I hate Facebook almost as much as hypocrisy.
Every now and then I suspect that I would have to overcome these aversions of mine if I wanted to aspire to the role of an authentic local politician. The aim of the game, it now seems clear to me, is not so much to be present, but to demonstrate with the help of Mr. Sugarloaf that one has been present: a nice smiling selfie, a post punctuated with "Good! ", "Forward!", "Let's go and win!", and the man lives… Let these words not sound like criticism, because they are not: you have to make bread with the flour you have, in church with the saints and in the tavern with gluttons, etc. If this is what the general public perceives as a political presence, in that Keynesian beauty contest to which political activity has been reduced ( remember ? " It is not a case of choosing those which, to the best of one's judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those which average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. "), if the aim of the game is not so much to be present ( cui bono , given that the same voters who ask us for mirabilia are the ones who condemned us to irrelevance?), if the aim is to show that we were present, escaping the latter would ultimately damage the team, which is judged not because of what he does or doesn't do, but because of what people expect him to do (and therefore "Good!", etc.).
It must also be said that "the Honorable Member doesn't answer my phone!" it is a literary genre: however present and assiduous you may be, Grillino's victimism, half made up of a radical misunderstanding of parliamentary work, and the other half of the irreducible conviction of being the pivot of the cosmos, is a biometric constant (I won't go as far as anthropometric) unavoidable! But like everything for which there is no solution, this too is a non-problem.
I know how, I know good …
On the other hand, this blog was born to leave a trace in people's hearts, not on their wall.
I'm not telling you this to confirm my definitive renunciation of leaving a trace in your brains (I'm not giving up)! Instead, I wanted to underline that there are circumstances, moments, meetings, which I would feel like prostituting if I took it upon myself to give the standard account of the good politician present in (the noticeboards of) the area. I can only report on those moments here, in this non-place, a place whose non-existence and irrelevance confer a particular intimacy, one which has allowed me to share with you in the past many moments of my family and professional life, and to you to share moments of yours with me and all of us. We call it humanity, although, given that in a process of time homo has identified itself with vir , we can assume that "humanity" has become a word of hate, a word of-vi-si-va, and is in any case a faculty to which many have abdicated, perhaps because they are deafly aware of not being able to afford it.
Today I wanted to briefly report to you about one of these meetings.
A few days ago I had to go to Lama dei Peligni.
Don't think of Toledo: the "blade" of the Peligni was not the one held by the Peligni, it is not that of a sword, but that of the Murgia (the real one), and the Peligni perhaps hadn't even got there, coming down from the Forchetta pass, to Lama, because the Peligna Valley is actually on the other side of the Maiella, as you well know, and the territory of Lama seems to have been occupied by the Samnites, in particular by the Carricini , those of Juvanum, which would be this:
In short: the name of this beautiful town of a thousand inhabitants contains a double misunderstanding, which does not alter the fact that people have lived well there, at least since the Neolithic, and that, even if you may have never heard of it, it is linked to things which you may have heard of, like this one , already the scene of a bad story , which today would be considered very bad (and should be censored) because it was written by a fasheesta .
And what was I going to do there?
While in the car I was descending from the slopes of the Montagna d'Ugni, I went around Palombaro, I snuck behind the establishment of the well-known pasta factory (immediately intercepted by more efficient security than that of the #goofy), I went up to Civitella Messer Raimondo (this Raimondo here, who trace in history it left, at the time of the dispute between the Aragonese and the Angevins), in fact the same question tormented me too! Precise: I knew I was going to support two friends, two candidates in the regional elections, I was also curious to stop in a country I had passed through perhaps only once, going up from Fossacesia to Pescocostanzo (two beautiful places, but don't tell anyone too much, that on tourism I don't think like Hollberg but much worse , also because I know what I'm talking about), I knew this.
But I didn't know what I was going to say, or what I was supposed to say.
Yes, our candidates in question are two excellent people and they worked hard in the regional council, bringing results, and naturally I would have reiterated this with conviction. It's a shame that this fact, although not obvious, seems so. The following applies here:
Bagnai's theorem on the electoral neutrality of the amendment.
Hypothesis: a parliamentary Republic is given.
Thesis: no amendment, however relevant, has ever moved or will ever move a vote.
