Gedanken zum Thema: Geschichte als Beruf

Sergio Bologna’s research article focuses on the Italian “operaist/workerist” militant journal Primo Maggio, its influence on both the Italian left as well as the historiography of the Italian labour movement. While embedding the journals’ creation, ascension and temporary demise in the social, political and economic history of Italy’s post-war development, Bologna ascertains that an unmediated reading of Marx’s writings as well as a thorough engagement with (inter)national historical and current labour movements secured the journal’s role in these movements. Taking the post-war “mass worker” as the figure that influenced much of Italy’s social history as of the 1960s onwards, the author also shows the reasons for its demise as capital developed new forms of struggle against working class organization. Following the defeat of the “mass worker” in the 1980s and the rise of a new generation of “selfemployed new professionals”, the journal and Bologna’s research went on to focus on the “autonomous labour of the second generation,” thereby proving the richness of “militant historical writing” as forged by a theory-driven approach saturated with the experience of myriads of social struggles.

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