Italy: One year after the March elections
The government that rules Italy in these days has come in office more than a year ago. The League - 5 Stars alliance has produced results in accordance with its own government contract. The cutting of the pensions of the parliamentarians, the blocking of the landings of foreigners, that new form of State aid to the unemployed called “Citizenship Income” and a first adjustment of the general structure of fixed-term employment contracts are just some of the actions taken by the government. However, the existing alliance is rather tumultuous, subject to centrifugal forces that undermine its stability. The reality is that the government is not the best possible coalition but the least worst, since all the parties present in our Parliament hate each other with more or less marked nuances. On the contrary: rather than hating each other, it is a real mutual disgust to which we must add elements of escape from the reality mixed with Stockholm Syndrome, which leads the remnants of the Italian Left to invoke, with stubborn stupidity, both an infinite welcome to foreigners and more austerity in the State budgets. The evidence that behind the migratory flows there is a precise subversive and destructive project at least against Italy and the cruel uselessness of austerity policies - Greece docet - are both unconsciously neglected by the Left who would like to return to the government. If the 5 Stars are seen as annoying and inept moralizers, it is the strong man of the Northern League, Matteo Salvini, who is daily pointed out to the two minutes of hatred of Orwellian memory.
What follows is a new interview with Professor Gianfranco Lagrassa regarding these issues.
Q) In your opinion, what political judgment can be given to the leader of Northern League, Matteo Salvini?
A) More than a political one in the strict sense, I must first of all say that he is on anti-communist positions, that I do not share as much as the anti-fascist ones. I am irritated by the usual bales about the massacres that the Communists would have committed. Sometimes we should remember the massacres carried out by the capitalist ruling classes and in particular by the USA, a country of which people like Salvini has always been “followers”. In fact, Salvini's foreign policy sees me clearly contrary. It is always pro-American and the positions on Venezuela are quite different from mine (I do not consider Maduro at all as communist and Guaidò is essentially an “agent” of the United States). I also disagree with Salvini’s “grumbling” about the agreement with China. In short, on foreign policy I disapprove him almost completely. The judgment about his opposition to the arrival of migrants is different. However, I would not take too much with these. I would not say that they are mostly criminals or terrorists, etc. Simply, you cannot receive such an amounts of migrants in a short space of time. In any case, the self-styled “left”, the “welcoming”, the “do-gooders” who are completely hypocritical must be opposed and with very hard methods. From this point of view, it is obvious that I am forced to declare Salvini as “less worse” than the abject in the Italian Democratic Party and its surroundings. However, we need new political forces with different leadership groups able to give to the “left” a lesson that is not merely electoral. For the moment, nothing of the kind is seen on the horizon. And not only in Italy, even in Europe and throughout the so-called “West”.
Q) Is Salvini’s Northern League currently the only truly alternative party to the 5 Stars Movement, its coalition partner, in representing Italy and the Italians?
A) Once again, I must say that the League is less worse than the 5 Stars, a movement of moralists and anything but sincere. They are also, on the average, incapable. I do not come to say the idiocies of the adversaries (and of Berlusconi and Forza Italia! in particular) on the “Citizenship Income”. However, I don't even consider it a measure that is in any way “humanitarian” and that would favor work. One is certainly not on the sofa enjoying that modest contribution (as opponents claim, being even worse than them), but poverty is not greatly alleviated (if it is the real one). Furthermore, we need an effective policy to mitigate the effects of the long-term crisis we are experiencing. I am not talking about development as it constantly spur by the opposition; there is no development even when all the other “Western” countries (except the US, but only for the moment) are in a situation of substantial stagnation. To at least lighten the effects of the crisis, strong public spending is essential. Not however with the obsession for the TAV, the trains moving at high speed, on which I cannot dwell here. We need investments (State-made, private individuals are fearful of the crisis) more pronounced, more distributed throughout Italy. I repeat, however: it is enough to say nonsense about the possible impetuous development, which would be lacking because of the Government. It is only possible to make the crisis less burdensome or - better said, at least until now – the substantial stagnation. It cannot really be solved in a multipolar “s-regulation” situation. For certain short periods - and in certain countries - there may also be modest increases in GDP, but as a basic trend and for years there will be no known boom or similar. Moreover, it is hoped that these movements (“tectonic”) will not produce the strong “surface shock” which is the “earthquake”. Out of metaphor, a crisis as the 1929 stock exchange with all the socially painful effects that followed it (up to the New Deal, launched by the Roosevelt presidency in 1933 and that made the socio-economic system breathe for a while; then it really came out of the crisis with the Second World War). However, I believe that the situation will remain difficult for a fair number of years.
