[OPE-L:6170] Lucio Colletti: 1924-2001

From: glevy@pratt.edu
Date: Sat Nov 10 2001 - 18:52:42 EST

Lucio Colletti, an intellectual influence on a number of listmembers,
died on November 3. The following is an obituary from _The Guardian_.
Do you agree with the accessment of J.F. Lane?

In solidarity, Jerry

The Guardian (UK)
November 8, 2001

Lucio Colletti

by John Francis Lane

Lucio Colletti, who has died of a heart attack aged 76, was a much-loved
philosophy professor at Italian universities who dedicated most of his life
to studying and teaching Karl Marx - and ended his days as a parliamentary
deputy for the party of premier Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's richest
capitalist. Yet in spite of those contradictions, Colletti will be remembered
as someone who tried to come to terms with the failure of the communism for
which, like so many of his generation, he had held high hopes when fascism
was engulfing Europe. As a young man eager to study philosophy, he had to
wait till the fall of fascism in 1945 before he could enrol at Rome
University. He first taught at the University of Messina, but in the early
1950s was awarded a philosophy chair at Rome. He joined the Communist party
of Italy (PCI) but was already an irascible comrade, particularly after the
1956 Soviet party congress, when Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin. After
the suppression of the Hungarian revolution that year he was one of the 101
PCI intellectuals who published a manifesto denouncing the party's failure to
distance itself from the Soviet Union. The PCI's founder philosopher was
Antonio Gramsci, but Colletti preferred another Marxist thinker, Galvano
Della Volpe. One of the most conspicuous victims of the 1960s radical wave at
Rome University, he had no sympathy for the 1968 movement. In 1974 he abjured
Marxism, expressing his views in an interview with Perry Anderson published
first in the New Left Review and later expanded in Italian as a pamphlet. He
became an outsider on the Italian left just when the PCI, under Enrico
Berlinguer, was winning more electoral backing. After publication of his
Twilight Of Ideology (1980), Colletti decided that the moderate socialism
within a market society proposed by Bettino Craxi, the new secretary of the
Socialist party (PSI), might be the solution he hoped for. After Soviet
Communism's collapse and the debacle of Craxi's brand of socialism, Colletti
was ready to support the first to come along with an attractive proposal for a
renewal of Italian society, but many were surprised that he should have felt
attracted to Berlusconi, who puts private interests before public service.
Colletti ran in a safe seat at the 1996 elections, which Berlusconi lost. He
was re-elected this year and though he has often been critical of Berlusconi's
actions - such as the way the G8 affair in Genoa was conducted - he remained a
loyal supporter to whom Berlusconi paid tribute after his death, praising "his
courage in rejecting communism". He is survived by his second wife, Fauzia,
and their daughter Giulia, and a daughter by his first marriage.  Lucio
Colletti, academic, born December 8 1924; died November 3 2001 -- ************

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sun Dec 02 2001 - 00:00:05 EST