Letter from Gerard Lebovici
to Jean-Francois Labrugere and Phillipe Rouyau

12 September 1980


I write to you in response to your letter of 13 August [1980].

I am acquainted with your edition of Sanguinetti's book, On Terrorism and the State, although you didn't think to send me a copy when it was published.

I think that, in it, you have made a praise-worthy effort to make known the truth of a burning question, upon which are systematically piled dangerous illusions. Every hour, others appear to follow the same path. The possibility that a reprint by Champ Libre would, as you have indicated, encounter a certain success in the market, which is a fact that would be consoling to others, isn't of importance to us. Editions Champ Libre is entirely indifferent to all economic considerations, either gains or losses. And this is very fortunate, given the current state of book-publishing, in which diffusion is highly concentrated, journals are servile, libraries are poor, boycotts are attempted, etc.

Although I have perused your translation, that of [Jean-Francois] Martos and the original edition, I haven't sufficient knowledge of Italian to know which one is better; and I don't find the problem sufficiently important to ask of the people in my entourage to consecrate a moment of their time to it. It is true that one reads in the 18 August [1980] edition of Liberation that Martos' translation is the better one. But why should one believe something written in a journal that, ever since the assassination of Baader, is widely called -- and not without reason -- "the Red Pimp"?

Moreover, I have previously seen the complete manuscript of Remedy to Everything. The part extracted by the author and translated by you is incontestably of the greatest interest. I know that Gianfranco Sanguinetti merits esteem for the unique courage he has shown by affirming in Italy a truth that the powers-that-be want to hide from the citizenry. And I am content that his message has many echoes in France and in many other countries, today and in the future.

But I have already published in January 1976, the first non-Italian edition of [Sanguinetti's] The Veritable Report, which is an excellent and exemplary book; naturally I do not see the merit of publishing a weaker book by the same author.

Sanguinetti concerns himself with "the theory and practice of terrorism, divulged for the first time" and adds that his text permits one to "read it here, and only here." It seems to me that Gianfranco Sanguinetti's firmness doesn't quite authorize his glorious tone on this aspect of the question. I myself published in February 1979 a little book in which someone already said all of the truths that Sanguinetti published in April of that same year (this pamphlet was immediately sent to him and a translation of it appeared in Italy in May [1979].) What's more, I have photocopies of a correspondence exchanged while [Aldo] Moro was being held, still alive, between Sanguinetti and one of his foreign correspondents [Guy Debord]. This correspondent drew Sanguinetti's attention to the truth of this affair, and advised him to reveal it as soon as possible. Sanguinetti responded [on 1 June 1978] by resolutely declaring his scepticism concerning this version of the facts, or he only pretended to be sceptical for reasons that remain obscure to me. When one has wasted several months considering the evidence, there is something ill-advised in insisting on one's avant-gardist originality.

I find, therefore, that, from the point of view of Editions Champ Libre, the true usefulness of On Terrorism and the State lacks a bit of freshness.

Sincere salutations,
Gerard Lebovici

(Published in Editions Champ Libre, Correspondence, Volume II, November 1981. Translated from the French by NOT BORED, June 2004.)

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