Chapter 3: In which the social war begins again and why nothing is more disastrous than believing that it has been won (1968-1969)

Submitted by Steven. on June 17, 2013

“What causes apathy in the States that suffer from it is the duration
of the illness, which seizes the imagination of men and makes them
believe that it will never end. As soon as the day comes when it does,
which never fails to happen when the apathy reaches a certain point,
they are so surprised, so relived and so carried away that they
immediately swing to the other extreme and, although they are far from
considering revolution to be impossible, they believe it to be easy, and
this disposition is sometimes capable of making one on its own.”

Cardinal de Retz, Mémoires

Our social preoccupations were obviously not born from a romantic
outburst of the heart, but intelligent reflection, because in the
relative but incontestable poverty of certain social strata, we don’t
see suffering that must be cured – a demagogic utopia on which we will
willingly let others speculate – but a disorder to be prevented.
Yet in no other period of history have so many principles and concepts
been enunciated, and with so much pretense and claims to universality,
where this matter is concerned. If history seems to most often present
itself as a conflict of interests and passions, our recent history up to
these last few years – although passions have not been lacking – has
mostly presented itself, instead, as a struggle between principles of
and partly as a struggle between subjective passions
and objective interests that are almost always hidden behind the flag of
“superior” justifications.

Over the years, we have impassively witnessed the lamentable
spectacle presented by our bourgeoisie, which justified itself to the
other classes by what it intended to do in defense of the “exploited”
people and, reciprocally, the other classes, which work at this project
all the time, were accused of pursuing egotistic interests. This was one
way among others – although a less than useful one – of passing the time
at a time when one could still allow oneself to waste it. For our part,
we note that the quite respectable and artificial interest of these
gentlemen in social questions had a principally psychological origin.
This interest was its own justification, and more or less responded to
the “moral” need to soothe one’s conscience in one manner or another
during the period of the “economic miracle,” which made these men quite
euphoric. With an academic casualness and a studied ignorance, they
discoursed about social questions, because the new middle class believed
them to be nearly resolved and hadn’t known about nor comprehended the
magnitude of the revolutionary jolts of 1919-1920, nor even how the
bourgeoisie had defeated them. However, in reality, a solidly unified
and vague worry about, and genuine disinterest in, civil society was
hidden behind this “sensitive” façade. Among the members of the
bourgeoisie, class spirit had been lost, and this corresponded to the
loss of its self-assurance and the acquisition of a great timidity. In
our opinion, this new bourgeoisie feared being right and feared being
afraid. Shortly thereafter, they came to realize that they were right
to be afraid.

The ruling class’s lack of interest in the mutations then taking
place in civil society reached its height when an unforeseen fact of
global scope was suddenly revealed, but in a traumatic way.

The insurrectionary events that shook France in May 1968
unquestionably showed that a new social revolution, one unburdened of
all previous illusions and delusions, was knocking at the door of modern
society. At first it wasn’t understood and then it was hidden – not
without reason – but this insurrection was, due to its very existence,
the most scandalous and terrible failure that the European bourgeoisie
had suffered since 1848. As in 1848, the wind of revolt blew all over
Europe, and it was inhaled in France as in Germany, in Italy as in
Czechoslovakia, in Yugoslavia as in England. In different forms and
diverse fashions, the thoughts and actions of the populations in open
revolt against society turned against the world that is ours, and these
were the same populations that (no less than the ruling class) seemed to
have forgotten for a half-century what people in the 19th century called
the “social question.”

We need not insist upon recalling here that, in 1968, France
experienced the most extensive and longest general strike that had ever
paralyzed the economy of an advanced industrial country, and that this
strike was also the first “spontaneous” general strike in history. For
several weeks, all of the powers of the State, the political parties and
the unions were quite simply effaced, and the factories and
public buildings in all the cities were occupied. Because we do not want
to obligate anyone to share this opinion, it is outside the scope of
this pamphlet to demonstrate why the events of May were profoundly
revolutionary and virtually much more dangerous to the world than the
Russian Revolution of 1917. Thus we will limit ourselves to considering
the facts that these events set a very menacing precedent and
that the ideas of the movement that began then and there have spread
everywhere, because everywhere in Europe the poor classes have grown in
number, their importance has grown more than their way of life, and
their aspirations have grown more than their power.

