On Terrorism and the State
- "The wily Shafts of state, those Juggler's Tricks
- Which we call deep Design and Politicks
- (As in a Theatre the Ignorant Fry,
- Because the Cords escape their Eye
- Wonder to see the Motions fly) . . .
- Methinks, when you expose the Scene,
- Down the ill-organ'd Engines fall;
- Off fly the Vizards and discover all,
- How plain I see thro' the Deceit!
- How shallow! and how gross the Cheat!. . .
- Look where the Pully's ty'd above!
- Oh what poor Engines move
- The Thoughts of Monarchs, and Design of States,
- What pretty Motives rule their Fates!. . .
- Away the frighted Peasants fly,
- Scar'd at th' unheard-of Prodigy. . .
- Lo, it appears!
- See, how they tremble! How they quake!"
- - Swift, Ode to the Honourable Sir William Temple, 1689.
All acts of terrorism, all the outrages which have struck and which strike the imagination of men, have been and are either offensive actions or defensive actions. If they form part of an offensive strategy, experience has shown for a long time that they are always doomed to fail. If, on the other hand, they form part of a defensive strategy, experience shows that these acts can expect some success, which, however, is only momentary and precarious. The attempts of the Palestinians and the Irish, for instance, are offensive acts of terrorism; on the other hand the Piazza Fontana bomb and the kidnapping of Moro and with that of Brescia. If, however, States decide to resort to indirect terrorism, this must be apparently directed against themselves -- as happened, for instance, in the Moro affair.
The outrages that are accomplished directly by the detached corps and parallel services of the State are not usually claimed by anybody, but are each time, imputed or attributed to some or other convenient "culprit" like Pineilli or Valpreda. Experience has proved that this is the weakest point of such terrorism, and that which determines the extreme fragility of it in the political usage that one wants to make of it. It is starting from the results of the same experience that the strategists of the parallel services of the State seek, from now on, to lend a greater credibility, or at least, a lesser verisimilitude, to their own either by claiming them directly through such-and-such initials of a ghostly group, or even by making them claimed by an existing clandestine group, whose militants apparently are, and sometimes believe themselves to be, extraneous to the designs of the State apparatus.
All secret terrorist groupuscules are organised and directed by a clandestine hierarchy of veritable militants of clandestinity, which reflects perfectly the division of labour and roles proper to this social organisation: above it is decided and below it is carried out. Ideology and military discipline shield the real summit from all risk, and the base from all suspicion. Any secret service can invent "revolutionary" initials for itself and undertake a certain number of outrages, which the press will give good publicity to, and after which, it will be easy to form a small group of naive militants, that it will direct with the utmost ease. But in the case of a small terrorist group spontaneously formed, there is nothing in the world easier for the detached corps of the State than to infiltrate it and, thanks to the means which they dispose of, and the extreme freedom of manoeuvre which they enjoy, to get near the original summit, and to substitute themselves there, either by specific arrests activated at the right moment, or through the assassination of the original leaders, which, as a rule, occurs after an armed conflict with the "forces of order," forewarned about such an operation by their infiltrated elements.
From then on, the parallel services of the State find they have, at their disposal, a perfectly efficient organism to do as they please with, composed of naive or fanatical militants, which asks for nothing other than to be directed. The original little terrorist group, born of the mirages of its militants about the possibilities of realising an effective strategic offensive, changes strategists and becomes nothing other than a defensive appendage of the State, which manoeuvres it with the utmost agility and ease, according to its own necessities of the moment, or what it believes to be its own necessities.
From the Piazza Fontana to the kidnapping of Moro, only the contingent objectives that defensive terrorism obtained have changed, but what can never change in the defensive is the goal. And the goal, from December 12th 1969 to March 16th 1978, and still today, has in fact always remained the same, which is to make the whole population, who, nowadays, can no longer suffer, or is struggling against, this State, believe that it has at least an enemy in common with this State, and from which this State defends it on the condition that it is no longer called into question by anyone. The population, which is generally hostile to terrorism, and not without reason, must then agree that, at least in this, it needs the State, to which it must thus delegate the widest powers so that it might confront with vigour the arduous task of the common defence against an obscure, mysterious, perfidious, merciless, and, in a word, chimeric, enemy. In view of a terrorism always presented as absolute evil, evil in-itself and for-itself, all the other evils fade into the background and are even forgotten; since the fight against terrorism coincides with the common interest, it already is the general good, and the State, which magnanimously conducts it, is good in-itself for-itself. Without the wickedness of the devil, God's infinite bounty could not appear and be appreciated as is fitting.
The State, along with its economy, weakened to the extreme by all the attacks it has been undergoing daily for ten years, from the proletariat on the one hand, and from the incapacity of its managers on the other, can thus silence both in solemnly taking upon itself the staging of the spectacle of the common and sacrosanct defence against the terrorist monster, and in the name of this holy mission, can exact from all its subjects a further portion of their tiny freedom, which will reinforce police control over the entire population. "We are at war," and at war with an enemy so powerful that all other disagreement or conflict would be an act of sabotage or desertion: it is only in order to protest against terrorism that one has the right to resort to a general strike. Terrorism and "the emergency," a state of perpetual emergency and "vigilance," these are the only existing problems, or at the very least, the only ones with which it is permitted and necessary to be pre-occupied. All the rest does not exist, or is forgotten and in any case is silenced, distanced, repressed in the social unconscious, in the face of the gravity of the question of "public order." And faced with the universal duty of its defence, all are invited to partake of denunciation, baseness, and fear: cowardice becomes, for the first time in history, a sublime quality, fear is always justified, the only "courage" which may not be despicable is that of approving and supporting all the lies, all the abuses, and all the infamies of the State. Since the present crisis spares no country of the planet, no geographical frontier of peace, war, freedom or truth any longer exists: this frontier lies within every country, and every State is arming itself and declaring war on truth.
So-and-so does not believe in the occult power of the terrorists? Well he will have to change his mind in view of the subtly-filmed images that show three German terrorists about to board a helicopter, and who are so powerful that they even succeed in then escaping from the German secret services, more skilful at filming their prey than in capturing it.
So-and-so does not believe that a hundred or two hundred terrorists have the capacity to deal a mortal blow to our institutions? Well let him see what five or six of them are capable of doing in a few minutes to Moro and his escort, and he must then admit that the danger for the institutions (so much loved furthermore by more than 50 million Italians) is a real and terrible danger. Perhaps there is still somebody else who may wish to maintain the contrary? He's an accomplice of the terrorists! Everybody will agree then that the State cannot let itself be brought down without defending itself: and, whatever it may cost, this defence is a sacred and imperative duty for everybody. And this because the Republic is public, the State is for all, everyone is the State and the State is all, because all enjoy its advantages, so equally shared out: isn't that democracy? And this is why the people is sovereign, but beware if it does not defend it!
Are you convinced? Or perhaps you still believe, after Moro, poor citizens in want of critique, that it is still and always the State, as from the time of the Piazza Fontana, which carries out these outrages? Vile suspicions! This impairs the dignity of the institutions: Zaccagnini weeps, here's his photograph, Cossiga as well, watch him on the news, and cease once and for all putting all the blame for everything on those who never hesitate to sacrifice someone else's life in the name of the defence of our very democratic institutions! Or perhaps you may still believe, poor citizens, that we ministers, we generals, we secret agents of Anti-terrorism -- by antiphrasis -- would be likely to sacrifice Aldo Moro, this remarkable statesman of the highest sentiments, this example of moral rectitude, our friend, patron, protector, and, when this was necessary, our defender?
This is precisely what every good citizen, who never doubts, always votes, who pays, if he is not rich, and who, in any event, remains silent, should think. Suspicions about the State are allowed in connection with the Piazza Fontana, because the victims were ordinary citizens: but surely one could not also suspect the State when the victim is its most prestigious representative! Kennedy? That's a thing of the past.
It is uniquely for this reason that Moro's agony lasted such a long time, in order that everyone should have the possibility to follow at leisure the entire spectacle of the kidnapping, and the feigned discussion about the negotiation, in reading pathetic letters and merciless messages of the ghostly Red Brigades (RBs) which channelled the indignation of simple people and the poor in spirit, thereby giving the whole story some vague verisimilitude, and a reason for the collective psychodrama to manifest itself, contemplation and, most importantly, general passivity continuing to hold good.
If Moro had been killed at the same time as his policemen, in the Via Fani, everybody would have thought of a settling of accounts, of which history is full, between capitalist gangs and rival centres of decision -- as actually took place. In this case, the death of Moro would have been judged like that of Enrico Mattei, neither more nor less. No-one has yet noted however, that if today some power-group or other was to find itself, out of its own necessities or interests, in the position of having to eliminate an Enrico Mattei, or a Kennedy, it would certainly not do it as it did it then, but it would attribute it to, or make such an assassination claimed by, securely and with the greatest of ease, such-and-such secret little terrorist group. That is why, then, this long kidnapping had to be staged, stressing sometimes the pitiless nature, sometimes the pathetic, sometimes the "firmness" of the government, and, when it was judged that people must be finally convinced of the "revolutionary" origin and the responsibility of the "extremists," only then did Moro's jailers get the "green light" to dispose of him. And you, Andreotti, who are less naive than unembarrassed, don't come and tell me that all this seems new to you, and don't play at outraged virtue, if you please!
The dust cloud stirred up in the country, which revolved around the question of knowing whether or not to negotiate -- a question that still delights cretins -- was the thing which should have succeeded the best, and was that which, on the contrary, failed the most: it is here that the artificial aspect of the entire machination, barely staged in the wings, appeared better than the production. The party which rejected negotiation, namely the leaders of the DC and the PCI, rejected it because it knew very well that the staging of the drama foresaw the epilogue to it which we were effectively presented with, and because they also knew that, given the situation, it ought not to miss the opportunity of appearing, una tantum, inflexible at another's expense: and that is why we have been able to behold Zaccagnini and Cossiga, Berlinguer and Pecchioli revelling unrestrainedly in the dignity of the Republican institutions -- already so well-represented moreover by the president of the time, Leone. The leaders of the party which rejected negotiation knew, furthermore, that they ought not to miss the opportunity of having a dead Moro, so much less dangerous to them now than a live one, since a dead friend is worth more than a living enemy. If in fact, as a hypothesis, Moro had been set free, something quite impossible however, the Stalinists and the Christian Democrats were fully aware that they would have had to deal with a triply-dangerous man because of his popularity being reinforced by his very adventure, having been discredited in all manners by his friends whilst he was unable to defend himself, and therefore hereafter an open enemy of his friends and Stalinist ex-allies. Therefore, given the situation, no-one has the right to blame Andreotti and Berlinguer, as they were only acting in their own interest; what they can be reproached for, in any case, is for having done it so badly, in other words in such a manner as to have brought about more doubts and suspicions than applause in their sudden and unexpected conversion to an inflexibility which -- not possibly issuing either from their character or from their past, or from the pretended will to safeguard the institutions, which they flout in their deeds at every turn -- must forcibly issue from their unavoidable interests.
As for Berlinguer in particular, he did not miss the opportunity of proving himself to be, once again, as if everybody was not already convinced of it, the most inept politician of the century: in fact it was as clear as daylight from the start that the kidnapping of Moro was, above all, a fine coup carried out against the "historic compromise," not of course by left-wing extremists -- who in any case would have kidnapped Berlinguer to punish him for his "betrayal" -- but by a power-group with interests which are irrationally hostile to the compromise with the so-called Communists. And I say irrationally, because such a policy could certainly not be a breach of the interests of capitalism: but obviously the diligent Berlinguer has not yet managed to convince all political sectors, military circles and power-groups of this, in spite of the fact that he has dedicated himself to this task, and to this task alone, for a lustra. Thus Aldo Moro, already designated for a long time as the maker of the government "of national unity," paid the price for it just when he was about to bring the enterprise safely into port: "whence one may derive a general rule, which never fails or at least rarely: that he who causes another to become powerful brings about his own ruin," as Machiavelli says, and it is not by chance, where he speaks De principatibus mixtis, in the same way as the present majority in the government is mixed. With Moro's disappearance, all the other political leaders partisan to the Christian Democrat or other "overtures," were at the same time warned: because those who decided upon and put into action the kidnapping of Moro have, by this same token, shown that they could, at any moment, do worse. Craxi was the first to understand this, but all politicians understood it. And Berlinguer, instead of denouncing this straight away, instead of admitting that this was the fatal blow to his policy, preferred once again to remain silent, pretending to believe all the official versions, making a show of his zeal in the witch-hunt, inciting the population to informing, nobody knows about what or whom, continuing to spin out his own lies, supporting the intransigence of the Christian Democrats, and hurling invectives against the extremists, with the naive illusion of thereby reassuring these occult sectors which had kidnapped Moro. But the strategists of the Via Fani operation were jeering at Berlinguer's abstract goodwill against subversion, because they knew that he knew, and because they also knew that when it is a question of real subversion, of that which harms the economy, Berlinguer can no longer prevent anything at all that wild-cat workers do. It is not enough to want to defeat subversion, Berlinguer, you must show that you can defeat it: the laurels of abstract will are made out of dry leaves which were never green, you imbecile!
