The black wire

“There is no Italian who manages to completely escape the mistletoe of opportunism.

Book son of the time in which it was written (1995), and of a different, higher, morality and political conscience of the Italian intelligentsia. Reading it today, one greatly appreciates the analysis of the past, and the one that is in some parts incorrect on the future, but not due to the demerit of the author, but rather to the demerit of Italy.

The perennial fascism inside the Italians. A long black thread that has been crossing the peninsula for centuries, in some moments perhaps necessary to keep it united, in the general unawareness; a tendency towards authoritarianism much stronger than that towards democracy, which fascism as we know it, has only institutionalized if anything. A long journey of history up to the present day, when those who would once have been defined as post-fascists hide behind new definitions to try to blend in with the multitude of the political class.

Machiavelli’s prince, the repressions against peasant revolts, the temporal power of the Church, the cannons of Bava Beccaris in Milan, are all dots that form the black thread before 1922.

We appreciated the not obvious division between authoritarian regimes and totalitarian regimes, because they are two totally different concepts, even if we often tend to forget it. It is no coincidence that the major antibodies to historical fascism were more endogenous than exogenous. A sad carnival in which everyone wanted to participate, at least until the war against France was entered, and for whose participation they were willing to accept many (too many) compromises. After all, in our opinion, it would be more correct to think that Mussolini brought the Italy of Caporetto to Vittorio Emanuele III and not that of Vittorio Veneto, but that’s another story.

It is not a simple text, but the reading of which is necessary to strengthen one’s political and civil conscience. A conscious reading, to be done in order to be able to defend one’s ideas, to respect those of others, to try to understand those that we do not share. The black thread will always be present, it will be up to us to hold the knot in our hands to prevent the skein from becoming difficult to untangle.


Giorgio Bocca, The black wire, Mondadori, Milano, 1995

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