Against War, Against Peace, For The Social Revolution
The writings of Luigi Galleani that are presented in this new edition, are all published, together with others from the period 1915–18, in the volume Una battaglia, published by “l’Adunata dei Refrattari” in 1947, and three of them (to be exact, those entitled respectively “Per la guerra, per la neutralità, o per, la pace?”) were previously collected in a pamphlet, printed by the comrades of “l’Adunata” in 1929, under the title “Against war, against peace, for social revolution” and “Against war, against peace, for revolution”). Now, many years later, both the pamphlet and the volume have become bibliographical rarities. Since not all the comrades feel the same pleasure in the sometimes fatiguing, often unsuccessful search for such rarities, and since a reasoned reprinting of Galleani’s writings has not yet taken place (and I am among those who regret it very much), and seemed useful, — at a time when the theme of war and peace is running on everyone’s lips again, to put back into circulation some of the articles that our comrade dedicated to the subject, at a time when the First World War was raging and the cemeteries and hospices were filled with the dead and invalids, but also with confusion and misunderstandings in the heads of many revolutionaries, including some of the most notorious anarchists of the time.
The writings that follow, instead, present us with a Galleani as always lucid, timely and punctual, not only in the hot analysis of the political, social and economic situation, but also in grasping the errors and disbandments of the socialist and libertarian camp at the very moment they appeared, as and masterfully exemplified by the arguments with which he responds to Kropotkin’s warlike declarations. This real and proper requisition against the “pragmatist” temptations of the revolutionary movement (which readers will find in the article, or rather, in the articles collected under the title “For war, for neutrality, or for peace?”) is one of the most interesting parts still today to be proposed to the reflection of the comrades, and already too much has been written about the issue as a whole for me to return to it, if not to highlight a point that is particularly close to my heart.
Galleani himself, before examining and rebutting the warlike positions of Cipriani and Kropotkin, breaks a lance in favor of their good faith and feels compelled to justify his diversity of views (in other words, his consistency with the theory and practice of anarchism) with these words:
“Those are not worse than we are; we are not better, we are only farther away, in a less turbulent atmosphere; and from afar, the whole of the landscapes and phenomena is surprised in the broad outlines and essential relations without shadow and without deviation, while up the mind, up the soul, the wave that over there boils with all the passions! And it is clouded with every anxiety, dense with every disturbance, and with every aberration it is weak, weary, harmless, as if it were a pure cross between the two continents of all its bitterness, of all its ungrateful bitterness.
This type of reflection, in its general sense, could well be shared in many circumstances, but at this juncture, without wanting to seem presumptuous, I feel I must deny, and, better to say, correct the author himself, who, on this occasion, I think has allowed himself to be moved more than others by a feeling of modesty and a need for respect towards comrades who had given, in words and deeds, to the cause of the libertarian revolution, each one in half a century of commitment and reading.
The reason why Galleani, even if from far away America, among other things not yet directly involved in the conflict in the memo in which he wrote, is able to avoid and counteract the mistakes and skidding of Cipriani and Kropotkin, must be sought, in my opinion, precisely in a motivation of opposite character to the one he himself, ferociously put forward with too much generosity. He, in fact, was never the scholar and the theorist locked in his own intellectual universe, it was never the scientists of the revolution, who observed and weighed the evolution of the class clash in the aseptic, muffled and all summed up fictitious atmosphere of his own splendid isolation. Ferse for this reason never gave us (and probably today there will be no lack of those who are able to blame them) a pre-packaged system of his own thought, but only hot written testimonies, in the contemporaneity of the action and directly aimed at influencing, modifying and directing this action in its unfolding. In my opinion, the richness and the ever-present validity of his thought lies precisely in the fact that it was never separated from his personal participation in the events he dealt with, from his uninterrupted militancy within the most conscious part of the revolutionary class, from his willingness to immerse body and soul in the crucible of the social conflict in progress, from his willingness to get his hands dirty in the struggle or, in other words, lies in his ability never to disjoin thought and action, theory and practice, but instead to make them interact continuously, as phases of a single, inseparable process.
On the other hand, Galleani wasn’t even the adventurer ready to throw himself in any melee, the idealist a bit shaggy and confused ready to ride any tiger to give vent to his need to fight against the enemy, without often having clear who this enemy was and therefore risking, sometimes, to end up working, without even realizing it, just to... the King of Prussia.
His ability to grasp immediately, almost instinctively, the exact terms of the ruthless confrontation between reaction and revolution, between the ruling class and the oppressed class, is rooted in the fact that he has grasped with great clarity the irreconcilable class split that runs throughout the history of social confrontation and in the extreme consistency with which he always adhered to this simple and yet inalienable principle of anarchism, without which one risks getting lost in the mists of humanism, resisting the flattery of the apparent “concreteness” of the various pragmatism and rejecting the prosopopoeia of the many revisions to which more or less illustrious intellectuals have sought. to submit the linearity of this class concept.
It is the same Galleani himself who, in another point of the above mentioned writing, affirms how, outside of this clarity and coherence, any deviation becomes not only possible, but also logical and inevitable: “On the ground of compromises and so: moved the point of departure the deviations go going to the antithesis without losing the relative logical appearance. When you exclude the homeland, you are forced to say class, to see nothing more than social revolution.”
I did not want to point out this problem, which is not at all marginal as some would have us believe) for the sole purpose of showing off dialectics: the fact is that the reflection I wanted to conduct on the Galleani fits in perfectly with the current situation of the anarchist and libertarian movement. In her bosom, in fact, there is certainly no lack, in our days, of those who love to make more or less wise judgments about what they see happening from afar, with all the cold disdainfulness of those who, presuming to have imprisoned in their intellectual alembic the essence of truth, can take the measures of the world far and wide, without ever having to risk to wear their new shoes in the mud of the streets; as well as those comrades who, assigned to action as an end in itself an untouchable primacy, are ready to jump on all the wagons of passage and to support in fact the most disparate theories (or perhaps those that gather at that time the most consensus) in order to demonstrate their undoubted animosity.
And the trouble wouldn’t even be that big, if we could limit ourselves to roughly drawing a line that divides the “good” comrades from the “wrong” ones: what is more dangerous, and that this kind of behavior exerts or has exerted its charm. on each one of us and that in these mistakes is easy for anyone to slip, maybe armed with the best intentions of this world.
And these two cases, apparently so different from each other, if not even opposed, are, on closer inspection, only two sides of the same coin; in one case and another it is simply a matter of exchanging one’s desires, or one’s theoretical lucubrations, for reality. There is only one cause, and therefore also the cause, the same one indicated to us by Galleani, paraphrasing which we could say: when you exclude the class, you are forced to no longer see the social revolution. It is in this way that the way is opened to reformism, swamped under the most original and extravagant appearances or, for converse, to the machiavellisms typical of every Jacobinism.
In order to remain inherent to the theme of this book, which is that of war and peace, and to try to draw from it the most useful indications for the needs of the struggles we are carrying on today, I would like to invite comrades to reflect on the way in which such deviations are expressed today within the so-called anti-war movement, which seems to have acquired new impetus and seems destined to make more and more proselytes.
Such a consideration could only cheer us up, at least on a superficial examination. On the contrary, I am afraid that we should be concerned about the development of so many (and so varied) peace movements. This concern arises as soon as we reflect on the title that so effectively sums up the content of Galleani’s writings: against war, yes, but also against peace, let us not forget that. And it becomes more tangible if we come to understand how the so-called peace is nothing more, in our day and age, than seventy or forty years ago, than the concrete and lasting form of the interim-imperialist armed conflict, so much so that one might well say, paraphrasing a famous motto: if you want war, prepare peace. I will try to be clearer, as far as I am concerned, not to bore the readers too much with this preface.
There is no movement, group, party, government or gang of social criminals that has not put the word peace on its flag. The Italian government speaks of peace in the very act of sending its tanks and selected combat corpses to Lebanon, as in the moment of transforming south-eastern Sicily into an American atomic arsenal; the Israeli government speaks of peace as it orders the massacre of hundreds of women, old men and children in Palestinian refugee camps; The plenipotentiaries of the United States and the Soviet Union are talking about peace, as they prepare to deal with the number of nuclear warheads that everyone is prepared to install around the world; millions of young people, workers, men and women who do not realize that they are already the slaughterhouse meat of the current war are also talking about peace, much more naively.
Our first task must be to expose this colossal hoax. Not only because, as Galleani writes “we have never known what peace is!”; but also and above all because, by force of compromises, by force of “concreteness” and “practical sense”, the ruling class has succeeded in making its endemic need for geographically limited wars give the name of peace. That peace for whose “preservation” (what nonsense!) the European and American pacifist movements are now taking to the field is nothing more than war on a small scale, war far from the front door, war that one can pretend to ignore, letting the false conscience do its work of numbing individuals.
Today, the pacifist movements carry on their shoulders the very serious responsibility of being the advanced tip of the line that is fighting for the preservation of the social situation as it is. By shaking the spectre of nuclear war, power leverages the most atavistic sentiments of terror of individuals to make them forget that the risk of atomic conflict can only be eliminated by the destruction of power itself, by the overthrow of states and their criminal system of domination.
Whoever today keeps this truth, whatever the smokescreens with which he tries to cloud our brains, does nothing but work for the King of Prussia, does nothing more, realize or-or-no, than to contribute to the strengthening of that system of power that he has created and that increases the atomic arsenals.
The pages of Galleani collected in this volume remind us of something that we are all too often inclined to neglect, taken by quantitative cravings or blinded by the good will to do: for conscious revolutionaries there are no possible shortcuts or magic formulas to invent, the only way we can beat is that of the reality of the social clash in progress and the relationships of power that it determines, however unpopular or unprofitable this way may be.
Aggregating ourselves to carriages in which confusion is too often proportional to size, for the sole illusion of being so “among the masses” can only be counterproductive, alio the same way as all the supposedly “cunning” tactics with which, while we delude ourselves into opening up who knows what contradictions in the enemy camp, we do nothing but mystify the real terms of the clash, increasingly distancing its evolution in a revolutionary sense.
The only contradiction that we must put before the eyes of all, that we must work to deepen and make irremediable, in which we must act as propellers and detonators, and that which shows how the disappearance of war (and of that false peace which is nothing but the necessary continuation of it) is irreconcilable with the persistence of class domination and with all those structures and theories which, under any pretext, justify and perpetuate its existence. We must make it very clear that, paradoxical as it may seem, the best allies of warmongering states today are those who challenge them without putting their existence at stake, because in this way they endorse the mystification of a possible alternative within the existing state of affairs, misrepresenting the reality of the current clash. To propose again, under any semblance, the old fraud of the Popular Front, seeking tactical collusion with political and social forces! that we know are among the main enemies of any liberation process, would be today a suicide.
From a careful reading of the following pages, it will not be difficult for the comrades to draw precise indications about the role that the acting minorities are called to support in such as in other circumstances. What are the most suitable tools and ways to perform this role today, is not a question that can be dealt with here: it is up to the movement to know how to build the opportunities and means. So, to finish, I will limit myself to extrapolating a few lines from the writings presented here, arranging myself then, together with the other companions, to the task of giving a concrete answer to the question that concludes them: “Experience leaves the furrow, and in that furrow vigils the weed of inertia only because no one has sown any more seed; and despair and torment, anguish, resignation and sloth only because responsibilities evade, energies and forces are ignored, and ends are not glimpsed; but give responsibility a semblance, give awareness to strength, give it a light, give it a goal, and you will have made despair the audacity, resignation the heroism, sloth the revolt, deb vassal a sanctum, (....) of the Bastille a pile of ruins; and of the war the social revolution. Who’s gonna keep an eye on the cyclops?”
Forli, July 1983
1861 He was born on August 12 in Vercelli, where he attended high school.
1881 He enrolled at the University of Turin which he attended for only two years.
1883 He collaborated with the newspaper “L’Operaio” published in Vercelli. After the “Libero operaio” and finally, always in Vercelli, he founded the newspaper “La boje! On July 23rd he was sentenced to 3 months for “duel” always connected to his militant activity.
1887 Around this time he took part in the “Gazzetta operaia” and on his inspiration the socialist circle “Difesa del lavoro” and the “Lega dei lavoratori” were founded in Vercelli, based on the principles of workers’ resistance and organisation. In order to advance the concept of worker resistance and to promote a unified movement among the masses of workers in the area, in the summer of that year, he held a large round of conferences among the workers of the Biella area. Around September of the same year, his writings appear on the “Workers’ Beam” where he remarks the importance of abstentionism. He is sentenced to seven days, again for political reasons, on the charge of “having moved on to a de facto route”.
1888 He made several propaganda tours in several important centres in Piedmont with the aim of creating organisations sensitive to anarchist demands and therefore led to direct strikes and proletarian agitations towards libertarian objectives while pushing the anarchist ideal.
In June of the same year he took part in the organization of strikes in Turin. His tactic of insertion to the workers’ base that constituted the organizational network of the POI was supported by the “Workers’ Gazette” and at its closure, after repeated seizures, by the “New Workers’ Gazette” that immediately replaced it. In September of the same year he participated in the IV Congress of the Partite Operaio, held in Bologna, as representative of the “Nuova Gazzetta operaia”, of the “Questione sociale” of Florence and of the “Lega dei lavoratori” of Vercelli, section of the POL But in that Congress, despite his skilful oratory, Galleani was unable to bring the POI to the positions of electoral abstentionism and revolutionary positions.
1889 Galleani did not give up and, in June of that year, we see him at the head of the grandiose strikes in Turin that led to the solidarity of many categories of workers. Wanted by the police headquarters in Turin as one of the major perpetrators of the unrest, Galleani took refuge in France, where he met the chemist E. Molinari and Amilcare Cipriani.
1890 He was arrested in France for his further “subversive” activity. He stays 4 months in jail without trial. He’s being released. He moved to Switzerland where he is a guest of Elie and Elisée Reclus. At the end of October, he was arrested by the Swiss police and handed over to the Italian police. Later, at the amnesty of November 23rd, he was released.
1891 In January-Participation in the Congress of Capolago where he approaches the positions of Malatesta. Great controversy with the reformist currents of the workers’ movement on the occasion of the international meeting for workers’ rights held at the Cannobiana Theatre in Milan, where he presented an ode in favour of participation in the May Day event, seen as an example of the “international solidarity of the working people”. Following a protest demonstration by the unemployed in Alexandria, he was arrested and sentenced to 3 months in prison and a fine of 50 lire. After serving his sentence, he moves to Sampierdarena.
1892 He took part, together with Pietro Gori, in the Congress of Genoa, where he made a heated speech in favour of abstentionism. After the split from the Socialists, Galleani continued his propaganda in various towns, and especially in the Genoa area. He contributes to the newspaper “Il Carbonaio” of Genoa and, sporadically, to the “Indipendente” and “Caffaro”, also of Genoa.
1894 Together with A. Pellaco tries to create a unitary association of the anarchists of Genoa. For this reason, together with 34 other comrades, he was arrested and sentenced to 3 years for “conspiracy”, plus 5 years of forced residence. Pietro Gori was his lawyer. Discounted the prison, is sent to the forced home on the island of Pantelleria.
1897 Still in Pantelleria, he refused the offer of a candidacy-protest that would have allowed him to regain his freedom.
1899 To a new proposal for candidacy-protest, and against them in general, to support and reaffirm the vitality of the anarchist movement, to support anti-legalitarianism and anti-parliamentarianism, from his forced home he puts forward the idea of the publication of a single issue: “The Dead”. The newspaper was in fact published in November of that year, in Ancona, with an editorial by Luigi Galleani on the front page. At the end of the same year he managed to escape from the island and settled in Cairo for about a year.
1901 In early October it reaches the United States. He immediately made contact with the anarchists of the area, especially the emigrants, and took over the direction of “La Questione sociale” which was published in Paterson.
1902 Also in the same city, in June of that year, he led the grandiose and violent general strike and, during the demonstrations, was wounded at the mouth by a gunshot. He is sent to Montreal, Canada, from where he continues his collaboration with the newspaper.
1903 He returned to the United States under the false name of Luigi Pimpino and settled in Barre. In the summer of that same year the publication of the periodical “Cronaca subversiva” began, which will be published for 16 years in the United States and then for almost a year in Turin.
1906 The police discovered his hideout in Barre, extradited him to New Jersey, where he was arrested in December.
1907 At the trial, the jury could not agree on a unanimous verdict and Galleani was released in April.
Between 1907 and 1919, he undertook several battles with the “Subversive Chronicle”, including one against the methods used in the Mexican revolution by Madero but also against Zapata himself. On the occasion of the war in Libya, it intensifies the fight against nationalism and militarism. During this period, he was also denounced by the Italian judiciary for his articles on “L’agitatore” and “Volontà”. As the First World War approached, it sided against interventionism, thus entering into great contrasts with Kropotkin and Cipriani who had declared themselves for intervention in that war. He increases his interventions in the United States by fighting against military conscription and war. He is repeatedly accused of “incitement to rebellion”.
1919 His action during the war years resulted in his expulsion from the United States and deportation to Italy for “reasons of public order”. In July he arrived in Genoa and, given his poor health, he retired to the countryside for a short period.
1920 He moved to Turin and began publishing the Italian edition of the “Cronaca subversiva”, which could only be published for nine months. In September, in fact, Galleani is again indicted for an article entitled “Brother Soldier”.
1922 After two years of absconding, on October 18, he presented himself at the police headquarters in Turin, a few days before the trial, and on October 28 he was sentenced to 1 year and 2 months, then subjected to special surveillance.
Between 1922 and 1927 he was again sentenced to another 6 months in prison for “having received subversive publications”.
1927 He was sent to the island of Lipari for confinement.
1930 Due to his very advanced age, he is released on liberty.
1931 He died in Caprigliola, in the province of Massa Carrara, on November 4.
For the war,
for neutrality, or for peace?
For the war, meanwhile, no.
No war, wherever or however it’s lit.
