13: THE APPARATUS OF THE PREVENTATIVE COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN OUR COUNTRY
Common action against terrorism which more or less officially constrains the parties of the so called “constitutional arc” since January 1977, is to some extent a necessary element which enables the inclusion of regional counter-revolutionary initiative within the European plan first sketched out in the political understanding signed by EEC heads of state in June 1976, and then with the police agreement negotiated in July 1976 by the interior ministers and finally with the European convention for the repression of terrorism.
It is no surprise that Andreotti when introducing the parliamentary debate made a explicit reference to the necessity of an increasingly close agreement between continental policies and local initiative. This local initiative is developing before our eyes, and the more the offensive capacity of the revolutionary forces increases the more the process accelerates.
While following its own timeline, due to the particularity of the Italian situation, this process is perfectly homogeneous with the tendencies operating throughout the continental area. We will consider five of its fundamental aspects.
1. A) the counter-guerrilla units
The unified leadership on the continental level of the process of reorganization of the police forces (in both the technical plan and the operational strategy) and the tendency to create a integrated “anti-guerrilla force” among the EEC countries, are the main forms of the preventative counter-revolution in the European area.
What is of interest here, is the way in which this tendency expresses itself in our country. As we have seen the various European counter-guerrilla units find their political expression in the executive of the EEC, and in the periodic summits of the Interior Ministers (in which the heads of the police forces participate ), as well as in the commissions comprised of senior functionaries from various ministries, but it is NATO which is their operational instrument, the politico-military organism to which imperialism entrusts the leading role, in terms of both defense against “external enemies” and the annihilation of “internal enemies”.
The integration between the “counter-guerrilla” and the “secret services”-for their part continually supervised by NATO-is very well documented. In practice the restructuring of police units proceeds along two lines. One aspect is the development of international collaboration, the other is the creation of a basis for common organization. The objective of this international collaboration is a qualitative increase in the response capacity of the national States to revolutionary initiative and the unification of the counter-guerrilla at the advanced level reached by the dominant imperialist States.
This does not exclude the differentiation of techniques and strategies in the face of the particular characteristics of the class war in different regions. To the contrary the “mutual assistance agreement” between the counter-revolutionary forces favors the tendency to “specialization” and the elaboration of new repressive techniques, both concentrating the full force of the imperialist apparatus against localized revolutionary tensions, and reproducing in a generalized form, the results of the most advanced experiences throughout the metropolitan area. This leads to the dissemination on a continental scale of similar forms, techniques and organizational structures for the various counter-guerrilla units.
To confirm that this tendency is also found in our country, it is necessary to identify in their operational development the lines of movement along which the project of the preventative counter-revolution is articulated. It is therefore of significant interest-in order to better clarify the discussion-to observe the phases through which the restructuring of the secret services has developed, an object which till recently suffered from profound internal fractures which significantly reduced its operational potential.
Contradictions which moreover are not at all fully resolved. Restructuring directed towards efficiency, aiming in its strategy, to concentrate and activate all currently available forces (in the area of the coercive apparatus) on the base of a program of preventative annihilation of all those outbreaks which express real revolutionary tension and constitute a source of destabilization for the imperialist system.
Therefore two organisms have been established on a similar base to the English “special branch”: The SISMI (Military Intelligence and Security Service) and the SISDE (Intelligence and Democratic Security Service), which is certainly a qualitative leap in comparison to the past, when two parallel structures-with regards to counter-guerrilla activity-coexisted within the same State, one of which was under the Interior Ministry, (nat SdS), the other directly connected to the military apparatus of the CC (investigative Nucleus-Dalla Chiesa), which operated in a completely divergent way and even in open antagonism to one another. In the new reorganization, however the entire structure is integrated and placed under the executive, because on the national level, it is a political appendage of the centers of imperialist command, centralizing all activity. It is certainly no surprise that NATO has been “gifted” through Andreotti the special body of the Carabinieri, by appointing to head the new security services two generals who have held posts of considerable responsibility: General Santovito and General Grassini, the heads of SISMI and SISDE.