Ever since the French Revolution of 1789, that is to say, ever since
the bourgeoisie seized hold of the political responsibility for the
management of the States all over Europe, the people in these countries
have sought to throw off their conditions, thus [periodically] changing
all of the political institutions. But after each change, they have
discovered that their lot hasn’t truly improved or that it has been
improved with an unacceptable slowness with respect to the speed of
their desires. Thus it was unavoidable that, one day or another, the
workers would finally discover that what has confined them in their
situation wasn’t the constitution of the different States –
kingdoms or republics, fascist or Socialist dictatorships, parliamentary
or presidential democracies – but the very laws and principles that
constitute all modern societies, and thus it was natural that the poor
classes sooner or later came to wonder if they didn’t have the power –
and perhaps the right, as well – to change those laws as they had
changed other things. And to speak specifically of private property and
the State, which are the foundations of the entire social order, wasn’t
it an unavoidable consequence that they were once again (but in a
completely new way) denounced as the principal obstacles to the demand
for equality among men and women, and that the idea of abolishing them
completely – and not in the manner that one once said they had been
abolished in Russia – came to the minds of all those who felt that they
were subjected to and excluded from them?

This natural inquietude in the spirit of the people, this unavoidable
agitation of their desires, this resentment of unfulfilled needs, and
these mob instincts formed, as it were, the fabric out of which
professional agitators wove monstrous or grotesque figures, which were
rejected by all the political parties and especially by the Communists.
In May, in Paris, each person proposed his or her own plan for the
construction of the “new society.” One demanded the immediate abolition
of salaried work; another the inequality of the distribution of goods; a
third wanted the end of market society and the oldest of the
inequalities, the one between men and women; all seemed to agree to
exclude all kinds of external authority, to experiment with forms of
direct democracy, to reject all institutions, political parties and

The most attentive observer was struck by the fact that, quite
contrary to what was collectively said at the time, the overwhelming
majority of this movement wasn’t composed of students, but workers and
other salaried employees. One could obviously find utopian or simply
ridiculous ideas among them, but the terrain on which these ideas were
nourished and propagated is the most serious subject that the political
parties and statesmen can examine today, because what is in question is
our very world.

In France and Czechoslovakia, where this insurrectionary movement (it
would be more exact to call it a revolutionary movement) had principally
taken hold, who repressed it with the greatest efficiency? Who favored
or imposed the return to normal in the factories and streets? Well! In
one case as in the other, it was the Communists: in Paris thanks to the
unions; and in Prague thanks to the Red Army. This is the first lesson
that we can draw from those events.

But the social sickness that produced the most conspicuous symptoms
in France was quickly transformed into an epidemic, and Italy was
subjected to the contagion in a completely unique way. The incubation
period and the development of the sickness came so close together in
time that here it is a question of writing history, and that history is
still so well engraved in our memories that it would be useful to
retrace it in this pamphlet. It is sufficient to remember that the
so-called student protests were naturally, here as elsewhere, ephemeral
and quickly became a simple phenomenon of depravity – tolerable due to
the presence of so many others – that occupied the pages of the daily
newspapers and the discourses of the intellectuals rather than a vital
sector of productive society. Nevertheless, each person knew that a
quicker, less apparent but much more worrisome movement – parallel to
and contemporaneous with the student movement – had begun in the
factories, at first without connecting links or widespread publicity.
Despite the traditional unionized management of the Italian working
class, Italy also saw its first forms of “spontaneous” struggles and
para-union strikes. Precisely because the significance of this
phenomenon was underestimated at the time, it was easy for it to spread
during the following months with a growing radicalism. A kind of frenzy
seemed to have seized our workers who, united into so-called “base
committees,” began in an autonomous manner to advance extravagant
extra-salary claims that were sometimes colorful and sometimes absurd,
but always noxious because, in every case, they found partisans who were
ready to fight for them. Leaving aside all the other examples, we will
mention the one furnished by the employees of an important public
enterprise in Milan, where at the end of 1968 a “base committee”
organized (and with “success”) a series of strikes that aimed at getting
the time it took the workers to get from home to their workplace counted
as time at work and thus subject to compensation as such!

