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The arrests hit houses and streets like an epidemic. Just as people transmitted the contagion, without knowing it, with a handshake, the breath, the transmission of some object, so with a handshake, the breath, a fortuitous encounter in the street transmitted the contagion of an inevitable arrest.

A. Solženicyn

Originally published by Biblioteca Anarchica Disordine. Translated by Enough 14.

The former deportee who wrote these lines some sixty years ago certainly had no idea how prophetic they would turn out to be, albeit with parts turned upside down. In associating the mass arrests by Bolshevik totalitarianism with an epidemic, he perfectly captured the predominant aspect of the democratic totalitarianism that has emerged in recent months, which has taken advantage of an epidemic to impose a mass arrest of a national character, albeit within their own homes, and moreover without any form of resistance that, in contrast, always accompanies mass arrests and totalitarianism.

It may seem risky to compare totalitarian regimes to democratic ones, and certainly the latter are devoid of much of the brutality that accompanied the totalitarianism of the twentieth century, but although different in form, many similarities are rather in substance; a substance that is made up mainly of pervasive and obsessive control, where the patrols have been replaced by drones and ideological propaganda has invaded every corner of social life, or to say better known as social, through an enormous technological intrusion whose terminals are in the hands of every Western living being. An invisible fence of thousands of kilometres of fibre optics certainly operates better than tanks on the street. On the other hand police and infamy of zealous citizens have remained practically the same.

Another common aspect is the disappearance of some citizens. If Bolshevik totalitarianism made them disappear into the dungeons of prisons or the dungeons of monasteries, shot by the Ceka and taken away in trucks, what do military trucks transporting the coffins of hundreds of dead people, who had come home alive and were never seen by their loved ones again? Some of them never even identified with name and surname, but simply with a number. And don’t the mass graves in the United States remind us of horrors we hoped never to see again? Faceless, nameless human beings, pure statistics…

Arrestology is an important branch of the general course in prisononomy data and has been given an important basis in social theory.

A. Solženicyn

In this context, it is no wonder that seven anarchists were arrested and five others were subjected to restrictions during an operation in Bologna ten days ago. They are imprisoning comrades because they have sympathised with those who turned against them in prison during the epidemic. In the arrestology of the Carabinieri ROS (Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale), it is the Bologna Public Prosecutor’s Office itself that has provided an important basis for social theory, stating that its repressive intervention “assumes a strategic preventive value aimed at avoiding that in any further moments of social tension, arising from the particular emergency situation [the epidemic, precisely…] other moments of more general ‘anti-state struggle campaign’ can take place”.

Fortunately, in Italy, totalitarianism is only a distant memory…

Read Epidemic in PDf format (Italian) here.

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