Created: 11/1/1985

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

The Emergent Italian Communist Party Elite: The Challengeounger Generationf

A Research Paper

The Emergent Italian Communist Pari) Elite: The Challengeounger Generation


Italian Communis! Parly (PCI) hatrocess ofchange in recenl years lhat will inevitably affect its internal structure aod its domestic and foreign policies. Large numbers of younger people have enlered the party hierarchy and nowajority of lower-and middle-ranking posts as wellrowing share of the seniorheir views are likely loajor Impact on the balance of power among the four contending factions in Ihc senior leadership: the dominant centrist faction, led by Party Secretary Alessandro Nana, and the social democratic, orthodox Marxist, and radical groupings.!-

"emergent elite" differs markedly from the senior leadership in terms of its social background, political experiences, and values:

l( is much less "proletarian" and tends to be considerably belter cducaled and more likely to hold white-collar or professional positions. In fact, rnembers of the iconoclastic "new middle class" lhat has also emerged elsewhere in Western Europe in the last decade nowdominate ihe ranks of the PCI eliie.

It has fewer members whose sole political experience has been within the confines of the PCI subculture. Fewer of today's predominantly young elite were born into "red" families or belonged lo the PCI youth federation. Many more were involved in free-whecling-ttudenl and other leftist movements prior io joining the party]

Although evidence about iu specific views Is still skimpy, this emergent clue appears to be by no means monolithic. We believe lis unique traits and experiences have predisposed iu members to favor freer debate within Ihe party, lo oppose any PCI move in the direction of eilher orthodox Communism or social democracy, and loaundiced view of both superpowers:

The most recent authoritative survey of PCI officials suggests that the emergent elite is less inclined lhan earlier ones to go along with the PCI's policy of "democraticcalls for all key decisions to be made ut the top. Already, lower- and middle-ranking officials have forced through significant changes in party rules lo require greater openness in debate and have been more willing than their predecessors to challenge and even publicly crilidrc ihe senior leadership. Although emergent elite pressure is not likely to make the parly truly democratic, it will leadreater measure of open debate.

In domeilic policy, the available evidence indicates lhat the majority of emc>|cnt elite memberi are comfortable with the policy favored by theominant centrist and particularly the radical groupings. Thii combines professed acceptance of democratic principles and pragmatic short-term economic and social programsontinuing commitment to long-term radical change. Despite some recenl setbacks, this policy has kept the PCI ibe second-Urges* party in Italy, with aboutercent of the vote in recenl years. In our judgment, tbe emergent clit inclined to challengeonly for orjetoctunistic reasonsj

In the foreign policy area, the youngermatured politically

during years of declining Soviet popularity within the Italian left reinforcing the senior leadership's current tendency to keep its distance from Moscow. At the same lime, many younger members have an affinity with ihe general aims of the peace movementeneral disdain for US policies, Tney are thus likely to exert pressure on senior party leaders to re-verse toleration for IlaHan membership in NATO in favorore independent West European defense effort or even nonalignment

We believt lhat, over the near term, the senior leadership will be able loits policy of tolerating Italian participation la NATO aad working to efihaDce tbc party's Image with ibe United States. However, cmergcat elite opposition may eventually cause ibe party toore questioning and confrontational approach to Italy's membership In NATO and to US links. This would be especially likely if the skepticism leftist parties aod even some governments elsewhere in Western Europe have exhibited toward NATO and the United Slates continue* to grow and if the Soviet Union under Gorbacheveu threatening image!


Summary Introduction

A Profile ofmicMBiK


offcrina PathInto Politic.

A Meet Activistsdcpetidc'ni-Minded Bent

Impact on Party Dccuionmaklof

Domeaik Politic.



_The Renewed Debate Owrt Policy thelite and the Party's Future


The Emcrgenl ItalianElite: The Challenge of

Italian press observers agree that these setbacks have dashed any hopes withir. Ihe PCI of assuming national power in the near term. The setbacks, combined with the power vacuum created by longtime Secretary General Berlingucr's death last year, haveebate wiifaia ibc party's senior leadership about the -ivdoen of ibe basic phitoaophy that has guided party dcersiorn ia recent years

The dominant central faction led by Secretary General Alessandro Natta contends the party-should coniinuc its generally moderate domestic and international polieies. which il has combined wilh some more traditionally Marxist elements suchontinuing commitlong-term radical change in Italian society and the principle of democratic centralism in the parly's own decisionmaking pTOCoa.

