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International Socialist Notes

Italian Revolutionists Contact CP Ranks

(30 September 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 39, 30 September 1946, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Despite efforts by the Italian Stalinist Party to block, with slander and the threat of physical repression, the activities of the Italian Fourth Internationalists, the Italian comrades report that they are making some headway among the rank and file of the CP in Naples. One of the leading members of the Fourth Internationalist Party in Italy has lately been speaking before Communist Party locals. The head of the Stalinist Neapolitan Federation has tried to stop the activities of our comrade, but the rank and file of the CP locals involved have refused to be intimidated. The Federation has not yet dared to send one of its spokesmen to contradict our comrade.

This comrade writes:

“Discontent increases daily, and a sharper light is being focused on the class struggle as the workers see themselves abandoned by the parties that presumably speak for them ... It is not hard to notice that the masses arc beginning to understand us better, though people still need more confidence in us to see that the CP betrays them. There is the dirtiest nationalism which springs from the question of Trieste. The reaction is drawing considerable comfort from the nationalist position of the Italian CP on Trieste. Among many rank and file CPers here in Naples we have made a forceful impression with our internationalist position on this same question.”

As background material our comrade supplies the following: The situation is very critical. The new government, though a republic, is little different from those that preceded it. Parliament often resembles a boxing arena, in which the deputies spend more time denouncing each other and fighting (literally) than in doing anything to relieve the misery of the people. Unemployment is mounting. Ex-soldiers are increasingly discontented. Some of these are being utilized by extremely reactionary elements. The enrichment of a few parallels the mass poverty. In Resina, a city of 36,000, there are 800 millionaires, their money made largely through the black market and entirely through living off the poor.

To belong to the Christian-Democratic Party is almost a license to do anything one wants to; the Demo-Christian mayor is more a bishop than an administrator. He is more concerned with religious masses and feasts than with keeping the streets clean or supplying food. There is general confusion in the collaboration of Socialists, Stalinists and avowed reactionaries.

From another source we learn that the Fourth Internationalists, hitherto limited to work in the South of Italy, are making efforts to establish their party in the North. The Bordighists, Left-Communists (not to be confused in any way with the Stalinists), have considerable influence in the industrial North. A friend who recently visited in this area reports a great receptivity to revolutionary literature. Revolutionary literature, he informs us, is badly needed and eagerly sought. It is not at all uncommon for a demonstration of thousands of workers to take place with hardly more than a few minutes’ preparation or call. We hope shortly to be able to publish a full account of the Situation in Northern Italy.

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