Yesterday’s aversion — in which everyone, at least on this side of the barricade, was communicated, and in which irreducible, do not persist, today that the anarchists emerged slowly, painfully, from half a century of disenchantment that of mockery, of hunger, of chains repay the sacrifice of the harrowing generation from which the unity, the independence of the homeland had been built; hardened to the criticism that from disillusionment erupted unripe and inexorable to search for the desolating causes, has become more tenacious, unshakable today than to wars, to all wars, however disguised, lacks the ideal content than to assertors, confessors, to the heralds and soldiers of the idea and the national cause gave the generous nostalgia of the Holocaust, the tenacity that did not abdicate before the executioner, betrayal, misfortune and in Mantua, Brescia, Novara, Aspromonte, Montana found in the misfortune reason for the unanimous solidarity consensus and renewed victorious courage.
The war is no more today than a stock exchange operation, a business, on whose cloudy windings the faces of civilization, the labors of progress, the national pride are overturned to hide the inconfessable and shameless fraud, to reap the sack, for the size, for the fortune of the great thieves the necessary tribute of energy and blood that the proletariat alone can give and, though docile, though late, would not otherwise give with ardor, self-sacrifice, the blind impetus that is an essential condition for success.
Civil longings, intolerance of foreign tyrannies, tremors of national resurrection the wars that have been bloodying the old and new world for twenty years? China’s war against Japan in 1895; the war of the United States against Spain in 1898; England’s war against the Boers in 1899; coalition Europe
against the Chinese Empire in 1900; Japan’s war against Russia in 1904; Italy’s war against Turkey in 1911; the Balkan States last year; now, the one that burns in the old continent? I When are the organizers of the paradoxical carnage themselves conceding — and it is, moreover, also to the less shrewd ones confirmed by the immediate experience — that the monopoly of the commercial financial industrial markets of Korea, Manchuria, China, Cuba, the Transvaal, or the hoarding of the Sirti to the rapt speculations of the Banco di Roma, will now come out of the competitions? When does the presumption of England, France, Belgium, Germany, Germany, America to bring beyond their borders other civilizations than extortion, exploitation, corruption, drowns in the Concentration Camps of the Transvaal as in the Congo, in the Republican horrors of Tonkino or Madagascar as in the Puritan Inquisition of the Philippines, and takes on the sense of an atrocious impudent irony towards autocratic Russia and pellagrosa and illiterate Italy?
Pirates, jackals, usurped purse-snatchers, shopkeepers, priests, suppliers, gamblers, and gamblers, who are panting, dividing the tenth of the profits they have earned, the wars of today and tomorrow, the wars of every nation and every race, every land and every continent.
Dividends, usuries, tithes are cut only on Job’s back, whether he is black or white or yellow, whether he was born under the cross, the crescent moon, the tricolour, whether he is held to the laxity by his master by Cecco Beppe or Guglielmine, Gennariello, Wilson or Poincaré.
And to put to Job the alternative of being for or against war would seem idle without the sophistry that descends from the most diverse parchments and tribunes, maramal or naive, to swindle its good faith, to shake its inertia made up of distrust much more than sloth, to upset its simple souls and sincere judgments.
So much sophistry! How many, to excuse the frail deeds, to hide the brazen defections!
Let us leave as a gang the scoundrels who change their conscience according to who change their master, and faith, ideals and enthusiasm draw on the crib and measure them against the blame. Insurrectionists, anti-patriots, anti-racists to the point of resigning oneself to the legendary German stick in the brains of the foreign invasion, yesterday — when they filled the bowl of daily slop, licked the ass of their “comrades” — are nationalists, patriots, warmongering today that the nationalism of the homeland has hired them to shoot guns of the gang, prepare the litter to their vanity, and compensates of the loaf of bread the treads that in the midst of us has harvested their equivocal and mercantile revolving. Lansquenets of those who pay them, they barter their bread with conscious lies and with professional victuals, too foreign to any shudder of feeling so that their loudly blunders, their inverted somersaults, their shameless faces can move more than with compassion or disgust, so that their mercenary chameleonism, their desperate intellectual and moral latitude, even if they pose as philosophers and censors, can have weight in a sincere debate.
People pass by and nostril-tighten us, too.
If only there was dissension, no one would have noticed!
But the war was before and before everything the sudden and definitive liquidation of militant socialism. The great industrialists of Westphalia, Saxony, Silesia in the deadly war on industry1i in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester — who in the fierce competition of the two antagonistic industries and the fundamental reason for the bitter European conflict — certainly did not dream of having allies in the deadly war between the parliamentary representatives of the German proletariat, in William of Hohenzollern to have Narrow at his side, more trustworthy and more devoted than his Hussars of the Guard, the century of socialist deputies to the Reichstag.
Not even a shadow of a contrast, not even the slightest attempt at opposition: Deutschland über alles! The great German homeland above all; while on the other side of the border, the extreme socialist who still dared to oppose the Chamber on 7 July to the approval of the four hundred thousand francs balanced for Poincaré’s visit to Petersburg, no longer finds a man to remember socialist internationalism, to remember, in the imminence of war, the shameful speeches and heretical agendas acclaimed at the meeting of the Secretariat of the International Socialist Party in Brussels the week before.
Not one, not even Hervè.
The man who had abandoned their lords’ homeland on the dunghill, crying out under the serenity of the goodness that the French proletariat would respond with insurrection to the declaration of war, inscribed among his social duties, at the first flash of the hurricane, that of reassuring the government “that there would not be a general strike against the threatened war, that there would not be a general insurrectional strike once war was declared.
That the socialists, the trade unionists, the libertarians would march like one man to the frontier giving the nationalists the example of courage and discipline, trusting in the Republic’s concern for women and children”.
A shrewd ministerial reshuffle has defeated any distant threat of opposition. On August 26, Viviani recomposed his ministry by calling the representatives of the different gradations of radical and unified socialism: Jules Guesde, Marcel Sembat, Bienvenu Martin, Gaston Thompson, Alexandre Millerand, Aristide Briand, Victor Augagneur, etc. On the one hand, the opposition was silenced by taking the less docile leaders hostage to the government, and on the other hand, the Socialist Party was held responsible for the war and its fate, to which the destinies, the fortunes of the Bank of France, Creuzot, Chatillon Commentry, Credit Lyonnais, great finance and great French industry are so closely linked.
If the bourgeoisie has never been so ruffled, the socialist opposition could not have been more oblique nor more stupid.
In England socialism was in the ranks, dispersed and Sana the only dissenting voice, that of Keir Hardie, as in France, vox clamantis in the desert, soon suffocated by the insane cry of the crowds: in Berlin! In Berlin, the lone voice of protest from some anarchist newspaper didn’t vibrate.
In Belgium socialism was at the border, for the homeland, in arms and luggage.
In Italy Machiavelleggia.
The minor part which, on the road to Damascus, has been repeating for years, at every crisis, its homages to the dominant class in its most august symbol, and for the war, for the conquest of Trento and Trieste, for the annexation of Albania, for the claim of Tunis, Malta, Corsica, Nice, the four fifths of Europe; the major part and for the war as well. It is not those who do not see that the neutrality imposed on the government is only a shrewd alibi. The dynastic treaties have linked the political fates of the Italian people to those of the central governments, against tradition, against history, against the living protests of an anguished recent historical past, against the implicit renunciation of the integration of national unity; and the socialist policy and against Austria against Germany, rebelling against the commitments” made by the government with the triple alliance. But it is clear that it would be with the government for the war against Austria, for the Italian redemption of Istria and Trentino; not against the war in s6 and for itself, not against the war that, by reconfirming the irreconcilable interests of capitalism and the proletariat in the name of the homeland or the lineage, oblitera denies and perverts all the criticism, the soul, the action, the very reason for being, the socialist aspiration and the proletarian emancipation.
We are not dealing here with the usual case of aberration or individual corruption: we are dealing with the failure of a method.
Socialism has its reason for being in the economic fact of the irreducibility of the antagonism between proletarian and bourgeois interests; and movement of struggle and class redemption, and if this redemption is subordinated to the destruction of the economic monopoly and the political privilege of the bourgeoisie, it is not necessary to spend a word to show that the socialist movement will be a revolutionary movement not only because its remote aspiration is revolutionary, but because it is revolutionary of all the daily irreconcilabilities it must necessarily be at its work every hour of every day.
A socialism which, in the remote expectation of the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, intends to make ends meet as little as possible, and establishes, on the basis of assiduous compromises in the Municipality, in the Province, in the Parliament, in the most difficult labor markets, any kind of cooperation in view of the conservation of the liberty hitherto conquered, and social order, albeit provisional, in which the gradual intellectual and moral elevation of the proletariat matures, and socialist movement that reabsorbs itself without thinking it, without realizing it, without wanting to, in the old democracy against which it had risen, protest and reaction. It is the socialist movement that, after the flashing and persecuted period of the origins, and came, crosses the cooperation reconciling with the capital, crosses the parliament reconciling with the state, crosses the mental reserves reconciling with the church, disarming the suspicions of all the institutions of order and enabling, crosses the renunciation, to take in the government of public affairs the political succession that the old parties threaten to compromise and subvert with their absurd and obstinate immobility.
Excite, exasperate this action with the flattery of a convenient participation in the government business, with the bait of the major influences connected to it, and the involution will be precipitated by the concern of tomorrow’s responsibilities.
How can we wonder if, having reached the threshold of power, these people, who for thirty years have spent their intelligence, study, speech, and tenacity to persuade us that our interests were not the interests of our masters; that they were other, different, opposing, irreconcilable, taking the interests of our masters; that they could not take advantage of each other, triumph, except over the defeat of the ruling class, because there is no margin, neutral earthly ones on which to form an alliance, to come to a compromise; and inspired us the suspicion, grafted on to distrust, imposed divorce from every political party to which the class had to oppose the identity of economic interests, surrounded by a solidarity, a force that no force could resist — then came from tumble to tumble to tell us that in the name of lineage or civilization or homeland those interests could be, had to be reconciled and confused: that in the name of the nation or of civilization or of the fatherland, the masters, the exploiters, those who live by our sweat and hail on our servitude, could also, if they were born here from the Soča or from the Brenner Pass, be our brothers; and that the wretched, even the wretched of our own misery, of our own abjection, could be our enemies in spite of the identity of destiny and the solidarity of interests, if they were born, if they were camped beyond Kvarner, because beyond that, though they are as painful as we are, the progeny of servants have another flag, another king. And it is the Austria of Franz Joseph of Hapsburg, while we, we are the Italy of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy. And that it is sad, and miserable, but we must, we vilified, we exploited, we ragamuffins who have never seen each other, who have felt like brothers even ignoring each other, venturing on each other, cutting our throats without mercy or mercy if a contrast flashes between Gennariello and Cecco Beppe, If between the masters beyond, who for the builders of their fortune never had nothing but contempt, jail, tread in the belly, and those on this side, who in our skin have cut off omnipotence and blasphemy, the stupidest complaint of junkmen is lit.
The proletariat, who took on the Eucharist of the International for an hour, a citizen for an hour of the universal homeland, rejoined among the narrow confines of the people, reconciles with its millenarian torturer, dresses his livery, belts his arms and insignia, defeats him by singing his enemies, happy to give his life, the bread of his triumph for the people, the homeland, civilization, without even remembering that of his three stepmothers and the bastard three times disowned.
He has accustomed us to the Elysée and the Quirinal, socialism well thought out; we have seen the desolate whispering of the miserable at the funerals of Umberto di Savoia and Cardinal Bonomelli; he has cleverly led us to Chalons and Draveil in the socialist massacres of the breadless; We can well see him taken on with Millerand to the supreme magistracy of war, yearning with Bissolati, with Turati, with Ferri, with the various snotty Corridoni — reconciled in the great name of the country — in Trento in Trieste, to the organized extermination of the wretched on both sides of the border.
In the name of the Fatherland and civilization...
One understands that, set aside in the sophism of civilization, the reasons for the war could not interest the proletariat.
Where did civilization ever meet the pariahs? From whence and when did it fall on their pale fronts! did the dews and hopes of the resurrection reappear?
Thus, they do not communicate the servants in the enthusiasm of their lords even if they suffer, once again, desperate uncertain deserts the violence of a destiny against which they do not have the necessary Concorde force to arise.
It’s by academics, by doctrinaires, by politicians. It is roaring out of churches, councils, consecrated areopagos of science, literature, art, the protest against the barbaric warrior of the bloodlines; and because it is blind, obtuse and beastly, it awaits with every duce at the shadow of every flag, with Lord Kitchener consecrated knight in the exotic massacres and recurrences of the Dark Continent; with Joffre, the gloomy survivor of the restoration of 1871; with the Czar’s Cosacks grown in the assiduous pogroms, in the systematic massacres of old women and children, to the great war, to the great glory on the western camps; With the two emperors, the one bent under half a century of infamy of hanging crimes of carnage, the other prone to the daily torture of the crowds indocile to his game — science, art and poetry, to the vast horizon torn by reckless investigation in the darkness of dogma and mystery, to the vast human drama bleeding in every heart, beyond every frontier of time and space, to the great human hope freed from stupid predestinations to the conquest of truth, beauty, justice, redemption, have put a bleak end. The bitter and greedy hermit of the Indigenous, shameless courtesans of merchants and brewers.
Gabriele D’Annunzio our “for the oak and for the laurel and for the flashing iron, for victory and for glory and joy”, invokes pronubo to the fortunes of the new Italy — the Italy of Bava Beccaris and of Piazza del Pane — high guardian of the fati, Dante Alighieri, speaking with little respect; while from London Rudyard Kipling another larger, more assiduous tribute of average blood of children asks the womb of British mothers to save the homeland that the Huns of the twentieth century want to reduce, humiliate, to a dark German province; and Maurizio Maeterlink, the pure and fine and meek poet of children and simple people, in front of him the heartbreak of his heroic Flemish land, not against the horrendous fetishes that bend to their ominous yoke, before the foreigner, the subject and the citizen, poisons the poisoned giambo, but to the people the inexorable resolution acclaims: the wrecking of the wicked irresistible deep secret forces that innervate all the German soul and want to be crushed under the heel without mercy, because no human power can mantle them, mitigate them, drag them on the path of progress, not even with more severe glue than the lessons, and want to be destroyed like a wasp’s nest that we know will never be able to change into a nest of beneficial bees and industrious.
Let a thousand years of civilization pass, thousands of years of peace with all possible refinements of art and culture: The German spirit will remain unchanged, always ready to explode as soon as the occasion arises, seize the same aspects, with the same infamy” for this war, the war of today, is the shock of two fundamental currents of the soul, of the world: one dark of iniquity, injustice, tyranny; the other yearning for freedom, life, the right to joy.
Almost two millennia have passed from Tacitus to Maeterlink, but in the mind of the Flemish poet, of the many who follow in his footsteps and divide his horrors, Germany has remained as it was in Tacitus’ time “all wooded with horrors and swamps, among which the people continue, as then, to raise cattle on the same land as every other civilized softness, ferocious at war, greedy for prey, drunk, The historian’s doubt that the historian feared if the Germans had the face of men and limbs and the heart of beasts, as they did then and today they dare not exclude Maeterlink, D’Annunzio and Rudyard Kipling, who, in the name of the civilization of the right to life and joy, deplore its final extermination.
We must be fair: on the other side of the border there are no less anathemas: Barbarism and England. The hypocritical Pharisaism of England, envious of German greatness and power, must be blamed for the war that devastates the continent. Roentgen throws into the basket of war funds the medal awarded him by the British Royal Society for the discovery of X-rays; Ernesto Haeckel and Rodolfo Euchen, who are without contrast the broadest minds, the most generous hearts, the most shining glories of the modern scientific world, in the name of all men of letters and science of the old. Germany, denounce in the “Wossische Zeitung” of Berlin the hypocritical pharisaism of England that has taken away the pretext from the invasion of Belgium necessary to Germany (!) to vent its brutal national selfishness, the ancient hatred and envy of the march that it broods of the greatness of Germany that it would like to destroy without regard to rights, without regard to morality or immorality, for its exclusive advantage.
“Depressing spectacle” — comments Frank Jewet Mather of Princeton University — “that of two great thinkers, both great cosmopolitan figures, who indulge in a violent, inconsiderate and malignant nationalism... breaking a bond that between the two peoples had tightened through the influence that Goethe had exerted on Carlyle and Carlyle on two generations of Englishmen, and through the triumph that Darwinian doctrines had ensured in Germany the temerity and pertinence of German scientists when in England Thomas Huxley fought with dubious fortune to obtain any consideration”.
All the sadder the spectacle that from the bitter contest the perfidious nationalism of the four great homelands in arms, draws the oblique justification of its beastly fury of extermination and desolation. They defend the glory of wise men, thinkers, poets, German culture, the yellow ulans, the gloomy hussars of death, the forty-two-inch fold of the Kaiser! They bring the bitter grin and fine irony of Schopenhauer and Arrigo Heine through the archaic streets of Louvain and Bruges! And on the paradoxical British dreadnought of fifty thousand tons, he starts again the conquest of the world, which for two centuries vibrates on his word and his passion, William Shakespeare; Darwin starts to revive his serene joy in the confusion of dogmas and councils that have been destroyed. Beyond the Vistula they do not carry the torment, the anguish of the immense ruin the Cossacks of the Don, they carry on the spades the tormenting doubt of Tzernichewsky, the heretical annunciations of Turghenieff, resigned or cunning the gospel of Tolstoy; while the red legions of the Third Republic rebelled on the massacres of Ypres for the converted voice of Anatole France, the passion of liberty, the vow of brotherhood that the ancient regime dismayed in every land, that to the sorrowful servants of every country, had thrown, dying, the first!
And all the more inauspicious is the abdication, the miserable dedication, which slowly penetrate the new voices through the proletarian racist consciousness of millennia of renewed devotion, the unusual voices and the ungrateful reckless spirit of independence and freedom. They change creeds and saints, but faith remains blind to the flashes of remote truths inaccessible to the universal consciousness. We swear today in Galileo, in Newton, in Laplace’s and Darwin’s theory, as we swore yesterday on the words of Mose, Genesis and the Syllabus. Science has remained a mystery, the privilege scarce knowledge, the wise a priest and a prophet? and when the war massacres the ruin are invoked, it needs supreme health, from Anatole France or Massimo Gorky, from Haeckel, from Rudyard Kipling or Gabriele D’Annunzio, from the flower of intellect, conscience, love, pride, glory of every lineage, May the servants, closed by the daily yoke out of the life that trembles and pulsates and searches and hopes, on the furrow, down in the mine, for the workshops, perennial filth of darkness, the machine, the wind and the sea, may have the servants the freedom to disagree, the right to arise, to escape at the worst in late common sense or in the proud presumption that — relegated they too to the world, no doubt better but just as exclusive as speculation and abstraction, just as deaf to blasphemies, expletives, threats that burst forth and cross each other on the everlasting and irreconcilable shock, On the cute competition on the despicable vulgarity of small daily interests, are aesthetes and wise men so removed from every light, from every freedom to judge the great collective hurricanes as the people to discern in the inviolate enigma of the universe, in the closed mystery of the origins?
