Marchais: The (Dis)course of Leadership

Part of the French Politics, Society and Culture Series book series (FPSC)


Traditionally, communist discourse has been underpinned by three convictions: a belief in the pursuit of revolutionary change; that the change would be achieved through the action of the working class; and that the successful achievement of this aim necessitated organisational imperatives. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the way in which the questioning of those convictions affected communist discourse and in particular that of the General Secretary of the PCF, Georges Marchais (1972–94).


Communist Party Central Committee Party Leadership Class Struggle Symbolic Power 
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  1. 1.
    J. Gaffney, The French Left and the Fifth Republic (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989), p. 31.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    A. Kriegel, The French Communists (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), p. 173.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    This ideology of disinterested representation is identified by Pierre Bourdieu as a key to the ‘social magic’ which empowers the discourse of speakers such as political leaders, by sustaining the illusion that they speak in pursuit of nothing other than the interests of those whom they represent. P. Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), p. 215.Google Scholar
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    H. Fiszbin, Les bouches s’ouvrent (Paris: Grasset, 1980), pp. 230–1.Google Scholar
  5. 28.
    See, for example, his interview with Alain Rollat in Le Monde, 19 September 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gino G. Raymond 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BristolEngland

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