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Euro communism: Linking democracy and socialism

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  1. Introduction
  2. The parliamentary road to socialism
  3. The emergence of the early Euro communist tendencies
  4. The vanguard-insurrectionary communists
  5. The failure of the Soviet version of communism
  6. The new Euro communist agenda
  7. Third road model
  8. Eurocommunism and Lenin style ideologies
  9. The PCF in France
  10. Conclusion
  11. Bibliography

Simply speaking, Euro communism was a political trend that developed in the 1970s and 1980s in many of the Western European communist parties as a way of applying their political agenda in a way that would be more acceptable in a Western European democracy as it would have less affiliation with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In other words, Euro communism sought to break free from its Bolshevik heritage, in fact there is much about it that attacks the Soviet Communist framework. More than anything else, it signals the eclipse of the Leninist tradition in the West. This is because no Bolshevik-style vanguard party has experienced political success in the capitalist political and economic systems. Communism in Europe needed a new approach if it was to succeed to the rest of Europe, so Euro communism created distance between itself and the Soviet model. This type of Euro communism had a commitment to liberal democracy and had a goal of strengthening those states that had been stifled by fascism (Italy and Spain).

This essay will further discuss what Euro communism is, why it emerged, and what its fate was. From this it will be clear that Euro communism emerged in Europe as a more sensible approach to communism in the wake of the failure of Soviet method of communism, and it grew as a third option, or a way of linking liberal democracy with communism, and from this the communist agenda was able to gain credibility without adhering to the tenets of Stalin, Lenin or other traditional communist interpretations.

[...] It would introduce the workers to the workings of democratic participation, help work toward establishing a new consensus that would build favorable conditions for a class struggle, and would decrease the need for violence, while also decreasing the authoritarian power of the military and state bureaucracy.[4] Kautsky's theories were ones that signaled the emergence of the early Euro communist tendencies, as it called for a merging of socialism and democracy, specifically parliamentary democracy, as nowhere in his discussion did he talk about socialist democracy in his work. [...]

[...] Ibid Edward Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism (New York: Schocken Books, 1961) Wolfgang Leonhard, Eurocommunism Challenge for East and West (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1986) Leonhard, Eurocommunism Challenge for East and West Ibid V.I. Lenin, ?State and Revolution,? in James E. Connor, ed., Lenin on Politics and Revolution (Indianapolis: Pegasus, 1968) Leonhard, Eurocommunism Challenge for East and West Ibid. Boggs, The Impasse of European Communism Ibid. Ibid Ibid. Ibid. Ibid Ibid. Neil McInnes, The Communist Parties of Western Europe (London: Oxford University Press,1975) Giacomo Sani, ?Italy: The Changing Role of the in David E. [...]

[...] ?State and Revolution,? in James E. Connor, ed., Lenin on Politics and Revolution. Indianapolis: Pegasus Leonhard, Wolfgang. Eurocommunism Challenge for East and West. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston Levgold, Robert. Soviet Union and Western European Communism,? in Rudolf L. Tokes, Eurocommunism and Détente. New York: New York University Press. McInnes, Neil. The Communist Parties of Western Europe. London: Oxford University Press,1975. Salvadori, Massimo. Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Revolution, 1880-1938. New York: Schocken Books Sani, Giacomo. ?Italy: The Changing Role of the in David E. [...]

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