Chapter 5: What the world crisis is, and the different forms in which it manifests itself

Submitted by Steven. on June 17, 2013

Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down,
And the great Hector's
sword had lack’d a master (...)
The specialty of rule hath been
And, look, how many Grecian tents do stand
upon this plain, so many hollow factions (...)
When that the general
is not like the hive (...)
The unworthiest shows as fairly in the
mask (...)
When the planets
In evil mixture to disorder
What plagues and what portents! what mutiny!
What raging
of the sea! shaking of earth!
Commotion in the winds! frights,
changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixture! O, when
degree is shaked,
Which is the ladder to all high designs,
enterprise is sick! (...)
Then every thing includes itself in
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, an
universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
make perforce an universal prey,
And last eat up himself (...)

Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength.

Troilus and Cressida[1]

When the present does not regret the past, and when the future does
not appear compromised by the precariousness of a present like ours, men
and women live their lives in all its richness. To give an evocative
example: in the second half of the 18th century, Venetian society could
offer itself the luxury of literally forgetting the masterpieces of
Vivaldi and Albioni because of the new masterpieces of Mozart and
Lorenzo Da Ponte that had come from Vienna.

But in an epoch in which the poverty of a present that is
simultaneously anxious and stagnant announces the coming of a troubled
and tragic future; in an epoch in which the rediscovery of the
masterpieces of the past, quickly pillaged, hardly consoles us; in an
epoch in which poverty, and especially cultural poverty, dominates our
societies of lost abundance and assaults all of us – individuals and
social classes, the leaders and the led, up to the State itself –
everyone seems to fidget in a kind of “absolute anxiety of not being
who he really is,
” as Hegel would say. Thus we witness a strange,
generalized and universal alienation, by virtue of which no one can any
longer play the very role that defines him. The workers no longer want
to be workers; the leaders fear to appear to be leaders; the
conservatives hide or keep quiet; the bourgeoisie fears being bourgeois
– we wish to repeat that, “when all the ranks are disguised, the most
unworthy also cut beautiful figures in the masquerade,” and then “the
unity and peaceful marriage of the classes” evaporate, because there is
no longer a “fixed condition” for anyone.

And, in what concerns the Italian bourgeoisie, which was reminded
(unsuccessfully) by Giorgio Bocca[2] that “it wasn’t born yesterday,”
and that it was even the first bourgeoisie in history and the inventor
of the bank, today we see it believe every word of its adversaries,
accord credence to fashionable Marxism and its predictions (instead of
having faith in its own history and culture, which have been forgotten
or ignored), and fill its mouth with quibbling about the proletariat and
the most adequate means by which the workers should conduct their own
struggles to such an extent that, for a part of our bourgeoisie, in the
great sunset of capitalism, of which it speaks, all cows are

This general crisis of identity, in its turn, is only a particular
aspect of the current global crisis, but it does not any less merit our
attention for that, and while we are on the subject, we would like to
argue a contrario, for the benefit of the Italian bourgeoisie, by
quoting from (and not providing any commentary on) an eloquent passage
from a private letter sent to us by a Russian diplomat, whose name we
will not divulge, immediately after the invasion of Czechoslovakia in

It is stupidity that causes you Italians to raise the
question of the workers. I absolutely do not see what you would like to
do with the European worker after you have turned him into a question.
If you want slaves, you are crazy to grant to the workers that which
makes them masters; but you have destroyed, down to their seeds, the
instincts that make the workers possible as a class, that is, that
which makes them admit this possibility to themselves.
What would be
astonishing if your worker finds that his existence today appears to him
as a calamity, to speak the language of morality, as an

We have reported this morsel, the italics in which were in the
original, not out of a taste for anecdotes, but to show that, in the
cold and brutal language that is proper to the Soviet bureaucracy, there
can sometimes be more truth, sincerity and realism than in the Marxist
dissertations of some more or less intellectual members of the Italian
bourgeoisie. All the same, it would be the height of historical irony if
our politics, forgetful of people like Machiavelli, must seek its
science lessons from the dominant bureaucracy in Moscow! And yet, in
Moscow, the power-holding class seems to forget its own identity less
than we do ours, and, despite its immense deficiencies, it is aware of
its interests, it knows how to defend them, and it knows against
it must defend them. In Russia and elsewhere, the Communists in
fact know better than others in the world today that no true revolution
is possible if it is not really proletarian, that is to say, if it does
not turn against all domination and all ruling classes, and thus against
the ruling class that they themselves constitute in the country where
they hold power, and it isn’t by chance that their political parties
abroad have everywhere ceased to speak of a revolution that they cannot
in fact accept, because in Russia in 1917 they knew one directly and, if
they managed to seize power, it was only by ruining that revolution that
the Communists were able to remain at the helm of the State and the

But now, since we are broaching the most important question that we
would like to deal with briefly in this chapter, we will say that it has
only been since the autumn of 1973 – and here our reference point is the
most recent Arab-Israeli war, which was so full of consequences – that
the social crisis, which has in the last five years broken out in almost
all the European countries, and not just in those countries, has become
completely global and total.

