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New Left Review I/13-14, January-April 1962


Italian Communist Party (PCI)

Text of the Debate of the Central Committee of the Italian Communist Party on the 22nd Congress of the CPSU

Santarelli (Secretary of the Federation of Ancona. Historian and Deputy)

The 22nd Congress of the CPSU was not simply concerned with the struggle against the personality cult. It went further than the 20th Congress in its denunciation of the conservative and dogmatic positions which are holding back the progress of the Communist parties and the realisation of communism in the USSR, and hindering a correct appraisal of the international situation. Every communist party must examine its own positions in this light. Even in Italy, for example, the policy of peaceful co-existence is interpreted by some elements in the party in a tactical and instrumental way, instead of being seen as a basic element in a new revolutionary strategy, appropriate to a period in which the balance of forces has changed in favour of the socialist camp. The result is that today, faced with the resumption of nuclear tests, there is a section of the party which, despite the precise and detailed position of the Executive Committee, is wavering. This wavering is to be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that antiquated and dogmatic positions have survived in the party for a long time, side by side with a correct line which was often accepted only formally. And this has weakened our capacity for initiative. Also, in certain less firm sections of the Party, there is still some bewilderment because the gulf left by the old standardised formulae of the Peace Committees has never been adequately filled.

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