From Stalinism to Eurocommunism: The Bitter Fruits of 'Socialism in One Country'

From Stalinism to Eurocommunism: The Bitter Fruits of 'Socialism in One Country'

Ernest Mandel

Language: English

Pages: 201

ISBN: 0860910105

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Ernest Mandel's book is a study of Eurocommunism unlike any other. Written in the polemical tradition of Trotsky, its sweep extends well beyond the immediate prospects of the Communist Parties of Western Europe. Mandel traces the long historical process which has transformed the once embattled detachments of the Third International into the constitutionalist formations of "historic compromise" and "union of the people" today. He then goes on to argue that the national roads to socialism of contemporary Eurocommunism are the "bitter fruits of socialism in one country" in the USSR.

Mandel's book contains trenchant and documented criticisms of the ideas of Santiago Carrillo in Spain, the economic policies of the PCI in Italy, and the PCF's theories of the State in France. But it also sets these Western developments in the context of European politics as a whole-discussing the Russian response to Carrillo, the organizational attitudes of the CPSU to the Western parties, and the emergence of major dissident currents in Eastern Germany sympathetic to Eurocommunism.

From Stalinism to Eurocommunism represents the first systematic and comprehensive critique from the Marxist Left of the new strategy of Western Communism. It can be read as a barometer of the storms ahead in the European labour movement.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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this ideology. In his report to the PCI Central Committee of October 1976 (published in the 19 October 1976 issue of the PCI’s weekly, Rinascità) Berlinguer limited himself to citing two fundamental causes of the crisis: inflation and the ‘transfer of resources’ from the industrialized countries to the countries of the ‘Third World’ (that is, the rise in the prices of raw materials, especially oil). In his concluding speech to a conference of intellectuals convoked by the PCI in January 1977, he

predators will suddenly agree to increase unemployment in their own countries during a period of crisis for the benefit of Enrico Berlinguer. This ridiculous analysis is presented as a sample of Communist wisdom. It is true that the PCI does not always speak with a single voice. Its representatives express differences, not only in the Central Committee, but also in public. For instance, Giorgio Amendola, the leader of the right wing of the PCI, did not hesitate to write an article in October

the democratic order and must support them morally and publicly. The police have never been the enemy for us, not even during the 1950s and 1960s, when they were used to defend class privileges and when we clashed with them. But today the situation has completely changed, been overturned. Today the police are called upon to defend the democratic order against the attacks of gangs that are enemies of this order, enemies of the Republic born of the Resistance’ (France-Nouvelle, 1 April 1977).

genuine economic and social earthquake is then touched off. Under the conditions of this earthquake, the idea that a protracted and tranquil ‘siege’ is possible becomes thoroughly absurd. The besiegers risk being buried in the debris of the fortress if they do not act with speed and resolution. At the root of the utopian ‘strategy of attrition’ which has been adopted by the Eurocommunists lies an incomprehension of the structural character of capitalist relations of production. These relations

ailing capitalism’) and implemented by Social Democrats when they are in power (Helmut Schmidt, Wilson-Callaghan). The second is the perspective of revolutionary Marxists. The Eurocommunist strategic project, like that of Kautsky or the Unidad Popular in the past, straddles two chairs and is completely unrealistic. Abandoned to its own logic, it leads straight back to the first outcome in practice, unless the masses themselves go beyond it. Its talk of a ‘transition to socialism’ typically proves

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