“Let’s not talk about desires anymore, let’s desire: we are desiring machines, machines of war.”
After the events of March 1977, Radio Alice became the symbol of the free radios. It was emitted from Bologna, one of the strongholds of the Italian Communist Party and the explicit showcase for the Historical Compromise [alliance between Christian Democrats and Italian Communist Party (PCI)].
A harrowing intellectual biography and review essay devoted to the life and works of Giorgio Cesarano, interwoven with an account of the Italian “radical current” of 1968-1978, when revolutionary expectations ran high but, for the few consistent revolutionaries caught between the terrorism of the state and the armed groups, the hostility of the Stalinist and crypto-Stalinist political formations, and a ruthless and sweeping repression, the results were often madness, prison, suicide and a wave of disillusionment that devastated the revolutionary milieu.
Apocalypse and survival: Reflections on Giorgio Cesarano's book, Critica dell’utopia capitale, and the experience of the radical communist current in Italy
By Francesco Santini (1994), Spanish translation by Carlos Lagos P. Original text in Italian at: http://www.autprol.org/public/news/apoeriv.htm
English translation from Spanish completed January 2013
External and internal militants: Workers autonomy in Porto Marghera seen from West Germany 1971-1974 - Karl-Heinz Roth
A text describing the relationship between the struggles and ideas of the workers of the Porto Marghera chemical plant in Italy, along with the group Potere Operaio which they were closely linked to, and the ex-student activists in West Germany who tried to learn from the Italian example and develop similar workers' initiatives in their own part of Europe.
This text recently appeared in French in the recently published book Pouvoir ouvrier à Porto Marghera - Du Comité d’usine à l’Assemblée de territoire (Vénétie – 1960-80) [“Workers’ Power in Porto Marghera – from the Factory Committee to the Territorial Assembly (Venetia – 1960-80)”], Les nuits rouges, 2012.
This text was published by Italian chemical workers in the “Comitato operaio di Porto Marghera”, in Quaderni dell'or-ganizzazione operaia, no. 1, 1970, in duplicated format.
This text is translated from the French version, which can be found in the recently published book Pouvoir ouvrier à Porto Marghera - Du Comité d’usine à l’Assemblée de territoire (Vénétie – 1960-80) [“Workers’ Power in Porto Marghera – from the Factory Committee to the Territorial Assembly (Venetia – 1960-80)”], Les nuits rouges, 2012.
Libcom.org's reading guide on the Italian social movements of the 1960s-70s, which saw massive strikes, protests, occupations, directly democratic assemblies and widespread radicalism across society.
- 1962-1973: Worker and student struggles in Italy - Sam Lowry - Short, simply-worded history of the wave of strikes and occupations that gripped Italian factories and universities during the 1960s.
Documentary about the life and ideas of Italian Marxist Antonio Negri. With interesting footage and information from Italy in the 1960s-70s it follows his development from the 'Operaisti' through to his trial for supposed involvement in the Red Brigades all the way up to Empire and the anti-globalisation movement.
Nanni Balestrini was born in Milan in 1935. Known both as an experimental writer of prose and verse and as a cultural and political activist, he played a leading role in avant-garde writing and publishing in the sixties. His involvement with the extra-parliamentary left in the seventies resulted in terrorism charges (of which he was subsequently acquitted) and a long period of self-imposed exile from Italy.
Let A Thousand Hands... is an extract translated from the novel La Violenza Illustrata (Einaudi, 1976). Using one of Balestrini’s favorite techniques, it is a montage of newspaper reports of the death of Mara Cagol, one of the founders of the Red Brigades.
FIAT (1977) is a first-hand account of work (or its refusal) at the infamous FIAT plant in Turin, Italy.
For a brief explosive period in the mid-1970s, the young and the unemployed of Italy’s cities joined the workers in an unexpectedly militant movement known simply as Autonomy (Autonomia). Its “politics of refusal” united its opponents behind draconian measures more severe than any seen since the war.
Nanni Balestrini, the poet of youth rebellion, himself a victim of that repression, has invented a remarkable fictional form to express the hopes and conflicts of the movement.
A text translated by Evan Calder Williams from Rosso, an Italian communist journal, from 1974. It’s written by the rather formally named “Study Group on the Family In Collaboration with the Workers’ Committee ALFA-FACE-IBM.” It is, in short, an attempt to figure out the economic and ideological function of the family form, particularly in its Italian incarnation.
That is to say, a very strong, deeply embedded, and quite particular incarnation.) Many of its analyses won’t be particularly surprising to some readers, as it draws on the better-known texts of Dalla Costa and James and on the theses of Lotta Femminista more generally.