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The French Communist Party (PCF)

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Post 13 Jan 2011, 01:17
A text against the "Reformism of the French Communist Party (PCF)"

Translated Tuesday 21 December 2010, by Cynthia McKennon and reviewed by Henry Crapo

André Gerin and Jean-Jacques Karman circulate a text criticizing the leadership of the French Communist Party in recent times.

For a decade, the leadership of the French Communist Party (PCF) has weakened the organization, accused the signatories.

"This is not a text proposing just another alternative," say André Gerin, deputy mayor of Venissieux, and Jean-Jacques Karman, general councillor of the Seine-Saint-Denis Region.

These two figures, also members of the National Council of the PCF, are among the 211 who signed a contribution entitled "For a strong Communist Party, a project of revolutionary transformation." Fourteen members of the National Council and three members of parliament have also initialed it.

The major criticism of the text against the PCF leadership, can be summed up in few words, "Stop the erasure of the PCF." The signatories denounce "incessant changes in electoral strategy and the absence of a communist project for transformation of the capitalist society."

"The disagreement dates back to the late 1990s, when Robert Hue initiated changes in the mode of operation of the PCF, changes that, in the eyes of the authors of the contribution, seriously contributed to the weakening of the organization and the credibility of the PCF. Jean-Jacques Karman speaks of "dramatic mismanagement" over the years of "mutation." He denounced the closing of communist clubs, close to the population, to be replaced by regional assemblies, and the closing of thousands of communist clubs at the place of work.

André Gerin is hardly more tender with Marie-George Buffet, the previous general secretary of the PCF. He says the national secretary "trampled and humiliated communists, (...) the divorce with the leaders of the PCF is increasingly evident."

The text calls for autonomy of the PCF in all elections, including at the presidential elections. "This communist presidential candidacy should not depend on the consensus of our potential partners. This approach is doomed to failure by the personal pretensions of Jean-Luc Melenchon. " Finally, the text concludes with a call to rally all the Communists, with or without membership cards.
Post 02 Aug 2011, 08:40
Comrade Léo Figuères died yesterday.


He was born in 1918. When he was 14, he joined the Communist Youth. During the War, from 1941 to 1944, he led the southern clandestine communist youth movement. After the war, he became its General Secretary. And from 1946 to 1976, he was a member of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party. From 1965 to 1995, he was the mayor of Malakoff. He wrote many books, such as "Capitalism, socialism, communism" (2010) and his famous "Trotskyism, this antileninism" (1969 - Le trotskisme, cet antiléninisme).

He was the best antitrotskyist ever.
Post 03 Sep 2011, 16:36
Let's remember comrade Fabien


