The Campaigner

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The Campaigner

96

gains greater certainty that it is the only class capable of when the control bill was proposed, could logically only

saving the entire work from ruin and desolation. So every applaud it. Which he did:

action you undertake, every 19attle you lead; will be

•..control must mean above all greater freedom for the

illuminated by the light of the final goal which is in the

workers in the factory, freedom to organize Councils,

souls and intentions of all of you.(91) freedom of initiative and freedom of propaganda.(97)

When the autogestion experiment was tried out during

the occupations, the father of the theory was not sparing ...the proletariat creates its own apparatus of economic

management and demonstrates to the great masses of

in his praise: people in the population its unique ability to solve the

The Italian workers, even before winning political power, problem posed by the imperialist war.(98)

disciplined by the simple local energy of the factory Lacking any notion of expanded reproduction carried

councils, are working and producing: to get results of

this sort in Russia many many months of patient efforts, out by the class-for-itself including the masses of

propaganda and organization were necessary.(92) peasants and unemployed, Gramsci could only look

inward to the factory and a pre-Marxian theory of

The working class, as a mass led and disciplined in the "freedom" based on shop democracy, self-discipline and

factory by its direct representatives, has demonstrated

its ability to govern itself industrially and politically.(93) Catholic pseudo-egalitarianism.

This notion of the councils, as Gramsci developed it, is

Gramsci's theory of the factory councils as vehicles for

clearly a corporatist, actually fascist view of the

revolution had a fatal, all too demonstrable bankruptcy individual worker's "place" in a "'strength-through-joy"

from the beginning. Gramsci ingenuously, empirically work-machine which is devastatingly capitalist in nature.

understood "production" in terms of the factory; The revolutionary socialist sees Gramsci's worldwide

organizing, taking over and running "production" thus

collection of single factories as merely the "given," the

become a matter of simply taking over and running the

bare skeleton left by capitalism, of what can become the

single factory! basis for an international socialist economy.

Logically, the expansion or increase of "production" To expand and organize that economy, organizers

thus conceived must perforce come about as a result of must develop a highly centralized, truly concrete

greater "discipline" and speedup. It should come as no

actualization of the concept of expanded reproduction,

surprise that the program adopted by the department in the form of revolutionary program. This means

commissars in Turin should have included this clause:

subordinating the apparent needs of the individual

4) The commissar must study and push his comrades tO employed worker to the actual needs of the class as a

study bourgeois systems of production and work whole.

processes, encouraging criticism and proposals for Existing plant capacities will be utilized to create new

innovations to facilitate labor and accelerate production.

Rooted in the soul of everyone must be the idea that productive jobs for the unemployed, underemployed and

communist equality can only be obtained 'through those employed in socially unnecessary jobs --

intensive production, and that well-being can be reached bureaucracy, military production, etc. Simultaneously,

not through disorder in production or by attenuating the

the socialist planner must gear productive capacities --

discipline of labor, but rather by a better and more

equitable distribution of social tasks and fruits of the now increased by the productive employment of

society itself, obtained through obligatory labor...(94) previously unused labor power to begin to solve the

Nor should it be surprising that council organizing immediate real needs of the working class population.

actually brought about the institution of such "Swedish Not more Fiats, accordingly, but the transformation of

way" policies as collective piecework! A little-quoted the most technologically advanced Sectors of industry to

item by Leo Valiani documents this great "socialist produce housing units, schools, hospitals, food,

victory": " ... the most construction achievement of the clothing, machine tools, new factories, etc.

councils was also of a purely internal union nature, that The only way to express this programmatic concept of

is, the 'collective piecework' established by the Fiat expanded socialist reproduction -- which is the very

workers in 1920, according to which all piecework heart of Marxist economics -- must be a classwide

earnings were put together and equally distributed revolutionary alliance, a truly soviet formation•

among all the workers, so that those workers most In the ltalyof1920 such afightingjbrce would have

favored by piecework were giving up a part of their had to include unemployed workers, war veterans,

earnings for the good of their colleagues."[96] soldiers, peasants, students, employed workers and a

Not only in theory, but in fact too the councils vast array of employable labor that was then rotting in

functioned to introduce corporatist policies in the various dingy state and corporate bureaucracies.

factory. And Gramsci, at the end of the occupation, That is, it would have had to include all those social

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