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Newsletter (in English)


The current struggle of the French workers and youth represents an obvious leap compared to the previous cycle of the class struggle that began in 1995. It is announcing a higher level of class struggle, more open, more radicalized and more classical, that is, with greater centrality of the working class and with a protagonist role of students workers and in the factories. It is a new cycle of the class struggle in response to the world crisis underway with repercussions in France and internationally. The economic depression leaves the bourgeoisie with only one possible course of action: attacking the social conquests that still remain from the so-called welfare state and worsening the living conditions of the masses, including groups that in their time benefited from the crumbs of the neo-liberal offensive, such as some people from the middle class.

Because of its context, it cannot be compared with the general strike by public sector workers in 1995, when the bourgeoisie was able to remove one aspect of the application of the neo-liberal plan, since at that time this system, a few years after the capitalist penetration of the former USSR, China and the rest of the countries of Eastern Europe, was still in an upswing. Nor is it comparable to May 1968, an ascent of the student movement that set off a political general strike by the masses lasting several days, a strike diverted by a wage concession and other conquests which were only possible because there was still something to “share” due to the postwar boom. Therefore, the current struggles will be more like the 1930’s, more explosive, with more fissures (both between the classes and within them), with more violence, with strong elements of social decomposition, because of the crisis and in the face of governments and regimes that will become ever harsher, ever more Bonapartist in form, in order to liquidate the workers’ actions. It is not surprising that the National Front (FN), which had raised its head in opposition to the regime of the Fifth Republic (implicated in the Bettencourt affair, a scandal that showed the jumbled ties between money and power, especially with Sarkozy’s UMP) but has been silent during all the days of struggle, has now recently reappeared when the trade unions want to abandon the struggle with empty hands, presenting itself as a demagogic alternative for those groups that could possibly be disappointed with these leaderships.

In this sense, and 180 degrees away from this variant, a hard left is needed, one that openly talks about how to defeat Sarkozy and the stockholders of the CAC 40 (a Paris stock market index) and the big families and fortunes that govern France. A real revolutionary party that will answer the inflexible dictatorship of capital with the self-organization of the exploited in organs of counter-power to topple the bourgeois state. The two central organizations of the extreme left in France, the NPA (New Anti-capitalist Party) and LO (Lutte Ouvrière), must stop playing hide-and-seek and call for the unity of all forces that consider themselves part of the extreme left to discuss a program and an intervention appropriate to the capitalist crisis and the first big struggles that our class is waging. As the Collective for a Revolutionary Tendency (CTR) in the NPA, we fight within the NPA so that the party will orient itself in this openly revolutionary sense, as shown by the actions, the program and the perspective we have been promoting in the current commotion France is experiencing.

by Juan Chingo, FT-CI, Paris, November 3, 2010 (originally published here)

Infobox: What is the Collective for a Revolutionary Tendency?

The Collective for a Revolutionary Tendency (CTR), established during the summer of 2010, brings together members of the ex-LCR and other members of the NPA, including members of the Trotskyist Fraction (FT-CI), who base themselves on Marxism and the historic program of the Fourth International. As they say in their platform: “Our aim is for the NPA to be a consistently anti-capitalist party, i.e. a proletarian party and a revolutionary party, a party of class struggle, fighting for the general strike and the power of the workers. We do not want an electoral party putting pressure on the “left of the left”, whose fate would inevitably be to align itself with reformists and integrate into the institutions … In particular, we struggle to clarify the ambiguities arising from the foundation of the NPA in an overtly revolutionary sense, by raising a genuine transitional program which articulates the most concrete demands of the workers with the aim of the conquest of power, by orienting ourselves to the struggle for the general strike, for the self-organization of the workers, against the reformists and the trade union leaders who betray the struggles, for a genuine workers’ united front that enables the mobilization of the masses through clear objectives of struggle.” The CTR includes important workers’ leaders and activists such as Vincent Duse, a member of the National Political Council (CPN) of the NPA elected at the founding congress, a worker activist since 1981 and a delegate of the CGT in the Peugeot-Citroën factory in Mulhouse, and Manuel Georget, a worker activist of the ex-LCR since 1990 as well as a delegate of the CGT of the workers of Philips Dreux, a company which for ten days had an experience of workers’ control, the first in France since the 1970’s.

Declaration of the Collective for a Revolutionary Tendency (originally published here in Spanish)

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