Masses, Spontaneity, Party

J.-P. Sartre


During the May events in France, and in the course of the working class struggle of 1968 generally, movements at the base attacked the Communist parties not only for their bureaucratic degeneration or for their reformist options; they also criticized the very notion of the party as the political, structured organization of the class. When these movements suffered setbacks, a number of "leftist" groups came to emphasise organization against spontaneity, and advocated a return to "pure" Leninism. Neither of these attitudes seems to us satisfactory. It seems to us that one can only properly criticize spontaneity-and this was the lesson of 1968-if it is realized that the subjective maturity of the working class requires today a new form of organization, adapted to the conditions of struggle in the societies of advanced capitalism.

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