Rent in two between the Orthodox and Reformists, some members of the Portuguese Communist party seek a “third way”.
The “third way” is born in the one council in Portugal where the membership of the Communist Party is rising – Penacova, near Coimbra in the centre of the country. The “third way” is a movement which has greatest expression in this council. Communist Party members here declare that they want to “give a lesson to all of those who only speak about reforming the party and call all those who want to set about doing it”, as the Council Committee declared.
This movement is against the heated debate between orthodox communists, who want to maintain the Revolutionary discourse referring to the Portuguese Revolution on 25th April, 1974, when the fascist government of Dr. Marcelo Caetano, who had taken over from Dr. Oliveira Salazar in 1969, on his death. Nearly thirty years on, more than half the population does not remember the revolution and as such does not understand these references.
The reformists, on the other hand, speak about changing direction, but forget to say where to. If they are not Communists, what are they? Europe is full of ex-Communists, who usually take a one-way ticket to the political centre, meaning right, along with the so-called Social Democratic parties, which are neither Socially orientated, nor democratic, and the Socialist parties, replete with bourgeois values.
Therefore there is a valid political space on the left of centre, for leftist policies which will help to create a more fairly structured society, granting equal opportunities for all de facto, not just in theory. The “third way” communists wish to concentrate on common values among the various members of the party, and do not see the need for a national congress, unlike the reformists, who demand a national congress to discuss all issues of national policy, which could be seen as a washing of dirty laundry in public.
The “third way” intends to end the war inside the Communist party, in free fall since the mid-1970s and to start to address the pressing issues at hand.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru