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The Pedant

They throw stones at you

«You are good and they throw stones at you. You are bad and they throw stones at you. Whatever you do, wherever you go, you'll always get stones in the face! " Antoine sang in 1967. Something like this happens today, while a series of ringed "emergencies" each time asks for solutions in derogation from the ethical and legal principles that would apply in "ordinary" times. The most observant have already observed that the "state of exception" theorized by philosophers of law has thus been normalized, that is, the indefinite suspension of the guarantees and constraints that intertwine the fabric of the rule of law and the consequent expansion of governmental powers. beyond the provisions of the constitutional architecture (which, incidentally, does not provide for any state of exception). The prolongation of these forcings is in effect deforming our social model beyond the elastic point of return to normal. In becoming normality itself, it is acting like the ram's head of a reformist operation that fears neither opposition nor limits, be they of a parliamentary, electoral, ethical or legal nature.

The more attentive still have noticed that, however different the triggers of the exception are in intensity and nature, the remedies invoked are always the same and always pejorative of the material and social well-being of citizens. I wrote about it in these pages at the dawn of the "pandemic" season and I am now writing about the ongoing war in Ukraine. The places, the dangers, the protagonists and the scenarios change, but as always, "you will take stones in your face".

Consider the announced suspension of imports of energy sources from Russia, which today cover a quarter of our needs and satisfy two-fifths of our domestic and industrial consumption of natural gas, and therefore almost a quarter of electricity . Which in other words, draw the line between us and a developing country. Now, the idea seems to be that by giving up this energy at the cost of inflicting a monstrous recession on us, we would force the Russian government to desist from military operations. An idea that in a person of average intelligence would raise some questions. For example: why then we continue to import a tenth of our oil from Saudi Arabia, whose bombs are causing " the worst humanitarian crisis in the world " in neighboring Yemen, with three hundred and eighty thousand victims and "a child under five dead every ten minutes "? Why do we consume the petrol of the oil companies that have seized the fields stolen from Iraqis in a war of aggression in which nearly half a million people have lost their lives? And because we do not give up the less essential products of those who exploit child workers , oppress minorities or practice slavery in an era – recall the main international labor organizations – in which "there are more slaves than in any other period of history Human"?

If these questions seem naive (they are), then it takes a cubic naivete to accept the illogic of the latest measures which, if a pinch of media information were added to the average intelligence, they would also find themselves useless. While the energy contribution lost by the Italians cannot be replaced, the Russians are already intensifying gas exports to neighboring China, soon to be reached by a second transmongolic gas pipeline . The largest industrial power in the world alone absorbs almost double the primary energy consumed by all European countries combined but has so far relied mainly on coal (60% of the fossil energy mix) and oil (20%), with the environmental problems and the continuity of the resulting supplies . The Chinese natural gas market is therefore almost virgin and can abundantly compensate for the losses in the west. And we haven't thrown a boomerang: we're just shooting at ourselves.

The solution-problem dyad thus represented is too absurd not to ask oneself if by chance it does not overshadow another, if there is no method in this madness. Shifting the gaze from the presumed recipient to the sender, less unheard of, if not quite familiar, profiles would emerge from the mists of nonsense . A few nights ago, the president of Nomisma Energia admitted on television the need to ration energy consumption to cope with the new scenario: "here we need a destruction of demand … an unfortunate descent", he said, adding then that "the markets there they have been asking for it for at least six months. " The markets? Six months? So before the Russian operations started ( here , for example, the Citigroup investment bank, already last October). The problem is new, but the old solution: austerity, which after the fiscal and health variants now announces its third metamorphosis, the energy one. With the resumption of expansionary monetary policies after the last crisis, the preferred tool of investors to curb the inflationary nightmare is back in vogue . If for those who consume there is not much difference between an increase in prices and a decrease in their income, the latter is more convenient for those who play with money because it preserves the value of credits and puts public and private assets on balance. Moral: if the spread is raised, they throw stones at you, if a pandemic breaks out, they throw stones at you. What if Russia goes to war? Ditto, they throw stones at you. The same stones.

And while cuts of billions of cubic meters of gas are announced, how can we not think of the appeals of the girl with the braids and her acolytes on Friday morning? How can we not put two and two together with the institutional crusades for "decarbonization", the "ecological transition", the reduction of "greenhouse gases" and the more "sustainable" (ie poorer) lifestyles that have been hammering for years? How can we forget that for at least a decade William Henry Gates III aka Bill, the climate-friendly philanthropist, has been flying to the four corners of the world aboard a private jet carrying two thousand liters of kerosene per hour to explain to us how bad anhydride hurts. carbonic? Happy coincidences, indeed. And what about the European blackouts prophesied by our minister Giorgetti already last November, by the Austrian defense minister a month earlier , by Goldman Sachs two months earlier ? If the ending is already written, every plot is good: they throw those stones at you anyway.

