Can Italy become communist in the interwar period?

That is to say, with a POD no earlier than the Treaty of Versailles. Not to mention the knock-on effects in Spain, Portugal, France and Germany. I'd expect the Nazis to still be around. Other than that, I don't know.
 
First Victor Emmanuel III becomes disapproving of Fascism rather than quietly approving as in OTL. Next, the government takes a more hardline stance against the March on Rome and ultimately a short Fascist uprising is crushed in a brutal but costly campaign which destroys the most economically vital areas of Rome, and if you want to push it, other major Italian cities. The government mishandles the early inflation of the 1920s, leading to hyperinflation which allows a Communist party to gain firm ground in the minds of millions of Italians after the failure of Fascism and the Soviet Union conforms to a "Permanent Revolution" doctrine throughout the 1920s and 1930s, defeats and annexes Poland in 1920 or 1921 and encourages worker uprisings in Italy? Then perhaps an even worse Great Depression and the Communists lead a revolution against the deeply unpopular Italian government and king, depose him and declare a new Communist government which is strongly supported by the Soviet Union?

It's just a basic sketch so I'm sure I'm missing many things.
 
I was thinking the best opening they had was with Red Turin. But you had discredited/crushed fascism and a weak monarchy get toppled in the great depression? That'd work.
 
I was thinking the best opening they had was with Red Turin. But you had discredited/crushed fascism and a weak monarchy get toppled in the great depression? That'd work.
I think the problem with Red Turin was the fact that they caused the Fascist movements to become more popular because of Red Turin's violent nature and clashes with the government. The lack of a Red Turin paramilitary group would perhaps soften the threat of Communism in Victor Emmanuel III's eyes and a Fascist movement would still arise to some degree which would be seen as a greater threat than the mostly peaceful Communist and Socialist groups in the country, possibly?

Say, more cooperative but firmly independent Socialist and Communist groups could see them distributing economical aid dispatched by the Soviet Union (implausible in the early 1920s considering the state of the Soviet Union, but more likely in the late 1920s) to the poorer rural and urban communities of the country and thus consistently gain more support as a result. Victor Emmanuel III's mother, who was notoriously anti-Communist and fervently supported the Fascists, could die (bonus points if in a Fascist attack :p) or else change her mind if the Fascists become more hostile and aggressive to the government.

Finally, an early 1930s Italian government somewhat moves to a more authoritarian type of government in line with Fascism as the Great Depression ruins the nation's economy (it would be somewhat more economically linked with Europe with the lack of the heavily-irredentism focused Blackshirt movement taking over, I believe), supporting corporations and attempting to impose longer working hours on workers in a very poor attempt to stimulate the economy and generate profits which leads to riots, eventual shootings and finally uprisings? Maybe if the Soviet Union is successful enough, by the early 1930s they would have occupied or annexed Yugoslavia and could provide air and naval support across the Adriatic Sea?
 
The problem with a communist Italy was that unlike fascism there is no a single clear leader who can organize the movement, just see how they react during the Matteotti affair, totally without leadership or any clue.
 
Yeah, that's another thing. It'd be Gramscians fighting Bordigists, Togliatti somewhere in there. There were plenty of vanilla socialists and the like too that'd follow their own beat.
 
Yugoslavia? Definitely a bridge too far.
I suppose so, but Soviet aid on the level of the OTL Spanish Civil War (supplying aircraft, tanks, artillery, munitions, arms, etcetera) would not be too unfeasible and if there were large defections from the Royal Italian Army then the Communists would perhaps possess the expertise to operate more complex devices effectively? If not, a more interventionist Soviet Union could send their own version of the Condor Legion and volunteer units to fight without officially partaking in the war.

The problem with a communist Italy was that unlike fascism there is no a single clear leader who can organize the movement, just see how they react during the Matteotti affair, totally without leadership or any clue.
That is a very intriguing point. During the Matteotti affair, a general strike was threatened but Victor Emmanuel III stayed firm as Mussolini was supported by a majority of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate he stayed firm; a dismissal could have led to civil war between the Blackshirts and the rest of the Italian government.

