Australian Left Review

Article Title

Gramsci and the Factory Councils


Two thousand workers, anxious to do something, to impose themselves on the chaos and lack of leadership characteristic of Turin and Italy in 1919, met in the Fiat Brevetti works in September and elected thirty-two commissars, representing eleven sections of the works, as their factory council, in an election which was a model of democratic procedure. Despite reformist warnings that the wrong men would be chosen to lead the workers, the elected commissars were all chosen from acknowledged leaders in the organised labor movement. Indicating, on the other hand, that the factory council was not only a new version of the old commissioni interne, was the statement by one Brevetti worker that the establishment of the factory council was the “ first step in the revolution”. (This is the second instalment o f a two-part article. Part One appeared in ALR No. 45.)