— They have studied and learned, they know for themselves what millennia of history, millions of inhabitants of the planet have never glimpsed; to the truth they have given the rays, to progress they alone have given wings. The Civil Olympics are numbered and titled by their glorious names; they cannot wander, and wandered as well, we could not be surprised at the truth that had been” denied to them.
And when for war and the vast consent of the elected, when against unanimity, no great voice arises, none of the great voices that in the tragic hours of common destiny awaken echoes beyond the oceans, beyond the continents, beyond the centuries; And it does not ring in the corrupted sky, for the intoxicated souls of passion and perdition, that your defiant, feeble and uncertain protest, for war must be even if it wants new and more exaggerated tributes of misery, horrendous tributes of blood and tears, and, more inexorable than any curse of Leviticus, it will condemn to servitude and weeping the children, and the children of children how far the memory of the irredeemable human ferocity will last through the centuries; for the war are all; not without reason, of course.
We have to bow our heads; we have to be for the war too...
— It’s the roar of the herd.
— It is the cry of every soul, irresistible; it searches even in your midst every heart, it shakes every faith, it disturbs every mind, it troubles every conscience, it undermines and subverts the edifice of doctrine; and like the thunderbolt of Damascus on the path of redemptive expectations.
You pass, though disdainful, through the lice in the busca of a faith and a master who contracts it for the swill; you pass, though disdainful, through the lazzy and mercenary clientele who, saving their bellies, conscripts to the risks of war, the skin of others; through the weak, lazy, too lazy, too squalid to have the courage or the strength of a thought, of a will of their own, overwhelmed today by the storm in the common delirium; But if beyond the oblique or fragile ranks of the minor apostates on the ways of war you find Amilcare Cipriani and Peter Kropotkin grieving that the seventy years old take away from them to take up a carbine and march against the enemy, you will certainly not say that one lacks the firmness of will, to the other the sagacity, the sincerity to both of them of the consent to the great war, and of the fervent and steadfast vow so that over the feudal Teutonic barbarity the connected armies of France and England, Belgium, Russia and Japan may triumph.
— We found on the way to the Great War, erect against us, beyond the short ranks of the apostates minor, Amilcare Cipriani and Peter Kropotkin, whose mental probity and adamantine sincerity no one will ever dare to challenge.
We were attracted by the meeting, it did not stir us up, nor did it make us feel toothless: against the war today as yesterday, as always, wherever and however it is lit or has to be lit!
And we will give you the following chapters our modest reasons.
Let us immediately make a statement as sincere as necessary; we have no idolatries, no stagnant devotions, no blind fetishes; But we do not even have the remotest nostalgia for the Inquisition and we do not know what to do with the skin of those who, in the midst of the more or less subversive phalanges of the international proletariat, have been overwhelmed by the river and unable to stand upright, to recommend their heads on their shoulders, and, inside, free their reason, serene their judgment, they have in the drunken chorus pitied their hymn to war, their fervent appeal to the great civil crusade against the intrusive feudal Teutonic barbarity. To interfere would be unfair: not only is it not for everyone, but it is not even of all hours, it is not of all problems, even less of the problems that appear impetuous, flattering with irresistible pride, threatening with ineffable horrors, fraught with painful contradictions, the mental independence, the moral courage, the anguished insurrection against the blaze of an epic conventional lie and the dazzling re-enactment of a traditionalism warped in martyrdom and self-denial, daring and heroism; against the sudden regurgitation of collective states of mind just overtaken, always vibrant, always alive under the hot ashes; against the cry of the flock that burst out blind, violent, incoercible at the call: courage and independence tempered by intimate doubt before the brutal outward overwhelming, and a fundamental condition of judgment that will be dispassionate and serene as much as the passion will be extraneous if not superior.
Because we are not particularly touched by the grace, we who today can effortlessly escape from the abyss into which others have thrown the shaggy baggage of their convictions into a desperate eclipse of the densest, most galliard, brightest, though painful pin of their lives. Those are not worse than us, we are not better, we are just more alders, in a less turbulent atmosphere; and from afar the set of landscapes and phenomena is surprised in the broad outlines and essential relationships without shadows and without deviations, while on the mind, on the soul, the wave that over there boils with all the passions and is clouded with every anxiety, dense with every disturbance and every aberration, is weak, tired, harmless, as if purified across the two continents of all its bitterness, all its ungrateful bitterness.
They can twist your lips in a grimace of supreme disgust, the disgust, the disgusting lug, the impudent somersault” of the histrionics that yesterday from the Dionysian cusps of egoist-anarchism mocked the sloppy, oblique audience of Nazi and democratic hybridizations, and today, for fear or for the tip, to the democratic war and the triumphs of Christianity, rebelled under the barbaric menace, alio Stato — yesterday’s ludibrio and mockery, today’s area and unmarketable garrison — conscript sycophant and warrior royal prefectures.
But if it appears to you suddenly before you, magnificent ruin of an era that in history has become light through martyrdom and heroism, exuberant with all the strength, vibrant with all the faith, when faith confessed in the gallows between the rope the iron and lead, if it appears to you tomorrow white, white, engraved with wrinkles, the wrinkles of Noumea di Porto Longone and Regina Coeli, serene in the big lion’s eyes, the figure of Amilcare Cipriani too wide to be forced into the short and sullen creed, too high to be forced into the short and sullen creed because he can be closed under the hood of the coven, and Amilcare Cipriani who has numbered the dianas of every war for half a century, has lived the anguished trials, has always had in his retina the horrendous flash, in his heart the fratricidal thrill; And he tells you, he tells you, that beyond the immense massacres beyond the immense ruin of every war, of every battle, he glimpses, bloody, distant, and though fatal, the dawn of the great Eucharist of brotherhood and love, that you must take back the sack, the carbine, give again the enthusiasm, the youth, the life, to save the conserved destiny of civilization and France from the conserved threat of Germany and imperial feudalism, you can neither disdain nor pity.
— No one dares her, no one could, without sacrilege, because she easily understands everyone who does not desert France today the man who in Garibaldi’s red phalanges shielded her chest between Montretout and Autun, forty-three years ago. He would not desert France, he would not desert the republic today Amilcare Cipriani, he would deny all his past running between the victorious propitiations of Dijon and the communal atoning; and of that past he h. the perpetual and resigned prisoner. He is bound to you more firmly than any bond of his impenitent magnanimity in Romagna, so that to the abandonment, to the ingratitude to baseness, one can only respond with the irresistible, impetuous and oblique spontaneity of sacrifice: in Bordeaux he repays the self-sacrifice, the disinterest and the heroism of the red shirts, the rogue republican clergy, with their mockery and banishment. It’s only natural. Can the rogue clergy do anything else? But to the appeal of the threatened republic, of the adoptive homeland in distress, the survivors of Satory and Pere Lachaise tomati from New Caledonia, can only respond by marching in the vanguard; can a Garibaldian do anything else?
And the only regret of the old Amilcare Cipriani in this hour of passion, and that the wound of Domokos takes away from him today “as in 1870, he was the embankment of his breast to republican France against militarist imperialism”.
Do not torment him with hateful questions that would not crush his immovable devotion. Don’t ask him, who escaped yesterday from the pincers of the Republican Inquisition and from the revenge of French militarism, whether imperialism as minting and gallows, the imperialism that arm itself only for the pickpocketing of high finance is not on the ruins of the Bastille camped sly cynical voraciously so solidly at least that in the Frankfurt ghetto, in the steelworks of Essen or in the barracks of Strasburgoo in Berlin. Do not ask him if he has ever dared to Piombi, alio Spielberg the imperial and royal Austrian Chancellery what the seasoned ethereal homelands of Villa Ludovisi have dared to Regina Coeli, searching the heart and brain of the poor Acciarito to madness; he has not despaired of his homeland at Aspromonte in Mentana in Porto Longone; France did not despair in front of the firing squad, did not despair in Noumea, and France and for him the republic guillotining with Capeto the noble monarchies and shouting the declaration of rights, while Germany remained in him in spite of John Leyda and communist Anabaptism, in spite of his 1848, in spite of Fichte, Marx or Haeckel, the Germany of Barbarossa and Bismark, the grace of God and exceptional laws: “va ‘n po’ la, burdlass that the Germans, boja d’...
Twenty-five years of swirling existence spent on the ideal when the ideal was the homeland, his or others’; twenty-five years he spent in jail. Returning to the world, after a quarter of a century of eclipse, he sees in the enemy — who in the five turbulent and changed lusters — the legendary features and returns to the implacable traditional phobias.
How can you stone him if the little garzoncelli of subversive aestheticism who in their seminars have wasted their intellect and health looking at their navel, the center of the universe gravitating modestly around the immense vanity of their erudite misery, draw the horoscopes of the people, and they close you in the same garibaldine simplicity — with less sincerity — that, in every house, and from whatever point of view the European conflict wants to judge itself, strength will be to recognize that the struggle is between feudalism and industrialism, between imperialism and intellectualism. Feudalism and imperialism set aside between the Kaiser’s howlers, industrialism and intellectualism garrisoned by George V’s Indus, the Czar’s Cossacks and the dragoons of the bourse republic.
As if feudalism, moving from the first of the orders, from the neghittous, corrupt, imbecile aristocracy, to the restless, greedy, corrupting third state, had changed more than skin and rituals, and to a more wicked vassalage than the saddest days of the ancient regime had not subjugated every order of society where big industry, high finance has more agile the instrument of production and more racist, more ancient, more experienced the accomplice organization.
“Even the most ignorant man in financial matters cannot escape a legitimate apprehension thinking that France’s eight billion metal reserves are in the coffers of a few large banks, which is to say at the discretion of a very small number of financiers who, apart from any question of probity or dishonesty, have at their disposal, without the slightest control, the most formidable means of action that exists from the economic, political and social point of view”.
So, not a subversive, but a former president of the Council of Ministers, a ruffled financier, a conservative shrewd to all caution, even if rusty of all prejudices, a patriotic maniac, Meline, outlines in the “République Francaise”, the new feudalism much more inauspicious than that of the Kaiser, just as disastrous to vassals — and the most wretched vassals, we are the servants, always, unchanged — when across the frontier the feudalism of the Krupps, the Bayers, the Deutsche Banck and the various Discount Gesellshaft consecrating in Germany, as elsewhere similar institutions of privilege, the monopoly of the new lords, the lords of the dollar, the lords of the dividend, the lords of usury and the billion, who succeeded the lords of the earth, the grace of God, the crusades, equally idle, equally voracious; equally exaggerated to those who work, to those who sweat, to those who create, to those who groan in every country, among every people, in the shadow accomplice of every flag, so that today we can say France or Germany or England or Italy, because to the glory of a name to which reality does not correspond, which indeed screams the most violent of antinomies; because to the triumph of a symbol of ideal commonalities and traditional solidarity that dissolve in the most ferocious antagonism, enthusiasm and the holocaust are invoked on this side of the barricade.
There is no more France-, there are, beyond Cenisio, the Bank of France, Rotschild or Schneider, and their lax artisans and peasants dying of hunger, drowning, fattening them, in ignorance, in abjection and pain; There is no more Germany, there are shameless gangs of great corsairs on the other side of the Rhine or the Moselle, who compete for the race on the beach, on the beach, on the market, on the sack, and who want from the ankylosed miners, from the smiths, from the anemic weavers, from the pellagrous peasants of Silesia of Westphalia, the last drop of blood and the last wheeze. They have created with their work, with their sweat, with their fasting, too abundant the starving, too much unpaid wealth, they must now give their skin to tear into the ranks of other servants who guard them ignorant and jealous, the markets of the world.
And so, it is everywhere, across the Vistula, across the Channel, across the Alps, across the ocean.
There’s no more homeland.
Their lords sell it to those who pay the most: the outcasts, the derelicts, the bastards of every country want to build the universe and free homeland, without hatreds or borders where love and freedom find refuge, radiate joy.
No one has the right to remain silent, to hide the iconoclastic truth from the wretched, and the heralds of international brotherhood have no right to disturb, to divert the proletarian conscience at its first steps from the harsh path that is uncertain and unsafe.
It is their task to enlighten it, to support it by the steep steepness; and Cyprian and Kropotkin are wrong to sacrifice to the ephemeral fever, full of disenchantment, of feeling, the teaching of reason and history.
Kropotkin, no. Kropotkin finds no extenuating circumstances except in the sentimental impulsiveness that will be his misfortune or his fortune, but for which, if you find in the morning papers the echo of a plebeian insurrection, he sets his intimate hopes on fire at the usual prediction of the imminent social revolution, with the same imprint with which he extinguishes them at sunset if the newspapers bring him the new evil that the movement has been suffocated and order restored.
Of these dizzying climacteric oscillations, he is a habitual recidivist.
In March 1904 the sudden outbreak of war between Russia and Japan hastily drew the horoscope of the revolution that, unfortunately and for reasons beyond and beyond pure accident, will not ignite in the economic field even the current war from the outcome of which — victorious in all probability for the allied powers — the hypothesis of a political revolution subverting the Tsarism that from the long war and its bloody triumphs will arise predictably restored, rehabilitated, expert.
And still three years ago, closed to the severe warnings of history one ear, closed the other to the voices of his vast and ancient experience, he did not put his hurray! to that of the freebooters who praised the Mexican social revolution from the comfortable safe kennels, which is not — and has never appeared as clear as it is these days — but a shady competition of vulgar appetites, of shameless adventurers, of inconfessable interests from Huerta, to Carranza, to Villa, in Zapata, in Morgan, in Harriman, in Wilson, in Hearst, — are they all raging from every lair a little bit, to which, indifferent or suspicious, the Mexican proletariat remains, however, stubbornly foreign, devastated to the point of abjection by the surviving industrial Middle Ages and by some centuries of intensive religious culture?
That’s the way it is; and always the man who, firing his first articles thirty years ago at the “Revolte”, saw the revolution break every minute from the pores, from the outrage of collective life, and gathering a decade later his last studies in the “Conquest of the Bread” saw at least as far away as the new ice age the revolution of the servants, in which he always believes, and whose advent, which is better, he works with his formidable strength and with unchanged fervor.
Violent and fleeting crisis of feeling on which, under the impact of the immediate consequences, his domination the reason.
But in the meantime, disastrous.
Disastrous. He reaps the mortifying testimony of these days.
None of the great newspapers that presume to keep their readers up to date with what is happening in the field of science, literature, and the arts, has ever shown that they have noticed him, his prodigious fifty years of research, investigation, and noble toil from which have flourished literary, philosophical, and scientific works that would be enough for the glory of a less unorthodox scientist: “The mutual support” and the study of “Russian Literature”.
They have never taken care of it; they have around his work his name; warp agrees the conspiracy of silence not to break it but to denounce the instigators of it to the international police.
They raise him on the shields, today that he and for the war, today that he is for France for England for Russia against the Teutonic barbarity, all the pennivendolo that he knows tied to the flocks of high finance, that he, Kropotkin, has branded in recent articles on “The War” as the worst scoundrel who has ever been fattened by the misery of the ruin of the massacre of poor simple and good people that he, Kropotkin, warned, a few months are, not to be dazzled by appearances, not to believe in the deep political causes, the national hatreds with which you try; to justify any war which is never more than a conspiracy drenched in a handful of high-class thieves.
And Kropotkin is not a man to be deluded into believing that it is late in repairing the conspiracy to forget this sudden and posthumous apologia. Certainly not to his acumen, his doctrine, his culture, his pride, his generous dream — to which he gave the price of the jail of Peter Paul and Clairvaux, the price of a perpetual ban from all the land, his whole life — he blesses the brothel press and purse-snatcher; He blesses his contradiction, he blesses Kropotkin who repudiates the warrior hymn for France and the republic and drowns in the democratic lie of nationality and homeland, class struggle, proletarian solidarity, social revolution, anarchy.
Tribbling, grinning, grinning.
The young men who awakened from their torpor and from oblique conventionalism freed themselves from the magical caress of his word, and in the mysterious delubriousness that the Ignatians guard their wealth and joy, and from the humble they demand from the humble, the perennial tribute, the sweat of every toil, the tears of every pain, the blood of every holocaust, They saw his sacrilegious white hands tearing from the tabernacle, worshipping his accomplices’ veils, stripping bare the nefarious fraud that sells joy to idleness, the balance of justice to thieves, the gospel to the Pharisees, order to murderers, mercy to the executioner, and an unending handful of vermin and scoundrels, the greatest and most worthy of mankind.
Did he not, then, have us in the torpid viluppage of history, which unravels our acumen and courage in its riddles, did he not teach us to discern beyond all frontiers of tradition, faith, language, friends, and enemies? How many irreconcilable enemies on this side of the frontier have the bond of faith, of language, of tradition, of every community brutally broken, building on our squalor their insolent fortune, on our servitude their tyranny, on our abjection their pride, on the destruction of our flesh, souls, our hearts, their privilege?
Enemies with whom, not that peace, no truce and possible, will ever be hoped for until the fruits of thought, of human work — a condition or Guarentigia of civilization, of progress that in time and space have no boundary — are not from the claw of the hoarder’s hub, exasperated, resigned, patrimony of all, instrument of the regeneration of all, an instrument of freedom and well-being of all?
How many brothers and sisters on this side and on the other side of every frontier, born on the same litter, raised in the same darkness, torn by the same anguish, standing under the same cross, have, in spite of different traditions, faith, language, different flags, identity of interests, solidarity of hope and destiny?
He, with a fervent voice with pertinence that no one knew more alive more stubbornly, disarming the fratricidal hatreds he thickened in expiatory hurricanes on the secular enemy the inexhaustible fury; He, with the seer’s broad gesture, on the slow sinking of every barrier, pointed out to us the only limit on the horizon of the great redeemed homeland of tomorrow; he, crying out to us the holy war of final liberation, disciplined the instinctive reluctance of the exploited, and made them meet every war of robbery and extermination.
