The Myths of Eurocommunism

The paradox of the concept of Eurocommunism is undoubtedly the combination of its extraordinary success in the United States and the skeptical treatment it has met since its birth in Europe in the countries concerned.1 European political commentators, including this author, noted in 1975 how difficult it was to apply the same concept to situations so different as the Italian one, where a powerful Communist Party was allied to a powerful conservative party in order for the two of them to monopolize political life; the French one, where, in contrast, an important, though not dominant, Communist Party allied itself to the Socialists and cut the political world into two irreconcilable halves; or the Spanish or Portuguese situations, where two minor Communist Parties (about 10 percent of the vote) had more coverage than their actual weight justified (the Spanish, because it presented the most liberal image in the Western world and risked nothing by doing so, and, on the other hand, the Portuguese, by trying with the help of the army to establish a dictatorship in the purest Leninist style).

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