"France in Common" in a World in Common and Socialist China
Critique of the 2015 French Communist Party’s Project
Hervé Fuyet, France, Professor of Philosophy and Political Science, Coordinator of l’Humanité in English,
hervacacia gmail.com ;
Peggy Cantave Fuyet, France, PhD candidate in “Marxism in China”, Department of Marxism, Renmin University of China, zenshine86 gmail.com.
In May-June 2015, the French Communist Party (FCP) published a document prepared under the direction of Pierre Laurent, Secretary General, entitled "France in Common - Invitation to Write a Project of Human Emancipation" ("La France en Commun_Invitation à écrire un projet d’émancipation humaine" 1st June 2015, http://www.pcf.fr/71363 ). The FCP says : "This text is an invitation to debate. It was drafted by the National Committee of the French Communist Party and made public on May 20 to mark the launch of a "National Convention on the Project" that the FCP will organize in spring 2016. It is not an exhaustive or definitive document. It is a starting point and not an end point. The ideas for new ways of empowerment, priority action or emergency measures it proposes are open to all contributions and intended to be enriched and redefined throughout the coming year.
To mark the launch of the "National Convention on the Project", Marc Brynhole stated
even more clearly that : "The whole approach is an invitation. Invitation to debate,
invitation to confront, invitation to co-write...".( "Lancement de la convention sur le projet - Introduction de Marc Brynhole", 1st june 2015 http://pcf.fr/71364 )
Regarding the method, we chose to approach the subject from a reflection on the world situation and then locate its interaction with the French situation. It should allow us to approach the analysis of the French situation more realistically.
For instance, the 70th anniversary of the victory against Nazism was celebrated on May 9, 2015 in Moscow. This historic event was commented upon in France in very different ways. The international balance of forces has changed to a considerable degree. It is important to understand which countries constitute today the antifascist and anti-imperialist bloc, and which countries constitute today the imperialist and neo-colonialist movement. In 2015, seventy years later, who are our friends and who are our enemies ?
In France, the Left in general and the French Communist Party in particular are declining dangerously, while the populist fascist National Front (FN) and the "Rassemblement Bleu Marine" (RBM) associated with it, grow enormously in the polls and in the public mind. A realistic assessment of the global situation would enrich a program of transition to socialism and to communism in France and would put the French Communist Party on a more realistic basis in its struggle against the French neo-fascist movement.
Part I : Socialist Countries, Socialist China and the France in Common Project of the FCP
The denial of the importance, or even of the existence of socialist countries in general, and of Socialist China in particular, is a kind of widespread political neurosis, a kind of childhood disease in Eurocommunism. In reality, the "France in Common" may have little credibility if this preliminary question is not settled.
"Facts are stubborn" as Lenin said, and it is perilous to ignore that socialist China
fascinates the world ! My goal here is not, of course, to pass judgment on anything or
anybody, but to contribute modestly to the betterment of mutual understanding, a
communist win-win fraternity.
a) Curious Denial of the Existence of Socialist China and of Existing Socialism in general today !
The FCP has the noble ambition of wanting to "write a project for human emancipation" with our help and
To open a path other than the breaking down of France, Europe and the world in the endless crisis generated by globalized capitalism. We are not powerless to change the world, to take France and Europe out of the crisis... The forces of the Left exist, but they are too often isolated, suppressed, destabilized. We want to gather them, for once united they are the future
( « La France en Commun - Invitation à écrire un projet d’émancipation humaine », 1st June 2015, http://www.pcf.fr/71363 )
In reality, the FCP could join more clearly the existing forces of socialism in the world
instead of pretending they do not exist. Capitalism, the US for example, is losing ground in the world. Socialist China, led by a communist party of about 85 million members, is becoming the first world power, while taking the largest population in the world out of poverty and helping developing countries. This is not a secret in Africa, in the Americas and even in Europe. Why is it often a blind spot in Eurocommunism ?
It is not a secret either that in China, the ideological struggle of Marxism against Western ideas such as liberalism and conservatism is intense and we are part of it today at the Peking University. Many sections or FCP members follow with attention and sympathy the progress of Socialist China. However this is not yet reflected at the national level or in the "France in Common" project.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has recently published a series of five important books to help "Westerners" to understand China ( Robert Lawrence Kuhn, "Understanding Communist Party of China ", China Daily, 3rd June 2015, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2015-06/03/content_20894534.htm ). That should help to improve the situation in France where the CPC is often misunderstood and where the FCP does not play, at least for the moment, the necessary role of disseminating knowledge on the subject.
Hopefully, a French version of the book will be published, because our French comrades and friends do not necessarily master the English language.
b) Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon Give us Some Clues about the Root of this Denial
How to explain this curious denial ? The causes are multiple no doubt, but there is one
that seems to be the main contradiction in this case. Aimé Césaire, Communist deputy of Martinique in 1956, wrote to Maurice Thorez, then General Secretary of the FCP, a
famous and complex letter. Part of it may be outdated. For instance, we now know, thanks to the opening of Soviet archives, that the Khrushchev report to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956 often wrongly attributed crimes to Stalin ( Grover Furr, « Khrouchtchev a menti ! », 1st October 2014, http://www.legrandsoir.info/khrouchtchev-a-menti.htm. )
However, we certainly share his views when, speaking of the colonized countries, he wrote :
Let us invent a word for it : ‘fraternalism’. For we are indeed dealing with a brother, a big brother who, full of his own superiority and sure of his experience, takes you by the hand (alas, sometimes roughly) in order to lead you along the path to where he knows Reason and Progress can be found.
Well, that is exactly what we do not want. What we no longer want. Yes, we want our societies to rise to a higher degree of development, but on their own, by means of internal growth, interior necessity, and organic progress, without anything exterior coming to warp, alter, or compromise this growth.Under these conditions, it will be understood that we cannot delegate anyone else to think for us, or to make our discoveries for us ; that, henceforth, we cannot allow anyone else, even if they are the best of our friends, to vouch for us. If the goal of all progressive politics is to one day restore freedom to colonized peoples, it is at least necessary that the everyday actions of progressive parties not be in contradiction with this desired end by continually destroying the very foundations, organizational as well as psychological, of this future freedom, foundations which can be reduced to a single postulate : the right to I believe we have said enough to make it clear that it is neither Marxism nor communism that I am renouncing, and that it is the usage some have made of Marxism and communism that I condemn. That what I want is that Marxism and communism be placed in the service of black peoples, and not black peoples in the service of Marxism and communism. That the doctrine and the movement would be made to fit men, not men to fit the doctrine or the movement. And, to be clear, this is valid not only for communists. If I were Christian or Muslim, I would say the same thing. I would say that no doctrine is worthwhile unless re-thought by us, re-thought for us, converted to us. This would seem to go without saying. And yet, as the facts are, it does not go without saying. There is a veritable Copernican revolution to be imposed here, so ingrained in Europe (from the extreme right to the extreme left) is the habit of doing for us, arranging for us, thinking for us — in short, the habit of challenging our possession of this right to initiate of which I have just spoken, which is, at the end of the day, the right to personality.
