I should like to open a political discussion about a problem that seems unprecedented, especially in France and Italy. In both countries there are mass Communist parties, allied with the Moscow wing of Communism. These are perhaps the largest, certainly the best organized parties in their countries. They win between a fifth and a third of the vote in national elections. They maintain the allegiance of a major segment, perhaps the majority, of the working class, as well as large elements of the intelligentsia and youth. Their leadership is experienced and often resourceful.
Yet no one seems quite to know what kind of parties they are, what their ultimate ends may be, or how the Democratic Left in these countries should respond to them.
It is many years since these Communist parties were revolutionary parties of the Leninist type. It is many years, even, since they have been “revolutionary” parties of the Stalinist type. After the Second World War a decision ...
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