The French Communist Party
and the fascist riot of February 6, 1934
Written: by Marcel Cachin;
Source: L'Humanité, February 6, 1934;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor.
Socialist and union workers: Unite en masse around these slogans. Solidify your united front of struggle with your Communist brothers.
The political crisis has become increasingly sharp, like the economic and financial crisis which it reflects. And now we have the French proletariat placed before serious internal events which the Communist Party has announced for some time.
We have always predicted that capitalism, having reached its decline, would not fall on its own sword like a ripened fruit. We have never ceased repeating that it would defend its privileges by every violent method, not retreating before fascism and terror. Consequently, we asked the proletarians to prepare for possibilities that are realities in many countries and which threaten ours.
While we spoke in this way the Socialist leaders treated the Communists with derision. Instead of preparing the workers for the great struggles that now lie before them they dragged them into alliances with the Radical and democratic parties. They affirmed capitalist solidarity and rejected the slogans that called for the organization of the difficult class battle. We have noted that under the influence of events the workers are rapidly being radicalized. The Socialist leaders declared the social revolution impossible and reserved an unheard of hatred for the men of the Soviet Union who, for their part, realized it on a sixth of the globe.
Their policy has now been judged by the facts. In Germany we have seen the results of reformism, of the abandonment of the class struggle, of the participation in power in a capitalist regime and confidence in bourgeois democracy. The Renaudels, the Blums, the Auriols, and the Paul Faures of Germany have handed over the proletariat to fascism.
In France we have seen the Socialist leaders share power with the Radicals for two years. Just yesterday they voted for the war and police budgets, they expressed confidence in the government “of the left.” They obstinately remained on the most dangerous of paths after a hypocritical agreement with the ministers. They openly assisted in the stifling of scandals.
Their attitude hasn’t changed. To be sure, in order not to cut themselves off from an angry working class they employ a pseudo-revolutionary phraseology.
They say: “We want power in order to realize the Socialist program!” Their program is that of the counter-revolutionaries and reformists like de Man, Auriol, Blum. And what is more, they assure the workers that that they can take power immediately and proceed to nationalization within the framework of the regime and while RESPECTING THE CONSTITUTION, without violence, through parliamentary measures.
And this at the moment when capitalism is mobilizing all its violent forces against the working class and prepares to take as its flag a police thug who has workers’ blood on his hands. What is more, concerning Chiappe, today at the head of the seditious, Blum declares that he never sought his dismissal, and seeks an alibi when he is attacked for this attitude.
For two years the leaders of the Socialist Party have served, held up, and supported against the working class the Radical governments that have largely served to fascisize capitalist France under the cover of a left policy. They continue by masking their policy with stage poses. But the reformist core of the Frossards, the Evrards, the Dormoys, the wait and see attitude of the Blums and Zyromskis fool no one.
The Socialist workers understand this ever more clearly. They are moving ever closer to their Communist brothers, and the imminent struggles will more strongly solidify their common efforts. On the revolutionary plane they will all come together, starting today, in order to oppose a proletarian united front to the fascist maneuvers that are aimed at all of them.