Carillo, Santiago

(1915– )
   Born in Gijón, Spain, Carillo’s place in the history of Marxism is as one of the chief architects of Eurocommunism, an outlook he expressed in his book Eurocommunisimo y Estado (Eurocommunism and the State) published in 1977. Carillo joined the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) in 1936, became secretary of the Communist Youth International in 1939, and by 1942 had taken on responsibility for organizing the PCE. He spent a number of years living abroad, mainly in the United States and South America, following the triumph of General Francisco Franco and the nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. From 1960 until 1982 he was secretary-general of the PCE, and during his period of office the party gradually moved away from the Soviet Union’s influence and outlook, moving closer to the Italian Communist Party (PCI), and coming to embrace the alternative approach of Eurocommunism. Carillo’s time as secretary-general was also characterized by regional and factional disputes, expulsions and efforts by Carillo to maintain his position. Among the high-profile expulsions were party intellectuals Fernando Claudin and Jorge Semprún in 1964, Soviet loyalists Eduardo García and Agustín Gómez in 1969, and faction leader Enrique Lister in 1970. Carillo himself suffered the same fate being expelled from the central and executive committees of the PCE in April 1985 and replaced as parliamentary leader by Gerardo Iglesias. Key events during Carillo’s period of office included the joint declaration by the PCE and PCI at Livorno in July 1975 which provided a blueprint for Eurocommunism. 1975 also saw the death of Franco in 1975 leading Carillo to focus his energies on campaigning for the legalization of the PCE, a campaign that culminated in the PCE legally participating in the 1977 election. Results in three general elections were poor and Carillo resigned as secretary-general in 1982 after the party polled just over 3 percent. Following his expulsion in 1985 he formed the dissident Communist Unity group and then the Workers’ Party of Spain–Communist Unity (PTE-UC) in 1986. Carillo’s Eurocommunism drew on ideas put forward by Antonio Gramsci, and incorporated the views that socialism and democracy are interconnected, that socialism can be achieved peacefully through the establishment of “advanced democracy,” and that the dictatorship of the proletariat and the Soviet model should be rejected.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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