A Future That Works

A Future That Works
NO2aTory/Liberal coalition - Vote with your feet for an alternative to a neo-liberal economy and neo-conservative state Yes2aLeftFront and a Red/Green Left Alliance

Friday, 28 October 2011

European Left

The European Left is a collaboration of left socialist, communist, and red-green parties in the European Union, participating left parties formulated common aims and key ideas for a social, ecological, democratic, peaceful, and solidarity-based Europe. This therefore represents a positive progressive force that British Left should be allied to.

Pierre Laurent is its president of the European Left as well as National Secretary of the Parti Communiste Français.

The European Left which consist of the Communist Party of Austria (Kommunistische Partei Österreichs), Belarusian Рarty of the Left, Communist Party of Belgium (Parti Communiste Wallonie-Bruxelles), Belgium Communist Party (Kommunistische partij Flanders), Bulgarian Left, Czech Party of Democratic Socialism (Strana demokratického socialism), Danish Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten - De Rød-Grønne), Estonian United Left Party (Eestimaa Ühendatud Vasakpartei), Communist Party of Finland (Suomen kommunistinen puolue), Finish Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto), French Communist Party (Parti communiste français) French Left Party (Le Parti de Gauche), French Unitarian Left (Gauche Unitaire), The Left Germany (Die Linke), Greek Coalition of Left, of Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos), Workers' Party of Hungary (Magyarországi Munkáspárt), Italian Communist Refoundation Party (Partito della rifondazione comunista), The Left Luxembourg (Déi Lénk), Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (Partidul Comuniştilor din Republica Moldova), Portuguese Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda), Romanian Socialist Alliance Party (Partidul Alianta Socialista), Communist Refoundation of San Marino (Rifondazione Comunista Sammarinese), Communist Party of Spain (Partido Comunista de España), Spanish United Left (Izquierda Unida), Spanish Catalonian United and Alternative Left (Esquerra unida i alternative), Swiss Party of Labour (Parti Suisse du Travail), Turkish Freedom and Solidarity Party (Özgürlük ve Dayanışma Partisi)


The European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) is the left group of MEP’s in the European Parliament.

Francis Wurtz of the Parti Communiste Français was its president and the current president Lothar Bisky of Die Linke.

The GUE/NGL Group consist of the Czech Communist Party (Komunistická strana Cech a Moravy), The People’s Movement of Denmark (Folkebevaegelsen mod EU), the Irish Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, Die Linke of Germany, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Spanish United Left (Izquierda Unida), Communist Party of France (Parti Communiste Francais), French Left Party (Parti de Gauche), The Communist Party of Réunion (Parti Communiste Réunionnais), Cypriot Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), Latvian National Party (Politisko partiju apvienība ‘‘Saskaņas centrs’’) Dutch Socialist Party (Socialistische Partij), Portuguese Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda) Swedish Left Party (VänsterPartiet) Communist Party of Italy (Partito dei Comunisti Italiani) Italian Communist Refoundation Party (Rifondazione Comunista), Socialist Left Party of Norway (Socialistisk Venstre Parti), Finnish Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto), Swiss Party of Labour (Parti Suisse du Travail), The Left Luxembourg (Déi Lénk).



  1. We must work with any available allies

    I cannot understand the virulence of Phil Katz (EU bloc's simply a ruling-class ploy, M Star October 20) and Brian Denny's attack (CPB won't kowtow to the Lisbon Treaty, M Star October 19) on Andrew Robinson's letter (As long as we can't work together, we won't work, M Star October 17).

    While much of the latter, particularly Andrew's comparison with Lenin's criticism of "leftism" and his imagined reason for Communist Party of Britain reservations, are wide of the mark, I cannot see anywhere the suggestion that we should support the Lisbon Treaty.

    What Andrew supports is the idea of working with other left forces in Europe against the EU set-up and its policies. The whole idea of the European Left Party's campaign is to mobilise as widely as possible against these.