In fact, as everyone has been able to verify, the PCI has not ceased, since then, to endure the bitter consequences of its own stupid dishonesty: during the kidnapping, it was wildly accused by the bourgeois press of being, in a word, the one responsible, for having nourished in its militants all manner of illusions about social revolution, obtaining these fine results; then it lost the elections; after that the abject Craxi (who already during the abduction, was ogling the side of the party of negotiation, which he knew to be impossible, but which permitted him to differentiate himself from the others) went over to the offensive in accusing the Stalinists of everything, but disguising everything in hazy ideological disputes serving as pretexts, which are even more laughable because they issue from a man of his intellectual and cultural standing. But, every time, the one who lost out in this was always Berlinguer; and the PCI, because it did not wish to be fought by its allies in the government, also unlearnt how to fight; and, at every defeat it endured, one witnessed the fairly comical scene where Piccoli and Andreotti would caress Berlinguer's neck, advising him not to despair, and above all, to continue in this way. And yet, in spite of all these set-backs, the Stalinists still continue today stubbornly pretending to believe that Moro was killed by left-wing extremists: so one could say that the never-ending series of failures that the PCI incurs is really merited, as it is a non-entity as a "party of struggle," and non-existent as a "party of government." What to me seems less comprehensible and more unjustified than all the rest is the fact that the Stalinists bemoan this unashamedly, and always pose as victims, without ever saying of what they are the victims -- in other words of their own incapability on the one hand, and of the intrigues of their enemies on the other: enemies who are much less incapable and undecided than they, as the operation of the Via Fani, amongst others, attests and certifies.
The party of negotiation, however, outlived its defeat, deriving some strength from the weakness of the opposite party, and is represented by Craxi, for reasons of mere convenience, and by Lotta Continua, by reason of its extremist stupidity that prevents even these militants from noticing that they are an integral part of the spectacle that they want to fight, and from which, however, they nourish themselves in large handfuls. Around this party of negotiation assembled, naturally, many intellectuals, whose perspicacity is known and whose depth of thought does not have to be shown: to which characteristics is added, in this case, the most crass ignorance of history, even less excusable furthermore on the part of those who have their word to say about everything and do business out of their own supposed knowledge. I shall explain: what unites, above all, bourgeois reactionaries, the good souls of the progressive bourgeoisie, fashionable intellectuals, contemplative supporters of armed struggle and the militants who complain about it, is precisely the fact of believing that, in connection with Moro, and for the first time on the matter of terrorism, the State did not lie; therefore, for all these fine people, the kidnapping was the work of revolutionaries, about whom the dismal Toni Negri said that "we have underestimated their efficiency. . . . We are willing to do our own self-criticism," for having "underestimated" their "efficiency." So they are all, voluntarily or involuntarily, the victims of this nth lie of the State: the extra-parliamentarians and left-wing intellectuals certainly admit that the State always makes use of terrorism, post festum, but they cannot conceive that it resorts to terrorism by killing its "most prestigious" representative. And this is why I speak of historical ignorance: not one of them knows, or in any case, not one of them has remembered the infinite myriad of examples where States in crisis, and in social crisis, have eliminated precisely their most reputed representatives, with the intention and the hope of raising and channelling a general but generally ephemeral indignation against the "extremists" and malcontents. To only cite one of thousands of these historical examples, I shall recall here that the Czarist secret services, the redoubtable Okhrana, feeling (with terror and not without reason) the revolution of 1905 coming, had no less a person than the Minister of the Interior, Plehve, killed on 28 July 1904, and, as if that did not seem sufficient for them, shortly after, on the 17th February 1905, they had the Grand Duke Serge, the Czar's uncle, a very influential man and head of the Moscow military district, killed. These outrages, perfectly undertaken, were decided upon, carried out and claimed by the "Combat Organisation" of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the leadership of which the well-known Azev had just acceded to, a truly ingenious engineer and Okhrana agent, in replacement of the revolutionary Guerchuni, conveniently arrested a short while beforehand.
I cite this unique but admirable example of provocation because, if one were to cite all the notorious examples of the last century, five hundred pages would not be enough; and I have also chosen it because the Italy of 1978 exhibits a vague but real resemblance to the Russia of 1904-5. And, in any case, it must again be noted that every power in difficulty always resembles any other power whatsoever in difficulty, in the same way as their behaviour and their manner of proceeding always resemble each other.
The logic that the strategists of this spectacle follow nowadays is simple, plain and ancient: provided one does not recognise what precisely their real difficulties are, and what the irremediable contradictions are in which this old society flounders, the masters of the terrorist spectacle flatly offer us the most contradictory things: that the terrorism of 1978 was the inevitable consequence of the proletarian revolts of 1977, and that the bombing of the Piazza Fontana was the logical result of the burning year 1969. Nothing could be more false! The revolts of 1977 are the consequence of the Hot Autumn, and the kidnapping of Moro is the follow-up of the provocation of the Piazza Fontana. History proceeds through dialectical contradictions, but the spectacle, like scholastic philosophers, flatly proclaims: post hoc, ergo propter hoc, after this fact therefore because of this fact; the fault is ascribed to the fact. In 1977, the young proletarian generation rose up in rebellion against its misery? Well then in 1978 these same enraged young people kidnapped Moro! And it is of little consequence that the Red Brigades had nothing to do with the revolts of 1977, which they accuse, on the contrary, of "spontaneism": the young proletarians of 1977 were subversive, the RBs are made up of young people, the RBs are the subversive elements of 1977. In no way, gentlemen of the government! And you, the general officers of the parallel services, since you always deceive yourselves, you would like the whole world to be like you! And whosoever denounces your provocations is straight away accused of being himself the provocateur, because reality is always upside down in the spectacle.
The truth is that, as in 1977, your armchair began to shake under your ass, gentlemen of the government, and the earth under your feet, you, yes, you indeed: you passed onto the counter-offensive in killing one of yours this time -- and exactly that one of yours whom you (and your secret auxiliaries) considered the most likely to rouse popular indignation (no-one would have blinked an eyelid if Rumor had been kidnapped or even Fanfani), and that the one who was the most responsible for the present "political framework" -- who, as you can see, does not please all the capitalist sectors which you and your military organisms are called to defend. So it could be said at this juncture that Moro was the Italian homologue of Allende: and behind the accusation of serving the interests of the bourgeoisie and capital, instead of those of the proletariat, there was in fact, and badly camouflaged, the inverse accusation, namely that of not having served capitalist interests as well as some capitalists would have liked it.
On the 16th March last year, the day of the Via Fani operation, I could not refrain from immediately thinking of two things: first of all of the fact that finally the secret services had been reorganised, and that they had recovered a little after the affair of the 12th December 1969, and from the humiliations which ensued (and, here too, and once again, reality is inverted by the spectacle: the success of the coup of the Via Fani is in fact attributed to the non-existence of the secret services). And secondly I thought of that passage in Candide where it is affirmed that "in this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time to give courage to the others."
Sciascia, who is the most well-known Italian reader of Voltaire, is certainly not the most astute one since, having forgotten this passage and the whole reality, loses himself in such or such phrase from Moro's letters, without discovering further the entirety of the facts, which no detail observed under the microscope could show or give an inkling of. And, in fact, even today Sciascia believes that Craxi or others really had an interest in, or the intention of, having dealings with "the revolutionaries," and he gets indignant, with a verve worthy of a better pleading, about the little friendship displayed for Moro by his friends, which is an irrelevant detail, instead of reserving his indignation for the essential -- namely for the fact that with this provocation not only he, but the entire world have been deceived, police laws have been passed, as well as the hypocritical and infamous appeals of intellectuals and the Pope against "extremism," a hundred innocent people are in prison forever, and so forth. Tell me something, Sciascia: what importance can there be for history or even for truth in the fact that Aldo Moro had had also, amongst other misfortunes, that of being surrounded by unfaithful or dishonest "friends"? Is it perhaps something new that the Roman political world should be made up of scoundrels and assassins? Have you never read, Sciascia, what the Cardinal de Retz, who was a finer pamphleteer than you, had remarked three centuries ago, namely that "there are many people in Rome to whom it would be pleasing to assassinate those who are fallen"? New Emile Zola, you do not accuse the enemies of Dreyfus, but his calumnious friends, you do not accuse the criminal and responsible ones, but those who did the simple wrong of calumniating and dishonouring the victim, post festum, amongst which also abound the chroniclers of Corriere, a newspaper in which you nevertheless write, to say the least. And if you regret, Sciascia, the fact that Moro had the friends he had, why then don't you start to set a good example yourself, by ceasing, for instance, to fraternise with the indecent and unspeakable Bernard-Henri Levy?
But I have already said the unsayable about intellectuals, and to add anything else is superfluous.
As for little groups with extremist pretensions, who have all flung themselves with abandonment into theological dissertations on violence and the strategy of "revolutionary" terrorism, I shall merely recall that their comprehension of reality had already proved itself several years ago, beginning with the Piazza Fontana, then next at every subsequent occasion, like when they rejoiced at the assassination of Calabresi, <A title=""href="on-terrorism.html#_edn23" name=_ednref23> without pausing too much to think that the commissioner had been eliminated by his own bosses, for whom he had become cumbersome from then onwards (he had participated in the coup staged against Valpreda, the assassination of Pinelli, and something else: a few weeks before being killed in his turn, it was Calabresi himself who "recognised" Feltrinelli in the unrecognisable corpse of Segrate, for which all the newspapers congratulated themselves for his "memory, his sagacity," etc., without one of them ever wondering whether it was a matter of memory, and sagacity, or on the contrary of quite another thing).
These alienated extra-parliamentarians always lose themselves in all that the Stalinists say on the subject of terrorism, because they do not know that the PCI is capable only of lying, and the only thing they can never believe is the simple truth: for instance that the RBs are teleguided, that Moro was eliminated by the parallel services, and that they themselves are fatheads, good for being thrown into prison each time this is useful.
The Stalinists, after the "red trail" of the Piazza Fontana collapsed miserably, and although they did not protest against the fact that Valpreda was imprisoned for three years, brought out of their bag the "black trail," and then we had our extra-parliamentarians making exactly the "black trail" their own, and running behind the Stalinists to scream that "fascism shall not pass." Of course I do not exclude at all that some fascist or other may have participated in such or such terrorist act, "black" or "red": but this fact is of no importance, because we all know that in the same way that our State makes use of notorious fascists in the capacity of generals, prefects, magistrates and police commissioners, it makes use of them as much in the capacity of secret agents, infiltrated elements and terrorist manpower -- and this without this State and this terrorism being defined as "fascist"., is certainly not what determined his action when he was directing the secret services: since the secret services receive orders and carry out what politicians tell them to do. But the Stalinists' lie, on the subject of the Piazza Fontana, was certainly not without motive for being clumsy: because they wished to silence what they knew perfectly well, and because they also found themselves attacked -- and one knows with what violence -- by wild-cat workers, they had to sanction in 1969 the ghostly "fascist peril," in the face of which they could reconstitute "the unity of the working class" under their directives. A week after the 12th December, the metal-workers of the private sector, who were the avant-garde of the movement and its most resolute part, were compelled to renounce all strikes, starting with the one declared for the 19th December, and to accept the contract imposed by the trade-unions. Longo and Amendola were fully aware that if they had told the truth on the spot, on the 13th December 1969 the civil war would have begun, and they know very well even today that those who ask, like they, to be invited to eat at one end of the State's table surely cannot say in a loud voice that the plates are dirty: thus they can, on the other hand, say secretly in a hushed voice "the plates are dirty, we know: if you invite us we shan't say anything," as effectively happened.
Since the Stalinists said nothing in 1969, the "party with clean hands" had to then continue to say nothing and lie about all further provocations and assassinations perpetrated by the secret services of this very State whose recognition they are today demanding to obtain for their omerta, and of which they want to share the crumbs with the Christian Democrats.
For a long while, the Situationists were the only ones, in Europe, to denounce the Italian State as being the exclusive author and beneficiary of artificial modern terrorism and all its spectacle. And we had designated Italy to the revolutionaries of all countries as the European laboratory of counter-revolution, and as the privileged field of experimentation of modern police techniques -- and this starting exactly from the 19th December 1969, the date of the publication of our manifesto entitled Is the Reichstag Burning?
The last sentence of this manifesto, "comrades, don't let yourselves stop here," is the only thing, without exception, which has been contradicted by history: this movement ceased exactly on that day, and it could not have been otherwise, starting from the moment when we were the only ones to have been fully aware of what the operation of the Piazza Fontana meant and to say it, without having any other means at our disposal than a "stolen roneo," as has been mentioned in the manifesto quoted. As the people say, "those who have the bread do not have the teeth, and those who have the teeth do not have the bread": and all those courageous extra-parliamentarians of that time who had newspapers and rags did not have the teeth and did not publish anything pertinent about this massacre, preoccupied as they were, and as they are, with the search for the "correct strategy" to impose on the proletariat, which, for them is only good for being directed, and what's more by them!
