Politics is also creation of myths, and when there’s nothing to mythologize we try to instill some sense of sacredness. Therefore in Italy they have decided to teach the national anthem to all children.
I’d like to explain few things to those children who will be overwhelmed by a tide of cheesy chauvinist rhetoric, why there’s no tie between the nice words they’ll be compelled to hear and the reality they’ll find themselves in.
This is the sad reality:
- In Italy everybody tries to live on others’ expenses. Who truly succeeds becomes “cast”, and it’s a minority of politicians, protected entrepreneurs, public administrators, union men, professionals, bankers and so on. Many others enjoy small time privileges, maybe a safe job with not too much work, or a market without competition where they don’t have to bother about clients. Many other finally defend the system hoping to catch some bits and crumbs, or make it into the two previous categories.
- When everyone tries to live on others’ expenses, nobody produces: the pie gets smaller, economy stagnates and declines. The luxurious privileged do anything to keep their piece of the pie, the small time privileged do the same, and the result is that those who have no saints in heaven will pay the whole cost of this crisis: dear children, this will be your future. The power serves to eat bigger pieces of the pies that someone else create, and to oblige the diners to pay for what they have not eaten. In Italy the power moves hundreds of billions: no need to be of any help to the society, when someone else is forced to pay the bill.
- There’s many people who don’t have much to give to the country, but have a social and economic position disproportioned to their contribute. These person are supporting the preservation of the status quo: they only have to loose with reforms. They can be called “underclass”, but it’s often a luxurious underclass: think about how many journalist live by public funding to press, how many politicians live through the multitude of local bodies, public companies, how many lawyers, notaries or auditors live thanks to the exaggerated Italian legislation.
- In Italy everybody learns, since childhood, that bowing and obeying are the road to success: “hook the ass where the master wants”, “make yourself deaf and play dumb”, “the righteousness is of fools” are the servile wisdom of a people who never knew liberty and dignity. And they learn that the road to wealth does not pass through the production of wealth, but by seizure or looting of others’ wealth: Italian economy is a race where competitors don’t try to race, but make others stumble. They think that wealth doesn’t come doing better, but forcing others to do worse.
The previous four points are clearly very abstract, and maybe some practical example of what I’m talking about will help. I may talk about the social security system and the sad story of its reform, of the labor market, of mass unemployment before the reforms, of mass underemployment following, of laws applied only when it’s convenient, of fiscal police state, of the world’s slowest justice, of school that costs a lot and produces nothing, of rules made to preserve oligopolies and monopolies, of a disastrous public finance.
Wherever you look at, you see that Thucydides was perfectly right when he said that justice is only a matter between equals, because the stronger do what they want, and the weak suffer what they have to.
And you, children, are doomed to live the same fate.
Instead of wasting time learning Mameli’s anthem, and force yourself into believing that this country has something to be proud of (I’m talking about politics, not frescoes and sculptures), I think you should learn and understand how government works, politics, the laws, and don’t relinquish to this disgust. The Italian State is a monument to the most despicable cynicism, and as much as it has its own true heroes, think about Falcone or Borsellino, and in spite there are inside it many honest and prepared people, they’re only minorities struggling, often in vain, to improve things.
Now that you know all of this, strive to find a way to change this country: maybe in fifty years’ time we will finally have a decent reason to sing the national anthem.
Translation by Giuseppe Jordan Tagliabue
Original Article by Pietro Monsurrò from MercatoeLibertà