The Italian Autonomist movement

The Italian revolutionary movement is another important moment to study. From the early 1960s, to the hot autumn of 1969, to the ‘Autonomia‘ of the 1970s the struggle raged in Italy. This was part of the larger wave of working class revolt sweeping across the Europe in Paris 1968, leading to the breakup of the Keynesian economic consensus.

For the Italian ‘Workerists‘ and later ‘Autonomia‘, this was a time of great experimentation and lively working class social movements. These movements rocked the foundations of Italian society. The theoretical and practical experiments provide a framework for some of the challenges we face, in a time of class recomposition and ruling class attack. Although they are mostly Marxists, often ignorant and hostile to anarchism, the insights they provide are deeply valuable to all Libertarian Communists:

Autonomia – Post-Political Politics (reduced)

Wright S – Storming Heaven – Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism OCR

Antonio Negri – Books For Burning

Paulo Virno – Grammar of the Multitude

Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt – Empire

Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt – Multitude

Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt – Commonwealth

George Caffentzis – In Letters of Blood and Fire

Federici-Silvia-Revolution-Point-Zero-Housework-Reproduction-and-Feminist-Struggle

Midnight Notes Collective – Promissory Notes 2009

John Holloway- Change the world without taking power

John Holloway – Crack Capitalism

cleaver-reading_capital_politically

Franco ”Bifo” Berardi – The Soul at Work From Alienation to Autonomy

franco-berardi-the-uprising-on-poetry-and-finance-1

Paris, May 1968

The Uprising of Paris, May 1968 culminated a chain of struggles, in Europe and the world against bourgeois institutions. Started by students, it spread to the mass of workers, and culminated in at least 10 million workers going on wildcat general strike across France, against the will of trade unions, the communist party and the Gaullist state. The crisis of the refusal of work and discipline, was part of a major breakdown of capitalism known as keynesianism, the welfare state and post-war social democracy. The mass rebellions, once defeated, paved the way for the eventual defeat of the working class in the first world and the new system of neoliberalism.

Paris 1968 was influenced by a rejuvenated libertarian Marxism and anarchism. It was influenced partly by Council Communists, critical theorists and the left Communists. The movement was pushed forward by the renewed Libertarian Socialism of the journal ‘Socialisme ou Barbarie’, the situationist movement in France and Solidarity in the UK, and part of a new rethinking of Socialism. The movements of 1968 afterwards influenced the autonomist movements in Italy, Germany, the USA and globally. The modern Greek anarchist movement is heavily influenced by these movements. Here are some important writing from this era:

Pannekoek – Workers’ Councils

workers-councils-Cornelius-Castoriadis

guy-debord-the-society-of-the-spectacle

Maurice Brinton- Paris; May 68

Obsolete Communism – The left-wing alternative – Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Gabriel Cohn-Bendit