Because of their incurable inferiority complex vis-a-vis the PCI's capacity for lying, effectively superior to their own, the extra-parliamentarians thus accepted on the spot the version of the facts claimed by the PCI, according to which the bombs were "fascist-style," and therefore could not be the deeds of the secret services of this "democratic" State, so democratic even that it is never worried about what they
recount, that they are the only ones to be considered "dangerous" for the spectacle, of which they are the ill-rewarded but indispensable confederates. Their false explanation of the facts was, however, in perfect agreement with the veritable ideology of these groupuscules, all infatuated with Mao, Stalin and
Lenin then, as they are nowadays with Guattari, Negri and Scalzone, or with their miserable "private life" and their ridiculous "brothels." Since, therefore, these pretended "extremists" did not want to tell the truth, and did not know how to accuse this State openly of being the terrorist, they did not know how to combat it with any tangible result whatsoever: because to say that this bomb was "fascist" was as much of a falsehood as to say that it was "anarchist," and all lies, as opposite as they might appear, are always bound up in the sabotage of the truth. And only the truth is revolutionary, only the truth is capable of causing harm to power, only the truth has the capacity to stir the fury of the Stalinists and bourgeois. And the proletariat, forever deceived and betrayed by all, has learnt to seek the truth all alone, and it is impermeable to lies, however "extremist" they may claim to be. In the same way, and by the same guilty ineptitude, all the extra-parliamentarians of 1978 happily fell into the trap of the kidnapping of Moro, "work of comrades who make mistakes." Can't you perceive, you great ninnies, that you are the only "comrades who make mistakes," again this time? But your epitaph, brave extra-parliamentarians, has already been written by Dante:
But you bite the bait, so well that the hook
of the old adversary pulls you towards him;
and thus to brake or to remember has little effect.
Victims of their own false consciousness, which always expresses itself in ideology, the extra-parliamentarians could not however avoid for long the questions posed by spectacular terrorism, and so from 1970 onwards they began to consider the question of terrorism in-itself, in the empyrean of ideology, in a wholly metaphysical manner, completely abstracted from the reality of things. And when the truth about the massacre of the Piazza Fontana at last came to light, when all the lies adopted on this subject had fallen one after the other, neither the good souls of the intellectual-progressive bourgeoisie, nor the scarecrows of Lotta Continua and consorts were capable of posing the questions once and for all in its real, that is to say scandalous, terms: that the democratic Republic did not hesitate to enact a massacre when this seemed useful to it, because when all the laws of the State are in danger, "there only exists for the State one sole and inviolable law: the survival of the State" (Marx). And this is precisely what this famous "sense of the State" is that was saddled onto Moro and with which the philistines are now decorating his corpse. In ten years no one has wanted to unleash a "Dreyfus affair" concerning the behaviour of our secret services, whose chiefs were stealing in and out of prison with the general indifference of all the privileged owners of the "sense of the State," this sublime sixth sense with which our politicians are endowed, unlike common mortals, who are mutilated by it, like those who were mutilated, but by another thing, in the Agricultural Bank, and who did not die. Or perhaps there is somebody who is convinced that this mysterious "sense of the State" is something other than I have said it to be? "Moro had the sense of the State" and "Berlinguer has the sense of the State": if this does not mean what I have said, they are empty phrases, which is the same as saying that such girl has "the sense of the cunt" and myself that of my balls, and that Tina Anselmi has no sense even if she creates a sensation.
Since the extra-parliamentarians at first did not believe they knew, then knew without believing, and finally believed without concluding that the State itself inaugurated terrorism in Milan, the entire country entered this period of apparent madness and mad appearances: the entire question of terrorism became the object of academic diatribes and ardent invectives, which led some, the bourgeoisie and the Stalinists, to hypocritically condemn terrorism "whatever colour it may be" -- and if it was not precisely they who had encouraged and shielded it by giving it each time the colour which was the most convenient -- and others, those who believed themselves to be "extremists," to toy with the idea that "State terrorism is to be answered with proletarian terrorism." And this comes just at the right time for our secret services: the first small clandestine terrorist groups, the RBs and NAP had scarcely been formed when the police, the carabinieri and the detached corps vied with each other to be the first to infiltrate these little paramilitary groups, either with the aim of forestalling their acts, or with that of teleguiding them, according to the necessities and desiderata of the moment and of the powerful.
Thus everyone was able to see how the NAP were radically wiped out, either by arresting their members in order to exhibit them afterwards in ignoble fashion in such-and-such a trial, or else by directly doing some target practice on them, a much sought-after spectacle where the "forces of law and order" displayed themselves for the pleasure of the most lurid of bourgeoisies.
However this happened in a different manner with the Red Brigades: only two of the infiltrators of this group are known, that is to say, Posetta and the Christian Brother Girotto, who, although crass enough as agents provocateurs, were capable of making Curcio and the other members, of what is fitting to be called the "historic group," fall into the trap -- all militants with no experience of clandestinity, and also barely "ferocious" as terrorists. Notwithstanding this the RBs were never dismantled after having been decapitated, and this certainly not because of the prudence of the other militants, who are not any less naive than their leaders who fell into the first trap set, but by the decision of their new leaders. So then why should the State, already in difficulty for other reasons, have lost this golden opportunity which presented itself to dispose thenceforward of a terrorist organism having an autonomous physiognomy and appearance, well-infiltrated and tranquilly directed from afar? I do not believe at all that General Dalla Chiesa is the "warrior genius" of whom Karl von Clausewitz used to speak, but he had certainly read Clausewitz with more attention and profit than Curcio, and he has greater means to put at the disposal of his talents. General Dalla Chiesa, along with his colleagues in SISDE, SISME and CESIS, jeers at all the proclamations of ideologues of armed struggle about their affirmed intention of "carrying the attack to the heart of the State," above all because he knows that the State has no heart, not even in metaphor, and next because he knows full well, like Andreotti and Berlinguer, that the only attack capable of fatally wounding the State is today uniquely that which consists of denouncing its terrorist practices, and violently denouncing them -- as, for example, I am doing at this moment.
General Dalla Chiesa, although he may be more well-up on tactics than on strategy, and though he confuses strategy with stratagem, substituting guile for the art of war, nevertheless knows perfectly well that terrorism is the substitute for war in a period where great world wars are impossible, or at any rate, no longer permit making one proletariat massacred by another in exhausting and bloodthirsty battles. Our general and the other strategists of the high political police also know that spectacular terrorism is always anti-proletarian, and that it is the pursuit of politics by other means: pursuit, however, of the anti-proletarian politics of all States. That this State has need of modern artificial terrorism is proved above all by the fact that it is precisely here, in Italy, that it was invented ten years ago -- and it is known that the Italian bourgeoisie replaces in invention what it lacks in capacity: it was again the Italian bourgeoisie which invented fascism, which then had so much success in Germany, Spain, Portugal etc., everywhere where it was necessary to crush a proletarian revolution. And the terrorist spectacle has already had an immediate success with the German government, which does not envy our situation, but envies our imagination (in other words, that of our secret services, as in the 1920s, when it envied us for Mussolini), which permits our government to sail in the shit without drowning in it.
That this State has need of terrorism is on the other hand something which each of its representatives is quite convinced of from now on, by experience if not by reasoning, and this since the happy outcome, immediate and miraculous, of the operation of the Piazza Fontana. The proof of it is that if there has not been any "Dreyfus affair" concerning this, this certainly does not arise from the fact that the matter was less scandalous, but rather from the fact that all the parties, for different reasons, have understood that if this bomb had saved the State, which each of them defends in their own fashion, the truth about this bomb was itself alone capable of destroying it definitively. And if there has not been any "Dreyfus affair," this also arises from the fact that, in our enslaved intelligentsia, no Emile Zola "in attendance" ever requested or wanted to exact a truthful conclusion about the Piazza Fontana: Giorgio Bocca modestly made his book on terrorism start from 1970, and, as for the other mandarins of culture, they have always preferred, faced with the blinding light of the Reichstag burning, to look for glow-worms, like Pasolini and Scaiscia, without even finding any, obviously, but while always discoursing about the responsibilities of pollution in this disappearance, and advancing deep lamentations against it, "polemising" amenably, without ever denouncing the terrorist pollution, of which they are all thus accomplices and victims at the same time.
I should like the parallel services and generals -- who will read Remedy to Everything attentively, and at any rate the chapter which concerns them -- to lend their attention for a moment to two things I am going to tell them about the frailty of their strategy: first of all, Dalla Chiesa, take good note of what Clausewitz has taught you, in the chapter he dedicates to the ruse:
In as much as one would like to imagine . . . that generals fight with dissimulation, ruse and perspicacity, one must still admit that these qualities are little evident in history. . . . The reason is not difficult to find . . . in reality it is dangerous to distract considerable forces for a long period, in the sole aim of deceiving the enemy: since there is always the danger of its being done in vain, these forces subsequently failing to be there at the crucial moment. This sober truth, which must always be present in the mind of the one who conducts war, robs perspicacious military leaders of all desire to engage in the double game of deceitful mobility. . . . In a word, the pieces on the strategic chess-board lack this mobility which would be the indispensable condition for the success of the ruse and the stratagem . . . [the ruse] does not harm, if it does not exist to the detriment of other qualities of the heart -- which is all too often the case.
The second thing to consider, in connection with a strategy which is founded upon provocation, is as old as the world: Seneca already remarked -- and if I quote him, it is because, being Nero's counsellor, he was well-up on State terrorism and provocations -- that it is "easier not to embark upon this path than to stop, once embarked upon it." Like a drug, artificial terrorism needs and requires to be administered in always more massive and more frequent doses,
because the future ill appears slighter than the one already done
as Dante would say. So do your sums again, politicians and generals, and you will see that they are wrong.
If then, as I have shown, the State needs terrorism, it also needs not to be caught red-handed every time, so as to then keep up a good front as its ministers, like Rumor and Tanassi, did at Catanzaro, equalled in this only by Generals Malizia, Maletti and Micelli. And what better opportunity for the State, than that offered by a group like the RBs, decapitated and available, with its former leaders in prison and in ignorance about everything? I will still remark that, even if the former leaders were free, since two infiltrators sufficed to bring about their downfall, one alone, less vulgar than Brother Machinegun and Pisetta, would have sufficed to order them about wherever it was wanted for them to go, and without them ever suspecting anything. I know very well that the infiltrators known up to the present, as well as the major part of agents provocateurs in office, have never set the Thames on fire; but our clandestine militants, as one has seen, are not more astute than they. And even if they were all Lenins, as they imagine themselves to be, it should still be noted that the Bolsheviks were widely infiltrated and on several occasions: Roman Malinovski, worker and Okhrana agent, was part of the Bolshevik Central Committee, profiting from the most blind trust on Lenin's part, and despatching hundreds of militants and leaders to Siberia -- and, to a suspicion voiced by Bukharin, Lenin replied that that was "unworthy of a conscientious militant: if you persist it is you who will be denounced as a traitor," according to what Lenin's wife, Nadezhda Krupskaia, said. But Malinovski's case was not an isolated one: in 1917 opening the secret archives of the Okhrara, Lenin was dumbfounded, not without reason, at discovering that, of fifty-five professional provocateurs officially on duty, and regularly appointed, seventeen "were working" amongst the Social Revolutionaries, and a good score were sharing out amongst themselves the control of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and of course not amongst the rank-and-file militants! And Lenin had the bitter surprise of having to note that the provocateurs were always exactly these very "comrades" to whom he, who was so wise and so expert on the matter of clandestinity, used to accord the greatest esteem and the greatest confidence as a result of services rendered and the daring shown on several occasions.
Nowadays, those practices that, in those times, passed for extremely refined sophistication's of the Okhrana, are no longer much more than primitivism's: the modern parallel services of the State, of every State, have a quantity of means, and personages from every class and of all social appearances at their disposal, well-equipped in the use of arms and ideas, often much more capable than the naive militants, who also bear the brunt of it. The organisational form of the party, always hierarchical, is in fact that which lends itself best to infiltration and manipulation -- exactly the opposite of what the bourgeois press says: all the cells at the base, formed of clandestine militants, are kept apart and in ignorance of everything, without any possibility of dialogue and debate, and everything functions perfectly thanks to the most blind discipline and to the most opportune orders given by an inaccessible summit, which is usually lodged in such-and-such ministry or power-group. And if ever some provocateur arouses suspicions, always some providential arrest occurs, placed well in the limelight by the press, which extricates him from danger and absolves him of all suspicion -- then he is even put into action again, thanks to an incredible and "heroic" escape. And often provocateurs, too, do not come out of it unscathed.
Here is then one more reason why I would put any subversive of good faith on his guard against organising hierarchically and clandestinely in some sort of "party": clandestinity can be, under certain conditions, a necessity, whilst all hierarchy is always and only of benefit to this world is to be overthrown. Infiltration is practically impossible, or is discovered immediately, in revolutionary groups who do without militants and leaders, and which are founded on the qualitative: "the only limit to participation in the total democracy of revolutionary organisation is the effective recognition and self-appropriation, by all its members, of the coherence of its critique, a coherence which must prove itself in critical theory rightly so-called and in the relation between theory and practical activity" (Debord).
In several of the RBs "caches" were recovered (and this is not new) an abundance of ultra-confidential material, issuing from police quarters, central police stations and even from ministries -- which, strangely, never were raided or ransacked by the RBs. In view of such eloquent facts, spectacular information always claimed to explain them by emphasising the ultra-efficient organisation of the terrible RBs, and by adding, in order to enhance this wonderful god-send for publicity, the fact that these clandestine militants, so hunted-down but so tentacular, have infiltrated everywhere, even ministries and central police stations. I have to laugh, in view of such an explanation of such a gloomy reality, and so clumsily camouflaged. Once more the intelligence of fifty million Italians is being abused, who are not Germans eager to saturate themselves with the poisoned feeding-bottle of the television, of Corriere and Unita, and those who ascribe such stupidity to ordinary people in fact reveal only their own -- which, for having gone so far, must certainly not be so ordinary. Once more power speaks by means of counter-truth: it is not the RBs who have infiltrated the central police stations and ministries, but agents of the State, issuing from central police stations and ministries, who have infiltrated by design the RBs, and not only into the summit for sure!