This is no doubt the essence of the issue.There exists a Chinese communism. Without being very familiar with it, I have a very strong prejudice in its favor. And I expect it not to slip into the monstrous errors that have disfigured European communism.
( « Lettre à Maurice Thorez », http://www.combatenligne.fr/article/?id=2543 )
It is indeed shocking today to read what some distinguished French intellectuals of a recent past, such as Ernest Renan or Leon Blum, had to say, as we will see in the
following short texts (Fortunately, there is obviously progress since Ernest Renan in
1878, Blum’s Popular Front in 1936, the National Council of the Resistance in 1945, etc.).
For example :
Ernest Renan, elected member of the French Academy in 1878, stated that
The regeneration of the inferior or degenerate races by the superior races is part of the providential order of things for humanity... Regere imperio populos, that is our vocation. Pour forth this all-consuming activity onto countries which, like China, are crying aloud for foreign conquest... Nature has made a race of workers, the Chinese race, who have wonderful manual dexterity and almost no sense of honour ; govern them with justice, levying from them, in return for the blessing of such a government, an ample allowance for the conquering race, and they will be satisfied.
. ( Quoted in Aimé Césaire, "Discourse on Colonialism", Monthly Review Press, 1972, p.38 ).
Léon Blum , President of the Front Populaire Council in 1936, declared in an intervention
to the Chamber of Deputies on July 9, 1925
We love our country too much to dissociate ourselves from the expansion of French thought and civilization. We recognize that there is a right, and even a duty, for superior races to draw to them races that have not attained the same level of culture and to summon them to progress.
( Quoted in Margaret A. Majumbar, "Postcoloniality : The French Dimension", Berghahn Books, 2007, p. 24 ).
At the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Charter of the National Council of
Resistance requested "an extension of political rights for indigenous populations, the
democratization of education allowing the emergence of a true elite, not by birth, but of
merit", but did not question the continuation of French colonialism.
In 1950, Césaire published the "Discourse on Colonialism", where he highlights the close relationship that exists between Nazism and colonialism. He writes, among other things :
Yes, it would be worthwhile to study clinically, in detail, the steps taken by Hitler and Hitlerism and to reveal to the very distinguished, very humanistic, very Christian bourgeois of the twentieth century that without his being aware of it, he has a Hitler
inside him, that Hitler inhabits him, that Hitler is his demon, that if he rails against him,
he is being inconsistent and that, at bottom, what he cannot forgive Hitler for is not crime
in itself, the crime against man, it is not the humiliation of man as such, it is the crime
against the white man, the humiliation of the white man, and the fact that he applied to
Europe colonialist procedures which until then had been reserved exclusively for the
Arabs of Algeria, the coolies of India, and the niggers of Africa.
( Aimé Césaire, "Discourse on Colonialism", Monthly Review Press, 1972, p.38 ).
"Discourse on Colonialism" was published for the first time on June 7, 1950, by
"Réclame", a publisher linked to the French Communist Party. The foreword was written by Jacques Duclos, a heroic leader of the FCP during WWII, for whom "colonialism is the shame of the twentieth century".
Césaire does not mince words. He raises an important issue when he denounces
"fraternalism", and when he tells us that the "anti-colonialism of the French communists
still bears the scars of the colonialism they fight against". Césaire tells us that the colonial mentality still permeates the psyche of most white progressives. It is a crucial issue to consider for those who want the eradication of racism and the promotion of social peace.
c) Lenin Addressed this Problem in a Class Perspective
Lenin had already foreseen in 1920 the current issue of the FCP (The quote is a bit long, but so well written !) :
The prospect of partitioning China elicited from Hobson the following economic appraisal : ‘The greater part of Western Europe might then assume the
appearance and character already exhibited by tracts of country in the South of
England, in the Riviera, and in the tourist-ridden or residential parts of Italy and
Switzerland, little clusters of wealthy aristocrats drawing dividends and pensions
from the Far East, with a somewhat larger group of professional retainers and
tradesmen and a larger body of personal servants and workers in the transport
trade and in the final stages of production of the more perishable goods : all the
main arterial industries would have disappeared, the staple foods and semi-
manufactures flowing in as tribute from Asia and Africa.... We have foreshadowed the possibility of even a larger alliance of Western states, a European federation of Great Powers which, so far from forwarding the cause of world civilization, might introduce the gigantic peril of a Western parasitism, a group of advanced industrial nations, whose upper classes drew vast tribute from Asia and Africa, with which they supported great tame masses of retainers, no longer engaged in the staple industries of agriculture and manufacture, but kept in the performance of personal or minor industrial services under the control of a new financial aristocracy. Let those who would scout such a theory [he should have said : prospect] as undeserving of consideration examine the economic and
social condition of districts in Southern England today which are already reduced
to this condition, and reflect upon the vast extension of such a system which might be rendered feasible by the subjection of China to the economic control of similar groups of financiers, investors [rentiers] and political and business officials, draining the greatest potential reservoir of profit the world has ever known, in order to consume it in Europe. The situation is far too complex, the play of world forces far too incalculable, to render this or any other single interpretation of the future very probable ; but the influences which govern the imperialism of Western Europe today are moving in this direction, and, unless counteracted or diverted, make towards such a consummation’.Hobson, the social-liberal, fails to see that this ‘counteraction’ can be offered only by the revolutionary proletariat and only in the form of a social revolution. But then he is a social-liberal ! Nevertheless, as early as 1902 he had an excellent insight into the meaning and significance of a ‘United States of Europe’ (be it said for the benefit of Trotsky the Kautskyite !) and of all that is now being glossed over by the hypocritical Kautskyites of various countries, namely, that the opportunists (social-chauvinists) are working hand in glove with the imperialist bourgeoisie precisely towards creating an imperialist Europe on the backs of Asia and Africa, and that objectively the opportunists are a section of the petty bourgeoisie and of a certain strata of the working class who have been bribed out of imperialist superprofits and converted to watchdogs of capitalism and corruptors of the labour movement.
