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Communism and anti-Communism in early Cold War ItalyLanguage, symbols and myths$
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Andrea Mariuzzo

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526121875

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526121875.001.0001

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Freedom and democracy

Freedom and democracy

(p.74) 3 Freedom and democracy
Communism and anti-Communism in early Cold War Italy

Andrea Mariuzzo

Manchester University Press

This chapter explains the importance of the values of freedom and democracy in the Cold War struggle between Italian Communists and anti-Communists. As soon as Cold War tensions broke down the ‘national unity’ of anti-fascist forces, both fronts claimed to be the exclusive representatives of ‘true’ democracy, and compared their competitor with the defeated fascist enemy. The Socialist-Communist alliance acquired the programme of ‘progressive’ (or ‘people’s’) democracy inspired by the experiments in Central-Eastern Europe, and made it the base for its opposition to the supposed Christian-Democratic ‘restoration’ of a new ‘reactionary clerical fascism’, along with the defense of the guarantees for parliamentary opposition established by the republican Constitution of 1948. The anti-Communist front, on its side, found strong unifying motifs in the description of Soviet dictatorship and the ‘sovietization’ of the countries occupied by the Red Army filtered beyond the Iron Curtain, and in their comparison with ‘totalitarian’ experiences lived by Italians in the past years.

Keywords:   Anti-Fascism, Totalitarianism, Italian constitution, People’s democracy

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