Communist marchers, Turin. May Day, 2013.

Italy and Communism. For over seven decades, the two words were indelibly linked. Perhaps only pasta, at least abroad, was more synonymous with the southern European state. With good reason. Few, if any Western countries, had as strong a Communist movement, or major political party ( the PCI ) as Italy. Much to the chagrin of its neighbors, and, of course the United States, whom many leftists, and scholars, accuse of having conspired to block the country’s postwar left.

Italians are equally critical. Not just of outside interference (particularly in the domestic fight against fascism, both during and after WWII) but of their own leftwing parties. Chalk it up to a willingness to participate in parliamentary politics, or to sit in coalition with centre-right parties. The reasons are both familiar, as well as numerous. Throughout, there is a sense of tragedy about it, as though Italy had what it took to earn the brass ring of socialism, and failed. The lament echoes.

The following flyer translation is a good example, inferring, as it does, both the necessity of anti-capitalism, and the squandering of prior revolutionary opportunity. An outgrowth of the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (PRC), the Partito Comunista dei Lavoratori (Communist Worker’s Party, or PCL) took part in the last national election. It failed to earn enough votes to enter parliament. Still, there is relevance to much of what is said here, ideologically speaking. The criticism of Beppe Grillo is especially poignant. “Millionaire comedian,” indeed.

Anti-government flyer. Turin, May 16th.

Anti-government flyer. Turin, May 16th.

 

COMMUNIST WORKER’S PARTY:

THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE 

 

We are facing the biggest social aggression against the labour world of the entire post war period.

We are in the most difficult capitalism crisis of the last 80 years.

Now, more than ever, there is a need for a left wing (party) totally siding with workers, based on an anti-capitalism program.

The participation of the Communist Worker’s Party in the elections meets this necessity.

 

ALL THE OTHERS ARE AGAINST WORK, SERVING INDUSTRIALISTS AND BANKS

 

Monti, Bersani and Berlusconi have together approved the worst measures against work and pensions, and a “blood and tears” program for the next years and decades ( the “fiscal compact.”) Today, they’re just competing (for) the leadership of the next government robbery. On behalf of industrialists and bankers.

The millionaire comedian Beppe Grillo shouts against the robberies of “politicians”, but does not mention the social robbery by industrialists and bankers financing them. And comes to the point of proposing, in full social crisis, the “union abolition”, even over passing Marchionne. Grillo is not an ally, but an enemy of the workers.

Nichi Vendola has subordinated himself to Bersani and to his program of anti-working class austerity, waiting for a ministerial reward. The poetry of words cannot hide this reality

Former ministers Diliberto and Ferrero  have (adopted) Ingroia’s orange color (the Rivoluzione Civile party,) under the direction of former magistrates dumped by the PD (Partito Democratico) and are anxious to be recovered, (and) on board. Starting from the liberal policeman Di Pietro, who ditched the inquiry about tortures in Genoa in 2001, and affected by the corruption in his own party. What have the workers to do with all this?

 

FOR AN AUTONOMOUS REPRESENTATION OF WORKERS

FOR AN ANTI-CAPITALIST ALTERNATIVE

 

Workers need an autonomous representation of their requests. Of a left wing that is always and only on their side. That aims to gather all their struggles in a great social uprising against (the) industrialists and bankers dictatorship. That struggles, in every conflict, for the possibility of a worker’s government and of a new order in society; in which rule social and labor needs, not exploiters and parasites.

CAPITALISM HAS FAILED.

ONLY A SOCIALIST REVOLUTION CAN CHANGE THINGS, IN ITALY AND EUROPE!

THE DEVELOPMENT IN EVERY STRUGGLE, OF THE AWARENESS ABOUT THESE TRUTHS, IS THE DAILY COMMITMENT OF PCL.

THE ONLY LEFT WING THAT HAS NEVER ABANDONED WORKERS, STUDENTS AND PENSIONERS!

 

Translated from the Italian, by Giulia Pace. Introduction and photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit.