The river Lete (Avanti!)

Article published on the Avanti! on September 25th 1921
-Why don’t you come to power with me?
The Bourgeoisie asked three Socialists.
-No!; Never and never!
-And you dare ask us? In order to come to power we must forget all the damage you did to the working class due to the war.
At that moment, after the cannon’s thunder, the Bourgeoisie had a flash of genius. While the hundredth anniversary of Dante was all the rage, it had casually found out that there was a river in the Inferno, called Lete, and that going through it all things were forgotten.
-If I succeed- it thought –in making all the socialists cross the river, farewell war, that’ll be the end of it.
Slowly, chatting, with a casual expression, the Bourgeoisie took the three socialists on the banks of the infernal river, where, for nature’s laziness, forget-me-nots where blooming. Having found the ford, it invited them, using an excuse, to cross to the other side. Two of them, the maximalist and the unitary, refused to cross; the concentrated crossed. On the other bank were all the sad characters of the war: generals, ministers, bankers, journalists, suppliers, chaplains, policemen, legionaries, fascists, the daring, judges, soldiers, draft dodgers, dealers, smugglers, Red Cross dames, young explorers, military doctors, lecturers, censors, ecc. The purified souls were drinking water from the river, and after drinking it, they forgot the crimes they had committed. After that the Bourgeoisie and the concentrated socialist had crossed the river Lete, they forgot about the war. The Bourgeoisie forgot all the promises it had made to the working class: that it would have been the last time; that it would pay the expenses; and that it would distribute the land, and create the social laws, and assure peace; and the this and the that. The concentrated Socialist forgot all the horrors, the infamies, the crimes of the last years. His two other companions shouted at him: How? Don’t you remember the war? Don’t you remember the days in May, of Salandra, of the journalists paid by Barrere? Don’t you remember how they loaded on trains the poor farmers like beasts, in order to send them to the slaughterhouse? Don’t you remember how the ones that made it back, made it back? Don’t you remember the stories of their suffering? The hunger, the thirst, the tiredness, the cold, the lice, the mud, the mistreatments, the illnesses? Don’t you remember the policeman’s gestures, the tortures, the military courts, the life sentences, the fusillades? Don’t you remember General Graziani? Don’t you remember the Sacchi decree? Don’t you remember what they fed the poor people, while in their banquets they were drinking champagne bottles that cost 400 lire each? Don’t you remember the gang of thieves: suppliers, bankers, steelworkers, ship owners, dealers, aviators, landowners, ecc., that sacked the country? Don’t you remember when Italy was nothing less than a hospital, where much, poor human flesh was tortured, where among the people’s howls of pain, the laughs of the cavalrymen and the dames rang? Don’t you remember anything of all this? Crossing the river Lete, the concentrated socialist, as I said, had forgotten every single thing, and now was going, along with the Bourgeoisie, towards the presidential palace. Both of them had put a great cross on war: the cross of Power.