Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

France : Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA -New Anticapitalist Party) Divides Down the Middle

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The congress of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (New Anticapitalist Party) took place on 9-10-11 December. It resulted in a separation of the party. The first statement published was adopted by the platform winning 48.5% of the votes. The second by the platform obtaining 45.5% of the votes.


 Majority statement : We continue the NPA, for a revolutionary and unitary party of the exploited and oppressed

The pandemic and its consequences sound like warnings. Capitalism, the race for profits, is leading humanity to catastrophe. Wars, ecological crises dangerously endanger life on earth, economic crisis, shortages… Here, Macron intends to pursue the neoliberal offensive against our rights, in particular by attacking our pensions in the coming weeks. There is an urgent need to break with this system that is running out of steam.

The great imperialist powers are redeploying, competition is intensifying, the far right is threatening. War policies and the arms race are growing stronger. Everywhere, we are on the side of the peoples and their right to self-determination, as in Ukraine, in solidarity against Putin’s aggression.

In the absence of an eco-socialist alternative, based on the self-organization of those below, the capitalist infernal machine will continue to spin out of control. As internationalists and anti-colonialists, our hopes are nourished by the feminist and anti-dictatorship mobilizations in Iran, the wage strikes in England, the demonstrations for democracy in China, the struggles against racism in the United States, the struggles against chlordecone in the Caribbean.. We act in solidarity with all these mobilizations. While the struggles are real, they are finding it difficult to win. The most massive and radical ones, notably those of the Arab Spring, have managed to get rid of authoritarian and corrupt regimes. But none of them has led to an emancipatory alternative. The reactionary counter-offensive has been accompanied by mass killings and the return of dictatorial regimes.

To maintain their domination, the capitalists are ready for anything. They are strengthening their racist, Islamophobic and authoritarian offensives. Extreme right-wing governments impose discriminatory, climatic and reactionary policies. The fascist threat is back in force. It requires vigilance, specific struggles and unitary frameworks to fight it.

Macron is attacking the most precarious among us with the unemployment insurance reform, with the Darmanin law against migrants. The pension reform claims to push back the retirement age to 65. More than a new « reform », this offensive in favour of the capitalists carries with it the project of a society of over-exploitation : working more and more, for longer and longer… and for ever lower incomes. It is a real provocation against all those who, through their manual or intellectual work, keep society going, especially women.

Macron sets the bar very high. For him, it’s make or break : reform or dissolution. He leaves us no choice but to blockade the country. We have to get Macron out. This implies the unity of workers and youth, of their organizations, from the bottom to the top. Above all, it requires a movement from below, in the workplaces and schools, in the communes and neighbourhoods, which organises and decides on the struggle.

Refusal of lay-offs, wage increases, reduction of working hours… we must break with the capitalist exploitation that puts profits before our lives. In the companies and in all workplaces, we act to build tools of collective resistance – trade unions, collectives, etc. The struggles against exploitation, against all oppressions and for the preservation of the planet are linked. Environmental, feminist, LGBTI and anti-racist struggles have their own dynamics and organizational forms. Their self-organization builds the emancipation of all. Their convergence opens the way to a confrontation with this system and the powers that defend it.

An internationalist, anti-capitalist, feminist and ecosocialist organization
In 2009 we launched the NPA in the hope of bringing together in a single party all those who were committed to an anti-capitalist perspective, breaking with the left that manages the system. This project is more relevant than ever. Today, we are renewing the thread of the construction of a useful party for the exploited and the oppressed. In the last sequence, the Mélenchon and then NUPES vote was the tool used by an important part of the working classes to defend themselves against Macron and the far right. But on a militant level, tens of thousands of anti-capitalists are orphaned from a political organization that acts practically in the class struggle, outside electoral campaigns. An organization convinced that exploitation, oppression and the destruction of ecosystems cannot be ended without overthrowing capitalism, without a revolutionary transformation of society, an organization in dialogue and confrontation without sectarianism with other currents in the social movement.