The annoKty social deanucralic factaoa. beadedinciano Lama, argues Ihalt* should carats nlv opt for social reform uiln-H as for greater imrirbreak with Mosccw. md . rcl.iiioiKPrime MiniUer


The political fortune* of the Italian Communist Party (PCIl haveambic after years of steady advance The partyajor defeat in the May administrative elections when it failed to ouincJI the Chrotun Dcrnocrau. as it had dorse in the previous year's elect sorts to the Eurccariuuneat.because the PCI's vote sagged while Christian Democratic and Socialist totals advanced, the party was inured from ihe ruling coalition, of several mayor ciitcs including Rome. Milan, and Turin. This setback wai followed by the defeat of theponsored referendum last June Ihal was aimed at reversing the Craxi government's restrictive wage control policies.

A small radical group led by Pietro Ingrao favors greater interna! democracy combinedtrong commitmentadical social program,talinist remnant led by Armando Cossuita would like the party to restore orthodox Communism and dose lies to MoicoJ

Wc believe thai future debates about ihc parly's direction will involve lower- aad middle.ranking pany offidalsuch greater degree than in the past, and that their participation will inevitably affect the balance among these four factions Tradittonally, the PCI hasentra hied party ia which policy has been determined almost cictUsivdy by the Secretary General acting in coordination with tbc most senior leadershipDirectorate. In recent years, however, and particularly since Berlingucr'srowing number of party official! below thisranging from members of the party's nominallybui traditionally obedient central committee, all the way down to sectionbegun toforigger rose in Ihc party's decisionmaking process. We bebevc this development reflects ia large part the appearance of aa ctnergeni diu- of lower- and middle-ranking officials lhat is middle class and far more educated and youthful than itsmore vocal and Independent minded.!-

This paper will examine the changes that have taken place in Ihe ranks of party readers below thelevel in recent years. It will focus on the emergent elite's social background, political socialisation, and values, and the impact these will have on internal aad external PCI policies in the post-Berlinguer era.'.

The PCI and ike Youtk af Today

PCI's appealounrer people has Mined substantially im recent yean Membmklp ta lhe PCI yowa federation, fo* Instance, fell from about ISO.0O00 only0he decline In youthful support for the PCI was alio reflectedharp drop In voting tuppoet by peopleeginning with9 election This trend has ledradual rite In the operate age of PCI members In recent years and has contributedubttantial decline in overall pony membership, from about It million in theoillion today

Most observers believe ihai the decreased attraction of the PCI foe young people stems front the pony's efforts of iheo gain power by cooperatingike Christian Democrats This led young people to tiew ihe PCI Increasingly as Just another power hungry pony rather tkenorce fcr change. Moreover, according io academic and pressihey viewed ike PCI's often ambiguous policies on Issues of concern lo young people In lhe- environmental preservation, etvillanpower, and nuclearInadr-guett. Younger Italian leftists have Increasinglyiktir energies in recent years to eae-issue "new politics"protest groups and have voted In Increased

numbers for poliiical pontes focusing on ihese lituts. such as ihe Radicals and most recently the "Greens."

In an effon to attract more young people Into lhe party, iht leadership of the PCI youik federation IFGCJ, decidedi IOore Independent, youlk-ortented stance. At the federations national conference earlier this year, the FCCI leadership openly crltKited the PCI positionumber of Issues of concern to younger leftists. These Included Its waffling on nuclear energy. Its alltged lock of concern for disadvantaged groups such asand women, and Its failure te vigorously oppose VS deployments af additional nuclear weapons In Wesiern Europe. They also decided to transform the youth federationraining ground for future PCI elitesederation af groups focusing on Issues of concern to youth{

The PCI senior leadership has grudgingly accepted these changes In tht youth federal/on'* structure, viewing them as steps necessary for bringing new blood Into ihe party. Their hope, according lortportlng. Is that, once Inside the party, the recruits brought la bypolities'wilt be Inculcated In the broader PCI Idtologyl

Pit. li le of Ibe

The emergent elite, whkh sow dominate! all but the highest organs of the party, differs from the senior parly kaekrthip ia icrms of iu social background, formative eiperkaca. and political values

According to data prodaced by the PCI iuclf, lower- and mtddk-fanking leaders arc much better educated lhan in lhe past and more likely lo have white-collar or professional rather lhan prokliiiac backgrounds.

Survey evidence indicate* lhat ihe younger PCI memberi also are considerably less likely to have maturedurely Communist subculture.