    After all, Pierre Laurent is not only ELP president. He is essentially national secretary of the French Communist Party, which had a leading role in defeating the "EU constitution" in a 2005 referendum. That struggle is continuing.

    Phil says that the EU is a capitalist self-help scheme - did anyone expect anything else? - and that the ELP campaign is to "rescue the EU." This is just nonsense - read the aims of the campaign. The fact is that the EU exists and it won't go away just because some of us wish it would.

    The issue is, what is the most effective way of fighting it. To stay in our own little British corner and fight it on our own or to join the struggle that is already taking place on the other side of the channel?

    OK, it's not a fight for "socialism now" and nor is the People's Charter. Mobilising a broad campaign inevitably limits objectives.

    This debate reminds me of the 19th century anarchists who thought that just smashing the state - or the EU - would solve everything. Marx, you may recall, thought otherwise.

    We have to fight capitalism and capitalist institutions at all levels and with all available allies.

    Jimmy Jancovich
    Paris, France


  2. I am sure this is an issue that will not go away

  3. The Greek referendum has thrown the markets, how does it affect the neo-liberal strategy of the European Central Bank and IMF, never mind Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel and George Papandreou’s Pasok social-democratic party? Most economists must now be expecting a double-dip recession or an official depression to occur over the next year with inflation and high unemployment figures persisting and a slowdown in Chinese economy. What will the response of the CPB be if the KKE wins a referendum and Greece rejects the bailout? The Germany's Dax has fallen 5.2% and the French Cac-40 fell 4.5% today. The KKE have successfully organized protests in Greece against austerity measures demanded by the European Union but what comes next?

    I would say the difference between the CPB and KKE on the one hand and the EL and GUE/NGL on the other is between taking a nationalistic Bolshevik view of the possibility of building socialism in one country whereas the other is about building socialism in developed political and economic region. Lenin argued that the revolutionary class struggle would occur in two district areas. The advanced capitalist states and the developing and under developed states but he argued for the transition from capitalism to socialism to succeed it needed to be international not national. And this is why I would argue that the CPB and KKE are taking a ‘‘National Bolshevik’’ position whereas the EL and GUE/NGL are applying an internationalist strategy within the context of a developed capitalist economic region.

    This is why I’ve argued in the CPB that as Marxist-Leninist its necessary to reassess the theory and practice of Marx and Lenin in the light of the failure of Stalinism and Maoism not from a Trotskyite perspective but from the theories of Karl Marx, V I Lenin and of John Bellamy Foster, David Harvey and Joel Kovel in the context of the 21st century and not look for answers in the doctrine of the 1930’s or 1950’s Soviet Union. There are lessons for the developing world in the theories and practices of Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro but more useful to the developed world are the theories and practices of Vladimir Lenin and Josip Broz Tito. But most important is the distinction between liberation socialism which can be nationalist and progressive in the developing nations and international socialism in the developed nations.

  4. Left MP Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘‘There really is a complete crisis of capitalism. It is a sign of the times when the church and the City of London combine to throw out protesters’’ saying ‘‘These are times for the resistance to be bold and to step up the pressure and the action’’.

    Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said ‘‘As Marx warned almost 150 years ago, capitalism is like the sorcerer who has conjured up forces from the deep over which he no longer has control. The reality is that the big banks are dictating policies to the EU and member states, including Britain’’.

    Left MP Kelvin Hopkins suggested that the past week's EU deal over Greece had been ‘‘a charade to give a temporary boost to the markets’’ and ‘‘I want a referendum on our membership of the EU Withdrawal is something we should not be frightened of’’. He says ‘‘The idea that we would be economically weaker outside is complete nonsense. We currently have a massive trade deficit with the EU’’.

    (Capitalism dips deeper into crisis, Morning Star, 01/11 2011)

  5. No2EU spokesman Brian Denny declared that the inherent instability built into the euro currency was pulling the EU apart, and peoples across Europe were fighting back.

