Thursday, 23 May 2013

On Returning to Italy and Leaving Democratic Civilisation

It's barely worth writing about the installation of dictatorship in Italy; all the usual suspects from the highest to the lowest, all the ususal excuses about emergency and temporary and experts and technicians and Europe.  So take it as read that Italy is a representative democracy only in name, as were the countries of the East, and the countries of the past under Fascism and Communism.

Never and then never will direct popular democracy be permitted to operate the levers of power, no matter how large our group in Parliament nor how formally constitutionally guaranteed.  The sensation of wanting to vomit reading and listening to the usual suspects' mellifluous self- righteousness  or peremptory condemnation of populism and non-party movements is longstanding and widespread.  "You haven't understood" charming and capable Italians of various backgrounds and sophisticated skills and statuses would tell me as I enthused over formally democratic rights and obligations.  I have now.

Just as an example in a multitude of repressive measures being introduced, no political grouping not formally composed into a political party conforming to hierarchical organisational structures  and with a juridical personality will be permitted to stand for Parliament; nor will such a grouping be able to access  any state political funding for propaganda or for election expenses (it is a source of distaste that any grouping, party or no, should have access to tax-payer funding, but let that pass, as the scandal of the intertwined banks and parties must be allowed to pass).

The internet is now policed and condemnation of people and policies is defined as insult: criticism is permitted,  the definition of which is left open to the complainant or the authorities.  Behaviour during the 20th century is not to be  considered relevant - re-opening old wounds not being conducive to the imposition of the national peace.

Unemployment is described as youth unemployment though what is youthful about being 40 and without work?  Never worked?  This is infantilisation and policy-driven removal of basic economic and social activities.  Of a piece with the destruction of political and civic claims and deriving from the same source - European policies and governance structures.

Any threat to these last will be met with a response that breaks any rule, denies any choices, permits any authoritarian outrage.  The images of demonstrators from the Milan social centres being beaten with truncheons are up there with the squadristi.

The response of civilised Italians is as it has ever been: the rientro nel privato  - the withdrawal into private worlds mediated by networks of friendship and kinship - of the established, the carefully orchestrated emigration of the younger generation to education and work in the rest of the world until return is needed by this private world.

"We told you," say those from the prestigious English and American universities,  from international institutions, from well-to-do lifestyles of unblemished propriety, from firms and industries insulated from the economic disaster by a kind of economic version of this self-defence against pillaging elites.

After three weeks in London the engulfing criminality and pseudo-justification of democratic perversion on coming back here makes England's equivocating with a continued membership of the European Union look irresponsible.  There is nothing  for England in membership of the European Union.  There is no reform, no return of powers, nothing to be renegotiated.  The kind of renegotiation outlined by David Cameron denies the foundation and purpose of the European Union.

Leave.  Leave while your sins and failures are still, just, your own.  You don't want what we've got.


Jeff Wood said...

While I take all your points, I am not sure, HG, that you have just left Democratic Civilisation. I feel the UK is as much of a fraud as anywhere else these days.

Oddly, I feel more oppressed when I revisit the UK from Italy. I suspect that the layers of Italian government can act as a cushion, protecting the citizen; and of course there is not the relentless political correctness here as in Britain.

That said, I have an encounter next week with the Machine which our friend in the Comune has warned will either delight or infuriate me. I am ready for either reaction.

Sackerson said...

Written with passion, HG.

dearieme said...

The UK needs to be saved; within the EU that's impossible whereas outside it's merely unlikely.

hatfield girl said...

And still the inequality measures widen, S, while private lives and arrangements of necessity develop to exclude the authoritarian state.

hatfield girl said...

No Jeff, here we have the relentless Church, which imposes a different ethical correctness, and no more attractive than England's.

hatfield girl said...

The UK can save itself Dearieme: it can leave.

All these warnings about the dreadful economic and social upheavals the ending of Europe and the Eurozone and the return to the nation state would bring. It can't be worse than economic depression and the savagery of street killings and major riots; or worse than blighted lives and giant steps towards greater inequality and social discrimination.

Jeff Wood said...

Perhaps I am lucky where I am, where about half are anti-clerical, but remain friendly with the parish priest. Opinion is sorted out in the bars and in the piazza, weather permitting.

A thing concerns me: when or if sense prevails and the economy is allowed to flourish (note the passive voice) what on earth are all those young folk with the Italian equivalent of degrees in basket-weaving going to do? I keep meeting them, and despair.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

A splendid and passionate post, HG, which - if you don't mind - I have saved for future reference and sharing.

I quibble about only a couple of things: firstly, democracy is denied in the UK just as widely, if (for the time being) somewhat less blatantly; secondly, when you say "it is hardly worth writing about" these outrages, I disagree - it is absolutely worth writing about, and should be written about - and shouted about - as often and as passionately and as loudly as possible, until the more sheep-like of our people start to get the message. The longer we confine our feeling to a few blogs, the longer the tyrants will get away with it.