Gramsci on Theoretical Syndicalism

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Sun Apr 2 12:06:09 PDT 2000

>>> Michael Hoover <hoov at> 03/31/00 06:08PM >>>

Neither was Gramsci an industrial syndicalist despite his understanding importance of self-education/change via workers' control (Marx was by no means ignorant of these factors either: Addressing Communist League in 1849 - I think - M asserts that workers must establish, among other institutions, workers' councils because they must learn to do for themselves).

Anti-Leninist (post-lenin?) appropriations of Gramsci, be they cultural studies or workplace democracy, generally ignore AG's writings on explicit need for disciplined revolutionary party.


CB: And the fact that he was the General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party at time of imprisonment.


His 'creative' Leninism did not counterpose workers' control movement to such a party because latter could catalyze, generalize, & raise political struggle for worker's power beyond defensive, local, & sporadic (Leo Panitch wrote somewhere that factory consciousness may be 'higher' level than trade- union consciousness but it still 'falls short' of class consciousness, which doesn't mean abandoning either conventional union activities or turning away from worker participation/self-management demands when they arise from concrete struggles of working class).

Of course, Gramsci was keen on distinguishing between mass party of workers freeing themselves from capitalist tyranny and Jacobin-like elite who use masses.


CB: Lenin advocated that the ratio of workers to intellectuals in the Party be 20 to 1.


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