MIA: History: ETOL: Document: SWP-US: 12th National Convention of the SWP-US

Resolution on the French Constitutional Referendum

Adopted: November 12-18, 1946.
First Published: January 1947.
Source: Fourth International (New York), Vol.8 No.1, January 1947, p.13.
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Daniel Gaido and David Walters, February 2006.
Public Domain: Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line 2006. 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.

The Parti Communist Internationaliste of France originally took the position that the PCI advocated boycotting the referendum on the proposed Constitution which “sanctioned capitalist exploitation.”

On April 23 the Central Committee of the PCI reversed by a small majority the previous position of the party and called upon the workers to vote “Yes” in the referendum on the Constitution.

In our opinion this position is incorrect. It is impermissible, as a matter of principle, for a revolutionary socialist party to support, or to ask the working class to support, any Constitution which bases itself upon private property in the means of production. Capitalist private property, together with the national state resting on its foundations, is the main source of all the evils suffered by the masses of France: war, the loss of liberties, unemployment, the high cost of living, etc. The abolition of capitalism is the indispensable prerequisite for uprooting these evils and clearing the way for social, economic and political progress in France.

At the very time that the Anglo-American imperialists and their French satellite are preparing for World War III, the proposed Constitution upholds capitalist militarism and sanctifies in advance a new catastrophic blood-bath by the ruling class.

At the very time that the inhabitants of Indo-China are heroically fighting to throw off the yoke of French domination and the best fighters for freedom in Algeria are murdered and jailed by colonial officials, this Constitution provides for the maintenance of French imperialist rule over all its oppressed colonies.

The text of this Constitution, drafted and adopted by the Socialist Party and Communist (Stalinist) Party majority in the Constituent Assembly, continues the treacherous policies of class collaboration by which these parties have led the French working class into its present blind alley.

For these reasons, it is our opinion that the Trotskyists of France should unequivocally oppose this capitalist constitution and any new version of the same thing.