Because in the name of the homeland, a liar symbol of a traditional commonality that badly hides the desperate antagonism of interests that tears each lineage apart; For in the name of a civilization erected on nequizia, on lies, on fraud, he asks us today for a truce from the oppressors, hatred from the oppressed, the exploited, the brothers of whom, in the name of a greater civilization, of a greater homeland, yesterday propitiated the irresistible Eucharist, and before our souls, uncertain in the whirlwind, he evokes today, guardian of every civil flame, truculent the other of every gallows, the ghosts of France and Germany when he told us, yesterday as well, that Germany greedy for war and unscrupulous Germany of the Bank, of the Stock Exchange, of the Krupp, that France ready for war and France who bartered the Declaration of Rights for the shares of Creuzot, of Credit Lyonnais, of the Bank of France; And to make the war of the financiers of the bankers of the bankers of the great shipowners of the great suppliers, on this side and on the M of the Rhine, and to pay the price m so many youths, in so much blood, in so many bitter morsels of bread, are the homeless the homeless the homeless the breadless of the two nations?
Surely he is not the man of yesterday’s judgement, which he expressed so wisely with such unscrupulous courage in a serene mind: he is certainly today the man of yesterday, and where his judgement has not been overwhelmed by the impetus of the crazy cyclone, the man of yesterday and the man of today must have, good or poor, their reason if they suddenly find themselves facing each other, one on one side, the other on the opposite side of the barricade.
Comrade Peter Kropotkin — whose readers know, for essays that the “Cronaca” has recently published, the acute analysis of modern international conflicts — summarizes in a unique fact, of exclusive national character, the original causes of the war present in the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine to the Germanic empire in 1871.
There, all the excitement of war.
Because, the need to maintain its dominion over the two provinces, violently usurped, has pushed Germany towards the paradoxical armaments which, constituting a constant threat to peace and European equilibrium, have led to the militarization of the entire old continent, a constant eve of arms that year after year has gone on to become the exclusive concern of every state, making any further progress, any life of thought, any proletarian attempt at emancipation, impossible.
Fixing with such naïve candor the causes of the war, to comrade Kropotkin the reasons to take sides for France, England and, necessarily, for Russia against the two central empires, are no longer lacking; and although — as if to appease a remorse — he hopes that “the workers may learn from war which and how much part to play in unleashing the armed conflicts between the different nations, the state exercises the capital” he considers the first duty of every man of liberty and progress “of the proletarians conscripted under the banners of the International Labor Standards above all, to do everything in their power and according to their respective capacities to crush this invader”.
Germany in Metz, an entrenched camp with aggressive intentions, can on the same day of the declaration of war venture two hundred and fifty thousand men over Paris. And under such conditions, not only is France not free to draw on its own development, but workers in Belgium from France from Switzerland from the Netherlands will never be able, under such conditions, to start a liberation movement.
Feudal Germany would come down en masse to crush them.
And all the emails of German imperialism were there! What’s worse: Russian autocratism daringly tomatoes the reaction, the compulsory military service established in almost all the nations of the West: in Germany itself the survival of outdated feudal institutions, the constitutional derision of a parliament enslaved to the monarch, the warlike fury of lightning and menace, repeat only by the provocative attitudes of imperial Germany their cause and their reason.
Woe betide if you don’t make embankment, immediately, to the river: Holland, Belgium, eastern France, Finland, Denmark will be tomorrow German provinces. Antwerp and Calais will tomorrow be the naval bases of the new military operations that will put England at the mercy of the Kaiser, making it impossible, in the perennial threat, even in the United Kingdom, to make any civil life throb.
It should not be forgotten that Germany alone or with the accord of Russia has never cultivated anything but hatred for the France of the Revolution and has always been the gendarme, the instrument of all restoration; and that we Italians should particularly remember that “in 1860, when the Hapsburgs and Lorraine were driven out of Tuscany, Modena, Parma and Florence became the capital of Italy, we found in Germany the most tenacious opposition”.
In conclusion, warns the Kropotkin, if in the common effort of all the nations of Europe Germany is not crushed, we will have, if not more, another half century of reaction.
These, faithfully deduced from his letter to Professor Steffen in the “Freedom” of last October, the arguments of comrade Kropotkin who, stirring the spectre of the German imperialist reaction against which he would like — along with the phalanges of the allies, the dragons of the republic and the Czar Cossacks — to oppose the fervent coalition of all men of liberty, of the International Labor Party, before any other, and forced to foresee from the comrades an anxiety and an objection.
— But can it be a sincere crusade of civilization and liberty that has the banners on the forehead and the sword in the scales and in the game, the decisive stakes, the Cossack hordes of the Little Father? And in the hands of the autocracy, the Holy Synod, the Hundred Blacks, the Duma — a constitutional mockery at least as much as the Reichstag — will the destinies of civilization and freedom be better off than under the cannons of the Krupp and the heels of the Kaiser? And do you not prepare yourself, old comrade enchanted under the gusts of the most painful experience, still an atrocious disillusionment, the mortal disillusionment of which is drunk in history every proletarian generation heaving to reconstruct on the ruin of a tyranny the fortune of a more exaggerated, more infamous tyranny?
— Don’t go down! — reassures the good Kropotkin in whom intimate desire rises to the solemn safety of the Vatican. — Don’t be alarmed! “Those who follow the Russian revolutionary movement attentively and studiously can tell you what the feeling of modern Russia is and can assure you that under no circumstances will the autocracy be restored to the forms that existed before 1905, and that a Russian constitution will never take on the imperialist forms and spirit that the parliamentary regime in Germany did and did.
The broad consensus that Kropotkin’s statements received in the cenacles of democratic liberalism explains in itself the sense of painful astonishment with which they were received by the comrades. They do not ignore, and have explained to a certain extent, their preferences for traditions, culture and the French proletariat.
He had quenched his thirst, young, at the superb sources of 18th century philosophy Peter Kropotkin who came to the revolutionary movement under the caress of the voices, the memories, the men of the glorious Commune; and, by the same geographical nature of the revolutionary movement, with intellectual and proletarian France he cultivated for forty years assiduous familiarity of relationships. They would never have predicted, however, that the old official melancholy of the Cossacks of Love had survived so long that it would become daylight, and that the declared anti-militarism, with the excitement of the friends of France — who had bitterly repudiated it in peace and quiet — would not oppose the law on the three-year stay, and they were entitled to believe that the aspirations of the musicians towards the spa and freedom he saw in any Russian constitution, unlike the German constitution immune from imperialist leprosy, an obstacle at least as arduous, as erect as in the autocracy, always surviving and vigorous.
But so much so; on the ground of compromises and so on: moved the starting point the deviations are going to spread to the antithesis without losing the relative logical appearance. When you exclude the homeland you are forced to say class, to see no more than the social revolution; when, on the other hand, wild antagonisms collide in the shadow of the ethnic symbol you rebuild the fictitious and absurd unity that you call France or Germany or Russia or Italy, you obliterate, without even realizing it, the process of differentiation in which the social revolution is taking place. symbol had gone dissolute, and of the nation you will have back the pride and anxieties, hatreds and loves, in solidarity with orders instituted interests that repulse you, armed meeting brothers of whom you would not know ‘ disown in time and space the identity of fate and destiny; squalid fantasies of a democracy that you have spent the best of life to defeat, soldiers of the Kaiser or Czar when you thought you had no more enthusiasm and blood than for the social revolution — ‘ le. German socialists, French anti-militarists, Italian trade unionists and... Peter Kropotkin.
It is the logic of contradiction, which is in principle.
Seeking out who started the war is both idle and sterile. Kropotkin, who blames Germany for it, sees Keir Hardie and Bernard Shaw rise up against it, accusing the government of their own country, England; while in France the Delaisi, after the rescission of the Franco-German union for the Baghdad railway, followed by the Anglo-French military convention of the Delcasse, strengthened by the law on the three-year standstill, gives the character of a real provocation to the war; and against Kropotkin that the hour of war sees the completion of the Kiel Canal, others, not without foundation, believe that England urgently needed to surprise Germany before it had exhausted its naval program of 1915 from which the disproportion between the two rival fleets would be mitigated.
We would sail into the sea of conjecture and hypothesis without hope of reaching positive conclusions. The treaties of alliance, the military conventions, the financial combinations that for every war are the necessary preliminary warp, are stipulated, they are consumed in the closed and grim circles of the court, between the States, in the credit institutions directly concerned and equally barred to any unhealthy plebeian investigation. The so-called nation, the contributors and voters, the generals and deputies, ignore it as we do, and as for the last-minute deceptions, it teaches the war of 1871 that a few decades must pass before the public can see it.
All that is left of the positive, the real, the tangible, is the blissful abyss of armaments in which, not Germany alone, but all the governments of the old and new world, from England to Japan, have plunged every generous resource for thirty years.
— Ineluctable reaction to the German armaments flattened against Western civilization, interrupts the Kropotkin.
— Even Japan, even China, even Spain and the two Americas? we would ask him if we did not know that no one knows better than he does what the task of the great armies and formidable armies is today, that on morsels of bread and with the blood of the dispossessed they cram governments into the service of insatiable capital.
That no government has dared to push armaments to the paroxysm drawn from the Germanic empire, and truth that Kropotkin must be credited with; but between General Von Bernhardi who dreams for the German homeland a civil mission to which the sword can only tear the path6 and Paul Louis who in a recent study highlights the industrial power achieved by Germany in the last forty years, different presumptions that imply the same need, We incline on the luminous footsteps marked by Kropotkin himself to induce that to find an outlet for these treasures of the homeland industry, to conquer and protect the colonial markets, so that the Kaiser’s army and Tarmata would gather against the competitors that the ways of the formidable conquest had to barricade.
6 F. V. Bernhardi: “Germany and net war”, p. 258.
The more the war is delineated in its fundamental objectives, between the direct and real antagonists, our hypothesis finds more and more vast and decisive confirmation. We will say more: the real reasons for the war, its characters and its unconfessed aims, jump suddenly and irrecusable even to those who close their eyes to not see.
The war that is between France and Germany; and it does not appear, no, the clash of England, area of the constitutional pact, against Germany, guardian of divine law; but savage competition from two exasperated merchants, one of whom has held the dominion of the seas, the monopoly of the international market, the other from his lands, his mines, his prodigious workshops, his sweat, his toil, and the squalid resignation of his servants, has overwhelmed him in forty years and wants to contend for the secular lordship of the seas and markets.
A shameless pirate’s harbor so remote, so foreign to any concern of civilization and barbarism that not against German feudalism — changed name and mask of feudalism and of every land from Nicholas II’s Russia to Rockefeller’s and Wilson’s Spain of Alfoncito or Air America — but against, the intrusive, incoercible German industry, the anathemas and cannons of the allies are pinned; against Germany which has progressed, against Germany which thirty years ago extracted seventy million tons of fuel from its mines and now spills two hundred and thirty million on the market; against Germany, which in the last thirty years has increased from one to three the production of iron, from one to seven the production of cast iron, from one to eighteen the production of steel, to twenty-five billion its traffic with foreign countries, which in 1875 did not draw on the eight billion; against the made in Germany for the made in England, and the war that tears the old continent, as we will explain better in the following chapter.
But in the meantime, what do they have to see, what do they have to share with these bandits of finance and the stock market, Comrade Kropotkin, the men of liberty, the proletarians from across the Channel or the Rhine?
In the search for the mysterious and profound causes that may have determined the current European conflict, we have seen most of the comrades and domali on our side, from P. Kropotkin to Bataille Syndicaliste” draw criteria, data, figures from the studies and air work of Francis Delaisi. Not only because in matters of finance — the premise of every war — he is a recognized competence, not only because he is politically an unscrupulous man always willing to plunge his hands into the complicated deception of the big financiers, of the big pickpockets to show how you get rid of the pockets of direct and indirect taxpayers, the greedy genius is yoking the political machinery of the state, and is in fact, in the shadow of the republican judiciary, the only true all-powerful government of France; But also and above all because no one like him has known from the van symptoms unnoticed or neglected draw with wonderful intuition, since 1911, of the present war, of its primary phases, such a lucid and so sure prediction.
“Talking about a possible, probable, imminent war seems crazy at first sight” — wrote Francis Delaisi in “La guerre qui vient”, three years ago — “and certainly if one only consulted popular sentiment in all the countries of the world, it would not be to be feared. The German proletarians have no desire other than to target our own... the great mass of English workers are asking only to work with peace of mind in the fields, in warehouses, on construction sites; and as for the French, workers or peasants, proletarians or bourgeois, internationalist socialists or radical patriots, they have only one desire: peace.
Everything would be fine, and we could rest assured that if the people were masters of their destinies...
Unfortunately, no people in any country in the world makes its foreign policy”.
After demonstrating that this function remains the prerogative of diplomacy, cleverly chosen among the aristocrats of name and money, to serve the financial oligarchy that rules the country; that the ministerial responsibility is a mockery, that the parliamentary questioning is a mockery, that the great press and the stock pickpocket crowd, and that in these conditions “in our shady democracy a war can be unbridled, you plunge the country into the most terrible adventure by a man or a small camorra of financiers”; after having demonstrated the Anglo-French intrigues of Delcassé that there is nothing reckless in his statements, the Delaisi continued:
“A terrible war is being prepared between England and Germany. On all points of the globe the two opponents measure and threaten each other. The accidents on the Baghdad railway and the Flushing fortifications show how acute the crisis has become.
To fight, the two powers need France: Germany needs French gold, England, which has no resident armies, needs French troops.
The French Government and therefore the arbiter of the situation: do not give William the money, do not give George V the soldiers, and peace will be almost assured. Instead, the French Government is negotiating a military convention with England, and if it is signed, we (the French) will have to go and have our heads broken in Belgium’s plans to ensure that the people of London are in possession of Antwerp, and we will suddenly be exposed to the dangers of a German invasion.
In a few weeks, perhaps, the financiers of France will have sold the skin of a hundred thousand Frenchmen for some Turkish or Ethiopian railway. It is the “memento” — the Delaisi, he said at the time, in 1911 — “and the memento for those who do not want to be treated like cattle, to open their eyes, to consider coldly the situation in Europe and see the dangerous intrigue into which the financial oligarchy is preparing to plunge them”.
But the reasons for the Anglo-German conflict?
“Once upon a time, nations were peasant peoples, and it was peasant politics that of their leaders. The conflicts were border conflicts; wars, annexation or conquest: Napoleon annexed Belgium, Bismarck Alsace and Lorraine...
Everything changed today. The great European nations are governed by businessmen: bankers, industrialists, shopkeepers, exporters. The purpose of these people is to find an outlet for their rails, their settlers, their capital.
Our great modern oligarchies don’t know what to do with their subjects, they want customers. Business people, business wars.”
So in this case.
“England, a boulder of iron on a boulder of coal, has been the queen of the industrial world throughout the 19th century. She had the ore with which machines are made, the coal with which they are activated, the means to develop an incomparable industrial mechanism, while the sea around her allowed her to develop a navy without equal...; she was the undisputed mistress of world trade”. To reproduce it in full is not possible to me: the proportions of this study would be upset, and these considerations that of the great war, of its intimate reasons, of its characters, do not want to be more than a sincere reflection, more than a modest analysis in contrast to the epic lies and fraudulent trappings with which it is recommended to the enthusiasms and consents of the naive and betrayed masses, would become eternal.
I therefore condense Delaisi’s facts and arguments, striving to be rigidly faithful and to always make it possible for me to convey his thoughts, the factors and terms of the industrial antagonism that he highlights and on which assides the present war determinant causes, the irrecusable reasons.
Against the British lordship of the sea and the international market, after the Franco-Prussian war of 1871, a formidable rival, Germany, which Bismarck pushes out of the ancient land feudalism up the streets, the conquests, the daring of modern industrialism the most evolved: On the shores of the Rhine, in Westphalia, in Saxony, in Silesia, there are, as if by magic, shipyards, workshops, arsenals; railroads and canals are winding and singing the resurrection while in the great ports of Bremen and Hamburg the most marvelous merchant fleet that has ever sailed the oceans is organized to bring on all the markets of the globe fabrics, machines, chemical products, manufactured goods of every kind of miraculous German industry. The eagle of the Kaiser contends with the cross of St. George the ways, the centuries-old domain of the ocean.
There is nothing exaggerated or fantastic about the dizzying ascension felt by Delaisi. You can find proof of this in the census of the industrial population erected by Paul Louis in his “Syndicalisme Europeen”, on official data.
In the 1907 census the part of the population living off industry counts 26,386,537 units compared to 20,253,421 in 1895, against 16,098,000 in 1882. The population that lives off trade and transport (it would be more accurate to say that industry makes only transport and trade) was 4,531,080 in 1882; it was 5,966,846 in 1895, rising in 1907 to 8,278,229; yes, that is, doubled in the last twenty years, not counting the energy treasures that women have poured into Germany’s new economic activity. According to the census erected by Lily Braun the 4,408,000 women who were in Germany occupied in 1882 in camps, factories, offices, became 5,203.000 in the year 1895, eight million two hundred thousand in 1907, while the population of Hamburg increased in the five years from 1905 to 1910 by 17%, that of Cologne by 19%, that of Frankfurt by 22%, that of Essen by 27%, that of Dusseldorf by 41%!
I know, and I am not under any illusion: development in the middle, in the instrument of production, as long as we are reeling resigned slaves or embellished in the anxious circle of the bourgeois regime, which has no other function than to torment, Tun against the other armed and irreconcilable I in the same person, the producer and the consumer, strengthening in the providential contradiction the dominion, its fortune, our most exacting strains, progress remains, worse than vanity, torment and irritation; we are perfectly in agreement.
