A new week carrying a lot of very important things and a wind of changes. Plus, i am convinced that Revolution by the Beatles is the right soundtrack for this age, nevermind if it was written in the sixties
You say you want a revolution Well, you know We all want to change the world You tell me that it’s evolution Well, you know We all want to change the world
do you guys ever associate certain seasons with certain periods of history? I don’t know why but in my mind, Colonial/Revolutionary America has always been autumn, Victorian England has always been winter, Regency England and the Rococo era have always been spring, and the Italian Renaissance and the Baroque era have always been summer
I saw yesterday Madame de Semonville; she is expecting her husband, who is to be exchanged for the little Capet.** She is just the same as ever, and so are her two daughters. They are very plain, but the younger is clever.
I have received a letter from Desiree, which seems to be very old. You never told me of it.
I continue to be in the same state. It is not impossible that I may return, as formerly, to Nice.
Today is to be the purification of the Assembly. It will end in the arrest of eight or ten members.
Everything here appears to be going on pretty well. We are expecting the Government to be formed in two months. Barthelemy, Samonville, Truguet, and Pichegru are spoken of; but this is mere report. I sometimes see Truguet.
Some one I cannot remember who told me that you were amusing yourself extremely. I congratulate you. I was not aware that Genoa was so gay.
We get on very well here, and are very happy. It appears as if every one wanted to make up for past sufferings, and the uncertainty of the future prompts people to enjoy unsparingly the present.
Good bye, my dear friend; be cautious as to the future and satisfied with the present; be gay, learn to amuse your self. As for me, I am happy. I only want to find myself on the battlefield ; a soldier must either win laurels or perish gloriously.
Chauvet is here
** Madame d'Angouleme, daughter of Louis XVI.
April 5, 1796. Napoleon to Josephine
It is an hour after midnight. they have just brought me a letter. It is a sad one, my mind is distressed—it is the death of Cahuvet. He was commissionaire ordinateur en chef of the army; you have sometimes seen him at the house of Barras.
My love, I feel the need of consolation. It is by writing to thee, to thee alone, the thought of whom can so influence my mortal being, to whom I must pour out my troubles. What means the future? what means the past? what are we ourselves? what magic fluid surrounds and hides from us the things that it behoves us most to know? We are born, we live, we die in the midst of marvels; it is astounding that priests, astrologers, charlatans have profited by this propensity, by this strange circumstance, to exploit our ideas, and direct them to their own advantage.
Chauvet is dead. He was attached to me. He has rendered essential service to the fatherland. His last words were that he was starting to join me. I see his ghost; it hovers everywhere, it whistles in the air. His soul is in the clouds, he will be propitious to my destiny. But, fool that I am, I shed tears for our friendship, and who shall tell me that I have not already to bewail the irreparable.
Soul of my life, write me by every courier, else I shall not know how to exist.
I am very busy here. Beaulieu is moving his army again. We are face to face. I am rather tired; I am every day on horseback.
Adieu, adieu, adieu; I am going to dream of you. Sleep consoles me; it places you by my side, I clasp you in my arms. But on waking, alas! I find myself three hundred leagues from you.
In 1784, the whatchmaker Pierre Kintzing and the cabinetmaker David Roentgen,presented at Versailles the Joueuse de Tympanon, an automaton looking like Marie Antoinette. It is said that the automaton’s hair were those of the Queen and that its dress had been created/made with the same fabric of one of Maria Antoinette dresses. The music played by the Joueuse was composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck Allemand; a German composer who was also the Queen’s music teacher. Marie antoinette, who understood the value of such a creation bought it in 1785 and donated it to the accademy of sciences. The Joueuse de tympanon , survived the horrors of the revolution is now in the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris yet fully functional.
