Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NPA: The End Is Nigh?

Mediapart looks at the NPA, which is now apparently split between two factions, one of which believes that the Final Crisis of Capitalism is upon us, that a revolutionary situation is at hand, and that therefore ... the workers of the world must unite in opposition to the Front de Gauche led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whereas the other half thinks that its bit of the extreme left ought to be represented in the presidential voting and therefore wants to support Mélenchon.
Parmi eux, Ingrid Hayes, membre du comité exécutif, et «entre rage et inquiétude». D'ordinaire mesurée devant la presse, elle fait cette fois claquer les mots. «Il y a un aspect de gâchis dont j'ai du mal à me remettre. Et une inquiétude parce que ce qui est engagé, c'est la possibilité de survie du courant dans lequel je me suis engagée il y a dix ans», dit-elle d'emblée.
Elle enchaîne: «La seule fonction de la candidature de Philippe Poutou est d'installer une majorité sectaire à la tête du NPA, avec des courants révolutionnaristes hostiles au projet initial du NPA. Ils veulent faire autre chose: un énième groupuscule d'extrême gauche qui essaie de rassembler les courants trotskistes. Cette candidature est aux antipodes de ce qu'on avait tenté de faire et je ne vois pas sa fonctionnalité politique: elle ne sert à rien; il y a déjà Lutte ouvrière.»

Courants révolutionnaristes! First time I've encountered that adjective, and I'm not sure how I'd translate it into English: "revolutionarist" would be a mouthful to pronounce, let alone unpack ideologically. But just as there is a pejorative nuance between "Trotskyist" and "Trotskyite," I guess there is now a derogatory distinction between "revolutionary" and "revolutionarist." Or perhaps, from the revolutionarist perspective, one should call the other faction the "revolutionarites." Or revolutionaries lite.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome!
But, if I may ask, what is the difference between "Trotskyist" and "Trotskyiste"?
Revolutionariste I understand well, it's the same system as "intégriste" - fanatics of x (like evangélistes are extreme Christians, in French parlance, and usually American, whereas the évangélistes are your garden variety travellers who will dip the Maries into the sea in the summer.)
So revolutionaristes are revolution fundamentalists.
If the most "reasonable" trotskyists join Mélenchon, and Mélenchon is ready to talk with Joly, Royal, and Montebourg*, it'd be an interesting alliance.

* http://buzzpolitique.nicematin.com/2011/08/front-de-gauche-mélenchon-en-phase-avec-royal-et-joly.html

Myos

Arthur Goldhammer said...

In American parlance, "Trotskyite" is considered to be a pejorative description of a "Trotskyist," used mainly by the Trotskyists' enemies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I'd never heard it. Then again, I didn't hang out with American Trotskyists and didn't even know there were some. :p
(Well, I don't hang out with French Trotskyists now either).
Is there a reason why my previous comment is not posted (if I broke a blog rule, I'd like to know which one so that I don't do it again by mistake.)

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Oops, sorry, my mistake. It's published now. Forgot to push the button.

Mr Punch said...

The classic statement of the difference between a Trotskyist and a Trotskyite is that it's the same as the difference between a socialist and a socialite.

Anonymous said...

Oops sorry too: I mean "évangélistes" and "évangéliques".

"il y a déjà Lutte Ouvrière" is very true. Not sure what the NPA wants but they've already been totally marginalized.