Editorial from issue no. 121 of La Tribune des Travailleurs (Workers’ Tribune), 11 January 2018
By Daniel Gluckstein
On 16 January 2008, our comrade Pierre Lambert passed away.
Ten years later, malicious hacks are still doing their utmost to tarnish his memory (1). Beyond their rantings, what is the real target of their hatred?
The militant activist who devoted more than 70 years of his conscious life to the working class’s struggle to free itself from the chains of capitalist exploitation? The man who always regarded the class struggle as the driving force of history?
The labour activist for whom class independence was a question of principle, whether the issue was the independence of trade unions threatened with integration into the State and subordination to the bosses and the government; or the need to build a political tool for the working class?
The Trotskyist militant activist who, though an advocate of the programme of the Fourth International, did not make this a precondition and worked towards rebuilding the labour movement on a new axis, notably by laying the foundations of a genuine workers’ party (and the Workers’ International) together with activists of all political tendencies?
The man for whom every working class gain had to be defended tooth and nail, beginning with the Social Security system won through the wave of revolutionary struggle of 1945? The man who included that daily defence of working-class demands within the perspective of the working class taking power, of socialism as a liberating force, both in France and internationally?
The man for whom the political independence of the workers’ party required its material and financial independence? The man for whom the newspaper had to be a platform for the class struggle, open for free discussion between workers and activists of all origins within the labour movement?
Pierre Lambert, who at the age of 21 built independent trade unions under the Nazi occupation, bothers – understandably so – those who today are championing Macron’s relentless policy of destroying the gains of the working class and democracy. Just as he bothers those who are declaring the end of political parties and trade unions, the better to give free rein to this government and its policy.
Those who have not disowned the lessons they learned over the course of decades at Pierre Lambert’s side, know that press campaigns always express the concerns of the leading circles of the State.
To be specific: the fear that the measures of black reaction being pushed by the capitalist government and the European Union are causing the ferment of mass mobilisation within the working class to ripen, as the working class seeks to sweep away that destructive policy.
Those who have not disowned the lessons they learned at Pierre Lambert’s side are putting and will continue to put all of their energy into building the workers’ party which the working class needs, beginning with enabling the broadest possible regroupment around Tribune des Travailleurs [Workers’ Tribune], the founding principles of which were laid down by Lambert himself.
(1) Let us cite in particular daily newspaper Le Monde (29 November 2017) and Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (8 January 2018).