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.

The 22nd Congress now offers us the opportunity to reaffirm and develop the line of our Party in its struggle for a different domestic and foreign policy for Italy.

This debate must be full, open, and completely democratic. It must consolidate our unity and allow us to make a significant contribution to the international communist movement. While we certainly welcome as right and necessary the polemic against the personality cult and the antiparty group, we realise that more discussion and work is needed to defeat conservative fractions and ossified dogmatism. The definition of an entire historical epoch in negative and personalist terms does not satisfy us now, and does not give adequate guarantees against an overthrow of socialist democracy in the future. The fight against the personality cult must be seen within an organic vision of history and political struggle. And it must be fought precisely because we want to build a communist society. In this respect, there now exist the conditions for further advance. It is for this reason that the 22nd Congress must be regarded as a further contribution—despite all the contradictions in present developments—to the advancement of Marxism-Leninism in the full light of contemporary problems.

We must grasp the changes in the situation of the international communist movement and adapt new forms of co-ordination to them. These forms should be increasingly articulated and appropriate to the present reality: that is, a situation of de facto polycentrism. Our party must express its views on this question too, in full autonomy, and in this way work towards the unity of the socialist camp, conscious of its responsibility before the workers of its own country and of the international movement.