What is Hollywood, you ask, dear children? A quorum of whores babbling endlessly on about fucking while the bordello is razed for a penny arcade -- Paul Bern

Friday, March 4, 2011


The situation today offers great chances of success to the ambitions of conspirators of either the Right or the Left Wing. So inadequate are the measures proposed or adopted by governments to break down any possible revolutionary attempt, that the danger of a coup d’état should be most seriously examined in many European countries. The peculiar nature of the modern State with its complex and delicate functions, and the gravity of the political, economic and social problems which it is called upon to solve, make it the barometric index of the people’s hopes and fears, which increases the obstacles that stand in the way of its defense. The modern State is more exposed to the danger of revolution than is generally recognized. It is useless to object that even liberal methods of defending the State are obsolete, the conspirators for their part frequently show their ignorance of the very essentials of the modern technique of a coup d’état. Even if it be true today that conspirators in many cases have not known how to take advantage of circumstances favorable to their attempts to seize control, it is no less true that the danger of revolution exists.

In countries where order is based on liberty, public opinion ought to bear in mind the possibility of a coup d’état. In its present state Europe is everywhere faced with this possibility, as well in a free well-organized country—“policed” state, to use an Eighteenth Century expression, still appropriate in our day—as in a country infested with disorder.

The object of this book is (…) to show that the problem of the conquest and defense of the State is not a political one, that it is a technical problem, that the art of State-defense is guided by the same principles that guide the art of its conquest, and that circumstances favorable to a coup d’état are not necessarily of a political and social order and do not depend on the general condition of the country. No doubt this will not fail to create some anxiety amongst the Liberals of the most stable and best-policed countries of Western Europe. It is this anxiety, so natural in a lover of freedom, which gave birth to my desire to show how a modern State can be overthrown and how it can be defended. Shakespeare’s Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, who said, “They love not poison, that do poison need,” was perhaps a lover of freedom also.

Malaparte, The Technique of the Coup D’Etat

Revolution as therapy: these flashmob sort-of-virtual revolutions are notable because they bypass or are indifferent to the infrastructure of the state, which seems to exist to them in another world. They are “Performance Art” insurgencies, with all the attendant excitement, the feeling of rupture, of festival, much milling about, a demand that the people’s accedia be somehow solved by anybody willing to take the power.  
No one steps up. The accedia of the masses is shared by its leaders.

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