And if for ten years the great merciless struggle against the terrorist monster, a struggle so much glorified in words, only resulted in hypertrophying this "monster," if the trial of the Piazza Fontana never even veritably began, this results again from the fact, which I do not know whether is more comical or repugnant, that those who have always been entrusted with this merciless fight, are those very secret services who always directed and actuated terrorism, and certainly not due to pretended "deviations" or "corruptions," but, truly militarily, by simply executing orders given. And all the militants who are exhibited to the public in the cages of the law-courts, as if they were fierce beasts, naive boys who were wished to be watched growing old in Italian prisons, are always and certainly the least implicated -- and this even if they are designated, in turn, as "the leaders" and "the strategists" (nothing is easier than to make a naive fanatic believe that he took part in such-and-such an operation, merely because he left the tract claiming it).
And our general officers quite enjoy themselves counting up the medals and certificates of high merit that they collect, either by feeding terrorism, or "by discovering" at the opportune moment "the culprits."
In this phenomenon, which can excite the virtuous indignation of hypocrites, there is in reality nothing new, and it has repeated itself for centuries in periods of corruption and decadence of all States. Sallust, for instance, who is the historian of the corruption and the crisis of the Republic of Rome, tells how the censor Lucius Marcius Filippus denounced Lepidus, a felon general, in these fine terms to the Senate:
I should like above all, O senators . . . that criminal designs should be turned back against their authors. And yet the entire Republic is shaken and disconcerted by these seditious provocations, and precisely by the action of those who should have been the first to prevent them . . . and you, in giving doubtful and irresolute growls, in entrusting yourselves to the words and verses of auguries, you desire peace instead of defending it, and you do not understand that with your flabby proclamations you strip yourselves of all dignity, and him of all fear . . . for when scoundrels are rewarded it is not easy to remain upright without any returns . . . I do not know then if I must call your behaviour fearfulness, baseness or madness. . . . And you, Lepidus, traitor to all . . . you claim to re-establish by such a war this concord which is rendered null and void by the very means with which it was obtained. What impudence!
That is it exactly: the social peace that terrorism can procure "is rendered null and void by the very means with which it was obtained," with this difference that today the impudent ones are all MPs of the republic and orators who inveigh against terrorism, extending it thus as well into their discourses, always affecting not to know what the entire country is saying since this famous year 1969. Listen a bit to what a modern Lepidus says, the honest Leo Valiani, who was not ashamed of regretting, in July 1978 in the Corriere, the "too lenient sentences" pronounced against some executants:
[These sentences] encourage subversives to persevere, to always dare more. We are not asking the judges" -- Valiani valiantly continues -- "to convict someone without being convinced of his guiltiness. But when the Republic is, as it is at this moment, at grips with clandestine organisations such as these who have sown the seeds of death in the Piazza Fontana. . . any indulgence regarding those who have militated in such subversive organisations is suicidal.
And what indulgence can surpass, Godammit, that of this Valiani, an expert in Stalinist and bourgeois terrorism, fellow-traveller of these two terrorisms and accomplice of all the lies on this matter, who still affects not to know, and he is the only one in Italy, that the "clandestine organisation which sowed the seeds of death in the Piazza Fontana" is none other than the organisation of Admiral Henke, who was then in command of the famous SID -- which, out of decency, that is to say out of indecency, has now had its name changed? And they still want to carry on, for the next ten years, with the same twaddle of Valiani's, this time about Moro's execution? What parliamentarian, what honourable scoundrel, amongst all those who reproach each other for their own "indulgence," speaking without rhyme nor reason about the "safeguarding of the Republic," has up till now dared expose himself, by accusing and naming the assassins of ten years ago?
The fact is that, precisely, the safeguarding of this criminal Republic hereafter depends solely upon their capacity to still cover up these assassins and those of Moro -- along with those of Calabresi, Occorsio, Coco, Feltrinelli, Pinelli, etc., and this our ministers and honourable parliamentarians know quite well, they who continue to say nothing in order to collect new remuneration's which will go to complete their already substantial share.
Our regime, since the great scare of 1969, has always bestowed immense confidence on its high political police, and in its capacity for always finding technical and spectacular solutions to all historical and social questions: our regime therefore is in the process of committing the same error as the Czarist regime, which consecrated all its attention and care into building the best and most powerful secret police in the world, as was the Okhrara in its time; this allowed the Czar to continue to survive on a daily basis and without anything changing for one decade more, but his fall was all the more violent and definitive. As a bourgeois thinker, Benjamin Constant, used to say,
"only an excess of despotism can prolong a situation which is tending to break up, and maintain under the same domination, classes that everything is conspiring to separate. . . . This remedy, even more harmful than evil, no longer has any durable efficacity. The natural order of things avenges itself for outrages that it has been made to undergo, and the more violent the compression was, the more terrible the reaction proves itself to be."
And in Italy, ten years of high police politics are beginning to make themselves felt, including their harmful and uncontrollable effects: the State is still there, with more authority and less reputation than ever, but its veritable adversaries have multiplied in number, their consciousness has increased, and, with it, the efficacity and violence of their attacks; and, in periods where it is the police who have conducted politics, it is always a total collapse which has followed.
Today the sinister Craxi seeks easy applause in affecting to perceive that in Russia, a scandalous novelty, transgressions of opinion are considered State crimes. But don't you see, poor Craxi, that here in Italy it is State crimes that are considered transgressions of opinions. Is this not perhaps a fact less unworthy of your virtuous indignation? Ridiculous Craxi! Whom would you have believe that your soul is immaculate? You who strut about with your worthy crony Mitterand, do you think that it has been forgotten that Mitterand is a gangster, who, a few years ago, hired other, more obscure gangsters to simulate an attack against him? No-one believes you, Craxi, when you declare that sine macula enim sum ante thronum! And all of you party leaders, you are like Mitterand: when it is not you who instigate the attempts, but a rival, you always keep silent, and then you speak about firmness of the State in the face of your own provocations!
That in Italy State crimes are considered mere transgressions of opinion, this is what is also proved, along with all the rest, by this simple precise fact: when, in 1975, under the pseudonym of Censor, I published the historical, and not legal, proofs that it was the SID that committed the massacre of the Piazza Fontana, all the newspapers and journalists reported my conclusions widely but they were much more scandalised by the fact that an anonymous personage, apparently near to power, should dare to openly accuse the SID, than by the quite blatant tact that the State organised, and had carried out, a fine massacre so as to emerge unscathed from a very grave social crisis. And the journalist Massimo Riva has admirably expressed the thinking of all his colleagues, in wondering in connection with the Censor affair, in Corriere, what mysterious manoeuvre of power it heralded: "What is behind this? The fear of publicly speaking the truth? A warning between big pundits of the regime?" It was not my scandalous assertions and conclusions, but my anonymity, which provoked the scandal, or rather, the rumpus that was made around the identity of Censor only served to mask the scandal of what I was denouncing. All preferred to advance clumsy conjectures about my identity, if only to avoid speaking about what I had said: "A warning between big pundits of the regime?": this is the crux of the question, according to Riva and the others, and what creates a scandal is only the end of the omerta amongst the powerful, and not the crimes committed by them.
But the best, as usual, is Alberto Ronchey, at whom we should be amazed if he did not manage to astound us: he said about my proofs that "whatever the responsibilities and intrigues of the SIFAR-SID or other detached corps may be," in spite of this, "as for bombs, kidnappings ... if one could really believe in a 'State terrorism' we would be in the presence of a criminal system of government, and no-one ought to have anything to do with such a power: neither the Communists, the Socialists or the others." What is really incredible, is surely not the terrorism of the State, but Ronchey's way of reasoning: since he, the Communists and the Socialists have something to do with such a power, therefore, according to Ronchey, this is a sufficient guarantee that a State terrorism is not credible, therefore it does not exist, "whatever may be the responsibilities and intrigues of the SID" To reason like Ronchey: God is credible, therefore he exists. On the matter of terrorism and the State one really has the impression of having returned to the discussions about the existence of God and the Devil. Are they real? Do they exist? And if they exist, are they really credible? The poet says most wisely that
Of course it was true, but believable it was not
to those who were not masters of their reason.
I cannot manage to understand where the Roncheys hope to arrive at with their theological logic: I never said that the secret services were behind each outrage, given that today even a Molotov cocktail or a sabotaging of production are considered as "outrages": but I said, and I have been saying it for more than ten years, that all the spectacular acts of terrorism are either teleguided or perpetrated directly by our secret services. And it should be well noted that I do not say "by secret services" which could belong to some far-off or exotic country, but by ours, yes, those of Italy, whose touch and stench, skill and clumsiness, tactical ingenuity and strategic stupidity I always recognise.
Observe, for example, how the SID came to execute the operation of the Piazza Fontana: by successive trial-runs and approximations. They had decided to do a massacre amongst the population, and they prepared for it with two general rehearsals: the bombs of April 25th, 1969 at the [trade] Fair and at the bank at Milan station, and the bombs in the trains in August of the same year. The secret services thus prepared public opinion with these backgrounds, and prepared themselves technically.
And what general rehearsals then did the kidnapping of Moro have? It, too, had its general rehearsals, because our parallel services, which could not be more recognisable, even if they change objectives, always have the same manner of proceeding -- something for which Machiavelli would never forgive them. In April 1977 the kidnapping of De Martino without bloodshed was already a general rehearsal: in their rehearsals, the secret services never want to cause bloodshed, on April 25, 1969, no one died, nor did anyone in August. The rehearsal, however, always indicates the objective which will be struck: in 1969 the population, in 1977-78 a politician. The very day of the kidnapping of De Martino, claimed afterwards by about a hundred ghostly groups, I denounced it as a general rehearsal of the secret services in a poster printed and distributed in Rome. The second rehearsal which indicated the chosen objective very well -- namely a politician -- was the bomb, whose publicity was so well assured, in the office of the Minister of the Interior of the time, Cossiga. Then came the coup against Moro, and there was bloodshed, because it was no longer a general rehearsal.
With the thrust of the menacing revolts of the beginning of 1977, the secret services, who for ten years have always been on their guard and never inactive, began to stir themselves with decision in a more precise direction: and the two provocations cited, which are not the only ones in which they took part, are however those which best denote the chosen objective and the outcome of events.
It can be said therefore wittingly that the kidnapping of Moro was the least unforeseeable thing in the world, since it was the least unforeseen where one can do what one wants, that is to say in the realm of power. At first it was feared that De Martino, a friend of the Stalinists, might obtain the presidency of the Republic, and by making him part with several hundreds of millions of Lira in order to recover his son, the reputation of this "socialist" was destroyed; after this Moro was publicly designated as the successor to Leone, less ransomable however than De Martino or Leone, which-is-to-say more dangerous for being stronger; moreover Moro had the responsibility for the agreement with the Stalinists, and, as president of the Republic, he would have had still more. Two and two make four, even in politics; March 16 1978: the President must die, to parody the title of a book of Andreotti's. Six months after the operation of the Via Fani, at a time when the anti-Stalinist politics of Craxi were undergoing their first tests, Amintore Fanfani, who in Tuscany is nicknamed the Ghost, was hurling his first and vigorous attacks against the government, against the secretariat of the DC, against the "emergency cabinet," against the "rapprochement" effected by Moro, denouncing "the abuses of unanimism," the inefficiency of the "equivocal" government of "national unity," and announcing the supersession "of a political season" -- winning the applause of the Craxists and arousing the "fears" of the Stalinists. Although Fanfani may be the Italian politician who, after Berlinguer, has amassed the greatest number of failures, he is not a cretin: much more intelligent than able, and less far-seeing than ingenious, the Ghost has only drawn the political conclusions of the Moro affair, so true it is that terrorism is the pursuit of politics by other means.
As long as there shall exist a power separated from individuals, it will surely not be individuals who will fail it: no functionary of power or of capital is irreplaceable or indispensable in the maintenance of its domination, neither Kennedy, nor Mattei, nor Moro, nor any of those who are still alive and active. What, in a period of troubles, becomes indispensable to a power that does not want to renew itself, is precisely the elimination of certain men, either because they are too implicated and too shown-up, like Rumor, or because by wanting a "renewal," however minimal it might be, they arouse some fear or a certain mistrust in certain sectors of power: and it is known that the most reactionary sectors are always also the best armed. Moro's "overtures" were thus perceived as being opposed to certain interests and a concession to a "change" -- and this in spite of the fact that historically it was precisely any change that such overtures were trying to prevent, but without too much conviction and without sufficient guarantees -- that is to say, in a different manner to that desired by one fraction of power and by certain of the military.
In history, every power always behaves like all the other powers have behaved, and as the present police politics of provocation follows its course, which I have already shown to be unstoppable, similarly for its powerful strategists, semi-lucid and semi-unaware, but completely dominated by fear, the necessity ripens of having to dispose of, in Mafia manner, some of those very men they had still been making use of the day before. In all this there is nothing new, and it is a further confirmation of the old precept according to which "he who is the cause of another's becoming powerful brings about his own ruin"; neither Moro, nor any of his colleagues, ever prevented the political police from becoming so powerful in the space of ten years; not one of them ever protested against nor fought a phenomenon that all, on the contrary, nourished: Moro was the first victim of some importance that such a politics struck down, but he was not the only victim. The strategists of terror had already got rid of other personages, less important but none the less utilised previously; we have before our very eyes several examples of this still fresh: the liquidation of Calabresi, the distant and mysterious death of the fascist Nardi, accused of Calabresi's assassination, the "suicide" of a good number of SID officers, the fatal "accidents" which happened to several witnesses at the Piazza Fontana trial, the spectacular and simultaneous attempts against the magistrates Coco and Occorsio, which, out of a desire for symmetry ever-present in the spectacle of "opposite extremism's," were claimed by the RBs and the fascists. It is worth remarking that these two magistrates were involved with terrorism and not in a small way: Coco with the shady and incongruous affair of the kidnapping of Sossi, and Occorsio with the dirty trick staged with great showmanship against "the human beast" Pietro Valpreda. Naturally, the entire lying media always presents as the confirmation of the official version of the facts precisely that which denies it: Coco "would not yield" to the RBs, so they took their revenge -- and one does not understand why, to avenge themselves, they did not kill the judge Sossi: I take a hostage and I blackmail you: if you do not accept the blackmail, it is you that I kill, and not the hostage: illogical but spectacular logic.
