Archive for the 'post-democracy' Category


Italien schafft sich ab

Statue coperte ai Musei Capitoli in occasione della visita del presidente iraniano Hassan Rohani, Roma, 25 gennaio 2016. ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

Source: Statue coperte ai Musei Capitoli in occasione della visita del presidente iraniano Hassan Rohani, Roma, 25 gennaio 2016.

This is really embarassing.

I remember a few year ago  – a decade or two – when the Chinese premier visited Paris. The Tour Eiffel shone bright red in the night. Not everyone was happy. Too much of a hommage? A hommage, nonetheless, is different from a cancellation of cultural identity.

I am counting the days and this Master of Ceremony woman is still in her well-paid job. She should go. And how pathetic are the ministers, all saying “I did not know about it”. They should take responsibility and at least fire the accountable person and replace her with someone more skilled in inter-cultural manners (and in languages).

In the meantime, I think the best reaction was the one of Beppe Severgnini, the italian journalist: “Make a hole on the cardboard, and put a price and a tag – Peep show! All-naked roman hot babes!” – we will then have so much money that the museums will be able to finance themselves”.


Friday night


Friday 20th November. One week has gone by. Rewind.

Friday 13th November, 4pm. I am exploring the most enchanting corners of Saint Pancras Station’s hotel, while taking in its quintessentially british atmosphere. It is always nice when one works abroad, to be able to tell where one is. No anonymous hotel underground conference rooms. No faux-minimalist boring design. Nope. This time I am in London and I can also take in a bit of the atmosphere of the city. I see the trains departing to Paris via Eurotunnel. I feel the vibe of the city cautiously slipping in its start-of-the-weekend mood from the businesslike frenzy of the morning.

And then when meetings are over, it’s time to pack and head to King’s Cross. Thousands of people like me shuttling around with their trolleys, a Pret-à-manger bag with a makeshift dinner for the train, yeah for many it will be quite a commute. The big panel is showing the boarding times and gates, there is a bit of an airport feeling at King’s Cross. I always find it a bit stressful, to wait under the vast fan of the station concourse for my platform to be announced. At last. Platform 2.

And now sitting comfortably. I have a novel with me, “The Girl on the Train”. Oh no, that’s a noir. No way. Not for a Friday evening in any case. I will continue reading “The diamond Queen” by Andrew Marr.

At lunchtime a terrible gale had hit London, short but very violent, my lunchtime guests arrived to Gilbert Scott’s completely drenched. Now the gale is continuing to hit Northern England. I guess it will be blasting Leeds when I arrive.

How nice it is to be met at the station by the love of my life!

It reminds me of 1920s novels. Of 1940s movies. It is nice to be expected. This must have been also my father’s feeling when my mother and me – aged 2 or 3 – were waiting for him every day in Turin at the station.

And yes it rains, cats and dogs. But then it calms down, and we sneak out of Leeds station and head to “Home –  Leeds subsidiary”. Time for some healthy vegetables and yes, let’s scoff these Pret sandwiches and be done with them…it’s late for a proper dinner anyway…so my second Leeds weekend with MeinMann ready to start! What are we going to do tomorrow? York for sure!

And then, from the bathroom, I hear my MeinMann saying “***** – what the hell…attack in Paris!”. And that was it. Friday night, slipping in the mood of the weekend. Unwinding. Relax. Be with your beloved one. All of a sudden this seemed so distant and unreal. Horror in the middle of Friday night. We are together. Hold me tight.



And post-democracy thrives


In today’s editorial Eugenio Scalfari comments about the economy, the EU-Greece negociations, the situation in Libia and the other geopolitical issues. He then concludes:

Mi resta ancora un punto da esaminare che non ha nulla a che fare con quanto fin qui è stata materia di riflessione: l’andamento nel mondo del concetto e della prassi della democrazia. C’è un sondaggio internazionale che ne parla ed è assai istruttivo e al tempo stesso molto preoccupante.