Groups that disagree with these perspectives have developed within the NPA. In some cities and sectors, in our structures, the NPA has become a front of organizations, in competition with each other. We refuse this situation, which turns our party into a battlefield. Faced with their refusal to change the way we function together, we decide to continue the NPA by separating from these groups.

In the coming weeks, the NPA will be present in all the mobilizations : against the pension reform, for health and public hospitals, in defence of migrant workers from the next solidarity marches, to build the feminist strike of 8 March, against the projects of mega-pools, the revival of nuclear power and the burial of waste in Bure…

On a local and national scale, we are launching a militant campaign to address all those who have the common desire to build an anti-capitalist, revolutionary and unitary organization.

The first will be a public meeting in Paris on Tuesday 17 January at the Bellevilloise, with our spokespeople Olivier Besancenot, Christine Poupin, Philippe Poutou and Pauline Salingue.

11 December 2022

Majority platform

Copyright. Photothèque Rouge / Martin Noda / Hans Lucas

* * * * *

 Minority statement : Urgency and relevance of the revolution, we continue the NPA

The NPA congress brought together 210 delegates in Saint-Denis this weekend, representing the party’s 2,013 members. Platform A received 91 votes, 6.21% ; platform B 711 votes, 48.50%, and platform C 664 votes, 45.29% (a 47 vote difference). It was held a few months after the NPA as a whole carried out the party’s presidential campaign, a campaign that contributed to a new influx of activists to the NPA, of more than 500 militants, youth, students and workers who joined the ranks of the party in one year.

Despite these advances, a part of the outgoing NPA leadership chose to abandon the congress before any vote, including decisive votes on perspectives, to pursue, on its own, a policy in the direction of NUPES and its main component LFI, initiated in the 2021 regional elections in New Aquitaine and Occitania and confirmed on the occasion of the 2022 legislative elections. It is a policy of minority separation, which only received 100 votes in closed session, while the party had sent 210 delegates to this congress. The few divisionists in the outgoing leadership chose to try to blow up the party by challenging the democratic vote of the militants who, in their elective assemblies, had overwhelmingly voted an explicit motion in favor of “continuing the NPA,” or voted overwhelmingly in favor of platforms that rejected the split, including our platform C. This platform is by far the majority in the youth sector of the NPA, in numerous professional branches (transport, post, automotive industry…) and in important departmental federations (Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux , Rouen…).

This decision is irresponsible, especially now that the national and international situation demands that revolutionaries close ranks and raise prospects for the revolutionary emancipation of workers and the youth worldwide. It demands that we regroup not divide. But the NPA will continue, despite the departure of its main spokespersons. We, the delegates of the “Relevance and urgency of the revolution” platform, which obtained almost half of the party’s votes, assume this responsibility before the whole of the NPA, its committees, its federations and its sections, regardless of the votes of the congress. Starting Monday, we will bring together all the bodies of the NPA.

We call on all the militants of our party, behind the majority which has demonstrated itself against the split, to continue building the NPA with us. And beyond this, with us, for internationalist responsibility, to fight against the fragmentation of the extreme left and the revolutionary movement on a world scale. The NPA has always conceived of itself as a pole for the regrouping of revolutionaries, towards a revolutionary party of workers.

Here in France, labor is facing an all-out offensive from employers and the government. Workers, including the most precarious, the unemployed, retired and disabled, are greatly affected. With inflation exceeding 6% per year, wages are cut a little more each day, and new sacrifices are announced to the working classes : for many, there is talk of going hungry and cold, without electricity or heating, this winter. For the beginning of 2023, an increase in the rates of public transport, highway tolls, post office, etc. is announced. And the government launches its attack on pensions for the elderly, among other things by raising the legal retirement age.