This crisis is global because, extensively, all the regimes
and all the countries of the world – in one fashion or another – have
been struck by it simultaneously, even if the specific characteristics
of the crisis had initially presented different predominant threats in
accordance with the respective situations of those different

On the other hand, this crisis is total because, intensively,
it has been the basis of life – insofar as the crisis has unfolded in
the interior of each of these countries – that has been subjected to the

Whether it is a question of political or economic crisis, the
chemical pollution of the air that one breathes or the falsification of
food, the cancer of social struggles or the urbanistic leprosy that
proliferates where there used to be towns and countrysides, the growth
of suicide and mental illnesses, what is called the demographic
explosion or the threshold crossed by the noxiousness of noise, the
public order that is disturbed by dissent and bandits – everywhere one
bumps up against the additional impossibility of going much
along the road of degradation of what had been the conquests
of the bourgeoisie properly speaking.

We must admit it: not personally, but as the inheritors of these
conquests, we have not known how to think strategically. Instead,
here resembling the little people, rather than a property-owning class,
we have thought and lived from day to day, systematically
hypothesizing the continuation of the present while accumulating
insolvable debts for the future, that is to say, every day renouncing a
future worthy of our past so as to not renounce a few negligible
advantages, which are the deceptive advantages of a fleeting present. As
the poet from Vaucluse says,

Life passes quick, nor will a moment stay,
And death
with hasty journeys still draws near;
And all the present joins my
soul to tear,
With every past and every future day.[6]

Thus our ruling classes everywhere have today been reduced to
discussing nothing other than the expiration of their mandate – a
mandate that (we too often forget) we do not hold thanks to God or the
people, but thanks only to our own abilities in the past –, and even
this global discussion is more or less reduced to the sad examination of
the palliatives that would best delay this expiration. And this
because, in such a process of decadence in action, we have come to the
point of total incompatibility insofar as the social, economic and
political system that we manage appears to want to tie its fate to the
incessant continuation of a growing and [already] intolerable
deterioration of all the conditions of existence for everyone. One has
said that the crisis caused by the oil embargo, and then by the
increases in the price of crude oil made by the oil-producing Arab
countries, has in turn caused the very serious economic crisis upon
which the world debates, and there’s something true in this observation,
but it is only a part of the truth and certainly the most contingent
part, even if we cannot say that it is a passing phenomenon. With
respect to the current global crisis, we must say what Thucydides said
of the Peloponnesian War, “Thn men gar alhqestathn projasin, ajanestathn
de logw,”[6] which is really “the truest cause, but the one least spoken
about openly,” because the real crisis today – which no one speaks about
is not an economic crisis, like the one in 1929, for example,
which we were capable of overcoming (and we know how). Above all, our
crisis is a crisis of the economy, which means the economic
phenomenon in its entirety, and it is within this general crisis that a
particular, oil-related, economic crisis has subsequently appeared.

This is the most worrisome effect of a converging double process: on
the one hand, the workers, who have escaped from the framework of the
unions, are imposing on us working conditions and incessant salary
demands that seriously disrupt our decisions and the forecasts of our
economists; and, on the other hand, these same workers as consumers
appear completely disgusted by the goods that they willingly purchased
not so long ago, thus creating difficulties – if not obstacles – to the
circulation of commodities. The result is that we find ourselves in an
impasse [French in original]: we are not successful at selling
the commodities that the workers refuse to produce or consume. At the
root of this crisis, there is not – as some people think – the
subjective attitude of the individuals involved, who, nevertheless, are
brought into the process and subsequently increase the damages. The
economy has entered into crisis on its own and, through its own
movement, it is misled down the road of itsown self-destruction. It is
certainly not quantitatively that the economy has discovered itself to
be incapable of increasing production and developing its productive
forces, but qualitatively.

