A brief 2002 interview with an editor of this anarchist/autonomist Italian journal.
Introducing Collegamenti Wobbly:
An interview with Cosimo Scarinzi from the Collegamenti editorial team
Can you summarize for us the origins of Collegamenti?
As a direct class organization, Collegamenti was born in the 70s out of a strong, reasonably-structured hypothesis. The comrades who gave life to this experience wanted to take on the job of critical research on the modalities of expression of the proletariat's struggles by noting the forms of social self-organizing which were being developed nationally and internationally. The editors were in close relation to a network of factory and territorial collectives, and felt themselves to be a direct expression of these.
If we had to define in simple terms the point of view which characterized us at that time, we might say "class against old workers' movement" as a dialectic step towards "class against capital". The end of social-democratic or stalinist control of the workers' movement was for us a practicable objective and an ideal project aim.
The cycle of struggle from the early 60s to the late 70s seemed to call for a method which was often rough, ready and unilateral, but effective. The old workers' movement could be interpreted as the expression of bourgeois control of the class and in particular that of the state bourgeoisie and its corresponding petit-bourgeoisie.
Today, it is easy to see the limitations of that approach which did not fully embrace the characters of the integration of the lower classes in the dominant social order, but we should not deny its fruitfulness. In any case, no regrets.
Although this particular type of workerism, whose roots are traceable in direct-action syndicalism, was the great basis and analytic reference point of the origins of our adventure, we should remember that Collegamenti did try out an original theoretical synthesis and in part succeeded.
We can indicate three different roots of this elaboration:
- The anarchist tradition in its class-struggle, communist version, liberated from ideological hang-ups and rigidity;
- The German/Dutch Left Communists and, in general, the councilist area, but without definite ties to it;
- The school of class composition from which we took our anti-bureaucratic roots.
The magazine was therefore a laboratory which allowed a rich collaboration between critical Marxist and Anarchist comrades on the level of militant action, of research and of enquiry.
So much for the period up to the end of the 70s, but in the early 80s the situation changed noticeably. In what ways did these changes affect Collegamenti?
The 80s and the end of the cycle of struggle from which the magazine was born, were responsible for the decision to emphasize the changing class composition, precarious labour and the struggles in the public sector, without questioning in any substantial way our theoretical reference points, or rather, with the departure of those comrades who did question them.
It was then the paper decided on the name "Collegamenti Wobbly" [Wobbly Connections], keeping the subtitle "for direct class organization", in order to make clear the reference to the experiences of the IWW, the direct action union which grew in the early years of the century in the USA. Particular attention to the struggles of precarious workers led us to admire the extraordinary experience of the mobilization and organization of immigrant workers in the biggest capitalist country.
The 90s saw us in a difficult situation - the paper was an instrument to which we were tied by a series of relations: past work, the hope of overcoming the limits of social conflict which we could actually se.
We continued in our documentation of what the various movements were saying, in our consideration
of the prospects and of the possibilities which seemed to be opening, in our attempt to gather the anti-system potential in struggles, by concentrating on certain precise questions:
- the end of the Soviet block and the domination of the western system over most parts of the world;
- the end, or at least the radical redimensioning, of the role, the importance and the presence of the old workers' movement;
- the change of gear in production which we are witness to.
The work which has been done in these areas is, in our opinion, interesting but we have matured in the awareness, if we assume that this is the situation from where we should proceed, that we must accept that what we need is not to adapt, but to accept what we are in effect new labour hypotheses. Not new in the sense of the removal of the results and limitations in the work already carried out, but in the acceptance of the fact that the job of militant enquiry into social conflict, while necessary, is not sufficient.
What is Collegamenti Wobbly today?
Essentially is is a journal of political theory of an explicitly libertarian brand. What we propose to investigate is power, its ability to reproduce and to physically adapt to the contradictions which surround it.
We refer to the state machine, to the geopolitical situation, to scientific and technological inovations, to the organization of production, to the dominant, the oppressed and anti-system languages and cultures, to the different forms of class struggle and, not least, to whatever revolutionary prospects there are.
Many of these themes have been the work of the editorial collective for years - we're not starting from scratch, but what has gradually changed is the general basis of our work. In fact, the need was felt to take on an explicit dimension to the project which would allow us to select which subjects, actors and adversaries we should examine.
It is on this basis that we have found and hope to continue finding new collaborators and article-writers who are interested in this project which we believe to be sufficiently relevant to merit the sacrifice of a formal continuity and the (partial) modification of the name of the magazine.
Cosimo Scarinzi, from the Collegamenti editorial team.
"For a libertarian, critical theory"
Bi-annual, February & September
Genoa Office & Administration:
c/o Guido Barroero, vico Condino 1/6, 16156 Genova-Pegli
E mail: [email protected]
c/o Renato Strumia, via Monterosa 104, 10154 Torino
E mail: [email protected]
c/o N. Thirion, rue d’Oran 34, 75018 Paris
E mail: [email protected]
Price: 7 Euro
Annual subscription (for Italy & abroad): 12 Euro
COLLEGAMENTI WOBBLY is available from militants or on subscription. It is also on sale in bookshops in main cities in Italy. Distributed by DIEST, via Cavalcanti 11, Torino.
Italy: A-Rivista Anarchica, March 2002, Introducing Collegamenti Wobbly (it)
http://www.anarca-bolo.ch/a-rivista/ [Translation by NMcN for A-Infos]
Text from here: https://www.ainfos.ca/02/mar/ainfos00583.html
With thanks to @furiousaffects on Twitter.
Collegamenti Wobbly archive in Italian is here: https://collegamenti.noblogs.org