Fewer of Iheen. for lailance, have parenu who belonged to Ihe Communist Party, or werethemselves of the Communisl Party youth organization

The differences in social background and political socialization, we believe, partly account for survey results shewing lhat the emergentother members of tbe "new middle class" la Italy and throughoutmore independent minded and participation oriented than Us predecessors who now occupy the top parly posts]

Cuwth in Influence

Attracted by Derlinguer'v charisma and lhc apparentf hi* effort* lu transform lhc PCIunyf nnii'm. large numbers of people Ui Iheir Ih- and thirties joined ibe PCI in lhendeed, lhe propoilion of peoplehe partyhole increasedercentage points even while total party membership was rising sharply. The numbers dropped off again in the late

In ion government inset I

as youngeraccording to academics and prewanve to view toe PCI increasingly as an "establishment" party becanse of its effort' during this periodoalition governith the Christian Democrats (sec

time puiiiont ad minisi ration

According lo academic and press analyses, ihe PCI leadershippecial effort ino Incorporate many of these young recruits into {he ranks of theThe leadership saw ibis effort as one way to blaoi the leftist youth rebellion of ihe, whkh had threatened the PCI'sover the Itahaa left. Theoarge number of replace menu for party official!because of ihe PCI's spectacular advances in local and regional elections during this period, left their full-

n the party to assume posts In public

The effects or thit iaflui on ihe overall composition of the hierarchy became evident in lhcnd. Asndicates, the proportion ofnderho held tower-dk levelia (be party rose substantially throughout, especially in the higher ranking of these9 survey of PCI congress delegates found that about three fifths of the sample had joined the party only0 and lhat tbe vast majorityc delegates were al the time of lhe survey under the age of

ivtr otcni. rejuvenation has also taken place In the upper reaches of Cumce. Directorate, andryWithin the Central Committee.


- is* Mud>I

m iipvbllthol inHt diHli -Ij.Iil*lliht' CMC' kit IheIi-lniSnlK.ihel

Table I

Proportion ofn Various leadership Categories

n tecriMiio


t-ii.inu Mcm-Hi



etrend Smt


for inslancc, lhe proportion of" race from justuarter1 tohirdhereimilar Increase la the PCI delegation ia the lower house of parliament, where the proportion of those underose fromercent0 toercentven Ihe party's highest decision, making organ, the Directorate, hai eiperknccd an Influs of young leaders.or instance, only three of theembers were under lhe aien the Dircciorairightemberi were in this category!

A "New MUdle-Cku"reat many of the young people recruited Into the PCI during theerepro-fcsrMnals with middle-class baekgroundi. Their entry iaio the party significantly altered the social composi-tioa of ihe party membership and. eventually, iu leadership ai well. Ashe preeartion of professionals, intelicctuib. svhitc-collar employees, and university tludcnis ia the partyhole has increasedercent9 toercent, after remaining fairly constant in the previous iwoproportionate number of there new rccrulti found their way into Ihe PCI's leadership ranks, outing lignlficani change in Its overall composition

I able ;

Social Computation af ihctmbrrihip

ul aM



( Um*

,. ,

* "'


| '








>*uD fjtmciv and bailacwnni-

SVkni-mlliirand uud.Wi

ls irlifcd wtav

'l dim

(duelled profcwonali and white-collar wofkeo have alwiyircpresented al the too of the pany became of their generally superiorand political skills, the influs ofai |iven professional "new sniddk-class" and while-collar workeri unquestioned dominance in lower- and middle-echelon leadership potU ll well:

and professional workers and students comprised three-fifths of the national congressandommittee members

' like} bead only about half these postsrears earlier ttce table ll

full-time, paid officials, those whosewashite-collar oror who had been university studentsIhc party staff rose fromercent inSr. percenthis trend wasjrnehe educationaluflVsahH.eroral had<ehonl or eofleec. coanparccl with ISirve year* earlier Among federationihc h'ltheM ranking categories of paid

of these trends were magnified: aboutercent of tbem9 bad "new middlc-cUss" backgrounds, compared with about S3 percentarters aim had completed high school or college as opposed to less than half seven years earlier J

9 survey of PCI national congress dclciatcs provides clear evidence thai in the case of full'time effidali the tnfloi of youag people into the hierarchy was largely responsible for ihc growth of newnfluence. Aanong those officials who Joined the party now comprisinghird of Ihc current lower- snd middle-echelon leadership-Si percent had attended or graduated from acompared wilhercent of those who had Joined innd leu thanercent who had joined priorboul two-thirds of tbe "class" of theadprofessional, or student occupations! tdckgrounds. compared with about one-third of these who entered the party innd about half who entered the party In the

