Between August 1846 and April 1847, Guiseppe Mazzini, in London
exile, published six articles in English in the "People's Journal,"
the last of which was on Communism. With these articles, which
became known in his native country in an 1852 Italian reworking,
Mazzini powerfully inserted himself into the debate on the nature
of democracy, alongside the most illustrious intellectuals of the
time, Tocqueville, Blanc, Cabet, and Proudon.
In two of his pieces, Mazzini answered the democratic
communists-the Fraternal Democrats-who in 1847 invited the
twenty-eight year old Karl Marx to London to rebut Mazzini's
perceptive criticisms of communism and to explore a new possible
elaboration of the ideology. Mastellone confronts the English text
of Mazzini with the German text of Marx and traces an almost
forgotten theoretical contest that has been ignored, but remains
crucial for an understanding of two fundamental movements of the
modern world: communism and democracy.
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