The Campaigner

The Campaigner

Institute insists, "Turin was the center of the sly by workers who saw nothing in their future but more

revolutionary vanguard." [33 ] And it was in Turin that payless workdays.

workers put up the greatest show of militancy. By organizing work shifts, cafeterias, defense and

When in the first weeks of the occupation workers exchange, the councils and commissions believed they

uncovered secret documents in the factory proving the were "organizing production," and the majority of

existence of an internal Fiat espionage and blacklist militant workers swelled with pride and enthusiasm.

system, the war cry went up in a fiery telegram sent to the Having booted out the oppressive bosses, they were

Milan agitation committee: "Workers' Fiat Centro doggedly determined to show the grown-ups just how

intend only negotiate on condition that exploiting good, efficient and responsible they could be.

dominating class be abolished, otherwise immediate war The occupation was a rebellion, a collective helluntil

total victory." [34] (emphasis added) raising session, at the expense of the capitalists to be

Capturing the essence of the cazzista mentality behind sure; but the rebellious, fearful militants were

the occupaton, the telegram promises that workers will preoccupied with declaring their independence in the

bargain for pay raises, on condition tht the revolutionary form most acceptable to their stern, austere capitalist

rhetoric and mask be religiously respected -- both by guardians. A man must indeed break away from old ties

capitalists and by union and party bureaucrats, to test his virility, but in the midst of the hell-raising he

That the workers had no serious intention of taking must after all give evidence of his ability to perform well.

over the economy and running it was evident not only in Thus the anarchosyndicalist dance followed precise

the decision to work in order to get paid after the patterns and steps. In the factory, "in every corner there

occupation, but also in the way the food problem was are inscriptions reflecting strictly socialist principles: He

handled, who doesn't work, doesn't eat; honesty and labor, that's

After occupying the food storerooms of the factories our aim; let's break our chains and nooses; we don't

themselves and setting women employees to the task of want wealth in gold but in freedom. The factory comcooking,

they looked to the local shopkeepers and missars recommend economy of materials and saving

citizens for help. In Piombino, Tuscany, the occupying electricity." [37] And, in the evening, one should "sleep

steelworkers joined ranks with the local mayor to raise not outside but in the places indicated by the factory

funds from the townspeople; after joint deliberation the committee, observe personal hygiene, and dedicate one's

shopkeepers decided to open credit to workers who time to reading instead of spending most of the time in

would use coupons provided them by the Agitation fruitless amusements." [38] The central idea of the

Committee to purchase goods. Payment on such forms of workers, as one of them stated was this: "to give proof of

credit was "guaranteed by the 19 days of production their technical maturity, demonstrating the fact that

which were to be paid." [35] In Turin, the militant they know how to organize and run the biggest and most

FIOM took out a loan for 25 million lire from the local modern plants in all their various kinds of production ...

capitalist bank, the Istituto di Credito, to finance to prove that the workers by now know how to get along

cooperatives, and arranged for a loan from the Alleanza by themselves." [39]

Cooperativa Torinese in coupon form to provide workers One technician, one of the very few who ignored

and their families with compensation for the duration of industrialists' pleas and bribes to stay out of the

the occupation, agitation and who participated actively in the factory

Clearly, the workers, their organizations and the local council's direction of the occupation, had this to say:

shopkeepers all took it for granted that the occupation Production was normal, because I as a leader saw to it

would end with the timely return of the generous that we cut a good figure (fare bellafigura). I registered

production figures daily to show that even without the

industrialists, and that the work done in the occupied

bosses everything was normal and to make a good imfactories

would be rewarded by the industrialists in the pression (fare bella flgura) from the organizational point

form of the good old pay envelope! of view too: if the workers _stopped work for an hour

In the meantime, the councils and commissions set up because there was a conference, the registers showed a

kitchens and cafeterias to fill the mouths of hungry, work stoppage for this motive; if there was a machine

that kept breaking down, the regiSters showed fhat the

exhausted workers. The sale of goods produced was machine lost so many hours of production because of

firmly discouraged by the FIOM with the explanation breakdown...not because the workers weren't workthat

"Production belongs to the collectivity and as such ing .... I made it my business to go and see what was

must be administered by the superior organs going on in other departments even though I wasn't

directly involved in those areas, but did so to coordinate

representing the interests of everyone," [36] although a the work. During the occupation, some police came to

considerable amount of material was in effect sold on the see what was going on. We were at the entrance, we

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