LCR lets go of dicktatorship

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Mon Nov 10 00:40:43 MST 2003

French Trotskyists revamp 1917 rhetoric
PARIS, Nov 2 (AFP) - France's Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) has
announced it is moving away from old Soviet-style rhetoric, as a new opinion
poll shows the extreme-left making significant ground on the mainstream
political scene.
At its 15th party congress on Saturday, delegates of the Trotskyist party
voted overwhelmingly to drop the Marxist tenet of the dictatorship of the
proletariat, a move described as a "pleasant surprise" by one LCR member.

The "Stalinist reference had become too heavy a load," the delegate said.

The party also voted in favour of an alliance with the fellow Trotskyist
Workers' Struggle party (LO).

LO leader Arlette Laguiller won 5.8 percent of the vote in this year's
presidential election, won by Jacques Chirac.

According to a poll published in Sunday's Journal du Dimanche newspaper, the
two parties combined could do even better at the ballot box.

Nine percent of respondents said they had voted for the extreme left before
and would do so again while a further 22 percent said they would consider
voting for them for the first time.

The LCR party's new statutes, agreed by 85 percent of members on Saturday,
call merely for "the building of a mass party which is anti-capitalist,
feminist and ecologist, founded on the principle of the emancipation of the
working class and all the oppressed and exploited," as the first step
towards a classless society.

The change, dropping the reference to proletariat dictatorship, was
necessary to bring the statutes in line with "the realities of today" said
'Olive', the party's operative in charge of drawing up the new statutes, who
insisted the move was "not a radical change".

In another move away from old-style communist Cold War rhetoric, the party's
central committee becomes the national directorate although the politburo
retains its name.

The old statutes dated back to 1969. They were reviewed in 1974 when the
party - which holds no seats in parliament - was reformed after being banned
the previous year during the presidency of Georges Pompidou.

The more mainstream French Communist Party (PCF) dropped the concept of the
dictatorship of the proletariat in 1976.


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