Colonel Fabien, 21 August 1941: in Barbès-Rochechouart, Fabien Fires

Translated Thursday 1 September 2011, by Henry Crapo and reviewed by Henry Crapo

The act of the militant communist and resistance fighter who, at age 21, had already fought fascism in Spain, gives the signal for armed resistance against the occupying power.
It is still early, this morning of 21 August 1941, in Paris. At the metro station Barbès-Rochechouart, an officer of the Kreigsmarine [1] gets ready to board the train. Two shots are fired; he falls. This is the first act of armed resistance in occupied France. The author of this act, Pierre Felix Georges, will enter history under the name of Colonel Fabien.
Born in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, he is only 21 years old, but he has already fought fascism in Spain. At the end of the year 1936 he enlisted in the international brigades, lying about his age. He is a communist. The two shots fired by Fabien will carry a clear meaning. For the nazis now know, despite the active collaboration of the Pétain government, and the aid of the French police, directed by Bousquet, that they will never again be secure. For a part of the French populace, still faithful to Pétain, this will be a sign that the war continues. Certainly, from London, General de Gaulle had said so already on 18 June 1940. But it was a question of gathering together the forces of the colonial empire and to rebuild, starting in London, a fighting force, relying on the resistance network in France for information and for putting together auxiliary forces in preparation for the big day. The act of Fabien meant that the combat even in the heart of the capital, and in the cities, would pass through armed battle. It was also a major political act. The French resistance, for the French Communist Party, will be a peoples’ battle, on French soil. The implications of this decision will be considerable. Without it, all things considered, the liberation of Paris "by itself", as in the formulation of the general, might never have happened.
"Paris is cold, Paris is hungry, there are no chestnuts to eat in the streets, Paris in cast-off clothing," wrote Paul Éluard. Not so for everyone. The collaboration has become fully active, and it does not happen without some questions by public opinion. On the 12th, Pétain declares on the radio that he feels an ill wind blowing. "Worries mount in our minds, doubts assail our souls, the authority of my government is called in question." On the 14th, Vichy decrees that the magistrates and the military must swear loyalty to the maréchal. On the 20th, the French police, at the demand of the Germans, arrest 3,447 Jews, intern them in Drancy. On the morning of the 21st an official comminique announces: "Because of activities favoring the enemy, the Jew Samuel Tyszelman and the man called Henri Gautherot, both residents of Paris, have been condemned to death. They participated in a communist demonstration directed against the German occupation troops. In respect of this decision, they have been shot." They were both friends of Fabien.
For the French communists, the trouble over the German-Soviet pact of 1939 is a thing of the past. Not only because Germany has launched, beginning in June, its attack on the Soviet Union, but also because the repression of communists, starting in July 1940, leaves no place for ambiguity. For Vichy as for the nazis, the communists are the principal enemy. In October 1940 the communists created the OS (special organizations), with the aim of acting against the occupiers. On 15 May the PCF launches an appeal for the formation of a national front for the battle to liberate France, and attacks and sabotage, particularly against the railway installations, begin to multiply. But it is necessary to do more. The nazis, in September 1940, had designated hostages who would be executed in case of trouble. They executed some patroits. Jacques Bonsergent, who had "bumped into some German soldiers", in December 1940, André Masseron, who had sung la Marseillaise, 19 July 1941, Roger Roig, the 24th, who had made insulting remarks. The first such was certainly Etienne Dechanvanne, in Rouen, as early as July 1940.
A shock was necessary. It’s not so simple. Is it a good strategy? Fabien will set the example. This young man is already a seasoned veteran, had become an officer while in Spain, was seriously injured in 1938. Returned to Paris, he is an aircraft fitter, and marries Andrée Coudrier, who will be deported to Ravensbrück. Elected to the national council of Communist Youth, and is arrested at his factory, where the workers express their solidarity, and go on strike. He escapes, and begins to organize clandestine activities of the PCF in different regions. He comes back to Paris early in 1941, at the request of the leadership of the PCF. On 21 August, he fires his shots.
Fabien then sets up the first maquis [2] in France in the Doubs, which was attacked by the gendarmerie in October. He is injured again, in the head. He crosses the Doubs, swimming, and makes his way back to Paris. Arrested by the French police, he is tortured, then turned over to the Gestapo. He escapes from the Romainville Fort, and rejoins the combat with different groups of the maquis. In 1944 he is one of the important actors in the Paris insurrection. The group he commands becomes the 151st Infantry Regiment under the orders of General Delattre de Tassigny. The latter already predicted he would become general. On the 27 of September 1944, Pierre Georges, Colonel Fabien, is blown up by a mine, under conditions that are not clear. He was 25 years old.
[1] German naval forces

[2] armed resistance group, usually hiding out in the countryside


Colonel Fabien is also the name of the siege of the Communist Party in Paris. It was created by Oscar Niemeyer and represent a hammer and a sickle.
Post 03 Sep 2011, 17:00
Comrade,sorry for derailing your thread,but can you provide some sources (in English preferably) about the behavior of French Trotskytes during the Nazi occupation of your country?
Post 04 Sep 2011, 13:54
All of the French trotskyists organizations collaborated with the enemy during the war or condemned the Resistance. The main part of the trotskyist movement in France was divided between the International Workers Party with Molinier, and Naville's Independant Workers Party. Molinier entered the fascist National Popular Congression (RNP - Rassemblement national populaire) of Marcel Déat. Many trotskyists followed his path : Roger Foirier, André Gailledrat, Maurice Déglise, Jean Desnots. Some of them even collaborated directly with Petain's governement such as Paul Cognet. In 1940, a new trotskyist group split from the International Workers Party : the National Revolutionary Movement. It became clearly a fascist organization. They declared : "The state and the nation must defend themselves (...) against every attempts of occult domination, wether from Judaism, masonry or Jesuitism".

