EMAIL PAGE TEN
COLUMN SEVENTY, APRIL 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
Portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a
news, discussion and debate service of the Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. It
says it aims to provide varied material of interest to people
on the Left.
Heretofore, we were under the impression that Portside is the Internet's voice of the Left. But it turns out to be the Internet's voice of the fundamentalist Far-Left, which, like all fundamentalist organizations, adheres to a fascistic orthodoxy and consequently refuses to post dissident or differing opinions from within the Left---such as HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT BUT LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, available to be read in SECTION ONE of COLUMN SEVENTY. Fundamentalists, like all fascists, will not tolerate any disagreements or variations from the fundamentalist orthodoxy.
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Dario Fo on 'Mussolini's Ghost'
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 19:45:03 -0800 (PST)
From: portsideMod <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: ps <email@example.com>
In These Times
February 19, 2002
are witnessing in Italy a never-ending series of aberrations and hypocrisies by
various political groups that are invoking---almost to the point of reclaiming
the same words and gestures---a fascist climate. They use the same repertoire
and shout the same slogans: freedom, effort, fatherland, Italy, defense of the
race, culture of our civilization, original civilization. "
to that what we call a 'conflict of interest.' Mussolini himself did not have
the system of political privilege that Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's prime
minister, has. On the other side, there's an eerie absence of opposition. It's
true. It's a reality that can be felt: Our role has become one of mere
dissidents trying to fill the void of political opposition. I attended the
convention of the Democratici di Sinistra [Democratic Left Party]: They seemed
paralyzed. 'We must change, or we will die,' they exclaimed. And having said
that, they remained on the podium like statues of salt.
someone like Pier Ferdinando Casini, president of the Parliament and member of
the Union of Catholic Democrats, says things that sound like they should come
from the left, such as, 'Before changing anything at the RAI [Italian State TV],
we need to resolve issues
one also sees new movements on the rise, especially among students, young
workers and the elderly, who, through great and generous participation, seem to
restore the waters of the resurrection. And I say, even, in the Catholic sense
of the term, the waters of purification. These movements testify to an
instead of going along with these new movements, supporting them and applauding
them, the left runs from them, as if disgusted. These are the same leftists, we
should note, who are responsible for selling off our public schools, a plan
young people, teachers and democratic-oriented families have made clear with the
slogan: 'Don't turn our schools into businesses.' Before creating a private
school system, we should concern ourselves with putting the one that already
exists-the public school system-back together.
same goes for their position on the war. Representatives of the center-left, in
order to mitigate their position, plead: 'Let's be careful not to upset the
people. Let's not turn innocent people into victims.' Let's be careful? Is that
a joke? By now we know that 90 percent of victims are innocent, as Gino Strada,
the author and founder of Emergency, an Italian organization that provides
medical aid to war-torn regions, has explained to us. But, of course, we already
has been calculated that the past three months of bombings [in Afghanistan] have
claimed more than 3,000 civilian victims, equivalent to the victims of the Twin
Towers. This does not count the victims of the devastated cities, who live with
atrocious hardships, or the invisible victims-'the invisible dead,' as Strada
once called them-whose numbers are frightening: thousands of orphans, whose
parents were blown to bits by bombs and land mines. In this immense war-torn
territory, it will take an estimated 200 years to clear the millions of land
all this for what? For a Pashtun victory that takes opium production back from
the Taliban, opium that will still be sent to Pakistan to be refined and
transformed into heroin. In the end, this means everything is put back into
circulation with great force-the profits of the drug traffic recycled through
American and European banks in a vicious circle of terrorist financing. As a
journalist asked an official of the American government, 'Given the financial
trail of money-laundering that Swiss banks are involved in, when do you plan to
bomb Switzerland?' The reply: dead silence.
to return to Italy and to the decline of democracy that manifests itself there
daily, I would not want this moment to become similar to what occurred when that
other absolutist government was born, the one my father used to tell me about-he
who, when very young, was a political refugee in France. I'm struck when I
listen to those who witnessed that era firsthand say that they feel like they
are reliving the '20s, the years of the birth of fascism.
we read the newspaper and see that Berlusconi's attorney, when presenting
himself to the court for the first time after being charged with corruption,
leaves the courtroom shouting: 'There's no more justice!' His lawyers are there
alongside Berlusconi's lawyers to demand the intervention of the minister of
justice, a member of the Northern League, and chosen, conveniently, by
have before us the most irrational paradoxes, like something out of Alfred
Jarry's King Ubu, the farce of the impossible: Laws are made expressly for the
king, ministers are elected from his court to defend only his own interests, and
the public applauds. At most, someone delivers a minor burp of indignation. With
a clear conscience, the Cavalier and his men take every power in hand and enjoy
total impunity. It is the logic of, 'We will never go to prison.'
heard someone from Berlusconi's government say that they will meet with the
center-left. 'In one hand,' he said, 'we'll hold an olive branch and, in the
other, a gun.' Those were his exact words. It's true. The new fascism is there
in their language and in their expressions. Beginning with 'Business Italy' and
moving to the 'Business Party,' we are all made into employees of the
government, with the Big Boss at the center.
Beware!' was another fascist slogan. Today, it is enough to see the gestures,
words, attitudes and the arrogance of these politicians, who beat their fists on
the table, shouting 'You're busting my balls' or 'Get the hell out of my
business' (like the Minister of Communications). We also hear 'Arabs get out,'
'They can build their fleabag mosques somewhere else,' and 'They should stay in
their ghetto.' There's a new idea: a ghetto for those who are different, for
those who are not willing to conform.
times I feel anguished by this whole situation, a mute kind of melancholy. I
continue to work in the theater, of course, and in parts of our performances we
deal with these topics. And the public responds, but of course we're preaching
to the converted.
best thing today is this fantastic breeze and sun?'these young people who
are organizing themselves across the world. They need our help, information and
the truth. But today we have no Jean-Paul Sartre who goes to speak at
universities. In 1968 he held a conference on the theater of
circumstance-political, popular theater. He opened the conference with a quote
from Alberto Savinio: 'Oh men, narrate our story.'
Today, it is no longer a question of giving a history of the present, a sense of l'esprit du temps. Today theater directors and directors of theaters are on the right (some more recent converts than others) and have acquired a flair for flag-waving. Most intellectuals, in the meantime, are sleeping or simply pretending the warning signs don't exist-pretending that they have better things to think about. ##
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