As for Occorsio, he was, these last days, conducting an enquiry into the fascists, so these latter had an interest in killing him -- but, for mercy's sake, let nobody put forward the slightest suspicion. To wit, that if Occorsio was taking care, last of all, of the fascists after having taken so much care of the anarchists, but with just as bad results, it is because somebody therefore had suggested to him to take care of the fascists, in order next to be able to make them claim his death, thereby giving it an explanation (one could not quite however accuse Valpreda of having also killed Occorsio; Valpreda is from now on a "culprit," worn-out, unusable; if tomorrow one were to read that he killed his mother-in-law, there would be no one in Italy who would believe it).
The judges who are busying themselves today with the Moro affair are the least enviable people in Italy, and they should be very careful: from now on they must take care not to get lost in their inquiries and not to displease certain sectors of power; next they should pay attention to all and everything, because for the State the first opportunity to get rid of them will be the right one: and the RBs "will claim" their death immediately, which will be explained in this matter to public opinion. And from now on in Italy all which can be explained is also justified -- and if the explanation is abusive, since no one answers it back, it is an explanation without right of appeal, a lie which is no longer contradicted and cannot be any more. If one can contradict it, it is not contradicted, if it is contradicted, it is not "credible," if it is not "credible" it does not exist -- to speak like Ronchey. Few things amongst those foreseen by Orwell in 1984 have not yet been verified; take for instance the following passage:
In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war . . . she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government itself, 'just to keep people frightened'. This was an idea that had literally never occurred to him.
A few extra-parliamentarians, lost behind their puerile illusions and the fetishist theology of armed struggle, would perhaps like to object that, since they believe in armed struggle, others more "extreme" than they can effectively practise it and be responsible for everything, including the kidnapping of Moro. I wish to point out here that I have never doubted, neither in public nor in private, the imbecility of our extra-parliamentarians taken as a whole; but it is worthwhile observing that they never doubt what the spectacle recounts about itself and about them. Only take heed of this, brave alienated militants: if Moro had actually been kidnapped and killed, as you believe, by free and autonomous revolutionaries, like the State has told you, then it would also ensue that, for the first time in ten years, the State did not lie on the question of terrorism. But this, being unheard of and absurd, is to be excluded.
The sad truth is that, on the contrary, you have always believed the lies, about Valpreda, about Feltrinelli, about the RBs and so on: and even the official newspaper of the anarchists, Umanita Nova, hastened to take precautions, after the Piazza Fontana, in dissociating its "responsibilities" from those of Valpreda -- thus furnishing proof of a courage proportional to its intelligence.
Many militants of the extreme left think they are very smart for having understood that Pinelli did not throw himself from the fourth floor of the Central Police Headquarters on his own; but they will never manage to beat this record for smartness since, shortly after, they praised our secret services when they killed Commissioner Calabresi. Our bourgeoisie and the Stalinists, who have already given so many proofs of their incapability, therefore have many reasons for consoling themselves by considering the stupidity of their pretended "extremist" adversaries, which compensates, in some way, for their own -- even if it does not cancel it out. And in fact, in ten years no extra-parliamentarian groupuscule has ever managed to harm this State in the slightest, because not one was capable of encouraging in any manner whatsoever the practical struggles of wild-cat workers, and even less of contributing to the progress of theoretical consciousness.
Impotent and clumsy, the militants today accuse the State of being morally "responsible" for Moro's death for not having saved him, and not for having killed him, in the same way as in 1970 they were accusing the State of "moral responsibility" in the Piazza Fontana massacre, certainly not for having ordered it, but for not having ordered the arrest of certain fascists implicated in this affair, at least on the judicial plane. These politicians who take pleasure in mimicking the gestures of politicians who have "made it" continue to ignore the fact that morality has nothing to do with politics, but rather with the justificatory ideology of a policy, that is to say, with all the lies which every politics normally has need of. That is why they speak always and only about the "moral responsibility" of the State, and thus become co-responsible for all its lies.
But let us try for one moment to consider, by means of an unreal hypothesis, that the kidnapping of Moro was conceived and carried out by subversives. And in this case there would be several questions to be asked -- which are precisely the only ones the contemplative militants have never asked themselves, busy as they are admiring everything that they are not capable of, or else disagreeing with all that in which they do not take part: that is to say everything.
First of all, one should ask oneself how it is possible that in two months subversives were not capable of accusing Moro of anything else than of serving the interests of the bourgeoisie instead of those of the proletariat - as if that was a particularity of Moro's, as if in Parliament there was no one else "guilty" of this "crime"! The absurdity of such an accusation renders it totally unbelievable: Aldo Moro never claimed nor made anyone believe that he was defending the interests of workers, unlike Stalinists and extra-parliamentarians. To accuse him of such a crime is the same as accusing the rich of not being poor, or an enemy of not being your ally. If it was in order to bring such an accusation against him that these hypothetical "subversives" staged Moro's "trial," they could have spared themselves the effort and killed him in the Via Fani along with his bodyguards. But, as I have already said, behind this accusation lurks the contrary accusation: Moro's kidnappers were in reality accusing him of not serving the interests of the bourgeoisie sufficiently, and certainly not for doing this too well.
Furthermore, the clumsy parody of "proletarian justice," awkwardly staged by Moro's jailers, did not even attempt to make him spit out the truth about the massacre of the Piazza Fontana, nor about a hundred other facts just as scandalous, which any man of power normally has knowledge of, facts which would have been highly instructive for the proletariat. In connection with this, it must be remarked that if Moro in one of his earliest letters was scared about having to speak of "displeasing and dangerous" truths, this in no way was disquieting to anyone in the government, which shows that our ministers did not fear anything of all this, because they knew they had nothing to fear. In their proclamations, Moro's kidnappers never knew how to nor wished to address themselves to workers, to whom they have never said anything interesting; after having affirmed with assurance that "nothing will be hidden from the people," Moro's jailers straightaway began, through his intermediary, a long secret correspondence with all the men of power of the DC, for whom this deed was a warning, and the kidnapping was to last until all were convinced of this: the first proof they were to give of their conviction was precisely that of not "negotiating," and they all in fact hastened to give it. The conditions for the freeing of the hostage, which would have taken place, officially, if the State had agreed to free about fifteen imprisoned militants, only seemed to be laid down in order not to be accepted, not for sure because they were unacceptable, but rather because, not being of any interest whatsoever to any sector of the proletariat, they could not claim the support of any movement of spontaneous or only violent struggle in the country -- a movement which, moreover, Moro's jailers did not even purport to instigate. Where the kidnappers betrayed their identity as agents of power, and in the clumsiest manner, was in the acute desire they have shown for being officially recognised by all the constituted powers, from the PCI to the DC, from the Pope to Waldheim: this fact alone admirably proves that not only do they recognise the legitimacy of all powers, but that they are pre-occupied only in being recognised by them, and certainly not by the proletariat. For their part, the party bosses betrayed themselves when they admitted that this kidnapping had the goal of dividing the political forces of the government, then adding that in this it would have failed, whilst it is exactly in this that the kidnapping succeeded: the Christian Democrats and the Craxists quickly understood that they should part company, quietly but firmly, with the Stalinists; if Moro's jailers had been subversives, such a division could certainly not have interested them, because any subversive knows that the only division liable to create disorder is that which one should accomplish between exploited and exploiters -- and certainly not between the different parties which only represent, in the spectacle, the different forces which serve to maintain the same exploitation, by only changing the beneficiaries of it. Finally, if Moro's kidnappers had been subversives, they certainly would not have missed the opportunity to release him, since Moro, slandered by all his friends and betrayed by his allies of the day before, would have openly fought all those he had protected up until then. However, by killing him, the artisans of the coup of the Via Fani conveniently helped all the powers out of a difficulty, and particularly the DC, to whom Moro was useful dead, but very harmful alive.
In any case, if Moro's kidnappers had been subversives they certainly would not have chosen the freedom of Curcio and others as the object of negotiation, giving power an excellent pretext for sending them packing and not "to lose their honour": if they had chosen to make unacceptable demands, they should have demanded something quite other than the freeing of these single fifteen prisoners -- and those who make unacceptable demands always take care that they should not be easily refusable either, as was that of the freeing of these few brigatisti. But Moro's kidnappers in reality did not want anything that they were officially demanding: what they did want, they knew quite well they could not openly demand, so as not to unmask themselves -- and what they wanted they have obtained, today. And shortly before Moro's jailers were to get rid of him, all the real terms of the blackmail had become inverted with relation to the spectacular and official terms of the blackmail towards DC; and the real terms had become these: either you change your policy, or we shall free Moro, and you will see that it will be he who shall change policy. And things being thus, the Christian Democrat and "socialist" leaders wisely preferred that it should be they who change policy at Moro's expense, in view of the risk that it might be Moro who changes it, but at their expense. This is the way the world goes, despite all the flapping of wings of the Capitoline geese who claim the contrary.
All our incapable extra-parliamentarians, dazzled like primitives by the technical success of the operation of the Via Fani, have not been able to see beyond, in considering that those who have so many means and tactical capacities at their disposal would surely not place them in the service of such a poor and senseless strategy as that one intended to be attributed to the RBs, but rather would place all this at the service of a more wide-ranging political design. But the extra-parliamentarians, in view of the operational efficiency displayed in the Via Fani and by the sequel, naturally preferred to attribute this latter to "comrades who make mistakes" rather than to enemies who do not make mistakes, and who quietly screw them all. Here as well, our leftists have taken their poor desires for reality, without suspecting that reality always surpasses their desires, but not in the manner they desire. And if they were less ignorant, they would not overlook as much, and so wrongly, the capacities of the Italian parallel services: they would know, for instance, that the only really successful war operations accomplished by Italy during the last conflict were commando actions effected by the Navy. It seems to me to be scarcely necessary to recall how this brilliant tradition was admirably transmitted from the Navy to the secret services, headed at first by Admiral Henke, who was never an imbecile, then by Admiral Casardi, who is even more capable -- with the ignominious interregnum of a general as incapable as Vito Micelli, who in fact had to succumb to his own incapability, and to the prudence of Andreotti, who did not take long to perceive it. In fact Andreotti did not have General Micelli arrested for being responsible for "deviations" of the SID -- which had begun well before, as Andreotti is well aware -- but he had him arrested precisely because Micelli risked, through a blunder, blowing the lid off the great stewing-pot of the secret services. And once again Andreotti has shown himself to be a sharper politician than he would wish to appear, in making his attack against Micelli pass for solicitude about constitutional allegiance, and thereby gaining expected sympathies from the left. Andreotti's sole error, as usual, was an error of false modesty and of vanity: he rejoiced too much after Micelli's arrest, overplaying the simpleton and repeatedly declaring that he, out of prudence, had never wanted to involve himself with the secret services: a scandalous declaration for a head of government, but necessary to someone who, being involved with them, saw "cose che'l tacere e bello," but things so scandalous that they can only be silenced by pretending not to know of them. And Andreotti knows very well that the scandal of ignorance is the price he must pay in order to feign ignorance of certain scandals. He remains however like the comic in that fable where the fox disguises himself as a lamb in order to be better accepted amongst the wolves.
Leaving aside the admirals, it must still be noted that in Italy there are also excellent superior officers of the Carabinieri, not all of whom are like Micelli or Labruna, and it is only the Micellis and the Labrunas who fall into the trap. Then again, there is a more profound and more dialectical argument in favour of the leadership of our secret services: if this period requires certain men to practice terrorism, it is also capable of creating the men terrorism has need of. And it should not be believed that the operation of the Via Fani was a superhuman masterpiece of operational capability: up until yesterday even Idi Amin Dada was able to allow himself certain technical successes, at which the poor militants of Lotta Continua will never cease to be amazed.
Much less naive than extra-parliamentarians, a large number of workers whom I have met in the most varied situations, have straight-away come to the conclusion that "Aldo Moro, it is they who have kidnapped him," meaning by this of course those who have power. And to think that even yesterday such workers voted, and on the whole voted PCI!
