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Italian political situation and Party of the European Left

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  • Italian political situation and Party of the European Left

    Hello Mr. Moorcock,
    this is the very first time I write and I believe you surely know about the upcoming voting of the middle of June; here in Italy things do not work so good. These last years of Berlusconi’s government have been probably one of the most damaging, devastating and anti-popular course of political action in the recent history of our Republican democracy: from the disastrous choices concerning the economic policy to the foolish military intervention in the war in Iraq (moreover a decision taken against that principle in our constitution that reads “Italy refuses war�), this right/moderated coalition has demonstrated its most retrograde and reactionary face. The European elections of June give us the possibility to send the Italian government a clear message of protest and disapproval against its policies, even if I do not believe that an electoral victory of the left moderated coalition could create the alternative for a radical change in matter of peace, social rights and international solidarity: the left/moderated government of the last years have been pathetic and anti-popular in the same way of Berlusconi’s (and sometimes more conservative and reactionary than it!). That’s the reason why I’m oriented in voting for the recently born Party of the European Left, which includes the Italian formation Rifondazione Comunista (Communist Refoundation Party) in which I’m involved; that’s all!! I would like to know what is your opinion about the Italian political situation and what do you think about the Party of the European Left’s project. Bye!!!

    P.S. The reading of the Elric saga changed a lot of things in my life, I simply wanted you to know this!!!

  • #2
    Buon giorno,

    there's no question that some of us in the EU have been astonished, to put it mildly, by the Italians raising Berlusconi to his high office. There's a tradition that one should not interfere too much in other countries' governments, so if Italy wants a corrupt, self-serving, manipulating, and suppressive man to lead you, then I expect it's your own business. And then again, it's not. Because governments have what is known as a Foreign Policy.

    I sometimes hear the argument around here that Italians have always had an extremely good taste in clothing, food, and wines, but they don't have any sense of administration, or take politics very seriously. Which is pretty close to my views. But that doesn't really releive the individual of all responsibility about the current state of affairs unless they voted against the current government. Berlusconi's claim to being taken seriously as a politician and not a self-serving egotist is a laugh.

    What puzzles me, is that some Italians I know, and whom I know to be kind-hearted, generous, and honest people will defend Berlusconi no end. I can find no other explanation for the Italians' sordid and illogical choice of leaders, than you in general have no sense of administration or politics.

    Of course, I know that almost half of the Italians voted against Berlusconi, and that many of you are outraged and embarrassed about his government, so don't take these genereralizations too seriously on a personal level.

    I don't really know what la Rifondazione Comunista's policies are. Could you explain a bit?

    Meanwhile, I'll wait for mr. Moorcock throwing off some thoughts about Italy -- he usually has some shrewd and thought-provoking ideas of politics.

    Inhaling from a hookah, reclining on a beach of crushed bone, and reaching out for some white truffles and a glass of Brunello, yours sincerly

    Jagged
    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh, I probably shouldn't write this but since you (Jagged) write from Copenhagen:

      Look who's talking...
      You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

      Comment


      • #4
        Italy was always okay (apart from Mussolini).
        Now it's still okay (apart from Berlosconi).
        In fact it's probably safe to say that most of us are pretty much okay apart from the sodding power-mad greedy bastards we somehow allow to rule us.
        Not very profound today, sorry. But you're talking to someone who really loves Italy, France, Germany, Scandinavia and has largely met good people and been decently treated (nothing like hitch-hiking for you to meet with real kindness and I had the chance to do that all over Europe when I was young -- probably not so easy now). I've had New York cab drivers refuse tips, turn off their meters to look for difficult addresses and all kinds of kindness in a city that's supposed to be full of grasping rude bastards. Equally in Paris, where I've received kindness
        from every side. Equally in Rome. It's quite a while since I was last in Italy (apart from Venice, which doesn't really count) and I'm planning to go there again soon so I can get a more up-to-date 'read' on one of the most entrancing countries in the world.

