Tuesday, June 07, 2005

From Chairman Mao to Chairman François

Providing further confirmation that the apparent expression of befuddlement he is so often seen wearing

is no mere accident of birth but a sign of genuine confusion, the General Secretary of the French Socialist Party, François Hollande, noted [link in French] on Saturday at a special post-referendum meeting of the Party’s National Council that "whoever is the candidate chosen by the PS [for the 2007 French Presidential elections], I will be behind him or her. I would never place my personal conscience clause before the Party’s decision." The remark represented a not so subtle swipe at Mr. Hollande’s former deputy, Laurent Fabius, who had personally supported the “no” vote in the French referendum on the proposed EU “constitution” despite an earlier Party Council decision to support the “yes”. For his trouble, Mr. Fabius was expelled from his position in the Party executive at the Saturday meeting.

Mr. Hollande is obviously a man of principle and the principle in question in this case is evidently that which in practice has always proven to be the cardinal principle of what is commonly known as “democratic centralism”. The Constitution of the Communist Party of China explains:

Article 10 The Party is an integral body organized under its program and Constitution on the principle of democratic centralism. The basic principles of democratic centralism as practiced by the Party are as follows:

1. Individual Party members are subordinate to the Party organization, the minority is subordinate to the majority, the lower Party organizations are subordinate to the higher Party organizations, and all the constituent organizations and members of the Party are subordinate to the National Congress and the Central committee of the Party....

The estimated 55-60% of French Socialist Party voters who, like Mr. Fabius, followed their conscience and voted "no" in the referendum will undoubtedly admire the resolute defense of party discipline by the Party Secretary, since, as Marxist-Leninist theory has taught us, only thus are the pitfalls of "bourgeois" democracy to be avoided.