The creation of the Kingdom of Italy was the result of concerted efforts of Italian nationalists and monarchists loyal to the House of Savoy to establish a united kingdom encompassing the entire Italian Peninsula. After the Revolutions of 1848, the apparent leader of the Italian unification movement was Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. He was popular amongst southern Italians and in the world was renowned for his extremely loyal followers. Garibaldi led the Italian republican drive for unification in southern Italy, but the northern Italian monarchy of the House of Savoy in the Kingdom of Sardinia, a de facto Piedmontese state, whose government was led by Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour, also had ambitions of establishing a united Italian state. Though the kingdom had no physical connection to Rome (seen by all as the natural capital of Italy, but still capital of the Papal States), the kingdom had successfully challenged Austria in the Second Italian War of Independence, liberating Lombardy-Venetia from Austrian rule. The kingdom also had established important alliances which helped it improve the possibility of Italian unification, such as Britain and the Second French Empire in the Crimean War. Sardinia was dependent on France being willing to protect it and in 1860, Sardinia was forced to cede territory to France to maintain relations, including Garibaldi’s birthplace Nice. Cavour moved to challenge republican unification efforts by Garibaldi by organizing popular revolts in the Papal States. He used these revolts as a pretext to invade the country, even though the invasion angered the Catholics, whom he told that the invasion was an effort to protect the Roman Catholic Church from the anti-clerical secularist nationalist republicans of Garibaldi. Only a small portion of the Papal States around Rome remained in the control of Pope Pius IX. Despite their differences, Cavour agreed to include Garibaldi’s Southern Italy allowing it to join the union with Piedmont-Sardinia in 1860. Subsequently the Parliament declared the creation of the Kingdom of Italy on February 18, 1861 (officially proclaiming it on March 17, 1861) composed of both Northern Italy and Southern Italy. King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont-Sardinia from the House of Savoy was then declared King of Italy, though he did not renumber himself with the assumption of the new title. [x]
The Italians’ Half-Hearted Attempt at Revolution Ruined Italian Fascism
From The Path of Cinnabar by Julius Evola.
The Charge of the Lancers (1915), by Umberto Boccioni
[…] The Fascist ‘revolution’ in Italy had only affected certain political bodies: even from a political perspective, it had only been a half-hearted attempt at revolution, which never led to the development of a coherent, systematic and uncompromising doctrine of the State. This is not the right place to discuss what elements of Fascism might have assumed a traditional character (and thus have acted not as something new, but as the specific adaptations of ideas reflecting the great, traditional politics of Europe); and what features of Fascism, on the contrary, were the worst (most notably: its promotion of 'totalitarianism’ in place of 'organic statehood’; its ambition to embody a regime of the masses; its Napoleonic dictatorship and emphasis on the personal figure of the Leader; its half-hearted corporatism; its attempt to overcome the class divisions established by Marxism in the industrial and economic sphere by means of inefficient bureaucratic superstructures; the grotesque, insolent and pedagogic attitude of Gentile’s 'ethical State’). In strictly cultural terms, however, the Fascist 'revolution’ was simply a joke. All that was required in order to become a representative of Fascist 'culture’ was to be a member of the Party and to pay formal, conformist tribute to the Duce. All else was more or less irrelevant.
Mussolini once said that Party membership did not bestow intelligence. He also ought to have pointed out that intelligence, in itself, has nothing to do with the kind of spiritual education which Fascism sought to cultivate. Instead of starting from scratch, of ignoring fame and big names, instead of subjecting each intellectual candidate to a radical reassessment, Fascism, with provincial and bourgeois ambition, chose to welcome all the 'cultural representatives’ of the bourgeoisie, as long as they could give proof of their formal (and irrelevant) adherence to the regime. This led to pathetic cases such as that of the Accademia d'Italia, the members of which were largely agnostic or anti-Fascist in their private beliefs. But the same is also true of many other men who were assigned prominent roles within the Fascist cultural establishment and media. It is not surprising, therefore, to find many of these gentlemen now donning a new uniform in democratic, anti-Fascist Italy.
