ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Un PDCI plus communiste que jamais
by G. D. S.
Translated Saturday 2 August 2008, by
The Party of Italian Communists held its congress the weekend of July 19-20. It is calling for the unity of communists and a clarification of their role in society.
By our special correspondent.
It was not until 2008 that the Party of Italian Communists (PDCI) adopted ... democratic centralism. That occurred on July 19, during the PDCI’s Fifth Congress at Salsomaggiore Terme, just west of Parma. The PDCI was born in a 1998 split from the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC), when the PRC decided to leave the preceding center-left government headed by Romano Prodi. According to the PDCI’s re-elected general secretary, Oliviero Diliberto, in the presentation of his conclusions, democratic centralism is to permit the party to check that the departmental secretaries really apply the decisions of the congress, notably the decision to restore its presence in the workplaces, where, thanks to its groundwork, the right has been able to establish itself in recent years.
“It doesn’t make sense any more for there to be two communist parties in Italy,” said Oliviero Diliberto. Both the PRC and the PDCI had participated in Romano Prodi’s governing majority from 2006, and were ousted by the Democratic Party in the April legislative elections. After the elections, a text signed by thousands called for communists to unite to rebuild the left. The appeal, “Communists, let’s go back to being ourselves” was quickly picked up on by the PDCI, which on July 20 called for a communist constituency. “In the life of our party,” the secretary general said in summing up, “we’ve always put forward the line of left-wing unity. This line foresaw a confederation of the left, uniting the Democratic Party of the Left (Partito democratico della Sinistra, PDS) and other parties.” Since then, the PDS has died to give birth to the Democratic Party. Hence the change in PDCI strategy, which now calls for merging Italy’s two biggest left-wing organizations, the PRC and the PDCI, as the only credible and realizable perspective for the near future, and this in view of the June 2009 European elections. However, a minority in the PDCI demands a positive response to the idea of a single left-wing force favored by the former Communist Refoundation leadership and by Sinistra Democratica (the Democratic Left for European Socialism, SD)
According to the analysis put forward at the PDCI congress, the right-wing was able to appeal to people’s “common sense” by building on their fears. In response, the congress attempted to clarify communists’ role “in the politico-institutional dimension” and in being concrete. As a means to a “transition towards a general transformation of society,” the PDCI proposes “the integral application of the Constitution that was born of the Resistance” which is to be the basis for future alliances. The rights recognized by the very progressive Italian Constitution “cannot be negotiated, they must be exercised in their extreme radicalism,” the Congress concluded.