Confirming the adage that bureaucrats die at home in bed, Santiago Carillo, one of the chief architects of the trend called Eurocommunism, expired last month in Madrid at the age of 97.The New York Times recently published a mildly sympathetic obituary for Carillo, in which he was quoted as offering this less-than-comforting observation on the Russian Revolution, “There were political police, concentration camps, etc., but those institutions were necessary, and I am not sure they won’t be in other social revolutions.”
Raya Dunayevskaya was an incisive critic of the class collaborationist nature of Eurocommunism and wrote frequently on the topic. Especially relevant are two successive numbers of her “Political-Philosophic Letters,” distributed to friends and other interested parties in the 1970s: “Western Europe and Its Communist Parties; Portugal and Its Socialist Party; New State of State-Capitalist Crises” (Letter Number 3-4, May 23, 1976) and “Two Summits: the U.S. Calls ‘Western’ Summit in Neo-Colonial Puerto Rico and Russia Calls One in its East German Satillite” (Letter Number 5, July 1976). In the latter document, Dunayevskaya discusses Carillo’s intervention at the June 1976 conference of European Communist parties convened in East Berlin. She stresses the continuity of the supposedly dissenting CPs with the deeply ingrained reactionary tenets of Stalinism (emphasis appears in the original text):
Take Carillo’s “bravery” in saying, “Communism has lost the character of a Church with a Pope…We will not return to the structures and concepts of internationalism that prevailed in the past…” Why not ask him about the role of the Spanish CP in undermining the 1937 Spanish Revolution? There is no doubt that the most treacherous Mr. Moneybags, Chief Arms Salesman, as well as Chief International Communist Ideologue was Stalin, and his policies led to the destruction of the Revolution and paved the way for fascism’s victory. But the Spanish CP which was likewise overcome in that holocaust lost, not because of any “concepts of internationalism,” but its own class-collaborationism.
The Popular Frontism that Carillo is expounding now is a repeat of what brought Republican Spain down. The West is so busy playing up all Carillo says on “pluralism” that none stop to ask—and indeed, why should they be interested in asking, since they too fear proletarian revolutionaries?—whether “pluralism” would indeed include, not just class-collaborationists, but genuine revolutionaries whom the Spanish CP helped destroy, from the Anarchists who were the mass movement to the small Trotskyist grouping, from the minority indigenous POUMists to the revolutionary masses who laid their lives down in the great Spanish Revolution.