Revel, Jean-Fran├žois
January 1978
Foreign Affairs;Jan1978, Vol. 56 Issue 2, p295
The article examines the misconceptions about Eurocommunism. The paradox of the concept of Eurocommunism is undoubtedly the combination of its extraordinary success in the U.S. and the skeptical treatment it has met since its birth in Europe in the countries concerned. The point at which Europeans had little confidence in the solidity of Eurocommunism was evident from the moment that the first cracks appeared in the Union of the French Left, in September 1977. The explanation that immediately came to the minds of the Socialist analysts, when they perceived the incomprehensible hardening of the French Communist Party, was the influence of Moscow. Certainly there are other elements to be taken into account: the condemnation of the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia by the Italian Communist Party or the pledge by both the Italian and French Parties to remain within the Atlantic Alliance. In these two cases, however, one must examine not the propaganda value but the substance of their declarations. The Western communist parties claim that they condemn the excesses of Soviet repression. The fundamental controversy about Eurocommunism in Europe is thus not a debate between the Right and the Left but between two Lefts. The question is which trend of European socialism--the Leninist or the social-democratic--will prevail.


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