And I don’t like to put our good comrade Kropotkin, by now overwhelmed by his paradoxical direction, in bitter anguish with himself, asking him if he can repudiate these facts on which he has stopped his attention and permission other times, and if he can, this admitted irrecusable condition, he can still speak of a German feudalism, of a German imperialism different and more fearsome than what he has personally experienced for so many years in England, the England of the Indies of the Egypt of the Transvaal, and has in the narrower field, in the exclusively military financial field, its faithful response in the republic across the Channel; and if, to this industrial feudalism of which the whole West of Europe, the whole American overseas are today the anguished vassals, it is preferable to the... Russian feudalism, for example, remained in the sovereign church, in aristocratic privilege, in industrial squalor; in the middle of the year one thousand, unsurpassed; and alongside which he, the recluse of Peter and Paul, the perpetual bandit, the perpetual candidate to the holy forks of Holy Russia, comes to reconcile, to take sides with such naive and unconscious enthusiasm.
I will never ask him about it, not least because it would be completely unnecessary.
Peter Kropotkin is in the end perfectly in agreement with Paul Louis, with Francis Delaisi and with the “Subversive Chronicle” in the conviction that the industrial and commercial development of Germany, which has reached its current level of paroxysm, could not but violently clash in English competition, constituting the most serious threat, the only serious threat to international peace, the only danger of a conflict that no intervention, however authoritative, no court of arbitration, however venerable, would ever be able to deride, to appease, to mitigate; the deadly duel that the old world tears and sweeps of so many primordial savages returns, and obscures of so much barbaric eclipse the remote horizon of civilization and freedom; and of whose shady fundamental antagonism we will say even longer later.
Today, in Peter Kropotkin’s lost and surprised word, the echo of a voice that is not his, roars in the impetus of his ephemeral enthusiasm the storm of universal insanity.
On the useless massacres, on the dismay, on the late singularity of tomorrow, after the pirates have gone to the lair, in desperate silence, in the dead truce of bloodless passion, he will find the signs, the bruises of the desolate and unripe reality; and broken the mesh of aberrations, of wickedness that today envelops and subjugates him, aching with a more bitter disenchantment but surrounded by a vast, more tragic experience, in front of the oblivious ranks will return herald, master and guide.
He will find free souls and good hearts, rebellious insurgents ungrateful today to his unexpected exhortations unchanged, burning, faithful.
Not today. It rings more powerful than its own, overwhelming the lost exhortations, the brutal voice of reality.
The shipyards, the factories, the workshops that in every dreamy valley break the unsuspecting silences, that in the old patriarchal cities whetted the hymn of the resurrection, and thicken the energies of the serfs in the turgid and inviolate, and.... They want around them — the necessary warp of veins and arteries — canals, railways and ships that of every exotic sea, bear the fruits of the earth and of the herds, and at the four horizons disperse together with the name and glory of the great German homeland, the wealth accumulated by the inexhaustible fervor; and they want, milestones of the triumphal ascension, arsenals and armies that assure their rhythm and fortune, remain the source and reason of war.
The unintentionally confessed reason:
“In ten years’ time we will have a population of eighty gainful employment, if we do not have the network of colonies that we lack today, with a few negligible exceptions.
And, even today, is it admissible that sixty-five million Germans, their trade with the whole world, remain the goods of forty-five million Englishmen, and allow them the protection of the old world, the supremacy of the sea?” the general Von Bernhardi wondered who — stopped the durlindana and the morione of don Quixote who on the genius on the culture on the superiority of the German people, of which he had established himself herald and knight, They collected more mockery and more trifles than ‘non el ingenioso hidalgo de la Mancha — he decided to tell us in less chivalrous but less abstruse language the anguish that gnaws in his country the great thieves, and to show us behind the windmills of a crafty nationalism the reality of the interests that want priority in the market and in the great international bottleneck their share of loot.
And the conclusion, the only conclusion that can respond to this antagonism of interests and summarize its furor, can only be the one that he draws from it:
“A war between Germany and England is inevitable. England has the greatest interest in unleashing it as soon as possible”... and on the other hand “our aspiration to a larger place in the world will surely lead us to a war like the Seven Years war, in which we will certainly be as victorious as the heroic King of Prussia.
Let’s leave the odds of the final victory as a gang. They are so inseparable from the salaries of the proud from the responsibilities of the professional warrior that — no one would know hunger by chance: a German general cannot risk bad predictions; he does not have the interest — courage and freedom. It is interesting to note the fundamental part of General Von Bernhardi’s statements; the German army, the German navy have no other mission than to ensure an outlet for German industry, the sea routes and the markets of the world for German industry and finance.
And it is denounced with such cynical brutality that it is really not understood how the good Kropotkin could have found in the political vassalage of Alsace-Lorraine the origins and the reasons for German armaments and, I don’t know well, what dream of feudal intentions to the current war; in the defense of the republic or of English constitutionalism the concerns of civilization and liberty for which we would like to conscribe in service of the allies. Alsace? Lorraine? But the Republican capitalists don’t want them back. Note well the Delaisi, that in Mulhausen have developed woolen mills, cotton mills, steel mills so powerful that against their fertility they had to devise the strictest customs protection in France, and that back in France, those workshops would make such competition to the workshops of Creuzot to the spinning mills of the Vosges of Lille de Rouen to bring a disastrous upset throughout the economy of the national industry. Let’s explain even less the Kropotkin’s cantonalism that in his last study on “The War” he shows to have drawn on a work that six years ago aroused the most legitimate anxieties in France. It is a cry of alarm to the French bourgeoisie, Centre l’Oligarchie Financière, against a handful of stock exchange bandits who, while suffocating in their insatiable tentacles, put the enormous reserves of French savings into the service of foreign industry.
Who gave the wonderful impetus to German industry today unsurpassed, incoercible? Who renews her blood in her tired veins if not the Republican financial oligarchy that would sell France and the Republic to the Kaiser seventy times seven times to make money?
“The policy of our great banks is not only undemocratic, and anti-national...
The Bank of Paris and the Netherlands has a loan with the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The loan is for the ransom of the railways. The French subscribe, the Germans collect orders for mobile equipment and lines...
The shares of Banca Commerciale Italiana are introduced on the Paris market. What is Banca Commerciale Italiana? It is an institution founded by Deutsche Bank, Dresdener Bank, Disconto Gesellschaft, a German bank that has periscope to finance commercially the Triple and conquer the Italian market...
The French Gold Mining Company... formed an alliance with the Frankfurt Metallgesellschaft to sell German bonds in France.
At the beginning of 1908 the Paris Union Bank took part in the establishment of a coal society in German Lorraine with a capital of 18 million marks. French finance gives it for eight million.
On October 1, 1905, in Cologne, on October 1, 1905, the German Coal Company with a capital of fourteen million marks was established by the Industrial and Commercial...
But in this area of French banks’ anti-nationalism there is worse...
A considerable part of the money deposited in French credit institutions and lent permanently to German banks and serves as a fond de roulement to German trade and industry...
Don’t swear, don’t say it’s not true, don’t say it’s impossible.
Let’s be precise. Between the large German and French banks there is a written agreement, a true alliance treaty, under which the French banks provide the German banks with liquid capital: the German banks give the French banks three-month bills of exchange, which they do not pay when due but renew each quarter with the payment of additional interest...
That is to say, French banks grant German banks long-term credit which they deny to French industry.
Not only do German banks not pay back at the due date, they also ask for new money.
In 1900 the French capital available to German banks reached one and a half billion. In October 1906, banks in Berlin sent to Paris for new loans... Credit Lyonnais lent three hundred million francs to Deutsche Bank alone. Société Générale, Credit Industriel et Commercial, Union Parisienne have substantial deposits in Berlin. The statistic of French loans to German banks reaches an incontestable figure’.
If Peter Kropotkin were to translate the meaning and scope of these stock exchange transactions into the vernacular for readers of the “Chronicle”, profane to the mysteries of high finance, he would simply say that the French bankers, those who today hold the reins of the republic, use the small savings of the workers, the maids, the small shopkeepers of France, to starve the French proletariat, to fatten the hoarders, the exploiters, the slave traders of the German proletariat.
He could not tell you otherwise, even if his exhortations to the proletarian defense of the republic were to be beheaded.
— But if the French capitalists, as you say, have in Berlin, in Hamburg, in Dresden, in Frankfurt, in Dresden, so prosperous a vineyard for their profits, so fruitful a field for their speculations, why does the war between France and Germany devastate the grape harvest with irreparable ruins?
— First of all, the bourgeoisie, the capitalists, the big financiers are largely rivaling at home — the war helping — the reverses suffered across the border. To set up an army, to mobilize it and keep it for a few months, for several years at the border, in the war, you need grains and fodder, shoes and blankets, horses, cars, airplanes, weapons and ammunition, sudden supplies. and continuous of millions, of billions on which speculation is exercised without measure, without limit, without control; then, as has already happened in Germany, in England, in France, in Austria, in Italy, the loans are numbered in billions, the loans of the big credit institutions make with the deposits of the poor devils, collecting commissions, senseiaries, realizing paradoxical gains; then tomorrow, after the first disasters as well as after the final epilogue, it is the dreadnoughts to rebuild, the armaments to renew, the artillery to rebuild, the reserves and fortifications, the whole army to supply, the army to rebuild.
It is the crazy laughter of the billions, of the billions who will extort themselves again, always and only from fatigue, from blood, from sweat, from the fasting of the bastards, to rebuild the greatest homeland, the purple and the banners, to remake the jackals the prey, the orgy, the glory.
Who shouts, “Long live the war?”
Those who do not go to war, who have nothing to lose, who have everything to gain from war.
Who feels more acrid the itch of pride than pride the impetus of the claims of the fatherland and the lineage?
Those of the fatherland who ignore the trials, the deeds, the glories; Those of the lineage who laughed at the heroic ordeal, disputed at all times the civil ascension serving the Pope and the Holy Office, Austria and the forks, the yellow Carignano avantieri, when he threw the capestro to Garibaldi and Mazzini, to the Father of the Fatherland yesterday when on the Golgotha of Aspromonte the dream of Luciano Manara and Goffredo Mameli was tortured in the flesh of the Duce of the Thousand, to Umberto il Buono when he yearned for the restoration of the “ordinances” and of the ancient regime by machine-gunning through the streets of Milan the survivors of the Five Days, the continuers of redemption; and the next day of Gibilrossa, the next day of Volturno or Lissa were liquidated by their new masters in knick-knacks and in cash the thirty Scicli of Iscariot, the heroism of the sixth day; Those whom the fatherland conceives under the edible species of bread and wine, those whom the fatherland has in its strongbox and to impinge it would sell together with their native land their penitents, the indigenous, the father and mother; those who have been at all times the disgrace, the obnoxious, the ruin, and the lineage held and hold in contempt and vassalage.
War is, like peace, their bakery.
On the other hand — and we have thoroughly documented this in the course of these modest considerations, drawing on the most diverse and less suspicious testimonies — more than in relations between France and Germany, the reasons for the war must be found in relations between Germany and England, in the irreducible antagonisms between the bankers, industrialists and merchants of the two countries; It appears manifest, even to those who observe superficially, that Russia is not until now in the industrial, commercial, financial aringo, a fearsome competitor for anyone, and that France has long ceased to be so.
Not the terms, but the necessity of competition, are in those relations, in that antagonism, as this lament of a British consul in Syria illustrates, better perhaps of every figure and every consideration: “Once all the European products sold here came from England, today I write to you with a German pen, on German paper, on a desk made in Germany; and in a little while your very humble representative will remain here”.
It was the violent, rapid, inexorable avoidance. The Chamberlain’s customs remedies not only appeared ineffective and late, but they were in the face of a decisive uprising of the English proletariat, just as Lord Roberts’ appeals to conscription, to the immediate need for compulsory military service, were sterile, unheard of against the unanimous repulsion of the English workers.
It was necessary to recommend oneself to the cannon, to find with the wise diplomatic deceptions nations with tradition, organization and military preparation so old and so dense that they could face the German armies on the continent, and to set up an army that would provide for the economic purposes of the war, the destruction of German industry and trade, from the first day of entry into the country.
It was the great dreadnoughts, who, blocking the English Channel and the North Sea, contend to the ports of Bremen and Hamburg for the iron coming from Australia, who deny the German industry the food and the blood of which it lives, who take it away from exporting its own products, and forced her to desperate and ineluctable failure, while alone, now master of the ocean routes, English industry collected orders, conscripted the clientele that in thirty years of effort and wonderful progress German industrialists had captured.
The Vorwaerts, the official organ of the German Socialist Party showed that it had a clear vision of these immediate consequences of the war when, in its September 12 issue, it was forced to admit that “the greatest danger of the military defeat was for Germany the prolongation of hostilities. For Germany the great danger and the possibility that the English fleet will be able to prevent the importation of cotton, silk, copper, oil, lead, leather, rubber, raw materials which are indispensable to the continuation of its industrial life; and that it will be forced to close its workshops”.
And in confirmation of the melancholy predictions of the “Vorvvaerts”, the Minister of Commerce and Labor of Washington summarized on 25 September last in a first statistic the subterranean depressions that the war, which lasted only a couple of months, had determined in imports and exports. For the month of August alone and for North America, German exports, which in 1913 had drawn a total of 21,301,274 dollars, were reduced in August 1914 to 68 dollars.737; and, always and only for the month of August and for North America, German imports, which in 19J3 added up to a total of 15,626,176 dollars, were reduced in August 1914 to 9,400,043. These reduced by half those completely annihilated since last August; now, null and void.
Put on account the results of the atrocious race war in which the German cruisers in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the English cruisers in every sea, in every strait, under every latitude, chase the steamships, the postal boats, the transports of the peaceful rival merchant fleet, less for the love of prey or booty than for the destruction of their respective means of exchange, and then deny that the war — desperately exiles any concern for liberty, civilization, progress — is not a fierce competition of usurers in which Democratic and Republican France, absolutist and medieval Russia, today, tomorrow Italy neither meat nor fish, are called to act as lanzichenecco, to act as Swiss to the stockbrokers of London, to the corsairs of England, as well as the German, Austrian or Turkish proletariat and called — exiles all sense of progress and freedom, every consciousness of their own strength and destiny — to be massacred by the great pirates, the great hungry, the great murderers of the Berlin Stock Exchange, Deutsche Bank or Krupp, gathered like wolves lurking at the voice and behind the tragic imperial histrionics.
But in the current conflict, Peter Kropotkin sees, particularly designated by history, alongside his allies, the place of the workers, the Italian men of Liberty; and this presumption of his will still require comment.
According to Peter Kropotkin the Italians have a particular debt of gratitude to France to absolve, they have with Germany an old account of betrayals and deceptions to liquidate: France came to Italy’s aid when our homeland was fighting with heroism desperately for independence, unity, for its own liberation, while William II’s Germany and Alexander II’s Germany with Russia over France, “on account of her efforts to free Italy” overthrew all her hatred, and to the Italians themselves when “in 1860 sent away the Austrian rulers of Florence, Parma and Modena, and Florence became the capital of Italy” never made a mystery of her obstinate, implacable opposition.
The moment to settle the double match now, and around the situation of Italy cannot be equivocal: it must side for France against Germany.
If it came from someone else, from historians of the caliber of Luigi Cibrario or perhaps Guglielmo Ferrero, from those who, in the circle of the fiftieth anniversary of the splendors and the evils of the last Italian Revolution, drew on the courtly chronicles and the waged courtiers’ apologies, the call would not surprise us more than much; but from Peter Kropotkin who gave us in the “Great Revolution” the measure of his magnificent aptitudes to criticism and historical investigation, we are entitled to a less reckless interpretation of the national epic.
We will not attempt here, not even in its broad outlines, to reconstruct it, either because it is only an episode of this discussion or because the limitations of this very modest study do not allow it.
We would just like the Kropotkin to refer for a moment to the men of freedom of the historical period to which he mentions, to men to whom everything can be contended except the immense love of the homeland, except the sincerity of the faith created by blood from the sacrifice of martyrdom, to Alberto Mario or Giuseppe Mazzini, for example, sure that he would surprise in the anxieties, doubts, revolts, but all the thoughts of those builders of the Italian homeland, not only the animating spirit of the last revolution, but frank and clear the character of the relations between the people of Italy yearning for independence and unity with their enemies outside....and inside.
Peter Kropotkin will not make us the insult of believing that we are enemies of France, and we will not offer him the pretext by rehabilitating — from Charlemagne who now eleven centuries ago laid the foundations and principals of the temporal power of the pope in Rome, to the preliminaries of Loeben or the Treaty of Campoformio which gave the hangman of Hapsburg, bound feet and hands, the most generous of the Italian people — the acidic and iridescent ceremonies of traditional myogalies. We’re not even going to send him back to the “Moniteur”, to the speech — the stormy session of March 7, 1849 in which the Republican Left demanded that the ministry Odillon Barrot be put on trial, who, authorized by parliament to protect Italian freedom in Rome, sent General Oudinot to Civitavecchia “to act as Cossack to the Roman Republic” as denounced by the tribune Etienne Arago, “to restore the Pope” as he deplored scandalized, and it is all to say, Jules Favre.
Napoleon the little one in his message of November 12, 1850 clarified how Bonaparte’s France intended to defend the republican liberty of the third Rome:
“Our arms have overthrown in Rome that turbulent demagogy which throughout the Italian peninsula had compromised the cause of true freedom; and our brave soldiers have had the great honor of putting Pius IX back on the throne of St. Peter.
We have no interest in overturning on the other guilt and shame that are at home, in torment of a truth that was then violently suffocated, and even today, with every devious deception, with every more compassionate pretext opposed, has made overwhelming progress now so that in the faith of men like Peter Kropotkin does not find hospitality and citizenship.
And the truth is this: that the contrasts, the worst obstacles to independence’ and to Italian unity did not come to the patriots of the first hour, of the tragic hour in which love for one’s homeland was discounted by the gallows, from Germany or Russia or France; but by the Savoys, but by the Piedmontese statesmen, so that every thought, every act, every step in the liberation of the Italian provinces from the game of the Bourbons or the Pope, the Hapsburgs or the Lorraine was a crime if in generous recklessness it did not lead to the preliminary absence of Vittorio Emanuele II’s sovereign national investiture. Waves that, before being violent contrast of patriots and foreigners, the national epic and unripe struggle, implacable between those who, repudiated all sordid mortgage, want the country frank in its historical borders, and those who want the Piedmontese conquest of Italy; Between those who want independence to be assured on the defeat of the tyrannies rained exotically on the other side of the Alps as well as those grown up and lively in the shadow of their homelands forks, and those who, moved only by lust and greed and robbery, wanted on the kidneys of the good people of Italy to adapt and to strike equally exaggerated and atrociously on their own, their stick.
