ROME -- A peculiar dualism marks the peoples of the Italian
peninsula: the conflict of their enduring desire for order with their
destructive attraction to anarchy. The consequence of this unresolved twist of
character has been Italy�s historical stumbling block: the necessity of some
strong-armed authority -- whether a homegrown dictator or a powerful foreign
occupier -- to provide the cement to form a cohesive nation of the diverse
Italic peoples. And today . . . to make them feel more like other Europeans.
Similar to Italy�s permissive attitude toward Fascism last
century, many Italians today perceive of the Right led by Silvio Berlusconi and
a nucleus of neo-Fascists as a protective shield against the persistent
perverse disorder. In effect, protection from themselves. Promises of security
and more security, police and more police, are reassuring to those who see
today�s enemy in immigrants and crime and above all rules.
When at home a powerful authority to control their
inclination toward anarchy is missing, some form of escapism -- at which
Italians are masters -- and servility to a higher power from elsewhere reign.
Since Italy somehow continues to exist as a modern European nation this formula
implies that the suggestive idea of salvation in escapism and servility have
surpassed -- if only by a hair�s breadth -- the deep-seated emotional intensity
of their atavistic anarchic bent.
However that may be, the historic reliance on extraneous
authority has left a mark of servility on them. A perverse stain. The servility
that reaches back to the roots of these peninsular peoples today smacks of that
of a colonial people, extremely sensitive to what foreigners think of them,
afraid they are not esteemed abroad.
At the same time, perhaps also atavistically, Italians are
forever in fear of the foreign invader of this land where the lemon trees
bloom, jutting out from the Alps toward Africa.
People of Italy�s rich, sophisticated financial and fashion
capital of Celtic Milan claim that Africa begins just north of the nation�s
political capital of Rome. The Turin writer Mario Soldati was �mathematically
certain� that most of Italy�s problems today are due to the choice of Rome as
its capital when the Italian states united 150 years ago. Rome writer Alberto
Moravia charged that the capital city of Rome is the disastrous proof of the
Italians� lack of the sense of state.
Modern Italy we know today is the end result of two and a
half millennia of rule by monarchy, republic and city-states, of foreign
invasions and occupation (Greeks and Arabs, Huns and Vandals, Normans,
Austrians, Spanish, French and Germans), and of the domination of the Roman
Catholic Church and Fascism. That long and complex history counts. For Italy is
a country of many peoples, historically not a nation. Peoples speaking
Neapolitan, Sicilian, Catalan, Sardinian, Venetian, Friulian -- yes, they count
as languages -- plus many dialects, and German, French, Greek and Slovene.
Peoples who are never in agreement on anything, perhaps because they still do
not understand each other.
An ethnic and political potpourri made for anarchy.
A country surrounded by the sea and the Alps.
A country of peoples fearful of foreign invasions, yet
servile because of their need of foreigners to defend them against their own
In the times of the �lean cows,� (vacche magre) as
Italians called the bad times in the Dark Ages, not cows but sheep grazed in
the Roman Forum and no more than thirty thousand people lived in the former Caput
Mundi which fifteen centuries earlier had counted one million inhabitants.
From world city to grazing pastures and back again to world capital today. A
city in movement. Movida!
Probably no other world city has experienced the ups and downs as has the
�eternal city� -- power and glory, brilliance and invasions, sackings
and pestilence. A historical rocking chair of a people absorbed with gods and
deities, spirits and ghosts, rites and rituals, kingdoms and empires, and all
the religions of Middle Eastern origin, forever wavering between anarchy and
submission and servility.
Little wonder then that its people are individualistic and
wary and suspicious of authority, albeit accommodating and ready for compromise
for short-term gain . . . or for survival. Each person is an entity. Each, a
microcosm. One result of the divisions reigning since the start 2700 years ago
is the political-social apathy and lack of civic spirit that degenerate so
easily into anarchy.
As a rule, Italians oppose rules. This might appear as a
reckless generalization but their hate for rules is proverbial. Yet, they don�t
like to risk. Social mobility is limited. A steady lifetime job is the dream of
most. Someone said Italy is afflicted with listless passions. Torn by sterile
emotions. Angry by default. A country of unresolved problems, incomplete
governments, eternal emergences, eternal transitions.
Italians of today demanded new elections, aware that the
vote will change nothing. Despite enormous garbage disposal problems, the
majority of Italians pay three times as much for trash collection and run
related health risks rather than submit to the humiliation of trash separation.
Italians shake their heads, tsk tsk, at the news of a million euro bank holdup.
