And You Thought British Trots Were Weird
From the nation of France and the strange world of Trotskyists, or at least some Trotskyists comes this tale. Lutte Ouvrière is a French trotskyist group who are fairly sizeable and have had a certain influence on French politics. They have had MEP's elected and have representatives at local level across France. Their best known member Arlette Laguiller (above) has stood for President several times and has received some impressive votes.
They are well known for their iron discipline and uncompromising nature. Rumour has it that members are not allowed to marry or have children, they need to be dedicated to the revolution.
Much of this paranoia has its origins in the birth of the party and the post-1968 clampdown by the French state. The 1940's saw brutal internal struggles, sometimes ending in murder, within the French Communist Party. The 60' s saw many left wing parties banned, forced to go underground or change their names.
We recently learned that party founder Robert Barcia, alias Hardy, died. The thing is he actually died last year. The party, on his express orders, kept the matter secret. The entire membership of several thousand knew and they all kept the matter secret. Whilst I admire their discipline you have to wonder about the internal regime of a group like this.
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