THE GREATFEAR and representatives of the leading Central Labor Councils are present with speaking rights. Bruno Buozzi, Italian men love to pass their time in coffee bars, FIOM leader and member of the CGL leadership, opens with a rundown of events leading up to the occupation, arguing politics, discussing soccer and cars and women. When a woman enters such a bar for a coffee, she then tossesthecentralhistoricalissueonthetable.] becomes the object of discussion, as each cazzista strives to outdo the other and win their approval by most Buozzi: Now if the workers don't get paid, this is adeptly formulating his line of approach to the woman, going to turn into a touchy situation, and the only Preferring a wide range of acts of bravado and way out would be revolution. alluding to his sexual prowess while striking Latin Lover poses, the cazzista coyly induces up to the cold-staring [This embarrassing truth is the subject of the talks. For a woman to make a half-joking play for her. After a week everyone present will try to change the subject. suitable amount of banter and petty disagreement with Buozzi sets up one of the major loopholes by appealing to the union-party agreement regulating responsibi!ity over the others who pretend to dissuade him, he swells up with masculine pride, raises one eyebrow and asks, economic and political struggles respectively.] "How about a spin around the town in my Fiat?" The woman, maintaining her equilibrium and perhaps Buozzi: Our intention is to keep the movement • letting slip one glance of bemused disgust, exits, leaving within thefirst line mentioned and not allow it to go her would-be courtiers to follow up on the game with beyond that. The movement is of an economic knowing comments, reappraisals and laughter. Boys will nature and we metalworkers are too involved in it to be boys. be able to give an opinion or make criticisms. We But if the script of the tiresome comedy were changed askforyour solidarity because as things stand today ... If the woman, turning from her coffee cup, were to we stillfeelwe are moving alone. If it is necessary to raise her glance, smile and utter a warm "yes!" ? ? ? move out of the economic field then the confedera- This was essentially the psychological situation facing tion and party leadership must say so. the entire Italian left in September 1920. After having wooed the workers and teased the capitalists with tough [The leading argument in the first day of the talks will cries of "dictatorship of the proletariat," "occupy the revolve around the sticky question: is this struggle factories" and "revolution," the left found that both economic or is it political? If economic, the union maintains leadership and continues the battle for wage workers and capitalists had called the bluff. Caught, so to speak, with their pants down, the leaders of the PSI, increases; if the General Staffdeems it political, then the CGL and party factions had to think fast. PSI will have to translate its revolutionary rhetoric into The meetings of the revolutionary "General Staff" in action. Enter Chignoli, union representative from the Milan cannot be adequately summarized, for what Turin Central Labor Council. Chignoli elaborates on Buozzi's evaluation of the workers' subjective state.] happened in actual fact would seem hopelessly bizarre or simply untrue. To really understand how the Italian revolution was flushed down the drain, it is necessary to Chignoli: The metalworkers will not leave the review, though necessarily in edited, shortened version, factories with just a pay raise, it will be necessary to the documented minutes of those meetings; to see how win recognition of [workers'] control. It would be the cazzista lurking under the revolutionary facade of extremely unlikely for the Turin workers to abandon every Italian worker and leftist, when yanked out of the the factories without winning some conquests of a barroom and thrust into the flow of revolutionary moral nature. ferment, will compulsively follow the dictates of his infantile neurosis. [For Chignoli this means extending the struggle. He What follows, then, is the true account of the presents a motion, signed Chignoli-Tasca and already meetings, annotated to supply necessary information voted by the Turin Central Labor Council.] concerning the dramatis personae, the parts edited out, and appropriate stage directions. Such commentary is Chignoli [reads the motion]: The representatives of enclosed in brackets, the 120, 000 organized in the Turin Central Labor Minutes of the Sept. 4, 1920 Session Council... to supply raw materials or necessary [At the first meeting the CGL leadership poses the energy...affirm that...with the metalworkers' problem of revolution. Members of the PSI leadership struggle a new era in the class struggle is opened
and will close with the workers governing all [The revolution for Gennari is a touchy question, since production, he isn't sure just how the other class organizations feel about itl] [Other interventions contribute to the now heated question of "economic" versus "political."] Gennari: When we have the feeling that the other categories are willing to support the movement, we Buozzi [quaking]: We'll lead the struggle on a can take a risk but not play our last card... If the union terrain until you, leaders, you, confederation, occasion presents itself tomorrow, we should not tell us that the two organizations will enter into have any hesitation. Make dangerous, catastrophic play. decisions today -- that we must not do. 83 [The atmosphere is turbulent. Representatives of larger [D'Aragona, secretary of the CGL, feels called upon to forces must come into play. The Honorable Quaglino of speak, though, as he immediately states, with. modesty, the CGL leadership, seeing the danger of boyish enthusihe is "not speaking as confederation secretary"l In such asm erupting into hazardous action, as indicated in the a serious situation, where D'Aragona finds it impossible Chignoli-Tasca motion, decides to play on the fear he to distinguish between "economic" and "political," one knows is convulsing the assembly.] consideration is fundamental, he feels.] Quaglino: Is this the hour of revolution? Say so, D'Aragona: [/] don't believe that winning wage then. There is, by the way, a question of competence concessions would satisfy the proletariat; the masses involved here; will the FIOM be willing to delegate don't think that way. Now the dilemma consists in the solution of the controversy to superior this: how do we get out of it?  am convinced that organisms? .... We're a bit disoriented here, the if we ordered general takeover of the factories, Central Labor Councils are invading the powers of everyone would act accordingly. But to make them others .... [I] think it would be opportune to keep function, we would have to take over the banks too, the dispute in the economic field, and that's a bit difficult. The government would certainly intervene to prevent that. And that would Baldesi [also of the CGL leadership; he seconds be a really serious situation and I ask who will Quaglino with apt elaboration on the theme of raw assume this responsibility. The revolution in Italy is materials]: If in Turin they need oxygen, in Terni spiritually prepared, the bourgeoisie is half they need coal. Would the English miners give it to convinced of it. The soldier will go with the us? strongest. But the dilemma revolves around raw materials u within 15 days there" will be no more [After opportunely passing the buck to his faraway coal and production will therefore cease. Can we English. comrades, Baldesi goes further, touching on hope that the English proletariat will give us the terror.] absolute minimum necessary to continue produc- Baldesi: Whoever has the political responsibility tion? must say whether the struggle should stay on economic terrain or go beyond it, whether the [The English miners, the capitalist bankers, the governstruggle must be extended or contained, taking into ment m anyone is a good scapegoat. The deed is done consideration that an extension might lead to civil and the "leaders" are scared out of their wits, concerned war. solely with containing the ferment and saving face at all costs. Certain as D'Aragona is that the matter cannot be [Gennari, maximalist secretary of the PSI leadership, solved on an economic basis "save a miracle," he suggests that the Turin motion be accepted, because it proceeds to humiliate the workers.] would back the metalworkers, supply raw materials and perhaps settle the pay question and more.] D'Aragona: Will the metalworkers want to give up Gennari: Extend demands to win factory a pay raise for the sake of political and sentimental gains? Do we want to make the revolution when committees, workers' control Demands that could we're having difficulty as it is with just the simple be advanced today without necessarily having the occupation of the factories? goal of a revolution.