We had the impression that the workers were literally in competition
to see who could record the greatest amount of damage with their
disastrous fantasies. In reality, the declared goal of each particular
conflict was out of proportion with the social damage that the
generalization of the strikes and demonstrations of all types caused to
the country. In our opinion, the rest of the workers did not care what
they combated: what they wanted was combat itself. Thousands of
pretexts were found, but this was the single undeclared goal, and no
salary increase would suffice to appease them.

We know that it was, nevertheless, only in 1969 that Italy
experienced all of the fateful “modernity” of its social crisis. In
fact, it was the first serious disorders in the prisons and factories of
the North, along with the revolt in Battipaglia in the spring of that
year,[2] that illustrated the extension of the crisis from one end to
the other of the peninsula and that could be called the “qualitative
leap” of the crisis’ seriousness with respect to the prior year. In
truth, the passions of the students of 1968, despite their claims that
they were from “the Left,” didn’t go beyond politics, while the passions
of the working class were social, and our readers will not be
ignorant of what this inevitably implies. The workers did not ask for
this or that reform; they did not contest a policy, this government or
that government, or one political party or another, but society itself
and the bases upon which it rests.

And yet, despite all this, we can affirm that in this period the
government was not as alarmed by what took place in the country as were
the leaders of the Communist opposition. In the first phase of 1969, the
only people really and truly worried about the near future were a few
union leaders [English in original] and officials of the
Communist Party, because they were the only ones to observe the working
classes from close range, each day registering their mood and subversive
will. The state of permanent agitation in the country had already
surpassed not only the hopes but also the desires of the most fervent
unionists, that is to say, those who believed (wrongly) that they were
at the origin of the phenomenon. This wasn’t the first or the last
occasion in which we were able to recognize the lucidity of the
Honorable Giorgio Amendola,[3] but perhaps on this occasion he surprised
us even more than usual and, as a result, we held him in even greater
esteem than before. Unlike so many others, this politician possessed an
agile spirit, cold but cordial, eminently subtle, which immediately went
to the heart of any question, but didn’t neglect the details, without
prejudice and without rancor, a true connoisseur of the range of human
weaknesses and penchants, especially where his party was concerned, and
always capable of playing upon them when his interests weren’t opposed
to him doing so. In sum, he was a man whom we could not prevent
ourselves from esteeming and listening to. And so much more so in such
an epoch as post-1968 Italy, when the Honorable Rumor, President of the
Council,[4] did not enjoy our confidence because he said things of this
kind: “Be tranquil, everything will end well, there isn’t a free
government that couldn’t surmount tests of this sort.” We, who are less
worried about the fate of the government than we are about all the other
problems, we found that this response perfectly captured this resolute
but limited man, limited with much spirit, but this spirit is of such a
kind that – seeing clearly in detail all that is on his horizon –
doesn’t imagine that this horizon could change without warning. On the
other hand, we must keep in mind the industrialists, some of whom –
victims of an anguish that is confined to cases of pure and simple
stupidity – imagined doing nothing more than calling the unions to
order, as if the unions, from the moment that they weren’t responsible
for this situation, had been in a position to be officially opposed to
it without running the risk of having the movement eliminate them and,
this time, formally.