Q) What happened to the "old" Northern League and its leadership?
A) It is no longer the party of “lumbards” and then also of the Veneto people. It is now a national party. I don't think the old management really has serious prospects. In some ways, we can say that it no longer exists; does anyone still hear or often see Bossi & C.? Even a Maroni should remain at most in “surplice”. However, I do not believe that the League, which actually started out as new party, has still found its stable orientation; such in short to protect it from possible defeats of the electoral base. Let’s wait for this year (and even something more) before giving a safer judgment and for at least average times.
Q) Decree of Dignity and Citizenship Income. Is the economic action of the new government, above all the 5-star, producing the desired results? In other words, are the positive data on work really truthful and, above all, are they significant?
A) I'm sorry, but I only hear unconscious debates and a shabbiness never seen before. The situation is difficult but it arises from a crisis of stagnation. I have said a thousand times that it resembles that of the end of the nineteenth century with the decline of England (still however great power) and the growth of multipolarity. The crisis begun in 2007-8 and that we are in the illusion that it is being overcome, despite what is happening in the USA (we will see in a year if their economy continues like this). The “austerity” policy of the EU - quite unbelievable after the New Deal that came almost 90 years ago and the long-established Keynesian theory - is the ultimate cause of current difficulties. Apart from this, the data that are “launched” by certain international organizations are purely political and try to beat the Italian government considered, superficially enough, one of the pillars of the so-called populism, sovereignty, etc. We are not talking about rating companies, which have not the slightest anticipated nor general facts such as the 2007-8 crisis (for them it was at most a “brief incident” in an economy conceived in full development) nor the more particular ones like the situation of Parmalat, thought in perfect health very little time before its collapse and failure. As for the current economic difficulties, we need to wait a year. And we will see that these are, among other things (not only), those of a failed and inept Europeanism, from which we should be freed. The European elections will change something but it will not be enough.
Q) What about Justice?
A) From “Clean Hands” onwards the Judiciary has become - not in its entirety, but in a clear majority - an instrument of political struggle. You need to cut it nails with a courageous reform. Certainly, however, it would also be necessary to obtain what no one is trying to achieve: slamming out a large number of politicized judges (and a specific part!) and filling the gaps with finally more “objective” people. But I do not believe that the current political forces are able to do this. It would take a clear and radical upheaval in the now rotten and destructive political balance of our country's social fabric. For the moment, nothing of positive is seen in this regard.
Q) Shortly after the new coalition government come in charge, last year, the appointment of Marcello Foa as president of the RAI caused a stir and not a few opposition from the “left”. What do you think about this choice after one year?
A) I think that Marcello Foa, as I knew him (though not much), is a person of value and honest. However, he should have other powers and may not be paralyzed by other executives wanted by certain sectors of the current majority; in particular the 5 Stars, which appear to me rather negative for reasons that I will not now explain here; it takes time to talk about these muddlers and perhaps even a little worse. In any case, at RAI I see nothing changed compared to the presence of the usual journalists and intellectuals of a political party that is now decomposed and infected, which will make badly ill our country already seriously ill.
Q) In your opinion, can we get a serious public television back to the glories of the past?
A) Only if there will be - and not only in Italy - traumatic and violent events that re-establish a sick body that is almost “terminal”. Scores of negative characters should be removed, accountable for such a serious infection. Impossible to pronounce on a problem that demands similar solutions, of which we do not see at the moment even the shadow.
Q) About foreign policy, what are the shortcomings and weaknesses of the current government?
