Aldo No Moro

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Fifth Estate # 292, June 19, 1978

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The bullet-ridden body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, which was discovered a short distance from the Italian Communist Party (CP) headquarters on May 9, brought the expected cries of protest from the expected quarters. From the crowned heads of Europe to political parties of all stripes came expressions of horror and demands that Red Brigade-style terrorism be eradicated.

Having absolutely no desire to join this rancid gaggle of politicians from both the right and left, we can only point to the words of 19th century anarchist Michael Bakunin who offered that “every politician has earned his sentence on the gallows a thousand times over.” We know of too many unnecessary deaths and too many blunted lives which Moro and his ilk have presided over to mourn the deserved death of a steward of oppression. Though the left may argue that actions of this sort act as the pretext for the State to increase its repressive apparatus, we would answer that it simply increases our hatred for the State and our desire to smash it.

It may be naive of us to continue to wax indignant over the vile role the international left played in the whole Moro affair, but it is the left (the most “progressive” counter-revolution), that treacherous! repeated every call to revolutionaries to act within the framework of bourgeois civility.

The left in this country fell all over itself trying to do everything possible to disassociate itself from the execution of Moro by calling it “brutality” (The Spark), calling the Red Brigades “mad-dog killers” (Seven Days), and repeating police lies that the Moro affair was “fathered by Moscow” (Libertarian Spain). They all should be assured that no one here suspects for a moment that any of their groups would ever consider doing anything illegal.

Although the U.S. left is worthy only of a scoff, the powerful Italian CP demonstrated the thoroughly reactionary role it plays in Italy, often outstripping the Christian Democrats in their fervor, by calling for support of the government and its repressive measures. The Communists called out their faithful in a continuing series of demonstrations demanding that the government not give in to Red Brigade demands for the release of political prisoners thus assuring Moro’s death.

Luciano Lama, head of Italy’s CP auto union, declared to a May Day rally, “We cannot humiliate the state; we cannot humiliate the government; we cannot humiliate Aldo Moro,” in an attempt to justify the CP’s support for the government.

Internationally, support of the Italian government came from the likes of Yasir Arafat (who supports his reactionary nationalist politics by machine-gunning school children), who joined Pope Paul in appealing to the Red Brigades to release their hostage. Later, Arafat sent a wreath of mourning to the official Moro state funeral which was even boycotted by Moro’s widow.

The Red Brigade strategy was, in part, to outmaneuver the CP which was in the process of creating its so-called “Historic Compromise” of joining the parliamentary majority of the ruling Christian Democrats. Unthwarted by the crisis revolving around the affair, the CP has shown that it is still more than willing to operate as the copartner of Italian capital. As if to signal its complete and total capitulation to reaction, the CP successfully marshalled its forces into the voting booths on June 11 in support of law-and-order legislation so repressive that even they had denounced it themselves only three years ago.

The so-called Reale law was upheld by referendum and gives almost unlimited rights to the police to use firearms and allows them to hold “suspects” for great lengths of time. The CP, echoing their partners in crime, the CD, state that there is a greater need for repressive laws at this point because of the rise in “terrorism” and accused those who supported the repeal of the legislation of having thrown their lot in with “the fascists and terrorists.”

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