It was around the middle of 1969 that we came to explicitly demand
from the Italian Communist Party [ICP] what guarantees it could offer
the government to help it stop the workers’ movement before autumn and
what it would demand in return. The Communists, who knew better than
anyone else the magnitude of the stakes and the danger of this movement,
transmitted their wishes, but both political power and a large number of
industrialists – either because they underestimated the risks of the
months to come or because they overestimated the “risks” of any
agreement with the ICP – found the compensations demanded by the
Communists to be out of proportion to the guarantees that they could
offer. With a posteriori knowledge, we can say that the Christian
Democrats still ignored the strength and utility of a Communist party in
such circumstances and that the ICP, for its part, underestimated the
strength that the wave of “spontaneous” strikes would have in the
following months, because the Communists counted on time and the
“natural” speed of the events with a little too much casualness,
awaiting the moment when they would be called, and the Christian
Democrats counted too much on the fact that the Communists – so as to
not come to an open break – had in any case to do what they had promised
to do, even without receiving immediate compensation for it. The
calculations of both groups would have been justified or justifiable if
confronting a political crisis was the order of the day. Both
sets of calculations proved to be insufficient, not to mention
thoughtless, because everyone seemed to forget that Italy was actually
in the midst of a pre-insurrectionary social crisis. From the
moment that the Communist leaders, expecting subsequent developments,
remained entrenched in a position that was no less rigid than that of
the Christian Democrats, who nevertheless bore the initial
responsibility for this stiffening and did so from the moment it became
clear that, in this case, one could not come to the end of anything by
this route and that one had to act immediately but in another way. What,
consequently, was the direction to follow? We will answer with the words
of a journalist (Nicola Adelfi, writing in the pages of Epoca),
because a great philosopher who taught more than a century and a half
ago pointed out that, “there is all of the truth and all of the false in
public opinion,” and because journalists are specialists in public and
private opinions. To wit: “A number of political, union-related and
political symptoms make one think that this situation will continue (…)
We don’t see how the wave of violence can be broken or even simply
attenuated. At least not without the occurrence of something
unforeseeable and traumatic in nature: that is to say, something that,
unexpectedly, deeply shakes public opinion and gives it the feeling of
finding itself henceforth a step away from anarchy and its inseparable
companion, dictatorship.” We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves,
but for something “unforeseeable and traumatic in nature” to take place,
one needed to have, above all else, a homogenous and less fragile
government than the Rumor-Nenni Center-Left coalition. We know that,
after the formation of the first Center-Left coalition, various
representatives of economic power took up or placed certain men in
eminent positions in the unfortunate Socialist parties, which were
called unified at the time. Well! To topple the Rumor-Nenni Center-Left
coalition, it was enough, at the beginning of July [1969], to ask the
Social Democrats (always ready to undertake operations of this kind) to
provoke a new split. The unification intended to last 10 years collapsed
after only 10 months. The next day, the government fell and, a month
later, at the beginning of August, Rumor constituted his second
“mono-color” government, in which all the currents in the Christian
Democratic Party were represented, if our memory serves us well. Despite
all of its inadequacies, Rumor’s cabinet appeared to us to be among the
most efficient in the history of the Republic, if only for the
actions successfully executed by the Minister of Labor, the Honorable
Donat-Cattin, and the Minister of the Interior, the Honorable Restivo,
during the autumn of 1969, which since then – in an admirable
understatement [English in original] – has been called “hot.”

