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New Left Review I/100, November-December 1976

Ernest Mandel

Revolutionary Strategy in Europe—A Political Interview

The revolutionary Left, and especially the Fourth International, is often accused—for example, by the leaderships of the PdUPC in Italy or the PSU and CFDT in France—of mechanically superimposing onto the reality of the advanced capitalist countries of Western Europe a ‘model’ derived from the Russian revolution: breakdown of the state, rise of soviets, dual power, marginalization of reformists and development of the clash between soviet power and bourgeois power to the point of insurrection. However, the argument runs, the social formations in question are in reality so different that it is as senseless to superimpose this Bolshevik schema as it would be to apply a Maoist model of protracted guerrilla warfare, or a Guevarist or Vietnamese model. Hence, the specificity of the capitalist societies of Western Europe requires an equally specific and different strategy for the conquest of power. What do you think of this? [*] This interview was conducted by Critique Communiste, a theoretical journal edited by members of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire, French section of the Fourth International, without being an official party organ. The interviewer was Henri Wéber, and the text appeared in Critique Communiste No. 8/9, September–December 1976.

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Ernest Mandel, ‘Revolutionary Strategy in Europe--A Political Interview’, NLR I/100: £3

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