Summers of war and violence: that thin red line of warm months ...

(To Gino Lanzara)
07/08/19

In international relations, often the arrival of milder seasons has coincided with significant upheavals that, rather than finish the story, they have written further pages often of rare violence, systematically disavowing the apparently good intentions of the conflicts just ended. The dynamics underlying the various events have always been characterized by common characteristics, regardless of latitudes, in the name of globalization before its time. What can never be forgotten, on pain of incurring Marchian errors of evaluation, is that history, a living fabric, never proceeds by caesuras, but by continuous processes, somehow connected to one another. Beyond ideological motivations, which often form part of a useful superstructure for a first (but not exhaustive) understanding, there is always and in any case a common thread that, in a transversal but incisive way, incubates the germs of the future. There is no geographical limit, rather there is one thin red line which gave birth to those that often turned out to be dramas projected over time.

The actors, the settings change, but the scripts often remain the same. Power exercises remain in the background, but they are always the same games those that push the masses to try to take destinies already marked into their own hands. It is the mass that descends into the squares, as is always the same yearning for freedom that goes to violently clash with reality; there is often a desperate attempt at mediation accompanied by a choppy tail to keep one from toppling over status quo consolidated; there are always gods martyrs who sacrifice their own life, often in a vain sacrifice; there are some pronouncements which, in their sudden hardness, try to limit damage that could reverberate for generations. It's about history; it is reality, both linked by the indelible one thin red line. For Pavese, summer can only be bella; for those who study contemporaneity, and for those who have experienced it on their own skin, burning themselves, the season of the burning sun is comparable to the Iberian bull of Ortese, which "In Spain and in other hot and Catholic countries, I believe I die every summer day, torn by the banderillas of fire and finally suffocated by my own blood".

There are no breaks, only continuity

History is like a novel that unravels its chapters over time, often between spring and summer. Francisco Franco the 18 July of 1936 emanates his Proclamation of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria and, in fact, lights the spark of the Spanish Civil War; the 22 July of the 1969 indicates its successor in Juan Carlos I of Bourbon, restoring the monarchy. In Egypt, Nasser presented himself on the international stage in July of the 1952, contributing to the fall of King Faruk's monarchy; in July of the 1956, now master of the Egyptian political scene, nationalizes the Suez Canal, but pays, in the summer of the 1967 its military unpreparedness with the outcome of the 6 War days, fought in advance by Israel.

We remain in MO: the grueling Arab Israeli conflict sees one of his epilogues in September of the 1970, with the inevitable repression of the subversive Palestinian onset, made by King Husayn of Jordan within the borders of his kingdom (photo).

Let's go back to Europe; Prague has woven the 1956 tragedy in Budapest into the fabric of its imperial mantle: in Hungary, in fact, a dangerous Pandora's box from which there had spread ideals and hopes destined to clash everywhere with reality. In 1968 in Czechoslovakia the spring definitely dies the 21 August of the 1968, with the entry of the Soviet tanks that sanction the defeat of the reforming attempt of Dubcek, of his socialism with a human face. Emblematic images of the people of Prague who try to talk to Russian soldiers, but who do not consider the necessary prevalence of Brezhnev Doctrine; the memory of Jan Palach's human torch, the martyr symbol of such a tragic Spring, cannot be forgotten. He will not be the only one: History and Reality always demand their tribute normalizer of blood; and with them the economy, not so blatantly bloody, but always a subtle and present suggestor. How many chances would Dubcek have in his intention to achieve a socialist and democratic state? few; after all, Gorbacev 20 failed years later to preserve the force of Marxist and Leninist ideas, in difficulty in the test of historical evolution.

In July of the 1974 Turkey invades the island of Cyprus, following a military coup that had deposed Bishop Makarios, and sends signals, perhaps too casually considered, of a revanchism Ottoman who, with Erdogan, found more than 30 years later an epigone perhaps not completely aware of the possible consequences of an unscrupulous power politics projected over time.

China, in 1989, in turn lives a tragic spring which, between April and June, takes to the streets Tien an Men unthinkable masses of people: intellectuals, young people and workers; the image of the Unknown Riot, an unarmed student in front of a column of armored vehicles, an insanely courageous interpreter of the ideas of thousands of young people who decide to decide "The life or death of the nation": are we honest, don't you seem to have returned to Prague, to Wenceslas Square? The epilogue is as usual tragic, marked by counter-revolutionary accusations, but it contributes to giving impetus to political action that, in the 1989, will lead to Europe in the fall of the Berlin Wall. Xi Jinping certainly does not present himself with Turkish adventurism, but in the game of historical continuity, in 2019 he finds himself having to unravel the intricate skein of Hong Kong, in these days shaken by protests and demonstrations.

In Poland, the summer of 1981 officially leads to power General Jaruzelski, aimed at countering the action of Lech Walesa and his trade union Solidarnosc, perhaps in order to prevent (as a lesser evil) the same Hungarian-Slovak epilogue; only the arrival of perestroika would have forced a profound revision of the political line, but at a decidedly high price.

Historical continuity and absence of caesuras continue to beat the rhythm of events, and they see the Iraq of August of the 1990, although prostrated by the War fought against Iran, leaning towards the conquest of its 19 ^ Province, Kuwait. the 1991 is a year of fault: the 26 June begins, on the ashes of a Federal Republic united by the charisma of its founder but divided by historical ethnic feelings in constant contrast, the Balkan conflict, marked in time by atrocities and acts of cowardice, as in Srebrenica; the 19 August takes shape a coup d'état that expropriates Gorbacev and delivers the Soviet Union to a public health committee that does not hesitate to deploy armored vehicles. In a moment of historical nemesis, the Kremlin revives on the Red Square and on its skin the moments immediately preceding the violence that bloodied Prague and Budapest; the story goes through the megaphone that Boris Yeltsin, the white crow, uses from the hull of a tank to incite civil disobedience and the general strike, with the soldiers with the red star joining his demands.

History, however, is not over as Fukuyama hopes, and demands a price to pay: it is the end of Soviet Russia, and the beginning of a new chapter, still in the process of being written. Impossible to forget the slice more recent, that of the so-called Arab Springs, one of the most striking demonstrations of the geopolitical and geo-economic transversality of our time; here too we find masses daughters of a complex, poor historical genesis, still seeking a national identity often replaced by an uncontrollable and elusive radicalism to Western logics. The so delicate image of the jasmines of Tunisia is the counterpart of the umpteenth martyr, the peddler Mohamed Bouazizi, new Jan Palach; the flames that surround it spread throughout most of the MO, until, in yet another demonstration of poorly managed transversality and proactivity, the West withdraws from unwelcome election results, as in Egypt, or intervenes to arouse contrasts and instability, animated only by courtyard interests.

Are we history?

The tracking shot summer it certainly does not want to be exhaustive, but only to give an image of what historical continuity is, of the meaning of transversality, of the guilty awareness of many decision makers, and of the no less irresponsible ignorance that happily flourishes in every season of our time. Because, for better or worse, maybe behind the scenes, we're here too.

Our most recent summer history has often not given us episodes that we can be proud of, starting with the 2 August 1980 bombing in Bologna. To find gods jasmine, there is no need to go to Tunisia, our martyrs are here, unfortunately too often worthy of an emotional consideration, therefore fleeting, only post mortem, although their blood has been spilled at any time, in Capaci's summer and suffocating heat or of Via d'Amelio, or in the most winter and wet cold of Milan.

We also have one History, it should be up to us to understand its meaning, it should be up to us to come out of an increasingly narrow and asphyxiated courtyard, it should stay with us, studying, understand.

Photo: web / Jeff Widener / raphaelthelen