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello to you all,
          I’ve read the argumentations furnished by Jagged and I partially agree with some of them; I would like to avoid any possible attempt of sociological consideration about Italians’ supposed lack and under-valuation of the sense of administration (moreover I have no interest in clothing, while food and wine attract me only in part), but I believe things are more complex than they appear. A general, but acute, view over the whole European political situation, reveals the presence of what I like to call bizarre anomalies (to which the Berlusconi’s government belongs); look what happened in France last year: the struggle Chirac-Le Pen has revealed the seriousness of a case beyond the common and tolerated experience of dialectical confrontation, and I don’t think French (I mean all the left-oriented ones) felt so good in choosing between these two political disasters. And what about the Austrian people then? The Nazi-Haider’s ascension has provoked considerable preoccupations in many European countries, and we are talking of the heart of our democratic Europe!!! And look at the English labour government: it is surprisingly supporting an imperialistic war, and in a way that make me think that Tony Blair is sometimes more reactionary and right-oriented than G. Bush!!! What happened? The French, the English and the Austrian people went mad as the Italians have done? May be, but I believe that each specific case has its objective and structural problems; I think Berlusconi’s government is a case without precedents in our political panorama, and that’s because the Italian people had no idea of what would have meant to be governed by a corrupted (because of its unclear relations with the ambits of the criminal world) and politically compromised (because of the presence of many exponents that in the past years joined the neo-fascist party) coalition whose economic power is so huge: the possession of three television networks (and even an extended influence over the public ones), the controlling of newspapers and other information sources, the superimposing of personal interests over the economic life of the country, could be only few causes of Berlusconi’s electoral success, but it can not be only this and I’m seriously afraid of the frequent principle of illogical irresponsibility of which Jagged speaks. I hope things will go better after the elections!!! Jagged asked me informations about Rifondazione Comunista: for all that concerns the political program of Rifondazione Comunista, I can say that the party agrees with the democratic experiences, values and ideals of the communist and workers’ international movement (including all the different experiences of the feminist movement, the ecologist movement and all movements against every kind of sexual and racial discrimination), firmly believing in the anti-fascist ideals from which our democracy was born, and above all, believing in the possibility of a concrete overcoming of all systems of capitalist and patriarchal exploitation.
          Sincerely waiting for other critical and interesting (as the precedent) contributions, I salute you.

          Sowarf

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rymdolov
            Look who's talking...
            Quite, my dear Rymdolov, I was asking for that. I'm not to proud of the turn Danish politics have been taking the last few years, I won't hide that. I'll be critical about the Danish government if anyone wants to hear about such a small and insignificant country.
            "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmm. Wasn't that the other small insignificant country (Rome being the other) which did such a good job of civilising Britain ? Twice, if you look at it one way. I love Denmark, as it happens. We're undergoing a period of intense change in the world and that change flings the average, not very well educated person back on fundamentalism of one sort or another. None of us can point to another country and say they are worse than we are, because we all have more or less the same percentage of reactionaries at the moment. And I say nothing of Robert the Wanker (Kilroy-Silk as he's sometimes known) and his ilk. Hmmm.
              Looks like you could get a good limerick out of that. Did anyone see Have I Got News For You a couple of weeks ago, when Paul Merton sent Silk up ? Some might say he got off lightly, though the loathing for the reactionary stooge was pretty apparent even from Dez in the chair, and he usually just keeps his remarks to the soccer games he's commenting on...

              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sowarf
                I would like to avoid any possible attempt of sociological consideration about Italians’ supposed lack and under-valuation of the sense of administration
                Well, yes... Those were rather sweeping generalizations, I know, and as I said, they shouldn't be taken seriously on a personal level. It's Berlusconi's government I don't like -- not least for the corruption and overlap between press monopoly and government that you mentioned yourself. Apart from that, Italy is actually the European country I most like being in, and Italians to be very pleasant people.

                Originally posted by sowarf
                A general, but acute, view over the whole European political situation, reveals the presence of what I like to call bizarre anomalies
                In many ways, a lot of the "anomalies" haunting different European countries these days take different shapes. However, it does seem to me that there's a common denominator; some xenophobic winds are blowing throughout most of Europe, and that worries me a great deal.

                Berlusconi does seem an unusual figure in politics Italian as well as European in general. I mean... at least when the man started passing laws just to protect his own person against prosecution, that ought to be obvious to anyone. I do hope for you all you will get rid of him at the next election.

                Thanks for the intro to the Rifondazione Commusta; it sounds like it has some good goals.
                "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                  Did anyone see Have I Got News For You a couple of weeks ago, when Paul Merton sent Silk up ? Some might say he got off lightly, though the loathing for the reactionary stooge was pretty apparent even from Dez in the chair, and he usually just keeps his remarks to the soccer games he's commenting on...
                  Ah yes... that's really one of the joys of that show. When the "captains" have a genuine loathing for the guest, they'll rarely let them get away without a verbal hammering... and Paul Merton has that fantastic style of pretending to be rather slow and cosy, then pulling out the knife and going straight for the heart! Bless him. Of course, I say this as someone who has seen one of his heroes (I won't say who, but it certainly wasn't Kilroy) butchered on the show, so I've felt the thin end of the wedge as well.

                  Of course I wouldn't have voted for the UKIP anyway, but I would have a hard time warming to any party that would allow a man like Kilroy to represent them publicly. Even before he began to voice "politically incorrect" opinions he was quite an oily and unpleasant character. Now he's almost off the scale! But, as you say, no doubt there are men (and women) like him in every country, whether they are in the majority or otherwise. Our only hope is that they become so oily and unpleasant the very earth rises up to spit them out into space. No? Probably not.

                  D...
                  "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                    Wasn't that the other small insignificant country (Rome being the other) which did such a good job of civilising Britain ?
                    Um... was it? If you mean in the Viking age, I think that Denmark's significance on the world stage has lessened since then... Maybe it would have been different if Erik the Red's people had started building an Empire in the land of the Skraylings some hundreds of years before the Spanish, Portuguese, and English.... :?

