Antonio Gramsci 1919
Source: Avanti!, 4 April 1919;
Translated: by Michael Carley;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2011.
The balance of Soviet Russia is negative, cruelly negative. “Momento” weeps for it like a little calf, “Momento” suffers for it with all its Franciscan soul. Think, think: 13,700 people executed as counter-revolutionaries on the first of January 1919, without counting those condemned “on intuition”; think, think, the same Commissar Lissoflski has declared it. And a deficit of seventeen billion, think, think, weep, weep, oh little hearts of butter lodging in the candy floss breasts of the tender Order of Perpetual Adoration or the curates of feeling. Vade retro, oh communism, here the holy water against the Soviet; cruel and most base apocalyptic monsters, never will you tempt the most tender Order, never will you hear the Te Deum in your glory.
When has there ever appeared on the immaculate earth a slaughter machine, a scourge destroying lives and billions, so horrifying as the Soviet Revolution? What was the slaughter of the Albigensians? A children's garden game: and, please, do not think for a moment that Pope Innocent was a precursor of “intuition,” when he preached of killing, of killing, so much so that the Merciful Lord might, in his omniscience, divide the white lamb from the worm-ridden sheep; you would only show yourself up as an anticlerical vulgarian, without a rudiment of theology or catechism.
What was the war of the peasants in Germany? A Nuremberg toy, even if it be affirmed that it destroyed twelve million human lives. What were the destructions of the Flemish, the Incas, and of the boors carried out by the most Catholic kings of Spain? They were services to the holy faith, most devoted corvées of vassals of Our Omnipotent Lord Jesus Christ. What are the ten million dead and ten million invalids and injured, heritage of the war which His Holiness Benedict called “useless slaughter,” but which “Momento” believes most useful, though His Holiness is Pontiff of the Catholic Church, while “Momento” is only the organ of the Partito Popolare Italiano.
What are the twenty million dead of grippe or Spanish flu, or pulmonary plague, that is war plague, caused and propagated and cultivated by the conditions created and left by the war? What are the thousands and thousands of human creatures who die every day of hunger, scurvy, exposure in Romania, in Bohemia, in Armenia, in India, to note only those countries friends of the Entente.
What is the eighty billion deficit in the Italian accounts, the one hundred and twenty billion in the French accounts, the two hundred billion in damages caused by the war?
What are the one hundred and fifty million Russians exterminated by the Czarist government in the repression of the Soviets in 1905? What would the twenty million Russians do who would be exterminated if the counter-revolution of Generals Krasnof, Denikin and Kolchak triumphed, the friends of the Entente who impale and expose for three days one worker in ten in the towns they manage to reconquer, the friends of the Entente who send armoured wagons full of Soviet soldiers cut to pieces to Petrograd.
What are they, what are they? Trifles, nothings, magnanimous actions compared to 13,700 executed and a deficit of 17 billion. The social revolution is a scourge, the apocalyptic monster. What is a proletarian life, what is it worth compared to a bourgeouis life? You study economics, surely: a bourgeouis is worth at least ten proletarians; so the 13,700 shot by the Soviets are worth 137 million proletarians and they are not 137 million proletarians which international capitalism has bled for its affairs, to fertilize its masses.
Weep, weep, then, most tender Order and most delicate curates of Piedmont, and do not allow yourselves to be tempted by communism, by Soviets, by the social revolution.