Alain Krivine (1941–2022)

March 22, 2022
Alain Krivine in 2009
Alain Krivine in 2009. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Alain Krivine, well known French revolutionary leftist, died on March 12 at the age of 80.  

Born in 1941 to a family of Jewish immigrants who had fled the anti-semitic progroms in Ukraine (then part of the Tsarist empire), he became politicised in the late 1950s, in the movement against the French Colonial War in Algeria. Expelled from the Communist Youth for "Trotskyst deviation", he founded in 1966, with a group of comrades, the Revolutionary Communist Youth, which soon was to become an active component of the May 1968 uprising. Krivine and his comrade Daniel Bensaid were among the main leaders of the student movement which helped to ignite this unique insurgent movement, which led to a general strike of 10 million workers.

In 1969 he founded the Communist League, the French Section of the Fourth Internaitonal, and was a presidential candidate for the elections, getting 1% of the vote. He was twice imprisoned — in 1969 and in 1973 — and on both occasions his organisation was dissolved by the government. In 1973 he was one of the founders of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) and from 1999 to 2004 he was a member of the European Parliament. In 2009, the LCR dissolved to become the New Anticapitalist Party, where he remained active until his last days.

During all these years Alain Krivine was on the front line in anti-imperialist struggles, workers strikes, migrant mobilisations and anti-fascist movements. He was one of the few among the leaders of May ’68 who remained faithful to his youthful ideas, to the struggle for socialism, revolution and human emancipation. His charm, courage and mordant irony made him popular among the radical left. He never gave up on his Marxist (Trotskyst) convictions, but was open to new ideas and movements: feminism, anti-racism, ecology. He contributed to the adoption of ecosocialism by the New Anticapitalist Party and the Fourth International.

Let us salute his memory with the words of Joe Hill, the Industrial Workers of the World artist executed by the American ruling class: "Dont mourn, organise!".

[Reposted from the Global Ecosocialist Network. Michael Löwy is a French-Brazilian Marxist sociologist and philosopher. He was born in Brazil in 1938, but has lived in Paris since 1969. He is the Emeritus Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research and a founding member of the Global Ecosocialist Network.]

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