A particularly pathetic case is that of the so-called Istituto di Studi Romani (Institute of Roman Studies). As Rome had been chosen as the highest symbol of the Fascist 'revolution’, it would only have been natural for the Fascist regime to foster a detailed, lively and systematic study of the values and expressions of Roman civilization (even if of a different and less extreme kind from the study I had personally presented in Pagan Imperialism). And yet, the Fascist regime made do with this clerical and bourgeois institute, which confined itself to formal semi-academic exercises in the fields of philology, archaeology, art history and the like. Ironically, it was overseas scholars - such as Bachofen, Altheim, W. Otto, Piganiol, Dumézil and Kerényi - who most contributed towards the Fascist myth of Rome. It with sarcasm that foreigners acquainted with my own defense of the Roman ideal discussed the only centre that Fascism had officially established to study the subject: the Institute I just mentioned, which, naturally enough, destined to survive the crisis of Fascism and to carry on its squalid activities in the anti-Fascist milieu of democratic Italy (which now mocks the Roman ideal, accusing it of fostering idle rhetoric).
So much, then, for 'Fascist culture’. I will mention one more fact which illustrates how the editorial activities I pursued, even when under the kind of official protection I mentioned, were ignored by the mainstream press then, just as they are today (for the mainstream press has continued to ignore my work, even after the publication of Revolt Against the Modern World). Paradoxically, I elicited more interest overseas, where I was seen as the chief representative of a revolutionary culture (or, rather, of a revolutionary worldview and approach to history) - much to the chagrin of those people who dominated the cultural milieu of Italy and who had secured a place for themselves in the exclusive circuits of official culture. It is only natural, therefore, for the legacy of Fascist 'culture’ to be non-existent. It is said that Fascism ruined the Italian people. Military issues notwithstanding, I would rather argue the opposite: that it is the Italians who ruined Fascism; for Italy proved incapable of providing the kind of people who might develop the superior potentialities of Fascism while neutralizing its negative aspects (and this, of course, not merely from the point of view of culture).
FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK. ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT HERE WE GO:
The idea that Italian immigrants were bomb-throwing anarchists was a big stereotype in the United States from roughly the 1890s to the 1920s. On the ship’s manifest from when my grandmother’s parents came through Ellis Island c. 1919 there’s actually a column titled “Whether An Anarchist” (as if anybody’s going to say yes to that when they know you’re looking for excuses to keep them out of the country, like…there are flaws in this plan US gov’t).
“But Noelle,” you ask, “Why did this stereotype exist? Was there any truth to these wild accusations? Was there actually an Italian American anarchist movement?”
Hey! I really love your blog, you're amazingly informative and funny. I was wondering, would you have any good recommendations on anarchist history or anarchist historiography? I just began a history major (yes, I know, it's horrible and I regret it everyday, all these students are either braindead, oppressive or downright fascist scum), and I've noticed a lack of anarchist historians on Wikipedia (Murray FUCKING Rothbard is in the list, seriously?). So, what would you recommend? Thank you!
Don’t regret studying history, it’s the best subject, I count myself extremely lucky to be able to study it… and also, it’s a warzone!
I just looked on the “anarchist historians” page on wikipedia, and oh my god. There are only 2 people on there, and neither of them are anarchists!.. the “historians of anarchism” page is a bit better, not sure why the many solid anarchists on there didn’t make it into the “anarchist historians” page, but that’s wikipedia for you
Of the people listed, Paul Avrich is the obvious and most prolific historian of anarchism, all of his books are great, well researched and beautiful written. Before him, the first really great anarchist historian was Max Nettlau, he wrote the first sympathetic biographies of guys like Malatesta and Bakunin and was also the first great archivist of anarchist material, there are a lot of 19th century anarchist texts we wouldn’t have if it wasn't for Nettlau… he wrote a seven volume history of anarchism which became the blueprint for later projects (like George Woodcock’s book).
