Ostrogoto [en]

The wolf, the wolf?


On 30 October the trial of the two anarchists accused of injuring the chief executive of Ansaldo Nuclear in Genoa May 7, 2012, began in the court of Genoa. The two accused were not in the courtroom for long, just enough time for them to start claiming responsibility for their action. Anyway, their written statements were made public a few hours later. So Alfredo Cospito and Nicola Gai are not innocent, they are not the victims of a police frame up. They actually waited outside the house of uranium trafficker Roberto Adinolfi to give him a little present of lead .
 They are guilty. Guilty of having gone to seek out the enemy, of having found him,  studied him, waited for him, and struck him. And of doing it alone, without any movement behind them – political, social or popular – that in some way legitimized the act. Alone, with their own conscience and determination. Let’s leave it at that, with the deed as it is, because we do not want to waste words about what happened in the days following May 7, 2012.
They were two anarchists. May the political hacks who immediately come out with conspiracy theories  “a comrade could never have done it … this is a provocation … imagine … it’s all the work of the secret services”, on such occasions, infesting a movement that is becoming more and more static, get used to it. Conspiracy theories, which have a long history, as Van der Lubbe* teaches us, are worth pausing to reflect upon for a moment.
Here in Italy this kind of conspiracy theory was amply fuelled in the early 70′s by a left that wanted to give an angelic vision of their own nature for fear of being drawn into the genesis of “terrorism”. This fear was due to the disbelief of the party bureaucrats and intellectuals concerning what was happening. It was a useful strategy to stem the possible generalization of acts that escaped their control, the result of their inability first to understand then to accept the depth and radical nature of the movement of revolt. They needed to find a rational explanation for the irrationality with which the subversive tension was expressing itself. Irrationality that consisted of groups of comrades going to the attack on the State without waiting for orders from above, i.e., their orders.
Think of what happened in the spring of 1972. In March, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli was found dead at the foot of a high-voltage pylon at Segrate [near Milan]. Could such a figure of the left intelligentsia possibly have been carrying out sabotage? Immediately there were those who spoke of a mise-en-scene concocted by the CIA. For some small brains, some withered hearts, it was inconceivable that the cultivated Milanese publisher could be commander Osvaldo.
A few months later, in May, there was the killing of Calabresi. A magnificent, exemplary act but responsibility for it was sought elsewhere by many. ‘It must have been the secret services, or the fascists … but it certainly cannot have been comrades.’ And why not? Why couldn’t a few comrades have found a weapon and waited for police inspector ‘Finestra’ [responsible for the defenestration of anarchist comrade Giuseppe Pinelli at the Milan police headquarters in 1969] at his address, which moreover was publicly known? This hypothesis could not even be taken into account because it would have marked the end of waiting that politics thrive on.
If each individual can act here and now, then what is the point of the assemblies and central committees? And what is the point of the fine intellectuals, so-called advisers to the prince-proletariat, like the Situationist Guy Debord who in the late 70s did not hesitate to make himself ridiculous by denouncing the Moro kidnapping and all of the Red Brigades as the work of the secret services? To get an idea of the radical nature of this critique, just think, the author of The Society of the Spectacle did no more than repeat what was being claimed at the time by the Italian Communist Party.
But it gets worse. This conspiracy theory reproduces verbatim the “Bazzi thesis” that unfortunately was widespread even among subversives in the 20s. Carlo Bazzi was a journalist who attributed the chain of attacks against the fascist hierarchs to Mussolini himself, who, he said, wanted to create terror at home and war abroad. Bazzi According to Bazzi the impossibility of finding explosive material, the lack of subversives in liberty, the guarded piazzas … were all proof that Mussolini was behind the anarchist bombings and therefore the various Lucetti, Zamboni, Bonomini were just “provocatori“. Only Carlo Bazzi was not a Stalinist struggling with a movement that was incomprehensible to him; he was a fascist, more or less faithful to the fascist regime. He only attributed responsibility for the attacks to Mussolini to spread poison and sow suspicion among the subversives, thus pushing them to resignation and inaction.
Now, this nasty habit of seeing the wolf’s tail everywhere did not die with the 70s but still persists today. As demonstrated by past and recent suspicion concerning sabotage that occurred in Val Susa, there is always some clever strategist in search of popularity that cannot stand individual initiative. But fortunately there are also always individuals who cannot stand collective dependency.
*Marinus van der Lubbe was a Dutch council communist convicted of, and executed for setting fire to the German Reichstag building on 27 February 1933. The Stalinists accused him of being in the service of nazism and began a great campaign of slander, even asking that he be condemned to death ‘for having worked against the proletariat’.
[Transl. by actforfree/sysiphus]