The rift, hereafter irreparable, which exists in the country between all those who have the right to speak (politicians, the powerful and all their lackeys, journalists or others), on the one hand, and all those who are denied the right to speak, on the other, expresses itself perfectly in the fact that the former, far-removed from ordinary people and protected by the barrier of their bodyguards, no longer know what the latter say and think, in the street, the restaurant or their workplace. And thus the lies of power have flown off at a tangent, entering some kind of autonomous orbit under the impact of centrifugal force, an orbit which no longer touches upon any pole of the "real country," where truth can thus make its way much more easily since no obstacle obstructs or intimidates it. However, the spectacle has become autistic, that is to say, it is afflicted by this syndrome of schizophrenic psychopathology according to which the ideas and actions of the patient can no longer be modified by reality, from which he is irremediably separated, compelled to live in his own world outside the world. The spectacle, like King Oedipus, has gouged its own eyes, and blindly continues in its own terrorist delirium: like King Oedipus, it no longer wishes to look at reality, and, like President Andreotti, it says it does not want to know anything about the secret services, even proclaiming that they have been dismantled and non-existent for several years. If, like King Oedipus, the spectacle no longer wishes to look at reality, it is that it only wants to be looked at, contemplated, admired and accepted for what it pretends to be. It wants thus to be listened to, without even listening however, and it is not too much perturbed even about no longer being listened to: what seems to matter most to the spectacle is to relentlessly pursue its paranoiac journey. At the very moment when it is the police who claim to make history, any historical fact is explained by power in a police manner. The Hungarian researcher into psychiatry, Joseph Gabel says that, according to what he defines as the "police conception of history," history is no longer constituted "by the ensemble of objective forces, but by good or bad individual action," where each event "is placed under the sign of miracle or of catastrophe": interpretation of the event then no longer consists of its historical explanation, but is ascribed to red or black magic. Thus, for power, the Piazza Fontana bomb was the miracle which allowed the trade-unions to renounce all strikes, and the State to avoid civil war; the death of Moro, on the other hand, heralded a mysterious catastrophe which, thanks to the skill and inflexibility of our politicians, was averted from us. And it is of no importance that a large number "of the plebs" -- to use here a fortunate expression of the Stalinist Amendola -- had said, as I have heard it said thousands of times, that "as for myself, if they kill Moro, it doesn't matter to me: that's their business." "The country resisted, it knew how to react": what a fine joke! The only reaction of this mythological "country" was, most wisely, never to believe anything more of all that it is told.
In a parallel manner to the catastrophic or miraculous explanations of history, the spectacle reaches the point of no longer knowing whom it rules, no longer grasping reality and the thoughts it must master urgently; and, as Machiavelli says, "where one knows the least, one suspects the most": the entire population, and all young people in particular, become suspect in the eyes of power. At the same time, if artificial terrorism claims to be the only real phenomenon, all spontaneous revolts, like those of Rome and Bologna in 1977, become according to this "police conception of history" a plot, artificially hatched and led by "occult forces" yet "quite identifiable" -- as Stalinists today still maintain. Everything that power does not forecast, because it has not organised it, therefore becomes a "plot" against it; on the other hand, artificial terrorism, being organised and directed by the masters of the spectacle, is a real and spontaneous phenomenon that these latter continually feign to fight, for the simple reason that it is easier to defend oneself from a simulated enemy than from a real one. And for the real enemy, the proletariat, power would like to refuse it even the status of enemy: if workers declare themselves to be against this demented terrorism, then "they are with the State," if they are against the State, then "they are terrorists," that is to say enemies of the common good, public enemies. And against a public enemy, everything is permitted, everything is authorised.
Gabel says further that "the police conception of history represents the most complete form of political alienation . . .:the unfavourable event can only be explained by exterior action (the plot); it is experienced (by the patient) as an unexpected catastrophe, "unmerited". And so it is that any spontaneous strike becomes an insult to the "working class," so well represented by the trade unions, and any wildcat struggle is "provocative," "corporative," "unjust" and "unmerited." All this fits exactly into the clinical framework of autistic schizophrenia: "the syndrome of external action . . . is the clinical expression of the irruption of the dialectic in a reified world which cannot admit of the event unless as a catastrophe" (J. Gabel, False Consciousness). The irruption of the dialectic corresponds however to nothing other than the irruption of struggle in a reified world, which it is more exact to call a spectacular-commodity world, which cannot admit of struggle, not even in the realm of thought. So this spectacular society is not even capable of thinking any more: someone who reasons logically, for example, only accepts the identity between two things when it is based on the identity of the subjects; however the spectacle, which is para-logical, establishes the identity in basing it on the identity of the predicates, and thus says: "the devil is black, black is the devil" or "the Jew is bad, the bad is the Jew" or even "terrorism is catastrophic, the catastrophe is terrorism." Leaving aside terrorism, all the rest would be fine: unfortunately, there is this terrorism: so what can be done about it?
If I say: "a policeman must have a clear criminal record, Mario Bianchi is a policeman, therefore he has a clean criminal record"; the schizophrenic, on the other hand, will say: "Mario Bianchi has a clean criminal record, therefore he is a policeman." It is thus that the spectacle, stricken with autism, says: "Those who kidnapped Moro are terrorists, the RBs are terrorists, Moro was kidnapped by the RBs." No identification is a misuse, for the spectacle, except one, which is the only one not to be, and here it is: the State has been declaring for years that it is fighting the RBs, it infiltrated them several times without ever attempting to dismantle them, therefore the State makes use of the RBs, as a cover, because the RBs are useful to this State, therefore RBs = the State. That power fears, above all, this identification, it has confessed in a thousand ways, for instance when it invented this neurotic and clumsy slogan: "either with the State, or with the RBs," which is tantamount to saying "either with me, or else with me."
Long before the advent of the spectacle, religion, which has always been a prototype of functional ideology for all the old powers, had invented the devil, the foremost and supreme agent provocateur, who was to assure the most complete triumph of the kingdom of God; religion did nothing other than project into the metaphysical world the simple necessity of any concrete and real power. Thus, Cicero needed to amplify the risk constituted by Cataline, in order to magnify his own glory as saviour of the fatherland, and multiply in that way his own abuses. For any power, the only real catastrophe is to be swept out of history; and each power, once weakened and feeling the imminence of this real catastrophe, has always tried to consolidate itself in pretending to wage an unequal struggle against a very convenient adversary: but such a struggle always was also the last oration pro domo sua that this power would declare. History is full of similar examples.
Just as scandal is necessary for the greater glory of God -- says Paul-Louis Courier --, so are conspiracies for the maintenance of the political police. Hatching them, stifling them, setting up the plot and discovering it, this is the high art of office; these are the ins and outs of the science of statesmen; it is transcendent politics perfected only a short while ago at home, that the jealous Englishman seeks to imitate and counterfeit, only vulgarly. . . . Ministers, as soon as it is known what they want to do, suddenly cannot or nor longer wish to do it. Politics known is politics lost; State affairs, State secrets. . . . Decency is obligatory in a constitutional government.
Courier was speaking thus in 1820, in the height of the Restoration; today, out of fear of a new and more formidable revolution, the same practices as then are used, on a much larger scale, in order to obtain a preventative restoration. The "transcendent politics" of those days is the immanent politics of the spectacle, which always presents itself, like Dante used to say about God, as "the adversary of all evils" -- and therefore all that opposes the spectacle is evil, according to its autistic logic. And in view of this unpitying preventative restoration, in view of this infamous series of provocations, massacres, assassinations and lies that seek to camouflage a reality which is as clear as daylight, in view of all this here we have sociological "studies" on terrorism multiplying, and all the servile and progressive journalists, who care more for their security than for plain reality of the facts, rivalling each other in the expression of a "certain sympathy" for "armed struggle" and clandestinity, as the unspeakable Georgio Bocca said, under the pretext that it reminds him of his epic struggle in the Resistance. Men like Bocca are, so to speak, "legitimised" when, under the reign of fear, they declare they have some sympathy for this terrorism, because they earn 4 or 5 million Lira a month and because they feel that this terrorism will ensure for them that this will continue. But the one who has nothing is deceived by these men, who always lie, for the sake of peddling their filth unbothered, at other people's expense: people like you, Bocca, don't get killed, that would be doing them too much honour! Nobody wants to see you die, but, for my part if I ever meet you on the street, you may be sure that I shall teach you how to live, you fathead.
And here we have, on the other hand, the lawyer Giannino Guiso telling us about the ideological sublimities of Curcio, and the sociologist Sabino Acquaviva launching into grandiloquent "explanations" about terrorism, whilst this pedant Scialoja, a journalist with the Expresso, holds forth on the "strategies" of armed struggle, and they all pretend to be in the know about the secret matters of the social revolution, all seeking to lend credibility to artificial terrorism as a prelude to the revolution:
Vous serez etonnes, quand vous serez au bout,
de ne nous avoir rien persuade du tout.
I only have this to say to you, respected mystifiers: unlike you, I have known in the last thirteen years a large part of the revolutionaries of Europe very well -- known equally well to all the police forces -- who have contributed the most, by theory and by practice, in reducing capitalism to its present conditions: not one of them, without any exception, have ever practised or even less hailed spectacular modern terrorism -- which seems evident to me. There are no secret matters of revolution: all that which today is secret belongs to power, that-is-to-say to counter-revolution. And all the police forces know this perfectly well.
From now on you may rest assured about one thing, gentlemen of the government: as long as your State shall exist, and I am alive, I shall never tire of denouncing the terrorism of your parallel services, whatever the cost: for this is precisely the foremost interest of the proletariat and of social revolution, at this time and in this country. And this exactly because, as Courier used to say, "politics known is politics lost." And if this criminal State wants to go on lying, killing and provoking the entire population, it shall be compelled from now on to cast off its "democratic" mask and act in its own name against workers and abandon the present spectacle of the party game in which the secret services harbour their illusions of the existence of a few naive militants of "armed struggle" in order to give verisimilitude to their provocations, and then throw hundreds of people into prison, whilst our policemen do target practice whilst awaiting the civil war.
From 1969 on, the spectacle, in order to still be believed, had to attribute to its enemies incredible actions, and in order to still be accepted, it had to credit proletarians with unacceptable actions, and thereby ensure sufficient publicity so that people who allow themselves to become frightened always choose "the lesser evil," namely the present state of affairs. When the real heads of the RBs ordered that unarmed people should be shot in the legs, something which is only befitting of police cowardice, and certainly not of revolutionary courage, when the real heads of the RBs ordered such attacks, which hit minor industrial leaders, they knew very well what they wanted: to scare this part of the middle class who, not enjoying the advantages of the upper class, do not have sufficient class consciousness, and thus win it over in view of the civil war. The fragility of such artificial terrorism resides however in this: once you proceed with such politics, it becomes even more well-known, and therefore judged, and all that had constituted the strength of this politics now constitutes its weakness, whilst the great advantages it assured its strategists turn into a major inconvenience.
The present President of the Republic, Pertini, a naive man, is always and only afraid of fascism, as he only fears what he knows: however from now on he should fear what he does not know and get to know as quickly as possible what he must fear today: not any more an open dictatorship but a formidable masked despotism of the secret services, a despotism all the stronger for using its power to affirm vigorously that it does not exist. It was not at all by chance that Fanfani, almost imperceptibly, invented in September 1978 a new important post which had no precedent in our institutional history: that of "advisor to the president of the Republic for problems of democratic order and security." And neither was it by chance that, to fill this position, Fanfani called upon Lieutenant-General Arnaldo Ferrara, who is considered, militarily, the best officer of the Carabinieri and one of the best in Europe. In flanking the old Pertini with the young General Ferrara, "a man with ice-cold eyes and refined tastes," as he has been described, Fanfani not only institutionalised a situation of fact, in sanctioning the power attained by the parallel services, but also made the first step to consummate his old dream of a presidential Republic: Arnaldo Ferrara, this intelligent and refined officer, who even recently had refused to head the SISDE and had not yielded to Andreotti's insistence in order not to renounce his own ambitions, this field-officer who "has penetrated into the most secret secrets of the State and the men who represent it" -- as Roberto Fabiani assures us -- is in fact the new president of the Republic. Furthermore, Ferrara today holds powers that no president of the Republic ever had in the past -- powers that his function of "adviser," which is honorary only in appearance, guarantees him in reality much more and better than any other office, assuring him at the same time a freedom of action whose limits are difficult to determine, but easy to exceed. Faced with such a state of affairs, the proletariat can only fight it on open ground or get used to it, bearing all the heavy consequences.
And here is then, if one really wants to know it, the precise end being served in bedecking the presidency of this Republic with a man "above all suspicion": it has served to hide its goal, and its painless transformation into a police State, whilst maintaining the spectacle of "democratic" appearances. The honourable Pertini, since he has always remained on the fringe of his own party, and since he is perhaps the only politician who, never having had real power, has always been a stranger to the practices of the parallel services, is also therefore the man who least knows these practices, and the one who therefore offers the best qualifications required in order to be manipulated, without noticing it, by this occult power. The detached corps of the State, having attained their present power, can only continue to make use of the same tactic of infiltration used successfully in relation to the RBs, by extending them today to all the institutions of the State. In these conditions, not only will terrorism not cease, but it will increase quantitatively and qualitatively: and one can already foresee that if a social revolution does not arrive to put an end to this tragic farce, the presidency of Pertini will mark the most deadly period of the Republic. And don't come and tell me that what I say "is most serious": I know that perfectly well, but I also know that to remain silent, like all the others do, is even more serious, and that the most serious phenomenon is that which all take part in without ever denouncing it. There is no longer anything secret in this phenomenon, which however still remains unadmitted in the general consciousness: and as Bernard Shaw said, "there are no better kept secrets than the ones everybody knows." And consciousness always comes too late.
In such conditions, the foremost duty of any conscious subversive is to unpityingly cast out of the minds of people called to action any illusion about terrorism. As I have already said elsewhere, historically, terrorism has never had any revolutionary efficacity, except where every other form of manifestation of subversive activity had been rendered impossible by a complete repression; and therefore where a notable part of the proletarian population had been brought to be silently on the side of the terrorists. But this is no longer, or is not yet, the case of present-day Italy. Furthermore it is fitting to note that the revolutionary efficacity of terrorism has always been very limited, as the entire history of the end of the nineteenth century shows.