But they admire the robbers -- �they did well!� -- and oppose the police.
Italian films in which the police are the good guys somehow seem false. You
watch a police film and side with those who in some way thwart authority.
Italians understand reality and without complaint pay bribes in the usual
bribery places . . . and they know which they are. Without popular consensus
organized crime as a way of life could not exist. The success of the Camorra in
Naples, the N�drangheta in Calabria, the Sicilian Mafia in the world at large
and �most wanted mafia bosses� living freely in the center of Palermo for 30
years exists on the back of popular indifference always verging on anarchy.
Menefreghismo (couldn�t-care-less attitude) and arrangiarsi
(fix things as best one can) are very Italian mindsets.
The two alternative authorities -- organized crime and the
system of corruption -- hold people in submission according to the particular
rules of each power system. Bribes facilitate life and progress. Submission is
a way of life. Submission to local power systems. Submission to the Roman
Catholic Church. Submission to foreign powers.
Natalia Ginzburg�s wonderful writings are filled with the
kind of craziness distinguishing �Italian� anarchy. The Turin writer said she
would walk a mile to see the Tuscan cabaretist and female impersonator, Paolo
Poli, on stage surrounded by boys dressed as women, women dressed as men, gypsy
dances, babies born in wine shops, wives betrayed and buried alive, amid which
Poli, perhaps dressed as a Cardinal, suddenly sings the old fascist song, Giovinezza,
in a way that made him the opposite of Fascism. There is always a streak of
madness in her. As her mother says in Ginzburg�s best known book, Lessico
Famigliare (Family Sayings), when father and brother Gino are
released from jail: �And now back to the boredom of everyday life.� Ginzburg
once told me that she fears above all boredom -- being bored or boring others.
Fear of boredom is a very Italian concept that fits in nicely with their
preference for anarchy.
Because of their atavistic fears of invaders -- Phoenicians,
Romans, Byzantines, Pisans, Spanish and pirates -- wary Sardinians, for
example, do not live on their 1,900 kilometers of magnificent seacoast. In the
interior of the mountainous island they built unique houses. Their
fortress-like, windowless nuraghi,
stone tower houses, date back to the Bronze Age. Finally obliged to accept
Italian domination for survival, Sardinians retreated into themselves and their
nuraghi. They escaped into
their own brand of purgatory.
Also the Tuscans in central Italy are another race,
irreverent and anarchic, albeit reflective and solitary, staring into their red
wines. Even though Tuscany is the �in� place for rich foreigners, paradoxically
there are few places in Italy where foreigners are more foreigners. For
Tuscans, hell is just beyond the hill, a fine place, much like Tuscany, where
people are bizarre and rebellious. Not by chance was Dante a Tuscan and his
inferno in Tuscany. Yet, like Sardinians, in order to protect themselves from
themselves Tuscans accepted centuries-long Austrian domination and its Grand
Duchy of Tuscany.
Stendhal chose the city of Parma north of Tuscany as the setting
to superimpose the escapist past on the present in his novel La Chartreuse
de Parme. For the French writer,
the Renaissance cour de Parme was symbolic of court life in general.
Like Tuscany, Parma bowed to the foreign invader. For 200 years it was marked by French influence, when the upper classes
spoke French and Parisian manners prevailed. Parma still reflects that
confusion of time, where the past seems contemporary and at certain times and
places the present is absent. A bomb destroyed the city�s famous Farnese
Theater in World War II but by 1962, Parma people, insecure without their
theater, had restored it. Then they let it stand silent and abandoned in the
center of rich Parma like some kind of toy for giants. Today it appears as an
empty shell, a spirit from the past. In reality, it was born classical: actors
occupied the stage, the arena in the center, and the steps. It was a theater of
illusions, a labyrinth where actors and spectators were confused, where painted
figures of princes melded in with real ones, and images of actors painted on
the ceiling looked down on themselves performing in the arena. A game of
mirrors. One was both on the inside and outside. The confusion of theater and
life, so typical of Italian escapism.
Escapism from their anarchic selves, escapism in imitation
of successful and more powerful nations whose standards remain elusive to
Italians looking for models: today they look longingly at Sarkozy�s France for
a new socio-economic model, or into German and French and Spanish electoral
systems in search of a miraculous formula by which Italians too could
elect efficient and durable governments.