Paterino, adventurer or brigand who dared the wicked enterprise; better in Sicily the Bourbon than Garibaldi, better in Rome the Pope and the temporal power that the republic of Saffi and Mazzini, better Austria in Venice than the red shirts in Trentino, and an authoritative Italian newspaper of moderate part was pleased days are to remember the words that Camillo Cavour repeated to the great king in Bologna on May 2, 1860, Ire days before the departure of the Thousand from Quarto: If no one goes to get Garibaldi from the collar, I’ll go myself; and with greater satisfaction the words with which Visconti-Venosta inaugurated the first sitting of the Italian Parliament in Rome: “We did not come to Rome neither with the revolution nor in its wake, but by preventing it. We want to remain there, not with revolution, but with a spirit of freedom and broad and tolerant consideration that intends to heal the Pontiff’s right and freedom of conscience and to assure him of respect in such conditions that no other country can offer him either more secure or more worthy.
It was the revolution Giuseppe Garibaldi who, by raising the flag ”‘Italy and Vittorio Emanuele” in Palermo, had not succeeded in disarming the mistrust and fears of the Savoy Camorra, Giuseppe Mazzini exiled to the homeland of whose independence and unity had been the confessor the herald the soldier of the first hour, of all the intact and glorious life.
The liberator brecciaiolo was Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy who had missed on the yokes of Aspromonte the honest intention of assassinating Garibaldi on the road to Rome, but in agreement with Napoleon’s France, to whom he had denounced Garibaldi’s revolutionary genes, the bruises or pinzocheri had been able to satiate in the massacres of Monterotondo, Villa Glori and Mentana.
The contrast was as natural and logical as the mistrust of democratic elements towards French intervention in things of Italy.
Both tradition of the free communes, pride of its glorious Old Republics, and instinctive awareness of the ethnic variety of its constituent elements, complicated by the geographical eccentricity of its regions. Our people — in whose history the monarchic tradition, with the exception of Sicily, has violent and frequent solutions of continuity — could not conceive that in a republican sense the national reconstruction, and this aspiration could not but be irreconcilable on the Piedmontese hegemony.
And this one, which lacked the suffrage of trust and popular cooperation, necessarily had to look for foreign alios, to Napoleon Bonaparte, to France, as Kropotkin writes, the help he could not find at home. Peter Kropotkin will certainly not spend a word in defense of the man of December 2, and however you judge his work, he will certainly not tell me that he was a man to worry about the independence of Italy, if not because in Italy he could realize the ill-concealed ambition to remake to the Neapolitans dispersed by the restoration the kingdoms of Etruria or the Neapolitan.
”The alliance of France with Piedmont makes the effectiveness of the national will derisory, it disturbs Italians’ conscience of themselves and their duties, it has made them forgetful of their decorum”, wrote Alberto Mari in October 1859; and he added: “Before that alliance Italy was dominated by Austria, after that it was in-balia at the same time as Austria and France. Two emperors are fighting over it; the Austrian wants the body; the French want the soul... and the moral dependence... d modified by fifty thousand soldiers that God knows if and when they will rival the Alps”.
And he made no secret of the French Emperor’s intentions.
“Napoleon III has an embryonic emperor: he possesses the crown without the gems, and he seeks them. Napoleon’s uncle found them first and the best water in Italy: his nephew... went down to Italy to fish them out, lost in 1815. Uncle has set them by his own hand in the golden crown without ceremony, the nephew leaves this. care to the compatriots of Benvenuto Cellini goldsmith. Later the Neapolitans will learn the art too”.
The “Moniteur” of 28 September 1859 felt the obligation to reassure the Italians; but the malice of the “Moniteur” was in the commitments of Villafranca and in the word of the executioner of 2 December.
More brutal was Mazzini, to whom even every form of violence was repugnant: “That man,” he wrote from London in 1858, “and the murderer of Rome; and he keeps there without a shadow of right an army, almost an outpost to one day embody designs of great ambitions; and he conspires concealedly for a Muratian insurrection in Naples...”.
And Count Camillo di Cavour, to whom the intervention was due, unmasked the devious windings shouting outragedly:
“We believe in the initiative of the people of Italy, you fear it, and you study to remove it... We want the country, once it has emerged, to choose freely the form of institutions that will have to sustain it; you deny popular sovereignty and make the monarchy an overbearing condition of all help in the enterprise. We seek our help among the peoples who have with us communion of purpose, of pain, of struggle, you seek it among our oppressors, among the powers deliberately, necessarily contrary to our unity. We consecrate time, means, soul, life to persist in a war that through an inevitable series of defeats educates our people to fight... you consecrate time, means, politics to cross the road, to persecute us everywhere... to denounce us to the police of absolute governments...”.
One could abound, but it seems to us that the summary quotations above are enough to persuade the Kropotkin that, if he is subjugated by his democratic return to collective symbols, and justice be more exact, that is, to speak of the alliance of the Empire with the Monarchy of Piedmont, and absolve us from the debt of gratitude as Italians, even without thinking about the territorial compensation that the Empire was paid at the time, even without deepening the hidden purposes for which the last Bonaparte had, in addition to the garrison of Rome, brought to Italy many legions of infantrymen and horses. And without reminding us above all of the disasters of 1866, which Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel’s deliberate intention to prevent Prussia ruining from Shadow to Vienna from becoming the terrible Germany that four years later was supposed to crown Versailles with the imperial crown.
Without stopping at 1866, which marks the most murky and gloomy deception in Italian history over the last fifty years, and the most infamous betrayal of which the Savoy dynasty has been stained, in which betrayal and cowardice are tradition and history; betrayal of the most fervent Italian hopes, and of the only allies from which it could, from which it has really had the cause of Italian independence, true effectiveness of cooperation and help.
A Custoza and Lissa wanted, imposed by the fearful complicity of Bonaparte and the Father of the Fatherland so that Austria would be free to face its enemy from the North, not Germany has betrayed Italy, good friend Kropotkin, if it does not veil the unfortunate crisis of feeling in your serenity, but Victor Emmanuel and Napoleon III have betrayed Germany and Italy.
We would appeal to your loyalty of which we have never doubted, of which we do not doubt even now that our enemies will inhale you against us, all the more painful that it is undeserved, if around this outdated moment of history the discussion had other value than to clarify a negligible contingency.
Because if in the historical episode of the controversy we have lingered on, the abstractly collective and symbolic names of France, Germany, Germany, Russia, Austria, Italy, which we stole from you for a moment, there is no controversy left but a gimmick that does not infirm our impenitence to distinguish, under the fraudulent veil of ethnic unity, the double homeland of those who oppress and those who are oppressed, those who create in pain under the cross of bloody passion, and those who in the sloth make cynical torment of proletarian blood and sweat; And we persist in believing that war, wherever it rages, is the most wretched form of that class collaboration against which with your every word, with your word and example, with your every gesture, With the marvelous fervour of your youth that survived every heartbreak at every flattery at all the corrosive pitfalls of the years, you have awakened distrust and disdain, protests and revolts, arousing among the humble people of every land from Angiolillo to Bresci, from Vaillant to Masetti, in the Holocaust, the nostalgia for justice and social revolution.
After having wiped away the sweat of every fiber as if it were the damned, in the mines, in the workshops, in the construction sites, in all its industrial baths, blood and sweat, the bourgeoisie asks us in the paradoxical carnage on the Vistula and on the Rhine for the extreme salvation from the failure that the court of adult reason, of the inexorable reason, has inexorably pronounced against its abominable regime.
We would be much less able to indulge you that those who would like to be in your language the terms of a syllogism are reduced to a deplorable ambiguity, not to say an oblique inversion.
To the France of Diderot, of Voltaire, of Beaumarchais, to the France of the Revolution, of the Declaration of Rights, of the Commune, you place, irreconcilable antithesis, the medieval Germany of the divine right of the Kaiser of Krupp, invoking for that one the arms of the men of liberty, of the proletarian international, proclaiming on the latter the destruction and death necessarily.
The logic is only apparent; we are navigating in full sophistry, in a wretched misunderstanding.
To the France of Lamark and Pasteur, to the France of the Encyclopedia and Freedom, don’t you logically, honestly oppose the Germany of Goethe and Schopenhauer, Lassalle and Marx, Wirchow, Haeckel, Kock?
And to the Germany of the Kaiser, of divine law, of the Krupp, don’t you find France the correspondent of the Congregations, of the Major State, of Schneider, of the Compitori National d’Escompte, which yesterday renewed the Sambartolomeo of Dominican anti-Semitism and today plays on the stock market the blood of the workers massacred at Ypres?
Restored equally, logically the contradictory terms of your proposition, you could not ask, of course, the libertarian sympathies for this France, the only one that, like Germany on the other side of the Rhine, wanted the great war, the sad war that we must not support even if we did not know how to avoid it; but you, our greatest and dearest brother, in the anguish of these days, would not derive from it the bite of conscience — which to the overwhelming madness of the insane hour can indulge, but is not dead and does not forget and will resume its dominion tomorrow — you who gather under every heaven, in every heart, so much sincere confidence, so deep affection of humble people, the strength to tell the proletarians here and there on the frontier: In your hardened hands are the destinies of civilization and progress, among the workers of the world has its inviolate refuge the civilization that does not look to flags, frontiers, liveries, idioms, ephemeral extinctions, fleeting barriers under the agile foot, on the luminous path, in the face of incoercible progress; do not abandon it, do not plunge it beneath the iron paws of the ulans or dragons or Cossacks, do not prostitute it to the stock market players, nor coin or twist it, coin for yourself, logs for you; oppose the coalition of oppressors and exploiters to the coalition of the oppressed and exploited, and in the fiery circle of the frontier homeland drown the secular enemy, the common enemy forever, for your salvation. for the salvation of all!
Vox clamantis in the desert?
From the Baptist of the legend to the last Montjuich shot in the clamorous voices about the desert, the hope for the future.
Against the war,
for the social revolution!
— What does every man, every animal, every threatened organism do, attacked in things, in the person, in his right, in liberty, in security, in life?
— It defends itself; and natural, it is in the very instinct of its own preservation, and the fundamental condition on which all the evolution of life, every form of progress and civilization, rests.
— And what does a man of heart, a man of liberty, a man of justice, do when he sees the overwhelming power of the strongest overwhelmed the law, threatened the life of the weakest?
— He rushes with all means, with all weapons in defense of the weakest, and helps him to rebuild the beastly arrogance of the overwhelmer, less in obedience to the commandments of Christian morality than to the concerns of his own salvation: the unpunished overwhelmer and incentive to the violent who, finding no restraint, rage upon all; and it may come our time.
— And tell us, then, how can one be against war, if in every war there is a threat, a provocation, an aggression? Tell us, then, what was little Serbia threatened in its independence to do, what was Belgium to do, threatened in its integrity, threatened with iron, fire and sack? And tell us again, in the face of the unequal duel between Austria and Germany on the one hand, fortified by a dozen million armed men and little Belgium, badly supported in the defense of its territorial integrity by less than half a million, what should the nations that pretend to be civilians do if not take the weakest side against the strongest, for Serbia, for Belgium against Austria and against Germany?
Could France, England, Russia act differently? Could the men of justice and freedom in every country — in Italy, for example, where foreign violence is so much and so long suffered that the bruises are always in the flesh and the torment and always in the memory — disinterested in the conflict, not take part in it with enthusiasm nourished by noble worries and civilized welfare, when at stake are the same things, the same rights, the same independence, the same freedom that you recognize, that you demand are defended, protected, claimed in every body, in every threatened and overwhelmed individual?
Would not the freedom, independence, security of a lineage, of a nation, be worth that of the faintest organism, that of a man, yours?
Subtract, if you can, from the contradiction on which your doctrinaire horror of war nails you; reconcile it, if you can, with the consequences that break irrecusable from the premises in which you allow.
— We reaffirm — we are opposed to any war other than class war, other than social revolution — that any organism threatened in its security, undermined in its development, in its existence, has, more than the right, the duty to defend itself, to rein insidiousness and aggression by all means, the extremes; and we do not intend at all to evade the consequences that descend from this explicit premise. On the contrary, to the responsibilities that those consequences imply, we recall you who try to escape from them with a sophism, with the abused sophism of the proletarian homeland, of class imperialism, of revolutionary war and other warlike aberrations of congenital warfare, invoked as a safe-conduct of a desperate lack of convictions, of faith, of ideality; a safe-conduct ruffled, many times, by the calculations of the turncoat arriism.
— With sophistry?
— By defeating sophistry; If and sophistry every fallacious argument that from true premises, arrives, through the logical appearance of its propositions, to erroneous conclusions, typical sophistry and yours that in Serbia, Belgium, France, England or Germany, abdications, abjurations, hasty apostasies, reconstructs solidarity of interests, Identity of feelings, common destinies, rights, aspirations, and intentions that you have until yesterday denied, that you have until yesterday endeavored to distinguish and destroy as the most foul of frauds, as the most untrue of conventional lies, as the most serious obstacle to the ascension of the proletariat towards its integral emancipation. You were yesterday against the homeland, for the International?
— One thing is the remote ideology, another, very different, the concrete reality.
— I’m not arguing the fallback. The exhausted, tired, exhausted, by Andrea Costa Benito Mussolini, and the pusillanimous hymns that the hymn anarchy has always held back from some providential utilitarian reserve: when all the workers will agree, we will be more revolutionary than the rest of you! and more anarchic than you will be when it will be anarchy! For now, the bourgeoisie dominates
the pot doesn’t boil
to dream of Biuto impetus and form.
But I know concrete immanent practices the reasons that had raised you against the homeland for the International.
Why did you deny your country?
Because by relegating across the border between archaic mistrust and insane hatreds — as foreigners — servants, oppressed, exploited like you, like us, and expiring within the borders of the Alps and the sea, love, brotherhood, solidarity and exploitation of which we have fallen, Servants aware of the iniquity and the abbomination you had proclaimed the wreckage and destruction, the homeland had, on the one hand, appeared outdated ideology, absorbed by the radiant aspiration to the universal homeland, and was twisted on the other in the fraud aimed at hiding from us that
they’re not long, but they’re here;
and I know that of night choirs and beetles to mitigate was, monotonous to boredom, the obligatory refrain
war on the kingdom of war
death to the kingdom of death!
and that in the choir was your voice.
Reality is fine, the tragic reality that everyone subjugates that overcomes, erases, annihilates every other feeling, every other vision; but it also has an aspect that does not escape any of you, a contrast that is of every hour and every earth so that you may refuse to see it: pickpockets, merchants, freebooters who confess without scruples — without even the hypocrisy of veiling their libido of surrender with rancid sentimental idealisms — to seek in the war only triumph, over their competitors from the other side of the Alps and overseas, of greedy fortune, of dividend raptors, while to the fate of the desperate stock market game — referred to the extreme reason of the weapons on the fields of Flanders, in the gorges of the Carpathians or in the tidal waves of Memel — they sacrifice to millions in his most galliard youth the crowd of servants that for the weapons so much and worn out anemized exhausted during half a century of fasting; and to the war now comes drunk with lies and fanfare while predicting that among the weapons will restore more formidable the pyramid of the master and the State, reaffirming ^ more exaggerated on the fate of children the yoke of servitude and misery and abjection.
Is it not the lot of the herd, that the shepherd should be tame with the wool until it is time to give the carcass to the gravedigger?
— The digression doesn’t interest me. It would perhaps be curious to see how much logic both in Cerretans and for the subversive beasts of the old and new world, in exchange for the contempt and disdain with which they repay him, they ask the people — almost as if they themselves were not the lousy rabble, the least Dionysian, the least sincere and the least heroic — the most incoherent and most absurd miracle: the alliance with the Cossacks of the little father and the blessing of the pontiff, for the studded salvations of the order of freedom of civilization... bourgeois. But it pushes us another way.
To highlight at this point the fallacy of the reasoning with which you deceive or deceive yourself: you cannot apply to a non-existent entity the duty of defense, the human obligation concerned revolutionary or civil of solidarity invoked by you, by us without reservation allowed, of solidarity4 with every weak oppressed by the strong, with every organism threatened in its security, threatened in its becoming, assaulted in its freedom or its integrity.
— But Belgium...
— It is not an organism, if of each organism the parts are not solidary and harmonious. The conflict between the belly and the arms is only in Menenius Agrippa’s cunning apologists; any disturbance of any of the functions of an organ inevitably brings with it the perturbation of the whole economy of the organism which has fallen to ruin and death if the balance and harmony of functions are not promptly restored.
Now, there is a reality that goes beyond the reality of war and is at least as tragic: In Belgium, as in Serbia, as in Italy, they are exploited and exploitative, they are oppressors and oppressed, they are producers of wealth who die of exhaustion, of media, and parasites that the useless existence encloses in idleness and orgy; they are, irreconcilable, two classes; and none of you, even though you are tired today of mocking the International, are even, I think, denying that, if the Belgian or French or German or Italian bourgeoisie disappeared tomorrow, the proletariat of each of these so-called nations would be much better off not staying today; not only, but that the liberation of the Belgian proletariat, as well as of the German or Italian proletariat, and conditioned to the disappearance of the Belgian German or Italian bourgeoisie, of the International bourgeoisie; and it will have to conclude that where, in place of harmony, and mortal implacable antagonism of current and future interests, economic and political, material and moral, the talk of organisms, of harmonic unitary solidarity entities, and of the intimate civil or revolutionary necessity of their protection, of their preservation, and at least reckless.
Whether the Flemish or English or French or Russian bourgeoisie has a vital interest in joining forces to face or surpass the German or Austrian bourgeoisie in the field of industrial or political financial competitions, it is explained; that for one or another of the contending groups, for the war itself, all the conservation parties, from the clerical to the democratic to the socialist, perhaps, made like the unanimous jackals on the carrion, can still be understood very well. In the violent regurgitation of dying, suspicious, defiant nationalism; in the gloomy choreography of the war between the crashes of the machine gun around the flags erect on millions of corpses, while horrible insatiable monstrous grinning death from the abysses of the air and sea, and a violent diversion to the reckless imprints, to the iconoclastic turbulence of the international proletariat that slowly but irresistibly rises beyond all frontiers, to the awareness of the common interests of the common claims of common destiny, of the common universal integral emancipation: it explains itself.