The bourgeoisie, which established its domination in France in 1793 by means of terrorism, must however again resort to this weapon, in a defensive strategic context, in the historical period where its power is universally called into question by these same proletarian forces its own development has created. In a parallel manner the secret services of the bourgeois State cover their terrorism by opportunely using the most naive militants of a Leninism completely discomfited by history -- a Leninism that also used, between 1918 and 1921, the same terrorist anti-working class method to destroy the Soviets and seize hold of the State and the capitalist economy in Russia.
All States have always been terrorist but they have been so most violently at their birth and at the imminence of their death. And those who today, either out of despair or because they are victims of the propaganda the regime propagates in favour of terrorism as the nec plus ultra of subversion, contemplate artificial terrorism with uncritical admiration, even attempting sometimes to practise it, do not know that they are only competing with the State on its own terrain, and do not know that, on its own terrain, not only is the State the strongest but that it will always have the last word. And all that which does not destroy the spectacle reinforces it: and the unparalleled reinforcement of all the State's powers of control, which has occurred these last few years under the pretext of spectacular terrorism, is already used against the entire proletarian movement, which is today the most advanced and the most radical in Europe.
It is certainly not a question of "disagreeing" with terrorism in a stupid and abstract manner, like the militants of Lotta Continua do, and still less of admiring the "comrades who make mistakes," as do the so-called Autonomes -- who thus give the infamous Stalinists a pretext for preaching systematic denunciation -- but it is a matter of judging it purely on its results, of seeing who benefits from it, of clearly saying who practises terrorism, and what use the spectacle makes of it; and then it is a matter of drawing conclusions once and for all.
Obliging everyone to continually take a position for or against mysterious and obscure incidents, prefabricated in reality for this precise end, this is the real terrorism, to continually compel the entire working class to declare itself against such and such attack, which everyone, except the parallel services, has no part in, this is what allows power to maintain generalised passivity and the contemplation of this indecent spectacle, this is what permits trade-union bureaucrats to reunite, under their anti-working class directives, the workers of each factory in struggle where a boss regularly gets shot in the legs.
When Lenin, in 1921, at the time of the repression of the Kronstadt soviet, pronounced the famous "here or there with a rifle, but not with the workers' opposition, we have had enough of the workers' opposition," he showed himself to be less dishonest than Berlinguer, who says "either with the State or with the RBs," because Lenin was not afraid to declare that his sole aim was the liquidation of the workers' opposition. Very well then, starting from this exact moment, he who affirms he is "with the State" knows that he is also with terrorism, and with the most putrid State terrorism ever set up against the proletariat; he knows that he is with those responsible for the deaths at the Piazza Fontana, on the Italicus and at Brescia, and for the assassinations of Pinelli and a hundred others, and let him not come and plague us any more because we have had enough of crocodile tears about the "martyrs of the Via Fani," of provocations, vile intimidations, assassinations, prison, the shameless hypocrisy about the defence of "democratic institutions," and all the rest.
And as for us subversives, who are exactly with the workers' opposition, and not with the State, let us demonstrate this above all and on every occasion, by always unmasking all acts of terrorism by the services of the State, to whom we will gladly leave the monopoly of terror, thereby making shame even more shameful by consigning it to publicity: the publicity it deserves.
When our turn comes, we shall not lack arms, nor valiant fighters: we are not the slaves of the commodity-fetishism of arms, but we shall procure them as soon as it will be necessary, and in the most simple manner of all: by taking them from you, generals, policemen, and bourgeois, because you already have enough of them to suffice all the workers of Italy. "We have no respect; we do not expect any from you. When our turn comes, we will not embellish violence" (Marx).
A thousand Via Fanis and a thousand Piazza Fontanas cannot profit capitalism as much as one sole anti-bourgeois and anti-Stalinist wildcat strike can harm it, or a simple violent and successful sabotage of production. The oppressed consciousness of thousands are awakening and revolting every day against exploitation: and wild-cat workers know perfectly well that social revolution does not make its way by accumulating corpses along its path, which is a prerogative of Stalino-bourgeois counter-revolution, a prerogative that no revolutionary has ever disputed.
And as for those who have joined up with alienated and hierarchical militantism in the period of its bankruptcy, they could only become subversives on the condition that they get out of it, and only if they succeed in negating practically the conditions the spectacle itself has laid down on what is today designated by the vague but precise term "dissidence," which is by its nature always impotent.
From now on, whosoever in Italy does not use all the intelligence they have at their disposal to rapidly understand the truth which lurks behind each State lie, whosoever does not do this is an ally of the enemies of the proletariat. And whosoever still claims to want to fight alienation in an alienated manner, through militantism and ideology, will quickly perceive that they have renounced all real combat. It will certainly not be militants who will make the social revolution, nor the secret services and Stalinist police who will prevent it!
Footnotes by Gianfranco Sanguinetti, except those by the original translators (T.N.) or by Johnny Boredom [JB] July 2004.
- ^ The bombing of a busy bank in Milan's Piazza Fontana on 12 December 1969, which resulted in 16 deaths and 88 serious injuries, signalled the beginning of the so-called "Strategy of Tension" -- the general aim of this strategy, developed in the face of working class militancy, was to create a heightened sense of fear, disorientation and atomisation amongst the general population resulting form spectacular terrorist acts, leading to an increased identification with the authority of the state. While some on the far-right initially may have hoped that this would lead to a military take-over, this strategy became a more general response by the state and para-state agencies in periods of social unrest and political crisis uniting fascists, conservatives, and democrats. The Piazza Fontana bombing took place within the context of escalating class struggle and the deepening social crisis of the "Hot Autumn" of 1969. After the bombing, the police turned their attention to anarchist circles with remarkable speed, backed up by a hysterical media campaign. Anarchists, including Pietro Valpreda and railway worker Giuseppe Pinelli, were held for questioning in connection with the bombings. Pinelli 'jumped' to his death from the fourth floor office of the police station in which he was being questioned. (Pinelli's murder prompted Dario Fo to write his satirical play, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist.) After the state's farcical attempt to pin the blame on anarchists fell apart, the finger was pointed at fascists. The 'fascists' behind the bombing turned out to be working for the Italian secret state. The cover-up of the Piazza Fontana bombing would last decades. A short flyer issued by the Italian section of the Situationist International entitled [reichstag.html Is the Reichstag Burning?] was posted in Milan a few days after the bombing. The authors of this text -- Eduardo Rothe and Puni Cesoni -- denounced the bombing as a state provocation, unlike the vast majority of the Left at the time, which generally accepted police and media lies at face value. [J.B..]
- ^ On 16 March 1978, Christian Democratic Party leader Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse, "RBs" for short, founded in 1970), in an operation notable for its brutality and military precision. Moro was an advocate of the so-called "Historic Compromise" in Italian politics. This was to involve a governing alliance between the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the two biggest parties in Italy during the 1970's. Moro correctly perceived the completely reformist and essentially conservative nature of the Communist Party, which was a social-democratic party with large scale electoral support in the post-WWII period. He hoped that this policy would temper the radicalism of the working class by channelling workers demands through the structures of the PCI and its unions. Powerful and intransigent factions of the Italian ruling class, as well as the American ruling class, were totally opposed to PCI participation in government. Moro became increasingly preoccupied with opposition to his policy. After being held captive for fifty five days, Moro's body was found in the trunk of a car on Rome's Via Caetani on 9 May, symbolically halfway between the headquarters of the Christian Democratic and Communist Parties. Significantly, in 1964 a secret plot called "Piano Solo" (Plan Solo), organised by the fascist, intelligence chief and carabinieri leader General De Lorenzo, called for the assassination of Moro, who had promised an "opening to the left" (i.e. the Socialist Party), a precursor of the "Historic Compromise." The planned coup was called off at the last minute due to a compromise between the Socialist Party and the Christian Democrats. De Lorenzo went on to create a secret organisation named "La Rosa Dei Venti" (Rose of the Winds), which aimed at grouping together those intransigently hostile to the PCI. This conspiracy was a direct precursor to the Strategy of Tension and was integrated into the NATO "stay behind" networks known in Italy as "Operation Gladio" (see note  below). In 1990, during renovation of an apartment on the Via Montenevoso, Rome (a so-called "lair" of the Red Brigades), photocopies of previously unknown letters written by Aldo Moro during his captivity were discovered, along with weapons and money. Despite being concealed behind a simple panel, the cache had not been discovered during a "thorough" search of the apartment twelve years previously. [J.B.]
- ^ On 4 August 1974 a bomb was placed on an Italicus express train, resulting in 12 deaths and 105 injuries. The bombing was carried out by "fascists". Behind these fascists were the puppet masters of the Masonic lodge and the effective parallel government of the time, P2 -- "Potere Due," a Masonic Lodge, the Grandmaster of which was Lucio Gelli, whose members where drawn from all the main political parties, except the Communists, and all the branches of the state, especially the military and secret services (and that counted one Silvio Berlusconi amongst its members). P2 for a time formed the effective parallel government of Italy. [J.B.]
- ^ On 28 May 1974 a bomb went off in Brescia during a trade union anti-fascist rally, leaving eight dead and over one hundred injured. The bombing was claimed by a previously unknown fascist group, Ordine Nero (Black Order), which was later exposed as a secret service front. [J.B.]
- ^ Anarchists initially accused of being behind the Piazza Fontana bombing. See note  above. [J.B.]
- ^ Allusion to the defence of the secret services carried out by Moro in Parliament when they were accused of supporting General de Lorenzo's failed coup d'etat in 1964 (T.N.).
- ^ Very powerful head of the State's oil enterprise (ENI) killed before 1968, in other words before the spectacle of terrorism (T.N.).
- ^ Didn't the bankrupt [Michele] Sindona, a notorious liar, quite recently set up his own abduction in the U.S.A. (to which he had fled) to avoid a trial where he was to answer for the bankruptcy of the Franklin bank? A so-called "proletarian" group claimed his kidnapping, but no one believed it, since in America the press had not yet been so tamed in this domain as in Italy (T.N.).
- ^ Giulio Andreotti (1919- ), Christian Democrat leader and many times President of Italy. In 1990, after a series of denials, then Prime Minister Andreotti made a partial admission of the existence of the secret NATO sponsored "stay behind" network code named "Operation Gladio" in Italy (after the two-sided Roman sword). In the initial agreement that formed NATO in 1949, there was a secret clause that required that, before a nation could join, it must establish its own national security service capable of "Civil Emergency Planning," that is, of "intervening effectively [...] in the event of external socialist aggression or internal political upheavals." As a result, Operation Gladio was formally established in 1956, involving American and domestic intelligence organisations, as well as committed "anti-communists." The latter group inevitably contained a significant number of fascists. Many were drawn from the ranks of veterans of Mussolini's last stand, the Salo Republic. Armed with weapons located in hundreds of secret arms dumps around the country, they were originally established to go into action in the event of an Eastern Bloc invasion or domestic "subversion." Andreotti -- a P2 member -- attempted to legitimise the Gladio Networks, in a clear damage-limitation exercise. Andreotti was implicated in the March 1979 murder of journalist, one-time P2 member and publisher of Osservatore Politico Mino Pecorelli, but was later cleared in court. Pecorelli had revealed details of the P2 conspiracy shortly before his assassination, in an attempt to blackmail participants. The week before his murder, Pecorelli ran the headline "Assassinations, bombings, coup attempts -- the shadow of freemasonry hovered over them all: from Piazza Fontana to the Occorsio murder, from the Borghese coup to kidnappings. . ." The "Borghese coup" was the 7 December 1970 coup d'etat attempted by Prince Valerio Borghese, a former WWII naval commander and the founder of National Front, a right-wing group. [J.B.]
- ^ Christian Democrat Party [J.B.]
- ^ Italian Communist Party [J.B.]
- ^ Enrico Berlinguer (1922-84), leader of the PCI during the 1970's. Advocate of so-called "Eurocommunism", meaning independence from Moscow -- even going so far as to advocate continued Italian membership of NATO -- and an openly reformist, social-democratic ideology and practice. [J.B.]
- ^ Who had to resign soon after for barefaced corruption (T.N.).
- ^ Benito Craxi (1934-2000), anti-Communist leader of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) from 1973 until his resignation in 1993, due to being implicated in the corruption scandals of the early 1990's. Sentenced to 14 years imprisonment while in exile in Tunisia, where he died. [J.B.]
- ^ Slogan[s] of the PCI (T.N.)
- ^ Extra-parliamentary Leftist group active from 1969 until 1976 [J.B.]
