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New Anti-Capitalist Party founded

France: The anti-capitalist hope

Sunday 22 February 2009, by Pierre-François Grond

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The Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA - New Anti-capitalist Party) was founded on February 6, 2009, adopting a program, provisional statutes, a name, policy guidelines, and electing a new leadership. The conclusion of a process and a dynamic of gathering of anti-capitalist and revolutionary forces which started eighteen months ago. A process which implied that the LCR give way to this new party. Right now, the NPA is a new political reality, which we have been able to forge together but, beyond satisfaction, it was very much a feeling of responsibility and recognition of the gravity of the situation which dominated our debates.

Indeed, the creation of the NPA is not an event external to political realities. The foundation of the NPA takes place in, and undoubtedly is also explained by, a context of total crisis. Capitalism has entered a major, historic, crisis, which is not denied any more by the majority of the leaders of the planet. It cannot be reduced to a financial crisis, or the failure of the neoliberal regulation of the capitalist system, but rather represents the failure of a system of generalization of the market in order to satisfy the thirst for profits of the bosses.

The masses as a whole and the world of labour are likely to pay a crisis for which the central actors of the system (the banks, financial powers, and capitalist institutions) are primarily responsible. Massive dismissals, a higher cost of living, the methodical destruction of the public services are the first demonstrations of it and have caused the first mobilizations. At the same time, an ecological and food crisis affects the very essence of people’s living conditions. In relation to this crisis of capitalist civilization, we want to build a force which defends the revolutionary transformation of society, the rebuilding of a deeply democratic socialist perspective calling into question private economic ownership.

The first mobilizations have broken out. Guadeloupe and Martinique have risen against the high cost of living, injustice and discrimination. On January 29, several million took part in strike and demonstrations in metropolitan France, and a new day of action is planned for March 19. After the high-school pupils in December, academics and students have taken to the streets to force a government which has not abandoned any of its projects of social demolition to back down. Appeals converge against the threat to liberties posed by the projects of the government. We support everything that allows the convergence of the struggles, all the initiatives of mobilization towards an overall movement against the government and its policy. A new May 68 to beat Sarkozy.

This is why the NPA will be at the centre of the mobilizations, strikes and demonstrations, and will constantly propose the unitary gathering of the forces of the social and political left to support the struggles. As we have in the area of dismissals. As we will propose for the new day of strikes and demonstrations on March 19 or to support the fight of the car workers.

During this time of social and political tensions we want to defend an emergency plan, a plan for an exit from the crisis in favour of the workers and the masses. A plan of concrete measures, which refuses to support capitalism, to finance those responsible for the crisis, as does the government and also the Socialist Party.

We want a wage increase of 300 euros net per month for all; no income, wage or other main means of support below 1,500 euros net; removal of VAT, starting with basic needs products; freezing and cutting of rents, fighting the hypermarkets which profit on the backs of consumers while strangling the small producers. We will defend the prohibition of dismissals in large as in small companies, in the private sector as in the public, where the suppression of jobs has never been more significant.

We reject and fight against the Bachelot law for the commodification and privatization of health. We are alongside the academics and students against the Pécresse law. We reject the privatizations of yesterday and today, of right as of left, and we will fight for the expropriation of the banks and the financial companies, and the installation of a public banking utility controlled by the population.

Around an anti-capitalist programme and a perspective independent of the Socialist Party leadership, which is located within the framework of the management of the system, we wish for the broadest gathering. In the struggles as in the elections. A durable movement, which offers an alternative prospect to those who suffer from the crisis, who can stand no more of the arrogance of the government and employers. A coherent union, which defends the same politics in the struggles and the elections, whether European or regional, in France and in Europe. ?