We might as well practice guessing the epilogues rather than chasing their pretexts. If there will be no gas for everyone and if, as the president of the German Federal Network Agency suggested in an interview , the consequences of the Russian embargo will force many families to use state aid to warm up, it is not bizarre to imagine that the the same telematic mechanism of rewards – that is punishments – introduced with the green pass can also extend to the enjoyment of this service. The combination of the new electronic meters equipped for the first time with a remotely operated valve and the IDpay platform "which will allow citizens to access the bonuses and support measures that the various governments will develop in the future" would make the announcements easier " modulations in the supply of electricity and gas for domestic use "according to the" virtuous "requirements set by the legislator from time to time. Which would also finally make sense of the adjective green attached to the health pass on a white background. With Covid they throw stones at you. With bombs they throw stones at you.

The same game can be applied to the other non sequiturs of the vulgate. One would expect, he wondered, that those who say they want to stop a "dictator" who is an enemy of the "free world" will give an example of plurality and freedom, in order to be more credible. But if on the contrary it does so by drawing up ban lists , jailing , firing and muddying those who sing outside the chorus, censoring the newspapers , tarotizing images in the mass media, promoting one-way hatred , demanding public abjurations in the Maoist style and inciting a tragicomic McCarthyism that does not spare even the dead of two centuries ago , then the accounts do not add up. If we were in a psychiatric clinic (and we are close to it), we would say that the patient is affected by projective identification, that is, he attributes his unresolved problems to others. But if we put aside the reason again, we would find faces already known. The war on "fake news" with a license to censor and prosecute unofficial opinions was born long before that of Ukraine. The pandemic adventure had already traced the furrow and poured the manure of the vaccine selfie and of the QR as auto-da-fé , of the removal of "denialist" (ie critical) telematic contents, of the marginalization of the evaders and of the radiation of dissidents from professional registers. The repression of the freedom to express oneself, to speak out and to confront oneself was already underway, which is the requisite of knowing and living together without conflicts. Again, change the shooting angle but not the stones, in this case gravestones.

(Stated in parentheses, even those who try to give lessons in democracy should have a parliament that represents the opinions of the voters and not a crowd of parrots repeating the grunts of their bosses, when for example "for 69% [of citizens] Italy must negotiate with Russia" ( IPSOS ) and for 44% of them "sending weapons to the Ukrainian resistance is wrong and must be stopped "( EMG ). And those who set themselves up as champions of the right should not requisition without trial the houses, boats and current accounts of those who have only the mistake of being born or of being in the wrong place. Today it happens to the Russians because they are "bad". And tomorrow, who will be the bad guy? Who doesn't welcome refugees, who doesn't get vaccinated, who turns on the air conditioner, who writes "wrong" things on Facebook? If everything justifies everything, then everything is possible).

It is also difficult to decipher the choice of integrating thousands of health workers from the theater of the conflict into our health care without qualifying them. Let us overlook how profoundly unfair this is towards the many foreigners, many of whom fleeing violence, who have instead had to sweat the Italian titles. And let's pretend not to ask ourselves how a professional who does not know our language can relate to colleagues and patients, collect anamnesis, read and draw up reports, etc. But let's focus at least on the fact that until yesterday we were the ones who sent doctors to countries at war. With what logic do we now move from supporting Emergency and Doctors Without Borders to facilitating the exodus of white coats from a bombed nation that needs more than bread? And to send ships of arms in exchange? If we kept all the premises for good, none. If, on the other hand, we considered the matter itself, we would recognize again the more usual features of economic immigration, of an "optimal allocation of productive factors" from the textbook whose compressive effects on claims and wages are still the same as those reported in the famous correspondence on the " Irish question ". Not being able to delocalize services to the natural person, human factors are localized with less expensive contracts, having first removed the commercial barriers to entry (qualification to the profession) as predicted by the "free" and global markets, those in which workers they are precisely factors, goods, commodities that can be placed as needed.

It will therefore be another happy coincidence that this unprecedented measure falls one year after another unprecedented measure, to remove from the service the health workers who have not agreed to be injected three times with a newly invented drug. On the one hand, the contribution of the staff from the east will help to fill the historical shortcomings of the healthcare staff and especially the positions left vacant by doctors and nurses suspended on more advantageous conditions (the contracts offered are fixed-term or freelance) . On the other hand, it will weaken the bargaining power of those suspended by making them, at least on paper, less indispensable to the system, that is, deflationary them like everything else. If there is China, they throw stones at you. And if there is Ukraine, they still throw it at you, with interest.

I do not know nor would I be able to fully understand the background of the Russian operation in Ukraine. Nor do I know how far the homegrown counter-moves will go. But I see only too well which stones will rain on our faces, however things turn out. Because the arguments (let's call them that) of the infinite emergency seem so many different fairy tales that all end with the witch in the oven: even when there are neither witches nor ovens. So after reading two or three frankly I get tired. As I have written elsewhere , I believe that this diversionary and illogical education integrates a real pedagogy of governance that aims to dissolve the perception of contradiction in order to transform any event – true or false, small or large, natural or artificial, unexpected or wanted – in the plausible fuel of an already running program. The solvent of this dissolution is precisely the emergency in which an anxiety to "do" typical of the modern horizon is activated. And since that improcrastinable "doing" can only take place within the realm of the feasible, whoever sets the perimeter of the agibilia also decides the agenda , that is, the only stones – sorry , solutions – possible.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Il Pedante at the URL http://ilpedante.org/post/ti-tirano-le-pietre on Wed, 20 Apr 2022 03:29:28 PDT.