Unity is Strength!

I often wonder if there is something within the psyche of Left-wing
political activists which makes it inevitable that the Left is either
doomed to cling to dud Reformist or mockney revolutionary
organizations; and much like a cuckolded partner continuously have
their core beliefs betrayed; or cling precariously to the political
fringes in the hope that some unforeseen and miraculous event will
point the masses in their direction.

For if it were energy, commitment and self sacrifice alone that
counted, the EU left, post the implosion of Stalinism would have been
a mass party long ago, were it not for its Achilles heal, its almost total
lack of political acumen. For the word compromise does not exist
within its dictionary and if a comrade dares to point this out and
suggest its inclusion, a split will occur before one could say
Vladimir Illich Ulyanov.

Take the first round of the 2007 French Presidential elections, Left
Party candidates polled approx 10% of the votes, unfortunately this
was not for a single Left wing candidate, for if one includes the
Greens, which I do, there were a grand total of six candidates
standing for left wing progressive political parties, all of whom were
targeting the same section of the electorate. Yet on the main
political issues of the day, the struggle against Neo-liberal
economics and the ever widening gap between the economically rich and
poor, defense of the welfare state, secular education and the
nationalized industries such as the French railway system, opposition
to the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States and its UK
minion, the environment and global warming, there was hardly a
political difference between the six of them..

Yet despite this commonality in the policies that really matter to the
people who make up the lefts core electoral base, French left parties
were unable to come together and select a single candidate from within
their number. Instead they concentrated on what divides them which is
often obscure political difference that first emerged in the distant
past and in some case have evolved into personality classes and the
subconscious belief amongst many of those who belong to these leftist
organizations that it is better to be a big fish in a very small pond,
rather than take their chances amongst the masses.

If they had stood a single candidate who had managed to gain 10% of
the vote, they would have been in a position to make demands upon the
Socialist Party candidate in the second round Ségolène Royal. That
they refused to do so will mean that Ms Royal will ignore the left in
the run in to the second round, whilst making concessions to the
center- Right in the hope of gaining the votes of the mainly middle
class supporters of François Bayrou. Few would be surprised if she
also promised him a position in her first government, that is if her
opponent in the second round Nicolas Sarkozy has not got his offer in
first. As to the defeated left wing candidates they will return to the
political ghetto to argue amongst themselves about the minutiae of
left wing politics.

If this were the full picture about the left within the EU then it
would be extremely depressing but their have been chinks of light. In
Germany a new ‘Left Party’ is in the process of being forged between
leftists and trade unionists who were previously members of the SDP
but left in disillusionment with the Gerhard Schröder Government,
members of the Party of Democratic Socialism (Partei des
Demokratischen Sozialismus, PDS) and a number of groups and
individuals who came together under the banner of WASG. Some thing not
dissimilar happened in Italy when the Communist Refoundation Party
(Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, PRC) was forged out of the
remnants of the CPI and the anti globalization movement.

As the old leftist slogan used to proclaim, Lutta Continua!
— – – – –


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