( V. I. Lenin, Imperialism and the Split in Socialism, Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 23, pages 105-120 ).
Half a century later, Frantz Fanon wrote in "The Wretched of the Earth" :
For in a very concrete way Europe has stuffed herself inordinately with the gold and raw materials of the colonial countries : Latin America, China, and Africa. From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there have flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the under-developed peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialized in the Negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declare with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor underdeveloped peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude.
( Frantz Fanon, The wretched of the earth, Grove press, New York, p.102 ).
d) Xi Jinping Continues Creatively Today in Words and Deeds Lenin, Césaire and Fanon
Relations between Africa and socialist China raise many comments over the world. The
speech of the President of China Xi Jinping on March 25, 2013 at Nyerere International
Conference Center in Tanzania offers a good basis for discussion on this important issue
for the future of humanity. Here are some excerpts from his speech :
Tanzania is one of the cradles of humanity. The Tanzanian people to the glorious tradition have made important contributions to national independence of African peoples and the victory of the struggle against apartheid... An African proverb says, ‘The river is deep because it comes from a source’. The friendly exchanges between China and Africa are rooted in the depth of ages. In the 1950s and 1960s, the first leaders of state of the People’s Republic of China including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, opened with African politicians a new era of China-Africa relations. Therefore, the Chinese people and the African peoples supported each other and sincerely cooperated in the fight against colonialism and imperialism as well as that for national independence and liberation. They
contracted a brotherly friendship marked by community of ideas, heart and destiny. Today, thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, China-Africa relations have witnessed rapid and comprehensive development...
Both sides have constantly strengthened coordination and cooperation in
international and regional affairs, while safeguarding the common interests of
developing countries... History shows that China and Africa always share the same fate. The same past, the same task of development and common strategic interests were the closely related. We each call attention to the other party what we consider our own
opportunities, and strive to promote the development and common prosperity
through enhanced cooperation...History shows that Sino-African relations are characterized by sincerity, friendship, mutual respect, equality, mutual benefits and common development. We get on well and, we believe, equally. China does not impose its views on Africa and the latter does not impose its views on China. The Chinese have helped African development as much as possible, and China thanked the African countries and peoples for their strong support and selfless help for a long time. The two sides adopt a clear position and support each other without showing any reluctance to discuss issues relating to the essential interests of the other.
History shows that to maintain the vitality of China-Africa relations, we must
advance with the times and continue innovation in a pioneering spirit. We prefer the word ‘sincerity’ with regard to our African friends. It is sincerity that makes friendship highly valuable and the traditional friendship between China and Africa is particularly important. We always consider it an important foundation of our foreign policy intensification of solidarity and cooperation with African countries, and this policy can never be changed because of China’s development and rise of its international position. China insists on equality between all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor...There are no universally valid modes of development in the world. All countries should respect the diversity of world civilizations and development modes. China will support African countries in their search for a development path suited to their own realities. It will strengthen the exchange of experiences in governance with African countries in order to draw inspiration from other ancient civilizations and experiences gained through the promotion of common development and prosperity between China and Africa.China hopes for better relations with Africa and also better relations between other countries and Africa. Africa is up to Africans. All countries must respect the dignity and independence of Africa in the development of their relations with the Regarding the development of China-Africa cooperation, we emphasize the word ‘pragmatism’. China is not only the initiator of mutually beneficial cooperation but also of actively putting it practice. With the improvement of its economic potential and its general power, China will offer continuously adequate aid without any political conditions in favor of African development...As for the strengthening of China-Africa friendship, we cherish the word ‘fraternity’. The tree of China-Africa friendship will blossom if we strengthen
constantly exchanges between peoples. We must give more importance to human and cultural exchanges between China and Africa, strengthen understanding and knowledge mutually between Chinese and Africans, consolidate the social foundation of the cause of China-Africa friendship. The China-Africa relations mark moving towards the future work that needs unremitting efforts of young noble aspirations from generation to generation. The two sides should push forward exchanges between young people so that they do not lack successors in the eternal work of the China-Africa friendship...As regards the problems arising in cooperation, we honor the word "franchise". China and Africa are in a period of rapid development ; they need only time.
Since the founding of new China about sixty years ago, especially since the reform and opening up more than 30 years ago, the Chinese people succeeded, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, in blazing a socialist road with Chinese characteristics. China’s development has led to historic progress, boosting the economy to second in the world. The general well-being has been considerably strengthened, and the life of the Chinese, improved. As a country with a population of 1.3 billion people, China has experienced the vicissitudes and difficulties in achieving in a few decades, a development that has taken the developed countries hundreds of years...
Currently, China is characterized again and again by its large population, a weak economic foundation, unbalanced development. China, despite its major economic aggregates, with its 1.3 billion people, its per capita GDP ranks 90th place in the world. According to the UN standard, 128 million Chinese live below the poverty line. We have a long way to go so that all the 1.3 billion people live a comfortable life, and we have to make efforts for a long time. With the relentless development of China, the living standards of its people improve constantly. It considers African countries as forever friends regardless of its level of development...The development of China is inseparable from that of the world and that of Africa, while Africa and the world need China for prosperity and stability. Despite the great distance between China and Africa, there is a community of spirit. What binds us is not only the deep traditional friendship, and national interest, but also our respective dreams. The 1.3 billion Chinese people are striving to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese dream of the nation ; the billion Africans working to realize the African dream of inclusive development. Chinese and African peoples must strengthen solidarity and cooperation, mutual support and assistance to achieve their dreams. We must also promote together with the international community
advancing the global dream of lasting peace and common prosperity, while making greater contributions to human works for peace and development.
( Xi Jinping, "Be Trustworthy Friends and Sincere Partners Forever" (25 March 2015), The Governance of China, Foreign Language Press, 2014, pp.333-341 ).
Part II : The 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism in 2015 in Moscow
Indeed, this celebration in Moscow has symbolic value. It gives us ways to understand
which countries constitute today the antifascist and anti-imperialist bloc, and which
countries constitute today the imperialist and neo-colonialist movement.
