LIFE AND DEATH
We must muster our strength and respond, respond to the hideous cavaliers of the apocalypse appearing on the horizon under a spring sky in fancy dress: clowns, ballerinas, even in workers’ overalls.
We must arm ourselves and be ready to respond in a not just adequate but excessive manner.We cannot guffaw louder than the guffaws of a clown, we cannot make a more agile piroette in front of the legs in movement of a ballerina followsing the music with perfect timing. Nor can we remind the betraying worker of having repudiated his class consciousness, as for a long time now there has been neither consciousness nor class.
Respond we must, but differently.
Once we thought the enemy wore the black clothes of the fascist, signs of death and battle to the last drop of blood, now we discover he just has the suspicious and rather surly, but only a little, face of the next door neighbour. Pennant with skulls and hobnailed clubs are no longer the trappings of the horsemen advancing on a horizon devoid of forboding stormclouds.
They don’t advance in compact lines, but in sparpaliate formations, they don’t recall at all the military spirit that they should and perhaps do still have, but that conceal it well under pacche paciose and condivisible projects. It is not race that camps in their discourse, but only fear of the illegal immigrant, not the different in skin but those who don’t have their papers in order, don’t have a job and don’t agree to obey the rules of the game, to courteously give way to the comfortable included or those aspiring to be such, carry their chains agilely, not letting them klink too much, waiting patiently for the necessary certificates to become ‘negri di cortile’, indispensable last reserve of the immense army of exploited.
It is no longer theories that leave marks of the whip on the back, the theory of dominion and the sign of God in whose name the infidels were to be defeated, but civil cohabitation, zebra crossings, recycle bins and differentiated collections. Whoever doesn’t enter this order of ideas has had themselves put out alone, does it for a residual of class consciousness (which reminds one more than anything of the tenebrous affairs of red riding hood and the wolf), or simply because he didn’t succeed in finding a piece of paper that legalises his situation with slave labour in time, it doesn’t matter: it’s sufficient not to find oneself on the wrong side side of the double white line, and you’re fired.
Who fixes these rules if not politics? Or, rather, the dissenati and sconci automats that rivestano political functions democratically conceded to them by the supreme popular will? But how is that possible if politics has had a coronary collapse and been put in a pharmacological coma?
In fact signals did reach us of this serious vital carenza of a now pluricentenarian monster, once firey aggressor of earthly and heavenly powers, today an ectoplasm with respiratory problems. And they were strong signals. From every side, from right to left (a manner of speaking, just so as not to lose the habit), signals and ineccepibili signals had arrived. So, alla resa dei conti, at the final conteggio of the last electoral pagliacciatain the real sense of the term si doveva trattare, could not fail to go on the more coherent piagliacci with their own canovaccio of comedians, and down those stammering the recital of the new copione, or remained imbambolati between old out of date slogans (and the substance of the reality)and new conditions, appunto pagliaccesche, capable of activating the stupid flock of delegates. It’s necessary to respond, now, not let oneself be ingannare by opportunistic attitudes, programmes that tanto also the other side (that conta parlare di left or right, are now only indications for scholastic walks) could propose more or less well, it’s necessary to respond before even this residual capacity for resistance is suffocated by the rising misery. Disamoramento produces disinterest, but also something worse, it produces a need to distract one’s attention, to stop reflecting about one’s problems and those of others, that which Pascal called divertissement, we send everything to hell and dedicate ourselves to the many occasions to placate our rage: music, cinema, sport, literature, even television. Come on, comrades, a government of pagliacci and clowns knows very well how to offer us pastimes, knows the dormitive importance of intrattenimento very well. The same clown nano in the lead is a gestore of public intrattenimenti and certainly a genius at his job. We can trust him.
Let’s try to go outside some factory, as we did once upon a time, and ask the workers, in a breathtakingly beautiful leaflet (just a few lines please), why they preferred the racism (declared this time) of the League to the traditional ‘left’ vote. If they don’t beat us up immediately or burst out into liberatory laughter, the resonse might be: but what left are we talking about, what racism, what leghisti? Someone promised something concrete, here, just round the corner, and we put our faith in this promise. Why should we have given it to another clown—because he was dressed in red perhaps? But do us a favour, piss off before we give you a kick in the arse.
And why blame them. Even the Calabrese brigands, who fought against the Pietmontese Bersaglieri after the so-called unity of Italy willingly accepted the help of the king of Naples, opportunely hidden under the Pope’s bed, and went into battle behind the labari of the madonnas, but only because they received concrete help in money, specialist Spanish support for their guerrila and weapons, whereas they had had nothing from Garibaldi but the fucilations of Bronte and unkept promises of land from the Sicilian and Calabrese latifundists. The same for the Vandea: why fight for the revolution of Paris that had imposed in the first place centralised taxes (before they were only local) and obligatory conscription—hitherto unknown , the cause of destruction and hunger for the peasants who no longer had anyone to work the fields apart from women, old men and children. This is not to justify the behavious of the workers, whose vote we don’t give a dry fig for, it is an attempt to understand what the situation is at the moment.
No workers, no more working class (we have known for a long time that our analyses had grown old in the religious silence of the pages that contain them), no class consciousness, no response fitting to a certain distribution of the means of production. Thanks to the new technologies, capital, with buona pace of all the analyses of Marx and comrades, has eliminated the concept of ‘terminal crisis’ and rendered useless any mole that is able to work in our place, i.e. in the place of the exploited capable of understanding their own exploitation, of rendering themselves conscious.
If in Switzerland the first strike of the International, organised by Bakunin, did not see the participation of the workers of the ‘factory’, that is the watch-makers, but only the labourers of the building sites (all foreign and precarious), the reason was that Bakuninist propaganda was aimed at this last strata of exploited and not the first, considered too integrated and privileged. It would be as if today we were to address our revolutionary propaganda to illegal immigrants and the prisoners of the detention centres, to realise our no longer prorogabile response and did not limit ourselves to a struggle against the real conditions of prison that these places bring about. But have we gone mad? Bakunin’s labourers were frontalieri and were only trying to improve their own working conditions, they were not ‘also’ struggling to get Swiss citizenship, which they wouldn’t have known what to do with.
Nothing fascinates the poor miserable, exploited and unstable, with famiglia a carico and a subisso of debts because obliged to follow the orders mediated by diligant consumerism, more than the decisionism of the governants. But this virile confirmation of the doti fattive of the maligno dwarf must be preceded by an opportune situation of instability, insecurity, dangerousness: