Giovanni Schiavone Mishima Yukio Pier Paolo Pasolini Racconti Romanzi Speculations Thomas Mann Torino

The sense of Power – Letter to a Powerful Man – Proclamation

I can’t completely perceive the fact that you are part of that frozen dimension where our direction in the world has already been decided. I am pushed to put those who hold prestigious offices in some kind of Academy of Havoc.

First, here is where I stand on this matter: Power.

What is freedom?² After thinking about it, I understand this mysterious word means, at heart, freedom to respect the code of our soul.

What is Power? It is keeping to deny the above-mentioned freedom. What is the aim of powerful men, what is their awareness of this thing; I wish you knew about this Tragedy.

There is a generation called the generation of evacuees, and I am part of it. We are the last human beings. Those who will come after will not belong to our species anymore. Indeed, almost all of them failed to contact their soul which has been rooted up, eradicated, trod, devasted. Empty wrappers rather than individuals, personalities as masks where no Spirit can exist. Precisely, many people of my generation can be described in this way as well, and so do others of the previous generation. And so on. We keep talking about the recession of economy. In truth, we should talk about the recession of man.

Just a few can recognize that this country is under a regime. A regime which is not just a political matter. You know its awful aim: to reduce us to slavery. And not only is it an Italian project but also one of the entire West. Italy, however, as it is widely known, has gone further than other so-called civilized countries.

What is going to happen in the next months? How can we accept the fact that millions of people are deprived of their freedom? It is an act against god’s will, and it is the sense of Power, of that Power which powerful men are defending at all costs and in the name of which they keep slaughtering us. A new order has been decided: we have nothing to do but to enjoy the fruits when they are ripe, in summer.

I would rather not spend many words on Television because each definition of that Monster would be partial. It is like Nazism but with no esoteric references; it is worse than Nazism. Nazism deported bodies to concentration camps, Television deports souls and encephalos.

The sense of Power: it is that need to preserve species which make life brutal; that need to accumulate riches and benefits to ensure, despite everything, the existence of our own progeny in saecula saeculorum, with no rest. This is one of the most accredited answers.

But we know this is not true, there is more. Ensuring a  better life to our children is a merely literal and superficial meaning of a multi-level masterpiece as Power is. The sense of Power doesn’t belong to man, neither does it come from him or subsist in human nature: it is beyond him.

The ambition of powerful men is to invalidate the Law, reverse it, and make man inhuman. The sense of Power is not proper to god’s eyes – of that god I would address with a capital initial if I hadn’t felt so dead inside.

Everything is falling over.

Art, by definition, is anarchic, hence it is always politics even when it doesn’t refer to it. Art is subversive, it always contains, beyond doubt, a criticism to the author’s society – and as a last resort – its aim is to create a radical upset.

Thus, censorship is fundamental for the existence of  the regime. In our country we suffer from a total censorship. The lack of deep art is the most subtle and effective censorship that this regime could create. Where have intellectuals, poets, artists gone? Where is someone willing to sing out against world’s destruction? Artists and poets are like bees: if they vanish, men would have just a few years left to live. They are vital ecosystem webs; they are responsible for the pollination.

A large number of geniuses are dead and no one even noticed. Eradicating the soul, removing it; purging cultural rituals, bleeding shamans; sooner or later, there will be a  ripping followed by a reaction. And nobody is able to know what will happen next.

The generation of evacuees. We meet the Sphinx who is ready to speak and we behead it with a spoon. Is there someone among those powerful men who wants to tell the truth?

If you know something, shut up”.³ But now this order has fallen. Now it is the time to be expressive.


Translator’s notes

¹ In the title, the use of the word Proclamation refers to the proclamation read out by Yukio Mishima before committing his ritual suicide on November 25, 1970 – p.119 in the Italian edition Lezioni spirituali per giovani samurai, Feltrinelli, 2006.

² “What is freedom? After thinking about it, I understand this mysterious word means, at heart, freedom to respect the code of our soul”. Quotation from Pier Paolo Pasolini, Unpopular cinemaHeretical Empiricism; the original sentence was different and referred to the “freedom to choose death” – p. 269 in the Italian edition Gli Elefanti, Garzanti, 2005.

³ “If you know something, shut up”. It is a quotation from Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus (Italian translation by Ervino Pocar, Mondadori Oscar Classici Moderni, “se sai alcuna cosa, taci” – chapter 25).

the artist who


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