Italy

There has been a series of new twists in the deepening Italian political crisis. Prime Minister Conte resigned after President Mattarella vetoed the appointment of Paolo Savona as minister of the economy. The president subsequently assigned the task of forming a government to [former IMF official] Carlo Cottarelli.

Mario Iavazzi, a supporter of Sinistra Classe e Rivoluzione [the IMT in Italy] intervened at the recent gathering of the National Committee of the CGIL (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro – General Confederation of Italian Labour – equivalent to the TUC in Britain, CGT in France or AFL-CIO in the USA). He openly criticised the leadership for its lack of a fighting programme and for its total lack of understanding of what happened in the recent Italian elections.

The Italian elections – a political earthquake in the true sense of the word – have produced what had long been predicted: a hung parliament, with no party, or coalition of parties, capable of expressing a majority government. Serious bourgeois commentators have lamented the fact that more than 50 percent of the electorate voted for ‘populist’ anti-establishment parties, while those parties that the system has rested on for the past 25 years have been seriously weakened.

Italy goes to the polls on 4 March in the context of economic crisis and a general impasse in the political situation. It seems likely that the elections will produce a hung parliament with no outright winner. The right wing will emerge strengthened, but also the Five Stars Movement will most likely be the strongest single party. And what remains of the left has all but collapsed. The most striking feature is the generalised disgust of the masses with all the old established parties. In these conditions the Italian comrades of the IMT decided to stand their own independent list.

On 28 October, over 300 people attended the Red Night of the Revolution: a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, organised in Naples by Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione (SCR), the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency. SCR wagered that the Red Night would become one of the main events commemorating the Russian Revolution in Italy: we can say now that we won the bet!

100 years ago, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, the workers in Russia took power. John Reed called it “The Ten Days that Shook the World”, the beginning of a gigantic struggle to leave behind the ruins of capitalism and build a new society – a task still to be accomplished. A hundred years on, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione, the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency, is organising a big event to commemorate the greatest revolution in history on Saturday, 28 October, in Naples.

Sembrava che tutto fosse stato preparato in anticipo. Il presidente catalano, Carles Puigdemont, stava per recarsi al Parlamento catalano e annunciare la costituzione di una repubblica indipendente, come avrebbe dovuto fare visti i risultati del referendum del 1 ° ottobre.

Italy in the 1970s had two traditional mass parties of the working class, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party, but to their left were several sizeable ultra-left groups, with tens of thousands of members and a group of MPs. The question has to be asked: why did these groups fail to offer an alternative when the PCI leaders entered into a pact with the Christian Democracy in 1976 and supported an austerity programme? And why did they subsequently collapse?

This year March 8 in Italy will not be the same as other years. We live in a system that is no longer able even to pretend to guarantee decent living conditions for the majority of the people and this is reflected in particular in the terrible situation facing women. In the past few months, however, in dozens of countries around the world we have seen hundreds of thousands of women expressing their anger against the system, and taking to the streets to in defence of their rights.

There was a record participation at the congress of the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency – Sinistra, Classe e Rivoluzione – held on 6-8 January in Bologna with more than 150 comrades from 25 cities attending. Fred Weston of the IMT introduced the debate on global relations.

In the darkest days of the Italian labour movement in the early 1930s, shortly after Mussolini had consolidated his grip on power, and as many Italian Communists and Socialists languished in fascist prisons or were forced to live in exile, a small group of Communist Party members, including three Central Committee members, turned to Trotsky as they attempted to build an opposition to the Stalinist leadership of Togliatti. Here we publish five letters of Trotsky to the newly formed group.

Twenty years ago what was once a mighty Communist Party of nearly two million members, the Italian PCI, was dissolved and was transformed into the Democratic Party of the Left, later to become the Democratic Party. In the process the party split in two, with those opposing this change setting up the Party of Communist Refoundation. This article by Roberto Sarti of the Editorial Board of Falcemartello looks at how this came about and draws some lessons for today’s communists.

In what to many may seem an amazing transformation, the bulk of the old Italian Communist Party, the biggest Communist Party in the West, has fused with a bourgeois party known as the Margherita, to form the Democratic Party. Here we provide the background to how this came about.

In the run up to the referendum on the EU constitution in France, a very popular intellectual, Toni Negri, decided to weigh in for the debate. Negri has now put himself on the same side as Chirac and Raffarin, the French bosses and the worst social democratic reformists, and come out in favour of a “yes” vote.