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Anatomy of the Red BrigadesThe Religious Mind-set of Modern Terrorists$
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Alessandro Orsini

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449864

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449864.001.0001

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The Genesis of the Red Brigades

The Genesis of the Red Brigades

Chapter 4 The Genesis of the Red Brigades
Anatomy of the Red Brigades

Alessandro Orsini

Cornell University Press

This chapter attempts to reconstruct the genesis of the Red Brigades. It suggests that Red Brigades was a consequence of the social mobilization process and of the accompanying dislocation in postwar Italy. Their foundation was a declaration of war on an entire system of values (competition, individualism, etc.) carried by the wave of modernization. In other words, the Red Brigades were the “victims of the great transformation.” They were suffering from a psychological unease that had a social origin. The first members of the Red Brigades saw their present condition as a nightmare and were firmly decided to change it. They felt victims of injustice, abandoned to a painful and hopeless fate. “Emptied” of value, uprooted from their original communities, subjected to the “merciless” laws of capitalism, they felt like outsiders in the hated and despised “new world”.

Keywords:   Red Brigades, revolutionaries, social change, capitalism, social mobilization, modernization, postwar Italy

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