Because the CC [carabinieri] have always been the spearhead of the counter-revolution, and it is no coincidence that they are an integral part of the army and therefore under the direct control of NATO, since it can thereby dispose of a efficient apparatus, equipped with the most advanced modern technology, trustworthy, and with a complex and capillary structure which covers the entire national territory, making it the default backbone of this project. At the expense of course, of the PS, which has been rendered unstable by a whole series of internal contradictions, and is now considered to be of low reliability, even if it is uncontaminated by “germs of subversion” (see calls for the demilitarization and democratization of the body). It is inevitable therefore, that its margins of autonomy are to be restricted, in tandem with the centralization of all power in the hands of the executive. What is at issue now is restructuring in real terms, starting with objectives intended to be realized in a short time, in order to be up for the new tasks which the spread of revolutionary initiative poses for the imperialist State. In order these are:
1. a) updating of strategy and tactics;
2. b) updating of structure and equipment;
3. c) renewal of education and training;
4. d) unitary deployment and coordination of all counter-guerrilla forces;
Obviously the new services have different functions. SISMI is an organism which will essentially perform military espionage and counter-espionage, whereas SISDE is responsible for organizing the annihilation of the guerrilla in its organized manifestations, so it is the latter which we will examine in more depth. It is however, worth noting that the task of coordinating the activity of the two organisms falls to the CESIS (Executive Committee for Intelligence and Security Services) which depends directly on the Executive, and more specifically the president of the Council [Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic] (which appoints its members), to which it must provide from time to time an analysis of all information and data submitted by the two services, developing to the maximum the work of research and processing of the same, and moreover handling the relations of collaboration-integration with the analogous services operating in the other States of the imperialist chain. With regard to the tasks carried out by SISME and SISDE, we should bear in mind that they operate only as informational organs, and in leading counter-guerrilla operations, without however specifically intervening on the military terrain which is instead the responsibility of some special sections of various units of the PS, CC, and GdF. The various political offices in each police headquarters have been abolished and replaced in each by the “General Investigations and Special Operations Division”
(Digos) who in turn are headed by a “central office” in the Directorate General of the PS. One might think that this way the PS remains equally able to independently develop its own operational plans, but this is not the case, if one considers that data processing (decisive in this field), is now to a great extent, under the total control of SISDE and therefore of the CC. This has enormously increased their capacity to maintain their own “autonomy” almost unchanged (in this respect they have already formed their own operational units), as strategic bodies of the preventative counter-revolution in Italy.
Under the strategic direction of SISDE, they operate as real special sections based in the armed wing of the imperialist State. And within these “sections”, special “anti-commando squads” have already been established, comprised of selected and highly trained personnel, intended to operate in coordination with other similar units of the EEC countries (of the type of the German GSG 9).
On two prior occasions, they have carried out border crossing joint actions, reflecting the logic of war applied by imperialism in different “offensive” operations (Entebbe, Mogadishu), which is a indicative sign of the international character assumed by the continental class war. It indicates the imperialist determination to resolve situations which disrupt the stability of weak links in the chain by direct intervention.
The role of these police organs in the imperialist State, is therefore that of the “armed wing” of the Executive, like all the apparatuses of domination, constraint, forced consensus and legitimization. However, the expression “police state” is not used by us in the above document, to define the progressive militarization of the institutions, as it tends to create confusion, because it does not precisely reflect the specific relation which connects the reorganization of the counter-guerrilla structures and the crisis-restructuring of the imperialist State. The increase in the political weight of these special units and of those who lead them in the new framework of the “reformed State” represents only one aspect of the current situation: in reality it reflects a complete subordination of these forces to the Executive and its directives. The concentration of power in the hands of the Executive is realized indirectly through the apparatus of domination. Every enlargement of the institutional power of the police force in general and of the special units in particular, implies under these conditions a reinforcement of the Executive, since the latter exercises direct and absolute control over them.
