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Declaration of the Executive Committee members of the NPA supporting Position B

Anticapitalist, feminist and unitary, for an ecosocialism of the 21st century

Saturday 9 July 2011

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At the National Conference of the NPA called to decide on the NPA’s stance in the 2012 presdidential and legislative elections, the supporters of the minority position (known as Position B) made the following statement in the closing of the conference. The statement adopted by the conference can be found here and an article reporting on the conference here.

1. In line with the positions of a new majority leadership, the National Conference of the NPA has turned its back on the project of bringing together anticapitalists and on any kind of unitary perspective. By doing this, it has gone beyond simply taking a position on the presidential election. It considers that the NPA on its own is capable of responding to the challenges of the period, of contesting, on the basis of an orientation of a break with capitalism, the hegemony of the Socialist Party and of social-liberalism.

The leaders of Position A explain in Tout est a nous that " the idea of regrouping antiliberals and anticapitalists on the electoral terrain and outside it, on the sole basis of non-participation in a government with the SP" is an "obscuring of our project" and that " the central axis of the NPA" must be "the direct dialogue with workers, young people, the unemployed". Never in the short history of the NPA has a majority leadership defended such a strategy: reduced to self-assertion and self-centred construction, breaking with the project of a broad party launched by the LCR. Quite an achievement for a party which wanted to be much broader!

2. This proclaimed and programmed isolation can lead only to a dead end and will deprive the NPA of any ability to influence the debates which will arise from the important developments to come. In a political situation that is rich with potentialities but also full of threats, such a retreat is profoundly worrying. The crisis of capitalism, with its consequences of debt and austerity in Europe, the climatic and environmental threats and the latent food crisis that they involve, the scarcity of resources and the risks of war that they carry, the brutality of the policies followed by the Right and by social democracy, the uprisings and resistances which they provoke, from Greece to Spain, from France to Italy, the rise of the far Right, the Arab spring and the slow and inexorable catastrophe of Fukushima; the situation is new, moving and contradictory. In this context, it is necessary for us to be even more an open party, able to take initiatives, to intervene in an overall way without dissociating the social and ecological needs from politics, the street and the ballot box and thus to carry forward a project of anticapitalist unity independent of the SP, addressing the organizers of the social movement, without circumventing the political forces and currents.

We want the Right and the National Front to be beaten in 2012. It will then be a question of bringing together, in a block of left opposition, the social, ecologist and political forces that will refuse to participate in or support the policies followed by the social liberals. This is a decisive challenge which should be prepared as of now with determination by those who know that such unity is an absolute necessity in order to build an alternative. It is the object of a permanent political battle whose programme consists of a plan for an anticapitalist and ecosocialist break with capitalism, starting from the document adopted at our last Congress: “Our answers to the crisis”.

3. Concerning the possibilities of an electoral agreement with other forces for the 2012 presidential election, we continue to affirm that a single candidature of the forces to the left of the SP was desirable. But for us, any electoral agreement supposes that all the components clearly affirm the impossibility of governing with the SP and of constituting a parliamentary majority with it. We are obliged to recognise that with the Left Front these conditions do not exist.

We think that an active policy on the part of the NPA could have influenced the situation in a positive sense.

We also note that there exist many currents and activists who agree with us, who do not resign themselves to the division which reigns on the left of the Left and who refuse the perspective of a governmental agreement with social-liberalism.

So, as opposed to a counter-productive policy of denunciation and self-assertion, it is necessary to continue political confrontation, to influence the reconstruction and recomposition of the social and political movement (in particular social struggles and the legislative elections).

4. Although we recognize the result of the vote by the members of the NPA, we cannot take responsibility for the consequences of the decisions of this national conference: they express an identity-centred posture of an NPA that no longer has any link with its founding project, which aimed to “represent what is best in the heritage of the socialist, communist, libertarian and revolutionary traditions. ” and to bring together the many who “in and around the parties of the institutional Left, have not given up the aim of radically changing society”.

This project was not to build a party by bringing together “the anonymous" around a core of "genuine anticapitalists”, addressing the masses directly, in an “anti-system” logic. “A party is not an end in itself. It is a tool to bring people together, to gain in effectiveness in the collective struggles” as our founding principles affirmed.

And “to bring together the anticapitalists” involves building initiatives on all terrains in order to create a political alternative which can polarize as broadly as possible anticapitalists of different horizons, traditions, experiences and generations.

The choices that have been made on the programme, the profile of the NPA and the method of designating the candidate are clearly those of a campaign of self-assertion and not of a campaign of uniting anticapitalists. During the national conference almost all the delegates of Position A voted against an amendment which proposed to add to their document a reference to “Our answers to the crisis”, a programmatic document adopted by a majority at the last congress. They also excluded the idea that the NPA should be represented at the presidential election by one of its spokespersons. That will certainly bring reproaches to a feminist organization which finally had the chance to present a woman as candidate.
We cannot identify with the launching of this electoral campaign, which does not unite our party. We will continue to play our full role in the party while defending other choices.

5. After this national conference, at which an opposition emerged representing 40 per cent of the membership and of the delegates, we invite the comrades who agree with this orientation for the NPA to organize themselves in an anticapitalist, ecosocialist, feminist and unitary current. We are determined to continue to do everything possible along with all the members of the NPA. And we will also take the necessary measures to maintain the founding project of our party, on which a majority has unfortunately just turned its back. We will organize an assembly to establish this current in October. In the meantime we will discuss how it should function in a collective and democratic way, what means of expression we will have and the type of relations that we will maintain with other political, social and ecologist forces in France and in other countries.

Declaration by the members of the Executive Committee supporting Position B, after a collective discussion between the members of the National Political Committee and the delegates of Position B, who met together on June 26, 2011 during the National Conference of the NPA:

Catherine Faivre d’ Arcier, Coralie Wawrzyniak, Damien Joliton, Emre Cirak, Flavia Verri, Fred Borras, Guillaume Liégard, Helene Adam, Ingrid Hayes, Leonce Aguirre, Marie-Do Bartoli, Monique Migneau, Myriam Martin, Olivier Mollaz, Pierre-François Grond.

Published in the NPA weekly Tout est a nous (TEAN), 30/06/11.