Andrea Mariuzzo
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Freedom and democracy
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This chapter explains the importance of the values of freedom and democracy in the Cold War struggle between Italian Communists and anti-Communists. As soon as Cold War tensions broke down the ‘national unity’ of anti-Fascist forces, both fronts claimed to be the exclusive representatives of ‘true’ democracy, and compared their competitor with the defeated Fascist enemy. The Socialist–Communist alliance acquired the programme of ‘progressive’ (or ‘people’s’) democracy inspired by the experiments in Central and Eastern Europe, and made it the base for its opposition to the supposed Christian-Democratic ‘restoration’ of a new ‘reactionary clerical Fascism’, along with the defence of the guarantees for parliamentary opposition established by the republican Constitution of 1948.

The anti-Communist front, on its side, found strong unifying motifs in the description of Soviet dictatorship and the ‘sovietisation’ of the countries occupied by the Red Army filtered beyond the Iron Curtain, and in their comparison with ‘totalitarian’ experiences lived by Italians in the past years.

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