This way we can better understand those in the West (such as Manuel Valls, the French
Prime Minister), who proclaim that imperialist and neo-colonialist countries such as
France, the US and Germany are democracies. The same obscurantists shamelessly
denigrate the BRICS, China, Russia, etc., which they describe as dictatorial, authoritarian, nondemocratic - or simply act as if they did not exist ! It is not really surprising when it comes from the French Socialist Party that has always been a mainstay of wanting to put a human face on colonialism that it now it wants to "humanize" the European Union. It is more surprising when it comes from the French Communist Party, which has anti-colonial roots...
a) A large Building Site of Hope in the World
Alain Koller, in the newspaper "Le Temps", noted :
On May 9, Moscow celebrates the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, as Russia calls the Second World War, which resulted in 27 million casualties on the Soviet side. This year, Putin invited 68 world leaders. 16,000 Russian soldiers and 1,300 foreign military paraded on the Red Square, accompanied by helicopters, ballistic missiles and the latest tank model, the T-14 Armata. A demonstration of power that does not please everyone. If the Heads of State or Governments of China, India, North Korea, Vietnam, South Africa, Cuba, Greek or Serbia and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be with Vladimir Putin to preside over the parade, many guests have declined. Europe shines by its absence, just as the United States. Switzerland will be represented by its ambassador.
( "Moscou et Pékin s’allient pour les commémorations du 8 mai", Mediapart, 8 May 2015,
Alain Bacquiat wrote in cruder words :
"Refusal by Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Francois Hollande to be present in
Moscow to celebrate the anniversary of the May 9, 1945, to mark the Soviet victory over
Nazi Germany and honor Russian dead in the Great Patriotic War, is combining the
deliberate offense with pure stupidity" ( Jean-Paul Baquiast, "Une offense à la mémoire", Mediapart, 15 March 2015, http://blogs.mediapart.fr/blog/jean-paul-baquiast/150315/une-offense-la-memoire ).
It is clear that it is the US and the European Union, with their neo-colonial imperialism
that are isolated, while the BRICS and CELAC showed that it is possible to combine
power and a new type of win-win relationship.
Let’s see what Xi Jinping says about this new type of international relations :
"Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that the BRICS and countries in South
America, as states emerging and developing countries, are ‘rising powers’ in the
‘We should jointly push the international order towards a more just and rational direction,
maintain the rights of a people to free choice in the selection of the social system and path of development, strengthen global governance and pay more attention to the issue of development of the international community’, he said.
Xi made the remarks during a dialogue between leaders of the BRICS and eleven
presidents of countries in South America, an event at the end of the sixth summit of the
BRICS held in the coastal city of Fortaleza, Brazil.
The Heads of State of BRICS countries, including Mr. Xi, Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and
South African President Jacob Zuma, participated in the dialogue.
Surinamese President Desi Bouterse, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, Bolivian
President Evo Morales, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Chilean President
Michelle Bachelet, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, President Donald Ramotar of
Guyana, the Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, the Peruvian President Ollanta
Humala, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
also attended" ( "Les BRICS et les pays d’Amérique du Sud sont des ‘puissances montantes’ dans la structure internationale", People’s Daily, 18 July 2014, http://french.peopledaily.com.cn/Chine/n/2014/0718/c31354-8757229.html ).
Let’s compare the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Moscow with the
anti-Nazi alliance. We realize that in the fight against Nazism during the Second World
War, imperialist countries like France, England and the United States were allied with the
Soviet Union, but only against Nazism.
The May 8, 1945 was the celebration of Victory over Nazism, but also rebirth of the
colonialism of the imperialist countries and of their anti-Sovietism : the massacre of Setif
in Algeria, sending Leclerc’s troops in Indochina, and soon the beginning of the Cold War against the Soviet Union.
In 2015, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Moscow, we find on the side
of the future the BRICS, CELAC and many African countries. The imperialist countries
and the imperialist European Union boycotted the celebration. The debate about the
nature of the EU and of its characteristics is far from new and preceded much its very
The European Union, did not exist in 1945, but the notion of a European union of
capitalist countries had already been the subject of debate between Lenin and Trotsky in 1915. Curiously, the debate revolved even then around China ( Vladimir Ilitch Lenin, "Imperialism and the split of socialism", Collected Works, Volume 23, pp.120-122 ). Lenin was opposed to the notion of a capitalist United Europe, as we have seen previously, while Trotsky maintained his position in favor of the United States of Europe in his article "Are conditions ripe for the label of ‘United States of Europe’ ?" ( Leon Trotsky, "Are conditions ripe for the slogan of" United States of Europe ?" Pravda, June 30, 1923 ).
Of course, in 2015, the situation is quite different. However, many of the various Trotskyite small groups today, existing either autonomously or within other organizations or political parties, are still in favor of a European Union they consider reformable, or even constituting a base for future socialist revolution ( http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trotskisme_en_France#Organisations_constitu.C3.A9es_en_tendance_dans_d.27autres_par ).
b) For a Gradual Well Organized FrancExit from the Neocolonial European Union (EU) towards an Anticolonial and Anti-fascist FranBRICS
The FCP document "France in Common" does not consider the possibility of a gradual
well-organized exit of France from the imperialist and neocolonialist European Union
(EU), in order to join, or at least work closely with, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa). An acceptance of France in the BRICS would require that
France abandon its neo-colonial practices, such as Françafrique, to move towards win-
China believes that the BRICS could "participate in the establishment of an international
economic and political order more just and reasonable" ( "Analyse : les BRICS apportent un équilibre mondial", 13 April 2011,
We saw earlier that it forms a movement of anti-imperialist and anti-colonial emerging countries to counter "Western camp" imperialist and neocolonialist. The FCP, if it follows again its anti-colonial traditions, will also argue that the EU cannot be reformed in the foreseeable future. We have already seen that Lenin, and more recently Césaire, and today an increasing number of sections and influential members of the French Communist Party and other progressives understand the class nature of the problem.
The FCP document "La France en Commun" does mention, moreover, that "ten years
ago, the French were right, to vote NO to liberal Europe by rejecting the European
Constitutional Treaty. The vote was violated. Today more than ever, another future away
from austerity is necessary".
A new direction for France towards a FranBRICS, or at least a friendly attitude towards
the BRICS "could immediately commit France to a new emancipatory route" ( « La France en Commun - Invitation à écrire un projet d’émancipation humaine », 1st June 2015, http://www.pcf.fr/71363 ).