    Is Kelvin Hopkins correct or would the British and European economies be weaker? Brian Denny’s fightback is a nationalist one where we fight nation by nation, will this lead to the beggar my neighbour ideology of the 1930’s which made the crisis worse rather than solving it.

    Is this really a progressive Left-wing solution to the crisis of capitalism or just utopian ultra-leftist National-Bolshevism?

  6. The global economy is on the edge of the vortex which is very likely to lead to a Great depression deeper than that experienced in the 1930’s. This will lead to a conflict between the capitalist elite and the working classes in the developed and developing world. The United Nations International Labour Organisation warns it could take until 2016 before employment levels globally get back to those of 2008. Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is having to revise his predictions for the British economy as the Office for National Statistics show economic growth in Britain remains nearly flat for the third quarter of 2011.

    The ILO predicts a growing risk of social unrest in 40 per cent of the countries it has studied slashing its growth forecasts for most of the world’s economy warning the G20 leaders ‘‘Without decisive action the outlook is gloomy’’ with Europe nations fall back into recession in 2012 and if the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis gets worse output in some advanced economies of the EU could fall 5% by 2013. Britain’s revised growth figures mean that the national deficit reduction planed by the Tory/Liberal coalition government will not be achieved and a Plan B isn’t enough to solve the crisis any more than Plan A or Plan A+, any nationalist solution isn’t going to be good enough to solve this crisis.

    Only a Plan C which is an internationalist solution can work whether it’s a solution that favours the capitalist or working classes remains to be seen.

  7. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has got backing for his plan for a referendum, despite the opposition of EU leaders and the markets. It can therefore be argued that the KKE have lead a successful resistance campaign boxing the Greek government into a corner, so what comes next?

    My argument is that the Left need a comprehensive analysis of the global economic and political situation. This is where I believe the CPB, SP and Left-Labour fall down and the KKE in Greece because they all adhere to the idea of building socialism or social-democracy in one country.

  8. The British and Greek Marxist Left particularly are following a Stalinist utopian approach, it failed in the Soviet Union, why should it work in Britain or Greece. Whilst the crisis in Greece may trigger the collapse of the Eurozone and even the disintegration of the EU, My question to the CPB, SP and those who support NO2EU is what will the consequences be for the British and European working classes.

    The KKE, CPB, SP and SWP would hope it triggers a Left-wing revolution, but it’s more likely to install a right-wing military government in Greece and facilitate even more draconian cuts and authoritarian governments across Europe and in Britain. This scenario is what worries me about the CPB’s strategy, which makes regressive neo-conservatism and the far-right the winners.

  9. It’s why I have resigned from the CPB, having argued that by following a ‘‘national’’ Bolshevik Stalinist strategy of ‘‘socialism in one country’’ rather than a Marxist-Leninist internationalist strategy the KKE and CPB are actually aiding the neo-liberal and neo-conservative capitalist classes and the far-right fascists in Britain and Europe.

    Without a Marxist and Leninists understanding of the historical developments of globalization and international finance capital and the political and social reality the broad left cannot succeed and the far-right will be the winners. This crisis isn’t going away and it will get worse, the possibility of a Keynesian or neo-Keynesian economic and political solution rescuing capitalism as it did after the Second World War isn’t likely to be adopted by the political elite and the institutions of global governance and international finance capital.

  10. Keynesianism worked as a sticking plaster for the capitalist system saving it from the spread of social revolution. Greece would have gone communist if it hadn’t been for the Marshal plan, this would most probably been the result in Italy as well probably along the lines of Yugoslavia and independent of the Soviet Union, France also probably would have become a communist state.

    This could have triggered Austria and Germany to follow creating a revolutionary domino effect that Lenin had hoped for after the First World War. But Stalin was only concerned with consolidating Russia’s position in the new world order and effectively abandoned the idea of world communism. The European communist parties were used by Stalin to create problems for the capitalist bloc but not as a revolutionary movement.