The development of this economy, the crisis of which we are the
shareholders, has been anarchic and irrational. We have followed archaic
models that would be more suitable to an agrarian economy than to an
evolved industrial economy, because – like all the ancient societies,
which always struggled against actual shortages – we have pursued the
maximum degree of purely and progressively quantitative productivity,
“not discerning the overflow of what is sufficient.”[7] This
identification with the agrarian mode of production was then transferred
to the pseudo-cyclical model of the superabundant production of
commodities[8] in which one has deliberately created “built-in
obsolescence” to artificially maintain the seasonal character of
consumption, which in turn is used to justify the incessant repetition
of productive effort, thus preserving the proximity of shortages. And
this is why the cumulative reality of such production, which is
indifferent to both utility and wastefulness, today returns to haunt us
in the forms of pollution and social struggle,[9] because, on the one
hand, we have poisoned the world, and, on the other, we have thereby
given to the people – for every instant of their everyday lives – a
special reason to revolt against us, who are the ones who have poisoned
life. In the last chapter of this work, we will present several remedies
for this “economic sickness.”

We note here that our power, which from the first symptoms of the
[new] social war has defended (not too well) the abundance attacked by
subversion, must today defend lost abundance. In sum, we must
manage the world’s misfortune. Hopefully our readers will be attentive
to the following paradoxical coincidence, which is unprecedented in
universal history. At the very moment in which the powers of the world
are disposed to come to each other’s aid – despite their differences
concerning details, which no longer truly set them against each
other – each one of these powers has such great need of help that none
of them are in a position to effectively help any of the others. The
power of each State is very limited outside of its own borders, because
each one is seriously compromised within them.

On the other hand, the so-called peaceful coexistence between the
great powers is not at all the fruit of a commendable choice that was
deliberately made in the sphere of global politics, nor was it the
result of the successes of modern diplomacy, as the people of the world
believe. We know that peaceful coexistence is not a virtue, but a
and a much less joyful one than people would like to
believe, because if global conflict has no place in these hypotheses,
this is not because of the danger that thermonuclear weapons represent,
but because of the new and (according to us) more serious social
conflict that each nation must attempt to surmount on its own. We can
say, in a few words, that global war is no longer possible because peace
has abandoned this world and that the highest degree of military power
ever attained corresponds to the highest degree of impotence.

Clausewitz said that “war is the continuation of policy by other
means,” but even this definition, valuable until now, is no longer
valuable (and it will not be in the future) because today’s alleged
“peace” is in fact the continuation of war by other means, and it
is the continuation of another type of war that the States have
neither chosen nor declared. Their very weapons must be quickly and
completely redesigned following the English example of the professional
army, but trained to fight domestically against subversion, while the
secret services will henceforth (from a military point of view) have to
principally occupy themselves with domestic politics and not politics
abroad (but hopefully not following the example of the Italian S.I.D.!).
The next “great war” will be a generalized civil war, and it will thus
welcome theoreticians capable of instructing professional units that
will be engaged in combat “for hearth and home” [Latin in original].

Naturally, there will still be wars between the States, but they will
be “local wars,” such as those fought in the Middle East,[10] and the
great powers will have to intervene in them indirectly to limit the
damages and counter-attacks on the global level, where these conflicts
are liable to involve the advanced industrial countries, which are all
in precarious positions. And here it is important to emphasize the
failure of the policies of the great powers, and consequently the entire
world, after the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. The Israeli victory,
applauded by Europe, was obtained with the military and diplomatic
support of the United States (as everyone knows), and it cost, and
continues to cost, the United States and all of its allies much more
than a defeat in the global theatre of operations would have. At that
moment, even those who were the most reluctant to admit it were
convinced of the vulnerability of our entire economic and monetary
system, which had already been put into a very delicate situation by the
social crisis.

David Ricardo defined wheat as “the only commodity that is necessary,
as much for its own production as for the production of every other
commodity,”[11] because, in the economy of that time, wheat assured the
survival of the laboring forces themselves in a privileged manner. Times
have changed, and today it is petroleum that can be defined as the
product that is necessary and indispensible for the production and
consumption of all the others.
At the time of the Yom Kippur War, it
was enough for Europe to foresee the possibility of spending the winter
without heat for the Atlantic Alliance – created to resist the armed
forces on the other side of the Iron Curtain – to melt like snow in
sunlight. Only Caetano remained loyal to NATO, and today NATO can no
longer count on him.[12]

