In the second pamphlet on Italy from the archives of the Irish Socialist Network, which I’m republishing here to coincide with the two recent Perry Anderson essays on the Italian centre right and its ‘invertebrate left‘, the story goes back to the rise of the left in Italy towards the end of the Second World War and in the immediate postwar period.
Between 1943 and 1948 Italy was rocked by a massive protest movement that shook the foundations of its social structure. Although not as well known, the abortive revolution of these years can be compared with the upheavals of the Russian revolution or the Spanish Civil War. The ultimate defeat of the Italian movement can still tell us a lot about the failure of the socialist movement in the twentieth century – and how we can avoid repeating that failure.
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