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A body of thought developed within the Italian, Spanish, and French Communist Parties from 1975, characterized by three central theses. The first was that the Soviet Union was not the only model for socialist change. Each party operated in distinctive national conditions and must develop programmes to suit these. The second thesis proposed a convergence of all progressive forces (workers, peasants, intellectuals, students, women, clergy, the middle classes) to work for ‘the democratic and socialist renewal of society’, to isolate reactionary groups, and to confront capitalism's ‘incapacity to meet the general demands of society's development’ (Leghorn Statement of the PCI and PCE, July 1975). The third thesis was the need for Communist Parties to re‐create themselves, democratizing organizational structures and engendering internal debate. Communist Parties must acknowledge the impact of changing patterns of economic activity upon class structures (the retraction of the traditional working class and the emergence of newly mobilized groups).

Eurocommunism brought the Italian Communist Party close to power before the collapse of the Soviet Union made both party and movement obsolete.

Geraldine Lievesley


Subjects: Politics.

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