The laws of war and the women of Roccatederighi

by Miguel Martinez

Death (rapping on his desk and silencing the Orchestra). My Lord Satan! Interesting Neutral Nations still in the audience; noble, though somewhat drowsy. Virtues who are looking on; and you who reward Ballet and Ballet Master with undying glory, illustrious and bodiless Ages-to-Come! These two first figures of our Ballet, symmetrical but different in their style of horror* are called ‘‘The Defence of the Weak.” They will continue unremittingly all through the performance, and will lead up to the final triumph of such Small Nationalities (and they are all cordially pressed to join in the dance!) as may have limbs or life to dance with.

Vernon Lee, The Ballet of Nations

This post is deeply inspired by what the writer of countless identities, Vernon Lee, wrote during World War One, thinking of her friends in Italy, Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary. She wrote an extraordinary play, the Ballet of Nations, which tells how Satan created the Dance that destroyed Europe. Very little has changed since then, and perhaps nobody since has written anything quite so profound about War. With the upper case.

They have never explained to us what War is.

They have only cursed a thousand times our wicked enemies who wanted War, telling of their crimes.

Which is why we are always ready to make War against Them.

Woe be to the wicked who want war, let us exterminate them so that there may be no more wars!

108 long years ago, in 1914, the good progressive H.G. Wells assured his readers that we must rush into the Great Slaughter, because by defeating that enemy, there would be no more wars.

Let us remember a few things, not always intuitive.

Conflicts are everywhere, they are part of life.

War, on the other hand, is a state of mind.

It plays on all the passions of human beings, to steal their souls.

Fear, hatred and selfishness are the least harmful passions.

The most dangerous, as Vernon Lee understood, are the best: idealism, adventure, pity, heroism, the defence of the weak.

Detrás de la cruz está el diablo.

War is therefore Satanic.

The difference between conflict (with a lower case) and War (big upper case!) has nothing to do with the degree of physical violence involved

More than one hundred thousand Mexicans have been shot, quartered, burned alive, tortured to death in the Narcowars, but that is a conflictand does not in any way involve your emotions. And maybe that is better for us Mexicans, imagine the horror if we had to add your emotions…

A state that starts a conflict, is the cause of the conflict (do you really believe there is a first cause to any conflict?).

Only a state that says, we are at war! is the cause of War, even when (as it always does) it blames another.

War is based on words-images-emotions, which today are called news.

All news in War is missiles.

Missiles are neither real nor fake, their job is only to strike.

We have spent too much time exposing the lies of propaganda. Wasted effort: in war you can even exploit the truth when it suits you.

But beware: the missiles of propaganda are directed inside the front, behind which we find ourselves: at this moment, for example, Russian missiles/news must hit the Russians, the Italian ones must hit the Italians. And it is only the latter that concern us.

If the news is a missile aimed at the soul, the only important thing is not to be struck by it.

So our task, if we want to get out alive, is to dodge ‘our’ missilesnot ‘theirs‘.

Did we just say ‘our’?

The first step in saving ourselves is not to separate the real news from the fake news.

Rather, it is about separating the real us from the fake Us.

Each of us knows who we are, the real us with whom we understand each other, with whom we argue, whom we love and sometimes hate, who think in a thousand incredibly different ways but are close to us.

The False Us are the contractors of War.

Let us recall the words of Ivan Cecconi: a meek and gentle engineer, who by dint of working with the Italian public system, discovered the secret of secrets:

“the contract does not exist to do the job, the job exists to do the contract”.

Let us translate this.

It is not the contract to sell missile systems that is needed to win the war.

It is the war that is needed to make the contract to sell missile systems.

We fantasise about war – we imagine a child who runs away from a sadistic teenager with a bayonet: the guns that cost millions and make millions, the planes, seem to us part of the backgroundwe don’t even know where they come from.

Now, have you ever signed, on the side of the payer or the taker, a billion-dollar contract to sell missile systems?

If not, you have nothing to share with the signatories.

They are They, not We.

They are our first enemies. If they have other enemies, that’s their problem.

We stand here.

Like the women of Roccatederighi.

April 1915.

Roccatederighi, perched on the hills of the high Maremma, in the most forgotten part of Tuscany.

The Republican Party at the time was the archaeology of the Left, full of “progressive” ideals, heir to the ambiguous Risorgimento that had united Italy, endlessly at war with the Catholic church, and ready for any war against the reactionary past.

A certain Conti of the Republican Party came to Roccatederighi, and wanted to make people cry by telling them about the Krauts who, in Belgium, he told them, threw children in the air and picked them up on the tips of their bayonets; and he asked the peasants to sacrifice their children to avenge the children of the Belgians.

Instead of crying about the Belgian children, the women of Roccatederighi threw stones at Conti.

And then they sacked the houses of the war mongers.

But since they weren’t warlike, they didn’t kill anyone.

And they did well, because the enemy is never outside us.


“There are rogue spirits everywhere. The trick is to be able to break the social ice. Creating the conditions for soul-to-soul communication. To be able to organise reunification, in short. And thus weave a conspiratorial plan that will expand, branch out, become more complex and deeper. Resist, above all, the temptation to close in on a group, on an entity which is itself captured from the outside. Groups are only good at betraying what they were formed for.”

Manifeste conspirationniste

2 thoughts on “The laws of war and the women of Roccatederighi

  1. Lovely piece.

    So true that the language of the control state is part of the psychological conditioning “citizens” receive: “You are part of We. We are at War; therefore, YOU are at War against the They.”

    Even purported anarchocapitalists fall prey to this mind trap as they report the news (aka War-marketing propaganda), thereby perpetuating the War mindset.

    And the media: well, they get paid to sell the War.

    General Smedley Butler was right: “War is a racket.”

    Thank you.


  2. I’m getting ” OOPS! THAT PAGE CAN’T BE FOUND.



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