We are still far from the goal ! Thus, even in the case of Greece, "L’Humanité" writes on
June 30, 2015, days before the Greek referendum of Sunday, July 5 :
A Greek exit from the euro zone would have disastrous consequences for everyone. First for Greece, because the return to the drachma and the insured tumble in value would cause a considerable increase of consumer products, massively imported. So with new considerable loss of purchasing power for the population. For the euro area, the shock would not be reduced. The Grexit induces indeed a risk of
contagion. The operators of the financial markets could speculate on interest rates on
government bonds of southern European countries, considered as so many weak links in the Eurosystem. We could measure from yesterday how this risk was proven with the
dramatic rise in interest rate differentials of Italy, Spain and Portugal compared to those
of the Bund" .
( Clotilde Mathieu, Bruno Odent, « Les six mensonges capitaux de la propagande eurocrate », 30 June 2015,
Yet, increasingly many economists and leading progressive politicians think otherwise :
"Therefore, only a return to its national currency could, under certain conditions, provide
to the ravaged economy of Greece its reconstruction and rapid development, to enable it to repay that portion of the debt that is not expensive and shameful.
Alain Cotta, University Professor ; Jean-Pierre Gerard, President of the Institute
Pomona ; Jean Hernandez Honorary President of Chamber at the Court of Auditors,
Former Deputy Dr Philippe Seguin firm, VP of G21 ; Roland Hureaux member of the
Pomona Institute ; Theodoros Katsanevas, Professor at the University of Piraeus,
President of the party in favor of the drachma ; Gérard Lafay, Emeritus Professor, Vice-
President of the Institute POMONE ; Maria-Negreponti Delivanis, Former Rector and
Professor at the University Macedonian ; Michel Robatel founder of the Institute Pomona ; Jacques Sapir, Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales Director CEMI-EHESS ; Stamboliadis Ilias, Professor at the Polytechnic School of Hania-Crete ; Jean-Claude Werrebrouck, Professor at the University of Lille 2, a member of the G21"
( « DES ECONOMISTES et des PRATICIENS EN FAVEUR DE LA DRACHME », June 2015, http://russeurope.hypotheses.org/4031 ).
This, more especially as the Syriza Central Committee is divided on this point. Statis
Kouvélakis, Central Committee member of Syriza said in an interview with the "Nouvel
Observateur " of July 2, 2015 : "Rejection of austerity with the maintenance in the euro
area is contradictory" ( « L’Europe a déclaré la guerre à la Grèce », 2 July 2015, Nouvel Observateur, tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/la-crise-grecque/20150702.OBS1908/l-europe-a-declare-la-guerre-a-la-grece.html ). Why not say that the issue is complex and that progressive forces are divided on this issue ? The study of the FCP project "France in Common", if one seeks to enrich and make it believable, is not an easy task. Many of my conclusions are still quite far from the dominant political common sense in the French Left, but they are rapidly gaining ground in the FCP and outside the FCP. Only the future will tell if they are sound
Meanwhile, hopefully, those who care about the future of France and the fight against the
rise of the extreme right fascists will take part in the debate when and wherever possible,
especially on the web since we need "A Red web for a Red Star" !
Part III : The FCP program for a transition to socialism and communism
Since the 30th Congress of Martigues in 2000, the FCP does not clearly address the issue of a program of transition to socialism and communism. It does not address the question of a minimum program of reforms in alliance with other progressiveforces. Maybe is it the influence of Jean Jaurès who does not really see any qualitative leap between reform and revolution and who wrote : "Today, as half a century ago, we must beware of the revolutionary phrase and deeply understand the laws of the revolutionary changes in the new time" ( Jean Jaurès, « Evolution révolutionnaire », Etudes Socialistes, Cahiers de la Quinzaine, 1901, p.42, http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/%C3%89tudes_socialistes/En_cinquante_ans ).
We sometimes forget that Lenin did not share the political views of Jean Jaurès which he
considered reformist and close to those of Bernstein. If you’re interested, the article of Pierre Martin makes a synthesis of Lenin’s analysis, without indulgence for Jaurès ( Pierre Martin, « Jaurès versus Lénine : Social-démocratisme ou communisme », 10 August 2014, http://lepcf.fr/Jaures-versus-Lenine ).
One wonders what Lenin would say today about the orientation text adopted by the 36th Congress of the PCF - February 10, 2013 :
"To those who call for the measurement and propose to regulate capitalism, we say that
this is an illusory goal. Without the will to take power to the financial markets and major
property owners, experience has shown that there is no meaning results. There is a
growing contradiction between capitalism and unsustainable social progress, between
capitalism and democracy, between Capitalism and cultural, between capitalism and
ecology, between capitalism and peace.
That is why we speak of revolution. A social revolution, civic, peaceful, democratic, not
the takeover of a minority. A process of credible and ambitious change, to break with the
logic of the system. That is why we speak of communism, a ‘new generation of
( Texte d’orientation adopté par le 36e congrès du PCF - 10 février 2013 - « Il est grand temps de rallumer les étoiles... », http://www.pcf.fr/sites/default/files/36_humanifeste_pcf_0.pdf ).
a) The “Let’s unlock politics” in Thursday’s "L’Humanité"
The document "La France en Commun" wants to "build sites of hope" and also to "unlock
politics". In this perspective, the French daily "L’Humanité" devotes a double page each
week in an attempt to prevent a "terrible defeat" that, unfortunately, threatens Left
political parties in France and could pave the way for the takeover by the extreme right,
"Front National", at the Presidential elections in 2017. Let’s see what "L’Humanité"
offers in its Thursday edition double pages to "unlock politics".
Christian Laval, a sociology professor at Paris University in Nanterre, advocates "the revival of internationalism" which means to him :
"... Seize what emerges over the world" and therefore "To reinstate the left, two main directions must prevail : the revival of internationalism to counter the nationalist illusions and drifts. But above all, give political credible hope to political life. And for this we must seize what emerges over the world and in all sectors of society, beyond the political divisions on the left. We call it the "common". Spanish movements have understood that and have won elections by putting Barcelona and other large cities "in common". ”In common practices” articulate self-government and the right to collective use, regenerate revolutionary perspective and abandon to the old state forms of socialism and communism".
Christian Laval concludes that : "By listening to the thousand voices of the “Left in
common” we will reinvent the “revolutionary project".
