Thought Archive

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dolce Vita Rubbished

I always wondered how Italy is governed - of courseI knew that it is corrupt and partially incompetent, and I knew about paralysis of government which plagued the country after the war, and how successive governments were unable to take on organized crime. Yet it is a dynamic country - a great exporter of high-end goods, a tourist destination and an envy of the World. How is it so, that country always paralyzed by indecision and infighting in the fractured government - where scandal is never far away - managed to become a great European economic powerhose and a source of almost all good quality fashions and textiles? I assume that Italians are best to be left with no government at all. History has to be called to explain economic success of Dolce Vita!
The practical problems of rubbish collectionin Naples are complicated by the fact that the local organised crime network,known as the Camorra, has created a multi-billion dollar industry of waste management in and around the city.


Riri said...

Yeah rubbish collection presents many practical complications in fact. The confusion stems from the fact that there is no universally agreed-upon definition of rubbish. Some citizens for example have been mistaken for rubbish by rubbish-collecting authorities and they were collected in conditions that are clearly against human rights tenets. This confusion needs to be sorted as soon as possible.

NoolaBeulah said...

Mussolini said, "It isn't difficult to govern Italy; it's useless."

Just one of many reasons for this is contained in the phrase 'the Italian government'. The phrase might lead you to think that there is a central authority in Italy. There is not. There are several. Or rather, wherever there is a constituted authority, there is also a parallel one.

On a national level, there is the State, and there is the Church, which has taken a very long time to learn that its holiness is best preserved without political power. But few people trust the state. Italians' enthusiasm for Europe is really repulsion of their own politicians.

Anyway, their real loyalties are local. But here it gets really interesting, because alongside the local authorities, there is the church, the biggest local business and, in the south, the biggest business of all: the Camorra, 'Ndrangheta, la Sacra Corona, or La Cosa ('The Thing', better known as the Mafia).

So, in a sense, Italy is not governed, not as we would understand it. However, it works. Not so well, recently, but overall the record is remarkably good. And in some ways (this is my theory), it is because of, not in spite of, the corruption. The distribution of wealth is better than it is in the UK because the real economy is often working for the people seemingly excluded from the economy of the official figures, which are never to be trusted.

Hazar Nesimi said...

I wish that many countres that have similar chronic inability of governments to govern and endemic corruption attain similar level to that of Italy, for Northern Europe will not be a beacon for anybody. Anyway Italy brings hope that incompetent but joyuous and active people can achieve things by trial and error rather than grand design.