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<nettime> what is happening in Italy?
lop1912 on Wed, 5 Sep 2001 06:14:05 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> what is happening in Italy?


More than 200 thousand persons gathered in Genoa, Italy, on 20-22th July 
2001, in a huge demonstration against the G8 summit. The G8 has been 
identified by the activist of the global movement as the most important 
symbolic target: the leaders of the most powerful nations can hardly be 
considered like persons concerned by the well being of the mankind. Think 
of the US President, who is showing much more concern for the profits of 
his fellows oil producers than for the planet environment. Think of the 
Russian President, a former communist spy who is slaughtering thousands of 
people in Chechnia in absolute disregard of the world public opinion.
More than 200 thousand people came to Genoa to protest against the economic 
policy that is destroying the environment of the Earth, empoverishing the 
societies of the developing countries. Christians and Buddhists were 
marching together with union's workers and with mediactivists, and 
trotzkytes, and libertarians from all over Europe. All of them cried: "Drop 
the Debt now".
The answer of power has been violence: a young man was killed, and hundreds 
were hurted (many in a very serious way). Hundreds were arrested. But the 
worse came at the end of the three days of mobilization: during the night 
the Mediacentre was assaulted, the Indymedia activists and the other people 
who were sleeping or working  there were aggressed, and beaten, and 
humiliated by a group of police chanting fascist songs. Blood on the walls, 
violence, fascist insults have widely been testified by those who could 
witness this horrible act of repression. Never we saw such a violent 
reaction from the police during the last two years of global mobilization 
against the corporate rule.

What is the meaning of such an extremely violent reaction against pacific 
people, who were not throwing stones, or carrying weapons? First of all we 
have to think that the corporate capitalism is losing its head, and is 
acting more and more in a mood of dispair. The optimistic age of the New 
Economy is over, the developing countries (Argentina, Turkey), led by the 
ultraliberist IMF policy to the brink of the financial breakdown are 
falling into the abyss, and nobody knows what to do. The end of the 
Liberist Dictatorship has began.
But in its agony the Liberist Dictatorship can give way to violent 
reactions against social mobilization. This is what has happened in Italy.
Why here?

During the twentieth century this country has shown a recurrent penchant 
for autoritarian rule and fascist aggression. The weak national identity of 
the italian people (that is the consequence of its cultural diversity and 
fragmented history) has produced two bad effects during the past century: 
one is the amoral familism, or nepotism, which is the basis of the Mafia, 
the other is the aggressive assertion of the central autorhority of the 
State, which is the basis of fascism.
What is happening nowadays is the coincidence of the two: Mr Berlusconi, 
owner of the majority of the media (print and tv), owner of insurance, 
financial and advertising companies, personal friend of people connected to 
sicilian mafia, directly involved in the illegal lobby of P2, is the 
prototype of postmodern Mafia. After investing a fortune in an electoral 
campaign built on the shape of the commercial advertising, he finally won 
the political elections in a dangerous alliance with Mr Bossi - leader of a 
xenophobic group called Northern League, and with Mr Fini, leader of 
Alleanza Nazionale,  the party issued directly from the historical lineage 
of Mussolini's fascist party.
The mix of mafia and fascism is an absolute novelty in the history of the 
Italian politics. What is the destiny of this country? Where is it going to 
be led? Can Europe tolerate such a monster?
Hard to say. What we know is that much of the future of Italy is depending 
on the global anticorporate movement, on its ability in creating new forms 
of democracy, new forms of self-organization of society, new forms of 
communication.

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