Most of the trotskyist groups unified in 1943 in the Internationalist Communist Party (Parti communiste internationaliste - PCI).

When the allies landed on 22 June 1944, the PCI's newspaper, The Only Path (La seule voie), declared : "They are equals" (anglo-americans and nazis). It means that from the beginning of the war until the end, the French trotskyists analyzed the war as a simple war between imperialist powers. As they thought that nazi soldiers were "workers in a uniform", they promoted "revolutionary defeatism". The PCI declared with other trotskyist parties : "Today it is you, the German proletariat, the proletariat of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who above all need the solidarity of the proletariat of other countries."

Of course, they didn't forgot that the USSR existed. The fact is that according to true communists, the USSR made this war very different. But the trotskyists thought that USSR wasn't different frome other capitalist states, that they were all the same (even Nazi Germany !), and thus, it was indeed an imperialist war. Molinier was the worst. He stated that USSR was state capitalism, "which assimilated it with Nazi Germany, also characterized as state capitalist" (trotskyist source)


(source) The International Workers Party (POI) did the same and even edited special newspapers such as Arbeiter und Soldat. In 1939, Jean Rous (he would later become the leader of the fascist MNR) declared : "The party will not be put off the belief that the main enemy is in our own country by the possibility that mass revolutionary agitation in time of war may contribute to the military defeat of our country. Accepting this possibility does not mean encouraging or wanting victory for Hitler, but on the contrary will encourage the total defeat of Hitler and worldwide fascism." In fact, during the war, French trotskyists condemned any attempt to liberate the country inside a national movement. They declared that De Gaulle was "an enemy of the French workers", even though he was struggling against the main enemy : fascism and Pétain.

You see, everything is clear about what trotskyists did. And you can make the comparison with our trotskyist comrade who is saying that we shoud support the rebels in Libya, even though they are objectively helping imperialism. He believes that the rebels fighting under NATO's flag can do a revolution against their own masters ! Such did the hitlero-trotskyists during WWII. But while they were playing revolution, people were dying and starving and fascism was winning the war. And when they started to lose the war, they said that no one should join the "national liberation army" and the resistance, because "individual terrorism" is bad, it kills good nazi workers, and it helps the bourgeoisie. This is what I call a crime.

Fortunately, Mandel after WWII recognized that the resistence in Yugoslavia was a kind of "permanent revolution". He could have said the same about the French "stalinist" resistence.

And in a way, he did, because he criticized the French trotskyists attitude.
Post 04 Sep 2011, 14:32
Thank you for this insight.
What a disgrace these "communists" were...
Post 05 Sep 2011, 04:18
OP-Bagration wrote:
He wrote many books, such as "Capitalism, socialism, communism" (2010) and his famous "Trotskyism, this antileninism" (1969 - Le trotskisme, cet antiléninisme).

He was the best antitrotskyist ever.

Are any of his books online to read?
Post 05 Sep 2011, 13:07
I didn't found any, neither in French nor English. He is well-known in the French communist movement, but I don't think he has ever been translated in foreign languages.
Post 10 Feb 2013, 09:57
A few weeks ago we received our new Party cards. The hammer and sickle were replaced by the "european left" logo.



Yesterday, since it's the Congress, the Party's leader Pierre Laurent was asked by many newspapers why he did that, and he replied: "We want to look to the future. This is a symbol that does not sum up what we are today." This is shameful.
Post 11 Feb 2013, 05:01
While I'd agree with keeping the hammer and sickle, I do like the idea of a european "left" insignia.
Post 11 Feb 2013, 22:49
Sorry to see OPB. 'European left', what a joke. Now you sound like a run of the mill social democrat or liberal. This is something the CPUSA would do.

As long as the flags aren't touched I suppose.
Post 12 Feb 2013, 15:36
OMG, the glorious KKE is attacking the Party once again.

CP of Greece, The end of the Hammer and Sickle for the mutated French Communist Party [PCF] [En., Ru., Sp., Ar.]

