Statement by the Network to Support and Strengthen the PCF
In a few weeks, the legislative elections will complete the reconstituted political situation that resulted from this presidential campaign. It is essential we learn the first urgent lessons.
Workers, public services, local communities, will need MPs that support them, listen to them and help them rebuild.
But the leadership of the PCF is stalled in an impasse and confusion that is paralyzing the communists.
For months, PCF leaders have been desperately seeking the conditions of increasingly uncertain alliances, multiplying the “Mondays of the Left” (1), meetings of party apparatuses and leaders, leaving activists uncertain about strategy, content, and practical conditions of action. Meanwhile, the four candidates who came first in the first round [of the Presidential election]’ were fighting according to their political line, without worrying about ’unity’, but constructing everywhere the most favourable balance of forces for them.
The media and the political system have largely favoured them, setting the scene for the political reproduction sought by the oligarchies that govern, a political recomposition that changes everything so that nothing changes.
It was necessary to kill (2) Fillon in order to maximize Le Pen’s repulsive effect. It was necessary to kill Hamon (3) to maximize the saviour effect of Macron, but it was necessary to prop him up so as not to risk pushing Mélenchon through to the second round.
It will be necessary after the legislative elections to understand the workings of a system which is said to be in deep, systemic crisis, but which has the capacity to mobilize such social, economic and cultural forces that it succeeds in transforming certain defeat into political victory, symbolized by the paternal gesture of Holland towards his successor.
It will be necessary to face up to the very high scores of the Front National in working-class areas that have long been the strength of the PCF and which has caused a serious and dangerous fracture among the people – between those who massively voted to block the FN, above all people in urban working class areas, and those who voted FN as a rejection of globalization, especially in the deindustrialised regions. This political divide is the result of the renunciation of the PCF’s historic role of party of the working class.
The Front National is trying to position itself as the main opposition force in conjunction with Macron’s strategy to create a new American-style bipartisan model guaranteeing the continuation of the system.
The Communists are paying heavily for a 20-year process of “refounding” that has never believed in the usefulness of the Communist Party, which has always sought to hide it under the table, which has always considered it secondary to engage, to organize as a party of action, on the ground, in workplaces and the working class areas.
Propelled by our decision not to stand in [the Presidential election of] 2012, Jean-Luc Mélenchon attracts many voters of both the historic Communist and Socialist left, which is at an all-time low. Comforted by the result in the first round, he attempts an approach – taken by [former socialist President Francois] Mitterrand – to end the PCF, to build a new left-wing political force no longer anchored to communism.
Marie-Georges Buffet calls on the PCF to ’surpass itself’ (4) while Pierre Laurent sows doubt about a change of name of our party. But the Communist Party must neither surpass itself nor disappear. It must rebuild, strengthen, organize, fight, and win on June 11 and 18, as many seats as possible in parliament to finally reboot our history.
We are not expecting any solution from a rallying on high or the old electoral horsetrading which has discredited us. We refuse to be sold either to France Insoumise (Unbowed France) or to the new political force promised by Hamon.
The battle of the legislative elections can allow us everywhere to advance in the reconstruction of the Communist Party. In some constituencies, we can elect deputies determined to resist and support in parliament popular interests and all those who will fight. Every communist voice will contribute to the reconstruction of the Communist Party. This is urgent and our national leadership must finally devote itself entirely to it instead of seeking new expedients.
Then we will need a national conference of party section leaders to put everything on the table: a concrete and shared assessment of the 20 years of mutations, refoundations, metamorphoses, our electoral results, of our militant bases, our ability to be useful in the social, political and ideological struggles to unite our people around the necessary change of society.
(1) Debates, held every Monday and starting February this year, on an ’alternative to policies pursued today’ with a wide range of personalities and activists from other political parties, NGOs, unions, the arts and the intellectual community. http://www.pcf.fr/81763
(2) Francois Fillon was the candidate of the Republicans, the traditional right-wing party
(3) Benoit Hamon was the candidate of the Socialists
(4) In an interview published May 4, three days before the second round of the Presidential election, Buffet indicated that the PCF’s strategy of not presenting its own candidate but supporting Melenchon’s France Insoumise movement should continue for the parliamentary elections to be held in June.