( "Comment et à partir de quels leviers refonder un projet politique alternatif ?", L’Humanité, 11 June 2015, http://www.humanite.fr/comment-et-partir-de-quels-leviers-refonder-un-projet-politique-alternatif-576614 )
Also in "L’Humanité"’s "Let’s unlock politics" pages, Ugo Palheta, a sociologist, wants to
"invent the policy of the oppressed", echoing the term Daniel Bensaïd created. ( Daniel Bensaid is a "philosopher and theorist of the Trotskyist movement in France. He was a historic leader of the Revolutionary Communist League and of the Fourth International. His theoretical and political influence have made him a key player in the world Trotskyist movement". http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Bensa%C3%AFd )
According to Ugo Palheta :
"... It is fortunate that the Greek and Spanish examples are a reminder that there is nothing inevitable in the success of the extreme right in Europe. But they also report that the emergence of a new political representation of the working classes is not the product of a cold recomposition of work ; it depends on the intensity of popular struggles
and the capacity on the part of existing forces (Syriza) or latent (Podemos), to give political shape to the aspirations for a break" ( « Comment et à partir de quels leviers refonder un projet politique alternatif ? », L’Humanité, 11 June 2015, http://www.humanite.fr/comment-et-partir-de-quels-leviers-refonder-un-projet-politique-alternatif-5766 ).
Thus the internationalism of the "new" FCP is limited to Syriza and Podemos, but does
not include the communist parties and countries where socialism really exists. Far be it
from me to want to minimize the interest of Syriza and Podemos, especially if they can
contribute to the progress of actually existing socialism in the world, instead of defaming
or ignoring it.
b) Syriza and Podemos, the Solution ? Some Remarks on their Theory
According to Pierre Laurent, national secretary of the PCF, "France can follow the path of
Greece and Spain". Pierre Laurent does not consider a victory of the Left based on "a
broader Communist Party", but thinks that France is a country likely to follow the path of
Greece or Spain. The line of Pierre Laurent seems clear : "Syriza, Podemos and us, it’s the same thing" ( « PIERRE LAURENT, SECRÉTAIRE NATIONAL DU PCF À BELFORT : « PODEMOS, SYRIZA ET NOUS, C’EST LA MÊME CHOSE ! », L’Est Republicain, 4 June 2015, http://www.estrepublicain.fr/edition-belfort-hericourt-montbeliard/2015/06/04/pierre-laurent-secretaire-national-du-pcf-a-belfort-podemos-syriza-et-nous-c-est-la-meme- )
The main leaders of Podemos have written a small book on Podemos and Syriza entitled
"Podemos, sure we can ! ". ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 47) .The book’s authors tell us :"Is this not already the language of Podemos with its desire to" break the established frameworks that currently prevent politics from inventing new forms capable of meeting the demands of the time ? Was it not also the sense of “Time for Outrage” !? That each has its own pattern of indignation, because then, wrote the author, Stéphane Hessel, old-protestor, "we joined the great current of history ; and this trend is towards more justice, more freedom, more rights ; and if you meet someone who does not benefit, help him conquer ". ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan )
We already see here the same Eurocentric confusion between Europe and the world. The socialist countries like Cuba, Vietnam, and China especially, did not wait for Podemos to "meet the demands of the time".
Podemos made another discovery. It is not enough to be indignant, we must also vote !
"We realized we had made a big step forward in our indignation, but we also realized that this was not enough. The second step was more complicated : it forced us to organize ourselves, to become the fox terrier, to challenge common sense in places where today it is the norm. But we already knew that the only thing that scares power is the vote. We had to put all the steam of social indignation into a boiler that would lead us to the South where politics is made, once again, by the people " ("Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 71} )
This "South" is southern Europe, since for Podemos, what matters is Europe ! It is the
national electoral victories of Syriza in Greece and municipal victories of Podemos in
Spain that are qualified pompously as "the South where politics is made, once again, by the people ".
For Podemos, ideology is the enemy ! Podemos wrote : "We realized that we could not
continue speaking of ideology if its only consequences were to fragment us" ("Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 124 )
What Podemos does not like is "ideology". We are far from Marxism indeed...Podemos adds with "modesty" :
"We will release from our hands a flash that shows who are those below and those
above" ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 127 ).
"We will proclaim and ensure that we do not care : what you have voted
yesterday, we do not care ; it is all the same to us what ideology you use " ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 129 )... "After a
century full of labels, we propose to dismiss the old ideologies. While we develop new
ones , let’s act as if we did not need one to organize ourselves" ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan )
"Dismissing the old ideologies", probably means "fire" Marxism, Leninism, socialism
with Chinese characteristics, etc., while "we" (Podemos, Syriza, and "Trotskyites pilot
fish") "develop new ones (ideologies)". What modesty !
Marx and the Communists in general have a different opinion of ideology. I find these
lines in my old reading cards and moldy dictionaries. The language is less "marketing
style" as "the Podemos Thinking" but clearer :
"IDEOLOGY. System of opinions, ideas and concepts that professes a
class or a political party. Political opinions, philosophy, art, religion are
forms of ideology. Ideology is a reflection of social existence, the economic system that prevails at the time. The ideology in a class society is a class ideology. It expresses and defends the interests of a particular class in struggle. For Lenin, ‘... The problem is thus only : bourgeois ideology or socialist ideology.
There is no middle ground (because mankind has not developed a ’third ideology’ ; and also, in a society torn by class antagonisms, nothing can ever exist outside of ideology or above classes)’Ideology plays a huge role in social life, in the history of society. Reflecting the conditions of material life of society and the interests of this or that class, ideology, in turn, affects the development of society. The progressive ideology serves the interests of the revolutionary forces of society. The ideology of the working class is the Marxist-Leninist ideological weapon of the Communist Party and the working class in the revolutionary transformation, socialist, society. The strength of this ideology comes from its accurately reflecting the objective laws of development of society and its expressing the necessities of the historical development of our times. The contemporary bourgeois ideology is, rather, a reactionary force"
( M. Rosentahl et P. Ioudine, « Idéologie », Petit Dictionnaire Philosophique, p.115.)
It is amusing to note that Marx himself had difficulties with the Communist Party in his time, precisely on the concept of ideology. Podemos and the FCP have not invented
"The German Ideology" (1845-1846) is one of the first philosophical works of Marx and Engels, who give for the first time in this work a detailed statement of their materialist theory of history. The book did not appear during the lifetime of its authors. In a letter to Annenkov, Marx explains the reason : "You will never believe what difficulties such a publication has met in Germany, on the one hand on part of the police, on the other the booksellers, who are themselves the interested representatives of all trends that I attack. And as for our own party, it is not only poor, but a large fraction of the German Communist Party wants me because I am opposed to its utopias and its rhetoric" ( Marx-Engels Ausgewählte Briefe, B., 1953, S. 41),
"The German Ideology" was published for the first time in the
All that is “passé” for Podemos that writes without hesitation :"How do you define what we do ? We battle to bring out the essential concepts. People believe that to be a militant one must join a political party or a political group, but it is not true ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 380). We militate with slogans such as ‘we are the 99%’ and the polemical ‘we are neither right nor left, we are the lower ones against those from above’" ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 426 ).