This autumn has already been marked by a large number of mobilizations and strikes for wage increases, scattered and isolated but determined. The national strike day of October 18, in support of the refinery strikers but also in anger against Macron and his government, which wanted to intimidate them, showed that an explosion of anger is possible. It is urgent to prepare the mobilizations and their generalization, the only way to change the relationship of forces and push back these attacks by the bosses and the government : for an increase in salaries and pensions of 400 euros net per month for all, no income below 2,000 euros and a systematic alignment of wage increases with price increases, for full retirement with a maximum of 37 and a half years of contribution from the age of 60. It is a matter of imposing a division of labor among all – everyone working and working less – without any salary reduction, with, on the contrary, salaries that follow the cost of living. Added to the demand to uproot these vital demands is the indignation over the growing deterioration of health, education and transportation conditions, as well as the ecological damage that rots the daily lives of the working classes and youth. These demands for a different life, not sacrificed to profit, will be achieved through the class struggle, with a global response from labor and not from the institutions. Labor will not be able to win either in Parliament or in the halls of social dialogue. There will be no capitalism with a human face, as the FI defends, nor a citizen revolution through the ballot box. We reaffirm the need and the possibility of building a revolutionary party, because pushing back the bosses and ultimately seizing power from them will not be done through elections. In the immediate future, the NPA will give priority to the construction of mobilizations, with all, and there are many around us, who are politically organized in unions or associations, and with others who are less organized, who want to move in this direction. We will demonstrate as a column of the NPA in the March of Solidarity on December 18, which we call to join en masse.

Faced with the rise of the nauseating currents and ideas of the extreme right, nationalists and racists, assumed to a large extent by the right and the government itself, in the face of the war and chaos towards which capitalist society is leading us, we have a particular responsibility towards our social class, the responsibility of helping them to trust in their own strength to fight on their own ground and abandon institutional illusions. While labor shows its power to block the entire society when it goes on strike. A force of stoppage, but also a force for the reorganization of the whole of society, if the proletarians in struggle go further and organize themselves to lay the foundations of their own power.

The international situation also demands our responsibilities. In several countries, including England, strikes and waves of strikes break out. More generally, we are witnessing an unprecedented wave of large-scale social protests. In 2019, less than ten years after the 2011 Arab revolutions, we have seen a resurgence of mass protests around the world and now in Iran and China. They join the massive struggles of women for the right to abortion and against gender and sexual violence, the struggles for the rights of the LGBTI collective, the struggles of the youth and the not so young for the climate and against racism.

At a time when the real dangers of the militarization and authoritarian hardening of the regimes against the popular classes are looming, but in which reactions and affirmation capacities for our class are emerging in almost the entire world, it is time to give life in practice to a revolutionary pole, to regroup those forces, now a minority but nonetheless very real, that militate for the revolutionary defeat of the system. A capitalist system that accumulates evidence of its inability to meet the needs of humanity, while today, among the eight billion people, a majority remains on the brink of survival.

We address all workers, young and old, revolted by the system of capitalist exploitation and its procession of misery, wars and oppression : join us for its overthrow and let us all together highlight the relevance and urgency of the revolution !

11 December 2022

Minority platform

On the far left, the NPA has self-destructed

Sunday 11 December 2022, by DEJEAN Mathieu

An informative article (in French) appeared on Mediapart and has also been published on Europe Solidaire sans Frontières (ESSF). A translation into English is below.

Sources :

At its 5th congress, the New Anti-Capitalist Party definitely exploded. The supporters of Olivier Besancenot and Philippe Poutou announced a break with the other half of the Trotskyite formation, which is hostile to any agreement with La France Insoumise.
It’s not a good idea to have a lot of people in the same room,” he said. In the large room, this Sunday 11 December, many seats are empty. Only half of the 200 delegates to the 5th congress of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) are still present, the other half having left the premises with a bang the day before, around the former presidential candidate Philippe Poutou.
The reason for this is the deep disagreements, both on the political orientation and on the functioning and conception of the party, which had made its internal life unbearable for months.
“In the meantime, it is important to note that this is not the case with the other parties, which are not the only ones to have a good relationship with each other. On the one hand, those who have kept the NPA alive for years, its campaigns – notably presidential – its democratic bodies, its expression, the coordination of its activities, its bookshop; on the other hand, fractions who already have their own lives and disagree with the project that presided over the foundation of the NPA (even if they claim to use its logo).”
This text, signed by 100 of the 102 delegates of “platform B” (one of the orientations proposed to the activists), opened the way to a formal separation.
 A weakened and fractured organisation
This is the epilogue to a crisis that had actually been going on for years, against a backdrop of strategic disagreements over the attitude to be taken with La France insoumise (LFI) and the entryist practices of “fractions” within the NPA. After the vote of the 1,500 activists gathered in general assemblies before the congress, the organisation appeared more fractured than ever: Platform B (“Unity and revolutionary, a useful NPA faced with the ravages of capitalism”), signed by the current leadership of which Olivier Besancenot is a member, received 48.5% of the votes cast, against 45.3% for platform C (“Actuality and urgency of the revolution”), which brings together four internal fractions (L’Étincelle, Anticapitalism & revolution, Socialism or barbarism and Revolutionary Democracy) A more modest platform, united under the eloquent slogan “No split, no stagnation”, gathered 6.2%.