  11. I haven’t a master plan for achieving socialism, but capitalism is in its worst crisis for eighty years and the solutions favoured by the institutions of global capitalism are an attack on the working classes of Britain, Europe and globally. Nationalism will only feed reactionary regressive right-wing solutions as they did in the 1930’s. So what is to be done, firstly the Left have to abandon the utopian doctrine of socialism in one country.

  12. I am increasingly worried that there won’t be a Left ‘‘united front’’ and that the capitalist leaders will bodge up a ‘‘Band-Aid’’ which as you say ‘‘the market will exploit’’. capitalism isn’t about to collapse but is in a process of using the crisis of global finance capital to dismantle the Keynesian model of welfare capitalism archived by communist, socialist and social-democratic activism and political parties in the 20th century. The reasoning behind my analysis is Marxist therefore I use Marxist terminology to explain my position and why I support the European Left and its internationalist approach and don’t support the nationalist approach of the British Left weather Marxist or non-Marxist.

  13. My argument therefore is that the crisis of global finance capital and the euro-zone are linked to the general crisis of capitalism and the inability of the planet to support 3% growth require to maintain the profits required by the capitalist system. We have seen capitalism in the developed world use its imperialist relationship with the developed world to grant concessions to its working classes in the form of welfare capitalism, saving it from the spread of socialist revolution after the Second World War. This then created a crisis of class power in the 1970’s which it solved by re-establishing its class power in the 1980’s lead by Thatcher and Reagan in Britain and the USA.

  14. The illusion of growth was created at the same time by a process of privatization of state assets and deregulation of the financial markets which facilitated capital accumulation through inflated property values. As we know this illusion became exposed in 2008 and the implosion produced the current crisis of capitalism. Which the capitalist classes and institutions of global finance seek to fix by extending the processes adapted in the 1980’s and further clawing back the social benefits and increased standards of living gain in the 20th century by the working classes in the developed nations of Europe.

  15. My question is how we prevent the capitalist classes solving the crisis of capitalism in their favour and how we ensure that the winners of this current crisis are the working classes of Britain, Europe and globally unlike the outcome of the crisis of the 1970’s. For this I believe a Marxist and Leninist theoretical understanding of capitalism is necessary. Therefore the lack of Marxist understanding particularly in the Marxist-Leninist parties is a real concern for the fightback in Britain as well as in Europe.

  16. The Communist Party isn’t a mass party like the Labour Party, its role has always ben as a vanguard party of Marxist activists based on Lenin’s realization that the working classes themselves would always tend towards the preoccupation with immediate economic gains in the daily struggle for food, shelter and employment to provide these things.

    The first task for those who lead the working classes of Britain and Europe specifically is to form a united front against the forces of capital at the national and international level. This is where the Communist Party of Britain, Labour Party and the Socialist Party all fail for different reasons.

    How can the broad left in Britain rectify this problem? The labour movement with leaders like Len McCluskey are making the right moves towards a national and international united front. I think it’s naïve and utopian to think the left can oppose the capitalist classes without leaders or a political organization.

    So the problem we have is that the organizations we have lack the base and leadership to fulfil the task required of them, what’s to be done?

  17. EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy wants the power to impose greater control of over national budgetary, economic, and fiscal policy ‘‘to ensure the stability of the euro area’’ and ‘‘In case of consistent non-compliance, political sanctions such as the temporary suspension of voting rights [in EU councils]’’ Plus harmonising pension reforms, social security systems, labour market policy, and financial regulation ‘‘Consideration could be given to use legislation to define minimum common features’’. And that budget deficits don’t exceed 3% of gross domestic product and a national debt ceilings of 60% of GDP. Herman Van Rompuy calls for ‘‘stricter rules’’ and ‘‘extended capacity of the EU institutions to enforce them’’, he has said ‘‘the current situation calls for immediate action’’.