As the foreign press affirmed at the time, the only institutions that
continued to function in Italy were the unions and the police, that is
to say, the Ministries of Labor and the Interior. Carlo Donat-Cattin had
in fact once been a union leader, and Franco Restivo, close friend of
Vicari, then the Prefect of Police, had already had (with Vicari)
experience with political terrorism in Sicily (of which Restivo had been
the president) after the Second World War, when the bandit Giuliano ran
wild.[6] Precisely in 1968, a number of small attacks using explosives –
though they didn’t have serious consequences – contributed to increasing
the disorder that the protests by students and workers continued to
create in the large towns, and even in the small ones. These were acts
of narrowly limited scope in comparison, for example, with the acts of
sabotage that were taking place in the factories. These limited attacks
bore the signatures of fascist or Maoist groupuscules that there
fighting their local adversaries, but these attacks were at the origins
of larger ones and, as Tacitus says, “it will not be useless to study
those things that, at first sight, are trifling events, because out of
them the movements of vast changes can arise.”[6] Because in Italy, at
that time and afterwards, the unions and the police weren’t the only
forces that still functioned. For several months, the secret services
had been silently at work, too. And since the political sphere continued
to shilly-shally in the face of the worsening crisis, it was necessary
to finalize (before the summer) a tactical diversion, an artificial
tension of which the principal goal was to momentarily distract
public opinion from the real tensions that were tearing the country
apart. In the next chapter, we will see what were the undeniable
advantages of such a tactic, and what were also the damages that it
inflicted when it was transformed into a strategy, and we will therein
render public the critiques that, in another place and at another time,
we addressed to our secret services, which – due to a blunder that had
no precedent in history – today are publicly exposed to the accusations
of the first judge to come along and the entire country.[7]

And so, although the aforementioned small attacks were the
background [English in original] for these tactical diversions,
their proper beginning coincided with what took place in Milan on 25
April 1969 and during the month of August [1969]. The operations to
which we have alluded here were, in a certain sense, a repetitive
preview of the events that took place in the autumn of 1969. These
events were not expected and, starting in September, the first acts of
sabotage of considerable magnitude took place at the FIAT factory in
Turin, the Pirelli factory in Milan, and hundreds of other places. The
top-level negotiations concerning the renewal of the contracts between
employers and unions were only one set of pretexts among many others. A
number of actions and events – in a period that truly didn’t lack them –
were eclipsed by others that followed them in an always rising
crescendo, and we can be dispassionate about them here because
the profound meaning that this class war unwittingly[8] gave itself
through its intensive and extensive development became more important
than any of its particular episodes, which were only the Roman mile
markers along the road that led, always more obviously, to a social

In the course of our life, we have associated with well-informed
people who have written history without getting mixed up in it, and we
have had to act in concert with politicians who have constantly and
uniquely been involved in the production and prevention of historical
events without thinking too much about describing them in writing. We
have always observed that the former see general causes everywhere,
while the latter – living in the midst of everyday occurrences, which
apparently produce each other – gladly represent things in such a way
that all the events that serve them well must be attributed to their own
personal merits, as if it fell to them exclusively to determine the
course of the world, and as if any setback was only the consequence of
this or that particular and absolutely unforeseeable event. There are
times when both the historians and the manipulators of events are wrong
and, if in this epoch one must expect everything, because everything is
possible, we must not allow ourselves to be taken by surprise. For
example, in the autumn of 1969, which Raffaele Mattioli[9] defined, with
the philosophical detachment that was unique to him, as “the lyrical
expression of history in action, where no one had the courage to be what
he was,” we witnessed the pitiful spectacle of industrialists placing
more confidence in the unions than in themselves, and the unions placing
their confidence in the concessions that they could obtain from the
government, and the government placing its confidence in the
efficaciousness of its special services. We were among a small number
who knew that the worst that one foresaw was in fact too
just as today few know that Italy once more finds itself
only an hour away from a general insurrection, and that if this
has, fortunately, not happened yet, we have to thank the precautions
taken by this or that person, and not the interplay of other

