France: declaration of the NPA Congress

A section of the leadership of the New Anti-Capitalist Party of France, which in fact proposes to go behind Mélenchon’s institutional and reformist “left,” abandoned the party congress and caused a split down the middle. We reproduce the statement issued by the other sector of the NPA, which has been confronting this mistaken policy and defends an independent and revolutionary project, of which the ISL militants in France are part.

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!