David Broder writes on the disappointed revolutionary aspirations of the WWII-era left
The recent collapse of dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia marked inspiring victories for the mass uprisings in the Arab world. However, these revolts have again posed an age-old question of revolutionary politics: is the aim to get rid of this or that leader, or to overthrow the system as such?
This question was sharply posed in the late World War II period when mass resistance movements besieged fascist régimes across Europe. These movements were dominated by activists who believed in the desirability of communism.
But as such, the maintenance of capitalist order after the war was a major defeat. Why did resistance not mean revolution? Here I shall focus on the examples of France and Italy. Continue reading “a hope unfulfilled: communists in world war II”