Nuova Panda schiavi in mano

Workers’ Inquiry as a Tool to Unveil Fiat’s Strategy of Labour Control

in Historical Materialism
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As the result of an interesting experiment in co-research, the crs1 group provides us with a short but pointed political pamphlet that is worth reading for several of its aspects. First, by explicitly adopting a labour perspective, it helps us to unravel the highly ideological design which lies behind the recent ‘politics of production2 of the Italian fiat.3 Second, by trying to connect a theoretical analysis of the transformations undergone by labour under neoliberalism with the need for renewed and more effective labour organisation, it gives us the opportunity to rethink the relationship between theory and praxis, as originally envisaged by the Italian workerists.4 From this unique political and cultural background, and from Tronti’s theses in particular,5 the research derives not only its basic methodological tools, but also its overall interpretative key. Finally, at a broader level, the book can offer us a useful contribution to the current debate in Marxist political economy, by shedding light on issues concerning capital – labour relations, corporate strategies and resistance practices that are now globally characterising the production realm. The present article aims to highlight the relevance of the conflict lately emerged within the fiat plant under analysis, the possibility of reconsidering a workerist view, and the still strong need for antagonist positions to counter global capital strategies.

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References

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5

Tronti 2006 and 2009.

8

Throughout the 1960s and until the late 1970s, Italian workers’ struggles were particularly intense. Strikes, factory occupations, picket lines and demonstrations were continuous. The epicentre of conflict was often the fiat plants, especially the one in Mirafiori (Turin), but important disputes also surrounded Olivetti, Pirelli, and the petrochemical plants in Porto Marghera (Venice).

9

Bellofiore and Tomba 2008; Wright 2002.

10

From the 1960s, from the phase revolving around Quaderni Rossi and Classe Operaia, and around Panzieri, Tronti, and Alquati, whereas the later theories and practices of Autonomia, Negri’s conceptualisation of ‘operaio sociale [socialised worker]’ and the advocacy of an insurrectionalist perspective (see Wright 2002) did not directly influence the crs’s work. With reference to later manifestations, Tronti himself distinguishes between ‘Operaismo’ and ‘Post-Operaismo’ (Tronti 2009). See also Toscano 2009.

11

Corradi 2011; Tomba 2007.

12

Panzieri 1976; Wright 2002.

13

Corradi 2011.

15

Bellofiore and Tomba 2008.

17

Tronti 2009, p. 12.

18

Toscano 2009.

19

Bellofiore 2006.

20

Tronti 2006.

21

Bellofiore 2006.

23

Toscano 2009.

24

Tronti 2006.

25

Tronti 2006, p. 10; Wright 2002.

26

Wright 2002, p. 22.

27

Borio, Pozzi and Roggero (eds.) 2005.

28

Panzieri 1976.

29

Tronti 2009.

31

Panzieri 1976.

33

Wright 2002, p. 186.

36

Wright 2002, p. 64.

37

Wright 2002.

38

Tronti 2009.

39

Corradi 2011.

43

Negri 2007.

45

See also Capezzuto 2012.

48

Read also Saad-Filho 2008, and Saad-Filho and Johnston 2005.

54

By 2014, Italian plants should have obtained two-thirds of the whole investment plan of 34 billion euros.

63

See also Di Nicola 2010.

73

See Capezzuto 2012.

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