It is no longer understandable that after fifty years of meditated, laborious theoretical and practical splitting from the ruling class, from all the parties that guard their fate with less or more prudence, the anarchists — who perhaps do not hold the class struggle constant among the factors of history, but would not know how to disown its atrocious constancy in life, of every day, and do not conceive the emancipation of the proletariat than on the definitive defeat of the ruling class, nor the future harmonies without the levelling of the classes on the earth made instrument and climate to the joy, to the liberty, to the well-being of all — can under any pretext, in whatever contingency, be reconciled with the abhorrent social order without denying the painful passion for which they have risen to consciousness, to the pride of their proud and luminous ideal, without denying themselves.
All the more so since reasoning has been re-established in its logical terms, the premise has been reconciled with the consequences, and the task is defined, clear and precise, a task more worthy of their faith, their courage and their action.
If there is, in this case, threatened in the security, in the existence, in the development of its historical becoming, in each of the cells that compose it and in its rhythmic, harmonic, solidary whole, an organism worthy of our interest, of our sympathy, of our defense, this body and the proletariat, identical yesterday, today, tomorrow, always, in spite of the flags and latitudes under which it camps, identical in pain and misery, aspirations and fate, in Belgium as in Germany, Italy, as in Austria, England or Russia.
And if it is of mediocre interest to ask us what the bourgeoisie or the Belgian government, which are suffering with the German invasion their solidarity with the bourgeoisie and with the government of France and England, solidarity of interests and interests freely elected, freely allowed, too long meditated on, The attitude of the workers must be foreseen, calculated, weighed up in its risks and its consequences, in the hardships of today as well as in the lavish prizes of tomorrow, so that they do not have the shame or the merit, all and conscious of their responsibilities.
We were with the proletariat yesterday, against all its enemies; with it, and for it, we attacked every bastille, every lie, every fraud, every property, in the name and in the interest of which war is waged; alio State, which the war has unleashed and infused with savage hatreds and hyperbolic carnage; to the Church, which, on the insane fratricidal torment, is fortunately tending the nets of the coveted Catholic restoration of its spiritual and temporal dominion; against the Patna, which the wise deception covers with its banners; Against the militarism, which, having burnt our sons to the barracks, immolated them in the premeditated slaughter unto fortune and the glory of the capital; And now that the fraud, the lie, the ambush are clawing him from all sides, now that histrionics, demagogues and redeemers are pushing him back into agreement under the yoke, can we abandon him without protest, without revolt, shirking the frightening but irrecusable responsibilities that our pertinaceous theoretical insurrection, our iconoclastic attitude, all our propaganda are achieving?
Not us, not at this hour of his atrocious Gethsemane where Pilate’s cowardice and Judas’ treachery drive him up the steep slope of the bleeding, ineffable passion.
War is and if in every war and a provocation, an aggression, in the great war — as in the dark war of every day — the proletariat must be the anarchists with the vibrant affection of noble worries and civilized foresight. With the proletariat only, because while the bourgeoisie of the uncertain of the war will easily make up for itself in the division of the spoils at the good hour, and reconciling itself to the fleeting competitions of today on the renewed plebeian devotions, it will have in the lamp of its destiny, in everything, the oil of another century of life and of empire, the proletariat will reap on the battlefields only death, misery and servitude today, which threatens it and threatens its ransom tomorrow.
With the proletariat everywhere, because the different language, the different faith, the tradition, the homeland, the different flag, cannot break — indeed, they will put in a better light — the fundamental harmony and commonality of the interests and aspirations that remain identical even where the aberrated attitude of some of its factions about this essential commonality has passed with the blind fury of its superstitious and bestial domesticity.
With the proletariat that in the warp of the millennial and fallen fraud, fratricidal hatred in the poisoned heart, the murderous weapon in the convulsive fist, in Germany or Belgium, in Austria or Serbia, as with the proletariat that blinded by the same superstitious fury, on the cote of the same hatreds, in Italy, in Greece, in Romania, in Bulgaria, sharpens its knives to the fratricidal slaughters of tomorrow; for the most human, the most revolutionary, the most civilized of all endeavors; to honor a commitment that we have solemnly contracted in the face of the proletariat, to cry out a truth that trembles in the soul of all, and that everyone, all of them knee-deep in fear, scruples, religiously eunuchs, strive to evade and suffocate.
When to the rough proletarian soul, redeemed from the begging customs and the lying flattery of the otherworldly redemption, torn even more laboriously from the protection of the demigods of the earth, from the naive faith in the protection of the law and the State, we have on the ruins of the great conventional lies shown survivors a right and a strength, the strength of the minds bending over the mystery, the strength of the arms bowing in the furrow, the strength of labor which is its intent to bring back to the earth, fellow citizens, together with equal wealth, truth and freedom; The right for those who surround life with security, wellbeing, joy, to freeze equal to its own lives, haven’t we a hundred times said and repeated that neither that strength nor that right would ever see the auroras of triumph until they were wiped from the earth, banished forever, the privilege source of all inequality, the lie guard of all servants?
And to the wavering, uncertain, doubtful proletarian soul beneath the fall of our iconoclastic recklessness, have we not with inexhaustible pertinence inculcated that, more than vigor and proper law, the enemy was strong with faith, with the arm, with the weapons that we deny or unconsciously bring to him ourselves? And that, reduced by now to having to rely only on our own strength, it was urgent to free from the mud and from the resigned abjection of the slave the indocile awareness of the creator of life, to unleash his will, to activate and converge his energies that would have asked the warnings of experience for the hope of free pacts, the irresistible harmony and the audacity of the supreme resolutions, as soon as the bells of the dies irae rang in flocks?
And that with them, with the workers of every country, in the vanguard, we would be in the hour of the extreme ciment?
The time is up. And among us are those who throw weapons and baggage to hurry among the ranks of the enemy, soldiers of the homeland, crusaders of bourgeois civilization, thugs of the emperor, the king, the republic. It is not Serena, nor is the hour of responsibility easy; blessed are the sophisms that free us from it.
Without sophistry, what should we say to the workers of countries at war, to those who will be overwhelmed tomorrow, to those who are watching from every country in dismay and deserting the immense carnage? “Long before the hirsute ulans of the Kaiser crossed the Rhine and the Mossa, long before the scourge of war passed over your hovels, and the scourge of war passed over your hovels, and the scourge of war was taken away from your children, and the crust of bread was skimped on, and the right, and the women, and the liberty, and the drunken cachinno of the victor’s drunken cachinno, in the homeland, in the homeland which you contend for today, fell upon the ruin. Your foreigner’s breast, the whims of your masters in life imprisonment, in the shipyards, in the mines panting of your generous toil, have torn your flesh, your sweat, your blood, your right, your children, have repaid your wealth with a crust of bread, a kick in the belly, a handful of baiocchi and. When you have made the effort, you have begged for rest, when you have made the bread suitable for sweat, when you have made the sacred task suitable for gratitude, respect, for the squares, the streets, the gorges of the mountains, the fields, the gendarmes of the king, the soldiers of the fatherland, on the cobblestones, on the furrows, with a burp of lead, have reclined you in a puddle of blood, inexorable as they dare not, even broken to all the ignominy of the trade, the peckers of the emperor; the king’s justice in the galleys of the fatherland has stifled the rale of the survivors; and tomorrow, when the fugitive king shall restore the throne to the throne, tomorrow he shall restore the fatherland to the regained borders, against your bare breasts, against your unarmed children, against the exhausted and starving, against your right to life, will be times the weapons which you have taken up in defense of the king, and of the fatherland against the invader.
Wasn’t it always like this? In Paris in May 1871 after the heroic self-sacrifice of the siege, in Petersburg in January 1905 after the Port Arthur holocausts?
It is bleeding to see you prey to the enemy in an hour of an hour; in the month of a year the pious valleys of Flanders and Brabant, the cathedrals, the universities, the marvelous workshops, the museums, the gleaming delusions of the faith, the wisdom, the industriousness of the art of the genius of your glorious Flemish lineage; and to take them away from you, you tend every anxiety, every daring, every tenacity, up to heroism, up to sacrifice.
Take them back, for whom?
“For the enemy of every day, of every time, for the enemy of the lineage as far as memory goes up through the ages, for the enemy of the offspring as far as the fearful gaze and resigned prediction peer into the mist of the future; for the age-old and unchanged enemy.
Not for you! Not for you, the pious lands of Brabant, which also sprinkled with your blood and sweat; not for you, the workshops which bore the miracle under the titanic grip of your arms in the wise rhythm of your work; not for you, the academies, the universities, the museums, the proud pride of knowledge, the divine ecstasy of art and beauty: for the secular enemy, inexorable and unchanged.
Well, it is today, for a moment in the enemy camp the discord, and within the circle of patriotic boundaries, the truest and greatest enemy has in his cowardly soul the thrill of fear, and bends down, cowardly and beggar — he who never had for our pains, for our right, for our miseries that gall and schemes and lead — to ask us in the king’s edicts for the salvation of the dynasty and the homeland, in the pastoral care of his bishops for the victory and for the glory of the ancestral faith, in the ruffled lie of his epigones for the defense of fields and mines, workshops and markets, for the custody of the turgid Flemish prosperity — a necessary bulwark for the threatened triple dominion — the chest, is blood of subjects, outcasts, the faithful. And he gives us for the glorious crusade the viaticum, the blessings, the weapons.
Weapons! Weapons sighed and waited for: the hour, the hour announced and longed for the resurrection! The hour that does not toma twice on the quadrant of history, the weapons that, retreated tomorrow on defeat or victory, will once again be flattened on our chests against our destiny!
If we would take them to take back the land that is ours, the house that is ours, the bread, freedom, rest, love, joy, the future, to take back our place in the sun, our place in life, our place in history, to those who have usurped and contended for them, for centuries, pin harshly, more ferociously than the invader who emerged from beyond the Rhine or perched on the yokes of Trentino and the cliffs of San Giusto, rising in the name of law and justice, rather than prostitute ourselves to the whim of the king or the calculations of the pickpockets: would we not begin that work of revolution and regeneration which in heroic defeats matures and hastens victory, which intises the hope, the seers, the sterile invocations of the tribunes and poets?”
Isn’t this the commitment that in the face of the stray proletariat between its tenacious illusions and the cunning duplicity of its ruffles we have taken on and every day sincerely renewed?
Isn’t this the voice that shouts even today incoercible at the bottom, in the best and healthiest part of each of us?
Doesn’t this unavoidable necessity every day reiterate every episode of the paradoxical carnage at the tragic end of which the international masquerades of the great thieves, on our back, demand hegemony?
And it is not the hour that, thrown out sophisms, folds, quibbles, deceptions, obliquities idiotic and unworthy, in every homeland where the war has passed with its massacres with its anguish with its waves of leaded blood of tears, in every homeland where it hastens to burst into tears in the mines in the shame of tomorrow, must the libertarians of every faction rediscover the necessary Concordia of intentions of action to which the vast field that illuminates the war of its sinister flashes opens unusually, unexpectedly propitious?
Stone me with ostracisms, anathemas, and vicissitudes: what is inside you is not weakened by calculation, by fear, has only consent for my heresy, has only one echo, one vote, one cry: against the war for the social revolution!
Against war, against peace,
for the revolution!
La verità est en marche et rien ne backward
He ascends and holds in the purest hands the faces and palms of justice. But then, even if it does not rise up on the fronts of Galileo’ or Bruno corrusca, ruthless against the divine majesty of dogmas and councils; even when humble, discreet, modest, it does not welcome and does not guard other masses than the daily experience and universe, for the steep of Golgotha it must ascend! it finds no other path.
Oh, you remember!
We warned our comrades, disrupted in conscience, in faith, in expectation, by the cyclone that swirling between the Danube and the Scheldt threatened to overwhelm them in the delirium of extreme perdition, how vast the continent is, we warned them twenty months ago, at the first outbreak of war, simply, fraternally; “If a ray of truth in the gloomy limbo of squalid servitude has come to kiss you, that joy, that pride, do not barter with the absinthe of the morbid enthusiasm that beyond the fleeting intoxication of the hour drowns in the most bitter, the most wretched of disillusions; To that joy, to that pride, do not abdicate, even if the loneliness of abandonment is around every side, and the dark phalanges deserting, passing to the enemy, duchies and heralds; even where on the pale fronts roar the blind fury of the vulgos, the anathema of the haughty popes....if a ray of truth in the bleak limbo of squalid servitude has come to kiss you.
Not the fist of men can hold the world’s fortune! Our hour will return, do not despair, do not abandon the outposts with so much pain reached, with so much care guarded; do not betray for the restoration of the regime against which you have risen the holy cause of common liberation; do not betray for war the revolution!
It’s the obscene surrender of pirates, the fury of jackals, the rage of purse-snatchers enraged at usury, of shopkeepers’ shopkeepers of gamblers’ suppliers, who are panting at the dividend, at the tenth, at the suffered gains, the war! Civilization, homeland, liberty, progress are but the flag of which the smuggling is covered, with which the shameless fraud is hidden, to reap for the sack, for the size, for the fortune of the great thieves, the necessary tribute of energy and blood that the proletariat alone can give, and — though docile, though late — would not give otherwise with the ardor, self-sacrifice, the blind impetus that remains the essential condition for success. Isn’t that what we wrote, almost two years ago, at the first outbreak of the war?
And the more you remember!
From every trivium, from every bilge, from every bilge, from every lair, from every parchment, from every lips, from the desolate lips of the people in their own way, from the obscene mouth of the assassins, from the obtuse soul of the crew, from the mocking sneer of the pusillanimous, full of flattery, of pity, of threats, of schemes, of ostracisms, of fears, the range of the vicious and of the abomination was fierce, implacable: Lost for one, bastards for the other, naive for those, sold for them, aberrantly obstinate or reckless for the rest, the painful slow indefectible justice of things and time we have in the bedlam we have sighed for twenty months, in the fierce faith of intimate conscience and painful experience, yearning for the windy dawn of the incoercible truth, which now dawns.
Barely, barely; but when it is enough to wish for the day, to penetrate the plot of the horrendous paradoxical fraud, to illuminate its frightening warp of calculations, of windings, of irony and cynicism, to build the wretched ones who expected the immaculate labors of a greater civilization, the serto of the greatest homeland, the blood orifice of freedom, all the benefits of abundance and well-being, the palingenesis vaticinata of mankind in the hyperbolic bloodbath that had to rebuild the fiber, will, hope and purpose; consoling himself at the worst Tarfuto, that if war and the supreme of misfortunes, this at least had the unusual advantage of being the last of history.
If the progress of civilization is measured by the victories of law over arbitrariness, of reason over violence, of will over renunciation, of conscience over prejudice, of pride over sloth, of man over beast or beast of burden, there is no doubt: war, of law, of reason, of truth, of truth, of dignity, of every intimate, legitimate pride has made mass conscription, forced comebacks, systematic slaughter, blind destruction, closure. schools, with the violent arrest of every life of thought, with the meditated restoration of the church and barracks, the only repositories and arbitrators of the common destinies; the war has plunged us in every country into the darkness of the Middle Ages, in the darkest hour of its barbarism.
And if the nation is no longer the rape of the vassals “corveables et taillables d merci” of the ancient regime, of the abolished monarchical nobles, but of the great revolution and the universality of the citizens who have in common origin, tradition, history and customs, it cannot be in doubt here either: war and everything less national you can imagine.
Because of the two Tuna: either these anthropological sophistications are repudiated — and it would not be unreasonable in the face of the impossibility to trace today, after millennia of various crossbreeds and widespread promiscuity, the differential characteristics of particular ethnic groups; and then the warrior invocation in the name of the people and ruffled and idiotic. Or you accept, and then you must also accept the conclusion, and recognize that from the highlands of Punjab for all of southern Russia, for Hungary, Bavaria, Lorraine, northern Italy, the eastern departments of France and most of Belgium, we have only Celts, All of them, as we have in the North Prussians, Scots, Irish, who are all Teutons, all brothers in the lineage, as far as, by chance from one or the other side of the border, they are slaughtered today in Flanders, in the Vosges or in Trentino, in the name of the lineage with the most fraternal enthusiasm.
So that Sir Ray Lankester — an anthropologist of the best authoritative — could conclude in one of his recent studies that “if ambitions and interests of various kinds weighed heavily on the Great War, it exaggerated the instinct of race completely”.
We also exhale ourselves from a field so uncertain, so badly trustworthy, squeezing ourselves within the borders of the homeland that was born with the “Declaration of Human Rights” together with the citizen who was to form its cornerstone, building its history and glory.
Of the homeland, which — like the citizen in the free exercise of his recognized rights, always saving the equal rights of his neighbor — claims, in the territorial integrity of the boundaries assigned to it by nature and history, the right to govern itself, according to its traditions, according to its laws, according to its customs, without foreign interference, save only the homage due to the equal rights of other peoples, other nations.
Because, only in this reciprocity of equal rights is the foundation of the homelands. Break this bond, humiliate yourself in your neighboring right by claiming a less numerous, less strong homeland, and your right to integrity in your own national existence will be invalidated, abolished.
Italy, to refer to a current and practical example, is claiming the restitution of Trento and Trieste from Austria, all right. But Italy has Eritrea, Benadir, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, Italy has one foot in the Dodecanese, another in Albania: That is to say, it tramples on those populations the right that encamped on Austria, sends up the Julians and the Rhaetians to claim the national integrity of our children, who yesterday were challenged by the Muslim populations of Africa or the Greek populations of the Aegean hills that have in common neither the origin, nor the tradition, nor the language, nor the faith — the rights and aspirations that would be recognized on Trento and Trieste. It is obvious that when one says Italy one can with equal and sometimes greater reason say Austria, Germany, England, Russia, France, whose power is exercised in hatred of a hundred different nations equally enslaved and ferociously bled out. And it is exuberant to demonstrate that the determinant causes of war must not only exclude race antagonism, but above all the civil concerns and the “liberating” sincerity of the many and various governments that for years have been brooding over it and have unleashed it in all its wild fury.
The reality is quite different.
In fact, the homeland is not in the very recent history of the last century more than a blaze: it is no longer there for anyone.
