Western European Communism

Archive Report

Concern Over New Party Directions

Fears in Both Soviet Union and United States

The concerted efforts of the Communist parties of Western Europe to attain power peacefully through the electoral process may become one of the major political dramas of the 1970s. Many Western European Communists profess the benign nature of their Marxism and assert their independence from the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, their actions hold promises and threats for both Moscow and Washington. The United States fears the prospect of Communists gaining control of the governments of longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) allies. The Soviet Union fears the development of independent and liberalized Communist parties that could strongly influence discontented Soviet satellite governments in Eastern Europe.1

Two elections in the days and months ahead could tell ...

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