Later on, the energy crisis, the successive increases in the price of
crude oil and all the displacements of the economic and financial
equilibriums produced – within the crisis of the economy – the current
intensification of the economic crisis and, at the same time, we offered
to the Arab countries the sword of Damocles that, for our comfort, they
have quite willingly been tasked with holding, suspended, over our
industries. In passing, we note the mental debility that can be seen in
the economic-political calculations of those who have directed our
affairs for the last generation. If we wanted to pursue this
precise form of expansion, which is largely based on low petroleum
prices, then we should have maintained the old form of colonialism, and
should not have sacrificed it in favor of illusions of immediate
profitability from “neo-colonialism.” Almost 30 years ago, the troops of
the principal bourgeois States controlled almost the totality of the
countries that produced our raw materials and sources of energy. Through
the most simplistic calculations, we chose to abandon these colonies
at the cheapest possible costs and we did this to develop our
technology as if we still controlled those countries!
A dozen
permanent colonial wars would not have cost us a quarter of the costs of
the current predicament.

Moreover, this hardly unforeseeable failure came at the moment when
American power over the world had begun to decline, and this failure
intensified the domestic political crisis, which soon after overthrew
Nixon, who departed in ridicule, and it brought beyond the danger level
the crisis that for years that had silently torn America’s internal
social tissue. Thus, the first effects of all these errors were felt
right away, but we have only just begun to see them, and we have not
seen the end of them. And what can we say about the naïve casualness
with which Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, proclaimed the following in
his first speech as president? “Henceforth we know that a State strong
enough to give you all that you want is also a State strong enough to
take away all that you have.”[13] But what do we know? Today, just a few
months after this bold declaration, we know that the federal deficit has
grown vertiginously since then, and that Ford hopes that, in the budget
for the year 1975-1976, the deficit will not exceed 900 percent of the
one from the preceding year. If the poor thinkers of a power that grows
poorer in the blink of an eye foresee good things, they see badly, and
if they foresee bad things, they see quite well. For example, Henry
Kissinger, although he is not a “man without qualities,” resembles Musil
in his defects.[14] He constantly dissolves action in the vanity of
action, and the useful in the useless. In other words, like the majority
of those with whom he meets every day all over the world, Kissinger
lacks a strategic vision of what must be done and what must be avoided –
beyond contingent obligations – to save a world that controls itself
with a growing difficulty, because it is useless to want to dominate
that which has fallen into ruin, when, instead, it is a question of
saving that which one wants to dominate. And, concerning the war that
the Israelis won over the Arabs, it is enough for us to say to all the
modern incarnations of Metternich[15] that they had better reacquaint
themselves with a couple of old maxims. First, “it is never a wise
course of action to reduce the enemy to despair” (Machiavelli); second,
“those who know how to win are much larger in number than those who know
how to make good use of their victories” (Polybius).

As for Europe, which seems to have forgotten that it produced all the
masterpieces of human thought, and which for the last 30 years has
placed more confidence in the thinkers from across the Atlantic Ocean
than it has had in its own: today it is obvious that Europe has fallen
apart even as a simple “economic community.” And, in Italy – if
we consider the fact that the greatest efforts to deal with the crisis
undertaken by certain centers of economic and political power have only
resulted in laughable attempts to return to the old fascist “solution”
at the very moment when the last ruins of fascism have reached their
foreseeable ends in Portugal and Greece[16] – well, they can go without

The politicians can deny it as much as they want to, but today their
currency of exchange – the lie – is gnawed away by inflation, even more
so that the lira: one epoch is over and a new one has begun. We know
that men, who are so often ready to interpret the past in new terms, are
also frequently brought to interpret the new in old terms, and thus they
do not understand what must be done, because changes in the times always
and above all express the fact that the hour has come. The
cohabitation of one epoch with the one that follows it never risks
becoming institutionalized in marriage, no matter what is thought by
Senator Amintore Fanfani,[17] who would indubitably be more highly
esteemed as an interpreter of the Tuscan landscape than history.

But we can say everything that there is to say about the intellectual
poverty that is durably installed in power in our country (and that
devastates it) when we review the apparently innocent reflections about
the expectation of some unknown panacea with which they [try to] amuse
us and that abound in our newspapers (and not only in the worst ones).
Here, for example, we are thinking of the candor with which our most
important daily newspaper has repeatedly stated that it “envies the
French for Giscard d’Estaing.” It is quite true that our political
class, considered as a whole (and with all due exceptions noted), would
bring shame to a tribe of Pygmies, but, all the same, this is not
sufficient reason to mock our neighbor, unfortunate France, by
pretending to envy it for politicians with whom no tribe of Watusis
would be contented. Someone who has less urbanity than we do, but whom
has had occasion to dine once or twice with the French neo-President,
came to conclusions about this person that are not too different from
what My Lord Niccolo said in his post mortem epigram about the

The night that Piero Soderini died,
His soul came to
the gates of Hell.
Pluto cried out: ‘You, in Hell?
Foolish soul,
go to Purgatory
With the other children!’