                    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                    None of us can point to another country and say they are worse than we are, because we all have more or less the same percentage of reactionaries at the moment.
                    Bingo! I seems human nature is the same everywhere, not only in the Western world, but the world at large.
                    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yep. If travels broadened my mind, that's what it's taught me. I remember watching Linda's face when in Morocco (I think) and an Arab comedian began doing racist jokes which were worse than anything she'd ever heard in her native Mississippi. As she said at the time, it was a revelation. Before that she'd got it in her head that only white people were racists...

                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mike - I have to work with a Muslim, a Sikh and a Hindu, and by god the banter . . . what I hated about Kilroy-Silk, and he's still doing it elsewhere, is this 'I'm only saying what other people are thinking' stick - and indeed as if he was the only person 'brave' enough to say it. I liked the fact that both team captains turned on him for that - don't include us.

                        Not sure if travel broadens the mind though - at Xmas on going back to Wales I encountered an in-law who told us, on finding out we lived in Leeds, that he didn't like Leeds. Didn't like Germany. In fact he didn't like Cardiff, the nearest city. In fact it seemed he only liked the place he lived in! And what had he done for 20 years before he retired - long distance lorry driving.

                        Last time back, a great Uncle, a coach-driver, and travel certainly hadn't broadened his mind, so much as confirmed his prejudices (and I would have to describe him as racist because he brought it up at seemingly any opportunity - especially annoying when I was trying to be diplomatic, knowing I was a Guardian reader stuck in a house full of Daily Mail readers).

                        Perhaps we just see what we want to see? Which reminds me again of other relatives who didn't enjoy their trips to Spain and Germany because there wasn't anything to eat. Now how a Briton cannot enjoy German food - sausages and potatoes abound - I don't know. You speak to some people and you wonder why they travel at all - perhaps just to be glad to be back home.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jagged
                          Quite, my dear Rymdolov, I was asking for that. I'm not to proud of the turn Danish politics have been taking the last few years, I won't hide that. I'll be critical about the Danish government if anyone wants to hear about such a small and insignificant country.
                          How nice of you not to bring up the political situation in Sweden, a country which at many times has been equally unpleasant and which is always equally insignificant...

                          In any case I think that you people are right about there being bigot and racists in all countries, etc. What we have to do is try to at least not vote for them...
                          You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, I have to admit, Jules, you're right about some people. I've never forgotten getting to an oasis in the Sub-Sahara and hearing the ringing Northern accents of a lady saying 'No, I don't want that stuff. I want REAL tea. English tea.' Baffled non-English speaking bloke wondering what isn't real about the tea he's offering. This lady later engaged me because I was English and therefore could help her with her various
                            problems (which were many) -- that is I could speak enough Arabic and
                            French to communicate with the blokes at the oasis. She told me that
                            it was too hot in the Sahara and when I asked her why she was here she explained that she hadn't expected it to be so different... I told her to
                            stick to the coffee and wear a big hat. I also remember some English bloke crying 'Imshi' to make traders go away. This is a phrase (meaning Go) which you only use to animals. It's no wonder they weren't too happy with him. In my experience most Arab people set high store by good manners and it's nothing to learn the right things to say in order to get on well with almost anyone. And then you'll hear an Egyptian complaining about how plumbers get paid better than the prime minister and how it's impossible to get someone to turn up at your house the
                            time they tell you they're going to turn up. Maybe you just need that
                            little initial start to learn that people are pretty much the same everywhere. If you don't make it, then no doubt you never will find out this obvious truth.

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rymdolov
                              How nice of you not to bring up the political situation in Sweden, a country which at many times has been equally unpleasant and which is always equally insignificant...
                              That wasn't just mere politeness (although good manners is an objective of mine, so long as they don't get deceptive). I have been very pleased that prominent Swedes (up to and including your prime minister) have been critical to the blatant anti-Arabian tone that seems to have gained a status of politcal correctness in Denmark. Of course, it's mainly Dansk Folkeparti ("The Danish People's Party") who have been promoting a nationalistic and xenophobic line in politics... and they only have about 10% of the voters... but even that has made me sick. The very bad thing is that the government is relying on their votes, and makes very big concessions to them.

                              Sweden nowadays is, I think, the leading country of Scandinavia. I've actually been so fed up with Danish politics that I've considered moving there (not such a big sacrifice, since moving from Copenhagen to Malmأ¶ wouldn't be far). I'm afraid, though, that some of the winds blowing in Denmark may be slowly moving in Sweden as well... the fact that some small Nazi enclaves have been enacting true terrorism there might suggest that the unpleasant political winds in Denmark might be whispering beneath the surface in Sweden.

                              I have a good mind to go and live in the Netherlands! But then, Pim Fortuyn's political legatee's may be lurking there...
                              "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

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