    The ETUC has called for a co-ordinated day of action in Europe the need to put a left alternative strategy couldn’t be more urgent so the broad left need to get their act together. What I am arguing which Jon agrees with isn’t sectarian, it’s a call for a non-sectarian response from British communists and socialists to the neo-liberal/neo-conservative agenda of international finance capital, the IMF, ECB and EU technocrats such as Herman Van Rompuy and Mario Draghi who has also called for a commitment to a crackdown on overspending. There is no alternative to a broad left response across the European Union, the CPB can be a part of this or it can choose to be irrelevant. If it chooses the latter then it’s not a vanguard Marxist-Leninist party but what Lenin called an infantile and sectarian ultra-leftist party. The Marxist Left in Britain need to get behind Pierre Laurent’s European Left group if there is to be an effective alternative left-wing alliance in Britain and Europe, what excuses can the Marxist-Leninist left in Britain possible use to justify sectarian isolationism at this critical time in the class struggle?

  18. Let's build a European movement

    Jean Turner is perfectly correct (The left has a proud history of fighting the EU's diktats, M Star December 14).

    On many occasions our opposition to the EU/EEC has run parallel to that of more conservative groups.

    Our opposition to fascism also led us into alliances for which we were fiercely attacked by some ultra-leftists.

    The referendum campaign she cites was 40 years ago in a different context.

    What we need today is a mass movement for an alternative to current ultra-liberal policies.

    The alternative does exist.

    The French Left Front (Communists and Left Socialist) and the German Left (die Linke) have jointly tabled detailed proposals that completely reverse EU policies.

    They are planning, with the European Left party, a campaign for a million signatures to a petition demanding a referendum on this alternative.

    This means mobilising mass support for these proposals at both national and European levels.

    I think the way forward is by a potentially revolutionary alliance with left and socialist forces elsewhere - and especially in Europe.

    Some in Britain, however, seem to think co-operation with any Europeans isn't kosher and prefer to preserve their purity by standing on the sidelines.

    Jerry Jones's knee-jerk rejection of the Tobin tax (M Star December 7) seems typical of this.

    As an economist Jerry should know that this tax was never conceived as a "Robin Hood" tax.

    Tobin insisted it should not be used to raise revenue but to curb currency speculation.

    Many left parties took it up long ago, extending the target from currency to all financial transactions, both to curb speculation and to raise revenue.

    Faced with the disastrous effects of its ultra-liberal economic policies, the EU has resorted to it in self-defence but it remains progressive in the right hands.

    Jimmy Jancovich


  19. Come on Greece - build a new party to lead the way

    Now the Greek people have a chance to set an example to the rest of us and spark off a European fire.

    If only the KKE would agree to join with the other left forces to create a workers' government through a coalition of socialists and anti-capitalists, there would be some chance for the future of humanity.

    Does the Communist Party of Greece have points of doctrine that are so important that Europe and the rest of humanity can be left to drown?

    And can't these issues be raised and discussed with the workers and decided upon democratically after we have a revolutionary government?

    If they will not join such a coalition we could all pay the price.

    The fascists are waiting.


    Julian Silverman
    London N12


  20. Destroy rule of capital in or out of the EU
    I greatly enjoyed Rob Griffiths' article on the EU (M Star May 10).

    It was a pleasure to read such a coherent and effectively argued case against Britain's membership.

    Nevertheless, like Chris Gould (M Star May 14), I remain unconvinced that withdrawal from Europe would weaken the rule of capital. The likes of Ukip certainly have no such fears.

    The real key to the weakening of capital must surely be a stronger international labour movement, in or out of the EU.

    The Morning Star will no doubt continue to promote internationalist working-class solidarity, whether the forces of international capital prefer to continue to operate through the EU, or to use independent nation states to promote their historic "divide-and-rule" policies.

    Jamie Lang


  21. Key to the weakening of capital must surely be a stronger international labour movement.


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