Portugal: Communist Reformers Propose Enlarged Left Platform

The Portuguese Communist Party has two factions: orthodox communists, who defend a discourse which harps back to the Portuguese Revolution of 25th April 1974, and the reformists, who propose an adjustment of the party’s lines of orientation more in step with the modern world.

The Portuguese Communist Party is, in terms of the age of its members, a political dinosaur, if not a fossil: the vast majority of the party members are over 60, yet the party’s orthodox wing, which controls the central committee and defends it against change with a fanatical venom bordering on hysteria, refuses to alter its discourse, adapting the party to the changing times. For instance, nobody in Portugal under the age of 45 has any real personal references with the Revolution, which ended the Colonial War in Africa (conceding independence to the five Portuguese-Speaking African Countries and East Timor) and set up a democratic system based upon Parliamentary democracy.

The insistence that the Portuguese Communist Party is one which defends the Portuguese proletariat, more specifically, its workers, does little to render it any degree of credibility with the youth of today, who have been brainwashed against Marx, Engels and Lenin by years of materialistic consumerism.

What the Reformists propose is a broader-based Left Platform with other parties (for instance, the Left Block or Bloco de Esquerda), with a motivating and updated discourse, covering the interests of a wider range of Portuguese society.

The main objectives of the PCP before the revolution, namely the establishment of a democracy, the independence of the colonies and a model which permitted social mobility, was achieved long ago. Instead of playing the ostrich, burying its head in the sand, waiting for a Messiah to see its rating in the opinion polls at least reach double figures (it hovers between 5 and 8%), the PCP has to wake up.

If the orthodox wing is utterly incapable of doing so, then it would be better to retire to the moth-balls, pull down the shutters and wait for the Maker to call because what this faction is achieving so completely, is the death of the Portuguese Communist Party. The time has come to listen to the voices of reason.


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