Press Clippings

“What does the mysterious Censor say that is so interesting? (…) ‘This society suits us because it exists, and we want to maintain it to maintain our power over it.’ What society is Censor’s? The capitalist society that extends from San Francisco to Vladivostok, the society in which the holders or supervisors of capital succeed in making the masses work by force or by an ‘incomparable power of illusion’ (…) The last part of the pamphlet is [the product of] an absolute aristocratic cynicism.” (Il Giorno, 31 August 1975)

“The life and experiences of Censor are intimately tied to those of the most enlightened capitalism in our country.” (Panorama, 11 September 1975)

“And getting to this point, we wonder who this Censor could be, so involved [as he is] in the secrets of these matters (…) It is thus that what we read further on about the hot autumn, the strategy of tension, and the bombs and massacre at the Piazza Fontana can only be left out [of this review], given the authority that the anonymous writer has already acquired when he reaches this point because of the seriousness of his statements (…) Until now the thesis of the ‘State massacre’ has only been supported by ultra-Left groups; the Italian Communist Party itself, officially, is quite lukewarm about agreeing with it. But it is stupefying that it is now publicly endorsed by a committed conservative, whose only care is that of saving capitalism in Italy.” (Il Resto del Carlino, 11 September 1975)

“A small volume with a limited print run theorizes the motivations why large national capital seeks the agreement with the I[talian] C[ommunist] P[arty] (…) Who wrote it is not of great importance, but, on the contrary, the book has such importance from the sole fact that it reflects the ideas of those Italians who believe that the historic compromise will save the bourgeoisie and themselves.” (Il Borghese, 15 September 1975)

“A real and authentic manifesto of the Italian political and economic right-wing (…) In any case, what is definite is that it is the most cynical political-economic diagnosis ever made in Italy (…) Censor observes that some people will certainly ask of today’s [system of] production, ‘Must we also love it?’ (…) The problem doesn’t even have meaning. Because capitalism obviously does not love that system, but only the surplus-value it draws from it.” (L’Europeo, 18 September 1975)

“A new anonymous author has appeared on the scene of our political literature: he hides himself under the pseudonym ‘Censor,’ but he doesn’t hide his conservative ideas (…) Looks at the Communists and the historic compromise with a benevolent eye.” (Corriere d’Informazione, 19 September 1975)

“And this is where Censor’s anti-conformism manifests itself. Instead of fearing the agreement with the Communist forces, the well-advised bourgeoisie must ally themselves with the ICP so as to utilize its incomparable ‘power of illusion’ upon the workers for the support of the traditional domination by the merchant bourgeoisie. The true menace against the current stabilizers don’t come from the Communist Party, but from the revolutionary possibility of a general rebellion of the masses against their condemnation to salaried work (…) A mystical vision of power, moreover, seems to be the light that guides Censor’s thought (…) The psychoanalytic key can no doubt furnish the most fortunate interpretation of the drive that provoked this ‘truthful report.’ One could speak of the protagonist’s complex.” (Corriere della Sera, 27 September 1975)

“The most recent successful anonymous writer calls himself Censor (…) Incapable of defending itself, the bourgeoisie must conclude a conclude a pact with the ICP to save the capitalist system. But if it doesn’t do so immediately, the revolutionary orgy of the proletarians will sweep away the frightened structures of this society.” (L’Espresso, 5 October 1975)

“We do not share Censor’s elitist conception and the aristocratic cynicism that comes from his long familiarity with Machiavelli, Alfieri, Clausewitz and so many conceptual categories from classical literature. We can at least estimate as odd a discourse that is entirely enunciated from the point of view of those who have the real power and the problem of sharing it as least as possible (…) And yet it is a good thing, in all senses, that Censor has proposed a rightist ideological deciphering, a theory of restoration by reforms and suppressions at the point of a sword.” (Europa-Domani, 15 October 1975)

“It is in sum a perfect construction of very great literary value due to its style, which, by remaining impeccably sustained, doesn’t fail to always be amiable, that is to say, accessible (…) Also does justice to the questions that figure on the [advertizing] band placed on the book by its publisher, where we are challenged to divine who Censor is: ‘An enlightened conservative? A cynical reactionary? A disguised supporter of the Left?’ These are questions that stimulate the curiosity of the reader, but we can tranquilly set them aside, except for the first one and only in part (…) in the sense that the leading lights that he favors prevail over his possible preference for conservatism. His concepts are dialectical, his recommendations are turned towards dynamism (…) and I even find that his constant and precise cultural references testify to a progressive spirit exactly to the extent that culture is progress, without any adjectives.” (La Stampa, 31 October 1975)

“In a limited number of copies [distributed] in August, this cynical and refined Report has aroused a whirlpool of interpretations (…) Is he a man from the Right or the Left? What does he really want? (…) If someone consciously sought to create a similar success, and if he succeeded, he would be a genius.” (Epoca, 15 November 1975)

“Censor (…) is so political that it makes us think of a ‘great delegate’ from the Communist Party. This has the appearance of being a subtle operation by the ICP.” (Il Giorno, 26 November 1975)

(Clippings assembled by Gianfranco Sanguinetti, translated from Italian into French by Guy Debord, and published in the edition of Veritable rapport sur les dernieres chances de sauver le capitalisme en Italia published by Editions Champ Libre in January 1976. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! September 2012.)