Written by a member of the Central Committee of the Italian Communist Party, this article examines the basic strategic and tactical principles of the Communist Party of Italy, formulated by the Eighth (1956) and Eleventh (1960) Party Congresses, and reviews the development of the Italian labour and democratic movement in recent years.
The author comprehensively analyzes the alignment of class forces in Italy, the position of various political parties and the general situation in the country (particularly the "southern question"). The article cites the following statement from the documents of the Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of Italy, which gives a generalized appraisal of this situation: "The entire process of economic and social development in Italy points to the need of a socialist revolution." L. Gruppi points out that two basic questions were of major significance for elaborating the strategy of the Italian Communist Party: What is the connection existing between the anti-monopoly struggle and the task of carrying out a socialist revolution? How is the struggle for a democratic revolution linked with the struggle for a socialist revolution?
The author writes that clear answers to these questions were given by the Eighth Congress of the Italian Communist Party. The struggle against the monopolies is the keynote of the entire political line of the Communist Party; it is of decisive importance in removing the chief obstacle from the road to socialism. Examining the question of the struggle for power, L. Gruppi writes that the conquest of political power by the working class and its allies should be regarded as a qualitative leap in a consecutive process, in the course of which the working class does not wait for the hour of the revolution, but carries it out daily, step by step, by achieving a number of democratic aims that are gradually and consistently carried into practical effect, thus contributing to the attainment of socialist aims. It goes without saying that ail this is regarded not as an evolutionary process but as a process of a revolutionary character, which requires a broad and powerful class struggle in a situation marked by acute political crises. Another question comprehensively examined by the author concerns the role of the struggle waged by the working class for the implementation of the Constitution in the general struggle for power - L. Gruppi emphasizes the dialectical interconnection existing between the democratic aims set forth in the Constitution and socialist aims. This interconnection is determined by the fact that the Constitution is the logical sequence of the leading role played by the working class in liberating the peoples from fascism in the last war that it is precisely the working class that stands at the head of the struggle for the practical implementation of the Constitution. This explains the class succession between the. struggle for the democratic aims envisaged by the Constitution and the fight for socialism. This succession is determined by the role now played by the working class in the social life of Italy. Without taking this into account it is impossible to understand the interconnection existing between democratic and socialist revolution.
Then the article examines the conclusion drawn by the Eighth Congress of the Italian Communist Party concerning the role of Parliament in the struggle for socialism.
The author comprehensively analyzes the concept of an alliance between the working class and the other sections of society suffering from monopoly oppression. Unity with the Italian Socialist Party is the kingpin of the political alliances fought for by the working class and the Communist Party. This unity constitutes the underlying basis of the alliances extending to the Social-Democrats, Republicans and other democratic forces. Unity of action with the Socialists is also the foundation of an alliance with the labouring Catholic masses, which is of major significance to the Italian Communist Party in the struggle against the monopolies, for socialism. The author cites convincing facts testifying to the correctness of the political line mapped out by the Communist Party of Italy.
Summing up the results of the development of the Italian labour and democratic movement in recent years, the author points out that in spite of considerable difficulties and temporary setbacks this development proceeded uninterruptedly along an ascending line. The results of the struggle carried on by democratic forces are generally assessed in the following way: although the popular movement has so far failed to check the process of concentration of the economic and political power of the monopolies, at any rate it has succeeded not only in preventing the development of political life along reactionary lines but also in removing the obstacles from the road of democratic development, stimulating and extending the struggle waged by the labour movement and aggravating the crisis of the policy subordinated to the interests of the monopolies.
The article stresses that the Communists, who polled slightly more than 4,000,000 votes in the 1946 elections, now represent upwards of 7,000,000 constituents in Parliament. The present membership of the Communist Party, including members of the Communist Youth Federation, comes to 2 million. All the Left forces in the country, which polled nearly 8 million votes in the 1948 parliamentary elections, now enjoy the support of almost 11 million voters. Twenty-five per cent of the populations in Italy "vote Communist or Socialist.
The experience of the Italian Communist Party, writes L. Gruppi, confirms that the struggle for peace-the paramount task of our time-contributes to the growth and extension of the camp of democratic forces and isolates the monopolist forces, particularly when it is closely and skilfully linked with the struggle for democracy and social progress. The fight for peaceful coexistence offers favourable opportunities to the working people of the capitalist countries for waging a successful struggle for their rights. It creates most beneficent conditions for the working class to continue its successful onmarch.
This experience also confirms that, with the new alignment of forces that has taken shape in the international arena and the general development of the labour movement, the working class in a whole number of countries has good grounds to put forward a program for a peaceful transition to socialism and score ever new and bigger successes in carrying this program into practical effect.
This experience confirms, lastly, that the stronger the unity of the international Communist and labour movement, the more effectively can individual parties, relying on international solidarity and adhering to the principles of proletarian internationalism, creatively map out their political line in accordance with the concrete situation obtaining in their countries.
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