Errejón, a leader of Podemos, writes :"Latin America, the two television programs that we have developed, Tuerka and The Fort Apache, provided me with scenarios where great
words sent back to real practice and not gibberish from left frikis. State socialism, democracy, power, revolution, hegemony, reaction or oligarchy were not words to just throw on Twitter or printed on a t-shirt, but real terms defining real balances, real power relationships involved in the process we were going through" ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 723 ).
Then Podemos wrote :
"Political parties as we know them, whose origin lies in the mass workers’
parties of the 1910s and 1920s, were born left when most people could not read or write, when education levels were very low and people’s ability to participate in discussions was very limited, because of lack of training, lack of debates, lack of access to information resources. ... Therefore the question is not whether Podemos is compatible with the old structures ; the problem is that Podemos is not compatible with the organizational forms of representative democracy" ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 1101 ).
This curious assertion of "Podemos" applies to Spain, to Europe or worldwide ? Not clear.
Podemos has a vision "basiste" of a direct democracy guided by experts in communication and marketing techniques. The remarkable victory of the Greek NO to
neoliberal Europe in the Greek referendum on July 5, 2015 is another good example of
"Podemos’” way of thinking". This shows the strength but also the risk that the theorist of
psychoanalysis, Hervé Hubert, called "social transfers" ( « Transfert social », http://cocowikipedia.org/index.php?title=Transfert_social )
Podemos adds : "If we have always paid special attention to Latin America, it is that, for
us, Latin America is the laboratory of political changes in a progressive direction
favorable to those below. The ultimate hope of the left since the fall of the Berlin Wall" ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 1214.)
Podemos then talks about its ties with Syriza :
"Syriza in Greece, and we share its program, proved by winning the elections, that all
these issues about which we have shared a lot in Athens can change the political
landscape... Alexis Tsipras, the current Greek Prime Minister showed great interest in our ideas about the recovery of the homeland concept, how it was necessary to break the left-right dichotomy if we wanted to win. And they prevailed. Sure we can win too ! The young intellectuals of the movement/party Podemos and Syriza often refer to a major Marxist thinker of the Italian left from the early twentieth century, Antonio Gramsci
(1891-1937)... For Podemos : "It is not ‘the people’ which produce the uprising, it is the uprising that produces its people" ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 1263 (French editor’s note).
We find in the Podemos a typical Eurocommunist version of Gramsci, shared by Syriza
and by the FCP, as explained by Peter Thomas. ( Peter Thomas, "Gramsci et le politique", Contretemps, 2009, http://www.contretemps.eu/interventions/gramsci- )
Yet Podemos, Syriza and the FCP could profitably learn from this aspect of the thought of Gramsci :
"Gramsci was prompted, first and foremost, to develop a theory of
‘translatability’ by the remark of Lenin at the 4th Congress of the 3rd
International in 1922, that the Russian Revolution had not yet been able to
‘translate’ his Language in the Western European languages" ( Peter Thomas, "Gramsci et le politique", Contretemps, 2009, http://www.contretemps.eu/interventions/gramsci- )
This lack of understanding reached dramatic proportions with Podemos :
"There is a kind of McDonaldization of the world that flows from Western
hegemony, since at least the nineteenth century. Ultimately, capitalism is
comparable in Venezuela, Spain and China ..." ( "Podemos, sûr que nous pouvons !", (French Edition) by Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, ERREJON Iñigo, Juan Carlos MONEDERO version ebook, location 1454 ).
Podemos puts on the same footing China, Venezuela and the imperialist West ? It seems to me that such confusion is wrong and dangerous !
c) The "Penser Après" by Jacques Fath
Jacques Fath, member of the Executive Committee and in charge of international relations of the FCP from 2006 to 2013, published in June 2014 a book entitled "Thinking After, an essay on war, international security, power and peace in the new state of the world". This book, written by a leader of the Communist Party, is of great interest both by what it tells us as well as by the questions it raises. Jacques Fath, member of the committee that worked for two years on the document "France in common", explains in his book the present theoretical background of the international politics of the FCP.
Hopefully, the discussions generated by Fath’s book and by "La France en Commun" will contribute to an evolution of the present theory and practice of the FCP. A careful reading of "L’Humanité" suggests that this evolution has already begun.
Jacques Fath begins with an analysis of the twentieth century that he perceives as :
"Era of disasters... This sequence of history, he said, although demands such qualification with the two world wars and the Nazi genocide, with two nuclear bombs on Japan, with the genocide of the Armenians and that of Rwanda with colonial wars and massacres that accompanied them. We can say that it is the whole of the century that is tragic and humanly unthinkable. The certainty of progress and universal values has been shaken" ( Jacques Fath, « Penser l’Après... Essai sur la Guerre, la sécurite internationale, la puissance et la paix dans le nouvel état du monde », Arcane 17, 2015, p.8) .
No mention is made of the October Revolution of 1917 or the Chinese Revolution of 1949, or of other socialist revolutions ! Yet, the author tells us, a few pages later, that :
"The fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc between 1989 and 1991 are world geopolitical upheavals that transformed all international relations" ( Jacques Fath, « Penser l’Après... Essai sur la Guerre, la sécurite internationale, la puissance et la paix dans le nouvel état du monde », Arcane 17, 2015, p.11.
). And he strangely concludes that "the systemic and ideological confrontation East / West has disappeared with the expansion of economic liberalism, modes of growth and capitalist management. North / South third world contradiction that structured the past, anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism, like all reality weighing on the balance of power, has faded. The capitalist system has no more sizable external enemies" ( Jacques Fath, « Penser l’Après... Essai sur la Guerre, la sécurite internationale, la puissance et la paix dans le nouvel état du monde », Arcane 17, 2015, p.12 ).
