A Letter from Italy: from Reform to Adventure

A Letter from Italy: from Reform to Adventure

Rebellion in the Italian universities was already detectable in 1966. The crucible of the student movement, however, was the month-long occupation of the Turin campus in November 1967. From Turin the rebellion spread throughout the country, making a clean sweep of the old party-controlled organizations.’ Soon its unique traits began to take shape.

First of all, there is a flat refusal to participate in university decision-making. While the German SDS has sometimes laid claim to Drittelparitat arrangements and some SDS people sit on student-faculty committees, though with the purpose that Lenin assigned to Communists in bourgeois parliaments, 2 the Italian students oppose codetermination. They “dont want to run the pigsty” with the professors, lest they be coopted and corrupted. One reason they fight the government-sponsored university reform bill is that it aims to “cage” them by student participation in university governing bodies.

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