The sad dilemma of "A" anarchist magazine

via El Libertario, English translation by Anarchist News

by Mario Di Vito

The news, in itself, is simple, though unpleasant: after forty-nine years, "A" Rivista Anarchica ceases its publications. The first Italian publication "in alphabetical order" will no longer reach its subscribers and its interlocutors, leaving a hole where every month it was possible to read a fairly exhaustive review of themes and ideas from the varied libertarian world. The story is known and tinged with legend: Fabrizio De André's favorite monthly forum (who supported it financially), the voice that denounced the "state massacre" in Piazza Fontana, promoter of the campaign for the liberation of Pietro Valpreda, always with the intimate conviction that "there are no good powers" and that, therefore, anarchy is not an extreme position, but the only truly acceptable one.

IT WAS MONDAY, JULY 20, when the historic founder and editor - actually director, but hated that word - Paolo Finzi decided to die by throwing himself under a train in Forlì, and many wondered what would become of the magazine of which he was the soul and beating heart for decades. The answer came as a hard blow at the end of last week: cease of activities "by testamentary will," says the writing. "It is clear that because of the affection and respect we show for Paulo and his work, we will follow his instructions," reads the laconic letter sent to readers and collaborators.

The sociologist Enrico Finzi, Paolo's communist brother, however, speaks of this gesture as "an infamy" and, as executor, says he is "bitter, disgusted, enraged" because "the decision of not giving a future to "A" was taken by a small group of people; it was not shared by me and by many colleagues and comrades. It reverses the path to take accepted until recently. ”

Parting from that as well also the definition of what, according to him, would have been the future of "A": a number dedicated to its founder -already in preparation but never concluded-, the publication of other numbers that will arrive next spring, that is, the fiftieth anniversary, and then "a continuation at reduced costs, using the online format." In essence, a sweet death: if "A" survived all this time it is only because Paolo Finzi, month after month, by a miracle (something he never believed in) was able to keep all the pieces together, make ends meet, and send the latest edition out of the press, ready to be distributed. To think that the Anarchist Magazine can continue to exist even without him requires a considerable effort of imagination.

Enrico Finzi, with a good dose of optimism of will, says: "The idea has always been to involve the marvelous community of libertarians and some partisans in a shared effort, even if Paolo considered it unlikely." Especially in recent times, in fact, "A"'s editor had repeatedly expressed very sombre thoughts about the future of the monthly publication, while continuing to weave relationships and organize initiatives for a tomorrow that he finally decided not to presence.

WHAT REMAINS of "A"'s editorial team , however, does not intend to respond to the founder's brother's outburst, but simply reiterates that "what "Editrice A" had to say is written." And that's it.

It makes no sense to wonder where is the truth, in mourning and defeat, after all, it is a matter of little relevance, good only to incite notaries and lawyers, categories of people that anarchists keep at the adequate distance. What hurts the most are the words, thoughts and above all the suspicions, with the fear of betrayal always lurking to torment consciences and make one question even the most important assumption of all, that of the anarchist bandit Jules Bonnot: "One laments, yes, but in any case there is no regret."

These are the latest reflections of a painful story that began with the voluntary death of the anarchist Finzi and now sees a host of orphans in atrocious difficulties in managing a legacy that is not only ideal: the magazine and its more than five thousand monthly readers are capital that would be a pity to disperse.

IT'S NOT THAT THERE'S A LACK OF IDEAS, in any case. "A"'s editorial team is working to launch a new project and has already started looking for a publisher willing to invest something, in the umpteenth rebirth of a great classic of anarchist adventures: the fight for economic survival, a moment that One usually lives with water constantly at the level of the nose, but that also ends up cementing relationships and the discovery that the commitment of the militant-readers is often and willingly translated into a shower of donations. It has happened several times, it cannot be ruled out that it will happen again.

THE RUPTURE REMAINS in the anarchist family and is more than a bad omen. It is the manifestation of a weariness that has been felt for years, as if history has gone too far and left libertarians stuck wondering which direction to take. A political drama that seeps into the personal, even among comrades that for a long time have been told of all the nuances. It's certainly not a good show.

This is how Paolo Finzi's will also becomes a battlefield: is it closed or not? And, even if the founder had decided to take "A" with him, would it really be right to comply with his wishes or would it be better to discuss them? There are, for example, those who reject this decision, real or presumed, as an expression of "authoritarianism", a not very anarchic attribute and, therefore, it should be rejected in its entirety, whatever the cost.

IN THE END, MAYBE, Finzi's legacy is not to be sought in the magazine that he raised as if it were a daughter, but in his own words, or in the always persecuted will to bring libertarian thought out from its canonical places, beyond his own, out of their liturgies and their more or less narrow spaces, in the continuous and obstinate search for that breath that is felt in all parts of the world. The torch of anarchy that remains lit even after the anarchists, by definition "expelled without guilt", have left.

[Originally in Italian at . Translated into Spanish by the Editorial of El Libertario .]

There are 2 Comments

I think that an online review ("A-rivista") could be sufficiently different for respecting in some way the "will" of Paolo and to give the possibllity to the collaborators and readers to gon on.
An initial crowd-funding could help. I'm ready to contribute.

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