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.

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conceptions’ throughout the entire world. It was the common patrimony of all internationalists, whether Bolsheviks or not, from 1915 onwards. It was the nearly unanimous reaction to the catastrophe that struck the European workers’ movement in August 1914. But it was also more than that. It was a conviction which conformed to a more correct theoretical view of the trend towards the internationalization of the class struggle in the imperialist epoch. The notion of world revolution, which before

Only the rise of the organized workers’ movement imposed their extension, that is, eliminated some (but not all) of these limitations. Moreover, in conformity with the logic of the bourgeois system, universal suffrage and the extension of democratic rights have a twofold corollary: an increasingly heavy fiscal drain on the incomes of the workers (who now pay more than 50% of direct taxes, as they have always paid the greater part of indirect taxes in all the advanced capitalist countries); and a

‘into the state apparatus’ – including the army – then one promotes a decomposition of the old structure, which can ultimately be replaced by new structures generated by revolutionary mobilizations and self-organization. The case of Chile is the most eloquent in this regard. But the verdict of Portugal is no less clear. There is no middle way between the terms of this alternative, precisely because the state, like the mode of production, is an integrated structure. It cannot be ‘a little bit

monopolies.) The policy of ‘alliances’ thus implies an inevitable break between the most conscious and combative wing of the proletariat, progressively won to the theory and practice of autonomy and class independence, and the most retrograde wing, still wholly under the sway of reformist strategy. The situation is no better if we approach the problem from the angle of the famous ‘consensus’, the other magical concept of the Eurocommunists, besides that of ‘hegemony’. In a society divided into

a socialist development plan for Europe and the Third World! Those are the secret weapons any victorious socialist revolution in West Europe would command. They would not be simply formidable weapons of political propaganda and agitation. They could also be highly effective economic weapons. In this regard we may cite the diagnosis of one of the most moderate French Social Democrats, which furnishes a convincing response to the economic panic the Eurocommunists are trying to sow in regard to the

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