The struggles surrounding the contract negotiations obtained notable
success on the terrain of salary increases, but it was a pitiful
illusion to believe that things would calm down once the new contracts
were put into place. As we have already said, from the moment that the
workers no longer fought to simply obtain salary increases, it was clear
thereafter that, though such increases were constant, we could no longer
hope to purchase social peace with them. Such peace risked being no more
than a happy memory of past times. In fact, when certain categories of
laborers – such as municipal workers – obtained a new contract, they
continued their illegal strikes under the pretext of supporting the
struggles of workers in the private industries, for whom the
negotiations remained suspended. On their part, the unions could not
expose themselves to the danger of cutting themselves off from the
working masses by disavowing all the strikes that the unions did not
want to undertake and had not been able to prevent. On the contrary,
they had to accept the existence of those strikes so as to not exclude
in advance the possibility of being accepted by them in turn, at a later
stage, as the authorized spokesmen for the workers’ demands. To prevent
open riots, the union confederations had to find other objectives than
salary demands and then try to channel the workers’ protests towards

It was in fact one of those objectives, which appeared artificial to
the workers themselves, that furnished the occasion to unleash a blatant
and obvious insurrection. On 19 November 1969, the unions announced a
national day of general strikes over the question of rent. In Milan,
this strike, which saw the largest abstention from work in the history
of the Republic, degenerated into a riot very quickly. The union
leaders [English in original], who made speeches at the Lyric
Theatre, were boycotted and insulted by the workers who, abandoning the
meeting, severely attacked the forces from the Department of Public
Safety, who were forced to withdraw from the entire neighborhood, and
then the workers erected barricades in the center of the town.

We have precise memories of this spectacle, because around noon on 19
November we had to cross the via Larga to go to the home of an
industrialist (not far from the location of the confrontations), where
we were invited to have lunch with several politicians and other people
from the economic world. Since it was impossible to find a taxi, we
crossed a part of town on foot. We found the majority of the streets to
be tranquil and almost deserted, as happens in Milan every Sunday
morning in early hours, when the rich are still asleep and the poor are
not at work. Here and there, from time to time, a young man – looking
more like a suburban salaried worker than a student – tranquilly posted
a placard on the façades of the buildings. He offered us several of
them, signed by some group of “autonomous workers” or by a “base
committee,” and one of those manifestoes surprised us with its gloomy
title, which was redolent of the 19th century and went something like
this: “Notice to the Proletariat on the Current Occasions for Social
Revolution.”[10] Having passed through the obstructions of the police
and the demonstrators (not without some difficulty), we finally reached
the apartment of our host, who was more upset than usual. The food was
magnificent, as was customary, but the table was deserted. Of the
half-dozen people invited, only one other person was present, and he was
late and wasn’t even the most eagerly expected guest. We sat with a
passive air among this useless abundance, and a profound silence
descended upon us after I made the simple observation that we live in
strange times, in which, as Tocqueville noted in 1848, one can never be
sure a revolution won’t break out between the moment when one sits down
at the table and when the meal is served.[11]

Telephone calls that relayed the news rendered the expectation of
dire events even more unnerving. The news accumulated: a Public Safety
officer was killed in front of the Lyric Theatre, and neither the police
nor the unions were in a position to control the battlefield, which they
had abandoned. All through the afternoon, the telephone line was the
only umbilical cord that tied us to the world. The worst fears concerned
the situation in Turin, because if the workers in Milan believed that
the situation there had also escaped from our control, the
chances [English in original] that the riot and the strike would
remain limited to that day would have completely evaporated. From Rome
we learned that the unions still “held” Turin, and that serious
incidents had not been reported there or in Genoa. Several hours later,
this information was directly confirmed to us by the union
leaders [English in original] who were there. Fortunately, there
had been no deaths among the demonstrators, because that was the piece
of good fortune that, deep down, the agitators counted on. In the
evening, Milan – the workers’ Milan – was discouraged to learn that
everywhere else the strike had taken place without incident, but in
Rome, and certainly in working class Rome, the events in Milan were
perceived in all their seriousness, and they even created more emotion
than one could hope for in a capital that is underhandedly insensitive
to the impulses of the rest of the country. The city was notified that
there was no time to lose, since in Milan neither the unions nor he
police had been able to prevent the riot and, even if this riot had,
fortunately, been brief, it was only too well known that none of the
conditions that caused it had been surmounted, neither in Milan nor
anywhere else in Italy. Thus, there was more than good reason to fear
that several weeks later, if not sooner, a new riot would turn into a
general insurrection.