Pardon us for the literary device but, in the current generalization
of bad morals, each instance of stupidity asserts the rights that are
due it, and imbecility never goes without a patron. Here in Italy, we
respect too many [unworthy] things to be worthy of being respected. At
bottom, it is not even Giscard whom this journalistic triviality envies
the French for having; she envies the enticing image of the
president-manager, the efficient and hopeful technocrat who casually
makes a few spectacular changes in protocol and promotes with juvenile
fervor a hundred innovative details that momentarily distract his
country from the coming subversion, which in fact still smolders under
the ashes, seven years after May [1968].

The “Italian question” – or the French or the English questions, for
that matter – certainly cannot be resolved by replacing Flaminio
Piccoli[19] or [Mariano] Rumor with someone more “telegenic,” less
implicated in the failures of the past or less compromised by
association with the Mafia, as is Minister Gioia.[20] No one can deny
that it is necessary and, at present, urgent to also change the
majority of the men who must defend our interests, but to replace them
with people like Giscard would be a remedy that would not fight the
sickness at all. The sickness from which we suffer is spoken about,
discussed and written about by the very people who, pretending to be
doctors, suffer from it: their diagnoses are always diseased and their
prescriptions are only additional symptoms of the collective disease.
The opinion of Manzoni[21] was that, “we common men are generally made
thus: we revolt with indignation and anger against mediocre evils and we
are resigned to the extreme ones; we support – not with resignation, but
stupidity – the heights of what we had at first declared to be

We will not hide from our readers that speaking so coldly is a
thankless task, but speaking otherwise seems impossible and silence
would be shameful. And our very coldness in treating the things that
touch us so personally is not the product of cynicism, which some
malicious minds would like to attribute to us, but the necessity of
keeping our cool in the face of the danger that our world might
be at an end. By contrast, those who do not sense that danger will never
be in a position to truly put an end to it.

Those in Italy and elsewhere who currently put forth risky forecasts
concerning the economic “recovery,” feigning to believe that this crisis
resembles unfavorable but fleeting circumstances in the past, do so with
demagogical intentions, estimating that it is useful to make the people
(to whom they can no longer promise mountains and miracles) believe that
at least the leaders, unlike the workers, foresee a certain
recovery in the next year, but, with each passing fiscal quarter, these
same prophets are unavoidably obligated to delay or cancel such
unfortunately chimerical changes. The illusion of change then only
causes a change of illusions. Piero Ottone[22] recently wrote, and with
good reason, that

the expectation of a misfortune is oppressing and unnerving.
When the misfortune finally strikes, we almost sigh with relief and,
paradoxically, we suffer less than before. Until yesterday, we feared
that the country would collapse; the simple fact that it still hasn’t
procures a curious sensation of victory for those who were the most

We, who are neither pessimistic nor optimistic, do not even envy
those who possess this “curious sensation of victory,” but as we do not
want to leave too much of its bad mood with the readers who have reached
the end of this hardly cheerful chapter, we will provide a little
pleasantry, the spirit of which is not foreign to its subject matter.
The pleasantry, which is a very minor Italian art, but the only one that
remains alive today, exists in an inverse proportion with the times: the
happiest ones come from the most unfortunate days and hold out to them a
kind of unique consolation. “It is a shame,” the president of one of our
most famous national industries said to us, “that pleasantries are not
quoted on the Stock Exchange!”

Here’s a little story, set in another time and place. The chief of a
tribe of Sioux, after a year in which the harvest had been destroyed by
catastrophic rainstorms, united his tribe at the beginning of winter to
tell them the news. Not knowing how well his anxious audience would take
it (they suspected the existence of the calamity), he found an
oratorical expedient that our politicians would envy. He said, “My
brothers, I have two bits of news to announce: one is good, and
the other is bad. Let us begin with the bad news. This year you will
have nothing to eat but shit. And now the good news: as compensation,
there will be enough for everyone.”

