The influence of Marxist-Leninist ideology in Spain has been relatively weak, despite the professed adherence to it of the communist PCE and the left wing of the socialist PSOE during the Civil War. During the Franco regime, the spectre of a supposed Marxist-Masonic conspiracy against Spain provided a convenient set of clichés with which to keep alive the fear of a return to the conflicts which had brought about the war. With the re-establishment of democracy, particularly in the context of the first post-Franco general election in 1977, both parties evolved towards a more moderate, social-democrat position. Although the legalization of the PCE was bitterly resented by the armed forces, it was welcomed by the political community as a whole, not least because the party had agreed to work within the structures of constitutional monarchy. The new, post-exile leadership of the PSOE, represented by Felipe González and Alfonso Guerra, adopted a similar stance, though the membership as a whole resisted attempts to remove the explicit commitment to Marxist-Leninism in the party manifesto.
   The PSOE's success in the local and municipal elections of 1979 convinced González and Guerra that there was considerable grass-roots support for the party, and that the Marxist label was the only factor deterring the electorate from giving PSOE power at national level. González therefore staged a tactical resignation from the post of Secretary-General at the XXVIII Congress in May 1979, and spent the summer touring the country and winning over the support of rankand-file members in the provinces. At an extraordinary congress in September, he secured overwhelming endorsement for his modernization plans, and PSOE, freed from its Marxist legacy, won a landslide victory in the general elections of 1982.
   Subsequently, PSOE continued on its moderate path, prompting in 1986 the creation of the United Left coalition, made up of disaffected ex-members of PSOE's left wing, and PCE members striving to rebuild the party's shattered electoral support. Insofar as remnants of Marxism survive in Spain, it is found in the United Left, though despite its name, the grouping lacks ideological and organizational coherence.
   See also: socialism

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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