Fascism as escapism? Hmmm! Such an idea could have been just
a slip of the tongue by another Italian revisionist. Yet, it was none other
than philosopher Benedetto Croce who oh so reductively defined Fascism �a bad
dream that vanished at the first ray of sun.� Like those Rome bourgeois who
under the bombs during the debacle of the last days continued to define Fascism
as a �revolution� and a �revelation of the Italian nature.�
In February, at the same time the campaign for political
elections this April got underway, the 58th Festival of the Italian Song opened
in the Ariston Theater in San Remo on the Italian Riviera. While Silvio Berlusconi
was launching his bid to return to political power, the eternal kid of over 60
years of age, Gianni Morandi, opened the San Remo Festival singing,
Volare, the song of Italian escapism.
Cantare oh oh oh oh
Nel blu dipinto di blu,
Felice di stare lass�
(Just to fly, oh oh, Just to sing, oh oh oh oh
Happy to be up there. In the blue painted in blue)
The most famous Italian song since World War II served
to introduce the pre-presenter, a noted comic, who in turn presented the master
of ceremonies, himself however preceded successively by 13 clones 13 of the
master of ceremonies. The 73-year old Pippo Baudo, simpatico, dyed hair and all, finally presented
the singers. A peculiarity of Italy�s most traditional song festival is that
the master of ceremonies plays the principle role. The cantanti, the singers of songs, are back up for
the show�s central character, the master of ceremonies who invites all Italians
to escape with him into the spectacle. The seeming is more than being. Bad singers
or good singers, the heart of the matter is the master of ceremonies.
The next day, the San Remo show was panned, one might
believe the proof that modern Italians don�t take escapist San Remo seriously.
Oh, but they do! They criticize it but its elimination would be cause for
The same day of the panning, the media dwelled on the
wounding of two Italian soldiers in Afghanistan while hammering home official
reports from Brussels that Italy is last in Europe in GDP, the tail end in
almost every socio-economic category. One Italian statistical agency claims
Italy�s real inflation is 8 percent, the highest in the West, and Italy along
with Great Britain Europe�s most expensive country. Meanwhile workers� salaries
are 20 percent lower than in France and 30 percent lower than Germany.
According to a popular slogan, Italians earn Greek wages and pay German prices.
Following the collapse of the dissension-ridden center-left
government after only 20 months in office, the electoral campaign is in full
swing. Though many people declare they will not vote at all in April, �the
caste� doesn�t take the threat seriously. Italians always vote, en masse. This
time, the two big parties have presented similar platforms. They seem to
resemble each other, the allegedly leftish Democratic Party (named, ironically
I hope, for the American party and only very slightly center-left) and the
new-old rightwing People of Freedom Party of TV magnate Silvio Berlusconi
(Silvio believes he has the same monopoly on freedom as his �friend George� has
on God), a union of neo-Fascists and populists, Most people believe the two
parties are in cahoots to form a Grosse Koalition, (the German words are popular in Italy today), no matter who
In any case, it would be a coalition all�italiana. Each
party promises to change Italy. People believe that the real aim of both is �to
change things so that nothing changes.� Consequently the real electoral
campaign is taking place between the small parties: all fire and fury,
accusations and counter-accusations, defections and new alliances, among
miniscule parties whose chief hope is at least survival in the next Parliament.
In true capitalist fashion, Italian capitalists are among
the first to leap onto each new cheap labor market: today, for example, tens of
thousands of companies have moved to Romania and Albania. However, the
historical reality that Italy is no less a capitalist-imperialistic power than
the USA and the rest of West Europe does not diminish its own colonial-like
One bitter reality among many is that in the sixty years
since WWII Italy has been transformed into a giant American aircraft carrier
and military base. A year ago news leaked out about a secret agreement between
the USA and Italy�s then Berlusconi government according to which a new
military base would be built in the north Italian city of Vicenza, just across
town from an already existing US base, Camp Ederle. The new installation is
rising today on the site of the city�s small civic airport, Dal Molin. It is to
become imperial America�s biggest military base in Europe. In a small, densely
populated country that already hosts over one hundred American military
installations, another base is the cup that runneth over.
Those who know Italy can imagine the situation in the
medieval city of Vicenza, one hundred and twenty thousand people, situated
between Verona and Venice, an area already surrounded by major US airbases and
military installations. A UNESCO world heritage city because of the great
number of buildings designed by the sixteenth century architect Andrea
Palladio, the placid city at the foot of the Alps has hosted the American
Ederle base since 1946, with today 2900 active duty military personnel, plus
their families. The new base will not be NEAR Vicenza, but IN Vicenza. Less
than a mile from Palladio�s famous church in the central Piazza dei Signori.