Tabic 3

SocUJ Co-poiiitoo of ibe PCI Bite

. -m




. 1

+ s


o PoUcka

la addilion to beiai younger and bctoragiag lo Ibe acw middle cttaa. mem ben of Ibe emergent elite arc leu likely lhan ibeir prcdeceaaort to haw maiured* nh in th:orld of Ike lubaa CommoniMor iaataacc, corssadcrably fewer of ihem have root*eel" families. AafoMoot) (hows, only (boot half the (all-lime officers and elected pablic offioaU who cnicrod ibc party daringad fathers who were PCI memberi, compared with three- fifths io thrac-oaarurt ofhese leadership catcgorira who Joined earlier. Younger ofOciali weie in moil cases abo less likely

thia ttdr older counterparls to hive even emerged from families strongly sympathetic to the PCI:fewer enjoyed parcr.tal approval of their decision to enter tbe party, and more provoked open conflict with Ibeir pa rents by this decision:

Perhaps the most striking difference between the current and emergent elite, however, concerns their early polilical experiences. Many of tbe party's senior leaders experienced political repression under Fascism and even during the early postwar period, while

TfMf 4

Altitudes on Party Invol-cmcnt

kadm matured notiiicallyoteilieu Moreover, those whn joined lhc purl) inad IHO. -er< far more likely to hove received early organised indoctrination in Kl belief*embership in lhc PCI youih federationCove who joined duringvee taUehe oaibreak of lhc uadem rebellion aad lhe flowering of ihe "new laftT bcgiBning In lheo had an impact on the thane or ibe PCI elite. Younger PCI ofTiciaU arc several limes more likely io have been involved in tludent or Other eiliipariiameittary movements before sousing thelhan any of the olderccording to9 survey of PCI olTsciabT

Finally, due to tbe PCI'* electoral successes of. substantially more members of the emergent elite haveards-oa poliiical educationfrom work within lhc PCI itself During the, the PCI scored dramatic gains in local and regional elections, achieving office in half thetwo-1birds of the largest cities, andercent of the communes. Many younger PCI leaders gained admiruslralive or aultcysnahMg paiiumtesult auurdmg Ui t> academic study, abnui ft rxrjm of (he' tl vmriwHineatal byPCI ininandidate- in liieir twenties, ihe party'i fuvtrr aad middle leadership ranks ihut con-tam many members whoairly early age have had capericaec in addressing day-to-dayrobtemk and who have had lo deal with officials of other parties onregular

A More Activist aad ladesvfssdeat-Masded Bent

In oar judgment, tbe differing social aad poliiical background of lhc emergent elite hasem to de.ei jp views lhat differ from those now at the top. More members ol the emergent elite arr likely to place emphasis on freex,ircsiMn. individual achievement, and active participatron Inlong ihown io be positively aucciated with higher educational levels and seciocconomk status. Saeh difference* in outkoi ait reinforced by ihe fact that fewer members of lhat group experienced fascist renrciaio* or have bad s'rong roots in ibe Communist subculture ^sreriences lhat have tended

ncukjic unit) and divciplinc above otherWe believe the emergent elite'* brojderesreiience haa alvo encouraged iridepeneleriee. .wi'nJifKf. and ootvpoienne*

Data from9 vurvey of the PCI kadership lendin thesesee:

1 true official! and members ofommittee* at vatiou sc*el> were gener-all, more likely than older ones to emphanre inde-pendent initiative and lodgment in deaeribini in general lerms the chart,etcr is ticsgood"official.

Among Ml nine officerswhose main job is to traiiimit party polscscs to party members and tap-porters- younger ones were considerably leu likely than titdcr counterparts to place emphasis on the rigorous areilication of the party line.

Younger officers -ere rrsore likely lo ladicaic they would maintain contact1elaxed attitude about duty lo ihe pany!