La democrazia partecipata, cioè col consenso del popolo e l’esercizio dei suoi diritti, è in forte declino. Questo fenomeno varia da paese a paese sia nelle forme sia nelle date in cui quel fenomeno ebbe inizio, ma il processo di decadimento è generale in tutti i continenti che compongono il nostro pianeta. Per noi il decadimento cominciò una trentina d’anni fa ed è andato aumentando nel ventennio berlusconiano ma, continua ad aumentare sempre di più. Il fenomeno si manifesta soprattutto in Occidente dove le democrazie partecipate sono nate e si sono sviluppate. Il sondaggio accenna anche alle cause che fanno da sottofondo al fenomeno ma in questo caso non si tratta più di sondaggio bensì di interpretazione dei sondaggisti. La causa si chiama indifferenza, soprattutto da parte dei giovani. O addirittura lo si può chiamare nichilismo. I giovani non si interessano alla politica né alla storia e al lascito di esperienze che il passato consegna al presente e si disinteressano anche del futuro.

Ovviamente non tutti i giovani sono indifferenti e nichilisti e non tutti gli indifferenti e nichilisti sono giovani, ma le dimensioni del fenomeno sono quelle già dette. Attenzione: non sono dei bamboccioni che vivono nelle braccia protettive di mamma e papà; sono giovani fattivi, arditi, creativi. Ma la democrazia partecipata non rientra nei loro interessi. A questo si deve aggiungere che alcuni (molti) governi approfittano di quest’indifferenza e addirittura la anticipano sottraendo diritti politici al tessuto costituzionale sicché, quand’anche la maggioranza dei giovani cambiasse atteggiamento, i diritti concernenti la democrazia partecipata non ci sarebbero più o sarebbero stati fortemente ridotti Consegno ai nostri lettori queste considerazioni. Se mi leggono questo è un segno che vedranno questo fenomeno con analoghe preoccupazioni. Quei diritti mi riguardano anche personalmente perché, pur essendo vecchio, ne usufruisco e vedendoli ridotti o aboliti anche io protesto e me ne dolgo.

He is probably referring to a recent article by Thomas Friedman. Those belonging to our generation, who have lived both the end of the Cold War and 9/11 in our adult lives, have a clear perception of this decline. I am preoccupied for those who are younger and whose experience has been one of continuously shrinking democracy, accompanied by the deterioration of the quality of journalism too.


A vision for Europe


It took 30 years to turn this belief of Willy Brandt into reality. What should we wish ourselves, for year 2044? To have a united Europe, where many languages are spoken by every child? Where the cultures remain intact, but we all share one passport? A blueprint for energy policy, fostering entrepreneurship on our territory, where there are cultural and religious tolerance? A united defence policy even if soft power remains the key instrument? A sustainable financial balance, between discipline and multi-generation investments? What else?


Against fascism.

10929009_419613654863011_1181077405639764915_nAgainst fascism. All kinds of. Just mentioning a couple of examples. There are more. Unfortunately.


We are not afraid



2015: the year of consistence and action

10906201_826047277437301_2463693655382188075_nWe read every Sunday Eugenio Scalfari’s editorial. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, sometimes we find it boring, sometimes too patronizing. Still it is our way for marking the Zeitgeist. It was so when we read the printed copy spread on a small table, sipping cappuccino prepared by the friendly Sebastian at the Bar Pavia in Rome. And it is so now, when we read the less sexy online edition on our kitchen table in Dusseldorf or in Berlin sipping a home-made cappuccino.

The editorial published on December 28th contains yet another sad truth, the lack of consistence and action in our native country, Italy. And then yesterday our berliner-roman friend Betta shared on fb a post by blogger Claudio Gnessi which, on a roman neighborhood scale, deals with the same problem.

Consistence and action. And lack of. And the reasons why. Continue reading ‘2015: the year of consistence and action’

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