So what appears as the strengthening of a particular (the police apparatus) is in reality only a shield for the process of reinforcement of the Executive. Therefore, the recurrent confrontations between two separate bodies of the State such as the Police and the Judiciary-where the first claims a greater space for independence in relation to the second-should not be reductively interpreted as a “corporative” manifestation, the product of the struggle between bureaucratic apparatuses. The same applies to the use of “internal circulars” (administrative actions), which prevent Parliament from having any chance of intervening in this sector. In effect, the various special units as well as the police, are in fact delinked from the control of Parliament and the Judiciary, which equates to greater freedom of action for the Executive.
On the one hand we have the reorganization of the repressive apparatus, and its reinforcement through the broadening and concentration of its power; the laws on police detention and the possibilities for interrogation of the detained, the authorization for the closure of “hideouts”, the authorization of wiretaps no longer by magistrates but by the Interior Ministry, the formation of a coordination committee between the different police forces. On the other hand, is their direct and total subordination to the organs of the Executive of which the reform and restructuring of the secret services is a very concrete example.
It is no accident that in all the imperialist States the secret services are placed at the service of the Executive: the Prime Minister in Great Britain and France, the Chancellor in the FRG, the President in the USA: in Italy the president of the Council directs both services through an Executive Committee appointed, as we have seen, by the Prime Minister themselves, whereas before the reorganization, the SID depended upon the Army Chief of Staff.
Thus this political figure becomes the highest “authority of national security” utilizing a special office for their deliberations: the USI (Internal Security Office), which is closely linked to the super-national determinations of imperialist command and therefore and therefore with NATO. Ultimately it is still the President of the Council of Ministers who decides on the regulation of “politico-military confidentiality”. Since the class confrontation assumes the connotations of a war, the State functions are also integrated and the distinction between the political and military is resolved into a unity. The experience of the inter-ministerial summits with the participation of the technicians and the military indicates the form towards which the governmental structure of the imperialist States is evolving: the crisis committee as a permanent aspect of the Executive.
The development of counter-guerrilla strategy and tactics whose fundamental objective is the permanent militarization of the metropolitan centers and the annihilation of the organizations of the armed resistance movement deserves specific mention: the guidelines of this process are:
-The utilization of information technology: introduction of “intelligence” techniques (psychology, linguistic analysis, cryptanalysis..), the implementation of the model of war in the occupation of the metropolitan areas and in the attacks on the masses; the military model of checkpoints, special squads for urban combat, house searches regulated by military law.
-The strategies of mass participation in the “administration” of public order: the utilization of the mass media, the parties, the unions, of local authorities etc: as organizers of consent and guarantors of surveillance and of “social prevention in defense of the state”.
Politico-military annihilation of the movement of proletarian resistance: that is the objective pursued by the preventative counter-revolution. Global militarization of social life, organization of consensus and reactionary mass mobilization, are the complementary forms of the war which imperialism wages in the heart of the metropole.
1.B) Reinforcement of the mechanisms and instruments of control and prevention
In the imperialist counter-revolutionary war, the construction of a network of preventative total surveillance, is a front of attack which becomes more important everyday.
“We are faced with a senseless scheme which does not recoil from the use of methods and tactics in relation to which the State, precisely because it is democratic and does not and cannot have the means for preventative total control of social life is largely disarmed..” We should not be deceived by this lament from Cossiga, indeed the experts of the Trilateral [Commission] suggest that “there are politically desirable limits to the indefinite extension of democratic politics and these limits-additionally-are the conditions of a long life for western democracy.” The problem is therefore resolved on the political terrain! Its about setting these “limits” and the application of information technology will do the rest.
In the imperialist State the tendency is that of the maximization of the social control of the entire population and in particular, the implantation of special surveillance sections within every basic institution. The use of information technology, the computer networks, enables the practical realization of this program. Their means for the total control of internal enemies reaches a level unprecedented in previous dictatorships. At the same time the area of “internal enemies” tends to grow until it coincides with the total population. In short the imperialist State is preparing a regime of probation for all!
Already, various networks of surveillance capture information on all of us to varying degrees.
Lets recall the main ones here:
-Control and preventative surveillance of the labor force in the production centers and the tertiary sector implemented by the factory police and private agencies. The centralization of information is then carried out by the unions and the employer’s organizations (Confindustria, Intersind), and eventually by the State security services; lets remember the “educational” case of Fiat espionage.
