Europe's Fading Reds

A decade ago, Eurocommunism seemed an idea whose time had come. A new breed of Mediterranean Marxists preached a brand of Communism that renounced revolution, espoused democracy and rejected Soviet domination. Politicians of both the right and left fretted that Eurocommunism was about to transform the political scene. Western observers feared during the 1976 parliamentary election campaign in Italy that the Communists would get enough votes to force the ruling Christian Democrats into the "historic compromise" coalition. The Communists fell just short.

Today, however, the European Communist Parties are almost all in retreat after suffering disastrous setbacks at the polls. Even...

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