Plans provide for groups of six and seven-story barracks right in the city and
a new express road cutting through the city to link the two bases.
The 173rd Airborne
Brigade, a crack rapid action unit ready for action anyplace in the world, now
divided between Germany and Italy, is to be united in Vicenza. Its paratroopers
were among the first troops in the Iraqi war. Their arrival will bring the
number of American military personnel in Vicenza to five thousand, 15,000
people counting families and Pentagon and State Department personnel. That is
equal to over ten per cent of the city population.
Residents worry that the new base will make Vicenza a target
for terrorist attacks. Workers testify that inside the Ederle base bunkers have
been dug in the side of an urban hill that borders it. Local people believe
those caves contain nuclear weapons. The civic airfield under US control can be
extended to accommodate big aircraft for transporting troops to war zones to
the east or for top-secret CIA night-flyers transporting terrorist suspects
around the world for secret interrogations and torture. Workers on construction
sites for the US military describe underground interrogation rooms. Besides
noise and air pollution, the new base
will strain the infrastructures, services and resources of a small city, while
offering nothing to the community or the local economy.
Despite the opposition�s signature campaigns, traffic
blocks, sit-ins, and night vigils, construction goes on. �It is not just the
American base,� protesters say. �It�s that bomber aircraft will fly
directly from this base to intervene in countries where America�s wars are
raging.� The charge of the opposition
in Vicenza is the same charge that has echoed over the years: Italian servility
More US soldiers are currently active on Italian soil than
at any other time since the end of the Second World War. Since the creation of
NATO in 1949 and Italy�s adherence (then fiercely opposed by the Left and
Fascists alike, but promoted by US financed Christian Democracy) and the
installation in subservient Italy of military bases up and down the peninsula,
US military presence in Italy has grown to the official figure of 13,000. Now
the Dal Molin base facilitates the strategic reorganization of American war
forces in Italy. Charges are that the Pentagon is realigning its troop levels
in Europe in preparation for an attack on Iran. The aircraft carrier USS
Italy would play an important role. Accordingly, by the year 2010 the
Vicenza base is to become the most important base for US military deployments
in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Other US military bases in Italy include
Camp Darby near Pisa, which is to be doubled in size, and Sigonella air base in
Sicily, the US Naval bases at Gaeta, Taranto and Naples. The US Air Force base
of Aviano at the foot of the Dolomites (from where America in the guise of NATO
unleashed its bombers against Belgrade in the Balkan War in the 1990s for the
final crushing of my beloved Yugoslavia!), lies only a hundred kilometers from
Vicenza and where, according to the Rome newspaper Il manifesto the US
has stockpiled at least fifty tactical nuclear bombs.
began construction work at Dal Molin, Silvio Berlusconi, the most servile of
all Italian politicians, in imitation of America�s neocons labeled protest
movements �anti-American.� With Berlusconi favored to be re-elected in
April, the total conversion of Italy to a US-NATO outpost will be complete.
Italy had its chance to withdraw from NATO when De Gaulle�s France did in 1966
but by then Italy was under sway of the US and the Christian Democratic Party
that governed for over four decades. In theory it could have changed its
relationship with NATO on the breakup of the USSR in 1989. But no government
could nor dared take the step. Italy had become a colony. It�s easy to envision
an Italy and Italians something like India and Indians under British imperial
Though some observers regarded Italy�s military withdrawal
from Iraq last year as the revolt of the vassals, it was only a minor
deviation. The French had refused Iraq firmly. The Spanish withdrew from Iraq
defiantly. Italy�s then Center Left government spoke briefly of �a new course�
in Rome-Washington relations. But not for long. The reality is that as a rule
US dependent Italy is bullied into America�s wars. Meanwhile, CIA agents roam
around the country abducting terrorist suspects and the US military build-up
continues. And fresh Italian troops leave for Afghanistan.
But Afghanistan is another story. Like Americans, Italians
too have short memories, especially about their servility.
The Roman Catholic Church is doubtless one of the most
noxious occupiers of Italy and most powerful authorities over Italians. When
other powers are absent the Church is there. When other powers are present the
Church goes to war. The Church that survives on alms, that only takes and never
gives, has always been gangrenous for Italy. The Church is both cause and
effect of the traditional dualism of Italians of yesterday and today: their
innate anarchy and their servile tendencies.