Instead, three weeks later, on 12 December [1969], bombs exploded at
the Piazza Fontana in Milan and in Rome, and in truth we saw the
“unforeseeable and traumatic” act of which Nicola Adelfi had written and
which so profoundly roiled public opinion in Italy and abroad.

Disoriented and astonished by the number of innocent victims, the
workers remained hypnotized by the unexpected event and were led astray
by the rumors that followed it – because, confronted by deeds of this
type, their spirit is changeable – and, as Tacitus says, “like all
multitudes, they were liable to sudden impulses and were now as inclined
to pity as they had been extravagant in fury.”[12]

As if by magic, struggles that had been so widespread and so
prolonged forgot themselves and ceased.

[1] Direct quotes or paraphrases from Alexis de Tocqueville,
Recollections of the French Revolution of 1848.

[2] The revolt occurred on 9 April 1969 in response to the closing of
a tobacco plant, which was one of the biggest employers in the

[3] A member of the Italian Communist Party, Amendola (1907-1980)
favored non-Marxist moderation in the Party’s dealings with the
government and the economy.

[4] Mariano Rumor (1915-1990), a member of the Christian Democratic
Party. In 1969, he was the Prime Minister of Italy and, in 1975, the Italian
Minister for Foreign Affairs.

[5] Salvatore Giuliano had been the leader of the Voluntary Army for
the Independence of Sicily. He was murdered in 1950.

[6] The Annals, Book 4, paragraph 32. Latin in original.

[7] In September 1974, General Vito Micelli, the head of the
Servizio Informazioni Difesa (the Defense Intelligence Service),
was arrested and charged with involvement in a failed coup attempted in
1970 by the veteran Fascist Valerio Borghese and Stefano delle Chiaie’s
neo-Nazi Avanguardia Nazionale organization. During his
subsequent trial, Micelli defended himself by disclosing the existence
of a “parallel SID” that had been formed as a result of a secret
agreement with the United States within the framework of NATO (i.e.
“Operation Gladio”).

[8] The word employed here, inconsciemment, also means
unconsciously and thoughtlessly.

[9] Raffaele Mattioli (1895-1973) was an Italian economist, banker
and business executive.

[10] Cf. Avviso al proletario italiano sulle possibilita presenti
della rivoluzione sociale
(“Notice to the Italian Proletariat on the
Current Possibilities for Social Revolution”), a tract written and
distributed on 19 November 1969 by the Italian section of the
Situationist International, of which Gianfranco Sanguinetti himself was
a member.

[11] Cf. the skit by Monty Python’s Flying Circus entitled “Party
Hints” (1972), in which “Veronica” gives the following advice.

This week I’m going to tell you what to do if there is an armed
Communist uprising near your home when you’re having a party. Well,
obviously, it’ll depend how far you’ve got with your party when the
signal for Red Revolt is raised. If you’re just having preliminary
aperitifs – a Dubonnet, a sherry or a sparkling white wine – then the
guests will obviously be in a fairly formal mood and it will be
difficult to tell which ones are the Communist agitators. So the thing
to do is to get some cloth and some bits of old paper, put them down on
the floor and shoot everybody. This will deal with the Red Menace on
your own doorstep. If you’re having canapés, as I showed you last week,
or an outdoor barbecue, then the thing to do is to set fire to all
houses in the street. This will stir up anti-Communist hatred and your
neighbors will be right with you as you organize counter-revolutionary
terror. So you see, if you act promptly enough, any Left-wing uprising
can be dealt with by the end of the party.

[12] The Annals, Book 1, Paragraph 69. Latin in original.