(Fwd) Re: Stalinism

gdunkel at mindspring.com gdunkel at mindspring.com
Wed Dec 11 14:37:38 MST 2002

On 9 Dec 02, at 6:50, Jim Farmelant wrote:

> Then there is the case of the French CP, which following WW II
> became for most intents and purposes a social democratic party
> (and for many years quite a successful one at that) while
> retaining a Stalinist culture within the party, and generally
> remaining  loyal to Moscow.
> Jim F.

Loyalty to Moscow, disagreeable and undemocratic personal practices,
support for French imperialism in holding onto Algeria,  all were charges
correctly laid against the French Communist Party (PCF) during this past
discussion on Staliminism.

Still, one member of the PCF was publically guillotined in Algiers for the
practical support he gave to the NFL during the war.  At least one other
disappeared, 100s beaten, arrested, imprisoned.

Towards the end, at the conclusion of a major demonstration against the
the cops cornered a delegation from the PCF in the metro.  In the bloody
battle that followed 4 or 5 members of the PCF were killed, a dozen
crippled.  The fight was so fierce the ceiling dripped with blood.

4 days later 500,000 people marched in Paris demanding justice and in
support for Algeria.  The French bourgeoisie threw in the towel and

The PCF was still Stalinist, but showed as ideologically crippled as it
might have been, it and the French working class still had a fighting
spirit. And could win victories.

It didn't end there.  Years later, when Lionel Jospin, a member of the
Socialist Party, was prime minister and a member of the PCF was
minister of transportation, since the PCF were junior partners in the
government, a trucker strike brought much of the economic activity in
Frnace to a stammering halt.

A good part of the leadership of the truckers came from the CGT, many
of whom are PCF cadres.  They were on both sides of the barricades.
(Trotskyists in SUD, I believe, also played a role).  Different times,
different party and constellation of political forces, but I don't think
Stalimist quite captures who and what they were.

I could say more about there recent electoral defeat, the PCF majority
abandoning the class struggle, and so on, but I have run out of time.

Perhaps others, perhaps more from me later.

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