Marc Paillet, who was born October 15, 1918, died on 29 December 2000. The mainstream press that is bent on demonstrating the Trotskyist past of Lionel Jospin seems not to have noticed that of another close to Mitterrand, of whom Le Monde made a "theorist of democratic socialism"!
The son of a history professor sympathetic to the (PCF) Communist Party Marc Paillet came very young, before the war, to Marseille, in the JSR (Jeunesse Socialiste Révolutionnaire), the youth organization of the Trotskyist POI (Parti Ouvrier Internationaliste), of which he was a member. In Lyon during the war, he obtained a licensiate and subsequently a higher qualification in History; he joined the Camarades de la Route, the youth hostels organization in the southern zone and quickly became one of its most influential leaders through his articles in Routes. He was part of the Trotskyist fraction with Georgette Gabai, Henry Kunstlinger and others.
As a CC member and BP member of the PCI, (Parti Communiste Internationaliste) reunified in 1946, he was the responsible "adult" for the JCI (Jeunesses Communistes Internationalistes), where he showed a temperament a little too authoritarian for a youth organization. He left the movement after the great crisis of the 1950s A talented journalist at Cité soir (1945) and Combat (1946) he joined AFP(Agence France-Presse) in 1948 and was its EU correspondent (1962-1971) and its editor (1971).
He became a Freemason, close to Pierre Mendès -France and then to François Mitterrand, member of the Convention des Institutions Républicaines, board member of the FGDS (Fédération de la gauche démocrate et socialiste), director of the presidential campaign in 1965, he was prominent in the firms of Olivier Stirn and Jean-Pierre Soisson. He was a member of the Haute Autorité de la communication audiovisuelle from 1982 to 1986. His professional competence was recognized, but people were often critical of his arrogance and sometimes the contempt he showed for his militant past and his fellow activists from the old days.
Translated by Lily Bolero from Cahiers Léon Trotsky no 73, March 2001 for Revolutionary History