For the past six years, Italian Communism's most trusty and telling weapon has been the CGIL (Confederazione Generate Italiana del Lavoro). From 1944 to 1948 it operated almost as a monopolistic, aggressive state within the state, claiming 6,500,000 members and another 5,000,000 affiliates, using the general strike as a political bludgeon against the government. CGIL's boss was Communist Bigwig Giuseppe di Vittorio, who ran the show with a strong arm and a jealous eye for any non-Communist challenge to his power.

Last week, Comrade di Vittorio and his CGIL faced a rising rival,...

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