By freeing property from noble privileges, elevating the third state to the hegemony of the country; and the peasant, the craftsman to the dignity of citizen, the revolution, the Declaration of Rights, the Terror, the great wars of the republic, had created the nation, the homeland; and, brought by the sanculottos for every land, the princes of 1789 began there the cycle of national claims and revolutions of which flashes the nineteenth century which saw, particularly dear to our memories, between 1848 and 1870, the epilogue of the constitutional uprisings of 1821, the assumption of free Italy and one in the Capitol.
In the homeland our old people, who cemented the building with blood, all the aspirations of freedom and well-being.
But, born as soon as she was born, she was dissolving her homeland in the mockery of one and the disillusionment of the other.
The bourgeoisie find its boundaries anglicist to the exuberance of its products, to the needs of its traffic, and I bypass them to the conquest of the markets of the world; it dispersed the homeland everywhere, I find it again under every heaven that blessed with unexpected profits its resourcefulness, its fervor: the world was its homeland. The proletariat, for its part, after having demanded indarno to the intermittent political convulsions a liberation that cannot be separated from the contemporary redemption of the instrument of production, did not see in the homeland if not the most exaggerated reorganization of privileges that it had deluded itself to have buried forever among the ruins of the Bastille, at the foot of the guillotine. He rejoiced, experiencing that every country is similar, that language and customs are sometimes different, but that they are everywhere masters and servants, oppressors and oppressed, rich and poor, chosen and damned; damned above all, with whom he had common pains, chains, miseries. And the frontiers of the homeland moved, where by the sweat of the fronts, I search for the poor bread beyond the short term that tradition had walled up between the cradle and the flag, farther and farther every day, beyond the Alps, beyond the sea to the extreme horizon, surprising in its desolate pilgrimages a single, steep, ancient, unchanged frontier; the frontier that rises between those who lazy and those who work between those who gallivanting and those who moan; the world was its homeland.
The little country is dead: the truth is on the march!
They always fight over there, at the various fronts, twenty-one million proletarians. Without faith, however, out of order and fear.
To slaughter them, they ignore.
The German people, who — according to General von Bernhardi, who glories in it, and the allies who vilify him — would have been for forty years with wise obstinacy in kindergartens, schools, clubs, churches and barracks, educated, fierce in the great contention, that über alles must hoist old Germany to dominate, continue to wonder through the mouth of his best interpreters, of the “Worwaerts!“Why? What does he give his blood for? What is the goal of the war?” so insistently that the imperial chancellery certainly suppresses the indiscreet daily socialist indiscretion. The English Parliament is forced, in order to avoid the debacle and disaster, to exclude the Irish subjects from the Compulsory Act and to machine gun the Hindus garrisons in Egypt; the French soldiers shout in Poincaré’s face that the war “ils en ont assez soupe”; from the irredentist frenzies of the first days we are in Italy arrived to the armed insubordination and to the block shootings that do not arrive however to galvanize them; while in the streets of Vienna or Petersburg the hungry people cursing the war plundered the ovens defying the bestiality and the lead of the imperial Cossacks.
Twenty-one million men still fight from various fronts; but without faith, by order and fear. If they fight! It is in the statistical reports of the “Peace Society” of London a couple of figures that make a comparison.
The victims of the war of the last century, from the English War of the Indies in 1800 until the Transvaal wars in 1899, add up to ten million; while the total expenditure of the various nations participating in it is summed up in one hundred twenty-three billion francs.
The victims of these twenty months of war, on the official figures of the allied governments and on those estimated by the central empires, today reach fourteen million nine hundred and sixty thousand men, while the total debt, the new debt, the one that for the war yes and in these twenty months encountered, draws on the total figure of one hundred and forty-five billion franc.
And we’re not halfway there?
Without faith! Where would they draw it from?
Quos vult lose dementat deus! cried the poet a di: “the good lord takes away the wits of those who wish to lose.” While the courtly historians, the courtly poets, the pontiff in encyclicals, the ravenous ascars of nationalist arrivism toil in classrooms, festivals, fairs and sacred shops, to proclaim for the faith and homeland and civilization threatened, for the greatness and future of the lineage, tributes and holocausts, and every homeland the pelagus of fierce racing wars.
Do you want to be beyond all modest discretion? And you can estimate at six percent only the commission that the bankers have taken out on the various national loans, and you will have that three billion francs at least — thanks to the fascination war — have gone to hide in their pockets.
Do you want to open one eye only to the truth that shines through from the daily news of the great newspapers? And you must allow public indignation now knows and denounces no more than a crime, and the courts of the different countries are no longer concerned with anything else: supply fraud, cardboard shoes, limed milk, limed timber, cracked wood, nettle blankets, centuries-old canned goods sold to soldiers at war with the complicity of commanders-in-chief, senators, deputies, and gallons who, like jackals on carrion, appear at all times of crisis and public calamity. And while everyone tightens their belts and skips lunch or dinner to feed the homeland’s fortunes, the stock market bulletins sing in billions of notes about Krupp’s and Krupp’s profits. Schneider, from General Navigation, Terni, Barklay Co., Capital & County Bank, who have never had such a languid and blissful vineyard!
It does not fertilize other fortune and other future than that of the pirates of finance and industry, the blood shed by the wretched, in rivers, in the gorges of the Alps, in the dunes families, on all the fields of Europe.
It would take faith!
They’re still fighting!
It is humiliating; and, let us be frank, anger mounts at our throats when we think of the enormous rape of gladiators who — like their ancestors in the Colosseum — without reason and without hatred, by calculation, whimsy or the kilo of rulers and pickpockets, slash their throats with blind fury on every frontier of the old continent.
But in the throat, it stays.
Why wouldn’t they fight?
For the love of life? Freedom? Peace?
I’ll remember as long as I live. Exploring the years I was with a companion, an old miner, one of the vast mines of Illinois and on the threshold of the “square” I stopped to watch one of the support beams that under the enormous pressure of the rock hinted at breaking.
— Looks to me like he wants to leave in two.
— Not today. It will last until tomorrow, of course.
— But if you skip ahead a few hours, who would come to dig us up?
— Oh, as for that, don’t get your hopes up, it must end like this one day or another! I grumble my companion lying down in the beauty of his pickaxe to kick the rock. He said nothing more, but the pickaxe had resumed the interrupted dialogue, and hammered in my soul:
“Is it really worth living, being guarded, the blind, reclusive, monotonous existence to which we are condemned? The life that does not know the caresses of love, nor the fevers of knowing, nor the proud of freedom, nor the tremblings of rest, nor the promises of tomorrow? The life that is darkness, misery, anguish, passion alone, and rode slow, inexorable the hookworm of tuberculosis? or suffocated by the silent landslide or the crash of its whirlwinds of flame the firedamp?
Does that count? If it’s not a smile of joy in our lungs, die in war or on the road, die of an outlet of blood or a handful of lead, and all one. The rigors and mutilations of discipline are no more humiliating than the prison regime of the factory and labor: we have never known it to be freedom. The discomforts, the trials, the risks, the horrors of war are neither greater nor more serious than the horrors of peace, the anxieties of the old men, the bitter ones. The anguish of children, nor the threats of tomorrow: we have never known what peace is!”.
And they fight.
Why wouldn’t they fight? If those who know more, those who have studied, known, discerned in the millenary sediments of history the wretched root of evil, glimpsed beyond the bruised mist of the wretched present the flashes of the happy future; And in the midst of the humble they raised up, against all tyranny, curses and disdain, and against all the tyranny, and against the generous levies they had studded their arms and hearts and impetus, and of the promethean revolts they had blazed God, the king, the master; denying — Pharisees inverse — the indocile apostleship, in league with the enemy, they called them under the flags? If those who had camped among the humble had given the blood of the soul and the flames of the brain and the heroic self-sacrifice and burning passion of every day, giving always and everything, without asking for anything, never, in the tragic hour that at the impetuous fury of lies, of fraud, of abjuration, of betrayal, was it urgent to lift up the bank of the recklessness that had been preserved, dismayed, lost, divided, divided, and embellished, but they have also folded up, abject wreckage at the mercy of the irresistible and wicked cyclone?
They fight; and it is a baker every valley every dune, a puddle of blood every gorge, a charnel house every peak; But the twenty months have not gone by unnoticed, if the wretches of all the homelands have reaped an experience, if in the colluvias that stagnate and ferment among the disputed trenches, under their barred pupils, they rotten the ironic impotence of God, the hypocritical mask of civilization, the ark of peace, the superstition of the redeemers, the majesty of the demigods, all the caryatids of the social order; If from the horrible trial emerges the surviving proletariat with the desperate certainty that it did not fight for the salvation of the undigested and the wretched, for glory or for bread, for civilization or for freedom; that it fought only to rebuild the golden calf the temple and fortune, and to repeat on the hovels, on the necks of the most atrocious wretches, more exaggerated the yoke of arrogance and robbery.
If in his soul, lacerated by the last betrayal an echo will find the expletives that mount from the desolate fields, from the city in ruins, from the convulsive bellies of bleeding hearts, thickening so sinisterly on the fronts of the crowned murderers and venturi the new hurricane of history, that Nicholas II of Romanoff and Victor Emmanuel of Savoy and William II of Hohenzollern find no other refuge than the Headquarters, between the bayonet forest and the ranks of the praetorians, while Joffre, wishing well from his own tenacity to the final victory of the republican eagles d forced to tell you with lips and bitter words that “he does not know whether the proletariat in England, France, Italy, the same firm ground; what is essential.”
I don’t know.
Experience leaves the furrow, and in that furrow the weed of inertia vigorously weeds only because no one has sown any more seed; and despair and torment, anguish, resignation and sloth only because responsibilities evade, energies and forces are ignored, and ends are not seen; But give responsibility a semblance, give awareness to strength, give it a light, give it a goal, and you will have made despair the audacity, resignation the heroism, sloth the revolt, vassal a sanculotto, the “lettre de cachet” a handful of ashes, the Bastille a pile of ruins; and the social revolution of the war borseiola.
Responsibilities and managers have been taking on more precise and more defined features every day for twenty months, while trembling inexhaustible strength from millions of breasts
Half? Who will point to the misguided conquistadors the goal?
Who will keep an eye on the cyclops?
War and revolution
The anarchists, who have not gone to the drift of the hideous drift full of hatred and blood, and follow and live anxiously every day and every episode of the Iliad trick, are preparing to take away their revenge as soon as the war is over, and ask themselves tormentingly in which of the great crevasses they are going to shove to subvert the iniquitous social order the first cartridge of dynamite; And many comrades, many and the best, ask us, almost pythonesses, repositories of every arcane of destiny, if this sari really will be the good time, and what shall we do? as if they could expect from us more than a few sparse and modest predictions subject to much, to much benefit of inventory, some judgement which, though discreet, and by the intimate desire and ardent expectation spoiled even before the inevitable surprises of the unexpected.
We sincerely believe that this time it’s the good one, that we’re on an abrupt “tournant de l’histoire” however the war ends, indeed — where it doesn’t seem a paradox to you — because we can’t imagine how the war could otherwise end.
Those who expect to see the epilogue precipitate from exhaustion, will have to wait a long time, since they cannot suppose the exclusive exhaustion of only one of the belligerent groups for the benefit of the others; but having to reasonably admit that it is, to an equal or proportional depression in both; therefore the solution of the conflict should at least refer to the consummation... of the human race; a little late indeed if the psalm of the revolution has to tune in when the war is over.
The insurrection will precede the ceasefire, or rather, it will break through to prevent peace from restoring to the ruins of war the social order that has unleashed its horrors and infamy.
You must precede her! Must surprise the weapons in the exhausted fist to the shoulders, to the kidneys, the august international mischief that for a handful of guineas, for a strip of land, for a crown, has on the altar of Molok bartered the most fervent, the purest blood in the world. And don’t ask us where, when all the perdition will burst forth!
No visionary has ever prefixed the palpitations and path to history, and we have so little faith in social astrology that we have never asked it for the numbers and signs of becoming. Numerous serious, persistent, urgent, convergent events and causes that look, speak for themselves. In the melting pot of every country, they tremble, under the slag of the dross. Stagnant widespread resignation, disappointments, disappointments, disdainfulness compressed, ancient hatreds, implacable; in the old Germany that of every palpitation, of every morsel of bread has fed the most formidable army in the world so that together with the easy victory would bring the coveted hegemony of the world, and numbered anguished, distressed, hated, attacked for every side, the days of atrocious agony; In the old Republican Gaul who, on the balance sheet of the longed-for victory, far away, feels immense at the revenge of the sacrifice; in the old England, lecherous bilge of usuries to which the wily liberal and pietist hypocrisies are thin fig leaf; in the old homeland that the Pellagrosis humers feel inadequate the pride of bleeding for the dubious redemption of others before their own; in Austria, in Russia; in Turkey, several hundred irreconcilable fiefdoms and servants; Everywhere and a furrow, a hut, a belly, an attic, a child, a love, a hope, these causes are urging, hammering, pressing on each other, overlapping and knotting themselves in the dense mesh of anxieties, trials, torments, common curses, needs, longings, hopes, common purposes. And we simply say that those lawsuits will have an effect.
And we can without fear that, converging above and beyond the widest disagreement the world has ever seen, these causes, among many varied and complex effects, will flourish a general consequence; and that if in history insurrections of a general nature take the name of revolution when, having shattered the envelope of inconsistent and outdated relations, they carry in their laps the viaticum and compass to a new and better path, we not only have insurrection and revolution at our gates, we also have clear and precise the task they assign to the avant-garde.
They know, from the old experience and the new, that if not the churches, the sects, the parties make the revolution, but — unknowingly most of the time — the great masses scourged by anger and need, so much so that as a rule, at the first stage, the indignation subsides and satisfies the need; Only the avant-garde handpieces can of the inexorable axe tear the good breach, arouse sacrilegious face in every Bastille, in every den of lie and privilege, the levelling fire.
At home or in the trenches, under the barrage of the machine gun or under the bite of the inopia, the ragamuffins of a hundred devastated homelands will tire of war today or tomorrow: Today or tomorrow, in Germany, in France, in France, in Russia, in Asia, they will rise up in Germany, in France, in Russia, in Asia and, like a century ago, they will determine the hasty coalitions, the undergone reconciliation of the Habsburgs, the Savoy, the Hohenzollern and the Romanoff, if in every country we do not know how to disorient the central power by beheading it, to dismantle the ruling class by removing the most precious hostages from its bosom, mercilessly eliminating all those who can return to the fate of the insurrection by holding back the barrier; if we do not give a weapon and bread to every insurgent, if the plot of conservative interests and solidarity is disrupted, we will not victoriously ensure communications and means for understanding and revolutionary mobilization; if we are not aware of the enormous task that we have to perform, if we do not have a clear vision of the goal that we want to reach, if we do not know how to profit from the inexhaustible variety of resources that will put at our disposal the first adventurous impulses; if we do not know how to heal the benefits of the new regime for the doubtful, the uncertain, the distrustful; if we do not have the heroic courage of implicit and frightening responsibilities; and especially if we do not have faith in justice. of our cause and in the triumph of our right; if of this faith we will not intrigue the bread and blood, the audacity and tenacity of every legionary of the revolution.
Never the time again!
Never before has the intimate revolt against the regime’s inseparable, fatal, inseparable, cynical, turpitude, ferociousness and cynicism been so unanimous in hearts; never again does the International revolt, subterranean at all frontiers, remain in pain; Never more conserved in longings and vows, high, in the heavens of hope, never so alive, never so fervent in decalogues as today in hearts, today that four henchmen sing her funeral, who have found better fodder in the enemy’s mangers; while from the lunar horizon infinite numbers of hugs rise rosy hands. of children, the righteous foreheads of the aged, the velvety arms of the titans, the spasms and singulars of mothers in a brood, cursing the same heart and the same neck with horror at the exterminating war and the obnoxious peace, proclaiming urgently with anxiety and a voice the vespers, the vespers awaited for liberation.
It’s time he didn’t come back!
To vesper! To vesper! To vesper who gives no quarter and knows no mercy.
 This series of eight articles were published in several issues of the ‘Subversive Chronicle’. The first one appeared on the 7 November 1914 issue and the last one on the 2 January 1915 issue.
 The Hon. Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida, deputy “Tripolino” and war correspondent, sent from Tripoli: “And every day he passed to consolidate the dominion of those behind the Tripolina enterprise pulling the strings, of those who are the true masters of Tripoli, the Bank of Rome”. “Forward!” May 20, 1912. (NdE). The NdE are taken from; Luigi Galleani, Una battaglia, ed. Biblioteca de L’adunata dei Refrattari, Rome 1947. All the other notes are by Galleani himself.
 “Social Wars”, year VIII, no. 31; July 31, 1914.
 Chalons-sur-Marne, proletarian massacre, June 2, 1900: Alexander Millerand was minister in the Waldeck-Rousseau cabinet. Draveil (Seine et Oise) massacre of striking excavators, 2 June 1908, being ministers Rene, Viviani and Aristide Briand together with Clemenceau. (NdE).
 It will be worth remembering here, to those who bear the credit for the war for having precipitated the Russian Revolution, that it had its origin and development in the anti-war spirit of the avant-garde Russian proletariat. (NdE).
 Gen. Von Bernhardi: “Our Future”. A word of alarm for the German nation, in J. Ellis Barker’s translation of “Boston Sunday Post”, December 13, 1914.
 Lysis: “Contre l’Oligarchie Finanziere”, p. 191 et seq. Paris, “La Revue” 1908.
 “because of his efforts to liberate Italy”... “in 1860 they drove the Austrian rulers out of Florence, Parma and Modena, and Florence became the capital of Italy”. (NdE).
 “In Rome our guns have brought down the turbulent demagogy that had compromised the cause of the real Uberta throughout the Italian peninsula; and our good soldiers had the distinguished honor of putting Pius IX back on the throne of St. Peter”. (NdE).
 Spectator in the “Italian Illustration” of October 1914, p. 318.
 “Ibidem, December 6, 1914, p. 479.
 “Mazzini, “Politics and Economics”, vol. II, p. 184.
 Article appeared in “Subversive Chronicle” of April 3, 1915.
 Article appeared in “Subversive Chronicle” of 18 March 1916.
 “The Boston Herald,” September 5, 1915.
 “New York Times.”
 General Joffre to the representatives of the railwaymen fences at the front wishing them victory.