-SISMI (Military Intelligence and Security Service). The legitimization of total and preventative surveillance by the military sector is justified as usual by Andreotti: “profiling is an ugly word I don’t use. But let’s take an example. If there was an autonomist or anyway a person known to have manufactured and used Molotov cocktails it would hardly be appropriate to make them a security guard..” really to minimize risk its best to monitor everyone!
-Profiling of revolutionary groups, union and political vanguards, of political parties with particular attention to those generally left-leaning, and of base organizations, carried out by the general investigations division, by the judicial police, by SISDE and especially by the “counter-guerrilla special units”. The single “brain” of the Interior Ministry stores tens of millions of files.
-Profiling of all prison inmates and of the social relationships which they maintain. The Ministry of Justice has four central databases: two Univac (Appeals Court and records on Ministry employees), one Honeywell (for criminal records), and one IBM (files on prisoners).
-Political profiling of all students and their organizations, centralized by the Interior Ministry through the Italian social assistance office.
-Profiles of the personnel of strategic civil infrastructure (for example the staff of nuclear facilities) and control of the population in the surrounding areas.
And the list goes on.
We should not underestimate the application of information technology to the repression of the class struggle, because it brings with it, along with the efficiency of the computers, the ideology of the technico-military personnel who operate them. The information system of the police in the USA is IBM. IBM has advertised its achievements in the following terms: “the knowledge we have acquired by the use of data, allows us to follow a heartbeat to the moon and is now at the disposal of the police in the enforcement of the law.” The information technology systems are monopolies of the American multinationals, because as well as ensuring US dominance of the world economy (the electronics sector is a strategic sector of advanced capitalism) it safeguards the export of its model of control, of a “method of policing”, and also exports the most advanced levels of repression in the strongest links of imperialism.
Actually the export of this “system” is not only the export of advanced technology, but also of a “relation of production”, of a specific ideology. It is American profiling which is imposed within the structures of control of all the States within the imperialist chain. And this is precisely why it is also the formation of a strata of technician-police who manage the process of total and preventative surveillance of the population. Once they had the “spy”. Now of course, this sorry business, carries out its own specific function, but the organization of a multiplicity of controls through the “information systems” extended through all sectors of social life, represents an even more insidious enemy. This is the information on all of us, on every militant in general, which the imperialist State stores and centralizes and therefore can utilize perpetually to reinforce its domination.
It is necessary to deepen our understanding of the “counter-guerrilla model”, in relation to the organization of information gathering, the “systems” employed, and the linked “computer networks”.
It is essential to be aware of the techno-military personnel who manage and operate this specific sector of war. It is important to attack this network of control, to blow up its meshwork, disarticulate these apparatuses, and this begins with the techno-military personnel who manage, instruct and work against the proletariat.
1. C) Integration of the judicial structures as an arm of the executive
The reorganization of the Italian Judiciary, has as its basic presupposition the reform of the code of criminal procedure. This was the decision in a joint meeting of Ministers of Justice from countries participating in the EEC and it has the task of uniting the Italian judicial system with the rules in force in the European countries and in particular with the Anglo-Saxon system. In the process of elimination of “liberal” residues which today constitute a weak point of State institutions, a redefinition of the relation between the executive and the judiciary is carried out, functionalized for the construction of an efficient and reliable front against the revolutionary class war. The executive tends to assume the form of a “crisis committee” in the internal war. This process involves its direct control over every apparatus of coercion. In this context, the intervention of the Executive with organic attacks against any “tendency to independence” or uncontrollability on the part of the judiciary can be understood, because it forms an obstacle to its counter-revolutionary initiative. The process addressing this includes a restructuring of the judicial apparatus, which is anyway, not free of contradictions.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this is the vertical reorganization of the highest judicial bodies, implemented with the authority of the Executive, through the Ministry of Justice. The purpose of this operation, is to give the judiciary an organizational form which facilitates control from above, as well as a hierarchical structure which functions to subordinate peripheral sectors to the directives of the center. Smothering any wishful thinking about “independence”, the judiciary appears as an apparatus in which the will of the Executive is affirmed from the center to the articulations by means of a few leading organs, closely linked to each other and immediately subordinate to the “Crisis Staff”.