In what looks like the Podemos way of thinking, Jacques Fath adds that :
"Since the fall of the Wall, capitalism has no adversary or adversarial system against itself. It is now clearly and fully faces its own problems... the idea of a possible alternative to capitalism collapsed with the failure of ‘real socialism’ in Eastern Europe" ( Jacques Fath, « Penser l’Après... Essai sur la Guerre, la sécurite internationale, la puissance et la paix dans le nouvel état du monde », Arcane 17, 2015, p.16 ).
In the chapter "Cold War : an outdated concept", Fath quote Zbigniew Brzezinski to source its view :"In the twentieth century, Europe has presented us with the problem of war and peace, and we had to make it our priority. In the twenty-first century, Asia presents us with the problem of competition or decline. This is a different problem, and I think... we will not go to a kind of twenty-first century military collision with China. The problem is, however, a massive complex, but it is qualitatively different"( Jacques Fath, « Penser l’Après... Essai sur la Guerre, la sécurite internationale, la puissance et la paix dans le nouvel état du monde », Arcane 17, 2015, p.172 ).
Jacques Fath adds :
"In order to ensure hegemony, the Western powers... have continuously identified and built the threats of terrorism, radical political Islam, rogue states, and even Russia or China, as many strategic challenges and antagonism to "replace" the enemy that disappeared with the fall of the wall" ( Jacques Fath, « Penser l’Après... Essai sur la Guerre, la sécurite internationale, la puissance et la paix dans le nouvel état du monde », Arcane 17, 2015, p.175 ).
It is not easy to follow the logic of the author. The interest of the book lies rather in that it presents as explicit what is not always clear in the project "France en Commun" and so illuminates how the project committee of the "France en Commun" now sees the World in
Putin seems clearer to me when he said :
"‘Russia and China are not military-political blocs and not to forge links against someone’, said Friday President Vladimir Putin... ‘China and Russia do not create blocks or military alliances against anybody... We are currently building an alliance to protect our national interests’, Putin said. Addressing the plenary session of the International Economic Forum being held in St. Petersburg, Putin said it is ‘natural’ that Russia cooperates with its neighboring countries, China in particular" ( « La Russie et la Chine ne constituent pas des blocs contre qui que ce soit, selon Poutine », 20 June 2015, http://french.cri.cn/621/2015/06/20/603s437883.htm ).
The real problem here seems to be on which side of the barricade stands the FCP in July
2015. Would it not be urgent to add another building site of hope to the document "France
in Common" if one wants the FCP to regain strength and vigor ?
As Danielle Bleitrach suggests in June 25, 2015 in her blog "Histoire and Société" :
"What the Greek situation is demonstrating is that the UE and the Bretton Woods institutions, put in place to strengthen Western hegemony, can not tolerate a moderate social democratic government as that of Tsipras... Austerity, looting, logic applied for so many years to Third World countries now concerns Europe. A logic that led to the creation of the BRICS to counter such imperialism" ( Danielle Bleitrach, (preface note) « Grèce : un problème faussement technique et réellement politique »,
There are indeed, as it seems, two opposite conceptions of the world today in 2015. These are not the same as in the days of the Cold War and the Soviet Union. The main question then becomes for the FCP and the manifesto "France in Common" to specify "Which side are you on" ( Capitaine Martin, « La coexistence pacifique plutôt que l’interventionnisme de l’OTAN », 1st June 2015, http://www.legrandsoir.info/la-coexistence-pacifique-plutot-que-l-interventionnisme-de-l-otan.html ) ?
The initiative taken by the FCP with the project "France in Common" is a great and necessary initiative. It allows party members and friends, here and abroad, to study the
alarming situation of the FCP, of France, in the context of globalization. This project forces us to work on a "FCP in Common" and see if "Yes, we can” !
The FCP in the 70s made the choice of Eurocommunism and of antagonistic criticism of actually existing socialist countries. What is the result ? Is it not true that today
Eurocommunists continue to blame their decline on what they call "Stalinism", trying,
unsuccessfully, and despite the facts, to include in it the richness and diversity the
socialist countries. Yet in survey after survey, Russians show their nostalgia for the Soviet Union (this is also true for many countries of the former USSR), the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is growing, etc. The situation becomes even more ridiculous when the FCP and the project "France in Common" act as if the socialist countries of today did not exist or were not socialist. Movements like Podemos in Spain or Syriza in Greece are progressive forces, but only if, in addition to winning municipal or national elections, they do not constitute counterrevolutionary forces with respect to countries of existing socialism, or simply are not hostile toward the socialist countries and communist parties.
If the FCP and its project "France in Common" continue to deny what everybody sees
and knows, it will harm the confidence that working people could give to the FCP to the
point of making inaudible and invisible all that is good in the various building sites of hope contained in the document.
The public national and international debate around the project "France in Common" is
an opportunity to make an assessment, a balance sheet, of the Eurocommunist and
Trotskyist turn of the FCP.
I just accept the invitation of the French Communist Party :
"It is therefore useful to work extensively to make this project effective and credible. Our openness to conduct this debate is total. This text is a call to confront analyses and assumptions, to give substance to the proposals, and refine a target to give strength. The Communists and their Party, fully aware of their responsibilities and the emergency of the moment, want to do something useful. Restore color and meaning to the desire to change, to open new paths of hope for human emancipation, this is the spirit of the debate that we propose to open together" ( « La France en Commun - Invitation à écrire un projet d’émancipation humaine », 1st June 2015,
The FCP concludes "France in Common" poetically ... "And we do it with a passion to
succeed" ( « La France en Commun - Invitation à écrire un projet d’émancipation humaine », 1st June 2015, http://www.pcf.fr/71363 ) !
Jacques Stephen Alexis, poet, novelist and a great Haïtian Communist, assassinated in 1961 by the forces of Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier, shortly after an international
meeting in Beijing where he met Mao Tse Tung , will conclude for us ( « Jacques-Stephen Alexis », http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/ile.en.ile/paroles/alexis.html ).
"You say that Marxism is outdated.
Why is it ?
Where is this new doctrine which is in a position to
supplant Marxism and fulfill the function it has played and
plays in human liberation ?
Do you know, in the historical existence of mankind, a
worldview that has helped so many people to free themselves
effectively ? " ( « Jacques-Stephen Alexis », http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/ile.en.ile/paroles/alexis.html ).
Alexis avec Mao Tsé-toung à Pékin en 1961
D.R. © photo des archives de Gérald Bloncourt
Marxism is an extremely powerful and complex tool. Its learning curve is therefore particularly long and arduous. In addition, the ways of history are often difficult to penetrate. Finally, a bad worker usually blames his tool !