Álvaro Cunhal (1913-2005), the leader of the Portuguese Communist Party for about half a century, was renowned for his ethical profile, and ethical concerns are constantly present in his political writings, as well as in his artistic and literary works. This article tries to assess his youth writings, written during the 1930s, in the perspective of the connection between philosophical principles and his development as a communist politician. A parallel is established with Gramsci’s thought, for whom the ethics of historical materialism entails the relationship between human will and objective conditions. Starting from the "negative will" of the opposition to Salazar’s dictatorship, Cunhal sketches the project of an antifascist revolution that can be understood as the constrution of a new "collective national - popular will".
Keywords: Pcp, ethics and politics, collective will, Gramsci, antifascism.