is to keep our communist identity, our desire to unify, our role of making things move, in order to meet up with a partner prepared to build the revolutionary party”.1

Thus spake the “Trotskyists” of the French Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR) in March 1987, with regard to the “Rénovateur” current inside the French Communist Party (PCF). A year later, the LCR are busy putting up posters for Pierre Juquin, presidential candidate for the Rénovateurs. The LCR’s orientation to the “revolutionaries” of the Rénovateurs is in full swing, with all eyes on the post-election period in the hopes of building a common organisation. The LCR’s position is not simply based upon the particular circumstances in France: it draws its political inspiration from the perspectives of their international organisation, the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI). However, this current “turn” of the French section has not gone smoothly. Once again, the LCR is in turmoil as rival tendencies grapple with the implications of the Ligue’s analysis of Juquin’s candidacy and of the Rénovateurs. Read more...

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