eurocommunism

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eurocommunism

a term denoting the political changes that occurred in the Communist parties of Western Europe (particularly the French, Italian, Spanish and British Communist parties) during the 1970s, involving the development of national, liberal and democratic strategies for the achievement of socialism (Machin, 1983). In his book Eurocommunism and the State (1977), Santiago Carrillo, the Spanish Communist leader, rejected the Russian model of revolutionary socialist development as being inappropriate for advanced capitalist societies. The only way forward for Communist parties was ‘by the democratic, multi-party, parliamentary road’. Eurocommunists also asserted their independence from the Soviet government, which was criticized for its internal repression of dissidents and for the military occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. See also COMMUNISM, SOCIALISM. STATE SOCIALIST COUNTRIES.
References in periodicals archive ?
Both the Eurocommunist critics of dialectical materialism and the dogmatists accept an idealized description of science as an unproblematic progressive, objective, and liberating force.
But at the same time it has sought to challenge traditional left politics by claiming that a programme of the left never fully pre-exists independently of the movement --something which holds true whether we conceive the movement towards a different society in terms of a long process of evolutionary changes within capitalism, or in terms of a more condensed period of rupture with the capitalist system--or as something in between (intermediate 'ruptures' along the path to socialism, as left Eurocommunists used to argue).
They include an unusually wide cross-section of society: workers and intellectuals, former government officials as well as student leaders who used to oppose them, Marxist socialists, Eurocommunists, liberals and devout Christians, both Protestant and Catholic.
These tensions came to a head in the wake of the crushing of the Prague Spring, which the Eurocommunists strongly condemned.
Clearly, for all their protestations of political independence, and despite their criticisms of 'actual existing socialism', Eurocommunists everywhere had never really overcome their illusions in communism as it was practised in the Soviet bloc.
Despite the best efforts of its enthusiastic supporters, Eurocommunism proved incapable of sustaining convincing political momentum, and increasingly its ambitions revealed a threatening disconnect between the pluralist, participative strategies of the Eurocommunists and the continuing assertion of the apparent 'indispensability' of communist party agency).
7) For French communists, the party's backing for the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, combined with its equally robust condemnation of the militancy of French students and strikers at home, positioned the PCF in direct opposition to the Eurocommunist dynamic.
15) The eurocommunists could count on the help of the Romanian communist party, and the orthodox communists in Romania therefore abandoned their base to the 'reformists'.
The fall of the Greek military junta in 1974, and the legalisation of the communist party, sealed the outcome of the struggle between the eurocommunists and orthodox communists for the sole right of representation in favour of the traditionalists.
This elusive and promising concept, though it never developed--unfortunately for the Italian left perhaps--nevertheless probably had some links with the subsequent strategies adopted by Berlinguer and Eurocommunists.
Eurocommunist strategies suggested how to combine different forms and levels of political activity towards progressive ends.
This assessment does not explain why support for the historic left (both in the form of the pro-Soviet KKE and of the Eurocommunist KKE Esoterikou) remained static (or even declined in the latter case) throughout this period, and it also ignores the fact that PASOK's profile had undergone a process of tactical adaptation as its prospects for gaining power were becoming evident.