Primary among these organs is the Supreme Judicial Council, conveniently reformed some time ago with the inclusion, alongside the magistrates, of a group of “experts” linked to the major parties. It is characterized by its determinate function in the institutional system. For this structure, the CSM plays the role of transmission of the will of the Executive, it is the main organ of control between the Executive and the judiciary. Furthermore, its technical qualifications make it an efficient instrument of consultation and of coordination for the restructuring of judicial organization and of judicial regulation.
This is the sense, in which one can understand the intervention of the CSM in the Turin trial following the Coco action. The highest organ of the Judiciary took the initiative to suspend the termination of preventative detention; the government seemingly stepping in at a later date to ratify the judicial decision with a legal decree. Formally it is the exultation of the State of law, but in reality it is the maximum expression of dependence upon the directives of the executive. On the 1st of May Bonifacio proposes for the first time a series of meetings between government representatives, the CSM and the heads of judicial offices. The objective; an inquiry with operational goals on the state of the Judiciary.
In July a conference is even held concerning the same subject matter, in which Minister Bonifacio attends, along with members of the CSM and other major functionaries of judicial administration. It is obvious that the aim of these meetings, aside from debate among differing positions, is the affirmation of the stable line of the government. The space of “residual autonomy” conceded to the judiciary is limited to the methods of implementation of these directives: indeed the CSM is constituted as a guarantee of correspondence between the internal framework of the judiciary and the contingent policy objectives of the Executive. It is not only a matter of control over the proper functioning and implementation of directives, but also of the maintenance of the “status quo” within the administration, and thus ratification of disciplinary action etc.
Therefore, the CSM is also the material organ through which the the control of the Executive over the structures of the judiciary is carried out. In confirmation of this is the exemplary measure with which the CSM relieved some probation officers of their posts, who were guilty of having implemented some norms prison reform in a manner opposite to that desired by the Executive. Even weightier is the initiative of CSM vice president Bachelet, that on the directive of Bonifacio and the government, instructing attorney generals to open an investigation into the political statements of those belonging to “Magistratura Democratica” accusing of statements contrary to the democratic order. Finally, as the last and most spectacular example through which this sketch takes form and develops in all its implications, which draws attention to the “reasons of State” which guide the CSM, the decree via one of its direct collaborators, of acquittal in favor of the fascists of ON in Rome, and their worthy comrades, Servello in the lead, in Milan. It is evident that these acquittals have been “suggested” to the CSM by the Executive in return for services rendered by the fascists at other times and in exchange for those they will still have to make to the imperialist State in their capacity as auxiliary forces, instruments of the psychological counter-guerrilla (with Occorsio in fact, they tended to throw confusion and havoc within the revolutionary left and act as a counter-balance to the Coco action), up to playing the role of death squads in dependence upon the secret services. It is therefore obvious, that in this case there is a direct relationship between the judiciary and the Executive, This is a salient fact, obstinate belief in alleged judicial “neutrality” amounts to placing yourself upon a purely idealistic plane, outside of any interpretation of contemporary reality.
This unequivocally confirms a integration and a functional subordination to the political project for which the Executive is the mouthpiece. Naturally, this process as well is not without contradictions, but it is not, as alleged by the democratic current within the Judiciary that of a generic contradiction between “reactionaries” and “progressives”. The latter would like to see Parliament and the political forces represented within it exercise a democratic control over the activity of the Judiciary, while conversely, reactionaries support the line of the “separate body”. In reality both these lines are losing out to the one which identifies its own role within the perspective of the “integration of the judicial structure as an arm of the Executive.” This is currently the hegemonic force, the central linchpin of the Judiciary, for example: the Public Prosecutors of the Court of Appeals, the heads of the investigative offices.
In parallel to the vertical reorganization of the highest judicial bodies, there is affirmed a tendency of specialization of judges in particular sectors of judicial activity. This process manifests in the formation of nuclei and special offices of judges who work on proceedings related to specific offenses: “terrorism”, kidnapping…connected and complementary to this is the process of concentrating trials for “terrorism”, “subversion” and kidnapping in capital cities of districts of the Court of Appeals-a move which for us-leads straight to special courts.
