The elections for the Chamber of 1919, by universal male suffrage with a proportional system, the socialist Party obtained a relative majority, with 32.3 percent. The list of the fascist presented in Milan raggranellò instead of a handful of votes, and Benito Mussolini made a huge fool. Three years later, however, the leader of the black shirts became the head of the government, with the Italian marxists split into three different formations (maximalists, reformists, communists), and visibly in disarray. How was that possible?
comes Out on the 21st of January the rate of Paul Franks, "The Pci and the legacy of Turati" (The ship of Theseus, p. 187, € 16)
The fact is that the online extremist adopted by the Psi, in the illusion of imitating the example of the bolsheviks the russians, had prevented the socialist politics, by sterilizing their parliamentary seats in an attitude of opposition for a preliminary ruling and raucous, not only to governments, but at the same representative system, in the expectation of a revolution that had come to them the deadly reaction of him.
That most bitter lesson was well aware of Palmiro Togliatti, when the leader of the Pci returned to his home in 1944 after the exile thrust upon him by fascism. And from the beginning had as a worry main to include his party in the political game, give it a role of national responsibility, open to all social strata, from the industrial proletariat and the agricultural sector, to bring it to dialogue with other forces and with the catholic Church. Quite the opposite, as can be seen, the premises upon which the communist Party of Italy was born in Livorno in January 1921, scindendosi from the Psi, that is, with the intent of creating a compact phalanx of the revolutionary and capable of driving the working class to the conquest of power.
Paolo Franchi (Rome, 1949) is a journalist. He was head of the roman edition, and a columnist for the "Corriere della Sera"
To the board — this is the fundamental fact from which Paul Franks in his beautiful book on The Pci and the legacy of Turati (ship of Theseus) — in the Congress of a hundred years ago in opposition were three currents, but only two lines of clear policies. On one side there were the communists, determined to break away from those who preached the insurrection, but did nothing to implement it; on the other, the reformists, led by their historic leader Filippo Turati, who are convinced that the Russian experience was unenforceable in Italy, and that the path to socialism would be gradual and go through the institutions of parliamentary democracy. In the middle of the maximalists, largely in the majority and unsure of everything, lost in the dream of the revolution, but unavailable to expel the right wing of the party, as claimed by Moscow and the communist International.
it so Happened that Togliatti, argues Francs, having to do politics in republican Italy, and avoid the isolation of the Pci, had to retrace many ways in the footsteps of Turati, in his time, branded in infamy as "socialtraditore", which, moreover, had always remained a marxist, and he never abandoned on a theoretical level the goal of overcoming capitalism.
This does not mean, however, that the Italian communists were in fact social democrats, because their behaviour remained a strong component of duplicity. That was not, however, in practice the bourgeois democracy, preparing for the revolution: Togliatti fought trends subversively present in the party, went personally to Emilia romagna to order that would stop the violent actions of former partisans. The real point is that militants and leaders of the Pci, wrote Francs, live for long years, "a kind of double membership, the democratic Italy of which I am one of the founders and the communist of which are among the most prestigious members, with everything that derives from it". Loyal to the Ussr, ready to blame the scoundrel Titus of treason, and to approve the forks of Prague, you destreggiavano acrobaticamente between Turati and Stalin.
the myth of The Ussr was one of the more colossal fake news propalate in the TWENTIETH century. But it was in many ways functional to the policy of "turatiana" in Togliatti, "for", observes Francs — the very existence of the Soviet Union, and his myth, allowed it to contort the revolution in time, in the far future and unknown, and in space, in Moscow". Also this explains the arrogance of the secretary of the communist party in approving the invasion of Hungary, which he himself had confidentially requested at the Kremlin in 1956.
Only starting from the Sixties that ambiguity is no longer sustainable. The Ussr's stagnation, which crushes the attempt innovator of the czechoslovak Alexander Dubcek in 1968, can no longer be a model. Therefore, Enrico Berlinguer, secretary since 1972, and raises boldly the line of the agreement is unitary with the christian democrats, pointing to the "historic compromise". And also here Francs indicates a previous weblog Turati, the interview with the reformist leader had proposed an alliance to the popular Party (predecessor of Dc) in 1924. To sign the interview was on that occasion, Carlo Silvestri, journalist and reformist then he would have unexpectedly approached, Mussolini, desperate to Salò. And it is striking that the same Silvestri in 1946, while the first periodic neofascists led already in the palm of your hand, elogiasse in recalling that episode, the "superior political intelligence" of Togliatti, as an advocate of the dialogue between marxists and catholics.
Only that the historical compromise should not be at the port, the Pci comes out battered from the experience of national solidarity, begins the hard duel-to-left with the Psi Bettino Craxi. Berlinguer goes then later in the rejection of filosovietismo, declares out of the "thrust" of the October revolution. But it does not fall back on the social democracy, vagheggia still the overcoming of capitalism, gives a connotation of "moral" to the residual "diversity communist". Not only to reassure the base, underlines the Franks, but because he believes sincerely to the hypothesis of the "third way".
The author bowl rightly as absurd every call to Berlinguer on the part of the populists of today. Argues rather that the secretary of the communist party, he found himself unwittingly on the trail of the old maximalism, ready to "invoke the fighting spirit of the masses", never be able "to direct them to realistic goals and concrete". Turati disappeared from the horizon. But the trouble is that of "maximalism of the parties die". As happened to the Pci after the death of Berlinguer.