MIA: History: ETOL: Documents: FI: 1938-1949: 1948 2nd Congress of the FI
Resolution of the Second World Congress on the
Expulsions from the French Section
Adopted: April 1948.
First Published: 1948
Source: Fourth International, New York, Volume IX, No. 6, August 1948, pages 190-91..
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Daniel Gaido and David Walters, December, 2005
Proofread/Edited: Scott Wilson, 2006
Public Domain: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive 2005. You can freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Marxists Internet Archive as your source, include the url to this work, and note the transcribers & proofreaders above.
1. The split in the former leadership of the French Section is the end of a long and extremely sharp tendency struggle. Those who have today broken with the International Communist Party (IKP) have for two years followed a political orientation leading them further and further away from the International. The deviations of this tendency, twice characterized by the International Executive Committee as opportunist petty-bourgeois deviations, have now led them to abandon entirely the perspective of building at the present stage a Bolshevik-Leninist party in France based on the program of the Fourth International; and to substitute for this the building of a centrist party “corresponding to the objective situation.” This is the meaning of their entry into the Revolutionary Democratic Rally on the basis of defending certain “key values.”
2. The Central Committee decided upon the expulsion of these individuals after their open violations of the organizational and political discipline of the PCI:
a) They entered upon their activity of building the RDR without any attempt at serious discussion inside the organization, without presenting, either to the French Section or to the International, a statement of political orientation to motivate such a grave decision. Only after they had already acted did they present to the CC a letter from Demazires as a political resolution.
b) After they had made their line clear and began immediately to carry it out, the CC gave them a fifteen-day period within which to change their position and to carry out the decisions of the CC, which had explicitly condemned their orientation: They were given a clear warning that, should they continue on this road, they would place themselves outside the party.
c) Far from taking advantage of this opportunity offered them by the PCI leadership, they publicly joined the RDR immediately after the CC session, and called upon all PCI members to do likewise. They have attacked the policy of the PCI and its leadership, publicly and in the press, and have — to say nothing of their breach of discipline — dealt serious injury to the good name of the party.
For these reasons, the World Congress considers the expulsions entirely justified, and rejects any appeal on the matter.
3. The World Congress rejects the arguments of those expelled, who cite their “non-recognition” of the present PCI leadership, elected at the Fourth Congress of the party, as a justification for their attitude toward the decisions of the CC concerning them. The participation by their tendency in the CC meetings following the Fourth Congress clearly shows that they had, de facto, agreed to respect the discipline of the party’s leading bodies which had been established at the Fourth Congress. The absence of any written appeal to the International Secretariat or the International Executive Committee, which have met since then, and the absence of any campaign by them on this question within the party, confirm this. Moreover, even if the tendency of those who have been expelled did not recognize the leadership established at the Fourth Congress, any serious organizational or political step on their part should have been taken within the framework of the leading bodies of the International. The fact that they decided to join the RDR, and actually did so, without consulting or informing the IS, without even giving it an explanation of their position, clearly proves that their post facto argument is purely formalistic, and that what is involved on their part is an actual break with the policy and the organization of the International and its French Section.
A False Orientation
4. The World Congress in no way excludes the necessity of work toward revolutionary regrouping with organizations which, like the ASR (Socialist Revolutionary Action group in France), have broken with the traitor parties on a class basis. On the contrary, it considers such work to be of vital importance for the French section, as for most of the European sections. But the Congress carefully distinguishes between activities of this kind and the opportunist and unprincipled fraction work which, instead of bringing the centrist elements toward the revolutionary program, adapts the program to centrism. It also distinguishes between the task of revolutionary regrouping, which must aim at bringing together around the revolutionary program those elements (such as the ASR) who are moving toward us — and the kind of work carried on by the expelled elements which throws them backward toward the building of a centrist organization (the RDR). That is why the Congress explicitly condemns the policy of building the RDR, as an attempt to liquidate the Trotskyist organization. Entry into the RDR would have meaning only if the organization already had a genuine mass base and if it were a question of thus bringing new layers of radicalized workers to the Fourth International. But contrary to this, the orientation of those who have been expelled is to build the RDR with those elements who were on the point of joining our own movement.
5. On the basis of this orientation toward the task of revolutionary regrouping, as defined above, the World Congress offers those who have been expelled a final opportunity to reintegrate themselves in the International, and fixes the following conditions:
a) Explicit recognition of the political and organizational decisions of the World Congress;
b) Acceptance of the above-defined orientation for the task of revolutionary regrouping;
c) Work under the direct leadership and control of the IS;
d) Strict abstention from any public attack on the PCI and its leadership, and retraction of public attacks that have already been made.
A Final Offer
6. The expelled comrades who accept these conditions may, after a probation period of three months, ask for readmission into the PCI and the International.
The Congress guarantees to them, under these conditions, their full rights as members of the PCI, and their participation with full rights at the Fifth Congress of the party.
If, on the other hand, these conditions are rejected, the Congress definitively confirms the expulsions pronounced by the Central Committee of the PCI, and rejects any proposal for organizational compromise not based on political principles.
Last updated on 12.01.2005