Let's say with a POD sometime in 1923 or early 1924, Matteotti is still killed in late 1924 (or butterflied to sometime in 1925), but the Socialist and Communist movements are somewhat more cohesive and a general strike is called and placed into effect. Protests transform into large-scale worker rioting which paralyses Italy, but Mussolini does not want to respond harshly as he fears the king will dismiss him from his position. Extremist elements of the Blackshirt movement (as existed OTL) frustrated by perhaps a butterflied, more indecisive Mussolini stage a coup d'etat and depose Mussolini, leading to Victor Emmanuel III in fright perhaps dismissing most Blackshirt members from their positions in fear of a revolution.
A bloody civil war breaks out between the government and Blackshirts due to mishandling of the situation, confusion and a lack of coordination, with an ultimate Blackshirt defeat but at pyrrhic cost to the government after several months to 1-2 years of fighting. Fascism and the general government becomes deeply unpopular with the people, and war-torn Italy is hit especially hard by either a Great Depression in 1929 or even an earlier one in 1928. With Soviet agitation and aid, an Italian Communist uprising begins as the government responds harshly to worker protests with crackdowns, and the Soviet Union invests more heavily in attempting to co-ordinate some sort of united front for left-wing groups in Italy, perhaps believing it could benefit through:
1. Counterbalancing any possible German imperialism with a friendly, Communist Italy.
2. Putting pressure on France with another left-wing government they share a border with (if the Second Spanish Republic is not butterflied away).
3. A base in the Mediterranean to threaten European operations.

So even if Stalin or someone the likes of him accedes to power and follows a "Socialism in One Country" doctrine of interventionism, it is still very possible to have a Communist Italy arise via Soviet assistance.

Perhaps an interesting prospect could be if Communist exiles from the Soviet Union after Stalin's seizure of power could find a home in Italy after a civil war between the Blackshirts and the Italian government, and assist in organizing the Communist and Socialist movement into something more united. Of course, that would pretty much mean no Soviet aid but the Italian government could fall anyway to a strong enough revolution.
 
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The problem with the scenario above is that even for some reason there is more unity on the left, the moment Mussolini is ousted you will see socialist and communist begin to fight each other (and the fascist remnant and the royalist army) unless someone take the lead...and frankly i don't see anyone at the time.
Riot and revolt? Sure. Civil war? A serious probability? A communist Italy? Almost impossible.
 
The problem with the scenario above is that even for some reason there is more unity on the left, the moment Mussolini is ousted you will see socialist and communist begin to fight each other (and the fascist remnant and the royalist army) unless someone take the lead...and frankly i don't see anyone at the time.
Riot and revolt? Sure. Civil war? A serious probability? A communist Italy? Almost impossible.
Indeed. I suppose to have a more united left, you'd either need Italy to become a refuge for Communist exiles from the Soviet Union (but it's unlikely they would be beneficial, being perhaps even more divisive and generally implausible that such a situation would even occur), a charismatic figure arising to unite the left (again, most certainly implausible and a wild-card) or an earlier POD sometime before the First World War.

At best, wouldn't there at least be a realistic chance of a Socialist-dominated democratic government gaining power through more peaceful means with some of the aforementioned circumstances and thereafter abolishing the monarchy?
 
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At best, wouldn't there at least be a realistic chance of a Socialist-dominated democratic government gaining power through more peaceful means with some of the aforementioned circumstances and thereafter abolishing the monarchy?
Sorry short of civil war the monarchy will not be touched, even OTL, after the fascism and the war it almost survive, so if there will be a socialist goverment through election (maybe the King have in his damned life one bright idea and not trust his capability to control Benny) it will learn to work with the monarchy as was done in other country.
Even Mussolini lived for 20 years with a King, as otherwise very unpleaseant thing had happen to him.
 

AdanALW

Banned
You know, Mussolini started off as a Socialist. It might just be simpler to make him a proto-Stalinist?
 
You know, Mussolini started off as a Socialist. It might just be simpler to make him a proto-Stalinist?
He was expelled from the party for essentially not being a socialist in the slightest, which is kind of a problem for him ending up proto-Stalinist without him being unrecognizable as a person.
 

AdanALW

Banned
He was expelled from the party for essentially not being a socialist in the slightest, which is kind of a problem for him ending up proto-Stalinist without him being unrecognizable as a person.
Hmmm. You could make him a Red Fascist, but then it really wouldn't be Communism, would it?
 
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