The evangelical mission of the Roman Church has made of
Italians a careless band of blind believers -- in word only however, not in
practice. For in reality Italy is a country of �technical Catholics,� as Rome
sociologist Franco Ferrarotti calls his fellow countrymen. Though the spurious
nature of their faith abets them, Italians are instead the chief victims of their
Though formally deprived of its temporal power and its
extensive territories since Italy�s unification in 1861, the Roman Church
continues to interfere in Italian political affairs today (more than in the
Spain of Zapatero where a chasm divides Church and State and where the Catholic
Church is always in attack mode). Denying the obvious and boasting of its
�rights� to do so, the Roman Church exhorts Catholic parliamentarians to vote
down every idea of modernity and social change. No, to divorce! No, to
abortion! No, to any kind of euthanasia! No, to stem cell research or
experimental scientific research in general! No, to gay rights of any kind! The
Church rules against any and all deviations from its orthodoxy.
Moreover, in its hubris, in its battle against modernity,
the Church is no longer satisfied with only spiritual power.
Religious historians instruct that the Catholic Church has
had two souls since the birth of Christianity: a church of the persecuted on
one hand, and a church of persecutors of other religions on the other, a church
of Christ and a church of the Pope. The first is described as universal in its
mission of charity and love, distant from concerns of secular power. The second
is authoritarian, of a pre-modern mentality, and a hierarchical, absolutist
organization . . . that was permissive of Fascism. It is an organization of a
privileged bureaucratic-theological apparatus, with at its head a figure
dressed in medieval costumes, surrounded by prelates dressed like medieval
princes in total obedience to the sovereign. The duality of their church
reflects again the dual nature of the first ring of its adherents, the
Secular Italians cite the proximity of the Vatican as the
source of many of Italy�s woes. This age-old influence has only been overcome
on the rare occasions of a pope of high spirituality and a strong
anti-authoritarian mentality. This is not the case of today�s Pope, Benedict
XVI, the German-Bavarian, conservative-reactionary, Joseph Ratzinger. Today, a
century and a half since Italy was �liberated� from the Church�s temporal
power, the continuing submission to the dictates of that Church reflects the
servility aspect of Italian dualism.
A recent rally on St. Peter�s Square called by the Vicar of
Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, became a veritable electoral manifestation,
underlining the Church�s eternal interference in Italian politics. Hardly a day
passes that the Roman Church does not issue a ruling on secular issues. The
history of Italy is closely intertwined with that of the Roman Church. In no
other country has this link been as powerful, simply because Rome hosts the
pope and the Vatican. The Roman Church�s influence on Italy has been largely
negative, a hindrance to its social development and independence.
Pope Benedict XVI himself recently celebrated a mass in the
Sistine Chapel under the oblivious Michelangelo fresco masterpieces. His mass
in the old liturgical rite is emblematic of the U-turn �his Church� is
inflicting on Italy. The pope spoke in Latin, with his back to the worshippers.
A holy mass administered by a priest hidden from the worshippers and speaking
in a language they don�t understand has the intent of underlining the mystery
of the transformation of the wine and bread into the blood and body of Jesus
Christ. His message is that there is no salvation without the intervention of
the priesthood and the Church�s mediation between man and God.
To underline his demand for submission, last November Pope
Ratzinger appeared at an assembly of prelates wearing the mitre of the
ultra-conservative 19th century Pope Pius IX, the Pope who execrated freedom of
conscience, religious freedom and imposed the dogma of papal infallibility on
his priests with his foot literally at their throats. Ratzinger instead
portrays Pope Pius as �indomitable and courageous in his battle against
This pope, Benedict XVI, is the shining emblem of today�s
retrograde Church demanding total submission of its adherents.
Secular observers believe that the answer to the riddle of
why this outdated Church continues to exist lies in the fundamental Italian
nature of the papacy. Of 266 popes in the history of the Roman Church, only 22
were not Italian. The popes are Italian. The Church is Italian. This Italian
nature of the dualistic Church reflects also the reluctance of Italy to accept
wholeheartedly the concept of the liberal, secular state in Europe. And again,
it reflects Italy�s age-old dualism: unity and disunity of believers and cynics
alike, servility and anarchy. These technical Catholics who seldom set foot in
a church except for funerals or christenings are none the less professed
Christians, uncertain as to whether Protestants are also Christians.
But by no means should the technical nature of Italian
Catholicism or secular resistance to the Roman Catholic Church be construed as
an attack on Christianity. Not at all. Italy is the number one defender of
Christianity as the basis of European culture.