[1] Fearing that the result would be a dreadful series of
mistranslations, we have not provided an English translation of
Guy Debord’s French, which was in turn a translation of Censor’s
Italian, which was (we presume) a translation of Shakespeare’s English.
Instead, we have provided these lines as they appear in the original
text. But our readers should know that the French version contained two
lines that were so different from the original English, and yet so
relevant to the themes of The Truthful Report, that they could
only have been intentional: “the unity and married calm of states” was
rendered as l’unité et le paisable mariage des classes (“the
unity and peaceful marriage of the classes”), and “when degree is
shaked” was rendered as quand la hiérarchie est ébranlée (“when
the hierarchy is shaken”).

[2] An Italian journalist and essayist (1920-2011) who authored a
controversial history of the resistance to fascism during World War

[3] A détournement of a famous remark in Hegel’s preface to The
Phenomenology of Mind

To consider any specific fact as it
is in the Absolute, consists here in nothing else than saying about it
that, while it is now doubtless spoken of as something specific, yet in
the Absolute, in the abstract identity A = A, there is no such thing at
all, for everything there is all one. To pit this single assertion, that
‘in the Absolute all is one,’ against the organized whole of determinate
and complete knowledge, or of knowledge which at least aims at and
demands complete development – to give out its Absolute as the night in
which, as we say, all cows are black – that is the very naïveté of
emptiness of knowledge.

[4] This alleged letter is actually a détournement of a famous
passage in Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols:

I simply cannot see what one proposes to do with the
European worker now that one has made a question of him. He is far too
well off not to ask for more and more, not to ask more immodestly. In
the end, he has numbers on his side. The hope is gone forever that a
modest and self-sufficient kind of man, a Chinese type, might here
develop as a class: and there would have been reason in that, it would
almost have been a necessity. But what was done? Everything to nip in
the bud even the preconditions for this: the instincts by virtue of
which the worker becomes possible as a class, possible in his own eyes,
have been destroyed through and through with the most irresponsible
thoughtlessness. The worker was qualified for military service, granted
the right to organize and to vote: is it any wonder that the worker
today experiences his own existence as distressing — morally speaking,
as an injustice? But what is wanted? I ask once more. If one wants an
end, one must also want the means: if one wants slaves, then one is a
fool if one educates them to be masters.

[5] Petrarch, Sonnet IV, in The Sonnets, Triumphs and Other
edited by Thomas Campbell (1879).

[6] Ancient Greek, which Censor himself translates by the phrase that
immediately follows it. Cf. The History of the Peloponnesian War,
Book I, Paragraph 23.

[7] A remark by Francesco Guichardin (1843-1540), an Italian
historian and politician.

[8] Cf. Guy Debord, “Time and History,” The Society of the

[9] Cf. Thesis 17, “Theses on the Situationist International and Its
Time,” The Real Split in the International (1972): “Pollution and
the proletariat are today the two concrete aspects of the critique of
political economy

[10] Cf. “Two Local Wars,” Internationale Situationniste #11
(October 1967).

[11] It was Karl Marx, not David Ricardo, who said this, and
Marx wasn’t speaking of wheat, but of human labor-power.

[12] Marcelo Caetano, the Prime Minister of Portugal, was deposed by
the revolution of 25 April 1974.

[13] Speech given on 12 August 1974. In point of fact, Ford referred
to “a government big enough,” not “a State strong enough.”

[14] Cf. Robert Musil, an Austrian novelist, author of The Man
Without Qualities

[15] Clement Wenceslas Lothar von Metternich-Winneburg-Beilstein
(1773-1859) was a German-born Austrian diplomat. The Revolution of 1848
forced his resignation.

[16] Just four months after these lines were written, fascist Spain
could be added to this list.

[17] An ex-fascist and Christian Democrat, Fanfani (1908-1999) led an
unsuccessful campaign to repeal the laws that allowed married couples to
get divorced.

[18] Machiavelli, La Mandragola.

[19] Flaminio Piccoli was the General Secretary and President of
Italy’s Christian Democratic Party.

[20] In 1973, Giovanni Gioia (1925-1981) was the Minister for
Parliamentary Relations. In the 1950s and 1960s, he openly worked to
bring members of the Mafia into the Christian Democratic Party.
Salvatore Lupo’s book Storia della mafia: dalle origini ai giorni
(1993) quotes Gioia as saying, “Il partito ha bisogno di
gente con cui coalizzarsi, ha bisogno di uomini nuovi, non si possono
ostacolare certi tentativi di compromesso
” (The Party, needing new
members, needs to unite with people with whom attempts at compromise
cannot be prevented).

[21] Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) was an Italian poet and novelist.
He considered the “father” of modern Italian.

[22] Leftist editor of Corriere della Sera and correspondent
for the BBC.