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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was in the past. This is progress and not retrogression. Die-hard sectarians who would seek to deny this assert that Eurocommunism represents either a cynical Kremlin trick aimed at facilitating ‘international détente’ or outright abandonment of ‘defence of the Soviet Union’. The first argument is ridiculous. Does anyone believe in all seriousness that the Kremlin ordered Carrillo, Marchais, and Berlinguer to criticize the Kremlin? The second argument leads to dangerous conclusions, for in

successful unless waged as an international struggle. And now it suddenly appears that the ideal of the socialist society may be achieved with the national forces alone. This is a mortal blow to the International. The invincible conviction that the fundamental class aim, even more so than the partial objectives, cannot be realized by national means or within national boundaries, constitutes the very heart of revolutionary internationalism. If, however, the ultimate aim is realizable within

brilliant. Many passages could be cited. For example: ‘The historic function of the post-Stalinist apparatus lies in its effort to prevent the peoples of East Europe from progressing toward socialism’ (p. 402). ‘The replacement of the political dictatorship of the bureaucracy is a socio-economic necessity’ (p. 306). ‘What the Soviet Union suffers from … are the misdeeds of apparatchiks and their “superiors” (natchalniki), among whom the old patriarchate of the peasantry and the new patriarchate

patriarchal family. Here Bahro centres his criticism more on the nefarious effects of this institution on children than on its function in the oppression of women. The two points of view are obviously complementary rather than contradictory. When bourgeois and petty-bourgeois commentators (including Stalinists and Social Democrats) insist on the allegedly utopian and even ‘demagogic’ character of such ideas, they thereby reveal only their own lack of social realism and the hopeless conservatism

received the discreet blessings of Gromyko.) Can NATO be rendered less noxious if a Socialist finger is on the trigger? Marchais and Berlinguer cautiously lean towards this ‘intermediary’ solution. Would it perhaps be better to proclaim a position of ‘positive neutralism’? This seems to be the position of Santiago Carrillo. As for Cunhal, who still sticks to yesterday’s vociferous denunciations of NATO, to the great pleasure of the Communist Party of the United States, he notes uneasily that

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