The reality is that Italians, in the sense of this article,
are servile toward the Roman Catholic Church. From a secular point of view, far
from finding solace and redemption in their Church�s presence, they suffer from
its ubiquity and its invasion in their lives. Perhaps it�s corrupt, but it�s
our Church! You don�t have to the live in Rome long to begin perceiving the
subservience of even the extreme Left to today�s reactionary Church, even
declared atheists pay their respects to it.
I have purposely underlined the Church-State relationship
because I believe it is one of the cornerstones of the traditional tendency
toward servility of the Italian peoples.
Return to anarchy
The outgoing Center Left government of ex-EU president,
middle-of-the-road Romano Prodi failed miserably to change anything for the
better. Much more Center than Left, the main body of the coalition and the
opposition alike blame the Communist Left component of the outgoing government,
called the Radical Left, for its pitiful showing. The Left instead charges the
dissension among the major coalition partners of the Center for the disaster.
Today the Left is running alone, hoping for at least 8
percent of the vote! That�s what remains of the Italian Communist Party that
once boasted one-third of the Italian electorate. The Left has put aside
frivolous faith in a swing of the electorate to the left, as in the days when
the traitor Tony Blair was the darling and model of the Italian Left. A modest
goal indeed! A goal reflecting Center-oriented, bourgeois Italy, where the Left
could never -- not even if Antonio Gramsci himself were to return -- head a
government. Unfortunately that is not only an Italian reality. .
Today, in imitation of the USA, yes, really! the (Italian)
Democratic Party and Berlusconi�s People of Freedom Party are aiming at a
two-party system for Italy, in the elusive hope of making Italians magically
controllable and governable. But no one is deluded. One party, two parties,
multiple parties will make no difference whatsoever. The �caste� has no
intention of changing anything. Not even the political Left which is part of
the reigning system seems to desire radical change. I fear that criticism of
the exportation of jobs, the precarious nature of a growing number of jobs and
low workers� salaries is chiefly electoral propaganda. Instead, Italian
capitalism, step by rapid step, is creating a safe aerie for its political
caste, already cut off from the rest of the people.
The people! One third of the people are disoriented. They
don�t understand. They are misinformed, under-informed. They want to believe
that the victory of the Democratic Party or Berlusconi�s Freedom Party will
make a difference. The Center Left flop left the people disappointed, disgusted
and disoriented as did the failure of the Right government of Berlusconi before
it. Probably a majority of Italians are disgusted with the current system. Yet,
a Grosse Koalition between the two parties would widen even more the
chasm between the political class on its mountaintop and the people in
People sense that any achievable change will only favor the
church of the political caste. The mass of Italian society seems destined to
continue rambling around in the classic niche of escapism, ready to drop back
into anarchy. Either the society described by Dostoevsky in The Legend of
the Grand Inquisitor, a society of basics, of aimless, non-participatory,
uninvolved people reduced to a life of simple pleasures and a bit of sinning.
Or, on the other hand, just beyond, a dual society of the caste operating for
itself and the people forced into anarchy.
Despite the binds of the European Union, Italy is
experiencing a gray, seemingly hopeless, yet potentially explosive situation. A
situation which could spawn dreadful and unexpected alternatives. In such a
stall, with the isolated government on one side of the chasm and an anarchic
people on the other, anything at all could happen.
The official website of Berlusconi�s party not long ago
posted the following appeal to the party from the hard line segment of the
party: �Argentina is a teacher. Take over power, even against the Constitution,
stop talking, otherwise the parasites will continue to grow, act! We don�t need
elections. We need strong action.�
Italian society in this precise moment brings to mind the
society portrayed by Dostoevsky in The Possessed -- a nation morphing
from widespread socio-political frustration toward anarchy and nihilism.
If it is true that today a good European -- that is, a
citizen of the European Union -- must be an anti-nationalist; it is also true
that a good Italian must be less servile and committed to freeing Italy from
the greedy claws of US imperialism and the messianism that some Europeans
believe Americans inherited from their Puritan ancestors. The good Italian of
the new millennium will most certainly have to be more internationalist.
Stewart is a senior contributing editor at Cyrano's Journal Online. Originally
from Asheville, NC. he has lived his adult life in Germany and Italy, alternated
with residences in The Netherlands, France, Mexico, Argentina and Russia. After
a career in journalism as a correspondent for the Rotterdam newspaper, Algemeen
Dagblad, he began writing fiction. His collections of short stories, "Icy
Current Compulsive Course, To Be A Stranger" and "Once In
Berlin" are published by Wind River Press. His new novel,
"Asheville," is published by www.Wastelandrunes.com
He lives with his wife, Milena, in Rome, Italy. E-mail: email@example.com.