The Campaigner

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The Campaigner

92

development, we can come to grips with the pathological incident because the warning sirens had sounded,

roots of both Gramsci's and ultimately the Italian alerting workers to an outside attack, and Gramsci,

proletariat's defeat, despite workers' advice to take cover, insisted on

accompanying them on an inspection tour outside the

walls. [73]

The Cop-Out Syndrome Santhia, who is struck by the "excessive modesty" of

The first amazing thingGramscidid when the workers both Gramsci and Togliatti in visiting the factories,

occupied the factories was suspend publication of his recalls another moment, presumably later, when both

faction's newpaper! As in the case of the interruption in leaders come to a meeting. Gramsci and Togliatti, he

publication called during the April general-strike says, "insistently called attention to our weak point: the

ferment, the decision was intended, it was said, to allow lack of a communist party capable of leading the

the Ordine Nuovo staff to participate in the heat of the struggle with a guarantee of victory. Most workers

struggle, present still clung to the certainty of victory, while aware

of the gravity of the situation and the consequences

An interruption of almost a month: thus in one year 'we which would have derived from our defeat."

have insteadbeen of 52. ableComrades

to give our who subscribers know us know _only that 43 Ordine issues A third indication from Santhia deals more closely

Nuovo is not a bureaucratic-commercial endeavor, with the problem of building a communist party, but

separate and independent from the daily life of the poses the problem this time in net contradiction to what

working class, insured against the jolts and blows which, Togliatti and Gramsci stated at the meeting just

in this dark, atrocious period of national life, hit every mentioned. [75]

part of the proletarian forces: Comrades who know us

know that Ordine Nuovo is a revolutionary organ, tightly Rather early in the occupation, rumors circulated

bound to the life and actions of the working class, and about a possible split of a Bordighist faction at the Fiat

that its writers, its "theoreticians," walk hand in hand Centro plant. Giovanni Parodi, a young worker, leader

with the working class and cannot help but feel all those of the factory council and member of Bordiga's "Soviet"

jolts and blows.(72) faction, thought the moment had come to split from the

PSI and form the nucleus of a communist party.

Instead of using the paper as a precious propaganda Gramsci, in agreement with the Bordighist factional

organ to spread the urgently needed directives to the leadership, thought the move premature, and said so to

class, Ordine Nuovo, because it had no conception of Santhia. He insisted that Santhia go to talk with Parodi

what programmatic alliances were necessary, had indeed to dissuade him from making the move. Gramsci himself

no idea of what program itself was, shut down. did not feel up to talking to Parodi in person.

This does not mean that Gramsci himself altogether During a taped interview of 1967, Santhia recalled two

stopped writing; he wrote some articles on the other moments when Gramsci came to the factory, once

occupations, but he published them in the daily organ of

at the beginning of the occupation, when Gramsci called

his PSI factional opponents, Avanti! And, in keeping a meeting of a few workers and once later.

with his custom, he rarely signed his articles -- thus any

When we pose the question, "Now that the plant is

worker looking for direction from his factional

occupied, what do we do?" well, what do you do? Here's

spokesman had to scan the pages of the reformist what the answer was: "First, create a means of defense;

Avanti! and hunt around for clues from Gramsci. you have everything in your hands, it depends on you to

Apart from turning out a few articles for Avanti. t create the means of defense." We said means of defense

with other hopes. And in fact we did create them, we

Gramsci was allegedly in the midst of the worker ferment

were pretty well armed.., not really enough to be able to

in the factories. But here again, the matter is curious, sustain.., but we were able to sustain a certain struggle,

The number of actual recorded visits by Gramsci to the that is, resist attacks. Then, not only that; we ask:

factories is uncannily small. Given that he was "Should we work or continue the job action?" Then he

looks at us with a look almost of astonishment.

undeniably the focal point of factory workers' attention,

"You mean to say you're asking these questions? What

one would expect his appearances, speeches, etc., to be in the world did we form factory councils for? This is the

carefully noted, at least by working-class protagonists, first time we have had a real situation where the factory

From the extant memoirs of leading workers in the councils can demonstrate what they are, and in practice,

Turin-Milan area, it is clear, on the contrary, that can assume their rightful function and their correct

physiognomy both as organismns of political leadership

Gramsci appeared infrequently on the scene, and as technical organisms.

BattistaSanthia reports thatGramsciwas at his factory "You organize production and they'll do so politically.

on Sept. I 1 in the evening; Santhia remembers the There you have communist (factory) groups" -- we had

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