Proof: when things go well, the citizen thinks that this is due to him, and he is perfectly right to think so!
…which is the reason why I have to hide, with great effort, a smile of annoyed condescension when I see the lagent struggling ultra vires to get something approved whose merit, if it makes sense, will be appropriated by the Government (see the case of my bill on cash or that of Claudio on vandals or Molinari's amendment on agricultural IRPEF ), while those directly involved will limit themselves to saying that it is not good and that they wanted more (see the case of amendment on fines for vaccinated people). This neutrality theorem undermines at the root one of the rhetorics that were at the basis of joining the Draghi government, and in general of every "governance" choice: "people vote for us because we administer well, so let's go to the Government and #let's do things, which people will be grateful!"
Yes, it is true that, as I have learned to know them, our administrators express a good administrative culture, they know how to attract and use funds (the famous Italian funds mistakenly called "European", because what is European in those funds is only the absurd use that is made of it, as underlined here ), it's all true, it's all right.
But it is the world that is unjust and ungrateful!
Unfortunately it doesn't work that way, because normality has two incurable defects: while ensuring it requires a titanic effort, it itself remains imperceptible. Who notices normal things? Who wonders how much work goes into it? Who is ready to thank for this effort? Nobody. It follows that in a country where things are going like this:
( as we said at the end of the year ), and in which the majority therefore suffers, even if sometimes unconsciously, what you need to give is not an amendment, or a "European" fund with an attached propaganda piece to put on the door, but a 'alternative.
These reflections also answered another question: I should have delved into the country's problems, collecting anecdotes from my militants, or from some of the many local mayor friends I frequent (a little further on I spend my holidays there, and it's always a good idea be friends with the mayors of wonderful places), and maybe prepare a little speech on things that those who listened to me knew better than me anyway? Maybe not, it wasn't my role, but possibly that of the candidates, and maybe it wasn't even what those I met would have needed, even if they didn't know and it wasn't possible to explain to them that their destiny was to end up in C and not in D…
This, and other things, I mulled over as I parked and entered the city council chamber, which was hosting the meeting. The atmosphere was pleasantly welcoming, almost Christmassy. Among a few dozen men of all ages, who filled the intimate space, there were the little child, an angelic blond infant not (yet) interested in politics, but already capable of being in society, the Madonna in the form of a connected young mother, and the shepherds, men with faces engraved like the valleys of the mother mountain looking towards the sea, many older than me. Almost all unknown, except for a former student of mine (there is always one: in twelve years of teaching you sow more than you can imagine), rewarded at the time by two 29s (I didn't remember being such a bastard…) , and a couple of our administrators and militants. I entered that room with a certain respectful caution: I had arrived a few minutes late, they had already started talking (in Abruzzo I never know which time zone to settle on, whether UTC+0 or UTC+1: that was the evening of UTC+ 1…), I didn't want to distract my colleagues who were talking, and I didn't want to make them look bad either. I was also a little overdressed , because I had come straight from the inauguration of the judicial year, where it would not have been appropriate to show up underdressed (although, to be honest here where no one reads it, in my opinion in Italy I only read this me, but I understand that many may find Saint Simon or Proust useless reading, and in the end this is the least compared to the fact that many still believe me in the Senate…), and I would never have wanted my being tied up in a three-piece suit could be read as an attempt to highlight a rank or to interpose a diaphragm.
In fourteen years of exposure in public contexts I have always spoken off the cuff, I have never written a speech, but I have often found it written on the walls of the classrooms that welcomed me. And it went like that this time too. In front of me, next to the entrance door, there was a clearly visible plaque dedicated to the memory of the patriots of the Maiella Brigade , a story which for some strange reason, as I told Pietransieri when commemorating these dead , remains a little hidden in the cultural panorama of Italians, like Abruzzo remains hidden in their mental geography.
And so, when they gave me the floor, I told my representatives, because in any case in Parliament I am the one representing them, what was going through my head. I told them that I imagined the legitimate pride of the communist mayor who on 25 April 1989 put up a plaque to remember the sacrifice of those patriots, and also, we can tell ourselves, to appropriate it politically, without knowing that 198 days after that noble gesture, however certainly tinged with an excusable incorrectness , another artifact would have collapsed , leaving "lu sindache" an orphan of his political home, and starting that historical process that would have led the left to seek protection in another external referent: in the absence of ideology and funding from the In the Soviet Union, the left, in order to govern in spite of the voters, would have positioned itself under the umbrella of the European Union.
