[Marxism] Fwd: Black Souls | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Apr 9 15:00:17 MDT 2015

In American popular culture, the mafia gangster is either a tarnished 
hero like Don Corleone or a likeable lowlife like Tony Soprano. But for 
Italians, he is a much more malevolent figure especially as seen in a 
number of art films that are often infused with the leftist and 
neorealist traditions of the postwar period. More importantly, it is 
much harder for the average Italian to cheer for Michael Corleone taking 
revenge on a crooked cop and rival gang leader or Tony Soprano’s 
malapropism when the mafia has functioned so often as a rightwing death 

In Paul Ginsborg’s Marxist-oriented “A History of Contemporary Italy: 
Society and Politics 1943-1988”, there’s an account of the mafia’s 
attack on a peasant protest in Villalba in central Sicily in September 
1944. This was a village dominated by a mafia boss named Don Calò 
Vizzini, who had returned as part of the Allies entourage. Vizzini was 
among the gangsters who supposedly helped prepare the American invasion 
alongside Lucky Luciano and others.

The local CP leader, a man named Girolamo Li Causi, had asked for 
permission to hold a meeting in the village square. Vizzini granted 
permission but only if there was no talk about land reform or the mafia. 
Ginsborg quotes fellow Marxist Carlo Levi on what took place there:

	Causi began to talk to that little unexpected crowd about the Micciché 
estate, about the land, about the Mafia. The parish priest, brother of 
Don Calò, tried to drown Li Causi’s voice by ringing the bells of his 
church. But the peasants listened and understood: ‘He’s right; they 
said: ‘blessed be the milk of the mother who suckled him, it’s gospel 
truth what he is saying.’ By so doing they were breaking a sense of 
time-honoured servitude, disobeying not just one order but order itself, 
challenging the laws of the powerful destroying authority, despising and 
offending prestige. It was then that Don Calò,. from the middle of the 
piazza, shouted ‘it’s all lies!’ The sound of his cry acted like a 
signal. The mafiosi began to shoot.

full: http://louisproyect.org/2015/04/09/black-souls/

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