“Between 1871 and first months of 1872 Marx and Engels had already intervened personally and on various occasions in the Italian debate, both in the controversies with the anarchists and against Mazzini’s attacks. In this intervention of theirs they could avail of the support of such persons as Bignami (6) in Lodi, or, above all, Cafiero (7) in Naples, until, after connections with the IWMA’s General Council had been broken off, he passed definitively in the anarchic ranks in June 1872. When ‘La Plebe’ thus ended up as the only “pied-à-terre” (8) on which Engels could count in Italy, he began to collaborate with it directly. Engels’ relationship with ‘La Plebe’ dated back to the summer-autumn 1871, but the first correspondence appeared only in April of the following year. Known as the ‘Lettere londinesi’, eight of them were published up to December of the same year. The whole collection of the correspondence written by Engels for the Lodi organ, including the aforementioned letters and those sent subsequently, is of considerable importance: we could say it forms a sort of ‘Anti-Dühring’ for Italy. As in the latter, also in the former Engels’ criticism was directed at the “sublime stupidity” of those who wish to reform Socialism. The “new socialist theory” (9) that was spreading all over Italy under the anarchic guise personified by Bakunin, actually re-proposed all typical errors (utopianism, subjectivism, voluntarism and “Garibaldinism”) inherited from the political cycle of the Risorgimento. Through ‘La Plebe’, Engels tried to rid the Italian political sphere of precisely these impurities” [Emilio Gianni, The Diffusion of Marxism in Italy from 1848 to 1926] [(in) Aa.Vv, ‘Geld – Kapital – Wert. Zum 150. Jahrestag der Niederschrift von Marx’ ökonomischen Manuskripten 1857/58 ‘Grundrisse der Kritik der politischen Ökonomie’. Der Anfang un die Methode. Beiträge zur Marx-Engels-Forschung Neue Folge 2007′, Hamburg, 2007] [(6) Enrico Bignami (1844-1921). Garibaldian-Mazzinian, then Socialist. Founder and editor of ‘La Plebe’ (1868-1884); (7) Carlo Cafiero (1846-1892). One of the leaders of Italian anarchism; (8) Letter from Engels to F.A. Sorge dated January 4th 1873 in ‘Marx Engels Opere’ (MEO), Rome, Editori Riuniti, 1972-1990, vol. XLIV, 579; (9) F, Engels’ foreword of June 11th 1878 to ‘Anti-Dühring’, Milan, Edizioni Lotta Comunista, 2003, 13-16]