Impact on Parly DteHlonmaklog


The unique backgrounds and behavioral patiems of the emergent elite haverowing impact oa internal PCI politics lower- and middle-ranking pany officials have in recent years increasinglya right toIn PCI policymaking. Indeed, the PCI rational congress} evential-leware-auled"democraticthe bask principle of pany governance ihal liniilv debatem nine, decisionmaking author -Hy at ihe topr

Accord in

i nt" itTruii io pre-oane from below, hat held severala* >i" I'uiy electoral strategy anden .ilili-mgh in liic end tt has followeel

lining up unanimously be-


Several elected local PCI officials have taken Ihc unprecedented itep of publicly criliciringerformance in local government. Mosthe PCI yoalh leoeraiion. which prcvioasly had been under ihe close control of Ihe national panypublKly look issue with some key PCI policies, including the very tcnsiiive rjuesiion of tokrance for Italian participation in NATO

la local party confercnoes held prior to) congress, PCI federal one rejected caocUeUtes for seat, who had been proposed by tbc party hierarchy. Many federations decided these questionsecret ballot rather than through the traditional show of hands. During the same prccongresivirtually all PCI federations passedroposal by Ingrao lo ease democratic centralism by resulting Ihc Directorate to put majority aad minority reports before ihe Central Committee for debate whenever the Direc-toratc wu divided subsianiially over an issu

The PCI's senior leadership has given some ground to pressures for increased internal democracy In recenl years, official policy documents have spoken of "dera-ocraik centralism"method" of governance, rather thanask "principle" of the party as Ihey bad In ibe past. And, daring the process toeplacement for Berlinguer, the Directorate engaged in aa an precede med consaliaiion of ihc members of ihc Central Committee beforehoice. Nonetheless, tbc leadership appears unwillingyet lo accept any fundamental change Natta and the Directorate have essentially kept policymaking within Iheir ha ads. aad some key leaders, including Nana himself, have spoken publidy ia favor of retain Ing "democratic ccniraliim" in broad form. According to

xraiic centralism"


tenior leaders arc i

mosl senior leaders arc alarmed soounne growing lack of discipline among lower- and middle-level officials. Irideed, according to press accounts, the party's Directorate has ignored repeated requests by Ingrao toommission to examine PCI governance procedures!



Under the leadership of iu factionby Bcrtingwcr ind bow byhefor obtaining nitioaal power hasin recent years, ln, the party,renouncing its traditional long term objectivecapiuUsas,ajor effort toiu democratic credentials by consistentlyIu loyalty to tee Italian constitution andmoderate economic theories such asIt also provided parliamentary supportled by the Christian Dtenocrausought lo caterational coalitioawith (hat party. Because Iu courting of theto yield reaulu and proved unpopular withinthb tnrategy was dropped0 in favor ofline known as tbe 'democratic alternative."thb called for the PCI to seek an aHianoeScoalbt Party (PSI) aad kftwing Christianin order lo ooat the DC from Iuin Italianthen to start downtoward tbe thirdhkh would bethan Soviet-style socialism yet moretbea Weatera-alyk capiuksra labecauac Craw ii allied with lhe DC aadarc nwket eeieaied, thb strategy haaattacks against Crasi, atiacki thatlhe uBaucceasful PCI-sponsoredtined ai overturning (he governcontrol

The minority faction* within the senior leadership eachbtlnct perspective on the appropriate domeatk political tirategy for the PCI, according to press and academicn ihe extreme left. Cotiutia's small Suliain faction warns Use party to abjure democratic value* la favor of Manual-LcnInbthe left-of-center Ingrao faction basically supports ihe 'democraticut take* more seriously than the Nail* group the need to move decisively aad oukhly toward thehadl also ts even nsore adamant in rejecting cooperatioa with Ihe Socialbt Party under iu current moderatepreferring that alliances be formed with radical social groupings tech as the peace and environmental movements Oo the right of ibe party, tbe -social oemocraik" wiag ledot ill no aad Lam* wants ihe party to return to the more moderate line of the

. This group would like the party to abandon its pretensions lo aehkve long-term radical social change and seek an alliance with the PSI on lhe basisurely reformist progranf

nf the clue uindeed, according to piesxhe motl popular figure by far ul ihc congress was Ihedemocraticnge

finally, wc tec no ind tea lions of widespreador orihodos Marxist tendencies amongsuccessful and ambitious younger memberswho have already achievedin the middle and upper levels of theMosl of Ihc prominent PCI leaders inand earlybeen

aviociated inwith Ihe

pany mainstream orwiui un. urgiio group to the left.s not surprising since ibe -rising sun" within Ihe PCI have been chosen by the senior leadership, ll nevertheless means that these individuals are most likely to obtain senior positions and willisproponionate influence on the parly's future poll-elesJ"-

