Communist Party of Italy

Communist Party of Italy in Europe

Gramsci Role in Founding the Communist Party of Italy

Introduction to Communist Party of Italy

In 1920 workers seized factories throughout Italy, but they were unable to operate the factories because they lacked the financing and skilled management necessary for day-to-day operations. The workers soon returned the factories to their owners. Gramsci blamed this defeat on a lack of resolve by the Socialist Party, and in 1921 he helped form the breakaway Communist Party. The Turin factory council incident persuaded Gramsci that strong working-class movements had to be led by the workers themselves, not by leaders outside the factories.

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy in 1922, and the brutality of his regime formed another critical influence on Gramsci’s thinking. Mussolini banned opposition political parties, abolished trade unions, and slashed wages. Gramsci soon concluded that Fascism posed a severe threat to the Italian people, and he tried to understand how the Fascists had won control of the government. Gramsci believed that Mussolini and his Fascist forces had won power partly because they received far more middle-class support than the Socialist and Communist parties did. He also believed the Fascist victory was supported by the wealthy upper classes that were willing to let Mussolini destroy the country’s democracy in order to protect their own economic position.” (1)


Notes and References

  • Information about Communist Party of Italy in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia
  • Guide to Communist Party of Italy

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