The Campaigner

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The Campaigner

council theory passed for just that. What's more, and its creative freedom to make history .... The factory

immense numbers of Italian workers translated council too is based on trades. In each department

workers are divided into squads and each squad is a

Gramsci's theory into reality and paid for it with twenty unity of labor (of trade); the Council is made up in fact of

years of fascist rule. the commissars that the workers elect by department

Gramscidid more than simply equate the council with squads (trades)...But the union is based on the

individual, whereas the Council is based on the organic,

the soviet; he elaborated an entire theoretical apparatus concrete unity of trade, actuated in the discipline of' the

aimed at developing the psychological production of industrial process.(87)

class consciousness through the council formations.

It follows then that

Though he had insight into the social creation of

consciousness, Gramsci, with one all-important flaw in The organization by factories composes the class (the

whole class) into a homogeneous, cohesive unity which

methodology, ended up actually laying the basis for

adheres plasitcally to the industrial process of production

decades of misunderstanding and blundering on the to take it over definitively. In the factory organization,

Italian left. He also unwittingly developed a modern left- then, the dictatorship of the proletariat is incarnated.

wing version of "Swedish way" corporative economics. (88)

Rightly seeing the need to transform the bourgeois Nor is this conception limited to the factory as such; in

ideological framework of working-class minds, Gramsci medieval hierarchical fashion, Gramsci proceeds from

thought it would happen this way: the factory to build the whole world:

95

Through rallies, held inside the shop, with the incessant Turin is the city of the automobile ... Just as in a factory

work of propaganda and persuasion carried On by the the workers assume a physiognomy, organizing

most aware elements, a radical transformation of the themselves for the production of a certain object which

workers' psychology could be obtained, _the masses

unites and organizes metalworkers and woodworkers,

would be better prepared to exercise power, an painters, electricians, etc.; so in a city the proletarian

awareness of the rights and duties of comrade and

class assumes the physiognomy of the prevalent

worker would be diffused, and it would be concrete and industry, which orders and governs the whole urban

efficient because generated spontaneously by live, complex for its existence. So, too, on a national scale, a

historical experience.(84) people takes on the aspect of its exports, its real

contribution to the economic life of the world.(89)

All this must take place inside the factory, for reasons But, aside from this fantastic notion of socialist world

Gramsci describes a number of times: production based on the automobile, what kind of

The revolutionary process takes place in the field of "consciousness" does the squad-based council create in

production, in the factory, where the relationships that the individual worker?

exist are between oppressor and oppressed, exploiter The existence of the Council gives the workers 'direct

and exploited, where freedom and democracy do not responsibility for production, it leads them to improve

exist for the worker; the revolutionary process 'takes their work, it instills a voluntary, conscious discipline, it

place where the worker is nothing and want to become creates the psychology of the producer, of the creator of

everything, where the owner'spower is unlimited, power history.(90)

over the life and death of the worker, of the wife and :

children of the worker.(85) '" Gramsci preached this in more detail when addressing

the department commissars of the Fiat plant:

The working class has identified itself with the factory,

with production .... The division of labor has created the The mass of workers must really prepare itself t:o acquire

psychological unityoftheproletarian class, it has created full mastery over itself. And the first step 'in this

in the proletarian world that corpus of feelings, instincts, direction lies in stronger self-discipline, in the shop,

thoughts, customs, habits, affection that are summarized autonomously, spontaneously, freely. One cannot deny

in the expression: class solidarity.(86) that the discipline established by the new system 'will

lead to an improvement in production; but this is nothing

And the factory council is the organism which can, but the proof of one of the theses of socialism: the more

human productive forces, freeing themselves from the

according to Gramsci, mediate this "consciousness" in a

bondage capitalism would like to keep'them in, acquire a

way the union cannot, consciousness of themselves, free themselves and freely

organize themselves, the more the modes of their

Worker solidarity, which develops in the trade union utilization tends to improve: a man works better than

against capitalism, though suffering and sacrifice, in the a slave.

Council is positive, permanent, incorporated even in the To those who object that in this way one collaborates with

most easily overlooked moments of industrial the enemy, the company owners, we reply that on the

production; it is contained in the joyous awareness 'of contrary this is the only way to make them feel concretely

being an organic whole, a homogeneous compact system that their supremacy is at an end; because the working

which works usefully, which, disinterestedly producing class by now conceives of the possibility of going it alone

social wealth, affirms its sovereignty, actuates its power and doing we!l; in fact, day-by-day the working class

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