Apart from those two godfather types, worth checking out from the wiki list are especially Robert Graham, Alexandre Skirda, David Goodway, Stuart Christie, Michael Schmidt, Lucien van der Walt, and Mark Leier, all have made really great contributions, in my opinion. I’d particularly recommend Leier’s biography of Bakunin, Schmidt and van der Walt’s “black flame” and Skirda’s classic book on Makhno.
So, who’s missing from the list?
Pier Carlo Masini is noticeably absent, a very important historian of Italian anarchism and the first international… It’s also pretty unfair that they list Skirda but not his long time friend, colleague and comrade Roland Biard, who was also an important historian of anarchism in France.Frank Mintz and Martha Acklesberg should both be there for their work on the Spanish revolution. Tom Goyen’s book on German speaking anarchists in New York is one of the best of more recent books on anarchist history, also Davide Turcato, Sam Mbah, Gabriel Kuhn, Arif Dirlik, Vadim Damier…I recently read an amazing book by Jennifer Guglielmo called “Living the Revolution: Italian Women’s Resistance and Radicalism in New York City, 1880-1945” which is really groundbreaking in it’s study of the intersection of anarchist politics, gender and racial formation among Italian anarchist women in New York and New Jersey specifically.
I’m probably missing out many important historians here but hey I’m doing better than wikipedia ;)
One book I haven’t read but am really looking forward to is Wolfgang Eckhardt’s forthcoming work on the Bakunin/Marx split in the first international. I predict that it’ll be brilliant.
There are also a great many historical works written by non anarchist historians or not about anarchism specifically which are very valuable to anarchists - stuff by guys like Peter Linebaugh, Sylvia Federici, Staughton Lynd, Maurice Brinton, Marcus Rediker, Beverly Silver, Michael Lowy, Benedict Anderson, Marcel Van der Linden, Jacques Ranciere etc…
It’s even sometimes worth reading books by bourgeois shitbags who are totally hostile to anarchism, purely because they have done good research. This was an experience I had recently with Timothy Messer-Kruse’s “The Haymarket Conspiracy: Transatlantic Anarchist Networks” - he’s a cop loving prick who has it in for anarchism, but hey he dug up some interesting archival information which definitely did further my understanding of the scene as it existed, so it was worthwhile, even if I did have to shout at the book a bit.
Anyway let me know if there is anything else I can help with beyond this boring list of names :)
This Easter break has unsurprisingly caused my concept of time to run away, definitely need to start work earlier in the day! Tonight was looking over history notes and summarising key areas. I adore the history course I chose. First year looked at Luther, Henry VIII and witchcraft, while A2 year is on the Italian Renaissance and revolution, Republic and restoration in England. Our history department offers twentieth century and Empire and freedom as well, so being able to chose a specific area was so gooooood. Anyways, hope you’re all having a good day and continue to make it good. Eat your greens kids xoxox
A youth-led rebellion is spreading across southern Europe brought into focus by a new generation of protesters taking possession of squares and parks in cities around Spain, united by a rejection of mainstream politicians and fury over spending cuts.
Protests are also planned in Italy, where the tag #italianrevolution is a trend on Twitter. Plans have been announced for a Tahrir Square-style piazza occupation in Florence on Thursday night, and for further protests in Italian cities, including Rome and Milan, on Friday.
Too early to judge if that’s real change or hype… But it’s refreshing, though! :-)
In Rome - at 8 pm tonight in piazza di Spagna - (as well as in many other Italian towns) twitter and FB call for a meeting leading to change, against crisis, desperation, and privileges. It’s not just a thing for young people (though they are most affected, possibly) - merely stating “it’s gone too far” is no longer enough, now!
Search for more info under hash-tag #italianrevolution
The famous Italian revolution and general Giuseppe Garibaldi offered his services to Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War, but only if he was appointed Supreme Commander of the Union Army. He turned down a commission to become a Major General.