Here is realized the complete subordination and integration of justice to the directives of the counter-guerrilla force, and furthermore the maximum control by the Executive over the conduct and development of investigations which invest the forces practicing revolutionary class war.
1.D) Restructuring of the prisons
The Concentration Camp structure and the reorganization of penitentiary law are integral parts of the plan for imperialist restructuring of the State, not only an “adjustment” of the apparatus of counter-revolutionary domination to a different and more advanced phase of the war, but one of the conditions, one of the indispensable premises, for the qualitative leap which characterizes the development of the imperialist State.
The urgency and care with which the executive confronts the penal question, shows the importance which the bourgeois assigns to this sector of the class confrontation in the current period.
The counter-revolution proceeds with gloomy consistency. It is committed to a “normalization” of the conditions of order within the prisons, to defeat a currently weak and isolated class strata: the proletarian prisoners. But the outlook is much broader. As we have seen, the imperialist project unfolds around a primary axis: the construction and empowerment of super-national organisms of management and control. To this center, the stronger multinationals and the imperialist bourgeois which are their expression, entrust the task of restructuring of the national States, along the lines of a continental preventative counter-revolution. It is within this general context, that the always closer integration of the military structures of repression, and their specialization into the counter-guerrilla judiciary, the counter-guerrilla special units, and the special prisons which is to say concentration camps can be understood.
Asinara, Favignana, Fossombrone..are directly connected on the level of political content and military objectives, to the structures of concentration for the comrades of the RAF in Germany and those for the militants of the IRA in England. Both Stammheim and Asinara are concrete examples of what we mean by the imperialist restructuring of the prison sector as a counter-guerrilla function. Here it is the Executive, which directly assumes the task of leadership and coordination, through an appropriate committee, everything happens as they want it to happen.
Continental preventative counter-revolution, concentration camps, are indications of a qualitative leap occurring in the class struggle, the imperialist State is forced to move onto the terrain of direct war, in the confrontation with the movement of proletarian resistance. This determines the transition to a new phase in which the relation between the two parties becomes exclusively defined in terms of class war.
“The war policies, like the new concentration camps, are not only a repressive response to individual subversive phenomena taking place, but an irreversible decision of comprehensive imperialist restructuring, which as well as neutralizing detained communists, transforms them into hostages.
It goes without saying that this treatment reserved for prisoners of war, explicitly, is not being carried out for contingent and temporary reasons, but is a permanent and immutable condition imposed by power. It is not the activity of individual inmates which matters, but the political figure (or even just the social for the “common” given the low degree of social integration in Italy in comparison to other countries) in the struggle which the proletariat leads. This war policy has a single purpose: the annihilation of the prisoners of war.” But the aspect of physical annihilation is directly functionalized and subordinated to the objective of destruction of political and personal identity.
Throughout the metropolitan zone combatant anti-imperialist prisoners are treated as hostages in the hands of the state which tends to develop a double sided activity against them: on the one hand treatment oriented towards the progressive destruction of their political identity, will and personality, through individual or small group isolation, and a continual activity of destabilization towards the level of bare survival; on the other their propagandist utilization with a function of deterrence towards the revolutionary and proletarian forces. Throughout the metropolitan zone, the revolutionary movement is committed to respond to this regime of war with acts of war.
It is good to have the maximum clarity on this point. The camps are not a boil on a healthy body, a deviation from “democratic norms”, a medieval remnant or a “deplorable” case of delay in the implementation of reform. The camps are the spearhead of reform. They are the other face of the “open prison” and embody its cardinal principle: differential treatment (Note 2).
The establishment of the camps determines new conditions in which the chain of transmission of power directly links the Camps to the leadership of the Ministries of Justice, of the Interior, of Defense, the politico-military responsibility concerning this, being assigned first of all to the executive. This process is ongoing and not without contradictions. After all, this takes place within an institutional system which still formally enshrines the autonomy and independence of the judicial and legislative powers.