"Because in the end", I said to my representatives, "the European Union is a Soviet Union that has made it. But you, I said to the older ones, you can imagine a Brezhnev coming to tell us that from 2035 we must pass everyone to the electric car, and the industrial district of Atessa is screwed? Can you imagine an Andropov telling us that we have to replace solina flour with cricket flour, and kebabs with cultured meat? Can you imagine a Chernenko preventing us from selling a house unless we first spend a lot of money on Chinese products to make it "green"?"
"No", I continued, "such a thing was beyond what was permissible to conceive even in the worst scenario, that in which the Cossacks had watered their horses at the fountains of St. Peter's Square. But where did the Russian hierarchs not arrive? , the European technocrats arrived. And how did they do it? Making us lower our guard. Because at the time of the two blocs it was clear that the world was divided in two, that you could be on one side or the other, the ideological reference "over there" it was the defense of work (the effectiveness of this defense can be debated), the ideological reference "over here" was the defense of the market (translated into practice as socialism of the rich, which only socializes losses), but in short it was clear that a tension existed, that nothing was owed, that we had to commit ourselves and fight, and there were parties to organize and direct this fight. Then they told us that it was all over, and we shouldn't worry: our freedom was safe because it had democracy, that is, us, won. But the world is still divided in two, and to understand who the adversary is we must look at who attacks our freedom: the European Union. Many have understood this and many are understanding it, so if what I have told you makes sense to you, support the party of those who led you to this reflection. The fight to have more freedom, today, is the fight to have less Europe. And that plaque tells us that even yesterday things weren't very different."
Contrary to what I might have expected, confirming the fact that those who speak from the heart speak to the heart, the speech, not particularly longer than that, seemed to convince those present. I then stopped to talk to them, entering into the granularity of the disagreements and tantrums that it would be much better to be able to settle and quell. Life is also made up of this. However, that now, in this wonderful pacified and unipolar world, we are undergoing levels of external conditioning that were simply unimaginable in the time of the conflictual bipolar world, everyone understood this, perhaps because, before I materialized in my three-piece suit, there were no no one had thought.
And now, after having shared with you these scenes from provincial life, these memories of my analogue college, with you who are my digital college, I greet you and return to dealing with grids: grids of amendments, grids of opinions, grids of hearings, nomination grids. It's not great stuff: it's boring work, and someone has to do it.
(… remember what Jacques Sapir told us: until the day before everyone was convinced that the system didn't work, and everyone was convinced that it would last forever …)
(… I love Hollberg, even if I haven't had time to write to her so far. Because unfortunately things are as she says. The streets where I walked as a child, at the hands of my parents, today give off the stench of ethnic and fashion – do you know when you go to the duty free at the airport? The smell of the shops, the takeaways, the grocers, the incense of the churches, the resin of the cypresses, everything is annihilated by the steamroller of economies of scale, of franchising , of large numbers. I love my college because it preserves tenacious pockets of authenticity: and any authenticity, any root, even if not formally yours, is better than pretense. After all, even in the center of Rome, a city that I have never really felt despite having loved its culture so much in its various stratifications, I now suffer from that oppressive presence. Perhaps Abruzzo is protected by being a land of passage. Look at Puglia, the place of arrival of sheep in the past – in Foggia – and today of tourists – in Salento. Everything is beautiful: Nature and Art. But when you start wanting to like someone different from you, and who you don't actually know, you enter an impervious and hostile territory where you are destined to suffer many losses, first of all that of authenticity. Maybe only you suffer from it, because by definition those who come from another humus are not able to perceive the damage done. Certain processes must be managed before the damage is done. Afterwards it is useless to talk about short supply chains and slow food products …)
This is a machine translation of a post (in Italian) written by Alberto Bagnai and published on Goofynomics at the URL https://goofynomics.blogspot.com/2024/02/lue-e-una-urss-che-ce-lha-fatta-finora.html on Sat, 03 Feb 2024 15:02:00 +0000. Some rights reserved under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license.