- ^ After the publication of this book, Negri paid dearly for the fact of having swallowed everything in connection with Moro (T.N.). Negri was arrested on 7 April 1979 and, along with dozens of other intellectuals involved in the Workers Autonomy movement, was accused of "armed insurrection against the powers of the State." Mass arrestes followed over the following months. To support these accusations, Negri's accusers portrayed him as the secret leader of the Red Brigades -- at one point accusing him of being directly involved in the Moro kidnapping, and even telephoning the Moro family on behalf of the RBs! After a four-year battle, which he waged from a jail cell, Negri was acquitted of all charges and released. When the Italian Chamber of Deputies subsequently voted to send him back to prison, he fled to France. In absentia, Negri was convicted of re-instated charges under (still in-effect) emergency laws that allow convictions solely based upon the testimony of accused persons who have "repented" their crimes and turned State's evidence. In 1997, in the hope that his action would bring an end to the decades-old deadlock, Negri returned to Italy and turned himself in. Granted no leniency whatsoever, he was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison, a sentence he began serving in July 1997. Negri has written his own reflections on the period in question, available in English in a collection of his more important earlier writings -- Revolution Retrieved (Red Notes, 1988). His more recent look at the same period is available on-line – Reviewing the experience of Italy in the 1970's. Some of Negri's writings can be found in English translation at the Class Against Class website. For a more balanced, though critical view of Negri and the Italian Autonomist movement than Sanguinetti's, see Steve Wright's Negri's Class Analysis: Italian Autonomist Theory in the Seventies and his book Storming Heaven: Class composition and the struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism (2002) [J.B.]
- ^ Guerchuni, arrested of course thanks to Azev, warmly recommended that his comrades place exactly this same Azev at the head of the Combat Organisation, and this in view of the courage and daring he had shown in transporting from Switzerland to Russia arms, explosives and publications of the party, whose Central Committee was still in exile in Geneva.
- ^ Reference to the wave of class struggle, and general social upheavals involving young workers, women and other groups. The gulf between this movement and the Italian Communist Party -- "The Party of Struggle," as the slogan went -- became increasingly obvious during this time, as the Party became engaged in ever-more desperate and futile attempts to gain access to central government. Finally, the PCI became the 'party of repression' (e.g. in Bologna during 1977, the PCI authorities sent in armoured cars to clear barricades set up after a young far-left militant was killed during clashes with the police.) When the Moro assassination of the following year saw the PCI's chances of participation in the central government evaporate, they became the most fanatical advocates of the persecution of the extra-parliamentary far-left, giving its full support to the extremely repressive "emergency legislation" and encourging party members to grass on militant workers and activists of the far-left. Sanguinetti examines the central role of the PCI in this judicial persecution in his 1980 Preface to the French Edition of On Terrorism [J.B.]
- ^ Mariano Rumor, a Christian Democrat politician [J.B.]
- ^ Reference to General Pinochet's US-backed coup d'etat in Chile in 1973, overthrowing the elected centre-left Popular Unity government led by Salvador Allende [J.B.]
- ^ Leonardo Sciascia (1921-89), Sicilian author of several short novels analysing post-war Italian society and politics, notably The Knight and Death, Equal Danger, The Day of the Owl and To Each His Own. Also author of the essay The Moro Affair, to which Sanguinetti is referring here. [J.B.]
- ^ Luigi Calabresi, the cop who was questioning Pinelli at the time of his "suicide," was assassinated outside his Milan home in May 1972. Initially, the finger was pointed at the extra-parliamentary Leftist group Lotta Continua. In 1974 two fascists, Gianni Nardi and Bruno Stefano, as well as a German woman, Gudrun Kiess, were charged with the murder of Calabresi, but the charges are later dropped without explanation. Nardi, the son of a billionaire industrialist and an associate of the state asset and neo-Nazi, Stefano delle Chiaie, was later killed in mysterious circumstances. In 1988, ex-Lotta Continua militants Adriano Sofri, Giorgio Pietrostefani and Ovidio Bompressi were arrested and charged with involvement in the assassination. A series of farcical trials, convictions and acquittals followed over the next decade. The charges were based on the accusations of their ex-comrade, Leonardo Marino, whose testimony was riddled with contradictions and outright lies. During the trials, it became clear that Marino had undergone extensive coaching by the police. The trio were eventually imprisoned for their supposed involvement in Calabresi's murder. During a ceremony inaugurating a bust to commemorate Calabresi outside Milan police headquarters in 1973, Gianfranco Bertoli, a self-proclaimed "individualist anarchist," threw a hand-grenade into the crowd, killing four bystanders. In 1990 would emerge that Bertoli had once worked for Italian military intelligence and was a member of the Gladio networks. [J.B.]
- ^ Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, millionaire publisher with Leftist sympathies. Killed in 1972, apparently during an attempt to blow up an electricity pylon on his own land, as part of an Armed Partisan Group (GAP) action. Sanguinetti is clearly casting doubt on this version of events, suspecting, like many others, that he had been assassinated. At the time of Feltrinelli's death, sections of the media insinuated that the Situationists might be behind his death, basing this disinformation on the fact that the Situationists, and Sanguinetti in particular, had had an acrimonious exchange with members of Feltrinelli's publishing house concerning the translation of some situationist publications. Feltrinelli wasn't the only publisher with radical sympathies to die in mysterious circumstances. In 1984 Gerard Lebovici, a prominent Parisian film producer and publisher who was personally and politically close to ex-Situationist Guy Debord, was shot by still unidentified assassins, Needless to say, sections of the French media lost no time in insinuating that Debord was behind the murder of his fried. For more on the assassination of Lebovici, see Jean-Francois Martos, Words and Bullets: the Condemned of the Lebovici Affair (1984), and Guy Debord, Considerations on the Assassination of Gerard Lebovici (1985). [J.B.]
- ^ This has been clearly verified since the publication of this book, by the waves of mass arrests of 7 April and 21 December 1979 (T.N.).
- ^ Regional administrators (T.N.).
- ^ There have been various attempts to explain state involvement in far-right terrorism in terms of infiltration of the state by fascists, the actions of so-called 'rouge elements', etc. Liberals and leftists are particularly keen on this sort of apologetic obfuscation. The Gladio revelations make clear that this is nonsense. A more accurate picture of events would been provided by the neo-fascist terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra: "every bombing in Italy after 1969 was linked to one group The orders are given by an apparatus belonging to the state, specifically by a secret parallel structure of the Interior Ministry." It should be noted that the objectives of far-right organisations are broadly identical to those leading the state, and that many of the supporters and activists of fascist organisations are drawn from the states' apparatus of repression, makes it very easy for them to be infiltrated and manipulated by state agents. [J.B.]
- ^ Defence Intelligence Service (Servizio Informazioni Difesa). The organisation was disbanded in 1977 after knowledge of its involvement in the Piazza Fontana bombing and other acts of terrorism became well known, with two organisations taking its place -- SISDE and SISMI. For more information, see note  below. In September 1974, General Vito Micelli was charged with involvement in a failed 1970 coup attempt by the veteran Fascist Valerio Borghese and state asset Stefano delle Chiaie's neo-Nazi Avanguardia Nazionale organisation. During his trial, Micelli defended himself, disclosing the existence of a "Parallel SID" formed as a result of a secret agreement with the United States within the framework of NATO (i.e. Operation Gladio). [J.B.]
- ^ Slogan of the PCI (T.N.).
- ^ Code of silence (T.N.).
- ^ In January 1970 Bombs, blood, capital appeared, a tract of Ludd's which openly accused the secret services of the massacre, the sole exception to the general rout.
- ^ Christian Democrat Minister (T.N.)
- ^ Armed Proletarian Nuclei.
- ^ This bloodthirsty spectacle was offered in a drip-feed, but repeatedly: when the police waited for Abatangelo outside the Florence bank and killed two of his comrades; when Mantini's sister was shot down in cold-blood in her secret hide-out in Rome, and in a dozen other cases. And they still perhaps want to have it believed that it is by chance, and not due to infiltration, that the "Benemerita" [Carabinieri - the national para-military police force] achieved these successes?
- ^ Salvano Girotto, an agent provocateur nicknamed "Brother Machine Gun" [J.B.]
- ^ Renato Curcio, co-founder of the Red Brigades. Arrested in 1974, an action that allowed Mario Moretti and his strategy of constant military escalation to dominate the group. It was suggested at the time, and subsequently confirmed, that Moretti was a CIA-connected agent provocateur. [J.B.]
- ^ Carabineri general in charge of "anti-terrorism" and credited with the defeat of the Red Brigades. Assassinated in 1982, ostensibly by the Mafia, shortly after giving evidence to the commission set up to investigate Moro's assassination. [J.B.]
- ^ Three of the official secret services, to which must be added UCIGOS, DIGOS and others secret enough for their names to remain unknown (T.N.). DIGOS (Direzione per le investigazoni generali e per le operazioni speciali) "anti-terrorist" police unit. SISDE (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democrarica -- Democratic Information and Security Service) the secret service of the Ministry of the Interior; SISME (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare -- Military Information and Security Service) the secret service of the Ministry of Defence. The Italian secret services have gone through a bewildering series of name changes in the post-war period, in response to revelations of their involvement in domestic terrorism and other scandals. SISDE and SISME were created in 1977, to replace the SID (Servizio Informazioni Difesa -- Defence Intelligence Service) the image of which had been damaged by revelations concerning involvement in the Piazza Fontana bombing. SID was created in 1965, having previously been known as SIFAR (Servizio Informazioni Forze Armate -- Armed Forces Information Service), the military intelligence service which was created in 1949. Due to their knowledge of "subversives", many of the personnel were drawn form the Fascist intelligence services such as SIM (Servizio Information Militari -- Military Information Service), a pattern repeated throughout occupied Europe. [J.B.]
- ^ On Terrorism and the State is but one chapter in a much longer book called Remedy to Everything, the subtitle of which was Discourses on the next chances of ruining capitalism in Italy. It was never published. The original Preface and On Terrorism were published together in 1979 with the full title On Terrorism and the State: the theory and practice of terrorism divulged for the first time. According to the publisher of the French edition, Gerard Lebovici, the sections of Remedy published as On Terrorism were incontestably of the greatest interest. Guy Debord, who collaborated with Sanguinetti after the dissolution of the Situationist International, of which they were both members, and who influenced Sanguinetti greatly, criticized On Terrorism as being "extremely deficient theoretically" along with its "pretentious tone...he has the insolence to treat -- and reduce to a ridiculous schemata -- the historical and strategic question of armed struggle in general and the particular case of all terrorism as it has existed in many diverse forms throughout history." [J.B.]
- ^ General Gianadelio Maletti, P2 member and former head of military counter-intelligence (SID) during the early 1970's. In 2001, during the trial of fascists implicated in the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, Maletti claimed that "The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left and, for this purpose, it may have made use of rightwing terrorism...I believe this is what happened in other countries as well." Maletti obviously had reason to focus attention on the American role in the Strategy of Tension, thereby downplaying the role of domestic forces [J.B.]
- ^ As if by some fortunate coincidence, whilst this book was being printed in French (1980), Craxi devised an attempt against himself (T.N.)
- ^ "I now am without stain before the throne." Biblical passage quoted by Bossuet in Oraisons Funebres. (T.N.)
- ^ 'Censor' (Gianfranco Sanguinetti), Rapporto Veridico sulle ultime opportunita di salvare il capitalismo in Italia, Milan, July 1975; second, third and fourth editions, Mursia, October 1975; also Prove dell 'inesistenza di Censor, enunciate dal suo autore, Milan, January 1976. These two texts have been published in French: Veridique Rapport sur les Dernieres Chances de Sauver Ie Capitalisme en Italia and Preuves de I'inexistence de Censor par son auteur, Paris, Champ Libre, 1976. (T.N.) Recently translated into English as The Real Report on the Last Chance to Save Capitalism in Italy (Flatland Books, 1997). See also NOT BORED!'s translation. [J.B.]
- ^ Cf. A. Ronchey, Accade in Italia, 1968-1977.
- ^ In English in the text (T.N.)
- ^ Cf. Notice to the proletariat on the events of the last hours, Rome, 7 April 1977.
- ^ Vittorio Occorsio, a judge, was shot dead in June 1976. The neo-Nazi group Ordine Nuovo (New Order) claimed responsibility, but Occorsio's on-going investigation into "fascist" terrorism had uncovered links between far-right groups, the secret state, organised crime and the Italian Masonic Lodge P2 [J.B.]
- ^ In their first major operation, the Red Brigades kidnapped Mario Sossi, a right-wing Genoese magistrate, who was held and then released without any concessions from the authorities. It was later revealed that the secret services planned to kidnap a left-wing lawyer in contact with the RBs, in order to force Sossi's release. [J.B.]
- ^ See note  above [J.B.]
- ^ "Things it is good to silence" (Dante)
- ^ Captain Antonino Labruna, fascist, P2 member and SID officer implicated in "the strategy of tension." Agent responsible for leasing directly with many of Italy's leading fascists, including the neo-Nazi Stefano delle Chiaie. [J.B.]
- ^ For its own house, for its own cause. (T.N.)
- ^ Paul-Louis Courier, Pamphlets politiques.
- ^ "You will be surprised, when you have reached the end, at not having convinced us of anything." Quotation from Paul-Louis Courier, in French in the text. (T.N.)
- ^ The revelations concerning the Masonic Lodge P2 and the Gladio networks were to confirm Sanguinetti's views. [J.B.]
- ^ Subsequent events were to prove Sanguinetti's prophecy grimly prescient. On 2 August 1980 a powerful bomb exploded in the second class waiting room at Bologna railway station, resulting in 85 deaths and 200 injuries. Fascists ostensibly carried out the bombing. A series of right-wingers were later convicted (and then acquitted). However, it soon became clear that more powerful interests lay behind the attack. It was established that the explosives used were from a Gladio arsenal, and subsequent investigations implicated the Masonic Lodge P2, and its Grand Master Lucio Gelli. [J.B.]
- ^ Cf. the manifesto distributed on 23 September 1977 in Bologna, Rome and Milan, entitled Benvenuti nella citta piu libera del mondo (Welcome to the freest city in the world).