Antonio Gramsci

1891 - 1937

Antonio Gramsci

Antonio Gramsci (22 January 1891 – 27 April 1937) was an Italian Marxist theorist and politician. He was a founding member of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by the Fascist regime.

Gramsci encouraged the development of factory councils, which undercut the control of trade unions. The councils participated in general strikes during the 'Biennio Rosso', in which Gramsci played a key role.

The council is the most suited organ of reciprocal education and of development of the new social spirit which the proletariat has managed to develop from the living and fertile experience of the community of labour. Worker solidarity which in the union developed in the struggle against capitalism, in suffering and sacrifice, in the council is positive, is permanent, is made flesh even in the most negligible of moments of industrial production, is contained in the glorious consciousness of being an organic whole, a homogeneous and compact system which working usefully, which disinterestedly producing social wealth, affirms its sovereignty, actuates its power and freedom to create history.

'Unions and councils', 1919


Antonio Gramsci archives in English in International Marxists’ Archives