Internaerspective* The most striking features of the PCI's current foreign policy are its relative independence from Moscow, its professed support for Italian membership in NATO, and its coo ceiled effort to convinceof its Western credentials. We believe tbat ihc growing influence of Ihe emergent elite is reinforcing the party's move away from the Soviet Union, but ii may also bring into question at least some aspects of PCI support for ihe Atlantic Alliance and the efforts to ingratiate itself with US polKymakersj

it* invjKionhuvlovakia. Moreover, far fewer of them learned reverence for the Soviei Union in the confine* of the prc-IVTO* PCI subculture. The reserve of thb group lowurd ihc Soviet Union wa* illustrated in it* negative reaction to efforts by Cossutta's ortho-do*action' lo eliminate from the IVSJ partyeferencehe lots of Ihe "propulsive force" of the October Revolution. At PCI federation congresses of that year, however, this reference was almost invariably approved by large margins, and Conutla ultimately withdrew his objection at the PCI National Congress

Al Ihe same lime thai the PCI has moved away from Ihc Soviets, il has made cautious yet persistent efforts to improve tics to and its image in ihc United States and Ihe Atlantic Alliance in general. Ia ihc, Berlinguer reversed the party's previouslo Italy's participation In NATO, saying thai in the conical of detente the Alliance was aa essential shield for Western democracy. The PCI has continued to tolerate NATO membership since then despite the deterioration in East-West relations. It alio has voiced only muled opposition to INF deployment in Sicily. Some PCI officiab have privately even asked US diplomats for detailed information on the Strategic Defense Initiative, although the party has opposed it publicly. We believe that the PCI's overtures toward the United States and tbe Atlantic Alliance are inactical ploy to increase tbc party's legitimacy because links wilh the West enjoy broad support among Italian voters. They also reflect, in oura genuine concern among some party members aboul the Sovicl ihrcatJ

'Minolta I"* ladencogaiIVtlwvc} ladicaKd that tome IS percenteldc*uspect--aariioiipJaa* stmoti hall aareed withIXhad mi km iu 'propulsive

1aliilcdei mud tlx njpnwciv ik Oarnvij inind|

Ift I fVfll

iI;iin vi*0

iheihnai w> wortdeat routed so the Sunel Wnysrr hyi ao perveM ihoaah rcrrwrn thrcjienrd i


irbni emergen! elite member*he *cnnv kaderirup'slor tolcraiing SATO,uspect ihii many of ihem favor, ai ihr veryore Independent defence rote for Italy ind Western Europe either within o> outside the Alliance, and possiblyoward rvwta ligament. Because of ibeir relative towtb. roost rnaiured politically dunrnt the Viettvim era and ihus probably learned loery dim view of US foreign policy. Moreover, many probably aym-palhi/cdthe West European "peace movement" if only because of iheir earlier involve merit In broadly similar siudcni and other eatraparlarrteatary protcsi actrviiiea. There have, in fact, been scattered iadka-iions that aiignificant minority within ihe emergeni elite are prepared to challenge (be parly's loteraiion of Italian links to NATO:

Against tbe wishes of the national leadership, man, local federations considered resolutions calling for Italian withdrawal from NATO during meetings acid In the runup to1 National Congress. These resolutions passed in scattered federationsprincipally in thein tctal obtained the support ofifth of the partkirjants

PCI older

members of the PCI Central Committee differed about NATO aad Ibc "peace" issue in general Olderscane who were pro-Soviet' maintained the PCI had to accept Ihc reality of opposing power blocs in Europe and should therefore limil itselfpposition to INF deployment. Younger members of the committee maintained that opposition to missile deployment inhould be viewedirst step toward sen ing lialsonaligned coartc aimed at withdrawal from NATO We believe Ibe nance of tbeirrors ihc views of many ofin the PCI elile generally

i ot all wa* ihe Communtsi youihcall earlier iho >ear for ItalianATO andmallmg of all . -lev ic Ithel*iO abo .rilicircd ihe

h hicrdsip for il%responvc lo Ihe

Stra cgfc laefenvc Inipaiivc. Ill leaders havethe youthrrcotrarrvi view* which they attributenaivete of very young pany members -doIhc views of the parly as a


The emergent el .te will have its neil major ce>portaB>-ty to infloeoce PCI policy ai thehis meeting has been called to helpitter debate In Ihc wake of ibe recent electoral setbacks. We think lhat Ihe emergent elite will press hardest for increased internal democracy. Wc do not eipect the emergent elite lo favor aay drama be rivcderaiion ia Ibc party's bask domestic line, but it may successfully insist on changes in leadership or in politicalestore the pany's momentum There may alsohallenge io Ihe seniorefforts to improve lies lo lac Uaitcd Stale* aad Ihc Atlantic although wc do not eipect ihb will be strong enough toundamental change In lha PCI's international pcrikte* In Use near term.

