Marceau Pivert 1936
Source: Le Populaire, May 27, 1936;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2006.
Transcribed: by Mitch Abidor.
Proofread: by Andy Carloff 2010.
Let no one come sing us lullabies: an entire people is now on the march with a sure step towards a magnificent destiny.
In the atmosphere of victory, confidence and discipline that extends across the country, yes, everything is possible for the daring.
Everything is possible and our party has both the privilege and the responsibility of being carried to the head of the movement.
Let it march, let it lead, let it decide, let it execute and no obstacle will resist it!
It isn’t true that our Radical [Party] friends can, or even desire to, oppose certain demands of an economic order, like the nationalization of credit, electrical energy and trusts. It isn’t true that they are fated to serve as the rescuers of insurance companies. Under the growing pressure of the vigilant masses their taste for political suicide isn’t so strongly developed.
It isn’t true that, in response to diplomatic considerations that are, incidentally, worthy of consideration, our Communist bothers can, or even desire to, delay the hour of the social revolution in France. The invincible upsurge of the Popular Front of combat cannot be slowed down or betrayed.
What millions and millions of men and women are calling for from the depths of their collective consciousness is an immediate radical change in the political and economic situation. The most vigorous anti-capitalist offensive can’t be put off till later under the pretext that the program of the Popular Front did not explicitly define it.
The masses are much more advanced than we imagine. They don’t worry over complicated doctrinal considerations, but with a sure instinct they call for the most substantive solutions: they expect much. They won’t be satisfied with a modest tisane brought on tip-toes to the bedside of a sick mother...On the contrary, they will consent to the riskiest surgical operations, for they know that the capitalist world is in its death throes and that a new world must be constructed if we want to have done with the crisis, fascism, and war.
Comrades tremble at the thought that at the party’s National Congress an inopportune sectarianism might hinder efforts at a loyal synthesis. But the synthesis is simple if we place ourselves within the framework of the fundamental preoccupations of the masses animating the Popular Front Movement. Here too, everything is possible. It suffices to translate the will of the people into a decision. It suffices to give a precise mandate to our delegates to the government: abrogation of the decrets-lois, dissolution of the fascist leagues and the arrest of their chiefs, amnesty, collective contracts, paid vacations, etc, yes. But even more, no one will understand why the return to one year of military service is not immediately decreed. You only have to read the speeches of Daladier, Blum, and Thorez against two years [of service] to be convinced of the necessity. This measure will resound immensely with the young, on finance, and in the world. We are absolutely attached to this.
What is more, without touching upon financial questions, can’t we give a few warnings to Messieurs the new émigrés, for example to those capitalists from Lyon who buy buildings in Grenoble when 6,000 apartments are vacant in their city? It certainly isn’t an investment that these good patriots are seeking in Switzerland. Nevertheless, thanks to our friend Nicole it isn’t difficult to follow the path of these movements.
All the speculative operations of the past three months must be the subject of an investigation, and there must be no hesitation about sanctioning these deserters of the franc by confiscating their property.
The same is the case with our “munitionaries.” Do they too believe that we are ignorant of their actions? And those ministers in place who “expedite as affairs in progress” seven or eight million worth of 380 materiel via telegram so that everything be done before May 31; do they think we’re going to accept such a succession without our pointing out the White Russian responsible for such contracts?
And that mysterious order for rifles made by our national manufactories, sold to Poland and then repurchased from the same Poland after they’d been used for 435 francs each? The sons of archbishops who carried out that operation, do they think that it’s enough to transfer in extremis a courageous high functionary for silence to fall around this piracy?
All of this by way of example. If by chance too-prudent individuals wanted to warn us off, under pretext of not hindering the government, we would answer them that in this they misunderstand the will to combat the party inspires, from the most modest militant up to its most eminent chiefs. On its own this will to combat is a dynamic element in the battle that is beginning: the Congress must express this in categorical and concrete terms. It is not those who speak frankly on all occasions who are the poor servants of socialism, but rather those who want to transform into a silent convent a great party of proletarian democracy open to all ideas, and with everyone in place for the decisive class combat.
For everything is possible with such a party, faithful to its object, its structure, and its principles.
Finally, everything is possible in the domain in which we must loyally recognize a certain superiority on the part of the Communist Party: mass work. Far from wanting to weaken our party, on the contrary we want to bring it to the level of its obligations by modernizing and adapting its techniques of propaganda and penetration of the popular masses. There is no reason we can’t carry socialist ideas to all milieus. And not by smuggling them, or through toleration, but through a regular decision. Not in an anarchic manner, but systematically. The ties between the government and the party, the party and the masses will be all the more solid, since reciprocal confidence will develop confidence and exchanges in all directions.
This is why we are favorable to the creation of Popular Committees, bringing into the movement all democratic and proletarian energies without hindering the development of the party or the unions, in fact, rather the contrary.
Everything is possible: the increase in forces and the spreading of the party, the reinforcement of its unity, the absolute respect for internal freedom, total discipline in external action, the passionate ardor of enthusiasm raised by successive decisions...
Everything is possible now; full steam ahead...
We have reached an hour that will not soon return to history’s clock.
Since everything is possible, straight ahead! Forward, comrades!