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The Impasse of Italian Capitalism
In the years immediately following the Italian surrender, from 1943 to 1948, us and British imperialism exerted their greatest efforts to restabilize bourgeois society in Italy and to crush the revolutionary movement that had arisen in the anti-fascist struggle. The Italian ruling class emerged intact if battered from the Allied victory and faced few of the serious problems encountered by their fellow bourgeoisies in Germany and Japan, who underwent a bloodier subjection. The Italian capitalists were given every support in the military, economic and political fields to enable them to reinforce their hegemony, and the post-fascist Italian regime was quickly integrated into the imperialist system as a vital if junior component. Once restabilized, Italy underwent an economic boom that took both left and right by surprise and which gave it one of the highest growth rates in Europe. But from 1963 onwards this rate of development slowed down and Italy entered a period of greater difficulty, marked by the weakness of the ‘Centre Left’ political coalition and by recurring economic contradictions. A vital factor in Italy’s post-war boom was certainly the international capitalist expansion led by the United States; and the present contradictions, marked by a fall in profits and monetary crises, will certainly affect Italy by weakening stimuli and sharpening international competition. But the 1963 downturn in Italy preceded the international downturn. The key to the present crisis must be found in the internal character of Italy’s development since the war. Some other North Atlantic countries, with a different historical experience and a greater ability to overcome their internal contradictions, have been better able than Italy to benefit from the ‘opportunities’ of capitalist development offered by the past decade. 
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