The dispute between them is of course political. Platform B, supported by the historic core of the Ligue communiste révolutionnaire (LCR, founded in 1966 and dissolved at the birth of the NPA in 2009), announced its desire to draw closer to LFI using the phraseology of the “united front”, faithful to the Trotskyist heritage of this current.
The centre of gravity of the French left has shifted from Hollande’s social liberalism to Mélenchon’s anti-liberalism,” wrote its signatories. The existence of an opposition to power, on the left, and of a visible critique of neoliberal capitalism, can restore confidence, especially in sectors that did not feel represented, and arouse militant dynamics. [It is therefore a question of assuming and pursuing our unitary orientation”. In this perspective, while defending itself from wanting to join LFI or to dissolve into the New Popular, Ecological and Social Union (Nupes), this current affirms that “anti-capitalist elected representatives would be useful for struggles and mobilisations, as well as for the critique of the functioning and nature of bourgeois institutions.
This unitary approach, inclined to electoral alliances with an “anti-liberal” left, was strongly criticised by various internal identitarian currents, including that of Gaël Quirante (Anticapitalism & Revolution), who took the lead in the slingshot.
In the last legislative elections, after the NPA refused to join the Nupes (due to the integration of the Socialist Party in its perimeter), the party had however decided to support the candidates of the union of the left and the ecologists, except those from the PS, or even former Macronists (as in the 2nd constituency of Lyon). Similarly, in the 2021 regional elections, the alliance with LFI was made in several regions (New Aquitaine and Occitania), causing a stir within the NPA.
It is against this rapprochement that the fractions of the NPA united in the C platform are protesting. In their text, they analyse differently the dominant position now occupied by LFI on the left: “This electoral breakthrough of the FI and the rebalancing within the institutional ‘left’ in favour of the FI do not change our fundamental objective, which is to build organisations that are independent of the bourgeoisie but also of all the nuances of the ‘institutional left’, including the FI. They defend themselves from entering into a logic of isolation, taking up the Leninist formula “walk separately, strike together”, considering that junctions are possible with LFI in the street.
 A functioning that has become impossible
Most of these fractions, however, prefer a rapprochement with Lutte ouvrière (LO) – L’Étincelle came out of a split from LO in 2008, as did Démocratie révolutionnaire, which joined the LCR in the late 1990s. “If there’s a front to be made, it’s with all the far-left forces, from LO to the CCR,” defends Maurice Amzallay, a retired railway worker and activist in L’Étincelle. “It would be a brighter beacon for those who want to give a revolutionary perspective to their anger,” agrees his comrade Damien Scali.
But the differences are not only political. They also concern the functioning of the organisation. This was the point on the agenda when the separation was decided. Already at the NPA congress in 2018, the leadership was worried about the constitution of a “front of fractions” within it. Since then, the CCR group, better known under the name of its media Révolution permanente, has left the NPA and tried to present a candidate for the presidential elections – in vain.

Source :

The First Item on the Agenda is the Split

Let’s hope each separated left-wing organisation in France agrees to adopt different names! 

In Ireland we can offer the laughing-stock examples of recent Stalinist splits – two or three organisations called the “Workers’ Party”, a similar number of organisations called the “Communist Party” – and so on…….

Judean People’s Front V People’s Front of Judea :

Brian only wants to expel the Romans from Judea

John Meehan December 13 2022

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