Turati, Filippo

Turati, Filippo,

1857–1932, Italian political leader. An advocate of a moderate, nonviolent form of socialism, Turati cofounded the Italian Socialist party in 1892. In 1926, threatened by the growing fascist movement, he fled the country, escaping in a small boat to Corsica. From there, he traveled to Paris, where he spent the remainder of his life as the head of an antifascist coaltion.

Turati, Filippo


Born Nov. 27, 1857, in Canzo, Como; died Mar. 30,1932, in Paris. Italian political figure, publicist, and ideologist of reformism.

Turati came to the labor movement from the radical-left Democratic Union. In 1890–91, together with A. Kuliscioff, he founded the journal Critica sociale. In 1892 he helped found the Italian Workers’ Party, which became the Italian Socialist Party (ISP) in 1895. The creation of the ISP represented a victory over anarchist and factionalist trends in the Italian labor movement. Turati called for unification of the workers’ and democratic movements in the struggle against the Crispi dictatorship.

From 1896 to 1926, Turati was a deputy to parliament and leader of the ISP’s bloc in parliament. He rejected revolutionary forms and methods of fighting for socialism and emphasized the struggle for social and political reforms. He relied upon parliamentary methods to achieve goals and advocated agreements and cooperation with the liberal bourgeoisie as a party tactic.

In foreign policy, Turati opposed Italian participation in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911–12 and World War I. Within the ISP, he struggled against the party’s Maximalist wing (seeMAXIMALISTS). Failing to grasp the historical significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, Turati attributed the revolution’s victory to specifically Russian conditions and regarded the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat as inapplicable to Italy. After the decision of the ISP in 1919 to join the Third International, Turati participated in the formation of the right-re formist Socialist Unity Party in 1922. After the Fascists seized power in 1922, Turati emigrated to France, where he continued his anti-Fascist work.

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