twenty years after Genova

In spring 1976, while my city was experiencing a spring of cultural creativity, social solidarity and political invention, a person who attended the assemblies invited me to a meeting that was not public. I accepted the invitation as I would have done with anyone else I met in an assembly, even if I did not know his name nor do I know him now.

He was a comrade and that was enough for me.

I went to the appointment on the outskirts of the city. Together with the one who had invited me there was a worker a little older than me. I had a little sniffed at the topic of the conversation: they told me that they had the task of constituting the Bolognese column of the Red Brigades (which then never formed) and that they wanted to offer me to join the organization.

We spoke for a couple of hours. I simply said what I thought, and still think: I dont believe the workers’ movement needs an armed party. So I did not join the Red Brigades, nor any other armed formations.

In the year 1977, during the student insurrection I responded with symbolic violence to the murderous violence of the troops of the repressive state. I broke some shop windows, but I have never exercised violence against a human being, I have not killed, nor have I ever carried a firearm.

I consider it a fortune, but not a positive ethical value.

Whether we like it or not, the question of violence arises in the history of class struggle. And you can’t get around.

Few times, in the following decades, have I come to blame myself for my refusal to enlist. One such time was in July 2001, in the days of Genova, when the police aggressed a huge manifestation protesting the G8 Summit, killed a student, tortured people in order to protect Bush Berlusconi and Putin who met to talk power in the luxurious palazzo Ducale.
That day I thought that I had lived a pretty good life, but perhaps not a fair one because I hadn’t done everything that was necessary. to eliminate the monsters before the monsters destroy us.

So after Genova I went to Himashal Pradesh to visit a young Buddhist nun. I meditated, and realized that the problem was not weapons. The Buddhist nun said: they have professional armies and in terms of violence we will always be amateurs. So I accepted the idea that there is no more room for hope.

After Genoa it seemed clear to me that humanity is destined for hell. Since neoliberalism has joined in alliance with Nazism, and since social subjectivity is no longer capable of autonomy and friendship, the prospect can only be the hell of growing precariousness, growing exploitation, growing misery, mental and environmental devastation.

I despaired, and I haven’t stopped despairing.

But when you stop “hoping” you don’t stop waiting for something.

In Summer 2001 I had to wait less than two months.

In September revenge came from the skies above Manhattan, and the hell of Nazi-liberalism turned into the hell of war.

Those nineteen young men led by a bearded assassin put in a strategically winning blow. The demolition of the symbol of the West triggered a process that twenty years later is in full swing: the process that now is leading to the end of Western civilization.

I am not sorry for the collapse of that symbol, nor am I sorry for the end of Western civilization, although I do not “hope” that this means liberation from the domination of capital or an end to the war against humanity.

Capitalist domination appears at the moment intact because a subjectivity capable of emancipating itself does not emerge. But Western civilization is in agony. Capitalism and the West are diverging, may be. Nevertheless the kingdom of abstraction stays strong, while concrete life is breathless.

In Afghanistan, the West has lost the holy war, and today with the favour of darkness the troops of the white race are fleeing away, while the friends of bin Laden conquer the country.

The Middle East is disintegrating as an effect of the Iraq war.

The Americans promised to bring Iraq back to the Stone Age, if Saddam didn’t give up on weapons of mass destruction, which were never found.

Now it is all humanity that is returning to the Stone Age.

The defeat of the West in Afghanistan and Iraq is irremediable, in a sense that is deeper than the military sense.

The strategic genius of Bin Laden (and above all the unattainable imbecility of Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney) set in motion an unstoppable process of global civil war whose signs are everywhere. The greatest military power of all time no longer exists because it is at war with itself, and from this war it will not come out alive.

The West is in chaos, sinking into dementia, into the fire of the forests of the American west coast, and into the mud of northern Europe.

In Genoa three hundred thousand people gathered twenty years ago.

Their message: if this continues we are doomed. If the capitalist plundering of physical resources of the planet goes on, if the frantic exploitation of nervous energies goes on, then the human kind is doomed.

The powerful of the world silenced us with violence, and in the name of profit they went on preparing for the final Holocaust.

Now it’s too late.

The fire is unstoppable, and every year it is destined to burn more extensively.

The flood does not recede and every year it is destined to be more swirling.

May be that twenty years ago it was possible to stop the apocalypse.

Now it is too late.

The European Commission promises that in 2035 we will all go to electric cars, and the carbon emissions will be curbed within 2050.

Perhaps no one told them that the Amazon rainforest, once considered the lung of the planet today emits more CO2 than it absorbs.


Branson is preparing shuttles to leave the earth. Let him go to Mars and fuck himself.

We stay here: we salute the defeat of the West, but this does not put us in a good mood because we are trapped in the capitalist abstract dome.

The West has lost the war against Islam, but we cannot rejoice for this, since Islam is a reign of terror and obscurantism.

The West will soon lose the war against China but we cannot rejoice for this, since China is the Empire of the Automaton.

We’ll stay here because we have no hope, and this makes us invincible.