Therefore the maximum demonstration of the authority of the Executive coincides with the emergence of contradictions. The imperialist project and the institutional structures come into conflict, and the first tends to dominate the second and adapt it to itself. It is this contradiction which gives birth to a “democratic opposition”. A sector of the bourgeois which although it is not in antagonism with the strategic objectives of imperialism, is forced to fight for the conservation of the spaces of power it occupies in the institutional structures. The approach of this”democratic opposition” in relation to the proletarian, anti-imperialist struggle has two aspects. On the one hand, as an element within the imperialist framework, it is itself a part of the counter-revolution, not only as organizers of consensus on a mass level, but more importantly as intermediaries for the mobilization of the people in the defense of the State. On the other hand, it focuses on control of the “drive to lead the opposition” after it has been purged of “subversive” elements. This is in order to augment its own strength in the political power struggle with other sectors of the bourgeois.
Due to these objective conditions, there is also the possibility of a clash among the elements of the bourgeoisie; the precarity of the political framework based in the agreement of parliamentary majority (newborn and already in crisis) testifies to this. In practice, however these contradictions can develop only as a result of the initiative of the revolutionary forces. The class struggle compels the political forces to take a position. In the case of the “special prisons” a revival of proletarian initiative will have a dual impact: disarticulating the project of the Camps, a spearhead of the counter-revolution; deepening the contradictions of the same project of restructuring of the imperialist State, which enables the development of a struggle for power within the dominant bloc.
The attempt to escape from Favignanna has not only demonstrated the political weakness of this project, but an entire series of structural contradictions which should be highlighted. First of all the latent conflict between the organizations of the “external security services”-special forces of the CC led by Gen. Dalla Chiesa-and the structure of penal administration headed by the Ministry of Justice. A contradiction which has its origins in the institutional structure, namely in the division of labor and the established authority which is traditional for the apparatus of State command.
The creation of the organisms of coordination for the reorganization of the prison sector, like the Commission chaired by Buondonno and Dalla Chiesa (one member of which, the judge Palma was executed by our Organization), is evidence of the will of the Executive to overcome these limits, namely the tendency to overcome the particularism determined by “local” interests, in the service of a superior and general interest (that of the defense of the imperialist State), which still must deal with this reality. After six months of attempts, the ministry was not able to make Favignanna a “special prison”, and this because first the administration and then the guards, obstructed and even sabotaged the project.
At Nuero, the guards threatened to stop work, in protest of the proposal to establish a “special prison”. At Trani, during the detention of some guards by inmates, there was a serious physical clash between the CC who demanded entry in order to forcibly free the hostages and the colleagues of the hostages who wanted a “peaceful” solution. The same kind of contradiction manifests at higher levels in the hierarchy, as when the Inspector General of Altavista Prison sides against the nomination of Della Chiesa to coordinate internal and external prison security, protesting the “interference of the CC in penal administration”, not to speak of Army commander Gen. Mino who felt “passed over in his area of responsibility by the decision of the government.”. The structure of “parallel” command which complements the directors of the special prisons and which directly depends upon the military organs of the executive was created precisely to order to meet the need to implement direct control over the treatment of the prisoners from the center, and therefore to override the responsibility and authority of local organs. In other words, to combat the particularist (corporatist) tendency which obstructs the imperialist plan on all levels.
1.E) the reactionary mobilization of the masses through the mass media
“The worker must always, always, always remember that the bourgeois newspaper (whatever its hue) is an instrument of struggle motivated by ideas and interests that are contrary to his. Everything that is published is influenced by one idea: that of serving the dominant class, and which is ineluctably translated into a fact: that of combating the laboring class.” Thus wrote Gramsci in Aventi, in 1916.
