|This article appears in the August 24, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Toni Negri, Profile of
a Terrorist Ideologue
by Claudio Celani
[PDF version of this article]
On July 25, the New York Times featured one of the ideologues of the "New Global '68" movement, terrorist controller Toni Negri. The Times and the International Herald Tribune, the next day, hosted an editorial page commentary by Negri and his young student Michael Hardt, who explain that the new protest movement is, in truth, not against globalization. "Anti-globalization is not an adequate characterization of the protesters in Genoaor Gothenburg, Quebec, Prague, or Seattle," Negri and Hardt write. "The protesters are united against the present form of capitalist globalization, but the vast majority are not against globalizing currents and forces as such. This should not be called an anti-globalization movement. It is an alternative globalization movement" (emphasis added).
Negri and Hardt co-authored a book, Empire, published by Oxford University Press, in which they better explain their "alternative globalization movement": Globalization is a new form of Empire, they write, which is good because it replaces the nation-state. "We insist on asserting that the construction of Empire is a step forward in order to do away with any nostalgia for the power structures that preceded it, and refuse any political strategy that involves returning to the old arrangement, such as trying to resurrect the nation-state against capitalism." In a deliberate lie, Negri and Hardt insist that the United States follows the model of the Roman Empire, which is embedded in its Constitution.
In an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera on July 30, Negri elaborates that Empire is good, because it destroyed the enemy: "The nation-state has always been an enemy....
That Toni Negri, a convicted terrorist leader, should be promoted by the New York Times in the context of the new terrorist upsurge, should ring alarm bells. In Italy, Negri is serving a 12-year sentence for having been a leading member of both the Red Brigades and the Autonomist movement in the 1970s. But, under house arrest, he continues to act as the ideologue of the Autonomists' "grandchildren" today, the so-called Centri Sociali movement (see box on "White Overalls").
Negri's French connection is key to show the continuity of the control level of international terrorism. Negri escaped to France in September 1983, where he has enjoyed high-level protection. There he has worked, among others, for the labor minister and the urban minister, for the University of Paris VIII and the International College of Philosophy. Two among Italy's most famous prosecutors, Rosario Priore and Ferdinando Imposimato, as well as former military intelligence chief Fulvio Martini, have pointed their fingers at the Mitterrand clan as the source of protection for Negri and 150 other terrorists who found refuge in France.
The Mitterrand clan today means former First Lady Danielle Mitterrand, a key player in international support for Mexico's Chiapas insurgency, and Teddy Goldsmith, the Anglo-French billionaire who bankrolled the "anti-globalist" World Social Forum summit in Pôrto Alegre, Brazil in January. Negri returned to Italy in 1997, with the aim of getting through an amnesty bill that would allow his comrades also to return.
Negri knows whereof he speaks when he talks about Empire. His mother, Alvina Malvezzi, is a descendant of the commander-in-chief of Emperor Vespasian's army, Sigismondo Malvezzi. His wife belongs to the Meo family, a powerful branch of Venetian oligarchy. Negri's brainwashers are Norberto Bobbio, who was the 1960s' intellectual father of the Italian New Left, and Sabino Acquaviva, a sociologist at Padua University and Visiting Fellow at Oxford University.
In 1963, Negri founded in Padua "Potere Operaio Veneto-Emiliano," a Maoist group which would become "Autonomia Operaia." During this period neo-Nazi activists, with connections to NATO circles in Verona, contributed to the creation and the spread of Maoism, as documented in several investigations. During this same period, certain Anglo-American circles decided to drop traditional, right-wing terrorism, and to promote leftist terrorism.
Toni Negri thus became a leading ideologue of the new terrorism. He wrote: "Nothing more than this continuous activity of sharp-shooter, of saboteur, of absenteeist, of criminal deviant which I am living, reveals to such an extent the enormous historical positivity of workers' self-affirmation."
When he returned to Italy, in October 1997, Negri started work on his book, Empire, and sent a statement from prison announcing that the new "laboratory of subjectivity" is the form of deregulation and liberalization pushed by the Lega Nord in the Veneto region, in a "leftist" variant. "Flexibility and mobility of labor force ... are irreversible: The question is not to oppose the new organization of labor, but to guarantee a salary and freedom for the post-Fordist worker." Out of his jargon, Negri is organizing a regime of panem et circenses in the Empire of globalization.