Comment of the newspaper “Rizospastis”, the organ of the CC of the KKE

An inevitable result…The PCF at its 36th Congress, which concluded on Sunday in Paris, even renounced the hammer and sickle.

The abandonment of the hammer and sickle by the PCF did not take place at a random moment, but at a time when the authorities in many EU countries are banning the communist symbols, when the EU is attempting in an anti-historical way to equate communism with fascism. This is the moment which the “president” party of the European Left Party (ELP) chooses to willingly renounce the hammer and sickle, On 12/2, the following comment was made on this issue in the newspaper “Rizospastis”, organ of the CC of the KKE, which noted that:
The PCF long ago abandoned Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary principles of the Communist Parties, while from its position as head of the ELP it plays the leading role in the propagation of opportunism, with aim of mutating the Communist Parties in Europe.
The GS of the PCF and President of the ELP, P. Laurent, personally made sure that he demonstrated in every way the goal of the Congress, with his statements on the LCI TV station, when he was asked about the new party identity cards, on which the hammer and sickle was replaced by the “star” of the ELP: “It's an established and revered symbol that continues to be used in all of our demonstrations, but it doesn't illustrate the reality of who we are today. It isn't so relevant to a new generation of communists.”…
Indeed after the protests of a section of the delegates which were caused by his statements, as well as by the replacement of the hammer and sickle, Laurent presented a party identity card from 1944 of the then illegal PCF, saying ironically that this one also did not have the hammer and sickle on it!
Beyond the vulgarity and degeneration of the leadership of the opportunist PCF, which is a provocation for the revolutionary communists all over the world, the essence is that the replacement on the part of the French party of the historic symbol of the communist parties is the outcome of the path it has been treading for several decades now. Methodically and stably, it has distanced itself from the theory of Marxism-Leninism, the principles of the formation and functioning of a revolutionary communist party and, what is most important, it made the management of capitalism, the unprincipled policy of alliances, the participation in bourgeois governments, its strategy, betraying the goal for the overthrow of capitalist barbarity and denigrating the struggle for socialism. It should be noted that for many years tendencies and platforms have operated within the PCF in the name of pluralism and democracy… i.e. it has no relation with a communist party but continues the tradition of euro-communism.

The PCF has irrevocably betrayed the working class and popular strata in France. It has governed together with the social-democrats on two occasions, contributing to the attacks on the French people, while systematically, since then, providing assistance to social-democracy, calling on the workers to support those forces which are digging the pit to throw the workers in. In the face of the crisis, the PCF seeks “development”, concealing that this will take place in conditions where the labour rights will literally be flattened and a real hell will be created for the working class.
But the working class in every country can determine its own future and enjoy the wealth it produces and not live in conditions which belong to bygone eras. But the CP must, as the vanguard of the working class, have a strategy for the overthrow of capitalism, for socialism. It must have a plan to concentrate and prepare forces, even today, for this goal. In the final analysis it must prepare the working class itself and its allies to realize this goal. This has nothing to do with whatever the opportunist PCF says about “communism of the new generation”, with “democracy”, “socialism” which denies the scientific laws of socialist construction, and the impossible prospect of a humanized capitalism which it propagates.

Communists all over Europe must draw conclusions from this development in the PCF, the party which is at the head of European opportunism, and fight to smash opportunism politically, ideologically and organizationally in their countries. ... n-ru-sp-ar
Post 29 Jul 2015, 23:19
I'm sorry to dig up an old thread (and the picture itself is a bit old as well), but I found this interesting:


This, of course, belongs not only to the PCF, but to the entire Party of the European Left that they are part of. Not content with removing the hammer and sickle from the party cards and the logos, they now even managed to make it vanish from the triumphant Red Army in Berlin. What will the next amazing vanishing trick be? Maybe in 10 years or so, they'll arrange for the renaming of their office location, since Colonel Fabien "isn't so relevant to a new generation of communists". Perhaps the square could be renamed Place Aléxis Tsípras in honour of leftist measures like making workers pay more VAT for foodstuffs and handing over public property to a privatisation fund not seen since the Treuhand.
Post 19 May 2016, 23:24
what i would like to point for PCF is that its decline was accompanied by the rise of National Front at the same period (mid 80s - today)
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