The Rewrwed Debate Over PoUcy

The PCI's recent setback* haveriefon internal pany bickering designed lo givehance to establish JrrueJf. Leaden of the PCI's social democralk faction in panicular have begun to ipeak out agalnsi the line pursued under Naita'i leadership, lama and Napolcone Colsjaasu. for instance, have pablicly reiterated that the PCI should present itself as aa eaplidlly reformin rvanv and seek alliance with Crsai and hb pany

Radical faction leaders such as Ingrao, on the other hand, have reiterated strong opposition to cooperating with the Socialists under Craai. and again have raised



alternative pf working more closely withprotest mevrmentaj

Although members of lhc dominant fsciicn. Including Naiu. havelhat their strategy of seeking so alkancc wilh the Soaalisi Party while siutkiig the policiea of its leader is contradKtory. they have shown Bo ni' lination to modify lhc PCI's line. They recog-aiu that Ihe party's chances in lhe next general election7 depend on its ability to project unity and purpose, however, and have moved up the dale of the party's acai congees*7 to4 lo promote aa early resolution of lb* usteraaJ debate. The senior lenders hip ahoavember cooimisiKm toew program for (he partyt-member committee to supervise iu work.all four factions are represented, press ac-counts saggeat (hat lb* social deenocraik grouping haa beta allotted almost half the seats oa lb* supervt-sory committee, probablyoncilia lory gesture by the Natia group. Oe ibe other hand, tbe Natta faction has soughtnsure contlauity In (be program lo be presented to (he congress by entrusting its draftingroup within tbe ccmmuuJon heavily doniinaicd by mainstream figurea led by Occbctto.

The rsaergeut Elite aad tb*atar* la our judgment, the emergent elite ia likely to play aa cvea more indcpcadc-ii and critical role lhan1 bt reviewing the program presented by tb* senior leadership. Theecent electoral setbacks and ibe current absence of aa effective and charismatic leader arc likelyeinforce ibe inclination' ofof this group toward bvolveenenl In decbiceunak-lag and Independence of judgment. We would expect, al Bsiaimuja, strong pressure from lower leadership levels for the program io Include provision for la-creased ieiemal democracy aad greater cgstnncas of debate. For iheir pan. senior leaders may be more Inclined lhan In the put lo give ground both because their own self-coo fide nee ha* probably been dented by recent blows and because the factional leaders may believe Ihey can obtain aa advantage by lining up support from below. Press accousu suggest, forthai Natts supportedproposal by Massimoeading younger PCI official, lhal debate* at PCI Dr reel orate meetings be made public|

Although pressure from the emergent elite is in large measure responsible for the freer debate (hat will Use place at the congress and prccongrcw meetings.ihlah members of lhe elite will generally wind up supporting ibe Natta and lagnso factions, whose pollclet coincide most closely with (heir new.left outlooks. Practically none willhift toward Stalinism, in our view, and few will favor social democracy and cooperatioo with Crail's Socialisu. bees use recent evenu do not carry tbe uncQiuvucal message that wouldhange in the views ihey have held since their youth:

can attribute the parly's dodia* in lhe local aad regional elecswo* so factors thai do not call iaio question the validity ofemocraticThey can argue, for example, thai the dectoc-at* simplyhangeecade of PCI participation la local government, particularlyumber of party officials were involved inscandals

Moreover, the elections offered novialdemocrsiic strategy would have worked any better. The party was defeated ia Milan, where social democrau are largely inand, where party leaden were hardline on cooperalioo with Socialists and had previously withdrawneftist coalition.

flaaQy. despite Iuh* PCI remains th*arty in Italy. The new elate, la our view, will be reluctant io support any move thai would risk kopardiring lhat position,

In any case,eporting since theS dectiom Indicates lhat there ha* been no significant Increase In sentimenthift toward socialmove lhat- according to onePCI officials in Rome criticized as "becoming like all tbebUipbemy."

