[Marxism] France: New Anti-Capitalist Party congress wrestles with challenge of the Left Front

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Sat Feb 16 00:29:33 MST 2013

By *Dick Nichols*

February 15, 2013 -- /Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal/ 
-- The four years since the founding of France's New Anti-Capitalist 
Party (NPA) have been a roller coaster rise and fall for the 
organisation, which was created in 2009 on the initiative of the 
Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), the former French section of the 
Trotskyist Fourth International.

The party's rapid early growth seemed to confirm the premise on which it 
was founded --- tens of thousands of France's workers and young people 
wanted to get active against capitalism's crises and crimes, but were 
wary of existing left organisations and looking for a new sort of 
political home.

However, after the NPA membership peaked at just under 10,000 (the LCR 
membership had rarely exceeded 2500), it soon went into decline. By its 
second congress, held on February 1-3 in the working-class Paris suburb 
of St Denis, NPA membership was being put at between 2000 and 2500.

The NPA's 1.15% vote in 2012's presidential poll also saw its state 
electoral funding collapse compared to the 2002 and 2007 LCR 
presidential campaigns in which popular candidate Olivier Besancenot won 
more than 4%. LCR and NPA leader Alain Krivine told the February 1 
/Líbération, /"The state of our finances is pretty catastrophic."

To add to the pain, in mid-2012 around 600-800 former NPA members, 
organised in the Anti-Capitalist Left (GA) current, left the NPA and 
joined the Left Front (Front de Gauche, FdG) after their call for the 
NPA to enter that alliance was rejected at its July 2012 conference.

At that point GA became the third grouping sucked out of the NPA by the 
gravitational pull of the Left Front, which had begun in late 2008 as a 
coalition between the Left Party (Parti de Gauche, PG) and the Communist 
Party of France (PCF) for the 2009 European election. In the May 2012 
presidential poll the Left Front's leading personality, former Socialist 
Party (SP) left tendency leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, won 11.1% (nearly 4 
million votes) on a program of a "citizens' revolution" against 
neoliberal capitalism.

Full article at http://links.org.au/node/3227

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