Apostles and Agitators: Italy's Marxist Revolutionary by Richard Drake

By Richard Drake

Some of the most debatable questions in Italy at the present time matters the origins of the political terror that ravaged the rustic from 1969 to 1984, whilst the crimson Brigades, a Marxist progressive association, intimidated, maimed, and murdered on a large scale. during this well timed examine of the ways that an ideology of terror turns into rooted in society, Richard Drake explains the historic personality of the progressive culture to which such a lot of usual Italians professed allegiance, studying its origins and inner tensions, the lads who formed it, and its effect and legacy in Italy. He illuminates the defining figures who grounded the progressive culture, together with Carlo Cafiero, Antonio Labriola, Benito Mussolini, and Antonio Gramsci, and explores the connections among the social mess ups of Italy, rather within the south, and the country's highbrow politics; the emblem of "anarchist communism" that surfaced; and the position of violence within the ideology. although bobbing up from a valid feel of ethical outrage at determined stipulations, the ideology did not locate the political associations and moral values that will finish inequalities created by way of capitalism. In a chilling coda, Drake recounts the hot murders of the economists Massimo D'Antona and Marco Biagi by way of the hot crimson Brigades, whose web justification for the killings is steeped within the Marxist progressive culture. (20040301)

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He could see nothing but a technological nightmare ahead if capitalism Karl Marx • 25 continued to harness all human intelligence for the enlargement of investors’ profits. “The entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market” would bring such misery to mankind that revolution would become inevitable. ”56 Capital is Marx’s supreme achievement as a thinker. It is his fullest and most thoroughly researched explanation of why modern capitalist society poses a mortal threat to the future of mankind.

The times are never ripe for revolution, he began, unless one is a real revolutionary. Many people who claim to be revolutionaries care only to strike a revolutionary pose while simultaneously ac- Carlo Cafiero • 37 cepting, as a practical matter, the reality of the status quo. He condemned liberal progressives as the worst enemies of genuine progress. They could always be counted on to complain passionately about the evils of society without for a moment wishing to change anything in a systemic way.

Cafiero accepted the offer, to become the special agent in Italy of the International’s General Council, with all the enthusiasm of an idealistic youth who feels at last that the true meaning of his existence is about to be revealed to him. He left London on 12 May and arrived in Florence just as the Paris Commune went down to defeat. Soon afterward he made the journey to Naples and began sending reports of his activities back to London. Cafiero’s reports constitute the main documentary source of his activities in this period of Marxism’s beginnings in Italy.

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