We think thai members of the emergentparticularly the more ambitious full-dme and electednonetheless concerned by the PCI's

recent loss nfl support In our judgment, younger leaden ia this congress an likely si ihr very lr.-tl io grve serious comidcraiionihanges in both ihc pari)icnior pcnunncl and its ihon-termmraicgi asof restoring ihc pany*

hai many low*r- and middle-level official' shaie ihc view expressed by liallan pin} com menu ton thai Naiu's lacklusicr performance ha. eontnbvteejhe PCIa elect oral slide- Al-though ihe PCI traditionally hai noi been inclined io punish national leaden foe electoral setbacks, we would certainly not diseouni ihe possibility ofgro-aadiwcll in favor of replacing Nanaounger, or it lean rnoee personable, leader with similar ideological leanings. Occhctto or the popular Directorate member from Bologna. Renato Zangb-eri. are iwo of the people tbe emergent elite might ni reort.

liven if ii does not rive up against Nana, we tutpcci ihal much of Ibe emergent elite will be Sufficiently cmbotoencd to press for the inctasioa of more members of its genet*lion in tbc party'% top off

inai would inevitably ace nal democracy!

f iniemaiional oolicv. ihr

opposite effcel on the party* worting-clai* support-af* for instance, the antinuclear and libertarian pokcic* approved receatly by Ihc PCI youlh feckra-lion-whkh we suspect many older memben o* ihc emergent clue ahoprove unattractive lo many weaken la addition, academic comascataton have noted thai many of the PCI's tiaduionalr ten hare been attracted lo ihc parly because of its image of unity and strength, which might be tarnished by the more freewheeling debate and more open factionalism thai would inevitably accompany in internal

In Ihc area of International policy, the emergent cllie's jaundiced view of both superpowen will have miied come**encts for ihcffort toits Western credentials by distancing itself from Moscow whik professing feally to Italy's NATO and US connections We doubt ihc new generation of PCI kaden will quel too ibe policy of independence fromf anything, they probably believe in it with more conriclion than many of their scnion. We eipect, however, (bat there will be pressure at the coo great and later from the emergent eliteardening in ihe PCI's altitude toward the Ailantk Alliance. The eliteubstantial number of individuals who are attracted to the idea of reducing irantatlantk links, and we think il possibk ihal theae individuals couldgorosu campaign againsl the PCI's tacil totemtion of US INF deployments in lllly and possibly even againsl NATO membenhip

believe ihal many emergent elite mem ben will cone lode from the ft" 'ii recent setbacks that ihe purty'v ear real uraicgy of umply resisting Ihe gincrnmeni on economic policy is inadequate. They may ihus press senior kadcrs toore rvitliive image for the party- for irutance, bygreater cmphavi* on irirei term program* such a* inviiiiitaooal and focal reform and stimulating iiiiiioiMn growth, whik conlinuing lo highlight* oimmiimeniong term mdical change.

i*ere lo heuimc more democratic, Itlul .nd piiwuimmiiK. however, we doubt thaicni'ih would incic.isc. Although suchI-h. pany's appeal lomiddle-ii ilimit, rimave ihe

Wc doubt that these presauies will be salTicicAlly strong at this congress lo force ihe senior leadership to alter the party's polky toward the United Sute* and the Alliance. We suspect that the dominant faction's judgment lhat ihc pany must tolerate ItalianIn NATO will outweigh ihe idccaogkalto Italy'* link* to the United Slates and NATO. Over ibe kagcr term, however, suppon from the emerging dueeduction of traasatlantk links couldodification of pany policy if the following Iwo condition* developed

Growth of anti-Alliance semi me at within other West European kfust parties. The PCI haa ka recent yean miennfted in unhi to West European

social democratic names, lhc Wen German SPI) in lianKatar. Many of these penie* nave already taken positions on key security issuesforare at variance with Alliance prjii-ciei Indeed, even tome Allied governments have at ben given only grudging support to INF deploy-meal. To the ttlcnt (hat iwn.CommEmit panics and governments in other countries maintain or intensify antl-US and anti-NATO positions, many in the emergent elite will begin to question vrhy It would ban tbe PCI's legitimacy were It toimilar course. The upshot of this over the longer term is likely toreater PCI willingness lo question NATO security policies alongeas solicitous and more eonfroot at tonal approachthe Uniied Sutes.

Soviet moderation under Gorbachev.their early memories of Soviet adventurism and theiration outside the PCI subculture, wc doubt lhat Ihe emergent elite will everery favorable view of the Soviet Union, whatever its future behavior. Nevertheless, should theregimeore moderate image at home and abroad, iu view of tbe Soviet Unionangerous selfsuperpower could fade,hut neoengaing maay born this generation towhether NATO, or attrong US military and especially nuclear presence in Westerneededasa -shield" for Italian dernccraey:

- tmf-rtsehe.'. ttdr basset on


Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: