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The New International, Spring–Summer 1958

Michael Harrington, André Giacometti

& Max Shachtman

Exchange on the SFIO


From The New International, Vol. XXIV No. 2–3, Spring–Summer 1958, pp. 117–128.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The following three articles by Michael Harrington, André Giacometti and Max Shachtman are presented as part of a discussion that should continue to occupy the attention of all socialists. The problems raised by de Gaulle’s accession to power pose interesting theoretical and practical issues for socialists in France and the world over. Is the de Gaulle government a Bonapartist regime, does it carry with it the imminent threat of fascism, can it stabilize French capitalism, etc.? What of the French Socialist Party? Does the policy, of support to de Gaulle eliminate the Party as an arena in which democratic socialists should function or is it the responsibility of socialists to work within the party and try to activate it as a socialist force that can offer a democratic alternative to either de Gaullism or Communism.

In the first article, by Michael Harrington, the social character of the de Gaullist regime is discussed along with a personal view of the French Socialist Party. The debate between Giacometti and Shachtman is more exclusively concerned with the character of the French labor and socialist movements and the obligations of militant socialists toward them.

All three articles were submitted for publication before the September congress of the SFIO which produced a split and before the French Constitutional referendum which produced a landslide victory for de Gaulle. – The Editors

* * *

The SFIO and the Fifth Republic
by Michael Harrington

A New Movement Is Needed
by André Giacometti

The Counsel of Despair
by Max Shachtman

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