A) The incapacity of someone to flee and the precise choice of others to remain under the American “boss”. Fortunately, there is in that country - which I believe is in a relative decline, slow, like the English one between the last decades of the 800s and the first half of the following century - a rather acute disagreement between two establishments with different strategic ideas rather net and hostile to each other. However, these are still strategies aimed at maintaining US supremacy in the world for as long as possible. Moreover, for this US supremacy, Europe is very relevant. Here we play a good part of the current multipolarism. Of course, there is also China and therefore Asia, but I believe that our area is even more in the attention of the United States. Even if the current establishment (winner with Trump) restores considerable importance to the “backyard” (South America) to be brought back under full control. Of great importance (even more than the European elections) will be the US presidential elections of November 2020. In any case, at the moment in this poor country of ours there are no real sovereign forces at all; only vassals of one of the two “strategic vertices” in conflict in the USA.
Q) Has this government dropped its breeches with Brussels?
A) No, the expression is too strong. Certainly, however, it has not been shown with strength an its own determination that often defines itself as sovereign. Apart from immigration - where, however, there is too much insistence on migrants and too little on the “welcoming” people who should be “beaten up” with good reason and for the rest on this issue the 5 Stars show to be ready for an agreement with the Italian Democratic Party - the courage to go against austerity has not been noticed, sending the limits of the public deficit to hell. In reality, there are only verbal declarations of sovereignty; few actual moves. In any case, the news spread by newspapers and TV, 90% controlled by the “Europeans” of the old establishment, confuse everything. The dominant business sectors also contribute to our social instability even more than economically; it would take decisive forces without “good manners” (already mentioned before) to solve something.
Q) To the great crises still in progress, Libya and Syria for example, another is being added: Venezuela. Diplomatic Italy seems to be groping, without a precise direction. For real?
A) I do not think so. However, it is well decided to support the US predominance in the world. Everyone, government officials and opponents, are crouched under the wings of a US establishment (the one that pointed to Hillary Clinton) or on the other, expressed for Trump and for the time being in charge. The confusion is therefore due to the contrast within the United States, now more acute than in other times; effect, this, of the end of bipolarism and then of the American monocentrism that stand for only 10-12 years after the “collapse” of the so-called real socialism and the USSR. At present, multipolarism seems to be gradually asserting itself, which creates much greater uncertainty and certainly a lot of confusion and continuous changes in political decisions. We are in an increasing and continuous de-regulation of world balances. At the moment, however, the Italian political forces are flatly vassals of the USA: those belonging to an establishment or those headed by the other.
Q) A separate question on Ukraine: failed state governed, still and only for the moment, by clowns in disarray or Nation that laboriously seeks its own way in the international community?
A) For the moment it seems to me that the first definition is much more suitable; the recent election of a comedian seems to me a nice seal to the same. In any case, Ukraine seeks to enter the EU and thus bring itself even more safely under US protection. Russia, after the correct and approvable (by those who think like me, logically) liberation of Crimea, must be prudent given the forces that control all the European countries. For the moment, there is no effective alternative to these forces, whatever the outcome of the May 26 elections. As far as I am concerned, an actual and not false autonomy and “sovereignty” - not of all European countries, a brainy perspective, but of some important ones, among which I would like there to be even Italy in the end - will have to see birth and the growing affirmation of parties capable of leading to the gradual decoupling from today's demeaning servitude towards the United States (whether they are directed by one establishment or by the other). I hope that in the end this process will set in motion and overwhelm these petty and vile servants, who rage in the entire political scene of today's Europe.
Q) To end, I propose to you a very particular reflection. In this year too, as every year, April 25th was celebrated but, apart from Italy, there is no nation in the world that celebrates its defeat in war. Italy as American colony forever? As a people, have we irrevocably lost the perspective on our past?
A) I just made a video on the topic that takes as a starting point (but only as an indirect starting point) the tomfoolery that took place in Turin at the Book Fair. All the current political alignments (and not only Italians but in the whole of Europe) are vassals - who servants, who butlers - of the United States (whether they are those of Obama or Trump, I do not care about this). Therefore, I consider some of them as the worst (the Italian Democratic Party and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia! and, just slightly less, the 5 Stars), others the least worst, but always negative. For me it is necessary that there be a real change in the way of governing (not declaiming it always and never implementing it) and in international politics, which must gradually come out of the US orbit and favor the growth of multipolarism. Point and stop, for the moment I have nothing else to say about this complicated matter.