Paul Berman (‘The Convert’) marvels at Adriano Sofri’s journey extraordinaire from revolutionary leader of the extra-parliamentary left in the ’70s to courageous voice of liberal interventionism in the ’90s. Berman takes Sofri’s story to support the thesis that military foreign intervention is, after all, left-wing. With such thesis, which I myself accept, I have no qualms. What I want to dispute is Berman’s choice of Sofri’s case to defend it. The continuity between Sofri the revolutionist and Sofri the liberal interventionist is obvious as much as it is crude – the constant being a belief in violence as a legitimate means to political achievement. If Sofri, in 1972, thought it necessary to kill Calabresi to vindicate the exploitation of the working classes, it is no wonder that, in later life, he had no objection to military intervention in aid of the oppressed. A useful reminder to us of the left that murder, from Brutus through Robespierre to Sofri, is our political weapon of choice.
(hat tip: Camillo)