The bourgeois press has always served this function, but the qualitative leap in fact taking place now is that the political direction of the organs of information, has been centralized and assumed directly by the Executive of the imperialist State. The RAI and the main dailies and weeklies become real press branches of the Ministry of the Interior, and the journalists who manage the government showgirls who inspire counter-revolutionary action, are real guest officers of the same Ministry. This total control over the press should not be equated to censorship, which is only one of its aspects. The press organs play an active, organic and functional role in the strategy of the multinationals and are an integral part of the restructuring of the State. Willy Brandt explains the function of the mass media in the imperialist State: “the immunization of society against revolution through a peaceful and firm affirmation of the normal situation”. More exactly “criminal nihilism can be more effectively combated if terror does not become the object of political and journalistic calculations.” This is the same point of view espoused by Andreotti. In fact the latter has observed that “the journalists can help us succeed in calming the emotions.”
The thesis is very explicit: the militarization of the means of mass communication and their technicians , involved as functionaries of psychological warfare under the direction of the Executive. Horrific but perfectly in line with the directives of the Trilateral Commission. In fact according to the thinkers of imperialism “freedom of the press” is alright but only in small doses. As “abuses” are possible, it is necessary for the State to require that: “the law ensure the ability to withhold information from the beginning;…regulate the professional values of journalists and…in exceptional cases even proceed with preventative restrictions considered to be necessary.”
In the imperialist State, in which the family and the school lose a great part of their traditional integrative function, the means of mass communication are openly utilized as fundamental instruments of mass socialization (which is to say the transmission of “values and basic patterns of behavior”). Therefore the question of their control is of fundamental importance.
The peaceful liquidation of antagonistic class behaviors through the mass media is, indirectly, a necessary premise for the violent liquidation of the class forces which express their own needs, through the action of the “special units”. The political function of the mass media is therefore that of constituting a permanent mass mobilization in a reactionary sense; of manufacturing the identification of broad strata of the proletariat with the most repressive measures which the State will undertake to implement; the organization of a consensus around the liquidation, even physical, of internal enemies. In the modern newsrooms of the major media, in which, the class conflict is taken apart and reassembled in the interests of the imperialist bourgeoisie on a daily basis, sit the new counter-guerrilla technicians, the psychological warfare specialists, the functionaries of counter-revolutionary violence paving the way for the killers of the special units. They are the producers of the show, which in modern warfare precedes the annihilation of revolutionary militants. It is in these newsrooms, that the so called “low profile” [English in original] strategy, in other words indirect intervention against the proletarian movement, is materialized in psychological operations which aim to influence the attitudes of the proletariat, conquering “hearts and minds”, discrediting the guerrilla, encouraging its internal divisions, sowing mistrust, eroding morale.
The characteristics of the camp:
1) Isolation: that is to say isolation from the outside world and militarized control of every contact or communication (discussions, mail, attorneys); anyone entering into relations is automatically interrogated, family members are tailed or arrested, attorneys are interrogated or arrested. Absolute isolation of the proletarian prisoners. Isolation of small groups in the camp. The only socialization permitted is that of the “cell nucleus” which is assembled by the camp authority.
2) Objectives of the camp: the objectives sought through isolation and the relations of force existing in this situation are: politico-military destabilization of the prisoners and an orientation towards their annihilation.
3) military structure of the camp. It is characterized by:
-Irreversible and uncontrolled rigidity in management actually this management is functionalized to the prisoners of war, whose destabilization is the only possible variable. In practice this possibility is solely tied to a collaborationist choice.
-Integration of internal-external military structures (prison personal, counter-guerrilla units of Gen. Dalla Chiesa). It should be noted that this integration tends to be entirely in favor of the counter-guerrilla forces.
-Military relation of force between the prisoners on the one hand and the personal of the State structure on the other, completely in favor of the second, to an overwhelming extent.
4) Political dimension of the camp. It would be mistaken to think in terms of a clash between the camps and the penal structure on the national level. We are faced with a qualitative leap in the treatment of the prisoners. The camp embodies the main trend and is the heart of the penal “new order” and of “reform”. It is realized as part of an international program, which is seen as a reference point (for Italy) and of strength (for the continental area), the English concentration camps for IRA militants and the Stammheim structure for the militants of the RAF in Germany.
5) Contradictions. The fundamental point which characterizes the “new” imperialist penal order, is the subtraction, through legal decrees, of prison management and control from legislative and judicial authority whenever it runs counter, even if slightly to the decisions of the Executive.